CFP: Memories and Visions: China’s Ties with the Outside World through the Belt and Road Initiative (Xi’an, China, September 22-25, 2017)

Scholars interested in China’s Ties with the Outside world will be interested in this conference taking place in Xi’an, China from September 22-25, 2017. The conference is sponsored by the School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Office for Humanities and Social Sciences Research, and International Cooperation Office at Northwestern Polytechnical University.

 This multidisciplinary conference aims to explore themes and topics on China’s ties with the outside world through the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative. Inspired by trade and cultural interactions between China and the countries and regions along the historical overland and maritime Silk Road, the B&R Initiative represents China’s vision and strategy for developing mutually beneficial relations with the outside world in our rapidly changing era.

     Located in Xi’an, the birthplace of Chinese civilization and gateway to the legendary Silk Road, NWPU provides an ideal venue to promote ongoing dialogues on the B&R Initiative. The conference seeks to bring together Chinese and international scholars from diverse transnational and  transcultural perspectives to engage creatively and critically in conversations on cultural and socio-political issues related to the Initiative. We invite submissions of papers, reports, and pre-formed panels on topics related, but not limited, to the following themes:

1. Chinese Culture Overseas: Past, Present, Perspectives

2. Cultural and Historical Memories of the Overland/Maritime Silk Road

3. China’s Soft Power and the Belt and Road Initiative

4. Multicultural Interactions and Global-Local Nexus in the Context of the Belt and Road Initiative

5. The Role of Chinese Communities Overseas in Developing the Belt and Road Initiative

6. Language, Translation,and Cross-Cultural Communication

7. Emerging Trends in Multilingual and Multicultural Education

8. The Impact of Transnationalism on Migration and Return Migration

9. The Influence of Think Tanks and NGOs in Sustainable Development

10. The Coverage of the Belt and Road Initiative in Transnational Chinese Literature and Media Networks

Scholars interested in participating in the conference should submit a  proposal (250 words) with a biography (200 words) to Ms. Li Miao and Dr. Zang Xiaojia at brixian@126.com by July 10, 2017. 

CFP: Women and World War I (Slovenia and Italy, November 2017)

Readers of the global history blog working at the intersection of gender studies and world history may like to explore this international conference to be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Gorizia, Italy in November 2017. Please find below the original call for papers from the organizers:

Women and World War I

The Department of History at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana (address: Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia) and Museo della Grande Guerra/Museo della Moda e delle Arti Applicate in Gorizia (Borgo Castello 13, 34170 Gorizia, Italy) invite you to the international conference Women and World War I, which will take place in Ljubljana and Gorizia on 16-17 November 2017. The conference will be held in English and in Italian.

The first international studies exploring the role of women in the Great War built on the premise that the world-wide conflict changed the gender order and contributed to women’s emancipation. The following decades saw the publication of works that requestioned and relativized this premise, and some of them even denied it (Darrow, 2000). The most recent studies avoid the generalization in terms of positive or negative effects of the war, where women are regarded as a monolithic social category, and consider the diverse and at times also contradictory consequences of the war. They focus on different experiences of individual women, on the formation of different identities, on multifaceted responses, and the emotional culture during wartime (Doan, 2006; Thébaud, 2007; Cole, 2003). They discuss the activities of different social and occupational groups that were dominated by women during the war, e.g. factory workers and nurses (Hallet, 2009). They provide the necessary comparative insights and highlight the attitude of respective segments of the female population towards, for instance, patriotism and citizenship (Grayzel, 2002). In doing so, they draw attention to multifaceted stances, particularly in multi-ethnic state formations (Austria-Hungary), where the national identity did not necessarily overlap with the state identity (Healy, 2004). Other studies parallel and compare public representations with personal testimonies by women with (auto)biographical sources and place themselves to the history of emotions (Cole, 2003). Researches discussing the “female experience” of the war through literature and art (Siebrecht, 2013), and historiographical analyses depicting women in the role of criminals, offenders, protesters, spies (Darrow, 2000; Proctor, 2010; Healy, 2004), but also in the role of victims, for instance, enduring wartime famine, bomb attacks, rapes (Healy, 2004; Grayzel, 2012), and refugeeism (Verginella, 2013; Healy, 2004; Grayzel, 2012) have been mounting up. Parallel to adding new content, we also see an increase in historiographical works on the position of women during the Great War in different national environments (Dittrich, 1994), along with general syntheses, and international comparisons (Sharp, Fell 2007; Grayzel, 2002; Storey, Housego, 2010; Hämmerle et al., 2014).

