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Welcome to the Toynbee Prize Foundation

The Foundation seeks to promote scholarly engagement with global history through several activities. Foremost among these is the Toynbee Prize, an award granted every other year to recognize outstanding work in global history. As an affiliated society of the American Historical Association, the Foundation sponsors one session at the Association’s annual meeting. In the years in which the Prize is awarded, the recipient presents a lecture. In alternate years, the Foundation sponsors a session on global history.

Writing the Histories of People in Motion: An Interview with Laura Madokoro

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Laura Madokoro, McGill University

The movement of people across borders, seas and deserts saturate contemporary international news headlines. Refugees are often described in legalistic and sensationalistic terms: the assumption being that the search for refuge is an exceptional and out-of-character experience that should take place within the parameters of international law. Yet the language used to speak about the movement of people has as much to do with its historical context than the actual experiences of movement and migration. Indeed, the history of migration is an ancient one, while attempts to control and rationalize the movement of people only arose with the modern state.

In Elusive Refuge: Chinese Migrants in the Cold War (Harvard University Press, 2016) Laura Madokoro spotlights the history of migrants leaving the post-1949 People’s Republic of China for the then-British colony of Hong Kong and beyond. This movement—and the millions of people who fled China—was largely ignored, especially when compared to displaced peoples in Europe. In addition to recovering these stories, Dr. Madokoro argues that framed in the context of the Cold War they can tell us much about humanitarianism, geopolitics and the shadow of settler colonialism, from the Antipodes to North America and South Africa.

I recently met with Laura Madokoro in Montreal, where she works as a historian at McGill University. She discussed the politics of migration during the global Cold War, the revelatory nature of language when describing people in motion, and her current and future research plans. Elusive Refuge is her first book. You can follow her on twitter via @LauraMadokoro and keep an eye on the evolution of her current projects here.

–Martin Crevier…

CfP: Imperial Legacies of 1919 (Texas, April 2019)

The next year will see the culmination of a half decade of events celebrating and commemorating the centenary of the First World War – a year in which the focus will be on the conflict’s aftermaths and consequences. And at a time when much of the reassessment of the Great War has been concerned with contributions from and effects on colonial territories – which helped truly make the event a war that spanned the world – several conferences have and will be turning their gaze toward the impact of the conflagration on empire, broadly speaking, integrating its impact on such events that are also seeing their centenary as the Amritsar Massacre, the First Egyptian Revolution, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

In that vein, the University of North Texas, located in Denton – part of the Dallas-Forth Worth metropolitan area – has invited paper and panel proposals focused on the imperial legacies of the conflict.…

What We’re Reading This Week

Silk spinning, Chinese illustration, dated 1696. Source: https://www.historytoday.com/reviews/global-success-silk.

TIGER ZHIFU LI

Denise Fisher, “Explainer: New Caledonia’s Independence Referendum, and How It Could Impact the Region,” The Conversation.

Yogita Limaye, “Sri Lanka Crisis: Ousted PM ‘Has Confidence of Parliament’,” BBC News.

Charlotte Macdonald, “A Report Following Suffrage Week 2018,” The New Zealand Historical Association Blog.

James Croot, “They Shall Not Grow Old: Kiwi Screenings Confirmed for Sir Peter Jackson’s WWI Documentary,” Stuff.

YEHOR BRAILIAN

Steve Humphries, “The Last Survivors of the First World War,” Historyextra.

“‘Islam’ as an Epistemic Field: Imperial Entanglements and Orientalism in the German-Speaking World Since 1870,” Trafo.

James Macdonald, “The Curious Voyage of HMS Endeavour,” JSTOR Daily.

Evelyn Welch, “The Global Success of Silk,” History Today.

BOYD VAN DIJK

Damon Linker, “Did Max Boot Turn His Back on the Republican Party, or Did the Party Turn Its Back on Him?,” The New York Times.

Christopher Lee, “Fanon’s Fugitive Archive,” Africa Is a Country.

Richard Toye, “Fidelity Capitalism and the Airline Industry: An Interview with James Vernon,” Imperial & Global Forum.

