CFP: The Pacific in the World, Harvard Graduate Student Conference on International History (March 22-23, 2018)

The organizing committee for the Harvard Graduate Student Conference on International History (Con-IH) invites graduate students to submit proposals for its eighteenth annual conference. This year’s theme is the Pacific in the World. The conference will take place at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 22-23, 2018.

By geographic area, the Pacific Ocean is the largest in the world. It has been the site of unique ecological and environmental patterns, protracted political contestations, grand imperial dreams and diverse movements of resistance. It has facilitated the movement of labor and goods so foundational to contemporary international orders. Additionally, the Pacific World has been central to forging modern constructs of race, gender, and sexuality. Con-IH 18 will provide a forum for the discussion of cutting-edge studies that examine the multifaceted histories of the Pacific, and in the process, push the boundaries of international and global history, in terms of both content and methodology.

We welcome submissions that address one or more of the following themes, but the list is suggestive only:

  1. Indigeneity and Sovereignty
  2. Colonial Encounters and Empire
  3. The Economy
  4. Decolonization
  5. Race, Gender, and Labor
  6. War and Militarization
  7. Environmental and Climate History

We consider as an integral part of “The Pacific in the World” research that is situated in one or more of the following regions: the Pacific Islands and Oceania, East and Southeast Asia, North and South America, or any other part of the globe in contact with the Pacific Ocean, broadly defined. We especially welcome projects that integrates into Pacific history the areas and actors traditionally overlooked in histories of the Pacific, as well as those that adopt a comparative oceanic lens.

Accepted papers will be grouped for presentation within three or four panels each composed of graduate students and one faculty commentator for each presenter. Participation in Con-IH thus presents an unparalleled opportunity to engage in lively and lengthy discussions with an emerging cohort of researchers-in-training from around the world, as well as with faculty from Harvard and elsewhere.

Graduate students interested in participating in the conference should submit a 300-word proposal and one-page Curriculum Vitae (in either Word or PDF format) to Proposals must be received by November 15, 2017 in order to be considered. We anticipate being able to reimburse reasonable travel and lodging expenses for all participants. As the date approaches, additional information will be posted on the conference website at

Apply now to become an Editor-at-Large

Works of past interviewees

We welcome applications for the position of Editors-at-Large from graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

The Toynbee Prize Foundation’s Global History Blog features a mix of long-form interviews with global historians, historiographical pieces, and short-form material of interest to our readers: job posts, cross-postings from other blogs, and recently published articles.

Editors-at-Large will gain exposure to one of the most vibrant fields in the discipline today while staying up-to-date with current work in the field of global history. Most notably, they have the opportunity to interview pioneers of global history: from younger academics who have released innovative new works to more established intellectual trailblazers. Editors-at-Large either pitch their own interviews or are assigned interviews to undertake. Past interviewees include Susan Pedersen and Adam Tooze (Columbia University), Cemil Aydin (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Vanessa Ogle (University of California, Berkeley), William Rankin (Yale University), Seema Alavi (University of Delhi), and Sebastian Conrad (Freie Universität Berlin), among others. We are especially interested in interviewing scholars working on or located in the Global South.

To apply, send your CV and a brief description of your experience and interest to

A Muslim Cosmopolis, Or, the Individual and the Nation in Global History: An Interview with Seema Alavi

Dr. Seema Alavi

People tend to assume the origins of contemporary events, alliances and disagreements belong to the recent if not the immediate past. Recent news articles highlight with surprise the Arabicization of Islamic practice in South Asia – most prominently with respect to the murder of several bloggers in Bangladesh. But India has a long history of intellectual contact with the Arab world. The Madrasa Saulatia in Mecca was set up by an Indian Muslim Rahmatullah Kairanwi – a key protagonist in Seema Alavi’s book Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Empire (2015) – as a “centre for embracive reformist Islam with a strong Indic tradition.” It remains a major scholarly hub, retaining intellectual contact with Sunni Muslim seminaries all over the world. It’s own orientation now can be described as a purist intellectual tradition of Islam. For example, it receives patronage “from the Abd-al Wahab impacted Saudi ruling house,” even as – Alavi is quick to remind us of this – its scholarly tradition stands in stark contrast to the violence that is often perpetrated in the name of Wahabi Islam. In this respect, Alavi’s book Muslim Cosmopolitanism is a fundamentally revisionist text that works through the category of the individual and of the nation. She draws out the history of how a modern vision of Islamic universal selfhood was articulated in the mid-nineteenth century: the processes that connected Indic reformist strands in Islam with Hamidian notions of modernity centred on jurisprudence. In her account, cities such as Cairo thus appear as more than just a site that elucidated anti-British nationalism. Importantly, the book foregrounds how modern histories of South Asia limit key protagonists in this larger global story to the territorial bounds of modern India, even as the records of imperial Britain show how they negotiated trans-imperial identities across South Asia and the Ottoman empire. Continue reading A Muslim Cosmopolis, Or, the Individual and the Nation in Global History: An Interview with Seema Alavi

