All posts by Aden Knaap

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 (julie.gottlieb@sheffield.ac.uk), Dr Daniel Hucker (daniel.hucker@nottingham.ac.uk) and Prof. Richard Toye (r.toye@exeter.ac.uk). 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.

peter.monteath@flinders.edu.au matthew.fitzpatrick@flinders.edu.au

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

Flinders University, Adelaide Australia

peter.monteath@flinders.edu.au; matthew.fitzpatrick@flinders.edu.au

Contact Email:
peter.monteath@flinders.edu.au

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.

Acts of Faith: Talking Religion, Law, and Empire with Dr. Anna Su

Dr. Anna Su

Religious freedom is back in the news. Just last week, the State Department released its report on religious freedom for 2017. Speaking at its unveiling, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged solidarity with a diverse group of persecuted religious groups: Iranian Baha’is and Christians, Chinese Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists, Pakistani Ahmadiyya Muslims, Saudi Arabian Shia Muslims, and Turkish non-Sunni Muslims, among others. Government officials did not miss the opportunity to extol the US’s “long, strong tradition”  of promoting religious freedom abroad.

No sooner than these announcements were made, reporters began pointing out the gap between rhetoric and reality. In a series of blistering questions, journalists underscored inconsistencies in the administration’s stated prioritization of persecuted Christian refugees; the restrictions on travelers from several majority-Muslim countries; the politicization and selectivity of its interventions; and the absence of any self-reflexivity, particularly in relation to spikes in hate crimes directed at American Muslims. China promptly followed suit, questioning America’s moral authority on religious freedom amid white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville.

The history of America’s interest in religious freedom abroad is the focus of Dr. Anna Su’s first book, Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power (2016). As Su shows, the US has a long history of intervening in countries on behalf of religious freedom. Su tracks the development of official government policies toward religious freedom: first as part of its “civilizing mission” in the Philippines from 1898, then in the democratization of Japan after World War II, and finally through the championing of human rights in Iraq and elsewhere. Working at the intersection of history and law, Su is currently Associate Professor in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. She previously earned an SJD from Harvard Law School, and worked as a law clerk for the Philippine Supreme Court and a consultant to the Philippine government negotiating panel with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Su presented at the Harvard International & Global History Seminar earlier this year. While she was in town, the Foundation caught up with Su to discuss the shifting valences of religious freedom and American empire, as well as the benefits and dangers of watching historical films starring Tommy Lee Jones.

Aden Knaap

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Human Rights and the Global South: A Conversation with Steven L. B. Jensen

Dr. Steven L. B. Jensen

Human rights are facing perhaps their greatest challenge yet. After a failed military coup in July last year, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has led a purge of the country’s central institutions. A much-contested referendum in April only expanded Erdoğan’s stranglehold on the government. Over a similar timeframe, Erdoğan’s Filipino counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, has spearheaded a devastatingly brutal antidrug campaign, sanctioning the extra-judicial killing of thousands of suspected drug users and sellers. In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has imprisoned members of the political opposition, arrested human rights activists, and outlawed many aid organizations. Meanwhile, the United States—traditionally considered human right’s earliest and greatest champion—has seen the election of President Donald Trump. According to a tally compiled by Amnesty International, in just one hundred days in office, Trump threatened human rights in at least as many ways.

Viewed from today’s perspective, it might seem like it’s only recently that the US has ceded global leadership on human rights. But, as Dr. Steven L. B. Jensen shows in his book The Making of International Human Rights: The 1960s, Decolonization, and the Reconstruction of Global Values (2016), the history of human rights was never simply a story of American or Western hegemony. Moving the locus of study to Jamaica, Ghana, the Philippines, Liberia and beyond, Jensen argues that human rights were as shaped from within the Global South as they were from without. In Jensen’s words, actors from the Global South “gave a master class in international human rights diplomacy to both the Eastern and the Western actors.”

