CFP: After Socialism: Forgotten Legacies and Possible Futures in Africa and Beyond (October 13-14, 2017, Bayreuth)

For readers interested in global histories of socialism and development, see this call for papers for a conference to be held from October 13-14, 2017 at the University of Bayreuth:

After years of neglect, a burgeoning scholarship has recently emerged on African socialism, Second-Third World relations, anti-colonial radicalism, and state-directed modernization. This new research turn has productively revisited the history of socialism in the postcolonial world from various angles to reassess its historical dimensions and significance.

This workshop builds on this scholarship with the aim of pushing this broad investigation further. We seek to explore the intellectual transformations that have occurred since the end of “scientific”, “African” or “Arab” socialisms—political ideologies that were once confident, but have since faded. Though neither a universal red line nor a mono-causal explanation exists, this decline gained momentum during the 1980s through growing disillusionment with socialist experiments and the New International Economic Order, the promising luster of East Asian economic achievements, China’s gradual turn to capitalism, and, finally, the collapse of the Eastern bloc and the Soviet Union, which dealt the strongest blow. This demise of a socialist utopianism left a big void. And yet the socialist option has remained an approach and strategy at the grassroots level, as seen in popular movements in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia against growing discontent over forms of ultra-nationalism and global inequality.

In light of these past and present considerations, the workshop intends to address two sets of questions.

The first aims to study how political actors, social groups, intellectuals, and artists experienced these developments during the Cold War period, reacted to their demise, and, at times, reinvented themselves after the end of the Cold War. We are particularly interested in investigating conversions from socialism to new futures or alternative utopias, including the options of religion, human rights, liberal/social democracy, and more broadly within the field of culture. We seek to understand these new rationales as embedded in particular historical settings. What new ideas and futures that filled the void of socialism and how did they relate to it? And how did socialism – for some a political religion, for others a secular master narrative – pave the way for what came next? How were these shifts reflected in the academia, the media, literature, and arts? Furthermore, we seek to examine whether the demise of forward-looking, future-oriented political ideologies, like socialism, fostered a change in time regimes and temporal orders in a broader sense.

For instance, did linear notions of time lose currency? Or did they remain in force, but geared toward another “end of history”? Was the space of the future and its horizon of expectations diminished in favor of the present, or of the past? To what extent were these changes in time regimes transnational or a global phenomenon? Beyond these questions related to temporal orders, we are also interested in concurrent geographical orders (respatializations) triggered by these wide-ranging processes.

A second set of questions focuses on the afterlives of socialism. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, this component of the workshop intends to reflect on the broader impact of the Revolution through Third World socialisms. Despite later disillusionment, Third World socialisms left an important and sometimes unexpected legacy. The democratic movement, Le balai citoyen, which brought down the corrupt government of Burkina Faso in 2014, drew inspiration from the socialist icon of Thomas Sankara. The Kurdish fight for democratic federalism in the Middle East and for the emancipation of women, which has historically drawn and still draws on Leninism, is another important example. Besides these political afterlives in social and national liberation movements, we encourage participating scholars to think of other connections and their complex legacies within present-day struggles for democracy and human rights, education and economic justice, as well as in the realm of popular culture, literature and arts. The question of socialist legacies and representation in current political, social, and cultural movements is a central topic, be it as fragmented symbols, such as the red beret in South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters party, or as direct reference to political icons such as Samora Machel and the usage of his speeches as mobile ring tone.

Following the path of our fellow historians and cultural scientists of Sudan (South Atlantic Quarterly 109, 2010), we wish to pursue the question: “What’s Left of the Left?”.

Practical information – Calendar

Abstracts (max. 500 words) and full papers (8,000-10,000 words including references) may be submitted both in English and in French to aftersocialism@yahoo.com. The workshop language will be English. The papers will be published in a special volume in the first half of 2018. Accommodation and travel costs will be covered (tickets may exceptionally be booked) by the Bayreuth Academy for Advanced African Studies.

Abstracts (max. 500 words, in English or in French) should be emailed to aftersocialism@yahoo.com by April 30 . Accommodation and travel costs will be covered by the Bayreuth Academy for Advanced African Studies.

CFP: YEARBOOK OF TRANSNATIONAL HISTORY (SECOND VOLUME)

For readers interested in transnational history, the second volume of The Yearbook of Transnational History (YTH) is accepting articles for publication. The call for papers explains more:

The Yearbook of Transnational History (YTH) is a newly established peer-reviewed annual journal published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. This annual is dedicated to publishing and disseminating pioneering research in the field of transnational history for an (maybe add interdisciplinary and diverse) international audience.

