Looking at methods such as com- paring and measuring, from today’s perspective the work of historians around the turn of the nineteenth century seems to have been much closer to political science than to history.
signalling a kind of singularity and systema- ticity.
dynamic the process of the designa- tion of new and abandonment of “obsolete” disciplines has been throughout centuries.
closer to political science than to history.
The statistical descriptions of different countries, which appeared in great number, were much closer to a collection of historical facts, which could include numbers.
The dynamics are amazing, at least in retrospect, and they give us an idea of how fluid the history of knowledge and the history of science have always been.
When it turns out that one discipline is not sufficient for the study of a problem, combinations such as neuro-biology, bio-chemistry, bio-informatics or geo-informatics are created to study the problem in a more comprehensive and encompassing manner.
This quick glimpse into developments over time shows that disciplines are not fixed ontological entities that can claim eternal validity.
at another. Nor is it definite that a discipline is always characterised by a particular method
This is understandable, since most human beings would feel uncomfortable if a urologist were to examine their eyes and prescribe glasses of a certain strength. Given these circumstances, I ask: Why it is apparently so straightforward to disapprove of Area Studies as a discipline
The network takes the criticism of Eurocentrism and methodological nationalism seriously, and Europe is understood as just another region (area) on the globe.
in order to establish rational administrative systems, mobilise colonial populations and even destroy terrorist infrastructures.
Coming back to the disciplines, studying kinship with different AS methods is similar to examining, for instance, mental health in medicine with different methods
While publications of contemporary research on the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, or the Bay of Bengal are filling library shelves,4 universities are rather slow in following up and offering degrees in Indian Ocean or Mediterranean Studies (exceptions confirm the rule).5 That being said, while Central Asian Studies are by now a tiny but nonetheless seri- ously acknowledged subject within Asian Studies, in the countries of Central Asia themselves it is quite unusual to have Central Asian Studies departments in higher education
While indeed much in the criticism of area studies as contrived geographical and cul- tural conceptions is warranted, what critics often forget is that the area studies map of the Cold War has been adopted throughout much of the world. Hence, as much as a territorially-bounded concept of the region can be theoretically deconstructed, there is a lived reality to this constructed geography. (Goh 2012: 91, emphasis added) Goh has certainly hit the bullseye by reminding us of the importance of lived realities
Transregional, transnational and translocal (“transversal” in one word) connectivities are most visible and relevant for people’s lives; they reflect geographies that are not defined by borders between territorial or maritime spaces, but by the feeling of belonging regardless of “where in the world” one is physically located
believe that transversal perspectives in general and transregional perspectives in particular have tremendous heuristic potential
anguage proficiency as a necessary tool for practicing AS.
that an individual scholar can hardly live up to such a require- ment because it would mean, at the end of the day, being trained extensively in several languages
transregional research can be arranged as teamwork, in possibly the same way as transdisciplinary research is often carried out. I see ample choices in the coming years to push for “working with” – or, as I recently called it in a lecture, proceeding from re-thinking towards “we-thinking
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