Ongoing Projects

University of Helsinki research project: Concept Africa

World history looks at events and processes whose magnitude reaches far beyond local, national or even continental histories. Such broader accounts are typically centred on European or Western ideas of how history is to be written, both in terms of the spatial origo of the events and processes viewed, and with regard to the concepts used for their explanation. Against this backdrop, more and more voices can be heard pleading a non-Western-centred approach to global history. 

Conceptual Histories of the World and Global Translations: The Euro-Asian and African Semantics of the Social and the Economic

This project is organised within the framework of a consortium of researchers at European, Asian and African (under establishment) universities. The point of departure of this project is the experienced need for a new world history. However, such a new world history must be something else than just an updated version of the conventional Western narrative with a starting point and a goal, where everything is measured in terms of backwardness and progress. The most recent example in this vein is the globalisation narrative since the early 1990s. A new world history must integrate perspectives formulated in academic discourses in non-Western cultures.

Theory and Concept of an Interdisciplinary Conceptual History

A project at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research (ZFL), Berlin, conceives a dictionary for discipline- and discourse-comprehensive concepts and their history in the modern era. The dictionary will be digital and published online. The project establishes a platform of interdisciplinary collaboration at ZfL. To discuss conceptual history research ZfL regularly hosts the Interdisciplinary conceptual history forum.

Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe: Notion of Religion

At Käte Hamburger Kolleg of the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum, Research Field 3 devotes itself to the analysis of basic religious notions, particularly regarding the notion of religion. This entails a historically-educated reappraisal of the genesis of basic religious notions in European and Asian countries and of the transfer of these notions between the respective cultures. Also, the varying diachronic and synchronic conceptual meanings of basic religious notion will be reconstructed systematically. 

Intellectual History of Modern Politics Languages: concepts and discourses

The University of the Basque Country's Research Group on Intellectual History of Modern Politics (Languages, concepts and discourses) focuses on two main areas of research:  1. Analysis of the principal languages and political concepts of the modern world, with particular emphasis on the age of revolutions. 2. Methodological bases for the historical study of concepts, metaphors and political rhetoric, and for the study of constitutional language in the contemporary world.

ISTORIA CONCEPTUALĂ Limbaje social-politice româneşti

The Conceptual History International Doctoral School at the West University in Timisoara conjointly with the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule in Aachen, Germany.


Belonging to around thirty universities from many countries in the region, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Uruguay, Venezuela, and various countries from the Caribbean and Central America, as well as other researchers attached to different French, German and North American universities. The main objective of the Ibero-American Conceptual History Project, better known as IBERCONCEPTOS, is to study in a systematic and long-term manner, and from a comparative perspective, the most important concepts, languages, vocabularies, discourses and political metaphors in circulation in the Ibero-American world during recent centuries. Our work focusses in particular upon that critical phase of transition towards modernity which stretches from the latter decades of the 18th century well into the 19th century, a period which coincides, and not by chance, with the crucial phase of liberal revolutions and independence.

The Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (CAS) research programme: European Regions and Boundaries: A Conceptual History

The "spatial turn" in social and human sciences and the upsurge of transnational approaches to history of late have converged to produce a renewed interest in regional history and its premises. The collapse of the two-block system underpinned these intellectual developments: categories previously grounded in the geopolitical system are now being replaced by those derived from historical-structural characteristics of space. 

Civility, Virtue and Emotions in Europe and Asia: History of Concepts as Entangled History from the 18th century to the First World War

This project, centered at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages of the University of Oslo, aims at investigating the concept of civility in four European and nine Asian regions. This permits to focus on exchange processes both within Europe and between European metropoles and their colonies and spheres of influence, as well as between the different Asian regions. These exchange processes take place both at a linguistic level (hence asking for history of concepts and translation studies joining forces) and at the level of practices and institutions (education, law, science…).


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