Exile and Refugee

The focus of the second volume of YTH, is “exile and refugees.” Political changes, revolutions, and military conflict have always forced individuals of very different political orientation, religious belief, and ethnic belonging to leave the country of their birth. In some cases, people’s refugee status has been temporary, in other cases permanent. Often exiles and refugees became citizens of the country to which they fled. Exile and refuge are an important, and yet understudied, phenomenon of modern history. The French Revolution forced both royalists and revolutionaries into exile. The European-wide Revolution of 1848/49 created a stream of refugees who exerted significant influence on the political and social life of the United States. The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Josef Stalin’s terror, Adolf Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933, the defeat of Nazism in 1945, the Greek Civil War (1946-1949), Mao Zedong’s victory in the Chinese Civil War in 1950, the Hungarian Uprising in 1956, the Prague Spring in 1968, Pinochet’s putsch in Chile in 1973, the defeat of the United States in Vietnam in 1975, and the fall of European Communism in the early 1990s, to name just the most prominent events, created a steady stream of exiles and refugees across the globe and turned citizens into refugees and exiles. The group of exiles and refugees included men and women of very different political, social, and economic backgrounds. Among them were Friedrich Hecker, Lajos Kossuth, Leon Trotsky, Albert Einstein, Wernher von Braun, Adolf Eichmann, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Michelle Bachelet, Dean Reed, and Margot Honecker.

In the last five years, academics, journalists, lawyers, politicians, and individuals from several other professions have fled countries such as Turkey, Russia, North Korea, China and settled in countries that offered them a new home. Individuals from developed democracies like Australia and the United States also sometimes seek exile abroad as the examples of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden indicate. As the conflict in Syria and the threat of ISIS persist, refugees from the Middle East are fleeing to Europe and North America. Today, the United Nations estimates that there are about 4.8 million Syrian refugees and 6 million displaced Syrians.

We invite submissions from scholars who work on the phenomenon of exile, refugees, and asylum seekers from the eighteenth century to the present day. We are especially interested in manuscripts that discuss the contributions made by exiles and refugees to the political, cultural, and economic life of the countries that accepted them. We are, of course, also interested in articles that deal with the impact diaspora communities formed by exiles and refugees had back in their home countries. We hope to receive papers that deal with individuals and their contributions to their second home country, papers on groups of exiles and refugees and their impact on their host countries, and systematic papers that provide a theoretical approach to exile and refugee studies as part of the transnational paradigm.

We welcome articles from both professionals and advanced PhD students that are based upon original research. Articles should be between 7,000 and 10,000 words (including footnotes) and follow Chicago Style.

Submissions should be emailed to the editor, Professor Thomas Adam, tjth@fdu.edu by November 1, 2017 to be considered for inclusion in the second volume. Please ensure that you have included all relevant contact information on a separate page, including your name, your professional or institutional affiliation, and a permanent e-mail address. The main document should be prepared for blind review and not include any author information.

CFP: Rethinking and Renewing the Study of International Law in/from/about Latin America (Bogotá, September 26-28, 2017)

The universities Externado de Colombia, Rosario and Los Andes as well as the History Section of the Latin American Society of International Law, the Network on Rethinking International Law Teaching in Latin América (REDIAL) and the Red de Aproximaciones Postcoloniales al Derecho Internacional have joined in a collaborative effort to convene a three day symposium on “Rethinking and Renewing the Study of International Law in/from/about/ Latin America”, taking place September 26-28, 2017.

The event looks to address three main topics of concern: 1) the colonial/postcolonial heritage and structures of international law in the region 2) the revised or untold histories and historiography of Latin America’s international law 3) the past, present and future of teaching international law in the region and its relation to both its colonial/post-or neo-colonial dimensions as well as its history and historiography.

Some general questions that we are interested in: Is there a “Latin America” in international law today? What did “Latin America” mean in international legal histories in the past? Is a regionalist perspective still an effective way to examine our past, present and future in relation to international law and global governance? How should scholars re-engage with the regions colonial past and neo-colonial present? What histories are told about the region’s role and how should they be re-examined? In what ways are we teaching international law today and how do our pedagogy re- inforce blindspots and bad legacies? How should we teach international law from Latin America today?

