Roundtable on Chronotypes

On December 10 2017, the joint research project “East Asian Uses of the European Past” held a roundtable on “Tracing Chronotypes in East Asian Perceptions of the Past” at the conference “Chronologics: Periodization in a Global Context” (Maison de France, Berlin). For more information, see here.

Martin Dusinberre on “temporal progress”

On the November 21, 2017, Martin dusinberre gave a talk on “Das japanische Kaiserreich 1868-1945” at the Volkshochschule Zürich. His lecture was the fifth in a Volkshochschule series, “Geschichte Asiens: Imperialismus und Moderne.” It offered an overview of Japanese imperialism based on nine general observations, and pointed out the significance of “temporal progress” to the ways that Japanese intellectuals posited Japan in relation to China and Korea in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Birgit Tremml-Werner on co-produced imperial history narratives

On the October 31, 2017, Birgit Tremml-Werner gave a talk on “Co-produced imperial history narratives: Murakami Naojirō’s work with ‘old’ classics for ‘new’ ideas of expansion in early 20th-century Japan” (Geschichtskontor, UZH). She discussed an article draft about her research on the role of the work of Japanese historian Murakami Naojirō on the understanding of early modern foreign relations with historians and area studies scholars. The Geschichtskontor is a weekly history-writing workshop for doctoral, postdoctoral and guest speakers at the Department of History, UZH.

Martin Dusinberre on the “Sinosphere”

On October 4, 2017, Martin Dusinberre gave a lecture on “Other Spheres in History: The Sinosphere” for the UZH public lecture series, “Debating the Anglosphere: History, Hegemony, Identity.” This was a contribution to UZH’s “Debating the Anglosphere” lecture series, inspired by the work of Srdjan Vučetić (who was one of the guest speakers). Martin Dusinberre’s argument was that cultural, linguistic, political and even military “spheres” are in themselves nothing new in history; and he also questioned whether the “Anglosphere” is a useful analytical category for scholars to think about the twentieth- and twenty-first century history.

On modernity as a concept

In August 2017, the members of HERA research group “East Asian Uses of the European Pasts” discussed an article by Shmuel Eisenstadt, “Multiple modernities,” which was published at the beginning of the 2000s in the journal Daedalus. Some months later, the group kept on discussing the concept of “multiple modernities” and, through it, the concept of modernity itself. Below we reproduce the first part of conversation they had: Continue reading

Empire as analytical category

In a discussion held on our e-platform, Lorenzo Andolfatto, Jon Chappell, Leigh Jenco and David Mervart engaged in a discussion about empire as an analytical category. What are the heuristic limits of this category? How far can it encompass the specific features of the very different political institutions it often refers to? Is it possible or desirable to get rid of it? Here are some reflections on the issue:

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