The discussion of women’s position during World War I in the territory of modern-day Slovenia and its neighbouring regions, particularly in Italy and Austria, has remained a marginal topic. The embeddedness of this subject matter into a more comprehensive study and a general review of the period of World War I are yet to be explored to a sufficient degree. The international contextualization and the comparative aspect remain poorly dealt with as well; the latter will be promoted by the symposium following the conclusion of the project Women and World War I, which was financed by the Slovenian Research Agency and whose results will be presented at the symposium. We invite researches, who focus on the topics stated below and who pay particular attention to the transnational approach and explore the aforementioned subject matters in the territory of the former Austrian-Italian firing line.

The contributions should fall into the following thematic sets:

1. Women in the labour market during World War I

2. Women in the front as nurses or serving as auxiliary military forces

3. Familial relations during World War I

4. Women’s movement and World War I (women and resistance, dissatisfaction with provision, pacifism, demonstrations within the labour movement, criminality)

5. Culture, fashion, and women

6. Women refugees, consequences of the war and women

Those interested in participating in this conference should  submit their abstracts, along with a brief CV, no later than 15 July 2017 to robert.devetak@ff.uni-lj.si. Abstracts should be written in English and should not exceed 200 words.

CFP: ‘Whither the Global Village: Is Globalisation in Retreat?’ (Kashmir, India, October 13-14, 2017)

Scholars of diplomacy and international relations, political science, and the social sciences more generally should check out this timely call for papers for a conference on the state of globalisation today:

The end of the Cold War unleashed an unprecedented wave of globalisation which looked set to reshape the world into a single, interconnected socio-political-economic entity, a global village. While technological advancements like the spread of internet did play an important role in creating this expectation, the driving force behind this accelerated period of globalisation remained chiefly political. It was the victory of the United States of America in the Cold War with its pro-globalisation agenda that provided the critical fillip to forces of globalisation. With the sole hegemonic power in the world promoting a liberal economic world order, hitherto hesitant countries like India and others had no option but to embrace its precepts. Thus, the world witnessed an unparalleled movement of capital, goods and people between countries in the two decades after the end of the Cold War. The global economy became increasingly integrated, capitalists vied for markets and labour across state borders while immigration multiplied. This was the path to prosperity, security and stability was the international consensus, atleast among the elites. It was even hoped by some pro-globalists optimists that like a village, the world will eventually end up with a single economy, a shared cosmopolitan culture and collective security through enforceable common laws through international institutions. This was to be the end of history, the culmination of human kind’s ideological evolution.

However, in the last decade or so, this consensus has come under increasing stress. While the 2008 global financial crisis is a likely starting point for this loss of confidence, issues concering immigration and rising inequalities predate. Recent events like the Brexit and the election of an anti-globalist President in the US who has cancelled freetrade agreements, questioned well-established collecive security measures like the NATO and criticised immigration are symptoms of this phenomenan. Tides of nationalism and economic protectionism are rising across the world and more so in places like Europe which used to be strong advocates of globalism. In this context, it is thus important to ask, is globalisation in retreat? If so, what are the economic implications, specially for developing countries like India and China who have embraced and sought to take advantage of global capitalism in the last few decades? In the secrity sphere, does this signal a firm return to state centric realpolitik? One also has to discuss the future of economic and political immigrants as well as diasporic communities in this changing scenario. This conference seeks to discuss these pressing concerns and invites papers to be presented under following subthemes –

