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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

Writing Individual Itineraries in the Mediterranean Macro-Region: Methodological Considerations about the Relationship between Biography and Structure

International Workshop, Zurich, November 18-19, 2021


Traditional biography as a mode of history writing has been faulted for, among others, overestimating the role of the individual as opposed to that of historical processes on the one hand, and systematically obscuring the historical significance of non-hegemonic groups on the other. This workshop aims at discussing ways of using individual life itineraries as analytic frameworks to examine the impact of structural transformations, particularly in non-Western contexts. How can theoretical insights into the potentials and limits of biography be put into practice? How can pragmatic approaches to history writing best capture varying scales of analysis? Our workshop will address these questions from avariety of disciplinary viewpoints, exchange hands-on experiences, and discuss ongoing research projects.

Date and Time

November 18, 2021, 2 - 6 pm

November 19, 2021, 9 - 11:30 am


Please register via Email with: Ulrich Brandenburg.


University of Zurich, Room KOL G222, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich

(A valid Covid certificate is required.)


Ulrich Brandenburg (Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, Islamic Studies)

Bettina Dennerlein (Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, Islamic Studies and Gender Studies)


Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies - Islamic Studies

Supported by

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Inter-University Doctoral Cooperation in Near and Middle Eastern Studies (MUBIT) Basel / Bern / Zürich