Senior Research Fellow, Mobility and Globalization (University of Western Sydney)

Here is an exciting job opportunity for a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Sydney:

The Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at  the  University of Western Sydney (UWS) is a leading research institute investigating transformations in culture and society in the context of contemporary global change. It champions inter-disciplinary, engaged and collaborative research in the Humanities and Social Sciences for a digital age.

We are looking for scholars who have  demonstrated interest in research on contemporary mobility — from embodied mobility such as migration and refugees to digital mobility.  In addition, the appointee will have expertise in at least one of the following areas: Cities and Economies; Digital Life; Diversity and Globalisation; Heritage and Environment.

This appointment will be for an initial period of five (5) years with the Institute for Culture and Society, after which time the position will move to the School of Social Sciences and Psychology on an ongoing basis.

Sound exciting? Applicants are requested to submit a letter of application, C.V., and three letters of recommendation via the University of Western Sydney’s Current Vacancies website.The deadline for this position is 10 September 2015; enquiries may be directed to Professor Paul James.


Academy Scholars Program (Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies)

As we’re in the midst of jobs-posting season, here’s another attractive posting, this time from the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies for two-year postdoctoral fellowships.  The posting reads as follows:

The Academy Scholars Program identifies and supports outstanding scholars at the start of their careers whose work combines disciplinary excellence in the social sciences (including history and law) with a  command of the language, history, or culture of non-Western countries or regions.  Their scholarship may elucidate domestic, comparative, or transnational issues, past or present. 

The Academy Scholars are a select community of individuals with resourcefulness, initiative, curiosity, and originality, whose work in non-Western cultures or regions shows promise as a foundation for  exceptional careers in major universities or international institutions.  Harvard Academy Scholarships are open only to recent PhD (or comparable professional school degree) recipients and doctoral  candidates.  Those still pursuing a PhD should have completed their routine training and be well along in the writing of their theses before applying to become Academy Scholars; those in possession of a PhD  longer than 3 years at the time of application are ineligible.

Academy Scholars are appointed for 2 years by the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and are provided time, guidance, and access to Harvard University facilities.  They receive substantial  financial and research assistance to undertake sustained projects of research and/or acquire accessory training in their chosen fields and areas.  Some teaching is permitted but not required.  The Senior  Scholars, a distinguished group of senior Harvard University faculty members, act as mentors to the Academy Scholars to help them achieve their intellectual potential.

Postdoctoral Academy Scholars will receive an annual stipend of $67,000, and predoctoral Academy Scholars will receive an annual stipend of $31,000.

The online application for this year’s round of Academy Scholars is due no later than October 1, 2015. Interviews, meanwhile, will take place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA on December 15, 2015; notification of scholarships will be made in late December 2015. Both the application as well as more information on the Harvard Academy is available via its website.

Cathedral from Sailors and Soldiers

Endowed Chair, Andrew W. Mellon Professor (University of Pittsburgh)

Following on our recent interview with Pittsburgh’s Diego Olstein for the Global History Forum, here’s a recent advertisement for an Endowed Chair at Pitt:

The University of Pittsburgh invites applications for an endowed chair, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History. The appointment will begin with the fall term 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter, pending budgetary approval. Geographical and chronological concentration open.  We encourage applicants to demonstrate how their research and teaching will contribute to our strengths in transnational, macro regional, and world history, to one or more of our thematic fields  and to the activities of the World History Center.

We favor candidates with a record of creative scholarly collaboration as well as outstanding individual productivity.  We also seek excellence in graduate and undergraduate teaching.  Applicants should be committed to advancing the research profile and reputation of the department. We welcome applications from full professors and advanced associate professors.

If this sounds compelling, submit a letter of application, C.V., and three letters of recommendation to Pittburgh’s internal application system no later than 15 September 2015. Questions about the position are best directed to Professor George Reid Andrews.


