• Events
Oct 17
A Dance, Reunited Atlanta Contemporary
Oct 17
Joy Sorman & Catherine Lacey in Conversation ONLINE EVENT Albertine Bookstore/French Embassy
Oct 17
Joy Sorman & Catherine Lacey in Conversation ONLINE EVENT Albertine Bookstore/French Embassy

Romain Bertrand / Walls & Bridges

Romain Bertrand has been a research director at the Fondation nationale des sciences politiques (French foundation for political science) since 2008. A graduate of Institut d’études politiques (Institute of Political Studies) of Bordeaux, he earned his doctorate at Sciences Po Paris and joined the CERI (a social science research center dedicated to international studies) in 2001. He has been an editorial-committee member of Critique internationale and Raisons politiques, and is currently a member Annales editorial-committee as well as a member of the peer-review committees of Politix and Moussons. He has been a visiting researcher at the Universiti Kebangsaan (Malaysia), Oxford’ Nuffield College (UK), a visiting professor at Fudan University Shanghai (China) and New School for Social Science Research (New York). Bertrand co-directs with Stéphane van Damme (Sciences Po’s Center for history, Paris) a research seminar called “L’épreuve des Indes” (The Trials of India) on the historiography of the construction and circulation of knowledge in situations of “imperial encounters” in the modern era.

>> more info

L’Histoire à parts égales. Récits d’une rencontre Orient-Occident (XVIe-XVIIe siècles)
[A Balanced History. Tales of an East-West Encounter (16th-17th centuries)]
(Seuil, 2011)

Whereas “world-history” has never been so important, the same world history is often retold: that of Europe and its “expansion” into Africa, Asia, and the Americas. For Romain Bertrand, the only way to overcome this obstinate Eurocentrism is to write a balanced history, based on sources that are not all European. This is what he proposes in this book, which contains a detailed account of the first contacts between the Dutch, Malays, and Javanese at the turn of the 17th century. Bertrand shows that at that time, Europe had no advantage over the societies of the insulindien world, whether in terms of nautical or cartographical knowledge, long-distance companies, or military technology. When the ships of the first Dutch expedition of Cornelis de Houtman dropped anchor in Banten harbor in Java in June 1596, they were not landing in a “primitive” world. The reader discovers, on the contrary, a complex, cosmopolitan society that had been a member in long-distance commercial networks for decades and was enmeshed in intense, sophisticated political and religious debates that strangely echoed those then taking place in Europe. This book offers a radically new way to make global history.


Please download and fill out the Walls & Bridges Application Form and send to Anne-Sophie Hermil and Mathilde Billaud

Dates already booked
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 (evening): Walls and Briges, New York
Saturday, October 19th, 2013 (evening): Walls and Briges, New York