Paper proposals, due April 3, 2017, may be submitted in Spanish, Portuguese, French or English and presented in either language but we cannot guarantee simultaneous translation for all events. Proposals should include the day in which the applicant wants to present, a 500 word (max) abstract description and a biographical paragraph of the applicant’s education, current institutional location, and relevant publications.

Email information to paola.acosta@uexternado.edu.co. And visit http://dip.uexternado.edu.co/call-for-papers-rethinking-and-renewing-the-study-of-international-law-infromabout-latin-america-september-26-28-2017/ for more information.

CFP: Spaces of Interaction between the Socialist Camp and the Global South. Knowledge Production, Trade, and Scientific-Technical Cooperation in the Cold War Era (Leipzig, October 26-27 2017)

For readers interested in East-South relations during the global Cold War, see this call for papers for a conference to be held at the University of Leipzig from October 26-27 2017:

International studies on Cold War history have overcome the simplified model of two superpower–dominated blocs defined by a rivalry along an impenetrable Iron Curtain. Transnational history approaches have reintroduced the explanatory axis of an economic divide between the Global North and the Global South. Other than in previous Cold War approaches, the (semi-)peripheries have taken centre stage. The recent debate has highlighted the significance of relations between Soviet bloc and developing countries in shaping the spatial order of the Cold War. “Socialist globalization” has become an integral part of the global post-war economic expansion. Contributing to this debate, our conference will focus on concrete spaces of economic East-South interactions. Transnational hubs, institutions, and infrastructures will be taken as a starting point to identify actors, interests, and power relations.

The conference is organized by Project B3 “East-South Relations during the Global Cold War”, which is part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199: “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” at the University of Leipzig. The SFB is developing a historical narrative about the change of spatial orders under global conditions and a systematic approach that establishes a typology of spatial formats by exploring different scales of territories, networks, chains, enclaves, corridors, (special) zones, as well as the various indications of virtual and transnational spaces. Within this framework, Project B3 “East-South Relations in the Global Cold War” aims to challenge Cold War perspectives that take “Moscow’s” hegemony and centralized control by national communist parties for granted. To this end, the project asks to what degree were the borders of the Soviet bloc actually blurred and redrawn as a result of relations and interactions between the socialist camp and the Global South (with a special focus on African countries).

In what we call “spaces of interaction”, we intend to examine contact and exchanges of actors from the Soviet bloc and from the Global South. These spaces, to a certain extent, emerged and functioned beyond – or at the margins of – national control and opened up pathways into “the world”. Examples include, but are not limited to, ports, transport ships and fishing vessels, international train traffic infrastructure, construction sites, trade fairs, stock markets, joint multinational enterprises, international banks, international economic organizations, scientific conferences, international expert journals, etc.

We invite speakers to present research on such tangible spaces. Taking these examples as a starting point, we would like to discuss how in (the making of) these spaces different scales such as the local, the national, the bloc, and the global were intertwined and to what extent they became platforms of competition and of negotiation of interests between different actors. Furthermore, we want to discuss in which way the “global condition” played out and was addressed there. The guiding questions are the following: Who were the protagonists of these interactions and what were their interests and motives? How did they choose or create such spaces of interaction? Did these spaces become a relevant platform for negotiating different interests? To what extent did the interactions replicate seemingly dominant spatial order of the global Cold War? Did they blur or redraw the borders of the dominant spatial formats – that is to say the bloc and the nation-state?

The conference is organized into three main sections:
-Section 1 “Knowledge production” deals with the transfers of models of development and more generally of economic knowledge in fora of experts, ranging from scientific conferences to expert journals to international organizations.
-Section 2 “Trade and its infrastructures” looks at the exchange of goods and capital between socialist and “Third World” states and more specifically focuses on the infrastructures of international trade from transport facilities to trade fairs to negotiation rounds about trade contracts as a meeting point of the “Second” and “Third World”.
-Section 3 “Scientific-technical cooperation/Development aid” examines the sites of negotiations over and the realization of technical assistance, which consisted of large construction projects, more decentralized developmental measures in rural areas, and the training of specialists.

While we are aware of the overlap between the three topics, we think that a discussion about the dividing line between trade and assistance, for example, will be fruitful for developing a better understanding of the tension in the socialist states’ foreign economic activities between political claims of an “internationalist solidarity”, on the one hand, and economic interests, on the other. We especially welcome proposals focused on the interconnections of European socialist countries with African states. A roundtable discussion about the role of socialist countries in the UN project of a “New International Economic Order” (NIEO) with experts who participated in the NIEO-debate in the 1970s will be held on the first evening of the conference.

