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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.

What We’re Reading This Week

Image 2 of 3 for Nuevo Cocinero Mexicano en Forma de Diccionario
Nuevo Cocinero Mejicano, 1872 (Source: Pazzo Books)

Joseph Satish

Ehsan Masood, “How China is redrawing the map of world science” , Nature

Zoe Jackson, “ARPANET and the Development of the Internet, 50 Years Later”, Perspectives on History

Prerna Gupta & M V Ramana, “A Decade After the Nuclear Deal”The India Forum

Mark Kinver, “Compassionate conservation is ‘seriously flawed'”, BBC News

Sean Phillips

Damon Salesa, “Decolonising the Pacific”, E-Tangata 

Katharina Rietzler, “The Hotel Majestic and the Origins of Chatham House”Chatham House

Joshua Specht, “American Bull“, Aeon 

Mary Hui, “The generations are warring in Hong Kong over the memory of Tiananmen”, Quartz

Yehor Brailian

Keith Lowe, “Was 1945 the World’s Year Zero?”, History Extra

Alexander Lee, “Enchiladas, a Culinary Monument to Colonialism”, History Today

Onni Gust, “Radical Books: Trans Like Me (2017), CN Lester,” Historical Workshop

Nicholas Germana, “Hegel and the Sphinx: The Riddle of World History”, JHI Blog

What We’re Reading This Week

Jean-Pascal Sébah, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, 1890s (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

James Parker

Kapil Komireddi, “Five More Years of Narendra Modi Will Take India to a Dark Place,” The Guardian

Lauren MacIvor Thompson, “Abortion: The Archive Doesnt Lie, but Republicans Do“, Nursing Clio 

Elias Rodriques, “Building Another World: When the Black Panthers Came to Algeria,” The Nation 

Chloe Bordewich

Arafat Razzaque, “Who was the ‘real’ Aladdin? From Chinese to Arab in 300 Years,” Ajam Media Collective

Hala al-Bazri, “بدايات في ‘فرنجة التسطير’’: كيف واكب الشدياق انتقال الكتاب من النخبة إلى العامة,” Bidayat

Sam Haselby, “Muslims of Early America,” Aeon

Chris Szabla

Dexter Fergie, “The Department of Everything,” LA Review of Books 

Adam Shatz, “Orientalism Then and Now,” NYRB

Suzy Hansen, “Timeless Life of the Grand Bazaar,Lapham’s Quarterly

Thomas Wells, “Asshole Nationalism: Toward a New Theory of International Relations,ABC Religion and Ethics 
 

CFP: “(Forced) Migration and Large-Scale Settlement” (Dresden, April 2020)

As world politics continue to revolve around questions and controversies concerning refugees and migration, historians have begun to pay increasing attention to earlier forms of human movement that have been compelled or assisted by states or international organizations, which can offer valuable background and precedents. A conference to be held in Germany next year seeks…

Thinking Global in Turkey: An Interview with Trustee Selçuk Esenbel

Prof. Selçuk Esenbel is Emeritus Professor of Japanese and Asian History in the History Department of Bogazici University. She is also a Professor of History at 29 May University in Istanbul.

Looking at academic calls for papers and conference topics in recent years, there can be no doubt that global history is on the rise. However, despite calls to write “global history globally,” it is clear that global history has not risen in all countries simultaneously. Turkey, which has a long history of hosting many different civilizations has much potential for supporting work in global history. Although this potential is not yet reflected in academic studies relating to global history, international events such as the Global History Student Conference-Istanbul held recently in Istanbul Sehir University are an indicator that work in this field is accelerating.

Our most recent guest, Prof. Selçuk Esenbel is one of the trustees of the Toynbee Prize Foundation, and a leading historian in Turkey. Prof. Esenbel has contributed greatly to the development of global history in Turkey, specifically in relation to Japanese and wider Eurasian history. I got the chance to sit down with Esenbel in Istanbul to talk about the state of global history in Turkey today and her recent book, Japan on the Silk Road: Encounters and Perspectives of Politics and Culture in Eurasia (Brill’s Japanese Studies Library, 2017).