Many scholars struggle to connect with non-academic audiences. In his work and in his writings, Jensen straddles the border between academia and international policymaking with comparative ease. Currently a researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Jensen is the author and editor of multiple books and articles. Prior to completing his PhD at the University of Copenhagen, he worked in international development: first at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Southern Africa, and later for the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Geneva. His PhD thesis was published as The Making of International Human Rights last year. Since then, he’s been on something of a roll. Most recently, his book received the Human Rights Best Book Award and the Chadwick Alger Prize for the best book on international organization from the International Studies Association.

The Toynbee Prize Foundation was lucky enough to chat with Jensen during a recent visit to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jensen was in town to attend a workshop on socioeconomic rights convened by Professors Samuel Moyn and Charles Walton at Harvard Law School. Jensen spoke about human rights’ origins in the Global South, how exactly he came to be known as the “Jamaica guy,” and what the future holds for human rights scholarship.

Aden Knaap

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CFP: “Words that Kill,” American University of Paris Conference (Paris, 28-30 May 2018)

For scholars working on violence (both symbolic and material), see this call for papers for an interdisciplinary conference organized by The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention at the American University of Paris:

There is a continuum linking symbolic violence (in images, signs, stories) and physical violence. Social violence is bred by the construction of otherness, the mobilization of myth (purity of origins), the use of libel, falsehoods and mistruths–performative acts that foment hate and generate the conditions of possibility of mass violence. They are common elements of strategic propaganda to scapegoat, contaminate, exclude, and dehumanize targeted groups, preconditions for discrimination, repression, mass violence or genocide. Mass violence requires narratives authorizing killing, words that not only distance perpetrators from their involvement but also rationalize and naturalize injustices, normalize crimes and, in the aftermath, erase them from social memory.

In our current troubled historical moment, where toxic discourses are being mobilized for political ends, there is growing concern and debate over the perilous effects of post-truth regimes, false news and lying in politics. The phenomenon is not new: As Hannah Arendt notes in Lying in Politics, penned after the publication of the Pentagon Papers, “Secrecy…and deception, the deliberate falsehood and the outright lie used as a legitimate means to achieve politics ends, have been with us since the beginning of recorded history.” But it has become increasingly acute, affecting and poisoning political discourse and daily social intercourse.

The aim of the international conference Words that Kill organized by the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention is to reexamine the questions of hate speech and freedom, the production and circulation of lies, and violence-inducing identity discourses. Through interdisciplinary investigation and critique, we aspire to foster intellectual and policy responses to injustice, exclusion, and violence.

We welcome innovative scholarly contributions that examine the multiple dimensions of the problem of hate, the production of otherness, violence and images, language, media and narratives. Potential topics include:

Truth, Lies and the Manufacturing of Otherness

-The epistemological problem: distinguishing truth and lies, facts from falsehood.

-Uses and misuses of history: mythmaking and mass violence.

-Discourses of hate and hate speech.

-Cross-national approaches to free speech and hate speech.

-The manipulation of “fact” in hate speech.

-Manufacturing otherness in narratives, images and language.

-False science and scientism as justification for violence.

Mediating Hate

-The production, circulation and reception of dehumanizing representations and falsehoods.

-Media (new and old), lies, violence and hate.

-The power of images.

-Virality.

-Strategies to counter or control lies and hate speech.

-Performance and truth.

Inciting and Denying

-Propaganda as incitement to mass violence.

-Conspiracy theories and rumor as incitement to violence.

-Genocide denial and revisionism: production and reception.

-Commemoration practices: truth and fiction.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Sarah Banet-Weiser (University of Southern California)

Susan Benesch (Harvard University)

Gérald Bronner (Paris Diderot)

Marc Crépon (CNRS-École Normale Supérieure)

Jayson Harsin (American University of Paris)

Jason Stanley (Yale University)

Organizing committee: Waddick Doyle (AUP), Oliver Feltham (AUP), Philip Golub (AUP), Cary Hollinshead-Strick (AUP), Jayson Harsin (AUP), Constance Pâris de Bollardière (AUP), Susan Perry (AUP), Claudia Roda (AUP), Brian Schiff (AUP) and Miranda Spieler (AUP).

