CFP: “In Global Transit: Jewish Migrants from Hitler’s Europe in Asia, Africa, and Beyond”

Readers of the blog interested in the global history of migration and immigration may like to participate in a conference exploring new perspectives on Jewish flight and exile from Nazi Europe.

The event is organized by the German Historical Institutes London and Washington DC together with the newly established Branch Offices of the Max Weber Foundation in Delhi, Beijing and Berkeley, CA. This conference is to be held in Kolkata, India and will explore previously neglected places of Jewish refuge, particularly in Africa and Asia and also consider Jews from outside the Third Reich who were forced to flee Europe. The event is scheduled to be held in 2018, but the deadline for submission of abstracts is February 28, 2017. The call for papers from the organizers provides the following details:

The German Historical Institutes London and Washington DC together with the newly established Branch Offices of the Max Weber Foundation in Delhi, Beijing and Berkeley, CA are organizing a conference on new perspectives on Jewish flight and exile from Nazi Europe. The majority of scholarship on this topic has so far focused on the flight and emigration of Jews from Germany and Austria and on the destinations where the greatest numbers of people ended their journeys: the United States, Central and South America, and Palestine. The most recent additions to this extensive scholarship focus on previously neglected places of refuge, particularly in Africa and Asia and also consider Jews from outside the Third Reich who were forced to flee Europe.

Building on that scholarship, this conference aims at expanding the geographical, temporal, and conceptual lens on Jewish forced migration. This approach promises to offer new insights not only into the experience of the refugees but also into the reach of anti-Semitism and racism against the backdrop of colonialism and war. Many refugees traveled long and circuitous routes, which could take weeks, months, or, if longer stopovers were involved, sometimes years, with the final destination often unforeseeable.

During this conference we would like to pay special attention to neglected temporal and spatial aspects of forced migration from Nazi Germany and occupied Europe. We will focus on the destinations and processes of migration, giving particular attention to colonial and semi-colonial settings and the transit phase of migration. We are particularly interested in three main themes/areas of inquiry:

Economic and Humanitarian Aspects of Emigration and Escape. In transit, refugees had to rely on or cooperate with various local, national, international, and transnational actors and organizations — governmental and non-governmental, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. We would like to find out more about such entities and their interactions with refugees and other actors. One question we are interested in exploring is in what ways both non-Jewish and Jewish people involved in the transit of Jews from Europe may have profited from the refugees’ often desperate situations (e.g. states selling citizenship, human traffickers, shipping companies, etc.)

Encounters with Race, Racism, and Colonialism. Whether the refugees stayed temporarily in colonial India, for instance, or ended up settling in South Africa or the United States, they were confronted with racism directed at them as well as members of other ethnic and/or religious groups. We would like to explore how Jewish refugees experienced racial discrimination in the places that offered them refuge. What role did notions of ‘European superiority,’ ‘race,’ and ‘civility’ play in encounters between refugees and locals? How did Jews reflect on and come to terms with the complex, often intertwined layers of identity and belonging, particularly in colonial contexts (being outlawed and uprooted, while being reinforced in their self-identification and perception as European and thus privileged, but also classified and sometimes confined as ‘enemy aliens’ during the war)?

Multidirectional Encounters and Knowledge Transfer in Colonial and Semi-Colonial Wartime Contexts and their Aftermath. Jewish refugees brought Nazi persecution and war into regions that otherwise were only peripherally affected by the conflict and about which locals were often poorly informed. In this way, these places of refuge were also centers of learning, knowledge production and exchange, and we invite papers that investigate these processes and the long-term consequences for the refugees’ later lives. We are particularly interested in the experiences of different age groups and the specific knowledge adolescent migrants produced or culturally translated, but will also welcome new approaches toward class and gender.

Goals: The conference aims to bring researchers in the fields of migration, exile, and refugee studies into dialogue with specialists in Jewish history, colonial history, and the history of knowledge. We particularly welcome applications from doctoral students and recent PhD recipients.

