Situating Transnational Actors: Session at the European Social Science History Conference 2016

Situating Transnational Actors: Session at the European Social Science History Conference 2016

Antje Dietze, University of Leipzig / University of Montreal; Katja Naumann, GWZO Leipzig
From - Until
30.03.2016 - 02.04.2016
Katja Castryck-Naumann, Verflechtung und Globalisierung, Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa

Actor-centered approaches range prominently in transnational history. Transnational actors have often served as the “historian's Trojan horses” (Saunier 2013: 57) – studying them has helped to better grasp the extent, dynamics and mechanisms of particular transnational connections, and has highlighted the entanglement and mutual constitution of cultures and societies in a more general sense. However, these actors usually play multiple roles on different spatial scales. They are not confined to the transnational or transregional sphere, as their activities are also embedded in local, national or regional contexts.

This panel explores and conceptualizes further how these actors‘ multiple roles come together (or not). It also lays special emphasis on the effects these transnational activities had in different social contexts and how they affected and changed the societies these actors lived and worked in. Papers will discuss, among others:
- the strategies, capacities and institutions transnational actors built not only to create and manage transnational connections, but also to embed these in different societies;
- the different mediating roles transnational actors played – not only between cultures, but also within societies;
- the role the transnational spheres and connections played in these actors‘ other activities, in their everyday lives and in their biographies;
- the self-perceptions and identity constructions of transnational actors, and how they were perceived and represented in the public sphere.

Against this background, the panel seeks to start a discussion on how to relate the diverse existing concepts and typologies that highlight different aspects of transnational actors’ activities and capacities. Moreover, we would like to debate how these concepts connect with – or challenge – established categories of social history, like institutionalization, professionalization etc.

Please send proposals until 30 June 2015 to both organizers: Antje Dietze ( and Katja Naumann (


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Antje Dietze

Katja Naumann

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