Albrecht Classen

 Albrecht Classen: University Distinquished Professor, German Studies, University of Arizona

Monday, February 19, 2024,

2:30-3:30 pm,

ASA Koffler Great Room and Zoom



Although it is common among modern historians to assert that globalism emerged only around 1800, the frailty of this claim can well be documented through careful comparative and transdisciplinary studies, as Professor Albrecht Classen shows in his new book, Globalism in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Ages.

 Texts, images, ideas, knowledge, and objects migrated throughout the world in pre-modern times, even if quantitatively fewer than in modern eras. By means of translations and trade, for instance, global connections were established and maintained over many centuries. Professor Classen uncovers hard-core facts of global economic exchange and the impact of exotic medicine, as well as intensive intellectual debates on religious issues. Literary evidence exposes the extent to which contacts with people in foreign countries were imagined, often desired, and at times feared.  Diplomats crisscrossed the continents, and artists, poets, and craftsmen traveled widely. Both the Vikings and the Arabs, for instance, were global players long before the rise of modern globalism.

A UA Distinguished Professor since 2004,  Albrecht Classen has appeared at ASA several times in past years, speaking on topics in medieval German literature, medieval art in Tucson, and the Berlin Wall.  A veritable scholarly whirlwind, he claims over one hundred twenty published books and close to 700 articles. He has received numerous awards for teaching and is active in numerous professional organizations, currently serving as president of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German. He also leads students in Summer Study Abroad Programs and teaches in the UA Humanities Seminars.

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Feb. 19: “Myth Busting: Global Contacts in the Pre-Modern World”