We wish to address common research gaps and questions and to situate them in the context of general migration history. Framing emigration, exile, and refugee history as an entangled history in colonial contexts and situating it also in the history of the “Global South” can serve as a special prism for better interpreting processes that extend beyond Jews and Jewish history. In this way, we would like to extract these histories from often rather victim-centered narratives and explore more forcefully the interactions with people outside of the refugee/migrant communities as well as differences within these communities themselves. By doing so, we hope that the conference will contribute to shaping a new field of research—migrants’ knowledge in historical perspectives.

The workshop language will be English. Successful applicants can receive grants for travel and lodging expenses.

Further conferences on related topics will be organized by the Max Weber’s recently established offices in Berkeley and Beijing in 2019 and 2020 respectively. 

Please send a short abstract of no more than one page and a brief CV to Susanne Fabricius (fabricius@ghi-dc.org) by February 28, 2017.

If you find the above call relevant to your area of research, please send your abstracts to the organizers by February 28, 2017. You may find further details at the events page on the GHI website.

CFP: Institutions and International Law in Eastern Europe (Leipzig, September 28-29, 2017)

For readers interested in the history of international law and international institutions, here’s a call for papers with a particular focus on Eastern Europe:

International law is enjoying increasing popularity among historians of global and international affairs, due to a re-reading of legal norms and rules that questions a state-centered approach. Instead of seeing law as an outcome of state behavior, recent scholarship has examined the transnational character of law and legal communities, and the oftentimes complex negotiation processes that precede the codification and subsequent ratification of international conventions. This perspective aligns with the focus on border-crossing relations and on professional and nonstate actors and institutions that has become essential to global and international history. Moreover, connections forged between the history of international law and discussions of the limits of legal universalism have increased the legal dimension’s relevance for historians of empire and decolonization. Encircling notions of hegemony, imperialism, and civilization, and scrutinizing the role of international law in imperial and civilizing missions, this strand of research has given rise to regional histories of international law.

Scholars have begun to explore the relationship between legal and regional developments by asking how international law has been tailored to serve specific regional interests, problems, or conflicts. This approach complements the focus on the law’s imperial bias and acknowledges the entanglement of legal and political agendas while also emphasizing the agency of regional actors. It also concedes that regional appropriations of international law could serve these actors’ own agendas or be a vehicle for emancipation.

The workshop unites research on the history of international law with studies on Eastern Europe to investigate the controversial role of international law in the complex and contentious reordering of the region since the Congress of Vienna. The workshop proposes that the extraordinary density of political, social and ethnic conflicts and the decades-long struggles over territorial boundaries in Eastern Europe have left clear traces in international law. More specifically, the workshop addresses these issues through the lens of international institutions, which offer a starting point from which to identify topics; single out involved states, groups, and transnational actors from East Central and Eastern Europe; and reveal how regional constellations were universalized in the process of negotiating and implementing international norms and rules.

The workshop stems from a research project at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) that deals with processes of juridification in international relations. The project advances the argument that the history of conflict in Eastern Europe has shaped modern international law to a significant degree. This contention holds for the results of the Crimean War (1854–1856) and the regulations formulated by the Congress of Berlin (1878), as well as for minority protections after World War I and the status of the Free City of Danzig, to mention a few examples. The main output of the research group will be “Law and History in Eastern Europe,” a three-part handbook to be published by de Gruyter in 2020. The handbook’s second part seeks to illuminate the relationship between law and international institutions from an Eastern Europe perspective. To this end, workshop participants might contribute chapters to the handbook.
The workshop welcomes contributions that cover the 19th and 20th centuries. Papers should focus either on legal issues in international institutions in Eastern Europe, or on the representation of Eastern Europeans in international institutions concerned with international law. Regarding subject matter, we invite papers presenting case studies from within the region that also connect to the wider topic of the legal transformation of international relations. Inter-regional comparisons are particularly welcome.

Participants are asked to submit their papers no later than two weeks before the start of the workshop. The workshop will be held on 28 and 29 September 2017 at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) in Leipzig, Germany. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered.