-Fatma Aladağ

What We’re Reading This Week

Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke, 1996 (Source: AFP/Getty Images)

Liat Spiro

Yuliya Komska, “In Search of an Anti-Fascist Language,” Boston Review 

Jan-Werner Müller, “Populism and the People,” LRB

K-Sue Park, “Self-Deportation Nation,” Harvard Law Review 

Tiger Zhifu Li

Greg Lockhart, “What we forget on ANZAC Day,” Pearls and Irritations

Kirsty Needham and Matthew Knott, “White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War,” NYT

Diver breaks record with deepest submarine voyage ever recorded, finds discarded plastic,” NZ Herald

Natalie C. Behrends

David A. Bell, “Daniel Bell at 100,” Dissent

John Schneider, “‘Working’: A Brief History of History,” LA Review of Books

George Packer, “The End of the American Century,” Atlantic Monthly

What We’re Reading This Week

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « Hannah Arendt »
Hannah Arendt (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Matthew Bowser

Stephen Kinzer, “Inside Iran’s Fury”, Smithsonian Magazine

Soutik Biswas, “India election 2019: How sugar influences the world’s biggest vote”, BBC World News

Christopher Clark, “South Africa elections: What are the main issues?”, Al Jazeera

Mapping the Yemen Conflict”, European Council on Foreign Relations

Colin Bernard

Zach Messitte, “As nationalism surges, Italy must reckon with its fascist past“, The Washington Post

Paul Mason, “Reading Arendt Is Not Enough“, NY Books

Samuel Clowes Huneke, “Gay Liberation Beyond the Iron Curtain“, Boston Review

Shakar Rahav, “May Fourth for the World“, China Channel

Meghna Chaudhuri

Adam Shatz, “Trump’s America, Netanyahu’s Israel“, LRB

Nikhil Menon, “Jumbo Exports: India’s history of elephant diplomacy“, The Caravan

David Ciepley, “Wayward Leviathans: How America’s corporations lost their public purpose“, The Hedgehog Review

Sarah Franklin, “Nostalgic Nationalism: How a Discourse of Sacrificial Reproduction Helped Fuel Brexit Britain“, Cultural Anthropology

Rustam Khan

Michael Welton, “Navigating the Intricacies of Habermas“, Counter Punch

Prankaj Mishra, “The Mask It Wears“, LRB

Antonia Weiss and Tim Verlaan, “From Miers to Bjarke: Ten Moments in the Manly History of the Architect’s Model“, Failed Architecture

What We’re Reading This Week

Diego Rivera, Agrarian Leader Zapata, 1931 (Source: MOMA)

Sean Phillips

David Edgerton, “A misremembered Empire“, Tortoise Media

Heidi Tworek, “Information Warfare is Here to Stay”, Foreign Affairs

Rob Gilhooly, “Defining the Heisei Era: Just how peaceful were the past 30 years?“, The Japan Times

Editorial Board, “In Paraguay, Long a Haven for Corruption, Popular Protests Get Results“, New York Times.

David Agren, “Mexico battles over legacy of revolutionary Emiliano Zapata“, The Guardian

Yehor Brailian

Alexander Lee, “Jerk, an Authentic Taste of Jamaican Liberty“, History Today

Madhuri Karak, “Mahatma Gandhi, Master Mediator“, JSTOR DAILY

Adam Higginbotham, “Chernobyl: 7 People Who Played a Crucial Role in the World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster“, History Today

Dexter Govan

Michael Sonenscher, “The Politics of Old Europe“, LBR Blog 

Zeinab Badawi, “Women, hopeful for change, are driving Sudan’s uprising”Financial Times 

Michael Prodger, “An act of faith: resurrecting Notre Dame“, New Statesman

Joan Redmond, “My London history students’ knowledge of Ireland is, at times, shocking“, Irish Times 

Anna Coote, “Universal basic income doesn’t work. Let’s boost the public realm instead“, The Guardian

What We’re Reading This Week

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « winter scene bruegel »
Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Winter Scene with a Bird-trap, 1601
(Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Joshua Milstein