Proposals with title of the presentation, abstracts of 200 to 400 words, as well as information about the status and progress of the research project and affiliation of the participant should be submitted to Bence Kocsev, bence.kocsev@uni-leipzig.de by 30 April 2017. The selected participants will be notified by mid-May 2017. Although funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are expected to be available to a certain extent, we ask potential contributors to explore funding opportunities at their home institutions as well.
Working language of the conference is English. A selection of contributions will be published in a collective volume. We will ask contributors to send short draft papers (10 pages max.) at the beginning of October in order to circulate them among participants in advance.

Global Interior: A Conversation with Megan Black About the U.S. Interior Department in the American World Order

During the middle of a troop and advising “surge” to Afghanistan following the election of Barack Obama, U.S. Defense Department officials and Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a blockbuster announcement: Afghanistan, formerly best known for its export of opium, was said to be on the brink of becoming the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a rare mineral essential for the production of modern computers and smartphones. American geologists had stumbled onto dusty old Soviet maps of the country produced during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Their quality was not terrific, but they hinted at enormous mineral deposits hitherto untapped that could turn Afghanistan from a large net recipient of foreign aid to a state flush with extraction-based revenues, like neighboring Turkmenistan, or Caspian Sea oil and gas giant Azerbaijan. American geologists soon conducted aerial surveys of Afghanistan that allowed them to photograph the interior of the Central Asian state. Thanks to American-made “advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment,” the U.S. had produced “a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface” and “the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted.”

The announcement, made in 2010, seemed like good news for the Afghans. But beyond obvious ongoing questions about when (if?) security conditions in Afghanistan will ever permit mining corporations the confidence to make major investments in that country, the episode also raises questions about the role of the United States in th world and the nature of sovereignty in which access to mining data may be just as crucial as political sovereignty over the piece of real estate in which this niobium deposit or that lithium bed might be located. What does political sovereignty mean for a post-2001 Afghan state if its main real hope for self-financing comes from the interface of U.S.-produced data with an international bidding process over which an Afghan people may have only limited say? While the contradictions are perhaps particularly vivid in the case of Afghanistan, the drama of how extractive industries are entangled with the sovereignty of less powerful states and nations—not least Indigenous Peoples—is an ongoing story. Recent events such as the Standing Rock protests make this ever more clear.

Megan Black, author of “The Global Interior” and our latest guest to the Global History Forum

The work of our most recent guest to the Global History Forum, Megan Black, makes clear the history behind episodes like these. A Lecturer in History at Harvard University and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Black studies the United States Department of the Interior as an institutional prism through which to see a new history of U.S. global reach since 1890. Often misunderstood as an obscure branch of the U.S. government, the Department of the Interior, in Black’s account, turns out to be a crucial agent of American power toward the outside world in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Rather than seeing Interior as a mere manager of that which was already “inside” the U.S. polity, she sees it as the crucial actor in a process of “interiorization” whereby resources once external to the American homeland (whether in the North American West or anywhere in the world) were made legible and potentially extractable.

While one might expect Interior’s mission to have ended once the frontier was closed and the American West swelled with settlers, Black’s account shows how Interior reinvented itself as a crucial agent for the discovery and management of “strategic minerals” around the world — first in nearby theaters in the Americas, and later globally. Studying the rise and fall of the Department of the Interior and the logics of “interiorization” it relied upon, then, constitutes not just a lens to understand the nature of American hegemony in the 20th century. It’s also a crucial story for understanding how what it meant to be sovereign changed in light of the discovery of new aerospace, computing, and nuclear technologies, and the complex mineral chains required to maintain them. While our conversation with Black therefore provides a lens into one of the most dynamic historiographical literatures today—namely that of U.S. foreign relations—it also provides a terrific example of what it might mean for scholars of global history to take minerals and mining more seriously as subjects for investigation. Outgoing Toynbee Prize Foundation Executive Director Timothy Nunan recently sat down with Dr. Black to discuss her research as well as her forthcoming book manuscript, The Global Interior. Continue reading

CFP: On the Matter of Blackness in Europe: Transnational Perspectives (University of California, Santa Barbara 4-5 May 2017)

For scholars interested in the transnational history of blackness, see this call for papers for a conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara to be held from 4-5 May 2017:

The presence of Black people in Europe dates back to the early medieval period. Since then, Black people in Europe have contributed significantly to the archives of radical Black epistemologies in various ways. Within this contribution, distinct points of departures exist with regards to socio-historical conditions and divergences of anti-blackness in European nation states. However, academic scholarship on the articulations and formations of Blackness in Europe have gained more attention in the last decades. Recently, the multiplicities of European Blackness (as ontology, identity, and/or alignment) are often subsumed under the framing of “Black Europe.” The attention given to this area of study is due in part to the resistance of Black people rendered non-citizen within Fortress Europe, urban insurrections in the aftermath of police killings of Black youth in Paris and London—as well as other cities in European countries—mobilizations against anti-black imagery, and representations in public spaces such as those against Zwarte Piete in the Netherlands.

