I am a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, and am organizing a panel for the 2009 American Historical Association Annual Meeting. The theme for the 2009 AHA Meeting is “Globalizing Historiography.” This panel will address the effectiveness of applying European-derived historiographies and methodologies to non-European histories. Dipesh Chakrabarty has argued that all history is European history: the historical project, regardless of its contents or emphasis, is inherently Eurocentric because the dominant narratives and historiographical styles derive ultimately from European experience. Nevertheless, the concepts of the social sciences can always be translated from one context to another, as Chakrabarty himself reminds us. However, issues of colonization, globalization, and translation within the practice of history writing itself still need to be examined more fully. Can local, non-Western events be adequately related to what are perceived as universal laws (capitalism, modernity, and the like), but which ultimately relate to a singular European experience? This panel will investigate the extent to which European historiographies can be applied to non-European histories. Is it possible to evade European discourse, or are all non-Western histories destined to be boxed into prefabricated scripts? Can historians create a non-Western historical methodology? Or, can European historiographies function equally well in non-Western settings? I hope this panel will address these questions from multiple regions, particularly the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, and time periods. Panel proposals addressing issues of historical methodology or theory, as well as those investigating particular historical events or issues, are welcome. Both graduate students and faculty members are invited to apply.
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