Global Economy: Is Protectionism the Future?
International Security: Back to Realpolitik?
Evolving Role of Diasporic Communities
Immigration and Multiculturalism at the Crossroads
Remapping Gender Beyond Globalisation
Perils & Possibilities for Developing Countries in a Changing World: Perspectives of Africa, Asia and Latin America
Globalism vs Nationalism: Trends and Prospects
Territorial Frontiers and Borders of the Mind: Limits of Cosmopolitanism
Transnational Social Movements: Present and Future
Send your abstracts of 350 words and a biographic note of 200 words as a single MS Word document to : conference.dpg.cuk@gmail.com

Venue of the Conference:

Department of Politics & Governance, Central University of Kashmir

Nowgam Campus-2, Nowgam Bypass, Srinagar, Kashmir, Jammu & Kashmir, India-190015

Important Dates

Last Date for Submission of Abstract: July 1, 2017

Notification of Selected Abstracts: July 7, 2017

Submission of Full Papers: September 12, 2017

All selected papers will be published as part of Conference Proceedings.

Contact Info:
Dr. Abhiruchi Ojha
Conference Convener & Assistant Professor
Department of Politics & Governance
Central University of Kashmir
Email: conference.dpg.cuk@gmail.com
Contact Email:
conference.dpg.cuk@gmail.com

CFP: Geographies of World History (Graduate Conference, University of Cambridge)

Scholars working on the margins of world history and geography will be interested in participating in this conference sponsored by the Royal Historical Society at the University of Cambridge. The event is organized by the convenors of the Cambridge World History Workshop: James Wilson, Stephanie Mawson, Lachlan Fleetwood, Louise Moschetta, Eva Schalbroeck, and Chris Wilson.

Please find below the original call for papers:

Geographies, both real and imaginary, play central roles in world history. Attention to landscape, place, and space has long been essential in telling global stories. Within this framework, geographical features, including oceans, islands, rivers, mountains and cities are increasingly being used as productive lenses for analysing connections and disconnections across and within empires and states. These framings have also been used to successfully disrupt older nationalist and regional organisations of the world, and traditional area studies units. Recently, scholars have become especially interested in geographical intersections, such as those between sea and land, coast and interior, and lowland and highland. Here the work of historical geographers, sometimes overlooked, can help inform the way we conceive of and practice world history. This one-day conference will bring together researchers working on various parts of the globe, including the Americas, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Europe, and across different scales, to discuss the way that geographies – cultural, social, and imaginative as well as physical – provide valuable analytical tools for the writing of world histories.

We aim to facilitate discussion on a variety of topics related to geography and world history, including but not limited to:

Geographies of resistance

Crossing geographies; migration and mobilities

Institutional geographies; architectures of colonialism and anticolonialism

Urban geographies in world history

Race, gender, and space

Thinking geography; cartographers and geographers as colonial experts

This one-day conference will take place at the University of Cambridge on September 30, 2017. We encourage graduate students in any related discipline to apply, and welcome individual submissions or suggestions for panels. Please send an abstract (250 words or less) and a current CV to worldhistoryworkshop@gmail.com by Friday, 16 June 2017.

 

CFP: Research Workshop “Multiplicity of Divisions: Boundaries and Borders of the Habsburg, Ottoman, and Russian Empires in the 19th-early 20th Century” (Kharkiv, Ukraine, September 28-29, 2017)

On the theme of imperial borders and boundaries in Eurasia, see this recent call for papers for a workshop to be held at Hryhoriy Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The workshop will focus on the Habsburg, Ottoman, and Russian Empires in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries:

The workshop will serve as a platform for discussions on the imperial past of East Central Europe and the Black Sea Region in terms of boundaries and borders. The organizers invite researchers to join the discussion about the demarcation lines between the states, regions, the urban and the rural, languages, narratives, religions, nations, and social groups. The workshop will focus on the issues of mutual interaction between borders and boundaries and the communities they are found in. The participants are expected to offer papers based on approaches of post-colonial and borderlands studies, new imperial and transnational history.

