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Call for contributions: Graduate Workshop: Europe and the world - between colonialism and globalisation

Graduate Workshop
Europe and the world: between colonialism and globalisation
18 – 22 June 2018

In cooperation with the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the German-Italian Center for European Excellence Villa Vigoni has established the Gerda Henkel Academy at Villa Vigoni to discuss past and present challenges of Europe in the political, social and cultural realm. The Academy’s work is dedicated to the overall theme “From the Ideas on Europe to the European Citizen”.

The workshop’s aim is based on the observation that Europeans are engaged in a continuous discussion of what “Europe” means, and what it could or should mean to be “European”. At present, societies and politics in Europe are witnessing deep transformations, with migration and the rise of populism as only two of many recent phenomena. New ways of political participation, integration, and identification need to be discussed. Against this background, it appears worthwhile and indeed valuable to examine present as well as past ideas, norms, and practices that have shaped and continue to shape European political, social, and cultural interactions, inside and outside Europe.

The Gerda Henkel Academy at Villa Vigoni aims to bring together young scholars for an interdisciplinary exchange on the notions of Europe’s relationships with other societies and other parts of the world, both from a historical and from a contemporary perspective. Among the questions the workshop will address are the following: What was and what is the relationship between “Europe and the World”, and which
tensions and which potentials can we identify? What are (or have been) the underlying constructions and narratives of “Europeanness” vis-à-vis other cultures, and in which ways have they informed European colonial and imperial practices abroad? What role did economic, scientific, national, religious, and ethnic categories play in shaping practices of formal and informal colonialism outside Europe, and to which degree do we find remnants of such structures in contemporary global relations? How does, vice versa, globalisation influence the ideas and the politics that define the European “Self” (or “Selves”)? To respond to these questions, Villa Vigoni encourages PhD candidates in the Humanities and Cultural Studies as well as in the Social Sciences and Law to present their dissertation projects and to discuss their ideas in a stimulating, interdisciplinary environment overlooking Lake Como.


The workshop is open to projects that discuss the topics mentioned above. Projects can employ a variety of methodical and disciplinary approaches. Proposals (to be submitted no later than 15 December 2017) have to include

  • a short statement on the overall project of the doctoral thesis and its relevance for the theme of the workshop (max. 2.500 characters, in English);
  • a brief CV (including institutional affiliation, thesis supervisors, and contact details, max. 2.500 characters, in English);
  • a paper outline on a topic for a presentation every participant is required to give at the workshop (max. 4.000 characters, in English). The paper does not have to be part of or related to the doctoral thesis but should address the Academy theme of “Europe and the World”.

The application documents must be submitted as a single pdf file.

Participants chosen will be required to submit a fully developed version of their paper (max. 18.000 characters including spaces, in English) no later than 15 March 2018. Two respondents will comment on each paper during the workshop. Publication in an edited volume will be considered after the workshop.


Dr. Christiane Liermann

Villa Vigoni
Via G. Vigoni 1
22017 Menaggio (Como, Italy)


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