PhD Courses in Denmark

Sandbjerg Summer School in Global History

Graduate School, Arts at Aarhus University

Description:

The Sandbjerg Summer School in Global History allows PhD students to present their projects and to discuss them with peers and senior scholars in a structured, but informal setting. It provides them with an overview of global history and ensures they are familiar with recent developments in the field. The School provides a unique opportunity for participants to get to know different perspectives on global history and to network with both established scholars and peers from other countries. 

About the organisers:
The Sandbjerg Summer School in Global History is organized by a network of historians from the fields of global, imperial and transnational history as well as area studies coming from six leading European research universities (Aarhus, Berne, King's College London, Oslo, Paris Cité and Tübingen). All of them are members of The Guild, an association of distinguished research-intensive universities from across Europe. Additionally, four of them are members of the Circle-U alliance that aims to foster student mobility and scholarly collaboration across the European continent. 
Our Take on Global History:
Global History has become a vibrant field of research in recent years. It explores how societies in different parts of the world were shaped by global entanglements. From a European perspective, global history involves practices and experiences such as colonialism, imperialism, and liberal internationalism, but also the ways in which European societies were influenced reciprocally by an influx of people, ideas, raw materials, plants and animals from other continents. In short, global history argues that we cannot understand the birth of the modern world and its present dynamics without examining transregional interaction.

However, PhD students face several challenges when undertaking a research project with a global historical trajectory. For instance, they are confronted with the fact that global history overlaps with different fields of research such as imperial and transnational history, and postcolonial, area or even the new field of global studies, each of which aims at overcoming methodological nationalism and Eurocentric notions of progress but involves a specific historiography and research paradigms that at times contradict each other. What is more, global entanglements have a different significance depending on the historical period under examination and the positionality from which they are explored.

Furthermore, global history is theoretically more aware than national historiography was. It addresses theories from the social sciences mostly in a critical fashion, for instance modernization and globalization theories, yet shares a thematic interest with them and thus addresses methodological and theoretical issues such as decolonization, post-colonialism, or the anthropocene outspokenly. Last, but not least, students in global history are confronted with very specific practical challenges such as the accessibility of sources in overseas archives, differences of language, and the questions of how when a research perspective qualifies as global and how many different parts of the world they must integrate into their research in order to make a global historical argument.

Aim:

The Sandbjerg Summer School in Global History provides PhD students with an invaluable chance to reflect on the mentioned opportunities and challenges of global history and share their own experience. Each student will prepare a paper of 4000 to 5000 words for pre-circulation, and then introduce it at the School. A small panel comprising senior scholars and fellow PhD candidates discuss every paper individually for at least forty-five minutes. This format ensures that each presenter not only receives detailed feedback on their own work but also acquires experience in commenting on other speakers’ work. Additionally, lecturers and course participants participate in round table discussions, thereby providing further opportunities to build experience and share expertise. The Sandbjerg residential summer school is the perfect setting for these exchanges and ensures that students form new associations with scholars from other European countries, which is helpful for their future careers.

Literature:

The senior scholars holding the course will compile a list of fundamental historiography of the field of global history addressing a) theories of the global and history, b) methodology, c) challenges. 

Target group:

Primarily, this course is designed for PhD candidates in Denmark and Europe, but young researchers from other parts of the world are just as welcome. The course is relevant for all levels of the PhD process. Early stage projects, preferably at the end of their first year or in their second year, profit from the breadth of perspectives the senior scholars provide and the general overview of the field. More mature projects profit from the extensive research expertise of the senior scholars and the discussions with international peers. 

Form:

The course takes the shape of panel discussions during which participants are asked to present and discuss their research. Each participant acts also as discussant of another paper. Senior scholars give feedback on every paper submitted as well. Each paper is thus discussed by a junior and a senior scholar.  
All participating senior scholars will be present and active throughout the whole course. This constant presence of senior researchers from six leading research universities is a special standing feature of the course. 
PhD candidates are asked to prepare a paper of 4000 to 5000 words, a presentation of their research and the discussion of another project. 

Please send a short synopsis of your project of max. 1 page when signing up to Hagen Schulz-Forberg hishsf@cas.au.dk and Henriette Jaquet henriette.jaquet@au.dk

Lecturers:

Sophie Coeuré
Christof Dejung
Bernd Grewe
Daniel Maul
Hagen Schulz-Forberg
Sarah Stockwell

Venue:

Sandbjerg Gods, Sandbjergvej 102, 6400 Sønderborg

Application deadline:

Please register via the link in the box no later than 31 January 2023