We seek contributions in particular on the following topics. This list is not normative and
abstracts on other related topics will also be considered:

Subjects and objects of divisionsAntagonism between the center and the periphery
Dynamics of boundaries and borders
Divisions between “us”, “them” and “others”
Spatial and spaceless divisions
Constructing and deconstructing the boundaries and borders
Overcoming boundaries and borders
The application shall include an academic CV, an abstract of the presentation (max 300 words) and contact details. Please, submit your applications to ethnickh@gmail.com before July 10, 2017. Should you fail to receive confirmation on receipt of your application, please, contact the organizers.

Participation in the workshop is free of charge. Organizers provide for accommodation and catering for participants during the workshop. However, organizers are limited in budget to cover travel expenses for the participants. We shall appreciate if you can cover your own travel expenses from the funds of your universities or institutions. Please, notify organizers in your application whether you need travel expenses to be reimbursed.

Workshop organizers:
Artem Kharchenko (Kharkiv) ethnickh@gmail.com
Oleksii Chebotarov (Lviv / St. Gallen) ochebotaryov@gmail.com
Center for Interethnic Relations Research in Eastern Europe
Center for Governance and Culture in Europe at the University of St. Gallen
History Faculty, Hryhoriy Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University

Contacts:
EMAIL: ethnickh@gmail.com
URL: ethnickh.wordpress.com

Contact Email: ethnickh@gmail.com
URL: http://ethnickh.wordpress.com

CFP: Our World of Water: Histories of the Hydrosphere (Georgetown, November 4, 2017)

For graduate students interested in global histories of water and the environment, the Department of History at Georgetown University has issued a call for papers for a conference to be held on November 4 this year:

The Department of History at Georgetown University invites paper proposals from graduate students for a one-day conference on water-related environmental histories. The conference seeks to bring together students who share common research interests in water and the environment. The conference aims to consider water-based histories in the broadest sense, welcoming proposals with content ranging from irrigation to ocean basins, anywhere in the world and at any time period. Submissions are welcome from students working in any discipline, so long as their work involves change over time, humans, and water. Accepted proposals will be grouped into three moderated panels, each followed by a roundtable discussion between presenters, commentators, and the audience. The conference aims to serve as an intensive training session for participating students to present and receive feedback on their ongoing work (e.g. dissertation chapters and journal articles) from senior scholars and faculty members.

Application Process and Deadlines

Interested students should submit an abstract (up to 300 words) along with a brief curriculum vitae to Matthew Johnson (mpj16@georgetown.edu) by June 30, 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by early July and asked to submit a full version of their papers (between ten and thirty pages) for pre-circulation to conference attendees and commentators by September 23.

Additional Information

Georgetown University will cover the costs of hotel accommodation (two nights) for admitted applicants for the duration of the conference. Attendees are expected to cover their own transportation and other travel related expenses. However, admitted students can choose to substitute their accommodation coverage for a $200 reimbursement towards transportation costs. If there are any further questions, please contact Matthew Johnson at mpj16@georgetown.edu.

For updates and information on last year’s conference, please visit our website (www.georgetownenvironmentalhistory.org).

CFP: Empires: Towards a Global History (Delhi, 3-5 December 2017)

From our friends at the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History comes this stimulating call for papers for a conference charting a truly global history of empire:

 

The proposed conference is premised on the idea that empires drew their strength from a global systemic architecture of hegemony and dominance. The objective of the conference is designed to emphasize how imperial interactions served to reinforce empires within their global scaffolding. “Towards a Global History of Empires” seeks to delineate different strands and interconnected themes that explain both empires’ persistence as well as their mutations over time.

