Event type: International conference
Date: 27-29 August 2015
Place: Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge
Convernors: Christof Dejung (Cambridge/Konstanz), David Motadel (Cambridge/Edinburgh), Jürgen Osterhammel (Konstanz)
This conference provides a new approach to the emerging research field of global social history by examining the emergence of ‘middle classes’ and ‘bourgeois cultures’ across the globe in the long nineteenth century, as well as their encounters in imperial and non-imperial contexts. It is innovative for the following two reasons: First, it argues that the nineteenth century saw the establishment of social groups all over the world that shared many characteristics with the European bourgeoisie, and could therefore be described as ‘middle classes’. Second, the conference reveals that the making of the middle classes across the globe can only be explained by considering the rising transfer of ideas and goods between the Western and non-Western worlds.
Instead of understanding the establishment of middle class society as a distinctly Western phenomenon, which became diffused throughout the rest of the world, the conference papers seek to explore the extent to which it was from its start the result of global interactions and entanglements in the age of empire.