Papers can be given in English or French. Fellowships will be awarded on the basis of financial need and quality of the scholarly contribution.

Proposals for presentations must include an abstract (no more than 500 words) and a short biography (no more than 250 words).

Important Dates:

October 15th 2017: Proposals are due.

December 15th 2017: Letters of acceptance are returned.

January 15th 2018: Registration for the conference opens.

For questions about the conference, please contact us at schaeffer@aup.edu

Call for Submissions: Global Histories, A Student Journal

Our graduate student readers should consider this exciting call for submissions for the journal Global Histories:

Deadline: July 10th, 2017

In recent years, global history has become one of the most ambitious and promising strands of historical research. The approach targets relations, flows, and actors that challenge the assumption of the nation state as a natural and inevitable category of historical analysis. It calls attention to the importance of transnational, trans-regional, or trans-local connections and their influence on the past.

Our upcoming international Global History Student Conference 2017 on May 2th-21st acts as the point of departure for this issue, showcasing how global history is conceptualized and realized in different cultural contexts around the world. To that end, we encourage the submission of research articles related to (or critical of) global history. We suggest the following themes, which represent this year’s conference panels, as a starting point for your consideration:

Global Spaces

Commodities in Transfer

Building Empires

Microhistory from a Global Perspective

Cultural Encounters

Medicine and Disease

Diplomacy and International Relations

Media and Representation

Identities in Diaspora

International Social and Political Movements

We also welcome the submission of history conference reviews. Please review a history conference which you have attended in the last year, focussing on how the conference was intellectually conceptualized and how it related to wider trends within the discipline of history.

Who We Are

Global Histories is a student-run open access journal based in the MA Global History program at Humboldt-Universität and Freie Universität in Berlin. We are looking for submissions from fellow students across the world for our journal’s fourth issue which is to be published in October 2017.

Submissions

Article submissions should be 5000-7000 words and conference reviews 1000-1500 words.

All submissions must be in English, follow the Chicago Manual of Style for footnotes and must not have been previously submitted for publication elsewhere. For more detailed information on our submission guidelines please consult:

http://www.globalhistories.com/index.php/GHSJ/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions

Authors should register on our website www.globalhistories.com to submit their work via our online system.

Questions related to topics or submissions should be directed to submissions@globalhistories.com well in advance of the 10th July 2017 final deadline.

For more information, please consult the journal website.

Servants’ Pasts (Berlin, 11-13 April 2018)

For readers working on the history of domestic work and service in South Asia, see this call for papers for the second international conference organized under the ERC-funded project ‘Domestic Servants in Colonial South Asia’, to be held in Berlin from 11-13 April, 2018:

This conference will explore the various regional histories of domestic work and service within South Asia, as reflected in different language-based sources. It will also explore comparative similarities and specificities in domestic work across diverse imperial, colonial and postcolonial settings. The temporal range will include the early modern and modern periods (sixteenth century to the contemporary). We nevertheless remain interested in soliciting conceptual and thematic contributions extending further in time that would promise to explore the long history of domestic servitude in South Asia.

We invite contributions that explore the ideologies and practices which were deployed to organize domestic work. From the point of recruitment to that of maintaining the boundaries of intimacy and loyalty, among others, law, language, caste, religion, gender, and age played a crucial role in the making and constant reworking of master/mistress-servant relationship. We invite applications exploring the legal and juridical bases of regulation and the everyday maintenance, reproduction and breach of that relationship. This everydayness can include among others gesture, appropriate behaviour, touch, purity, and defilement. Papers based on vernacular sources and visuals exploring these themes are welcome.

Moving beyond the ideological macro-structures and practices of organizing domestic work, we wish to enter into the world of material objects, everyday technology, food, and not least, dress. Liveries enhanced masters’ prestige. The arrival of new commodities, gadgets, and utilities in the household – refrigerators, electric fans and bulbs, motor cars, sewing machines, piped water, tinned food, television to name a few – reorganized domestic work. How did servants react to them? Did these changes instrumentally affect the terms of employability, wage and work time? Did these new changes affect their own households? We encourage contributions on ‘ethnographies of domestic work’ that bring out the textured nature of these changes up to the present.

