Most histories deal with phenomena that seem to be new or are presented as the inauguration of new times. In this respect, historiography has established a narrative tradition of opening towards the future, which implies that another era comes to an end. Through analyses and debates concerning revolutions since 1789, we observe three different constellations: (1) a constellation where such caesuras promote sharp contrast between the new and the old, (2) a constellation where there is more of a sense that continuities and discontinuities go hand in hand, and (3) a constellation where there is a parallel existence between the emerging new and the remaining old that does not come to an immediate end. This is particularly true in world and global history where more than one dimension, more than one space, and more than one temporality has to be included. The problem of endings is central to the writing of world and global history. This not only includes dissolution and breakdown but also the end of violence and tension, which has to be addressed in this context. Endings may come for some historical actors as a surprise, but others are actively involved in overcoming crisis and dead ends.
The aim of the ESSHC is to bring together scholars who explain historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences.
The conference is characterized by a lively, small group exchange, rather than in formal plenary sessions. The conference is organized in many networks covering specific topics. It welcomes papers and sessions on any historical topic and any historical period.