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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CFP: Transnational Leftism: The Comintern and the National, Colonial and Racial Questions (McMaster University, September 21-22, 2017)

The L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University has put out a call for their upcoming workshop on “Transnational Leftism: The Comintern and the National, Colonial and Racial Questions,” taking place on September 21-22, 2017:

 But as transnational studies of the Comintern, racial equality and the national question have started to show, these prevailing views are not as convincing as they once were. Communist Parties, while certainly answering to Moscow, were able to develop their own positions and engage with ideas of nationalism, anti-imperialism and racial equality on their own terms, to varying degrees, and often interacted with other parties, movements and ideas when doing so…We invite papers on all aspects of the Comintern on issues of race and nationhood.

Send one-page CV and 250-abstract for proposed paper (and any questions) to . The deadline for submission is March 31, 2017.

TPF Trustee Jeremy Adelman on the Future of Global History

In an article published today in Aeon magazine, TPF trustee Jeremy Adelman asks the question “What is Global History Now?” Reflecting on the future of global history, he wonders:

What is to become of this approach to the past, one that a short time ago promised to re-image a vintage discipline? What would global narratives look like in the age of an anti-global backlash? Does the rise of ‘America First’, ‘China First’, ‘India First’ and ‘Russia First’ mean that the dreams and work of globe-narrating historians were just a bender, a neo-liberal joyride?

Ultimately, Adelman presses for the continued need for global history, but one that is as attentive to disunity as it is to unity:

This does not make global history less pressing. On the contrary. One of the ironies is that the anti-globalism movement is immersed in transnational mutual adoration networks. The day after the Brexit plebiscite, Trump travelled to the UK to reopen his golf resort. The British had ‘taken back their country’, he told the bristle of microphones, then returned home to Make America Great Again. Le Pen’s excitement about Trump is well-known. Fyodor V Biryukov, head of Rodina, the Russian Motherland Party, calls this swarm ‘a new global revolution’. It was, we should recall, the global financial crisis of 2008-9 that did the most to ravage the hopes of one-world dreamers, emanating from the sector that had gone furthest to fuse Westerners and Resterners while creating deeper divides at home: banking.

In short, we need narratives of global life that reckon with disintegration as well as integration, the costs and not just the bounty of interdependence. They might not do well on the chirpy TED-talk circuit, compete with Friedman’s unbridled faith in borderless technocracy, or appeal much to Davos Man. But if we are going to come to terms with the deep histories of global transformations, we need to remind ourselves of one of the historian’s crafts, and listen to the other half of the globe, the tribalists out there and right here, talking back.

CFP: “The United States and Global Capitalism in the Twentieth Century,” (Fordham University, March 8th to 10th, 2018).

For scholars of the US in the world, see this call for papers for a conference on the histories of US foreign relations and global capitalism in the twentieth century:

Intense exchanges of people, goods, ideas, and capital occurred in tandem with the rise of American global power in the twentieth century. These transformations had great consequences in the United States and the world and have led historians to ask probing questions: In what ways and to what extent did global capitalism transform American lives and policy at home and abroad? How did American businesses understand opportunities abroad and the role of the U.S. government in facilitating their investments and profits? How did key American industries help shape international policies and what were the limits to their power? How did imperialism, warfare, decolonization, the Cold War, and development paradigms transform American perceptions about the relationship between the global capitalist economy and foreign relations? What were the origins and political trajectories of capitalist ideology that influenced U.S. foreign relations? How did capitalism as a social system affect how different groups of American citizens understood their place in the world?

To apply, send a 250-word abstract and 1-page CV to  by March 31, 2017.