The themes that we propose for the conference shall include:

Political construction of empires and their dissolution
Circulation within and between empires of ideas, techniques, institutions
Circulation of goods and trade links between empires
Movement of people within and between empires
Empires as discursive formations
Plural cultures and imperial centers
Micro history and empire
We invite papers addressing the above themes from all periods of history. We are looking for work that looks at empire from a global history approach that emphasizes connections and encourages comparisons. Advanced research students as well as senior scholars are invited to apply for the conference.

Coordination:

Department of History, University of Delhi, India

Weatherhead Initiative on Global History, Harvard University, USA

Support: Department of History (UGC-Centre of Advanced Study), University of Delhi; Volkswagen Foundation , Germany; and Weatherhead Initiative on Global History, Harvard University.

Contact Info:
Jessica Barnard

Program Administrator, Weatherhead Initiative on Global History

Harvard University

CFC: Postcolonial Economies: Genealogies of Capital and the Colonial Encounter (edited collection, Sept 30, 2017)

For scholars working on the global history of capital and colonialism, with a particular interest in the question of reparations and broader economic-historical questions, here is a for contributions to what sounds like a fascinating edited collection:

 

Regarding an ongoing research project at Columbia University, Barnard student Sabrina Singer reflected that when she walks around the campus, now, she wonders: “What else is history going to forget?” The research Singer and her student colleagues are doing looks at the historical ties between the institution now educating them and the historical institution of slavery. We were prompted to similar reflections having visited Yale’s Peabody Museum and an exhibit there of Elihu Yale’s gemstones collection. Included in the display is a painting of Yale: he is pictured with a large unfinished diamond ring on his finger, symbolizing Britain’s dominance over India. The exhibit inadvertently prompts questions touching the economic legacy of a place like Yale, rooted in imperialist plunder and enslavement given its principal benefactor; Yale worked for the British East India Company as magistrate of Madras, India. He was famous there not only for his rapacious amassing of gemstones but also for the public hanging of a six-year old Indian child.

The economic history of Yale’s founding and its founder involves multiple debts, not just resources (gemstones, in this case) but human bodies and the lives those bodies might have lived had they not been colonized or not been enslaved or not been violently ended. At a time when economists (Piketty 2014; Stiglitz 2013) and educationalists are re-imagining universities as transnational corporations “perpetuating” and “exacerbating” inequalities and a “caste system” (Guinier 2015; Mettler 2014; Stevens 2007), it is perhaps no surprise to find the roots of these institutions lodged deep in historical slavery and other forms of exploitation and oppression. What do the economics of Yale’s transnational and transcontinental work for the British East India Co. mean in terms of the trajectories of wealth and privilege that connect to and extend from the institution, founded and fueled by forms of corrupt funding? What has that capital enabled or foreclosed in the time since? The political context of Yale’s origins extends to and marks, for example, twentieth-century Asian branches of the Yale corporation in regions where the British East India Co. also held sway. The Yale in China Association, through donations from the Ford Foundation and other U.S. organizations, helped establish the New Asia College in Hong Kong and then the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the fifties and sixties.

We take Yale and Columbia as object lessons for a broader inquiry that extends to Asia and marks U.S. educational intervention there. This project addresses not merely the context of the university but political history itself and the colonial economics of border politics, the control of trade, or enslavement and indentured servitude as industrial praxes. It is both a regional and a revisionist study that asks why we have not looked at economic genealogies more generally in our research on postcolonial history and postcoloniality? Why do we not more rigorously assess the roots of wealth and poverty, the costs and benefits of empire to colonizer and colonized alike, the economics of geopolitical annexations occurring in conjunction with decolonization in places like Ireland, India or Hong Kong? It may indeed be, as Joe Cleary recently argued, because postcolonial theory has for too long privileged “modernist-associated terms such as hybridity, polyphony, pastiche, irony, and defamiliarization rather than realist-associated conceptual categories such as historical transition, class consciousness and totality” (2012, 265)?