CFP: Bids for Autonomy in the Condition of Globality (Columbia University, 13-14 April 2018)

In the nineteenth century, globalization acquired a new intensity which has persisted until this day. As the world became more integrated and interconnected, successive attempts were made by states, peoples, social movements, religions, classes, corporations and regions to assert their autonomy against real and prospective forms of domination, discipline and uniformity imposed by exterior forces and actors. Resistance to globalization has not been an occasional irritant, but a constant presence around the world for more than two centuries. When not challenged outright, dissent has taken the forms of attempts to renegotiate the terms of global integration.

Yet the force of the global has consisted exactly in undermining the very possibility of fully autonomous development for human collectivities everywhere. This two-day conference will examine these bids for autonomy since the 1800s. It takes its inspiration from the work of Michael Geyer and Charles Bright, who in a series of groundbreaking essays since the late 1980s have advanced the idea of a ‘condition of globality’. What Geyer and Bright’s research agenda articulates is how to understand the intensification of
processes of globalization, world-making and global ordering from the mid-nineteenth century onward in their totality without reducing their concrete elements and components to discredited
deterministic master narratives such as Westernization, modernization, or homogenization.

How do we think and write world history in our current moment? How do we use the experience of the last two centuries of globality to articulate a philosophy of history that possesses intelligibility without teleology? The current historical conjuncture of 2007-2017—which is being interpreted in various ways as a backlash against globalization, a global crisis of populism, the breakdown of the post-WWII liberal international order, the end of the American Century—
poses this question with special force.

The conference invites scholars to contribute papers on specific bids for autonomy since 1800. Its aim is both to test and to criticize the globality framework, as well as to thicken it and to clarify some of its historiographical and philosophical implications. Papers can take the form of case studies examining the efforts of particular groups to resist, navigate, or negotiate globality, comparisons across societies or across time periods, or thematically-focused explorations of
important axes of globalization and their effects in particular parts of the world. These globalizing themes include, but are not limited to:

* industrial and agricultural production between interdependence and self-sufficiency
* the national politics of international finance
* the domestic sources of state power in the international sphere
* ideological self-assertion and reproduction
* military thinking and independence in armaments and raw material supply
* state-society and civil-military relations
* bids for intellectual, cultural and religious autonomy
* race and its (re)articulation in processes of globalization

The organizers hope to solicit papers covering every region of the globe and a variety of time periods over the last two centuries, and will gladly consider proposals from advanced graduate students to senior scholars. The two-day conference will consist partly of panel discussions of pre- circulated papers, and partly of curated, seminar-style discussions of pre-circulated readings.

Applicants should send their paper abstracts (max. 400 words) and a short CV (1 page) to by October 1, 2017. Invited participants will be notified by November.

The conference organizers: Ted Fertik (Yale, History), Nick Mulder (Columbia, History), Adam Tooze (Columbia History)

The organizers have set up a website ( where they will be posting relevant material and curating guest contributions in the run-up to the conference to stimulate an ongoing conversation about the history of attempts to recapture and reassert independence in the face of the global.

CFP: Contested Borders? Practising Empire, Nation and Region in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (London, 26-28 April 2018)

For scholars interested in the historical practice of belonging in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, please see the following call for papers. Abstracts are due by 16 October 2017:


Conference at the German Historical Institute London, 26–28 April 2018

Brexit, the Basque country, Kashmir – the drawing of social and spatial boundaries, the question of belonging, and the creation of identity are at the heart of many current debates. They are based on general political, social, and economic developments and the historical experience of individuals. This is why the drawing and negotiating of borders is a relevant topic for historical research. Although borders (are intended to) define geographical and cultural spaces and possibly also political communities, there is nothing ‘natural’ about them. Rather, they are the outcomes of specific historical conditions. Thus the emergence of the European nation-states and empires was accompanied not only by the drawing of borders, but also by the establishment of political and social borders, and boundaries relating to identity politics. Nation-states and empires, therefore, are seen as the central categories of European modernity and beyond. We argue, however, that processes that occurred before and beyond the creation of nation-states equally influenced inclusion and exclusion. The categories of belonging and non-belonging were created at (post)-imperial, national, regional, and local levels, and involved various actors. For some years, the social sciences have used ‘belonging’ as a productive concept in researching these processes of negotiation. At a theoretical level and as a methodological instrument, however, ‘belonging’ has not been clearly defined.

