Lehrveranstaltung: Tracing India in a Berlin Archive (WiSe 2018–19)


Title: WiSe 2018–19 Trac­ing India in a Berlin Archive (Focus- Archive of the Leib­niz-Zen­trum Mod­ern­er Ori­ent) (with Dr. Heike Liebau).

Instruc­tors: Dr. Anan­di­ta Baj­pai and Dr. Heike Liebau.

Orga­niz­er: Insti­tut für Asien- und Afrikawis­senschaften, Hum­boldt-Uni­ver­sität zu Berlin.

Dates: *PLEASE NOTE: FIRST SESSION TAKES PLACE ON 24.10.2018
Fol­low­ing dates: 07.11.2018,  21.11.2018, 05.12.2018, 9.12.2018, 16.01.2019, 30.01.2019.
Time: 16–19.

Descrip­tion:  For many stu­dents, the term ‘Archive’ often evokes intim­i­da­tion and inse­cu­ri­ty if not indif­fer­ence. How does one approach an archive? How does one look for a top­ic in an archive? This sem­i­nar is a beginner’s course into his­tor­i­cal meth­ods and con­duct­ing research in archives- train­ing that can be fun­da­men­tal for doing research in area stud­ies. The case study in focus is India.  We will search traces of India in the archive of Leib­niz-Zen­trum Mod­ern­er Ori­ent in Berlin.

The sem­i­nar has the fol­low­ing axes:

  • Learn­ing how to do sys­tem­at­ic search­es in archives  (Data­bas­es, cat­a­logues etc.)
  • How to work with archival sources?
  • Sys­tem­at­ic search and col­lec­tion of sources on India in a select­ed archive in Berlin.

Through our research in this archive we will uncov­er ele­ments of the his­to­ry of India-Ger­many entan­gle­ments, which is a high­ly rich field offer­ing stu­dents new learn­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties.

The aim is to work intense­ly with pri­ma­ry sources on India and par­tic­i­pate in con­tribut­ing to a data­base of such sources. It will thus help in acquir­ing con­crete method­olog­i­cal tools.

The Leib­niz-Zen­trum Mod­ern­er Ori­ent (ZMO) was estab­lished in 1996. Its pre­de­ces­sor insti­tu­tion was the Forschungss­chw­er­punkt Mod­ern­er Ori­ent which emerged in 1992 from the Insti­tute for Uni­ver­sal His­to­ry (Insti­tut für All­ge­meine Geschichte) of the Acad­e­my of Sci­ences of the GDR. The ZMO library con­tains besides lit­er­a­ture on his­tor­i­cal, eth­no­log­i­cal and polit­i­cal themes regard­ing the Mid­dle East, Asia and Africa, also a sig­nif­i­cant col­lec­tion of per­son­al papers. Among them are per­son­al col­lec­tions by emi­nent East Ger­man schol­ars who had worked on South Asia: Horst Krüger (1920–1989), Joachim Hei­drich (1930–2004) and Petra Hei­drich (1940–2006). They had start­ed their col­lec­tions part­ly in the 1960s. Thus, the sem­i­nar also attempts to dis­cuss knowl­edge pro­duc­tion dur­ing the Cold war.

In the 4 inten­sive ses­sions (blocks), we will meet in the scenic area of Niko­lassee where the archive is locat­ed and make learn­ing his­tor­i­cal meth­ods a col­lec­tive, enjoy­able exer­cise.