Institute of Modern History

Conference: The Power of Connections: Interpersonal Networks and Agency in the Ottoman Empire and Ottoman Europe, Annual Conference of the Working Group "Ottoman Europe", Tübingen, 27–28 September 2017.

Whether on a local, a regional, an imperial, or a global level, interpersonal networks provide the crucial social infrastructure for human activity across the board, from ostensibly lonely academic studies to dinner parties, from travel to conquest. Like the physical infrastructure provided by roads and ports, the postal system and telegraph lines, water pipes and electric wires, this social infrastructure enables, shapes, and sustains certain forms of human behaviour. Like physical infrastructure, the existence of social infrastructure was the result of conscious efforts as much as serendipity. Moreover, in their very nature, interpersonal networks were dynamic, changing over time as individual members reoriented themselves or passed away and as the social, political, economic, and legal frameworks transformed. Such shifts in turn affected the formation of webs of contact as well as the respective patterns of, and options for, action.

The 2017 Annual Conference of the Working Group "Ottoman Europe" brings together scholars working on the Ottoman Empire and Ottoman Europe from the fourteenth to the twentieth century to reflect on the ways in which interpersonal networks enabled, constrained, and shaped the actions of individual as well as group actors and how the creation and maintenance of such networks itself became the object of agency. The papers cover a wide variety of themes, including, but not limited to, Ottoman political, cultural, and social history, diplomacy and 'international' relations, violence, economic history and commerce, as well as the history of literary production, scholarship, and theology. Contributors will examine individual actors, social groups, as well as associations and institutions such as families, guilds, and state agencies.

More information about this conference is available here.

With financial support from the DFG Priority Programme "Transottomanica: Eastern European–Ottoman–Persian Mobility Dynamics"

Organized by Ayşegül Argıt (Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Lejla Demiri (Tübingen), and Dr. Tobias Graf (Tübingen/Heidelberg) in cooperation with the Working Group "Ottoman Europe".

Workshop: Religion, Culture, Society (4th Cambridge–Tübingen Workshop), Cambridge, 18–19 September 2017.

This is the fourth instalment in the workshop series "Religious Knowledge in the Early Modern World" organized in cooperation between Prof. Dr. Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge) and Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr (Tübingen). The series is sponsored by the DAAD Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies. [More]

Organized by Prof. Dr. Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge) and Dr. Stefan Hanß (Cambridge).

Completed Conferences and Workshops

Workshop: What Would Jesus Fund? Financing Religious Enterprises in the Long Eighteenth Century, Tübingen, 9–10 February 2017.

While cliometrics has transformed our understanding of history over the past decades, the new economics of religion remains a comparatively small and emerging field. New economic opportunities not only encouraged religious migrations, but also introduced spiritual dilemmas, leading to as many diverging responses from one denomination to another. The Great Evangelical Awakening largely capitalised on colonial expansion and the transatlantic trade to reach new audiences, for instance. Conversely, some radical minorities rejected these evolutions and instead founded self-sufficient societies based on communal property on the model of the New Jerusalem. But who exactly funded these religious enterprises, how and why? What was the relationship, if any, between commercial and religious networks? To what extent did economic opportunities encourage religious migrations? Did dissenting attitudes towards wealth change from one generation to the next? [More]

Organized by Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr and Dr. Lionel Laborie. With the financial support of Research Training Group 1662 "Religious Knowledge in Premodern Europe (800–1800)".

Workshop: Mission/s/Kartographie: Funktionen, visuelle Strategien, Wissenstransfer (1500–1800) (Mission Cartography: Functions, Visual Strategies, Knowledge Transfer (1500–1800)), Tübingen, 4–5 November 2016.

Maps of mission territories did not only make a significant contribution towards expanding geographic knowledge, they also played an integral role in contemporary political and religious discourses. On the basis of their own observations as well as the knowledge of indigenous populations, members of the Catholic orders, secular clergy, and Protestant missionaries around the globe collected information about the topography and nature of the regions they worked in to collate them with the body of knowledge inherited from their own traditions. Building on recent research into the manifold meanings of early modern mission cartography, this workshop discussed and applied the methodological impulses of the pictorial and spatial turns as well as an extended concept of knowledge for the purpose of opening new perspectives for the interdisciplinary analysis of such maps. [More information (in German)]

Organized by Irina Pawlowsky (Tübingen), Dr. Fabian Fechner (Hagen), Dr. Ariane Koller (Bern), and Dr. Christoph Mauntel (Tübingen) as part of Research Training Group 1662 "Religious Knowledge in Premodern Europe (800–1800)".

Workshop: Global Dimensions of European History, Tübingen, 26–27 September 2016.

Third workshop in the series "Religious Knowledge in the Early Modern World" organized in cooperation between Prof. Dr. Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge) und Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr (Tübingen). [More]

Organized by Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr, Dr. Anne Mariss, and Dr. Philip Hahn. With financial support of the DAAD Cambridge Research Hub German Studies with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office.

Workshop: After the Crash – Individuals Coping With the Bursting of Speculative Bubbles (17th–early 19th century), Tübingen, 7–9.April 2016.

Financial crises and speculative bubbles have existed since the late seventeenth century. Still, few historians of the early modern period and the nineteenth century have paid attention to how those engaged in stock trading experienced such threatening situations – which are difficult to grasp even today – and how they tried to explain them. Proceeding from the observation that the trade in stock took place in a geographically very restricted space and included only a small number of tightly connected actors, this workshop shed light on how financial crises were dealt with locally. The participants investigated patterns of interpreting, explaining, and coping with the effects of plummeting share prices as well as the perspectives of the affected actors and the options for action available to them. [Read the workshop report published by H-Soz-u-Kult (in German)]

Organized by Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr, Dr. Daniel Menning, Marlene Keßler, and Rafael Streib as part of Sub-Project E04 "After the Stockmarket Crash of 1720 – Threat Diagnosis and Crisis Management in Paris and London" at the CRC 923 Threatened Order.

Workshop: Christian Prophecies as a Reflex to Competing Concepts of Order (1500–1800), Tübingen, 9–10 April 2015.

Prophecies are more than textual phenomena or rhetorical camouflage. They can be seen rather as a possibility to understand concepts of social order. Whereas one group of individuals could accept the present social order as a divinely ordained system, another group could perceive the divine will to change this very order and propose an alternative, new social order. The workshop examined and discussed concrete case studies of early modern prophecies from a broad range of cultural, political, social, and religious backgrounds. [Programme] [Programme announcement]

Organized by Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr and Dr. Fabian Fechner as part of Sub-Project C07 "Apocalypticism as a Threat Discourse: Prophetic Movements in Colonial Peru in the 16th Century" at the CRC 923 Threatened Order.

International Conference: Processes of Social Decline among the European Nobility, Tübingen, 18–19 September 2014.

Organized by Prof. Dr. Franz Brendle, Prof. Dr. Ewald Frie, Chelion Begass, Jacek Klimek, and Johanna Singer as part of Sub-Project D03 "The Nobility and the Middle Classes: Impoverished Nobles between Competing Social Orders, 1700–1900" at the CRC 923 Threatened Order.

Workshop: Bedrohliche Aufklärung? Kirche und Adel im Josephinismus (Threatening Enlightenment? Church and Nobility in the Age of Josephinism), Tübingen, 20–21 June 2014.

Organized by Prof. Dr. Anton Schindling, Philip Steiner, and Dennis Schmidt as part of Sub-Project D02 "Josephinism, the Catholic Church, and the Provincial Nobility: Threat Constellations in Inner Austria" at the CRC 923 Threatened Order.