These questions impel the postcolonial critic toward an ethical project that unpacks systems and structures of economic disparity, toward an examination of the international sites and systems permitting or limiting the generation of wealth and structuring its distribution, not least in regard to international power relations that propel systems of education. Historians are calling for such revisionist readings in term of economics at a time when resurgent imperialist populism drives independence movements in the British Isles. Brexit has incited independence and unification debates in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that are today less nationalistic than economic. British M.P., historian and novelist Shashi Tharoor’s Inglorious Empire (2017) looks, for instance, at the damaging impacts of the two-hundred years during which Britain dominated South Asia. He tabulates the costs not merely of human suffering and loss or cultural colonialism but foregrounds also a well-honed economic accounting. As Ta-Nehisi Coates has recently done in the American context, Tharoor is making the case for (postcolonial) reparations. He calls for symbolic forms of repair for India from a United Kingdom reeling from Brexit. Hong Kong’s own decolonisation has failed to quell a nostalgia for colonialism that is slowly being diluted in the face of vast Chinese economic designs for the Pearl River Delta Region. The Philippines and Japan also weigh up economic and colonial histories and obligations in light of new fiscal interventions in the Asia-Pacific by China. Retrieving labor and economic histories helps unpack the continued sustenance of Eurocentrist theory in the Asia-Pacific at a time when the European project itself is teetering.

At a time when states, universities, and liberal discourses themselves are facing calls for reparations, renegotiations and redress in the face of a revisionist revival of economic histories, the field of postcolonial studies recognises scholarship examining the growth and (re)distribution of wealth as needed, timely and promising. In the scholarship constructing colonial history and postcoloniality one finds an abundance of work dealing with the consumption and perpetuation of Eurocentrist cultural hegemony but little analysis of the roots of amassed property and of protracted poverty, of paid and unpaid labor or paid and unpaid production, of legacies of inheritance, pedigrees of capital and the control of resources and trade as foundations for that hegemony. This project takes as a founding premise that postcolonial studies has paid scant attention to such economic flows; it aims to revisit sites of oppression well-documented in terms of theories of orientalism, alterity and racial and ethnic oppression so as to trace and highlight underlying financial genealogies, strategies of inequality, and literary narratives of exploitation more readily entertained by today’s econocracy.

Such an examination foregrounds the systems of consumption and exploitation that create and sustain socio-economic inequality and political disenfranchisement across the longue durée. The reconstruction of such accounts—a postcolonial epistemology of property and poverty—is also, ultimately, a history of political systems, educational systems, and the “location(s)” of culture. This project starts, therefore, also from the assumption that culture cannot be judiciously unpacked if extricated from the sources and distribution of capital. It reads colonialism as, first and foremost, an economic undertaking, viewing it intersectionally through historiographical, economic, racial and postcolonial frames. Valuing the critical contributions of subaltern historiographers, this project attends to the economic experiences, legacies and subjectivities associated with generating economic growth and dominance and producing economic poverty and powerlessness. Thus we acknowledge—rather than rejecting, as Vivek Chibber does—the essential tenets of Subaltern Studies while bringing them together with the polemic he offers in Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital—his general contention, in Žižek’s words, that “postcolonial theory [has] ignored the larger context of capitalist relations.”

We propose, then, a postcolonial criticism that provincializes Europe and the U.S. (Chakrabarty 2007) by bringing a version of the economic analysis Chibber and Cleary posit together with the historical materialist perspectives of subaltern studies. The retrieval of historiographies of poverty and prosperity leads to an ethics touching the violence of capital and its proliferation or dearth and reveals the deafening resonances of its legacies. What might a postcolonial criticism look like that establishes a scholarly, intellectual and theoretical rationalization for reparations and reads empire through an economic-historical lens in order to evaluate the “cost(s)” of that structure and its economic aftereffects? The project aims to answer that question by unpacking genealogies of capital in/and the colonial encounter in locations across the globe.

