The 2010 Holberg Symposium: "Doing Decentered History - The Global in the Local"

Decentered history is one of Holberg Prize Laureate Natalie Zemon Davis’s main interests. This symposium was dedicated to this topic.

In a long series of books, such as Fiction in the Archives (1987), Women on the Margins (1995) and Trickster travels (2006) Natalie Zemon Davis has insisted on relational perspectives, a multiplicity of voices, and the foregrounding of otherwise silent or marginal actors.

  • Moderators:
  • Professor Ida Blom, University of Bergen
  • Professor Erling Sverdrup Sandmo, University of Oslo

Decentered Western Identities

Professor Bonnie G. Smith, Rutgers University

Bonnie Smith is Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers University.Her many publications include Changing Lives (1989), The Gender of History (1998), Imperialism (2000), Gendering Disability (ed, 2003) and Europe in the Twentieth Century World (2008). She is general editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of  Women in World History (2008) and co-editor of the New Oxford World History.

Meditaranean History as Global History

Professor David Abulafia, University of Cambridge

David Abulafia is an English historian. He has been Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge since 2000 and a fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge since 1974.

David Abulafia has published extensively on Mediterranean history and  has recently completed The Great Sea: a human history of the Mediterranean, to be published by Penguin. His most influential book is Frederick II: a medieval emperor (1988). He has been appointed "Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana" by the President of Italy in recognition of his writing on Italian history, and he has also written about the first encounters between western Europeans and the native peoples of the Atlantic (The Discovery of Mankind, 2008).


Professor Joan W. Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Joan W. Scott is Harold F. Linder Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. She is known internationally for writings that theorize gender as an analytic category.

She is a leading figure in the emerging field of critical history. Her ground-breaking work has challenged the foundations of conventional historical practice, including the nature of historical evidence and historical experience and the role of narrative in the writing of history, and has contributed to a transformation of the field of intellectual history.

Scott’s recent books focus on gender and democratic politics. They include Gender and the Politics of History (1988), Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man (1996), Parité: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism (2005) , and The Politics of the Veil (2007).

Decentering history: local stories and cultural crossing in a global world.

Professor Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto. Natalie Zemon Davis is Holberg International Memorial Prize laureate 2010.
Natalie Zemon Davis is adjunct professor of history and professor of Medieval studies at University of Toronto, and the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History Emerita at Princeton University. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, she graduated from Smith College and then received her master’s degree at Radcliffe College in 1950. She received her doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1959 and has since been awarded many honorary degrees. Her teaching career has taken her to Brown University, the University of Toronto, the University of California at Berkeley, and Princeton University. Professor Davis was also president of the American Historical Association in 1987, the second woman to hold the position.



to 12:15, CEST.
Auditorium 1, The Student Centre, University of Bergen
Practical information
Free admittance.