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.


“Humanist Among Machines”: Arnold J. Toynbee, Technology, and the Humanities

Over at Aeon, a British-based online magazine, Stanford historian Ian P. Beacock offers his take on scholars today might take from the legacy of Arnold J. Toynbee–namely, an anthropologist’s curiosity towards the world outside of the ivory tower and a dispassionate, critical attitude towards the application of technology towards the humanities. “We’re optimistic,” writes Beacock,

that scientific thinking can explain the world, certain that the solutions to most of our problems are a quick technological fix away. We’ve begun to treat vexing social and political dilemmas as simple design flaws, mistakes to be rectified through a technocratic combination of data science and gadgetry. Progress is no longer a dirty word. The most influential prophets of this creed are in Silicon Valley in California, where, to the tune of billions of dollars, the tech industry tells a Whiggish tale about the digital ascent of humanity: from our benighted times, we’ll emerge into a brighter future, a happier and more open society in which everything has been measured and engineered into a state of perfect efficiency.

And we’re buying it. We’re eager to optimise our workouts, our sleep patterns, our pregnancies, our policing tactics, our taxi services, and our airline pilots. Even the academy is intrigued. From spatial history to the neurohumanities, digital methods are the rage. Lecture halls have been targeted for disruption by massive open online courses (MOOCs). Sometimes it seems as though there’s little that can’t be explained by scientific thinking or improved upon through digital innovation.

What are the humanities for at such moments, when we’re so sure of ourselves and our capacity to remake the world? Toynbee wrestled with this question for decades. He was as curious as anyone about the latest discoveries and innovations, but he rejected the notion that science could explain or improve everything. And his thoughtful criticism of technology reminds us that poets and historians, artists and scholars must be proud, vocal champions of the humanities as a moral project – especially at moments of breakneck scientific progress. Fluent in the language of crisis and decline, casting about for ways to defend ourselves, today’s humanists could use a little inspiration. We need our spines stiffened. Toynbee might be a man to do it.

Check out the full piece here, or, for more of Beacock’s writing on the humanities, his website


Soccer as a Global Phenomenon (Harvard University, April 14-16, 2016)

In light of the recent FIFA scandals exposing the global interconnections of soccer (football, for non-North Americans), here’s an appropriately-timed call for papers from our colleagues at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Initiative on Global History for a conference–taking place from April 14-16, 2016–that promises to cast light on the global history of “the beautiful game”:

Soccer is the most global of games and one of the most vigorous engines of the process commonly known, celebrated, or feared as globalization. Beyond its immense popularity, soccer now enjoys tremendous success as a global industry with many interlocking parts in an intricate architecture of organizations that represent clubs, nations, regions, and continents. Just as the game once took shape in the context of the reconfiguration of social life in industrializing societies, the industrialization of soccer itself accompanies profound changes in the disciplines of labor and leisure during the New Media Age with its unprecedented power to penetrate distant corners and private spaces via digital links. Yet, the game still derives much of its vitality from passions rooted in a sense of place and of community.

The organizing theme of the conference is precisely this tension or modes of accommodation between the globalizing impulse and the tenacious appeal of local attachments, past and present. We are interested in exploring different dimensions of that theme while sparking a conversation about the relevance of a study of soccer and of sports for a deeper critical understanding of global history and of globalization.

We are seeking proposals from scholars at all stages of their academic career, including graduate students, who wish to present their original research on a variety of topics dealing with social, political, or economic aspects of different ecosystems of the world of soccer –including modest clubs and lesser known leagues as well as global icons and organizations like FIFA— or with the evolution of “the beautiful game” itself. We are particularly interested in forging a global discussion of these topics, and therefore especially welcome contributions from outside North America and Europe.

Applicants are requested to prepare a single .DOC or .PDF file consisting of an abstract no longer than 500 words and a CV; every page of this document should have the applicant’s name in the header. This file should then be sent to with the subject line “Soccer2016” no later than September 1, 2015. Applicants will be notified of in October 2015, and draft papers will be due by March 1, 2015.

The conference organizers–Francesco Erspamer (Romance Languages & Literature), Cemal Kafadar (History), and Mariano Siskind (Romance Languages & Literature)–note that “we hope to cover all (economy class) travel costs, accommodation and meals, pending the availability of funds.”



Assistant Professorship in Global and Transnational History, University of Waterloo

As the fall season approaches, more and more job openings are being posted–not least in the field of global and transnational history. The latest opportunity comes from the University of Waterloo (in Ontario, Canada, about an hour-and-a-half west of Toronto), with a call for applications as follows:

The Department of History in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo is seeking to appoint a tenure-track assistant professor with an established research record in modern (post-1800) global/transnational history. Research interests in the history of science, technology, medicine, and the environment are particularly welcome, but applicants in other fields of study are strongly encouraged to apply. The successful applicant will be subsequently nominated for a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair. More information about the Canada Research Chairs program is available here

The anticipated start date for the position is July 1, 2016.  Beyond the normal faculty responsibilities of undergraduate and graduate teaching, service, and maintaining an original and innovative research program, the successful candidate will encourage collaboration with scholars from across campus in related areas, and will develop and refine national and international networks.

The salary range for this position is $78,000.00 – $110,000.00. 

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.  The University of Waterloo respects, appreciates, and encourages diversity.  We welcome applications from all qualified individuals, including women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities. More information about the History Department is available online. Further enquiries can be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. John Sbardellati.

Sound interesting? Applications for the position are due no later than November 1, 2015. The University of Waterloo requests that applications be submitted via its job application system, available through this link.



