Approaching the Global - connections and frictions – University of Copenhagen

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Approaching the Global - connections and frictions

Ph.D workshop with C A. Bayly and Anna Tsing

Aarhus University 4-5 December 2013

In recent years it has been fashionable to take a ‘global’ approach or perspective in historical and anthropological studies. It is, however, a difficult and challenging task to conduct genuinely global analyses, or even to integrate global perspectives in more conventional local or national studies. The limits imposed on thesis work accentuate this challenge. This workshop will discuss how it is possible to ‘approach a global perspective’ within a ph.d. project. Is it by comparisons, by analysing transnational institutions, or by looking for global influences in local phenomena?

The workshop is organised around two key note lectures by scholars who have recevied international acclaim for their attempts to write global history and anthropology. C. A. Bayly has written the The Birth of the Modern World. Global Connections and Comparisons, 1789-1914¸ and he is currently seeking to take the approach he applied to the nineteenh century into the twentieth. Anna Tsing has written Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, where she attempts to understand ‘local issues’ through global connectedness. She has also co-edited (with Carol Gluck) Words in Motion.

Following the key note lectures 8 ph.d. projects will be discussed. Preference will be given to ph.d projects, which relate to and discuss phenomena and issues that transgress nations or other conventional localities in the contemporary world and recent past. The projects might seek to analyse similar developments in different parts of the world; transnational instutions; how people, goods and concepts flow across boundaries; or how people in one locality are influenced by and engaging with global phenomena.

Number of Participants:

8 ph.d candidates with paper (presenters)

Up to 10 ph.d candidates without paper (non-presenters)

Application procedure:

Applicants must send a 1 page description of their project, explaining why it is relevant to the workshop and indicating how they can contribute to workshop discussions. The most relevant projects will be selected for presentation. Ph.d. students can apply as presenters or as non-presenters (or both). Deadline: 15. September (send your application to


Presenters must circulate a 10 page (3,000-5,000 words) case-study for discussion. Participants are expected to read selected readings by Bayly and Tsing. Deadline for submission of case studies: 15. November.


4 presenters / 2 non-presenters

Workshop programme »

The workshop is organized by the research programme Transnational Modernities and the research project Towards Good Society: Conceptualizing the Social Through the Economic from the 1930s until Today (funded by the VELUX foundation).