A Global History Primer: Discussing “Thinking History Globally” with Diego Olstein

As you read this post in the summer of 2015, the discipline of history is decades into a global turn. Rare is the historian whose work does not aim, or at least claim, to transcend boundaries national, regional, or linguistic. The days of “methodological nationalism” appear to be behind us, then, but the specifics of how we do what comes next are not always clear. True, a booming literature guides us through the ins and outs of different approaches: world, global, trans-national histories; histories of familiar nationally-defined units as a “nation among nations,” or histories that go beyond the chronological boundaries within which nations or linguistic communities have historically existed. But where is the professional historian–or, more commonly, the student–to go if she wants to grasp the full “menu”of possibilities that the global turn brings to historians as a whole? Until recently, teachers had few such resources.

“Thinking History Globally,” the most recent book by recent TPF Global History Forum guest Diego Olstein (University of Pittsburgh)

Until recently, that is, thanks to a welcome recent book by the University of Pittsburgh’s Diego Olstein, an Associate Professor in the Department since 2011 and the author of Thinking History Globally, published this spring by Palgrave MacMillan. In the book, Olstein, a specialist on medieval Spain and world history, outlines the many ways in which historians today compare, connect, conceptualize and contextualize their subjects beyond pre-existing boundaries of national communities, linguistic boundaries, or pre-defined regions. No mere encyclopedia of global history approaches–Olstein limits his bestiary to twelve kinds–Thinking History Globally also provides readers with applied examples of how these approaches and cognitive patterns might actually be applied to different subjects. More than an entertaining read, the book is thus of great use for the professor or TA confronted with the question of, for example, what it actually means to write the First World War “in a global context.”

No mere bookworm, however, Olstein and his journey to the field at all remind us of the ways in which historians’ lives and careers today are themselves the product of global networks and the trans-national receptions of historical experiences. In Olstein’s case in particular, this means a journey through the worlds of the Jewish diaspora in authoritarian Argentina, the intellectual horizons offered by Israeli academia, the experiences of researching medieval Spain, and, finally, Olstein’s current home, Pittsburgh. Let us follow Olstein’s own global intellectual journey before diving into his most useful recent work, Thinking History Globally. Continue reading


“All Things Transregional” Interview with Monica Juneja (Heidelberg) & Matthias Middell (Leipzig)

Over at the new blog of the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin, our colleagues have continued their own interview series with two new conversations with Monica Juneja (Heidelberg) and Matthias Middell (Leipzig).

The interviews–in English with Juneja and in German with Middell–extend on an earlier feature with Sebastian Conrad, Professor for Global History at the Freie Universität zu Berlin. Juneja discusses the challenges and opportunities of applying a transnational or global lens to art history, while Middell comments on the development of the field more generally and several examples of recent work that have impressed–like, for example, his colleague Kerstin Lange’s just-out Tango in Paris und Berlin. Eine transnationale Geschichte der Metropolenkultur um 1900 (Tango in Paris and Berlin. A Transnational History of Metropolitan Culture Around 1900), which treats the “import” of an Argentine dance form to two European capitals.

Check out the interviews (linked in the first paragraph of this post)–and keep watching the Forum’s blog for more stimulating conversations on the development of the field!


Fung Global Fellows Program, Princeton University

As the application season descends upon us, here’s a recent posting for one-year post-doctoral positions as part of the Fung Global Fellows Program, at Princeton University’s  Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). The call for papers, also available here, reads:

Princeton University is pleased to announce the call for applications to the Fung Global Fellows Program at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).  Each year the program selects six scholars from around the world to be in residence at Princeton for an academic year and to engage in research and discussion around a common theme.  Fellowships are awarded to scholars employed outside the United States who are expected to return to their positions, and who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement and exhibit unusual intellectual promise but who are still early in their careers.