This conference intends systematically (1) to contribute to the definition of ‘belonging’ as a research concept, (2) to explore the region as a category of historical research, and (3) to combine regional analyses consistently with perspectives drawn from the nation-state and (post)imperialism, as has been repeatedly demanded in recent literature, (4) to contribute to overcoming a widely criticized ‘methodological nationalism’ via transregional and transnational approaches. We will examine how belonging is created, as well as instances of suppressed or prevented belonging, and the political, social, and personal hierarchies associated with them. How were inclusion and exclusion created? What role did the different forms of boundaries between empires, states, nations, and regions play? What actors were involved in the creation of belonging, in the drawing of borders, and in crossing them? Fractures, resistance, and interrogations can be used to reveal lines of conflict and demonstrate the elementary functioning of the politics of belonging, and the logic behind them. We are interested both in specific local/regional and state practices of belonging, and in the concepts inherent in them.

In the nineteenth century continental Europe was characterized by dynastic developments, a number of wars, and shifting boundaries that thus became, in part, ambiguous. Both the Franco-German border and the borders of (and within) the Habsburg monarchy and the Russian empire can be described as ‘entangled borderlands’ during this period. Their ambiguities had a considerable impact on the economy, politics, and social structure, and they were changed, among other things, by cross-border migrations. After the First World War the right of popular self-determi­nation placed the drawing of borders on to a new legal footing. In its specific application as a legal principle, this new instrument had varying and sometimes paradoxical effects on the negotiation of borders and nationality. This can be traced, for example, by looking at the British Empire, which from the outset was a complex system of hybrid affiliations. With the transition to the Commonwealth, the question of belonging was complicated in a new way, for example, when India had to position itself between ‘Western values’ and non-aligned status, or when newly created republics in Africa were represented by the Queen along with the monarchies of the Commonwealth. Moreover, (sociological and ethnographic) research on migration and citizenship is increasingly examining these everyday processes of negotiation and focusing on its actors (migrants, marginalized groups, civil society, authorities etc.).

On the basis of (comparative) case studies of border regions and the processes of drawing and crossing borders in Europe, in the British Empire/Commonwealth and beyond, during the conference the concept of belonging is applied to historical research, theoretically and methodologically, at micro-level, meso-level, and macro-level, while existing research on nationalism is expanded by transregional and post-imperial perspectives. In order to pursue the questions outlined above, we would like contributions from the following subject areas and or related topics:

central terms and concepts: (1) transnational, transregional, and translocal approaches in historical research; (2) belonging and the politics of belonging in historical research;
(non‑)belonging, exclusion, and inclusion in colonial and de-colonialized contexts;
contemporary descriptions, treatment, and practices of regions, nation-states, and empires in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and their different functions;
the representation, emotionalization, and politicization of empire, nation-state, and region;
the creation of spatial, social, and political borders and border-crossings;
social inequalities and belonging (migration, marginalized groups);
agency and actors in these processes.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Floya Anthias (London) and Philip Murphy (London). We are planning to have sections on, among other things, transnational and transregional case studies, constructions of difference, representations, and (post)colonial history.

The conference ‘Contested Borders? Practising Empire, Nation and Region in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries’ is intended to discuss current research questions with the help of case studies and theoretical-methodological works, and to explore the overarching themes, narratives, and perspectives of research as a whole. In order to make the discussions more intense, participants will be asked to submit their papers (maximum 3,000 words) before the conference, by 2 April 2018. Each paper will then be sent to a commentator. All participants are asked to take on the role of a commentator and chair a panel.

Please email suggestions for papers not to exceed 25 minutes in length along with an abstract (maximum 500 words) and a brief biography including main publications (maximum 1 page) to reach Levke Harders ( and Falko Schnicke ( by 16 October 2017. The German Historical Institute London will reimburse travel and accommodation costs for speakers.

A reviewed English-language publication of selected papers is envisaged, so we ask for original contributions only.

