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Fernand Braudel Center
for the Study of Economies,
Historical Systems, and Civilizations

Over the past three decades, the Fernand Braudel Center has built an enviable, world-wide reputation for innovation and excellence in social science. The activities of the Center fall loosely into four categories: hosting international scholars, sponsoring major conferences and scholarly meetings, initiating and supporting Research Working Groups, carrying on an active publication program. We operate on two assumptions. One is that there is no structure that is not historical. In order to understand a structure one must not only know its genesis and its context; one must also assume that its form and its substance are constantly evolving. The second assumption is that no sequence of events in time is structureless, that is, fortuitous. Every event occurs within existing structures, and is affected by its constraints. Every event creates part of the context of future events. Of course, there are ruptures in structures which represent fundamental change. But such ruptures too are explicable in terms of the state of the structures. We therefore do not separate the study of historical sequence and the study of structural relationships. We believe that the problem is not to find an interdisciplinary meeting ground of the study of historical sequence (history) and the study of structures (anthropology, sociology, and other social sciences). It is rather to perceive our study as an imbricated whole within which different scholars will of course emphasize different immediate concerns and therefore frequently use different approaches, emphases, methodologies. We are further uncomfortable with the traditional divide of the humanities versus the (social) sciences. At least at the level of explaining large-scale social change over time, we find that it is not very meaningful to distinguish between a humanistic and a scientific approach. We wish primarily to explain systematically and coherently what is fundamentally a single occurrence, the development of the modern world-system.

Mail Address:
Fernand Braudel Center
Binghamton University
State University of New York
PO Box 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

Telephone: (607) 777-4924
Fax: (607) 777-4315


The Fernand Braudel Center
for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations, with co-sponsorship by the Department of English, General Literature & Rhetoric, and Department of Comparative Literature

present a lecture series, Crises and Transitions in the Capitalist World-Economy
September 23, 2014
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Free and Open to the Public
Fernand Braudel Center,
Academic A, Room 330
Binghamton University
Fernand Braudel Center
film by Dale Tomich:
Sidney Mintz"Caribbean Journey: Conversations with Sidney Mintz"
Available for purchase by contacting

Contact Us

Director, Richard E. Lee

Deputy Director, Dale Tomich

Administrative Assistant, Amy Keough

Publications Officer, Kelly Pueschel

FBC Office/ Staff Assistant,
Kelly Pueschel

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Last Updated: 9/11/14