The symposium “On the Matter of Blackness in Europe: Transnational Perspectives,” which will take place at the University of California, Santa Barbara 4-5 May 2017, aims to trace the articulations of transnational Black solidarities and struggles for Black lives in the European context by foregrounding less explored paradigms of Black formations, creations, improvisations and Black struggles throughout Europe and beyond, putting a focus on the multiplicities of what has become taken for granted in contemporary discussions of “Black Europe.” With the aim of dismantling the homogeneity of the Black transnational experience in European contexts while simultaneously attending to how the various struggles for Black lives unfold, we will engage with lived experiences of Blackness and Black political struggles in various European contexts and geopolitical dynamics. Further, the symposium will interrogate the power relations at work within academic scholarship that determines what becomes monolithically referred to as “Black Europe.”

This call is for junior scholars, early career researchers, and/or independent researchers to present and discuss their respective research projects, either on panels or on roundtables to enact intergenerational, transnational and collective discussions. We invite proposals for papers and roundtable presentations that address any of the following:

What can Blackness mean in/for Europe?
How have contemporary contributions to the transnational continuations of the Black radical tradition been brought to bear in various European contexts?
How do various Black struggles unfold in the face of genocidal border regimes, urban policing and surveillance, neoliberal austerity policies and the current rise of right-wing extremism and Islamophobia?
What geographies and elements of Blackness or Black diasporic identity are privileged in European discourses and how can we unsettle these asymmetries?
How do marginalized experiences of Blackness within Europe, especially the interventions of Black Muslims, LGBTQI*, and/or those rendered non-citizen (e.g., refugees or asylum seekers), challenge one-dimensional conceptualizations of Blackness. How can we be more accountable in centering them?
Which kind of Black aesthetics, creative formations and emancipatory poesis are challenging the colonial legacies of Europe?
How does Blackness shape and reconfigure space and how is Black place-making maneuvered alongside the intersectional lines of postcolonial urbanism?
How do the politics of Black Lives Matter travel to and depart from these contexts? What can BLM mean in contexts that do not meaningfully contend with “race” as a recognized category of difference and subordination?

300 word abstracts including affiliation and a short bio should be sent by 20 March to Vanessa Thompson and SA Smythe at blacknessmatterseurope@gmail.com.

CFP: Spain and the American Revolution Conference (Johns Hopkins, June 2018)

For readers interested in Spain’s role in the American Revolution, here’s a call for papers for a conference to be held at Johns Hopkins University from June 8-10, 2018:

The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invite proposals for papers to be presented at the Ninth SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution. This conference shall examine and reconsider Spain’s role in the American Revolution. Though the participation of France in the American Revolution is well-established in the historiography, the role of Spain—France’s ally as a result of the so-called “Family Compact” that united the two Bourbon monarchies—is relatively understudied and underappreciated. This neglect is surprising, given Spain’s significant material and martial contributions to the American effort from 1779. The renewal of interest in global and international history makes such continued neglect untenable: Spain and Britain clashed repeatedly during the global war of which the American Revolution was but one theater, whether in the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast and Florida, Minorca, and Gibraltar. Following the establishment of American independence, Spain remained one of the nascent republic’s most significant allies and the Spanish empire became one of its most significant neighbors and, often illicitly, trading partners.

Proposals should explore an aspect of the involvement of Spain in the American Revolution and may consider, secondarily, Spain’s (and Spanish America’s) interactions with the United States in the early republican period. All approaches and historiographical orientations will be considered, whether diplomatic, cultural, military, economic, social, imperial or intellectual.

Proposals should include a 300-word abstract and a short (maximum 2-page) CV. Proposals should be submitted by June 1, 2017 to gabriel.paquette@jhu.edu, with the subject line “2018 SAR Annual Conference Proposal”. Notification of acceptance will be given by the end of June 2017.