Machine-Made History: Parsing the Most Important Events of the Global 1970s

Over at the blog of the History Lab–an endeavor led by Columbia University historian Matthew Connelly and statistician David Madigan “to use data science to recover and repair the fabric of the past”–there is a recent fascinating blog post that applies statistical analysis to 1.7 million U.S. diplomatic cables from 1973-1977 (the years the State Department first started using electronic systems, and coinciding with Henry Kissinger’s term as National Security Advisor) to ask a simple question in a smart way: what were the most important events of the decade?

The team analyzes the data set for peak “bursts”–periods when the traffic for a given subject or geographical area was out of proportion to the normal cable traffic for that subject or area–to highlight the most high-impact events of the decade. Further, for added context, the blog features the analysis of UC Berkeley’s Daniel Sargent, a historian of U.S. foreign relations whose acclaimed book A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s was published earlier this year with Oxford University Press. In his comment, Sargent compiles his own ranking of key events from the 1970s, leading to a fruitful discussion of how historians can best combine traditional qualitative analysis with electronic tools that allow them to generate “objective” rankings of “the most important” events of a given decade.

What, then, were the most important events? The Yom Kippur War? The collapse of Bretton Woods? Deng Xiaoping’s reforms to Chinese socialism? Find out the results of this “man vs. machine” competition at The History Lab.


Africa and the World Position (Hunter College, CUNY)

Here’s a recent job posting for Africanists working in a global context, located at Hunter College at the City University of New York (CUNY):

The Department of History at Hunter College, CUNY invites applications for an open-rank professorship in Africa and the World, with any chronological focus, with an anticipated starting date on or about September 1, 2016. The department is especially interested in scholars who address the history of Africa and Africans in innovative regional, global or comparative contexts.  Review of applications will be in September 2015 and will continue until the position is filled.

To learn more about the department, visit us at  Ph.D. in history is required at the time of appointment. We seek candidates with a strong record of scholarship, demonstrated teaching abilities, and a commitment to service.  Compensation provided commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Hunter College/CUNY is committed to enhancing our diverse academic community by actively encouraging people with disabilities, minorities, veterans, and women to apply.  We take pride in our pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and inclusion. 

More information is available by using CUNY’s in-house job search interface and searching for job number 12532. Additionally, three letters of recommendation must be submitted to the Search Committee for the job (details here). Take note, however: the application closes soon (June 25, 2015), so applicants should get in their materials soon.


Call for Papers: Transnational and Global Histories of Latin America’s Revolutionary Left

Here’s an interesting call for papers for not one, but two conferences on Latin American history in a global context, both organized by LSE’s Tanya Harmer and Alberto Martín Álvarez of the Instituto Mora in Mexico City.

A long description of both conferences follows; interested applicants should be aware that the deadline for applying is July 3, 2015, with a one page proposal in either Spanish or English and a brief academic CV, sent either to Harmer ( or  Álvarez (

The LSE and the Instituto Mora are issuing calls for papers for two related international workshops that they are organising in 2016.  Funded by the British Academy’s Newton Mobility Fund, taking advantage of combined research expertise at both institutions, and linked to the established New Left Network led by Alberto Martín Álvarez and Eduardo Rey, the workshops aim to explore different perspectives on Latin America’s Revolutionary Left.

Although both workshops are part of the same broader project to examine global and transnational histories of Latin America’s Revolutionary Left (otherwise known as the New Left of the Armed Left), it is anticipated that proposals will be made to one workshop or the other rather than both. Details of the workshops and the themes they wish to explore are as follows: Continue reading


Two Doctoral Student/Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter Positions in Latin American History, Global History at Freie Universität Berlin

Another opportunity in Berlin, courtesy of our colleagues at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin. “The Department of History,” notes a recent application,
invites applications for two positions (50%) for Doctoral Students / Research and Teaching Associates (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter) in Global and in Latin American History, commencing September 1, 2015. These are half-time (50% of pay grade 13 TV-L FU), non-tenure track appointments for three years, with a teaching commitment of one course per semester and the goal of writing a Ph.D. dissertation. Ideally, one appointee would specialize in Latin American history, the other one in any field related to global history.
Applicants must have an M.A. in History or in a closely related field. They should have an interest in and knowledge of recent approaches to global and social history, which they will apply to their future doctoral thesis. They should also be willing to contribute to the institute’s existing fields of research, in particular relating to the global history of cities since 1800. Basic knowledge of German and other languages as well as an interest in the Digital Humanities – and more particularly in Historical GIS – can be additional advantages.
This is an excellent opportunity for candidates finishing their dissertations, but who also desire some teaching experience. Sound interesting? The application requests that applicants contact Michael Goebel no later than July 15, 2015. Applicants should send a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a certificate of their M.A. or equivalent, and a one-page abstract each of their M.A. thesis and planned Ph.D. by email to Dr. Goebel.

Student Research Assistant Position in Global History, Freie Universität Berlin

Here’s one recent opportunity for students in Germany interested in global history. As the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut and the Lateinamerika-Institut at the Free University of Berlin prepare for the creation of a Dahlem International Network Professorship in Latin American Studies, the need has arisen for a Studentische Hilfskraft (Student Research Assistant) (41 hours a month) to assist with an ongoing research project on the social history of global cities since 1800, among other research and administrative tasks. (More information on the post is available here, albeit only in German).

The ideal candidate will be on their way towards completing an MA or an advanced Bachelor’s student (in the German system), with an interest in global history since 1800 and excellent English language skills. Competence in additional foreign languages is a plus.

Those interested are requested to send a letter of introduction, a Lebenslauf (German CV), and proof of prior internships to Michael Goebel (Freie Universität Berlin) no later than July 17, 2015 via e-mail.