During the academic year 2016/17, the theme for the Fung Global Fellows Program will be “International Society: Institutions and Actors in Global Governance.”  The growth of international organizations and transnational actors has brought about the emergence of a dense international society above the nation-state.  Under what circumstances do new international organizations or transnational associations emerge, and when do they expand in their membership and jurisdiction?  Does international society function as a constraint on states? How do states and societal actors navigate the complex and overlapping jurisdictions of international organizations? In what ways do international organizations and associations function as distinct cultures or as bureaucracies with their own interests?  This year’s cohort of Fung fellows will examine the emergence, functioning, and effects of international organizations and transnational associations of all types (state and non-state, focused on a single issue or world region, or examined comparatively) from a cultural, historical, political, sociological, or other perspective.  Researchers working on any historical period or region of the world and from any disciplinary background in the humanities and social sciences are encouraged to apply.

Sound interesting? Applications for the program are due on November 1, 2015. Eligible applicants need to have received their Ph.D. (or equivalent) no earlier than September 1, 2006.  More information on the program, and the application procedure, is available at the Fung Global Fellows Program’s website here.


Associate Professor or Full Professor, World History – University of Pittsburgh

At the University of Pittsburgh, the Department of History has announced a search for an Associate or Full Professor position with a specialization in World History. The announcement explains further:

The Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh seeks applicants for a tenured position in World History at the level of advanced Associate Professor or Professor, beginning in fall 2016, pending budgetary approval. Applicants should have an outstanding record of internationally recognized research and of creative scholarly collaboration and methodological innovation. The successful candidate will be committed to advancing the research profile and reputation of the department as a center for transnational, macro-regional, and world-historical research.

The World History Center, an integral component of the department’s undergraduate and graduate programs, supports research, teaching, and international collaboration on the global past, with attention to policies for the global future. The successful candidate will hold the position of center director in rotation with colleagues. We also seek excellence in graduate and undergraduate teaching. Applicants should demonstrate how they would participate in our dynamic program of graduate teaching and research built around cross-regional and thematic collaboration.

Those who wish to apply to the position are requested to submit a letter of application, C.V., and three letters of recommendation to Pitt’s internal application system (link here) no later than September 15, 2015. Informal questions and enquiries are to be directed to Professor Holger Hoock.


Monoglot Empire: Tracing the Journey from Scientific Babel to Global English with Michael Gordin

If you can read this, you read English. That might not seem like such a big accomplishment–perhaps English is your mother tongue, or maybe as a consumer of historical scholarship you merely took it for granted that developing an excellent level of English comprehension was a requirement for the job. Seen in historical perspective, however, the linguistic landscape that makes it common sense for you to read this blog post–and not, say, one in Portuguese or Persian–is quite unusual. We live in a monoglot world of science and scholarship today, but for much of the historical record, the case was the opposite, as Russians struggled to learn French and Englishmen apologized for their poor German, even as a functional command of three or four languages was necessary merely to access everything published.

Michael Gordin’s latest book, “Scientific Babel: How Science Was Done Before and After Global English”

Making things more bewildering, however, we have lived in a monoglot world before–one, however, dominated by Latin and not the West Germanic language so many of us now call our own. Not only that, the English that has succeeded as the uniform standard has, as any non-native speaker can tell you, plenty of confusing features: phonemic polyvocality (“stiff,” “stuff,” and “staff” denote very different things), and plenty of irregular verbs (“freeze” in the past is “froze,” not “freezed,” for example). So why didn’t something more logical and, perhaps more importantly, not ethnic–something not already spoken by the English–win out? Why didn’t a more accessible constructed language, like Esperanto, succeed? How did this tectonic shift happen? How did we move from linguistic chaos to seemingly greater uniformity?

These are some of the questions taken up by Michael Gordin, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton University, in his latest book, Scientific Babel: How Science Was Done Before and After Global English, published earlier this year by the University of Chicago Press. While Gordin’s first monograph concerned itself with Dmitry Mendeleev (inventor of the periodic table), readers may also be familiar with his two books on the history of the of the atomic bomb, or his more recent volume on self-proclaimed cosmologist Immanuel Velikovsky and twentieth-century debates over standards of science and pseudoscience. In Scientific Babel, Gordin shows off his ability not only to digest complex scientific prose–in Russian, German, and French, in addition to his native English–but also to connect issues in the history of science with global trends in the modern period. That makes his work one of the most exciting things going in scholarship on the history of science today. It also makes him our guest in this, our first science-directed edition of the Global History Forum. Continue reading


Assistant Professor in Global Humanities for the 21st Century, San Diego State University

Here’s an intriguing position for historians whose work involves (ideally) a global and digital bent, especially for those working outside of North American or European history.

