Sonntag, 7.7.2024, 15:00h

Kaveh Yazdani

Universalizing the “Rest,” Periodizing Global History, and Deprovincializing the West

A non-Eurocentric periodization of global history is needed to account for the crucial intercontinental circulation of humans, ideas, resources, practices, and goods as part of the contributions of the non-Western world to modernity. Non-European influences should also be reflected on and expanded into existing institutions. On the one hand, if the concrete material conditions in the “Global South” do not radically change, non-Eurocentric approaches will not have a wide-ranging societal impact. On the other, anti-Eurocentric and postcolonial thought contain the pitfalls of Asio- and Afrocentrism, and are equally ahistorical. Both Eurocentrism and reverse-Orientalism bear the risk of misconstruing Asio-African, Latin American, and Caribbean dynamics between the 8th and 18th centuries (in the case of Eurocentrics) and Euro-American empires and nations from the 16th to the 21st century (in the case of anti-Eurocentrics). Moreover, the postmodern and postcolonial overemphasis on contingency and suspicion towards terms such as “pre-capitalist,” “backward,” and “progress” misrepresents historical realities and power relations, and, thus, abets the idea of cultural relativism. Connected and comparative methodologies are necessary if we want to understand the global co-production of historical processes, to discern similarities and differences, to comprehend the reasons behind disparate levels of development, and to capture asymmetrical power relations.

Kaveh Yazdani was born in Tehran and raised in Paris and Berlin. He received his Ph.D. degree at the University of Osnabrück in 2014. His research areas include the socio-economic history of India, histories of capitalism in global perspective, theories of modernity and periodization, and the entangled histories of India and Persia. Yazdani’s books include India, Modernity and the Great Divergence: Mysore and Gujarat (2017) and Capitalisms: Towards a Global History (2020). In 2015, he was granted the Prince Dr Sabbar Farman-Farmaian Fellowship at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam. Yazdani was Visiting Residential Fellow at the Warwick Institute of Advanced Study in 2017. He taught courses in economic and social history at the University of Bielefeld from 2017 to 2020. In 2020, Yazdani was also Visiting Professor in Global Economic and Social History at the University of Vienna. He obtained a residential visiting scholarship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin in 2022, a Wiedemann-Fellowship at the IZEA in Halle in 2023, and a fellowship at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg in Münster (EViR) in 2023/24. He holds a research affiliation at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut.

Veranstaltung in englischer Sprache