Proposals (max. 750 words) and a short CV should be sent by 10 March 2017 to Isabella.loehr@leibniz-gwzo.de.

Lecturer in Global and Imperial History, University of Exeter

For those on the job market this year, here is an attractive position at the University of Exeter, via their Imperial & Global Forum. The University is seeking a Lecturer in Global and Imperial History. As the call for applications notes:

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university that combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter has over 21,000 students from more than 130 different countries and is in the top 1% of universities in the world with 98% of its research rated as being of international quality. Our research focuses on some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today.

The post of Lecturer in Global and Imperial History will contribute to extending the research profile of History at Exeter, particularly in areas related or complementary to the transnational history of imperialism, globalization, and decolonization since 1750. This full time post is available from 1st September 2017 to 31st August 2020 in the College Humanities on a fixed term basis.

The successful applicant will hold a PhD or equivalent in global or imperial history area and have an independent, internationally-recognised research programme in an active field of historical research related or complementary to existing Exeter strengths. He/she will be able to demonstrate the following qualities and characteristics;   a strong record in attracting research funding, or demonstrable potential to attract such funding, teamwork skills to work in collaboration with existing group members, an active and supportive approach to inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research that will help to foster interactions and links both within the University and externally, the attitude and ability to engage in continuous professional development, the aptitude to develop familiarity with a variety of strategies to promote and assess learning and enthusiasm for delivering undergraduate programmes.

Interested? You can learn more via this job portal; applications must be submitted by February 15, 2017.

Toynbee Prize Foundation Names Aden Knaap Executive Director

The Toynbee Prize Foundation has elected Aden Knaap, a PhD candidate in History and the Knox Fellow at Harvard University, as the second Executive Director of the Toynbee Prize Foundation, effective June 1, 2017.

Knaap, a native of Australia, received  his BA in History (Hons I) from the University of Sydney in 2014, and an LLB (equivalent to a JD) from Sydney Law School in 2016. Prior to beginning his doctoral education at Harvard, he was a research associate with the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney.

Knaap focuses in his work on international and imperial law, world government and international order, and the League of Nations and the United Nations. The author of several pieces in publications such as the European Journal of International Law, History in the MakingCosmopolites, and Honest History, he is at present working on several projects, including, in his words:

a book project on the history of international adjudication and arbitration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; a second project on conceptions of world federalism among individuals and civil society organizations of the early to mid-twentieth century, exploring questions of sovereignty, territoriality and jurisdiction; and an article on how early Australian internationalists adopted and adapted European ideas of the League of Nations, in a process I term ‘domesticating’ internationalism.’

In assuming the position of Executive Director, Knaap succeeds the Foundation’s first Executive Director, Timothy Nunan, who has held the position since 2014. Under Nunan’s leadership, the Foundation significantly expanded its web presence through the establishment of the Global History Blog and the Global History Forum. Additionally, the Foundation’s site now features contributions from an international team of Editors-at-Large. Nunan, formerly an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, is since 2016 an Assistant Professor and Freigeist Fellow at the Center for Global History at the Freie Universität Berlin.

As the process of transition proceeds this spring, we hope to make further announcements about changes and new features to the Toynbee Prize Foundation’s website.

CFP: International Postgraduate Port and Maritime History Conference

From Cape Town as the “Tavern of the Seas” to Liverpool as the “World in One City”, ports pose some unique questions–and opportunities–for global historians. The Centre for Port and Maritime History has organized a two-day international conference in late April for graduate students and early career researchers who work on shores, coasts, and other watery subjects. The CFP:

The Centre for Port and Maritime History will hold its second annual postgraduate conference at the University of Bristol on 20-21st April 2017. The aim of this two-day conference is to bring together postgraduates and early career researchers working on any aspect of port or maritime history across a wide range of chronologies and geographical settings. It is hoped that this event will encourage postgraduate students to become part of the vibrant research community brought together by the International Postgraduate Port and Maritime History Network. As this network is international, we particularly invite proposals from researchers working at institutions outside of the U.K.