The changing forms of organisation of work, home and domesticity are crucial to understanding of servants’ pasts. The architecture of the home, the technological changes taking place therein, the move from joint families to nuclear, and the change from bungalows to apartments may tell us more about how servants negotiated these changes. A new kind of domesticity, publicness and politics emerged in the nineteenth century. What is the relationship between cities and servants? Was it different from the earlier period? We invite applications on both specific changes in a particular time period as well as on long term trends and changes.

The master/mistress-servant relationship has been significantly constituted through the use of violence and the languages of affect and intimacy. We intend to explore the forms of servant resistance – individual and collective – that mark this relationship. From everyday forms to that of overt collective action spread across households and cities, how do we read servants’ protests in our sources and how do we account for their transformative potential in the service relationship?

Finally, we invite papers that look at domestic servants in non-South Asian contexts such as the Ottoman empire and other imperial and postcolonial regions, to evaluate and compare histories that may be marked by similar ideologies and practices of race, class and gender. We would especially like to receive contributions on African case studies.

Some possible thematic clusters that we wish to address are the following:

Early modern South Asia
Caste, religion, gender, age & domestic work
Everyday technologies, material objects & architecture
Sensory histories
City & servant
Resistance
Children & domestic work
Ethnographies of domestic work & forms of servitude
Comparative imperial case-studies

We invite 400 words abstract by 15 September 2017. Please send your abstracts to erc.servants@googlemail.com Travel and accommodation will be covered.

Nitin Varma, Re:Work Humboldt University, Berlin

Nitin Sinha, Leibniz ZMO, Berlin

Contact Info:
Dr. Nitin Varma
Research Associate
European Research Council Starting Grant Project on Domestic Servants in Colonial India
Office: IGK Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History, Georgenstr.23, 10117 Berlin
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
T +49 (30) 2093 702 18

CFP: Cities in Colonial Africa and Europe: A History of Separateness and Entanglement (EAUH Rome, 29 August – 1 September 2018)

For readers interested in urban history, see this call for papers for the Special Session 30 of the 14th International Conference on Urban History (EAUH) to be held in Rome, 29 August – 1 September 2018:

As Cooper & Stoler, amongst others, have demonstrated, colonialism is not only premised on asymmetries and distinction, but is also characterized by intertwinement in all domains of daily life. This ambivalence between separateness and entanglement, which is one of the core characteristics and inherent contradictions of colonialism, got a material and spatial expression in colonial urbanism. Moreover, the ‘tensions of empire’ were not restricted to places in colonies, but also shaped spatial relations with other cities, across borders, as well as with and within metropolitan cities.
In recent years, historians have critically engaged with such aspects as the imprint of colonial ideas on spatial constellations and settlement patterns in African cities, the imperial outlook of metropolitan cities, or the role of these cities for anti-colonial activity or post-colonial opposition movements. These strands in urban history have demonstrated the importance of approaches that thwart national, imperial and continental frameworks.
This panel adopts a focus on urban spaces and spatial practices in Africa and Europe in order to scrutinize African-European entanglement and separation. We are particularly interested in papers which address one of the following questions: (1) how do colonial cities and neighbourhoods within them relate to each other across colonial/national, imperial and continental borders; (2) how did different imperial, colonial, national or ethnic identities and experiences ‘find a place’ within African and metropolitan cities; (3) how have imperial, metropolitan, colonial or global cities around the world been used effectively in African politics – both during and after the colonial period?

Paper proposals of up to 450 words can only be submitted online, via the EAUH2018 website. To submit a paper proposal, registration is required (https://eauh2018.ccmgs.it/users/).

After the deadline for paper proposals submission on October 5th, 2017, session organisers will select the final list of participants based on abstract submission, and notification of acceptance of abstracts will be send by December 1st, 2017.

For more information see the conference website: https://eauh2018.ccmgs.it/