Transnational History and Cultural Encounters
The collaborative efforts of the research group rest upon an understanding that competence and confidence within our respective disciplines is a pre-requisite for interdisciplinarity. Similarly, interdisciplinary research efforts also enlarge and enrich the disciplines involved. Examples of such research efforts within the group are efforts to combine cultural and economic theories, qualitative and quantitative approaches as well as religion and migration. One specific example that underscores how this cross-disciplinary fertilization has been applied in practice, is the fact that several members of the group are carrying out studies into how migration theory helps to understand missionary movements. To outsiders it might seem as an obvious avenue to pursue, but to the best of our knowledge this has not been done before - despite both topical and empirical overlaps (such as the simultaneous unfolding between the great migration waves and the missionary expansion in the late 19th century). Another example of impact of our research is through the capacity of offering policy advices on issues such as minorities and migration. As for contributions towards research infrastructure - we would like to draw special attention to a large database on all merchant shipping through the port of Shanghai ca. 1890-1920 that is currently being constructed. This database contains over a million observations and will be made available to the research-community once the above-mentioned China project concludes. This will enable a multitude of studies on globalisation, market structures as well as the so-called “internationalization of China” during what Chinese official narrative describes as the “Century of Humiliation”.