Annual Conference Talk: Western Knowledge About Reforming China (1972–1989)

On November 20 and 21st 2018, the Annual Conference “Knowledge and Society in Times of Upheaval” of the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland took place in Berlin. It was jointly convened by Andreas Eckert (HU Berlin/Forum Transregionale Studien), Simone Lässig (GHI Washington) and Franz Waldenberger (DIJ Tokyo) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

During the Conference, Frank Bösch (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam) presented a paper “Western Knowledge About Reforming China (1972-1989)”. In his talk, he analysed how German officials, academics and companies like Volkswagen gained knowledge about China in the 1970s and 1980s, during the period of economic reforms.

Frank Bösch is the director of the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung (Center for Contemporary History) in Potsdam and Professor of European 20th Century History at the University of Potsdam. He obtained his PhD in 2001 in Göttingen with a thesis on the Christian Democratic Union of Germany 1945-1969, taught as Junior Professor at the University of Bochum and as professor at the University of Gießen. His recent publications include “Media and Historical Change. Germany in International Perspective” (Berghahn: New York 2015) and “A Shared and Devided History. East and West Germany since the 1970s” (ed., Berghahn: New York 2018). In January 2019, the German edition of his new book on global events and transformations of the late 1970s will be published which analyses the impact of changes in countries like China, Iran or Nicaragua on Germany (“Zeitenwende 1979. Die Welt am Beginn unserer Gegenwart”, Beck: München 2019).


Forum Transregionale Studien

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien is a research organization that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. The Forum provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. In cooperation with universities and research institutions in Berlin and the rest of Germany, it carries out research projects that examine other regions of the world and their relationship to Germany and Europe systematically and with new questions.

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