Contact Info:
Dr Levke Harders (Bielefeld University,; Dr Falko Schnicke (German Historical Institute London,

Contact Email:

Call for Contributions: Global South Studies

Global South Studies, a digital platform sponsored by the Global South journal, is soliciting contributions. See Dr. Anne Garland Mahler’s introduction to the Global South heuristic here (and excerpted below):

The Global South as a critical concept has three primary definitions. First, it has traditionally been used within intergovernmental development organizations –– primarily those that originated in the Non-Aligned Movement­ ­–– to refer to economically disadvantaged nation-states and as a post-cold war alternative to “Third World.” However, in recent years and within a variety of fields, the Global South is employed in a post-national sense to address spaces and peoples negatively impacted by contemporary capitalist globalization.

In this second definition, the Global South captures a deterritorialized geography of capitalism’s externalities and means to account for subjugated peoples within the borders of wealthier countries, such that there are economic Souths in the geographic North and Norths in the geographic South. While this usage relies on a longer tradition of analysis of the North’s geographic Souths­ ­–– wherein the South represents an internal periphery and subaltern relational position –– the epithet “global” is used to unhinge the South from a one-to-one relation to geography.

It is through this deterritorial conceptualization that a third meaning is attributed to the Global South in which it refers to the resistant imaginary of a transnational political subject that results from a shared experience of subjugation under contemporary global capitalism. This subject is forged when the world’s “Souths” recognize one another and view their conditions as shared (López 2007; Prashad 2012). The use of the Global South to refer to a political subjectivity draws from the rhetoric of the so-called Third World Project, or the non-aligned and radical internationalist discourses of the cold war. In this sense, the Global South may productively be considered a direct response to the category of postcoloniality in that it captures both a political collectivity and ideological formulation that arises from lateral solidarities among the world’s multiple Souths and moves beyond the analysis of the operation of power through colonial difference towards networked theories of power within contemporary global capitalism.

Critical scholarship that falls under the rubric of Global South Studies is invested in the analysis of the formation of a Global South subjectivity, the study of power and racialization within global capitalism in ways that transcend the nation-state as the unit of comparative analysis, and in tracing both contemporary South-South relations –– or relations among subaltern groups across national, linguistic, racial, and ethnic lines –– as well as the histories of those relations in prior forms of South-South exchange.

CFP: The Munich Crisis and the People: International, Transnational and Comparative Perspectives (Sheffield, 29-30 June 2018)

The Munich Crisis and the People: International, Transnational and Comparative Perspectives

Humanities Research Institute (HRI), University of Sheffield, 29-30 June 2018

Recent events in international politics have highlighted the intricate interconnectedness between diplomatic crises and public opinion, notably public expressions of emotion. As the 80th anniversary of the Munich Crisis approaches, this conference will revisit this ‘model’ crisis and its aftermath, exploring both its lessons and its contemporary resonance. Few diplomatic incidents, before or since, have aroused such public excitement as the events of September 1938 and yet the ‘public’, the ‘people’, the ‘material’, and the ‘popular’ have hitherto been marginalised within a historiography that remains dominated by traditional ‘high’ politics perspectives, often reiterating the ‘Guilty Men’ orthodoxy. Recent incursions into the debate have made progress by experimenting with different methodologies, conceptual frameworks, and a greater plurality of sources, yet there has been a noticeable stagnation in original research. A re-evaluation is long overdue, and this conference will tap into the potential that rests in cross-disciplinary approaches and comparative frameworks. Indeed, the most neglected aspects of the crisis – despite the abundance of sources – are the social, cultural, material, and emotional, as well as public opinion. The conference will also internationalise the original ‘Munich moment’, as existing studies are overwhelmingly Anglo- and Western-centric.

Consequently, the conference will encourage contributions that assess the Munich Crisis in its broadest sense. These could include:

The emotional history (fear, anxiety, panic, catharsis, apathy, suicide, etc.)
Visual, material and linguistic representations
Collective versus individual responses
Psychoanalytic and psychological narratives of crisis
The ‘people’ (broadly conceived) – different generations, gender, class, etc.
The impact of popular opinion and the media
The physical environment – cities in crisis; the landscape, pets & animals
Internationalizing the crisis (especially encouraging how it played out in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, Scandinavia, the United States, the Middle East, the Far East, and the imperial sphere).

