Aarhus University Seal

Changing Concepts of "Europe" since the 18th Century, Workshop in Aarhus 2023

March 2-4th "Changing Concepts of "Europe"

From 2 to 4 March 2023, an international workshop will be held on "Changing Concepts of "Europe" since the 18th Century: Between the National, the Transnational and the Global".

Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Workshop: Changing concepts of “Europe” since the 18th century: Between the national, the transnational, and the global

Aarhus / Denmark, 2-4 March

Discourses on “Europe” reach far back in time. In the course of this development, various understandings of Europe and European identity have emerged, which may still be drawn upon in current discourses and which often overlap, permeate or even contradict each other. Since the 19th century, European discourses of social self-description have been to a large extent oriented towards the nation. Europe then signified both an overarching historical context in which the respective nation states located themselves, and an overarching perspective on the world. In the context of modern imperialism and colonialism, the competition between the European nation states on the one hand and a self-image of civilisational superiority as well as a universalist claim on the other were closely interconnected. While such Eurocentric approaches were deconstructed in a global and especially postcolonial perspective, concepts of "Europe" were (re)articulated in the context of European integration, both as a transnational project and as an object of critique from a national point of view.

Thus, concepts of the nation, the European and the global are closely entangled in a transnational context. They have been manifested, transmitted and stabilised through formal education, amongst others. However, such processes are part of dynamic social discourses, and concepts of “Europe” draw on socially shared knowledge. By examining this knowledge in our workshop, we aim to contribute to the field of historical semantics and explore the cultural space of education.

The aim of the workshop is to investigate changing concepts of Europe from the 18th century to the present and to ask how the cultural, social, spatial and historical dimensions of “Europe” have been and are imagined in relation to the national and the global. We are particularly interested in the way media from different periods convey and circulate knowledge on Europe. Contributions may focus on a wide variety of media in various modes, e.g. linguistic, visual or aural, and may refer to dictionaries, encyclopaedias, textbooks, educational media, print media, literature, works of art, popular culture, journals and magazines, among others.

Papers dealing with questions of transition, change, rupture as well as of continuity and stability of knowledge are particularly welcome. Other interesting aspects include the decentering and recentering of “Europe”, transnational or postcolonial perspectives, the role of narratives, knowledge transfer, intermediality and transmediality, amongst others. Methodological approaches can include, but are not limited to methods of digital humanities.

The workshop aims to facilitate international and interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration and is open to researchers from all relevant disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

We invite relevant proposals addressing specific topics or the general theme of the workshop. Please send a short abstract (maximum 350 words) and a short CV by 10 January 2023 to the following address: katja.gorbahn(at)cc.au.dk. We will inform you of the decision by 20 January 2023 at the latest.

The workshop is part of the activities of the research network “Exploring Interconnectedness - EurEd” (https://projects.au.dk/Interconnectedness), which is funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. It is organized by Katja Gorbahn (Aarhus University, School of Communication and Culture) and Marcus Otto (Leibniz Institute for Educational Media in Braunschweig). Accommodation and meals will be covered.

Travel costs will be covered within the limits of the budget. If you wish to apply for travel support, please note this in your proposal and provide an approximate estimate of the expected travel costs. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Marcus Otto (otto(at)gei.de) or Katja Gorbahn (katja.gorbahn(at)cc.au.dk).


Place: Hotel Scandic City, Østergade 10, 8000 Aarhus


Programme for the workshop

You can download the programme here