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Global History Student Conference (Freie Universität Berlin, April 25-26)

A quick note to readers based in central Europe: this weekend (April 25-26), the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin will host a Global History Student Conference, featuring ten panels with the work of graduate students hailing from around the world. The conference will also feature two workshops (“Collaborative Working” and “Global History and International Development: Listening to the Subaltern Voice”), giving both participants and guests the chance to discuss methodological problems they may run across in their work.

Further, the conference will feature a keynote address by Michael Goebel, Assistant Professor of History at the Freie Universität and author of two books, Argentina’s Partisan Past: Nationalism and the Politics of History (2011) and Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism (2015).

Better yet, the conference is open to the public, and guests are welcome to attend. The Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut is located at Koserstraße 20, 14195 Berlin (best accessed by the U3 line via the station “Podbielskialee”). A preliminary conference program is available here. Registration begins on Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, with Professor Goebel’s address, “Global Urban History. The World in Parisian Archives,” kicking things off that same morning at 9:30 AM in Room A127.

Whitworth Hall, University of Manchester

Lecturer in Modern History, University of Manchester

The University of Manchester has advertised a Lecturer position in Modern History that may be of interest to readers of the Global History Blog. The announcement explains that

We welcome applications from candidates with expertise in any of the following fields post-1750:

  • The history of international development
  • The history of inequalities
  • The history of human rights and humanitarianism
  • The history of international governance and international law

You should have a strong record of research and publication (appropriate to stage in career), and a track record of securing external grants, or well-developed plans for future applications. You will also have a demonstrable commitment to fostering undergraduate-level and postgraduate-level study in the field. You will also have a record of successful teaching in a relevant field.

The full-time position comes with a salary of £34,233 to £47,328 per annum. Interested? After reading the Further Particulars, interested parties are invited to write to Professor Hannah Barker. The closing date for applications is May 12, 2015. The date for interviews is not yet known.

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Lecturer in Global & World History, Queen Mary (University of London)

Our colleagues at Queen Mary (University of London) have announced a fixed-term position of interest to scholars of world and global history. “Following the recent award to Dr Kim A. Wagner of a prestigious Marie Curie Global Fellowship,” reads the announcement,”

the School of History is seeking to appoint a Lecturer in Global/World history for a period of three years. Applicants may be specialists in any area within the broad remit of global, world or imperial history, so long as they can demonstrate an active intellectual interest in making broad connections between different parts of the world. The successful candidate will be expected to teach undergraduate modules focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries and to participate fully in the teaching and administration of the MA in Global and Imperial History. Experience of having taught and administered at graduate level is essential. Familiarity with imperial and colonial history will be an advantage.

The position, which is full-time, runs for 34 months, and the starting salary will be in the range of £39,351 – £41,553 annually, inclusive of London Allowance.

Interested? Applications are due on Thursday, May 9; interviews for the position will take place on May 26, 2015. The position will start in September 2015.

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Wartime Ghosts and Souls in Transit: Placing Soviet History in a Global Context with Franziska Exeler

Even at a time of a supposed turn towards more global history, our perspectives of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union remain dogged by an insistence on the inescapability of regional specificities. Not least among these are the names for these places themselves – Eastern Europe, itself a relatively recent moniker, cuts off places that once tallied among the richest in all of geographical Europe, like Prague, from a “real Europe” of Paris, London, and Rome, as if “Eastern Europe” itself has a specific, idiosyncratic but common character in a way not true of “Western Europe.” Even if the process of EU expansion and economic integration has rendered formerly ridiculed “Polacks” into Europeans, the same courtesy is not always extended to Ukrainians or Belarusians. As recent Western discourse over the Russian annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine shows, commentators are eager to ethnicize and classify “Russian-speakers” from “Ukrainian-speakers,” as if the place is explainable only through reference to ethnicity and identity.

