Transnational Reading Group

We run a loose series of meetings that bring together staff and postgraduate students discussing selected readings in comparative, transnational and global history once or twice per semester.  It is an open and informal forum, to which interested students and staff are welcome.


Current and Forthcoming Reading Group Meetings


Mapping Transnational (Hi)Stories

Over the coming academic year (2013-14) a number of members of staff and PhD researcher will be meeting for a series of reading group sessions on the theme of space in transnational history. Transnational history has been broadly defined as being interested in connections across borders as well as in flows of goods, people, ideas across, through and above nations. As a perspective or way of seeing transnational history has been characterised as being primarily concerned with people as actors that create webs of connections as well as circulations, honeycombs and nodes of interaction across borders.

Such a definition raises questions of space and scale that we seek to discuss in a series of reading sessions and ultimately in a form of a workshop. What a number of colleagues are interested in is the question of how to spatialise and, consequently, how to map and visualise transnational histories and the flows and connections it is interested in. With these challenges and problems on space and scale in mind, what we seek to discuss in the coming year(s) is the combination and interrelation of transnational and global history on the one hand with the simultaneous (re)emergence of space and spatial issues since the early 1990s on the other.

While individual members of the reading groups work on rather diverse topics (travel, science, cities), we seek to explore ways of visualising and mapping flows and connections by collaborating with disciplines including geography and computer science.

Dates for meetings and readings will be posted shortly. For further questions or signalling interest in participating in any of the meetings, please feel free to contact Bernhard Struck (

The first meeting for the workshop / reading group on space will meet Wednesday 16 October 2013, 5.30pm. The venue is room 0.02, School of History, St Katharine’s Lodge, The Scores, St Andrews.

Readings include:

-Krempel, Lothar, Network Visualization, in John Scott & Peter J. Carrington (Eds.): Sage Handbook of Social Network Analysis. London/New Delhi: Sage (forthcoming).

-Müller, Michael G., and Cornelius Torp. “Conceptualising Transnational Spaces in History.” European Review of History: Revue Européenne d’histoire 16, no. 5 (2009): 609.

-Middell, Matthias, and Katja Naumann. “Global History and the Spatial Turn: From the Impact of Area Studies to the Study of Critical Junctures of Globalization.” Journal of Global History 5, no. 01 (2010): 149–170.

-White, Richard, What is spatial history? (2010, online Stanford project)

 And for further inspiration

Read what J.B.  “Jack” Owens has to say on history, space and GIS.


Past Reading Groups Meetings

For the meeting in April 2013 Tomek Kamusella and Bernhard Struck took the lead and suggested two readings. We discussed one of Tomek’s recent publications on “Germanization, Polonization, and Russification in the partitioned lands of Poland-Lithuania” (Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity 2013) as well as Sebastian Conrad’s “Enlightenment in Global History: A Historiographical Critique” (American Historical Review, October 2012).



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