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History (Comparative)

Comparative Historical Urban Studies in Europe and Asia

The research project is under the co-supervision of 
 MENG Zhongjie (ECNU) and & Jean-Luc PINOL (ENS Lyon)


Comparative urban history is a fertile field. It analyzes the process of urbanization in different cities and reveals how, in certain situations, the context slows down the process or,on the contrary, accelerates it.

The team working on this program has experience researching cities in China, cities in the colonial world, as well as German, French and other European cities. This background provides a solid basis for the analysis of how different urban networks function and how various kinds of information circulate – or not – within these different networks. To this extent the method used draws on the insights of so-called “connected history,” in addition to those used within comparative history.

Team members will address topics in the area of urban economy, urban society, urban culture and urban representations; they will also study what is often labeled as city governance, i.e. the elements which influence the history of a city (economic growth, demography, housing, public health, politics…). Depending on time and place, the sources available are more or less abundant for such study. Each member of the team will participate in the general objectives of the program through a focus on her (or his) specific urban terrain.

The team is constituted by the department of history of ECNU which is expanded to include scholars in Shanghai University (ComplexCity Lab) and scholars from the University of Lyon around the history section of the ENS.

Cities of Germany(Berlin, Nuremberg, Dresden…) of France (Paris, Lyon, industrial cities along the Fensch river…) China (Shanghai and cities of Jiangnan) and Ancient colonial cities (Macao, Goa, Hanoi…) are studied by the team. The research themes are population and migrations, urban networks, economy, heavy industry, pollution, margins and exclusion and evolution of city functions.

Research group

Zhongjie MENG, East China Normal University.
Ming, ZHU, East China Normal Universiy
Qi XIAO, East China Normal University
Jun QU, East China Normal University
Jin, ZHAO, East China Normal University
Fabien PFAENDER, Complexcity Lab, Shanghai University.

Fréderic Abécassis, ENS Lyon, LARHRA
Axelle Brodiez-Delino, CNRS-LARHRA
Stéphane Frioux, Université Lyon 2, LARHRA
Romain Garcier, ENS, EVS
Guillaume Garner, ENS Lyon, LARHRA
Anne Granier, ENS Lyon, LARHRA
Jean-Luc Pinol, ENS Lyon, LARHRA

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