Obviously, the experience of both the Cold War and, for countries further east, membership in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, matters greatly for the present and future of countries like Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and, not least, Russia. But to acknowledge the importance of local specifics or the Soviet heritage is not to admit to its monolithic mattering for the direction of those societies. Kiev and Warsaw as much as Singapore and London can be interrogated with the same array of questions, and with the same comparativist’s gaze, that seemingly “more global” sites might invite.

Franziska Exeler, our latest guest to the Global History Forum

That’s why we’re delighted to welcome as our guest to the Global History Forum Franziska Exeler, a historian of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, whose research explores the impact that extreme violence has on state and societies. In her work, she analyzes the choices that inhabitants of the Soviet European borderlands made and were forced to make under Nazi wartime rule, and examines their political, social and personal repercussions. By locating the Soviet case within the larger, indeed global moment of legal, political, and personal reckonings with the Second World War, she also investigates how community rebuilding could occur within, and at times through, an illiberal regime.

Franziska, who completed her PhD in History at Princeton University in 2013, is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. We had the chance to sit down with her recently to discuss her work and her reflections on how historians of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union might profitably situate their work in an international or global context. Continue reading

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Gregory Jones-Katz on Lynn Hunt, “Writing History in the Global Era”

Over at the blog for the Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH), Gregory Jones-Katz, a PhD Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, chimes in with a helpful review of Lynn Hunt’s recent book Writing History in the Global Era.

In the review – the first of two parts – Jones-Katz registers Hunt’s skepticism towards the spread of globalization as a major interpretative paradigm and its replacement of cultural theories since the 1990s. “According to Hunt,” writes Jones-Katz,

According to Hunt, cultural theories, by assuming the self and society to exclusively be the effects of language, desert causal arguments, leaving an opening for the history of globalization. Hunt recounts how, beginning in the 1990s and just after the triumph of cultural theories, historians’ discovery of “globalization” as a category of analysis permitted them to reconsider how individuals and the world became more interconnected and more interdependent. Yet once again, a new trend in historical writing carried assumptions. Although the “globalization paradigm,” Hunt argues, productively “shifts attention to macro-historical (worldwide) and especially macroeconomic trends,” “it ensconces the assumption that economics shapes all other aspects of life.” “[T]he globalization paradigm reinstates the very suppositions that cultural theories had criticized, and thus potentially threatens to wash away the gains of the last decades of cultural history.”
According to Hunt, “globalization”—the word and concept as it is currently and commonly used—is ideological, a “Trojan horse,” that resurrects old paradigms—above all modernization theory. And for Hunt, historians who unreflectively talk globalization talk do not simply reinforce the idea that economics lies at the heart of all cultural and political expressions. Their writings sanction the Western model of the self and society, using it as the yardstick with which to understand how the entire world became and will become interdependent.

Check out the review here – we look forward to posting Part II over the Easter Weekend!

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Lecturer Position in Imperial or Global History (University of Exeter)

Our colleagues at the University of Exeter – incidentally home to an excellent blog on imperial and global history – have recently announced a search for a full-time, permanent position as a Lecturer in Imperial or Global History. According to the job advertisement,

The successful applicant will hold a PhD (or will have submitted and be awaiting examination) in Imperial or Global History and have an independent, internationally-recognised research programme in these fields of research, in areas related or complementary to existing Exeter strengths. He/she will be able to demonstrate the following qualities and characteristics; a strong record in attracting research funding, or demonstrable potential to attract such funding, teamwork skills to work in collaboration with existing group members, an active and supportive approach to inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research that will help to foster interactions and links both within the University and externally, the attitude and ability to engage in continuous professional development, the aptitude to develop familiarity with a variety of strategies to promote and assess learning and enthusiasm for delivering undergraduate programmes. 

Applications for the position, which is remunerated at £33,242 per annum, are requested no later than April 12, 2015. Interviews, the advertisement notes, will likely take place in the month of May.

