Conference "Globalized Peripheries: New Approaches to the Atlantic World 1680-1850"
The field of Atlantic History still suffers from notable blind spots. While the western and northern European “seaborne empires” have been thoroughly investigated as the initiators of and the driving force behind European expansion, the “peripheries” of the Atlantic world remain little researched and inadequately integrated into this narrative. This has led to a lopsided view of the early modern world and indeed, of the development of modernity. This historiographical narrative also reinforces ideas of western “development” and eastern “backwardness” that have become ever more dominant since the nineteenth century and were fortified by the Cold War and its aftermath. Historiography has thus actively contributed to the construction of centers and peripheries. This conference attempted to challenge this narrative by approaching the Atlantic World from its presumed “peripheries.”
The conference marked the conclusion of a research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from January 2015 to December 2017 entitled “The Globalized Periphery: Atlantic Commerce, Socioeconomic and Cultural Change in Central Europe (1680-1850)”, placed at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. It took place in Frankfurt (Oder), on the German-Polish border, in accordance with one of the leading ideas of the University – and the research project: bridging the East-West divide within Europe.