From the recent advertisement from San Diego State University:

San Diego State University’s Department of Classics and Humanities invites applications for a new tenure-track position at the rank of assistant professor in Global Humanities for the 21st Century. We seek a well-rounded cultural historian with expertise across media, geography, languages and literature. The ideal candidate’s research will focus on geographic regions beyond Europe and America, and could include humanities of Latin America, Africa, Asia and/or the Pacific Rim. The position calls for traditional fluency in languages, literatures, and cultural production, as well as supplementary strengths in the use of digital media, social networks, and/or collections of trans-global texts, archives, and databases.

The candidate’s research agenda should include the digital treatment, archiving, quantification, curating translating and/or interpretation of texts, broadly construed, for the purpose of recording and assessing cultural movements. We seek someone capable of providing a narrative of the history of humanities (especially non-Western) by demonstrating the interrelatedness of local and global perspectives and tastes. Areas of specialization are open as to historical period, cultural context, generic focus, or theoretical approach; teaching assignments will allow for course creation and curriculum development to reflect the integration of humanities and digital technology. The teacher/scholar we seek will excel at demonstrating new interpretive strategies to account for and appraise the explosion of the new media of humanities as a result of the digital revolution.

Qualifications include demonstrated skills in teaching undergraduates. Candidates must possess a strong commitment to teaching excellence and demonstrate promise for continuing research and publication. A Ph.D. in Humanities or related field must be in hand at time of appointment.

Sound interesting? The advertisement notes that candidates must apply via Interfolio via this link. ”

Applicant screening will begin September 15, 2015,” notes the announcement, “and the position will remain open until filled. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found.”


“All Things Transregional” Interview with Sebastian Conrad (Freie Universität Berlin)

Over at the blog Transregionale Forschung (“Transregional Research”), jointly run by the Berlin-based Forum Trasnsregionale Studien and the Max-Weber-Stiftung, a new interview project has launched, featuring conversations with historians working with a trans-regional or trans-national methodology. The first guest to the feature, “All Things Transregional,” is Sebastian Conrad, Professor for Global History at the Freie Universität zu Berlin.

One excerpt:

What are the limits of transregional studies? What are the misunderstandings about the field?

The concept of “transregional” needs to be placed in a continuum of other perspectives that aim to perform related and overlapping analytical work. Historians also use terms such as transnational, translocal, entangled histories, connected histories, and global history. All these terms (and corresponding approaches) have their advantages and drawbacks, but while it is possible to differentiate between them, it is also important to recognize that all of them share an overall agenda, namely the objective to transcend container thinking and the fixed compartmentalization of historical reality, and aim at going beyond what are essentially internalist analyses.

One of the main challenges of approaches that define themselves strictly as “transregional” is that they may remain caught in what we could call a bilateral logic. They may thus look at connections between Asia and Europe, or between West Africa and Brazil, but essentially content themselves with crossing the borders of large political and cultural regions. In many cases, this geographical expansion may not be sufficient, as for the past several hundreds of years, larger (potentially global) structures fundamentally shaped what happened in any such region. Speaking the language of transregionalism, in other words, may lead us to avoid thinking about global structures, and to neglect to pursue the question of causality up to a global level.

So while “transregional” may, for some topics and questions, not be encompassing enough, for others it may seem like too big a term. When following Italian migrant workers to Argentina, labeling their mobility as “transregional” may seem presumptuous and too big a claim. It is therefore helpful to remind ourselves that “transregional” is primarily a perspective, and not the designation of an object of study.

For more, check out the full interview here–or, for more on Conrad and the Global History scene at the Freie Universität, here.