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Nationalism in China and Europe: Global Divergence and Convergence of an Idea

6. Juli 2022, 14:00 - 15:30

Nationalism as a concept is often considered to be rooted in European experience. However, the introduction, translation, and appropriation of nationalism have also changed the course of history in East Asia. On this panel, Stefan Berger and Xin Fan contrast and compare the role of nationalism in the making and unmaking of modern China and Europe over the course of the twentieth century, and they ask, ––What is the role of nationalism in unifying or dismantling political formations? Why did it break Europe into multiple states but hold China together as a unitary political entity? To answer these questions, they return to the historical writings about the nation during the twentieth century and re-examine the global divergence and convergence of nationalism as an idea. Getting beyond the ethnic-centric framework of historical interpretations, the presenters attempt to forge a truly global dialogue on nationalism studies in the twentieth-first century.

The speakers:

Stefan Berger is Professor of Social History and Director of the Institute for Social Movements at Ruhr Universitaet Bochum. He is also executive chair of the Foundation History of the Ruhr in Bochum and a Honorary Professor at Cardiff University in the UK. He has worked extensively on comparative labour history, the history of historiography, nationalism, the theory of history, British-German relations, industrial heritage, the memory of social movements and the history of deindustrialization. His latest monograph is ‘History and Identity: How Historical Theory Shapes Historical Practice, Cambridge University Press, 2022.

Xin Fan is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York at Fredonia. His research areas include Chinese intellectual history, historiography, and global history. He is the author of World History and National Identity in China: The Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and he also coedited Receptions of Greek and Roman Antiquity in East Asia (Brill, 2018).


This event will take place in a hybrid format:

Venue: Universität Göttingen, Oeconomicum, OEC 0.169
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6. Juli 2022
14:00 - 15:30


OAS und das BMBF-Projekt zum Thema „Worldmaking from Global PErspective“


Oeconomicum OEC 0.169
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