Senior Research Fellow Clemens Six
"What do you hope to accomplish this year as a Martin Marty Center Senior Fellow, and how does the MMC look as a place to do your work?"
During my fellowship at the Martin Marty Center I am working on a project with a global historical focus. Global (or world) history is a comparatively young historiographical discipline concentrating on the interrelated and interconnected histories of various regions, civilisations and continents by concentrating on different modes of interaction such as exchange and transfer of rather concrete objects like goods through trade as well as abstract things such as ideas. In order to analyze issues of regional or even global scope global history has so far developed various theoretical approaches. One major attempt of global history in its theoretical work is to overcome Eurocentric interpretations of history and thereby create a more profound, somewhat "more realistic" idea about the past. My specific project starts with the idea of "multiple modernities," a recent interpretation of global modernity as, in fact, a variety of significantly differing modernities. What seems to distinguish these modernities from each other is (among other factors) religion. With the example of India and its conflicting history with (colonial and post-colonial) modernity I examine the suitability of the multiple modernities approach in relation to selected Indian concepts of modernity. The reason why this seems an urgent issue in historiography is that in order to seriously go beyond Eurocentrism it is necessary to bring non-Western theories (of history and modernity) into global history.
What I intend to accomplish during my fellowship at the Center is to advance in this profound and fundamental theoretical concern of my academic discipline. I will use the results of my fellowship as the theoretical basis for the historical research to come in my academic career. As I am right at the beginning of my post-doc research at Bern University in Switzerland, I consider this opportunity as unique preparation for my next research projects in the area of global history with a strong focus on Asia and South Asia in particular.
The Martin Marty Center's position in the midst of the University of Chicago campus is a major reason for the fellowship's attractiveness. Besides providing the infrastructure for our research in outstanding academic surroundings, the fellowship seminar is a meeting place for interdisciplinary as well as intercultural exchange and hard but constructive and thus enriching debates about our own work and the work of others. The continuous exchange with other fellows allows the exchange itself to grow and thereby advance in substance as well as in the form of personal relationships. The initiators of this fellowship program have found an excellent mix between free research for us academic guests here on the campus and a shared program of common reading and interpretation of texts. I am very much looking forward to this academic year as well as the forthcoming sessions and discussions.
Senior Fellows Symposium
Thursday, November 13, 2008 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Swift Hall, Third Floor Lecture Room
Martin Marty Center Senior Fellows Symposium allows the Senior Fellows to present her or his work in a public forum. Clemens Six's project is titled "Multiple Modernities: What Role For Whose Religion?". Six is an Assistant Professor at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and a recent Ph.D. in South Asian Economic and Social History from the University of Vienna. He recently authored Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan. Politik und Religion im modernen Indien.