CFP: The Other Globalisers (Exeter, 6-7 July 2017)

For scholars interested in the role of socialist and non-aligned countries in the history of economic globalisation post-WWII, see this interesting call for papers for a conference at the University of Exeter from 6-7 July:

In the wake of the Second World War, the world economy began to ‘reglobalise’ – following the disintegrative processes of the interwar period. This story has most often been told as the final triumph of a neoliberal international order led by the West. Recent research, however, suggests that the creation of our modern interconnected world was not driven solely by the forces of Western capitalism, nor was it the only model of global economic interdependence that arose in the second half of the twentieth century. This conference aims to rethink the histories of postwar globalisation by focusing on the socialist and non-aligned world, whose roles in the rise of an economically interconnected world have received substantially less attention.

See the conference website for more information. Abstracts of 300-500 words and a short CV should be sent to Natalie Taylor ( by 18 March 2017.

CFP: In-Between Empires: Trans-imperial History in a Global Age (Freie Universität Berlin, September 15-16, 2017)

For readers interested in borderlands and other liminal imperial spaces of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, here’s an interesting call for papers for a conference to be held at the Freie Universität in Berlin in September:


By focusing on spaces “in-between” empires – their connectivity, cooperation, and competition – this workshop aims at establishing a trans-imperial approach to the history of empires.

Imperial history has been booming for quite a while. Along the way, innovative approaches such as post-colonial history, global history, or new imperial history have provided us with thrilling insights into the omnipresence and the everydayness of the human experience of empires. Amidst all this diversity, many studies have focussed on entanglements between colonies and metropoles, but much less is known about trans-imperial dimensions of the game. On an empirical basis, inter-imperial perspectives, which compare several empires or consider competition between them, have become more important lately. Yet, such studies are scattered and this kind of research remains in its infancy. We still lack an overarching theoretical-methodological framework with which to address the spaces in-between empires. In other words: whereas national history has been transnationalized in the past decades, the same does not hold true for the history of empires. Thus, we would like to address the current state of research and at the same time ask how a future trans-imperial history could look.

In this sense, we seek to decentralize the history of empires both on the level of empirical research and historiographical narratives. Our questions are as follows: do narratives for each empire change with such an approach? Do they appear less unique? To illustrate this: does the thesis about continuity in German colonialism from the late 19th century to the Nazi regime appear in another light if we discuss German expansion in trans-imperial contexts? Does the notion of the uniqueness of Japanese imperialism, which is often seen as a reaction to or even a mimicry of Western imperialism, still hold true? And, to add a final question: was the British empire the all-defining model for all the others or are the imperial processes of the various nations examples of mutual learning?

By discussing such concrete questions we also seek to address more overarching questions. How can we systemize such an approach in methodological and theoretical terms? Are recent concepts dealing with dissemination and practices of knowledge helpful? How can we integrate studies on anti-imperial agency or violence into the approach? And who were the brokers of trans-imperial interactions?

Research has shown that transnational approaches do not make the nation disappear. We would like to take the same stance in relation to empire. Therefore, in this workshop we will focus on specific cases. The workshop, to be held in Berlin in September 2017, will bring together an international group of scholars who have focused on one or more imperial dimensions of one of the following empires: British, French, Russian, Austria-Hungary, Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, Ottoman, Chinese, as well as the US-American empire. Their contributions should discuss how transcending perspectives can change the perception of the empires they are specialized in, but also discuss possibilities and limits of a trans-imperial approach for the historiography per se. The focus will be on the years between 1850 and 1945. Possible topics include:

Trans-imperial learning, including different actors, such as intellectual or political elites and marginalized groups
Trans-imperial competition or the deliberate non-transfer of knowledge
Anti-imperial actors and their trans-imperial networks, actions, or conflicts
Empires at war and mutual learning in the context of colonial violence
Imperial interactions and the politics of comparison involved therein
Please note that we conceive of the Berlin workshop in September to be a ‘publication workshop’ – a workshop with relatively few but high-profile experts that enables not only in-depth discussion, but that will also result in a publication. More precisely, we intend to publish contributions based on papers (6000-7000 words) presented at the workshop in an edited volume in near future.

Travel and accommodation expenses of all participants will be paid by the organizers.

To apply, please submit a 250-300 word abstract by March 15 to the organizers at,, and