Workshop: Spatial History and Its Sources

On 2 September, the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History will hold a workshop on “Spatial History and Its Sources.” You can find out more about the workshop and its schedule here.

The workshop will bring together historians with a selection of sources that can help us explore the new field of Spatial History. Spatial History can be understood in multiple ways: First, there is the historical exploration of physical-geographical realities, including cities, mountains, rivers, and oceans. Second, there is the historical exploration of spaces that are constituted by social relations and human interaction, including traveling, letter writing and any other form of social communication (acts of violence included). Third, there is the historical exploration of spaces that are imagined and discursively constructed, including mental maps and infrastructure plans. Needless to say, of course, that these three modes of historical exploration may all be employed in regard to a given subject: A mountain range, a landscape, or architectural site are as much a physical reality as they are an imagined space. The Alps are a physical reality – one that can be measured and gauged; as a lived and appropriated space, however, they can mean different things to different people: to local dwellers, travelers, painters, or mountaineers. Likewise, a ship is as much a physical space as it is a social space: a microcosm of social norms and codes of conduct, with a specific language attached to it as a vehicle of knowledge and means of communication. Considering these issues through the materials we work with, this workshop is the first step towards a new critical and engaging volume around “Spatial History and Its Sources.”

Writing Global History and Its Challenges

There is an exciting graduate student workshop coming up at our neighbour, the University of Dundee: 

Writing Global History and Its Challenges
Saturday, 4 June 2016, 9.30 AM-4.30 PM

The workshop will include Jürgen Osterhammel (University of Konstanz) and Geoffrey Parker (The Ohio State University).

Graduate students at Scottish universities are invited to participate in a one-day workshop on Saturday, 4 June 2016, organized by the Scottish Centre for Global History at the University of Dundee.  The workshop theme is “Writing Global History and Its Challenges.” Professors Jürgen Osterhammel (University of Konstanz) and Geoffrey Parker (The Ohio State University) will assign readings in advance of the workshop, and lead the discussion.  The workshop is free of charge for graduate students at Scottish universities.  However, places are limited.

In order to reserve your spot, you need to send an e-mail to Dr. Martine J. van Ittersum (m.j. vanittersum [at] dundee.ac.uk) by Monday, 9 May 2016, at the latest.  The e-mail should include a one-page CV and a one-page summary of your research interests (500 words maximum).  Please do not wait with submitting your materials until the last possible moment.  You may be disappointed.

 

Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism

From Quebec in the west to Crimea in the east, from Scotland in the north to the Balkans in the south, peoples of the Western World have recently sought to redefine their relationships with their states. The international conference “Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism”, organised by Tomasz Kamusella and Frances Nethercott from the University of St Andrews, treats modern Central and Eastern Europe as a point of departure to discuss the concepts of federalism, autonomy, and centralism in Europe and beyond.

Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism, May 2015 (Round Table)

Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism, May 2015 (Round Table)

On Friday, May 29, the Byre Theatre in St Andrews will house nine speakers from universities and research centres across Europe. Their papers, which vary in scope and regional focus, will deal with connections between the official state model on the one hand, and issues of ethnicity, religion or identity on the other.

The event will also feature Neil Ascherson and Colin Kidd, who will comment on the talks and lead a round table discussion on the topics raised.

The organizers of the event, together with the Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and Eastern European Studies and Institute for Transnational and Spatial History at the University of St Andrews, invite all students, academics, and members of the general public to participate in this event. Admission is free for students and staff of the University. Other attendees can register and pay the conference fee at:

Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism, May 2015 (Participants)

Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism, May 2015 (Participants)

 

 

Conference Registration

The conference’s detailed programme can be found at:

Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism:  Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th and 21st Centuries

 

Tadek Wojtych
University of St Andrews

Call for Proposals: Mapping and Visualising Transnational (Hi)Stories. Connecting History, Space and Digital Tools

We are delighted to announce a workshop to be held here at St Andrews in June, 2014. It will combine short presentations on papers,  collaborative writing groups to further develop submitted papers as well as a morning of sessions that introduce specific skills and approaches to spatial history. Please find more details below.

Centre for Transnational History in collaboration with GRAINES
Mapping and Visualising Transnational (Hi)Stories. Connecting History, Space and Digital Tools 

Venue: 8-10 June 2014, School of History, St Andrews
Convenors: Bernhard Struck, Konrad Lawson
Submission date for papers and workshop proposals: 10 January 2014

Download Call for Proposals

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Reading Group First Meeting

Last week the first session of our Where is Transnational History? reading group was held. Exploring the variety of historical approaches that attempt to conceptualise space, especially in a transnational context, our reading also introduced us to the world of network visualisation with an essay by Lothar Krempel, and the exciting work being done at the Spatial History Project at Stanford University through an article by Richard White.

Our discussion focused on understanding the different ways space is defined, and employed in historical scholarship, ranging from the analysis of historical maps, the study of evolving trade and flows of all kind, the deconstruction of spatial categories and representations throughout history, and the symbolic importance of representational space. As we shared our own interests in the study of spatial history it quickly became clear that our varying topics and questions call for differing tools and forms of analysis, whether they depend primarily on close readings and interpretation or have a greater need for historical data and geographic analysis. Our reading will continue and we also agreed to plan for a more skills-based session on map-making and basic GIS for interested members in a future meeting.