Claudia Sadowski-Smith, “The New Immigrant Whiteness: Race, Neoliberalism, and Post-Soviet Migration to the United States,” New Books Network.…

What We’re Reading This Week

Patient, Surrey County Lunatic Asylum (1850-58). The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

COLLIN BERNARD

Quinn Slobodian, “Trump, Populists and the Rise of Right-Wing Globalization,” The New York Times.

Seyla Benhabib, “Below the Asphalt Lies the Beach,” Boston Review.

Nadezhda Azhgikhina, “Russia’s Unlearned Lessons From the Failed Revolt of 1993,” The Nation.

Achin Vanaik, “India’s Two Hegemonies,” New Left Review.

MATTHEW BOWSER

Faisal Devji, “Jamal Khashoggi and the Competing Visions of Islam,” The New York Times.

“‘Iconic’ Image of Palestinian Protestor in Gaza Goes Viral,” Al Jazeera.

Tess Riley, “Just 100 Companies Responsible for 71% of Global Emissions, Study Says,” The Guardian.

“Episode 26: Cold War Legacies Roundtable,” Breaking History Podcast.

MARTIN CREVIER

Andrew Harry, “A Dead Sea Scrolls Forgery Casts Doubt on the Museum of the Bible Controversy,” The Atlantic.

Paige Raibmon, “Provincializing Europe in Canadian History; Or, How to Talk about Relations between Indigenous Peoples and Europeans,” Active History.

MEGHNA CHAUDHURI

Theodore Porter, “Madhouse Genetics,” Aeon.

Anne Schult, “Sovereignty, Property, and the Locus of Power,” JHI Blog.

Kate Wagner, “The Palace and the Storm,” The Baffler.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, “The Myth of Meritocracy: Who Really Gets What They Deserve?,” The Guardian.

DEXTER GOVAN

Soutik Biswas, “Delhi Smog: Foul Air Came from India’s Farming Revolution,” BBC.

Stephen Daker, “The Spectre of Militant,” New Socialist.

Matthew Engel, “A View From the Border: Ireland on the Brink of Brexit,” New Statesman.

Aditya Chakrabortty, “Britain Fell for a Neoliberal Con Trick – Even the IMF Says So,” The Guardian.

Development Politics and India’s Cold War Triangle: An Interview with David Engerman

David Engerman, Professor of History, Yale University

In The Price of Aid: The Economic Cold War in India (Harvard University Press, 2018), David Engerman, a leading historian of US and Soviet modernization ideology and expertise, extends his focus to the intricacy of Cold War competition in India. Through an adroit study of Indian, American, and Soviet domestic and international politics regarding aid for Indian development, he analyzes the complex dance behind how and why particular development projects were built. The debates that surrounded these projects attempted to shape, and were in turn shaped by Cold War conflict and the political maneuvering of the Indian state. Price of Aid deftly captures and articulates the contradiction at the heart of development assistance—that international aid for nation-building projects sought by post-colonial states came with consequences that constrained the very state sovereignty those projects aimed to serve.

Our conversation, at Intelligentsia Coffee in Watertown, MA this June, was wide-ranging—on the arc of Engerman’s remarkable intellectual career, the evolution of the historiography on development, the relationship between decolonization and the Cold War, and that of governmentality and geopolitics, to flag just a few themes that arise in the following interview.

Lydia Walker

What We’re Reading This Week

Detail from John Singleton Copley, ‘The Death of Major Peirson, 6 January 1781’, (1783), The Tate. Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND.

YEHOR BRAILIAN

Livia Gershon, ‘The Problem With “Public Charge” Rules,’ JSTOR Daily.

Miles Larmer, ‘Global History for Schools,’ Historical Transactions.

Rachel Dinning, ‘”There Was No Feeling Sorry For Themselves”: Director Peter Jackson on the Soldiers of the First World War,’ Historyextra.

Podcast, ‘GHL Study Circle: Is Global History Facing A Crisis?,’ Global History Lab.

NATALIE BEHRENDS

Una Hadjari & Michael Colborne, ‘Why Ethnic Nationalism Still Rules Bosnia, and Why It Could Get Worse,’ The Nation.

Holland Cotter, ‘Brazil Enthralls With an Art Show of Afro-Atlantic History,’ The New York Times.

Adrien Daub, ‘The Return of the Face,’ Longreads.

Carrie Figdor & Robert Wilson, ‘The Eugenic Mind Project,’ New Books Network.

