After the Change: 1989 and the Social Sciences in the post-Cold War Era

18th Berlin Roundtables on Transnationality
18 – 21 June 2014, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB)

The end of the Cold War is commonly perceived as a major caesura in world history, which fundamentally altered political, economic and social formations across the globe. However, the consequences of this change remain highly controversial. As such, the 18th Berlin Roundtables focused on the implications of this revolutionary process for the social sciences and humanities: To what extent has the end of the Cold War influenced the way contemporary scholarship conceptualizes and approaches the world? What new questions, concepts and fields have come to the fore? Which have been discarded? And how do these changes connect to broader transformations in the post-1989 landscape?

For the 18th Berlin Roundtables - the last event of this conference series - we chose a topic that probes the intellectual atmosphere of the years in which the Roundtables operated. At the same time, this conference allowed us to follow-up on the overarching theme of the conference series, transnationality in all its dimensions, by bringing together academics with widely diverging disciplinary and regional expertises to engage with the scholarly ramifications of a common point of historical rupture.

Conference format

For the final conference of the Berlin Roundtables on Transnationality, former research fellows and members of the advisory board have been invited to submit papers presenting their perspectives on the significance of the end of the Cold War for their fields. The conference took place as a closed workshop with 17 participants.

In addition, the conference was accompanied by two public evening lectures:

Jürgen Kocka (Freie Universität Berlin/WZB)
"1989/91 als Zäsur in den Geschichtswissenschaften. Ein persönlicher Rückblick"

Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago)
"1989: Postcolonial Criticism and After"

Further information please see the flyer.