Confirmed plenary speakers: Gabriel Gorodetsky, Christian Goeschel, Julie Gottlieb, Susan Grayzel, Mary Heimann, Daniel Hucker, Miklos Lojkos, Andrew Preston, Michal Shapira, Richard Toye, Karina Urbach, Jessica Wardhaugh.

Proposals for papers of 20 minutes or panels of three to four speakers are invited. We are particularly keen to encourage contributions from postgraduate students, recent postdocs, and international scholars. Paper proposals should include a title, a 250-300 word abstract, and a short bio of each participant, and should be submitted to Dr Julie Gottlieb (, Dr Daniel Hucker ( and Prof. Richard Toye ( Please send these by 18 December, 2017.

With generous funding from the Max Batley Legacy to the University of Sheffield, it is anticipated that we will not need to charge a conference fee.

CFP: Amidst Empires: Colonialism, China and the Chinese (Adelaide, Australia, 29-30 January, 2018)

For readers interested in the history of China’s place in the world, see this call for papers for a conference to be held at Flinders University from 29-30 January, 2018. 200-word abstracts are due by 1 November 2017:

Amidst Empires: Colonialism, China and the Chinese, 1839-1997

Flinders University, Adelaide 29 & 30 January, 2018.

Like other non-European states, China came under immense pressure as Europe expanded across the globe in search of territories suitable for settler, mercantile and plantation colonies. Historically an empire in its own right, China nonetheless found it increasingly difficult to maintain its status as a power equal to Europe’s globalising empires. Increasingly surrounded by European colonies and forced to concede territorial enclaves to numerous European powers, China was confronted with the fact that there were increasing limits to its scope for sovereign action. Whether controlled by royal dynasts, nationalists or Communists, this constrained geopolitical context has had enduring effects on China.

At the same time, however, beneath the state Chinese migrants found that these same encroaching European empires opened up new avenues for global mobility, operating as convenient launching pads for lives in regions well beyond the Asia-Pacific region. Some prospered, while others found themselves ensnared in semi-free forms of labour. The reception of Chinese migrants in these new regions ranged from intermarriage and assimilation through to overt forms of state discrimination and grassroots violence.

In an effort to bring together scholars of China and of European empire and colonialism, the conference convenors are seeking papers that deal with the following:

– Chinese state and non-state responses to imperially inflected military conflicts in and around China between the Opium Wars and the Cold War.

– Political, social and cultural responses to Europe’s penetration of China.

– The legal and economic restrictions and freedoms of Chinese migrants in European settler colonial states.

– European understandings of China and its place in the world.

– Microhistories of Chinese migrants and their experiences in imperial and colonial spaces.

– Representations and receptions of the Chinese in Europe’s imperial metropoles.

– The use and effects of Chinese labourers in settler and plantation colonies.

– Decolonisation and its effects on Chinese diaspora communities in ex-imperial spaces.

– The legacies of European imperialism in China.

Please ensure that a maximum 200 word abstract reaches the conference convenors by 1 November 2017.

Contact Info:
Professor Peter Monteath & Associate Professor Matthew P Fitzpatrick

Flinders University, Adelaide Australia;

Contact Email:

Fifth European Congress in World and Global History opens today in Budapest

The fifth European Congress in World and Global History opens today in Budapest. Organised by the European Network in Universal and Global History, the Central European University and Corvinus University and hosted together with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Historical Association, the event brings together some 650 scholars, students, and professionals working on global history.

In line with the centennial of the Russian Revolution, the main theme of the conference is “Ruptures, Empires and Revolutions.” According to the organisers, the aim is “to explore the global context and repercussions of the revolution in particular while debating the role of revolutions in global history in general.” The conference opens with a keynote lecture from Tamás Krausz (Budapest) titled “Lenin on global history and the global historiography on Lenin.” Participants will then take part in more than 150 panels, clustered around fourteen themes in global history:

  1. Actors: Biographies and mobilities
  2. After empire: Complicating colonialism and decolonization
  3. Concepts and approaches
  4. Economy and development
  5. Endings of empires: Collapse and legacies
  6. Global governance and international affairs
  7. Knowledge: Production and circulation
  8. People, labour, and demography
  9. Respatializations
  10. Revolutions and revolutionaries: Comparisons and connections
  11. The making of regions: Transregional encounters and dynamics
  12. The Russian Revolution: Global connections and legacies
  13. Transformations of empires: State formation and society
  14. Wars, ruptures, and violent transformations

Click here for a copy of the programme.  Stay tuned to our website and twitter page for more updates from the Congress.