We seek abstracts of no more than 1000 words by Sept. 30, 2017 and full chapters of 7000 – 8000 words by Dec. 30, 2017. The editors anticipate that this theme will generate a range of papers that cross the disciplines. Potential topics may include (but are not limited to):

 literary, economic, historical / historiographical, sociological, linguistic, or political science treatments
 perspectives of trade / national resources
 legacies and imperialism / inheritance and imperialism
 the economic other
 political security and insecurity, sustainability, security and colonial economic flows
 decolonizing capital
 academic histories or looks at education and cultural capital or comparative education
 reparations, broadly defined and most especially within contexts of modern empire
 the question of complicit science
 legacies of the East and West India Trading Companies
 memor(ies) and postcoloniality
 economic flows of diaspora and hybridity or traveling monies, colonial circuits
 the political economics of subalternity or postcolonial piracy, criminality, plunder
 economies of nation, nationalisms, national identity, of cosmopolitanism(s)
 the materiality of economic colonialism and/or postcolonial power relations
 re-engaging work of key postcolonial thinkers in terms of its relevance for/to postcolonial economies, or, more broadly, the contemporary intelligentsia and (the possibility of) materialist postcolonial interventions
 vicissitudes of “human rights” vis-à-vis wealth distribution
 property (intellectual, real), theft of, indebtedness for
 perspectives of media / new media

This collection is edited by Dr. Maureen Ruprecht Fadem (City University of New York) and Dr. Michael O’Sullivan (Chinese University of Hong Kong).

Abstracts and short CVs should be submitted by September 30, 2017 to mfadem@kbcc.cuny.edu and osullivan@cuhk.edu.hk.

CFP: McGill University’s IOWC Graduate Student Conference on Indian Ocean World History (Montreal, 20 October 2017)

For graduate student readers interested in the  history of the Indian Ocean world, see the following call for papers:

McGill University’s Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) welcomes submissions for its Graduate Conference on Indian Ocean World History on 20 October 2017. The IOWC is a McGill Research Centre dedicated to international collaborative study and inquiry, both maritime and littoral, of the Indian Ocean world–a macro-region running from eastern Africa east towards China, Japan and Australia.

We welcome papers from graduate students studying any aspect of history related to the Indian Ocean world, including, but not limited to slavery and abolition, bonded labour, and themes in economic history, human-environment interaction, religion, and culture.

Paper proposals should include:
Full name and contact information (including university)
Discipline and focus of research
Title and brief abstract (max. 400 words) detailing the subject, time period and disciplinary approach of study
The deadline for submissions is 10 June 2017. For inquiries and to submit a proposal, please contact Rebekah McCallum or Joseph Howard at iowc@mcgill.ca. Notification of acceptance will be conveyed by the end of June.

The registration fee, to be collected at the conference, is $25. Participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses. Accepted conference papers will be considered for publication in the IOWC Graduate Working Paper Series and/or the Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies.

CFP: Transformations of the Urban: Global Perspectives on the History of Industrial Cities (Moscow, April, 18-21, 2018)

Readers interested in global urban histories should check out this recent call for papers for a conference to be hosted by the German Historical Institute in Moscow from April, 18-21, 2018:

The history of industrial cities is frequently told as a story of decline. At first glance, such a narrative seems obvious, since industrial cities are traditionally understood as places of coal and steal, iron, oil, and mass production. At least since the structural changes of the 1970s, industrial cities thus seem to be a phenomenon of the past. Accordingly and in accord with prominent diagnoses of an end of industrial labour, the prevailing historiography on industrial cities is predominantly concerned with processes of decline and deindustrialisation as well as reorientations and attempts at conversion.
In at least three respects, this seems to be problematic. First of all, these approaches give preference to the spectacular, which can be found more easily in decline and comeback than in persistence. Secondly, this entails an empirical imbalance, as the numerous examples of persisting industrial influence get out of sight. Thirdly, the story of rise, decline, and comeback follows a decidedly Western perspective, which blanks out countless examples beyond this narrow focus.
To counteract these problems, the conference will put an emphasis on two foci. First of all, we intend to scrutinise processes of transformation. Following social scientist Rolf Reißig, we understand transformation as the “emergence of the ‘new‘ within the ‘old‘” with particular reference to the contingencies and discontinuities of this process. In contrast to the more traditional concept from political science, which according to Wolfgang Merkel accentuates “fundamental change”, such an approach allows the description of different tempi and areas of change. Hence, the conference does not merely address fundamental processes of change in industrial cities but rather focuses on less regarded facets such as processes of adaptation as well as persistence and continuity.
Since neither processes of industrialisation nor commodity or resource flows stop at national borders, a global perspective seems necessary. We welcome comparative papers as well as those investigating entanglements and transnational processes of exchanges. It is the comparison of different regions, we argue, which differentiates the conception of an end of industrial cities and, at the same time, allows for an analysis of fundamental geographic shifts of their topology. We are also seeking papers interested in the global within the local, inquiring about the cities’ room for manoeuvre.
Against this background, we ask for papers on the following thematic fields

1) Self-Perceptions and their Mediatisation

While early 20th century cities of the so-called Western World proudly referred to themselves as ‘industrial cities‘, nowadays such a (self-)labelling has vanished almost entirely. Yet, the Indian city Jamshedpur still carries the nickname ‘Steel City‘ and the German city of Wolfsburg refers to itself as ‘Car City‘. These examples indicate that transformations of industrial cities vary geographically and temporally and that they could entail changing self-descriptions. In the perspective of Media History, analyses of the changing representations as well as the inter-relations between self- and public-image seem to be fruitful. In terms of transformations, it seems also promising to approach the images communicated from the vantage point of the topoi evoked, e.g. progress, certainty about the future, tradition, or local history.

2) Crises

Frequently, transformations of industrial cities are processed in the narrative schema of crisis. Instead of adopting this narrative uncritically and, hence, assuming a ‘real crisis‘, as diagnoses of “the Urban Crisis” do, perceptions of crisis should rather be understood as patterns of processing changes of the present. In terms of analysing processes of urban transformations, conflicting or congruent diagnoses of crisis can serve as analytical points of emergence for scrutinising specific constellations of agents or relationships of power.

3) Cultural Policies

For several industrial cities, cultural policies provide an almost traditional mode of coping with processes of transformation. Therefore, a closer look at the persistence and dynamics of these coping strategies seems worthwhile. Potential topics include the development of cultural infrastructures and urban cultural economies as well as city-specific alternatives or logjams. There are numerous and various examples such as reutilising former industrial sites, city festivals or art projects.

4) Urban Development and Urban Planning

If transformation processes are understood as the emergence of the new within the old, questions about urban development and urban planning are of crucial importance. Besides the differences in terms of urban development, e.g. specific restraints due to different political frameworks, similarities and parallels, such as similar structural deficits of industrial cities, are of particular interest. Furthermore, phenomena such as strategies of revitalisation and modernisation provide promising points of reference.

5) Spaces

Industrial cities are particular spatial constellations. Planned and unplanned, industrial, political, and private, converted and unused spaces: these and further spatialities of industrial cities are important objects for investigations of transformation processes. Branch canals or extensive industrial fallows are prime examples for specific spatial arrangements and their effects on synergies, frictions, and impossibilities in transformation processes.

We are seeking papers, which investigate processes of transformation and address one or more of these aspects. Comparative contributions and case studies are as welcome as papers concerned with transnational entanglements.

The conference languages will be German, English, and Russian.

To apply, send an abstract of approx. 300 words and a short CV to Joern Eiben (eibenj@hsu-hh.de) by July 15, 2017.