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Assistant Professor Position in Global History, University of Warwick

The University of Warwick (located in Coventry, England) has announced a search for a three-year Assistant Professor position with a specialization in Global History. “The Department,” reads the advertisement,

seeks to appoint an Assistant Professor in Global History for the period 1st September 2015 to 31st July 2018. You will conduct research and teaching in Global History both individually and in collaboration with colleagues within the Department, and across the University. You will be expected to build research networks in your specialism beyond the University.
You will have a proven record of achievement in research, with clear potential for and/or demonstrated excellence in publication in an area or areas of Global History. Candidates with a strong research record in Global History focussing on connections between Europe and Asia in the early modern period are particularly invited to apply for this post.

The position comes with compensation of £38,511 to £45,954 per annum; further details of the position are available at the above link. Applications are due no later than April 20, 2015.

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Getting to (Global) Work with Andrea Komlosy: Discussing “Work: A Global History”

Work remains ever-present with us, yet somehow elusive. We spend more time doing it than anything else, other than sleeping, and yet defining what, exactly, the term means can be a challenge. Part of the reason may be the decline of solid salaried work, where one punched in and out of the factory, and knew that hours logged meant hours logged. For a time, even white-collar workers had the certainty of knowing that the weekend was just that – physical and infrastructural distance from fax machines, cell phones, and the papers, mountains of paper at the office. Today, however, many people not only allow office e-mail to intrude into the weekend; more than that, they embrace working from home.

 Others are less lucky. Among historians, those who wash out in the brutal competition for the promise of tenured lifetime employment sometimes submit to the even crueler reality of the adjunct route. The root of the term itself demonstrates their precariousness: in linguistics, an adjunct is an optional, a “structurally dispensable” part of an utterance. All the same, as more and more work seems to become “casualized” (another telling term), organizers demand rights and privileges that were traditionally bundled with “full-time” or “traditional” employment. All the while, back at home, partners may grumble that there is precious little talk of unionizing or granting medical insurance to those of us stuck doing dishes, vacuuming, or putting a hot meal on the table.

The cover of Andrea Komlosy's "Arbeit: eine globalhistorische Perspektive" ("Work: A Global History Perspective")
The cover of Andrea Komlosy’s “Arbeit: eine globalhistorische Perspektive” (“Work: A Global History Perspective”)

The vocabulary that we use to talk about work remains, in short, of massive political importance, but all too often, we don’t scrutinize it very closely. Not, at least until Andrea Komlosy‘s 2014 book Arbeit: Eine globalhistorische Perspektive (Work: A Global History Perspective), published by Promedia Verlag. We recently had the chance to speak with Komlosy about her road to writing about social history and the history of work, as well as what it means to apply a global history perspective to a theme that necessarily stretches across hundreds of years. Let’s get to work, then, and dive into a discussion about Work. Continue reading

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Lecturer Position in International History (King’s College London)

As our recent posts suggest, it’s an exciting job market season for UK positions in international and global history. It’s about to get even more exciting, as our colleagues at King’s College London have recently advertised a Lecturer position in Twentieth-Century International History, tenable from September 1, 2015.  This is a great opportunity for historians interested in modern international history, particularly as KCL boasts not just a great History Department, but also a Department of War Studies with overlapping areas of interest with the post in question.

The call for applications (more here) reads as follows:

Applications are welcome from scholars with research expertise in any aspect of twentieth-century international history. We would particularly welcome applicants with research interests of broad global reach and wide thematic significance. Applications from candidates with the demonstrable ability to attract external grant funding, and/or to engage with public audiences, would be particularly welcome.
The post-holder will be expected to contribute to the delivery of teaching at all levels, including introductory undergraduate lectures in modern world history, upper-level undergraduate modules, MA modules and PhD supervision. S/he will work closely with colleagues in the Department of War Studies, and will take particular responsibility for the delivery of the new undergraduate degree in History and International Relations that will be offered jointly by the two departments from September 2016. S/he will also conduct and publish top-quality research in their area of specialism.
The Department of History at King’s is a large, top-ranking department, covering all broad areas of post-antique history, and with particular strength in modern world history. The successful candidate will play an important role in the further development of our teaching, research, public engagement and international reputation in this area.

Those interested are requested to send in their application materials no later than April 12, 2015.