Center for Advanced Studies LMU (CAS)

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Models of Change. Functions, Semantics, Practices in the Modern Age

Recent approaches in the fields of global history and trans-national studies have resulted in the national state appearing obsolete as a predestined space for culturally and socially oriented studies. At the same time, the modern concepts of time which emerged during the European saddle period have become questionable: linear and often teleological concepts of the course of history have been replaced by an understanding of the parallelism of various historical chronicles, some of which are of extremely long duration (such as "Anthropocene" or "big history"), while others have a momentary character.

The transformation of time and space concepts have far-reaching implications for the plasticity of change. This is to be discussed in the CAS research focus specifically in its spatial location. Both the globalization experience and the most recent research on transformation show how important it is not only to take the factor of time into account, but also to pay equal attention to movements through space and relations within spaces. The research focus will center its attention on a field of debate which has received important impulses from the discipline of area studies. Area Studies represents a contrast to the postulates of normative modeling in that it insists upon the empirical variety of global reality, thus making a contribution to the questioning of basic academic assumptions which the "Western" world in particular, through ignoring other empirical findings and experiences, has declared to be the norm.


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