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Workshop: East Asian Transnational History

Jun 20, 2014 | 03:00 PM c.t. - 05:30 PM

Workshop East Asian Transnational History w/ Sheldon Garon

The workshop is open to PhD candidates, PostDocs, colleagues and interested graduate students from all east Asian institutes. If you would like to participate, please contact: coordinator@geas.fu-berlin.de or garon@princeton.edu

Global or transnational history is today the hottest subfield of history. Scholars transcend national narratives to chart the movements of peoples, ideas, and institutions across national boundaries. Yet transnational history remains centered on the Atlantic world. The exclusion of East Asia, especially Japan, has been a glaring gap. Modern Japanese officials, entrepreneurs, and reformers were among the world’s greatest transnational learners, avidly investigating Western practices. The world of the 19th and 20th centuries was intensely interconnected. Western nations also systematically investigated each other’s best practices. In this international marketplace of ideas, Japan acted not only as a taker but a maker of transnational knowledge. In key instances, Westerners studied Japanese models of national mobilization, as would other Asian nations later in the 20th century.

To illustrate the benefits of transnational history for both Japanese studies and world history, I draw on my recent book, Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves. It describes how many nations—East and West--came to encourage popular saving as part of the broader transnational diffusion of knowledge about how to build stable societies and national power. I also discuss my current project—a transnational history of “home fronts” in World War II in Japan, Germany, Britain, and the U.S.

The workshop will consist of a two-hour session on 20 June 2014 at a time of convenience for GEAS colleagues. During the first hour, Sheldon Garon will give a presentation on “Transnational History and Japan.” The second hour will consist of discussion by the participants of the potential benefits and challenges of using transnational methods in their own work. The participants need not prepare presentations, but they should read pre-circulated excerpts on transnational history from Sheldon Garon’s Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012).

Time & Location

Jun 20, 2014 | 03:00 PM c.t. - 05:30 PM

0.17 or K18