FATMA ALADAG

Issy Sawkins, ‘There Is Hope For Rohingya Refugees Fleeing Genocide,’ Imperial & Global Forum.

George Eaton, ‘Francis Fukuyama Interview: “Socialism Ought To Come Back,”‘ New Statesman.

Emile Chabal, ‘The Voice of Hobsbawm,’ Aeon.

SEAN PHILLIPS

Pankaj Mishra, ‘Gandhi for the Post-Truth Age,’ The New Yorker.

Yu-Shan Wu, Chris Alden & Cobus van Staden, ‘The Flawed Debate Around Africa’s China Debt and the Overlooked Agency of African Leaders,’ Quartz Africa.

Graham Bowley, ‘A New Museum Opens Old Wounds in Germany,’ The New York Times.…

CFP: Graduate Student Conference: Violence in a Connecting World (Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, March 21-22, 2019)

Interconnectedness and integration of the local into global networks of empire, capitalism, migration, religion, solidarity, and intellectual exchange are pervasive themes in the field of global history. Scholarship on global networks transcends methodological nationalism, problematizes nationalist histories, highlights syncretism and hybridity, and challenges Whiggish teleology. Cosmopolitanisms, transnational exchange, and global solidarity and activism are celebrated…

What We’re Reading This Week

Silvia Federici, Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women (PM Press, 2018).

JAMES PARKER

Silvia Federici, “Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women,” New Frame.

Yohannes Gedamu, “How Ethiopia’s History of Ethnic Rivalry is Destabilizing Its Reform Gains,” Quartz Africa.

Nicholas Grant, “Nelson Mandela and the Racial Politics of US Imperialism,” Africa is a Country.

Emily Baughan et. al, “History and Humanitarianism: A Conversation,” Past & Present.

KRISTIN OBERIANO

Anita Hofschneider, “Why Talking About Anti-Micronesian Hate Is Important,” Honolulu Civil Beat.

Kevin Nadal, “How I Learned What It Means To Be a Filipino-American,” BuzzFeed.

JOSEPH SATISH

Fatima Arkin, “The Ambassadors For Open Access Standards in the Global South,” SciDevNet.

J.N. Sinha, “Decline of an Observatory,” Frontline.

Ramya Tella, “Climate Justice and Gandhian Morality,” Economic & Political Weekly.

Cassandra Willyard, Megan Scudellari & Linda Nordling, “How Three Research Groups Are Tearing Down the Ivory Tower,” Nature.

CHRIS SZABLA

Stephen Sedley, “What To Do With the Kaiser?,” London Review of Books.

Emile Chabal, “The Voice of Hobsbawm,” Aeon.

Sergey Radchenko, “Stumbling Toward Armageddon,” The New York Times.

Gabriel Winant, “What We Do,” The Nation.

Exploring the History of Science and Religion: An Interview with Job Kozhamthadam

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Job Kozhamthadam at the University of Maryland in the 1980s

Few today acknowledge the role of religion in the development of modern science and technology. But scholars have shown that religion has actively contributed to the rise of modern science. Joseph Satish sat down to discuss this and other matters with the award-winning historian and philosopher of science, Job Kozhamthadam.

Kozhamthadam is one of a unique breed of scholars who specialize in the history and philosophy of science – unique, because he also happens to be a Catholic Jesuit priest. His journey from a young boy in a nondescript town in South India to being acclaimed as a pioneer in the history of science and religion in India is interesting and inspiring.

Kozhamthadam is a Professor of Science and Cosmology at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, India. He was previously a Visiting Professor in the History and Philosophy of Science at Loyola University, Chicago. He completed his PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. His first book, The Discovery of Kepler’s Laws: The Interaction of Science, Philosophy, and Religion (University of Notre Dame Press, 1994) was named Outstanding Academic Book of the Year 1994 by Choice Magazine. His other books include East-West Interface Of Reality: A Scientific And Intuitive Inquiry Into The Nature Of Reality (2003), Science, Technology And Values: Science-Religion Dialogue In A Multi-Religious World (2003) and Science, Mysticism And East-West Dialogue (2016). He founded the Indian Institute of Science and Religion (IISR) in 1999.

Joseph Satish (University of Hyderabad, India)