Publication of accepted papers, following revisions, in an edited volume with a major university press is anticipated soon after the conference. It is therefore required that participants submit their full-length (c. 6,000 words), relatively polished papers for pre-circulation two months prior to the conference itself (i.e. by April 8, 2018).

To apply, send a 300-word abstract and a 2-page CV by June 1 to gabriel.paquette@jhu.edu, with the subject line “2018 SAR Annual Conference Proposal”.

CFP: Journal of Working-Class Studies Special Issue, June 2017: Popular Revolt and the Global Working Class

For scholars of labor history in a global context, see this timely call for papers for a special issue of the Journal of Working-Class Studies:

Epitomised by Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and Australia’s hard line on asylum seekers, we are living in a time of global revolt against establishment systems of governance. Working-class, poor, and other disenfranchised people are appearing as both agents and casualties of change.

What can help explain this moment? Economic precarity, nationalism, protectionist sentiments, xenophobia, anti-elitist resentment, or a combination of these elements? Who truly suffers, and who benefits, from times when, as Michael Moore suggested, the masses throw a ‘human Molotov cocktail’ like Trump at politics-as-usual, or use the Brexit referendum as a way to send a message? And how is class uniquely shaping this moment of popular revolt, reaction, and — on a more hopeful note —potential ‘consciousness raising’ around the intersection of class with issues like immigration, refugee sanctuary, health care, environmental degradation, and human rights more generally?

This issue of The Journal of Working Class Studies seeks essays including, but not limited to, investigations of:

· The impact of protectionist trade policies on working-class people
· The effects of hard-line immigration policies on working-class communities
· The impact of Brexit, Trump’s presidency, or other disruptive political events on working-class people of color, the LGBTQI community, and/or other marginalized communities
· How nationalist racism operates in working-class communities
· Voting patterns of working-class people
· Working-class attitudes toward immigration policies
· ‘Anti-elitism’ and class
· The role of working-class activism in resisting nationalism and protectionism

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017.

GLOBAL/UNIVERSAL HISTORY: A WARNING

From our friends over at the blog of the Journal of the History of Ideas comes Disha Karnad Jani’s reply to TPF Trustee Jeremy Adelman’s essay. Jani writes:

In reading this version of global history through Buck-Morss’s Hegel, Haiti and Universal History, I have tried to suggest that we make ourselves unhelpfully vulnerable as historians when we drive the stakes of our narratives into shifting sands. I am not suggesting here that global historians did not, or do not, see the complications or limitations of the approach. As I noted above, there are many ways to write global history, and hindsight will always see blind spots and stumbling blocks more clearly than those who were writing histories even a short while ago. I have been concerned here with a very specific feature of this field: a mission to write a story of the past shaped by an occluded and willfully blind cohesion. Orienting an historical approach around an assumption about the future “progress” of the world does little more than make us prone to hasty retreat as soon as that future is jeopardized by the caprice of the “real world.” In Buck-Morss and in Adelman’s essay, I read a warning. If a single, redeeming, and final world-historical force ever calls out to you, either plug your ears with wax or tie yourself to the mast, because there are other, more distant calls the siren song is doubtless drowning out.

University Lecturer in Caribbean and Atlantic History since c.1500, University of Cambridge

For those on the job market, here’s a new position in Caribbean and Atlantic history, with an interest in world history more generally, at the University of Cambridge:

The Faculty of History is seeking to appoint a University Lecturer in Caribbean and Atlantic History in any period since c.1500. Candidates must have exceptional abilities in research and teaching. The post is based in central Cambridge and is available from 1 October 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The successful candidate will have an outstanding and developing research profile in early or late modern Caribbean and Atlantic history. The ability to teach in the history of Latin America and south Atlantic history over a wide temporal and geographical range will be an advantage. The incumbent must: have excellent communication, interpersonal, and organisational skills; show a commitment to supporting students academically; and be able and ready to co-operate in Faculty affairs, including undertaking administration.

The appointee will be responsible for teaching Caribbean history as well as contributing to general World history teaching, at all levels from first-year undergraduate to PhD. She or he will be expected to offer a taught course to the MPhil in World History and to supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations. In due course, the appointee will be expected to design and teach a Part II Specified or Special Subject paper on a Caribbean or Atlantic topic, and to play a part in convening Part I papers and directing the MPhil in World History.

The Faculty welcomes applications from both early-career scholars and those who already have established careers. By the start of the appointment, the successful candidate must hold a doctorate (or equivalent) in a relevant field.

For more information, visit the job portal. Applications must be submitted by 29 March 2017.