First Cambridge – LMU Munich PhD Workshop


CALM – the PhD Training Collaboration in the Contemporary History of Global Europe jointly organized by the University of Cambridge and LMU Munich – held its first workshop on 10 September 2020. Fourteen PhD students (seven from each university) and five more senior scholars discussed whether and how Contemporary European history can be re-thought and researched in the light of new perspectives from global and transnational history.

A first panel discussed this question by revisiting Dipesh Chakrabarty’s Provincializing Europe exactly 20 years after it its publication, and by asking if and how it can enrich our ways of writing European history today. Four additional panels were devoted to the presentations by the PhD students offering insights into their ongoing work and discussing how it contributes to research on the contemporary history of global Europe.

The lively and productive exchange took place in a hybrid format: while most colleagues from LMU attended the meeting at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, all other participants joined via zoom.


A number of key issues for further exploration emerged from the discussion: the need to continue historicizing the concepts with which historians work, including the ideas of Europe and the ‘Global’ themselves; the importance of scales – local, regional, transnational; how to build on histories of connection by paying attention to its limits, and the role of comparison. On the whole, the workshop highlighted the great potential of multi-lingual archival research, of collaboration and the importance of the plurality of perspectives in writing contemporary European history today.


The group is looking forward to continuing the discussion, exploring new ways to collaborate on- and off-line, and the next workshop is planned to take place in Cambridge in May 2021.


CALM is a collaboration between the Department of History of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, and the Faculty of History of the University of Cambridge, supported by the Cambridge-LMU Strategic Partnership. It is directed by Prof. Dr. Kiran Klaus Patel (LMU) and Dr. Pedro Ramos Pinto (Cambridge). For further information, please email