Susan Pedersen, “I Want to Love It[Review of Richard J. Evans, Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History], LRB

Beda Magyar, “Hungary is Lost,Zeit Online

Yoav Di-Capua, “Making the Arab World: A Review [Di-Capua Reviews Fawaz Gerges],” LA Review of Books

James Parker

Mihir BoseAmritsar, 100 Years On, Remains an Atrocity Britain Cannot be Allowed to Forget,” The Guardian

Marwan Bishra, “The Art of Revolution: What Went Right in Sudan and Algeria,” Al Jazeera

Alyssa Battistoni, “States of Emergency: Imagining a Politics for an Age of Accelerated Climate Change,” The Nation

Ben Parker, “Rwanda: What Humanitarians Need to Remember 25 Years OnThe New Humanitarian

Liat Spiro

Darren Byler, “Ghost World,” Logic

Dagomar Degroot, “Did European colonisation precipitate the Little Ice Age?” Aeon 

Isra Syed, “Neoliberal Encasement Infrastructure: The Case of International Organization Sovereign Immunity,” LPE Blog

Adam Tooze, “Is this the end of the American century?” LRB

Fei-Hsien Wang, “Why the Chinese Government has blocked the nation’s most popular soap operas,” Washington Post

From Istanbul to Tokyo: An Interview with Eric Tagliacozzo

Professor Tagliacozzo is Professor of Modern Southeast Asian History at Cornell University. Courtesy of Eric Tagliacozzo.

In 2018, over 2.3 million people went on hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that takes place during the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Dhu al-Hijjah. The pilgrimage is one of the Five Pillars of Islam (alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat and Sawm) and is mandatory for all able-bodied Muslims financially capable of making the journey. Although Muslims make the journey every year from all around the world, the country with the highest percentage of hajjis per capita is not in northern Africa or the Middle East, considered by most to be the center of dar al-Islam (the Abode of Islam), but rather in Southeast Asia: Indonesia.

So observes Eric Tagliacozzo, Professor of Modern Southeast Asia at Cornell University, in his most recent monograph, The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press, 2013). In examining the annual movement of pilgrims from the opposite ends of the Indian Ocean, Tagliacozzo taps in to a process that has been taking place for more than five hundred years: first by sail, then by steam, then by air. Connections between Southeast Asia and the Middle East do not center solely on Islam. They are part of a far more complex network of trade, movement, and cross-cultural exchange. These connections between Southeast Asia and the Middle East are part of a far wider set of connections between peoples along the entire Indian Ocean littoral from eastern Africa to the South China Sea.

As historians have turned to more transnational and global histories in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the field known as the “Indian Ocean world” has blossomed. Studies of the Indian Ocean world focus on the movement and settling of people from all around the Indian Ocean littoral and hinterland regions, which form a single interconnected arena. They examine how connections between peoples in the Indian Ocean world long pre-dated European colonialism. They explore how those connections persisted through the colonial period, both by using and subverting colonial networks. Together, they trace these movements from the pre-colonial to the post-colonial, demonstrating continuities over time that do not exist solely in reference to Europe.

Tagliacozzo himself has significantly contributed to this literature. His work has added enormously to historians’ knowledge of not just Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, and other parts of Southeast Asia–which was his original region of focus–but also the South China Sea, the Arabian Peninsula, and Southwest Asia (the Middle East) all the way to Istanbul. He has demonstrated the deep-seated connections between these regions and the peoples that inhabit them, thereby adding color, breadth, and depth to previously separated national and regional histories. Since the start of his career, Tagliacozzo has worked on these networks in monographs including Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009) and The Longest Journey (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

In this interview, we talked with Tagliacozzo about his previous works and his contributions to scholarship on the Indian Ocean world as well as transnational and global history. We spoke about his days as a 22-year old college student interviewing spice traders from Japan to East Africa. Our discussion ranged from illicit trade in rhinoceros horns to itinerant peoples’ methods of resistance to colonial rule. And we discussed how, often, those two things were one-and-the-same.

– Matthew Bowser