Round Tables

Encounters and Concurrences: New Theoretical and Methodological Developments in Global History
Session code
Date Time
Monday, August 22nd / 14.00-17.30
Stefan Amirell; Gunlög Fur
Collegium Minus, XVII

Global encounters are at the heart of many current efforts to write entangled and connected histories of the modern world. A major problem, however, is how to avoid the Eurocentric bias of many historical sources and of established epistemologies, including grand narratives about globalization, modernization, imperialism and the rise of the West. In that context, the theoretical and methodological framework of Concurrences points toward a more balanced and empirically sound historiography that takes into account the multiple voices and occluded aspects of global encounters, including events and interpretations of the world that were forgotten, ignored, purged, oppressed or eliminated from the official versions of history.
As a theoretical concept, Concurrences contains in its reservoir of meanings both agreement and competition, entanglement and incompatibility. It signals contestations over interpretations and harbors different, diverging, and at times competing claims that will inflect studies of things such as home, traveling, subjectivity-identity, voice, and space. Concurrences alerts us to the potential dangers of over-emphasizing connectedness and convergence as the dominant themes in modern world history, while more hidden aspects and divergent developments are ignored or downplayed. The concept lends itself to thinking both about separate and multiple worlds and about entanglements rather than diffusion or pervasive European dominance.
Building on some of the current empirical research in the field of Global History, the paper explores the theoretical and methodological implications of the Concurrences framework and its possibilities for future studies in Global History.