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International Conference: Theory and Empiricism - International Approaches to History between Description and Abstraction

8. October 2015 to 9. October 2015 Add to calendar
Conference

How much theory and how much empiricism are needed for the study of the past? This old question continues to engage historians around the globe - and their answers vary widely. Indeed, approaches to theory and empiricism depend on a number of factors including the period under study and the academic tradition a historian was trained in. As a result, historiographical focuses, methodologies, and the resulting research projects continue to differ between individual countries. This international conference will revisit the methodological question from a comparative perspective. Historians from the US, Switzerland, Spain, and Germany will discuss fundamental issues and methodological challenges that are inherent to the study of history. Two panels will approach these questions on a meta-level, namely: History and Theory and Historiographical Traditions. The panels Global History in Theory and Practice and Gender - A Theoretical Category and its Practice will approach methodological questions from thematic perspectives. The conference as a whole seeks to provide a stage for an international and mutually enriching dialogue on the practice(s) of history.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2015

10.00 - 10.15 am: WELCOME
Benjamin Schenk (Basel), Francisca Loetz (Zurich)

10.15 - 10.45 am: INTRODUCTION
Annalena Müller, Roberto Sala (Basel)

10.45 am -3.15 pm: PANEL I - HISTORY AND THEORY
Chair: Francisca Loetz (Zurich)

The Necessity of Theory for Empirical Historical Research. The Example
of the History of Capitalism
Jürgen Kocka (Berlin)

Contested Mixtures. Approaches to Materiality in the Early Modern
Period
Michael Schaffner (Basel)

12.15 - 1.45 pm: Lunch, Restaurant If d'or

To Bear Witness? History, Human Rights, and the Neo-Foucauldian
Critique
Carolyn J. Dean (Yale)

Secularization: A Bourdieusian Framework
Philip S. Gorski (Yale)

Discussants: Anna Leyrer (Basel) / Eneia Dragomir (Zurich)

3.15 - 3.45 pm: Coffee Break

3.45 - 6.15 pm: PANEL II - GLOBAL HISTORY IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
Chair: Martin Dusinberre (Zurich)

Get your System out of my World: Concept Work in Economic History
Quinn Slobodian (Wellesley)

Why the Seven Years' War did not last Seven Years - Discrepant
Perceptions of Global Early Modern History Illustrated
Josef Johannes Schmid (Mainz)

Chemistry between Basel and Bombay - an Attempt Towards a Multi-Sited
Historiography of Labour
Anja Suter (Basel)

Discussants: Julian Wettengel (Basel) / Marina Lienhard (Zurich)

6.15-6.45 pm: Coffee break

6.45 pm: KEYNOTE

The Limits of Empiricism: The Utility of Theory in Historical thought
and Writing
Gabrielle Spiegel (Johns Hopkins)

8.15 pm: CONFERENCE DINNER, Restaurant Safran Zunft

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015

9.45 am - 12.15 pm: PANEL III - HISTORIOGRAPHICAL TRADITIONS
Chair: Benjamin Schenk (Basel)

Stuck in Time: Writing History in Franco's Spain
Ana del Campo (St. Andrews)

How Deeds Become History. The Historiographies of Eastern Europe in
Transnational and Historical Context
Daniel Ursprung (Zurich)

«Sources» between Micrology and Transparency. How a Core Concept of
German-Speaking Historical Scholarship was Shaped
Daniela Saxer (Zürich)

Discussants: Bianca Hoenig (Basel) / Tobias Hodel (Zurich)

12.15 - 1.45 pm: Lunch, Restaurant If d'or

1.45 - 4.15 pm: Panel IV - GENDER. A THEORETICAL CATEGORY AND ITS
PRACTICE
Chair: Caroline Arni (Basel)

Turning Theory into a Historical Practice. The Case of Gender
Anna Krylova (Duke)

Gender in Transit. On the History of Gender History in a Transnational
Perspective
Claudia Opitz (Basel)

Unfinished Challenges. Women, Gender and the History of Career
Counseling in Switzerland
Céline Angehrn (Basel)

Discussants: Anna De Caprio (Basel) / Eva Seemann (Zurich)

4.15 - 4.45 pm: Coffee Break

4.45 - 5.45 pm CONCLUDING COMMENTS: Martin Dusinberre (Zurich)
AND PLENARY DISCUSSION
Chair: Andrea Westermann


Organized by:

Annalena Müller (Basel) -
annalena.mueller@unibas.ch
Roberto Sala (Basel) - roberto.sala@unibas.ch
in cooperation with:
Andrea Westermann (Zurich) -
andrea.westermann@hist.uzh.ch

Annual Meeting of the Basel Graduate School of History, University of
Basel, in cooperation with the Graduate Program of History, University
of Zurich

In preparation for the conference, doctoral students are invited to
attend workshops to discuss the pre-circulated papers on October 7.

Information:
bgsh.geschichte.unibas.ch/theoryandempiricism

Organised by: 
Basel Graduate School of History, in cooperation with the Graduate Program of History, University of Zurich

Venue

Bildungszentrum 21, Room Lingua Franca
Missionsstrasse 21
4055
Basel

Cost information

0.00 CHF

Registration information

Registration online
Registration deadline: 
15.09.2015