Appel à publication : « From Comparative to Global History: Assessing Relational Approaches to the Past (1400-1900) », revue Cromohs, n° 21, 2016 (avril 2017)

CromohsIn 1928, Marc Bloch made what proved to be an influential statement when he said that the practice of comparing societies distant in space and time, described rather disparagingly as “comparative method in the grand manner”, may serve some ends but is too imprecise to be of any great use “from the scientific point of view”. Decades later William H. Sewell, Jr. objected that “mere temporal and spatial proximity does not assure similarity, and some societies which are very remote from one another are surely more alike, at least in ways that are crucial for some explanatory problems, than some neighboring societies”.

Themes such as “global history,” “Transfergeschichte”, “circulation,” and “connection” all hold an undoubted appeal and draw in the present age. It has been pointed out though that all too often the history of the world, especially when it is based to a large degree on (mostly English) secondary literature, has ended up being fashioned into a flat narrative of “the rise of the West and the Westernization of the rest.” For Sanjay Subrahmanyam, an alternative to the “grand narrative of modernization” would be for historians not simply to adopt a different scale, but to take a step sideways, finding a different vantage point and employing a decentring technique to identify previously hidden or unseen connections among places and cultures.

More recent comparative endeavours have seen scholars engaging more and more with what Serge Gruzinski has described as the “alchemy of hybridization,” and the “intensity of circulation … that reveals mixed landscapes”. Entangled histories (Espagne, Kocka, Werner, Zimmermann) have explored “mutual influencing,” “reciprocal or asymmetric perceptions,” and the intertwined “processes of constituting one another.” Further efforts to restore cultural comparison to the centre of scholarship have included the “cognitive science of religion”, “World Literature” and “World Philology”. Finally, but no less important, historians of emotions have begun to investigate and to problematize the transcultural translatability of emotions.

The next issue of CROMOHS (21/2016) will offer a critical historiographical survey and discussion, accompanied by exemplary case studies, of the various approaches to comparative early modern history that have been theorized and practiced in the last two decades. These range from transcultural and translation studies to global and connected histories. The aim is to unravel, review, and compare the possibilities and limitations of this plurality of relational approaches and methods. Has a change of scale been taking place, or a shift in perspective instead? What are the consequences of adopting a practice of synchronic or diachronic comparison? How can researchers working with languages, concepts and categories that are not part of their sphere of socialization deal with the inescapable challenges of reflexivity that these pose?

We invite ground-breaking research articles that either critically address the history of relational approaches to historical and cultural studies, or apply a possible variant of such perspectives (comparative, connected, global history, etc.) to a research theme (political, intellectual, social, cultural, religious, and so on), combined with a reflection on its theoretical implications.

Any geographic area may be considered, while the time span covered by the issue will be from 1400 to 1900. The opening historiographical essay will be by Prof. Dr. Margrit Pernau, Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Center for the History of Emotions), Berlin.

Submissions must be sent no later than January 14, 2017 to: and/or

Articles should be no more than 7,000 words in length, notes included. Proposals should include a c.500 word abstract and a short biography of the author.

Please prepare your essays using the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition (, using footnotes rather than endnotes.

Authors will be informed as to whether or not their articles have been accepted for publication within two months, following evaluation by two internationally renowned referees.
The issue will be published online by April 2017.


Cromohs – Cyber Review of Modern Historiography

CROMOHS is a peer-reviewed and open-access electronic journal, with twenty-year history and a respectable reputation for scholarly rigour. Under our new direction, the Advisory and Editorial Boards have been completely replaced and the journal will adopt a new format with monographic sections on challenging and fresh topics in intellectual and cultural history. The aim is to promote methodological debates at international level arising from original and creative dialogue between scholarly traditions, as well as innovative archival inquiries. As usual, each issue will also include a section for critical discussions and book reviews.

In the beginning of this new course, we wish to express our gratitude to the founders and outgoing editors Guido Abbattista and Rolando Minuti, who have decided to hand over the reins to us, entrusting us with the task of relaunching and widening the themes and horizons of the journal.

According to this, we are now rethinking Cromohs as an international journal published in English, which can act as a focal point and forum for challenging and fresh scholarship on fourteenth- to nineteenth-century intellectual and cultural history in global perspective. Its chief fields of interest will be cross-cultural and connected histories, intersecting the history of knowledge, emotions, religious beliefs, ethnography, cartography, the environment, material culture and arts.

Thanks to the collaboration of the brilliant scholars who have joined the Advisory and Editorial Boards of CROMOHS, we hope to be able to realize a new path-breaking international academic journal.

Giovanni Tarantino and Giuseppe Marcocci

Editors- in-Chief
Giovanni Tarantino ( ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions , Australia)
Giuseppe Marcocci ( University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy)

Forum and Interviews Editors
Daniel Barbu (University of Bern, Switzerland)
Paola Molino (Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany)

Book Reviews Editor
Lucio Biasiori (Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy)

Editorial Assistants
Claudia Favero (University of Turin, Italy)
Charlotte Rose Millar (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Eleonora Rai (University of Western Australia)

Advisory Board
Guido Abbattista (University of Trieste, Italy)
Susan Broomhall (University of Western Australia, Australia)
Jorge Flores (European University Institute, Italy)
Anne Gerritsen (University of Warwick, UK)
Carlo Ginzburg (Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy, & UCLA, USA)
Jun’ichi Isomae (International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, Japan)
Rolando Minuti (University of Florence, Italy)
Penny Roberts (University of Warwick, UK)
Sanjay Subrahmanyam (UCLA, USA, & Collège de France, France)
Ann Thomson (European University Institute, Italy)
Alexandra Walsham (University of Cambridge, UK)
Daniel Woolf (Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada)
Carlos Alberto de Moura Ribeiro Zeron (Sao Paulo University, Brazil)
Charles Zika (University of Melbourne, Australia)

Editorial Board
Fernanda Alfieri (Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento, Italy)
Daniel Barbu (University of Bern, Switzerland)
Lucio Biasiori (Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy)
Caterina Bori (University of Bologna, Italy)
Ananya Chakravarty (Georgetown University, USA)
Raphaële Garrod (University of Cambridge, UK)
Claudia Jarzebowski (Free University of Berlin, Germany)
Ariel Hessayon (Goldsmith, University of London, UK)
Paola Molino (Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany)
Kenta Ohji (Universiy of Kyoto, Japan)
Penelope Woods (University of Western Australia, Australia)
Paola von Wyss-Giacosa (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Technical Support
Fabio Silari (SAGAS, University of Florence)

Cromohs is indexed by:

BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) (through DOAJ)
Historical abstracts
SCIRUS (Elsevier)
SCOPUS (Elsevier)
SCIVERSE (Elsevier)
Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek EZB (Electronic Journals Library)
Google Scholar

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