Possible themes, are not limited to, but may include:

  • Urban culture in port towns and cities
  • Literary representations of ports and maritime endeavour
  • The economics of trade and commerce by sea
  • The social and economic impact of naval warfare
  • Crime and deviancy at sea and on shore
  • Shipbuilding, navigation and maritime instruments

Proposals for both 20 minute papers, and for panels of three papers are welcomed. Abstracts of 250 words, along with a short, biographical note, should be sent to Siobhan Hearne siobhan.hearne@nottingham.ac.uk and David Wilson david.wilson.101.2013@uni.strath.ac.uk by 5pm (GMT) on Monday 27th February 2017.

Call for Papers: Bucerius Young Scholars Forum on “Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives” (German Historical Institute West, UC Berkeley)

Young scholars working in the global history of migration will be excited to participate in a new annual program offered by GHI Washington and explore the history of migration from a supra-epochal, trans-regional and also interdisciplinary perspective. The 1st Bucerius Young Scholars Forum is scheduled to take place at the GHI’s upcoming branch office GHI WEST at UC Berkeley in November 2017.

The call for proposals provides more details about participating in the forum:

The GHI invites proposals for papers to be presented at the 1st Bucerius Young Scholars Forum, to take place at its branch office GHI WEST at UC Berkeley in November 2017. We seek proposals specifically from post-doctoral scholars, recent PhDs, as well as those in the final stages of their dissertations.

The Bucerius Young Scholars Forum is a new annual program designed to bring together a small transatlantic group of ten junior scholars from Germany, Europe and North America to explore new research and questions in the history of migration with a particular focus on questions arising from interlacing the perspectives of migration and knowledge, as these are extremely thorough and open to current debates. The forum is connected to the Annual Bucerius Lecture on “Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives”, given and commented on by two prominent figures in the field of migration studies. Planing with precirculated papers, in the course of two days, the participants will give short presentations  of their individual research projects and – together with their mentors and peers – engage in discussions on the state of the research field.

The knowledge of migrants and their role as producers and translators of knowledge has so far received very limited attention. Existing research on this topic predominantly focuses on the early modern period and colonial history. Consequently, the Bucerius Young Scholars Forum aims to look at this phenomenon from a supra-epochal, transregional and also interdisciplinary perspective. Questions that we are particularly interested in are: What role did categories such as religion, ethnicity, gender, or age play in building a ‘new’ life? How important was the transfer, application and acquisition of knowledge in this process? To what extent have migrants introduced their traditional knowledge into their new societies? What knowledge was modified, and what new knowledge did they develop during the migration process? What was the significance of knowledge for their integration into existing social structures and into society as a whole? Which educational concepts did the various migrant groups pursue, and which were imposed on them by the receiving society or by the respective state? How did this correlate with integration or segregation? And lastly, what role did young migrants, who were able to translate between both countries and cultures, play?

If you’re interested in participating, then consider submitting an application to the organizers through the following guidelines:

While the focus of the forum will be on historic discourses, we also want to encourage young scholars working in the fields of social sciences, political sciences, anthropology, migration and area studies to apply. The workshop language will be English. The organizers will cover basic expenses for travel and accommodation. Please send short proposals (750 words max.) and a one-page CV to Dr. Sarah Beringer (beringer@ghi-dc.org) by February 15, 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by late April 2017.

The Great Divergence and the Marketplace of Ideas: Joel Mokyr’s “Culture of Growth”

The Economist has recently published a review of Joel Mokyr‘s new book, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy – a new contribution to the debate over “the great divergence” between the European and Asian economies, and how Europe’s wealth and power began to overshadow India’s and China’s by the nineteenth century. Mokyr, an economic historian at Northwestern University, focuses on the role of ideas in bolstering European productivity in the early modern period – a consequence of the opening up of its marketplace of ideas from one regulated by religious dogma to one that fostered innovation. Why did such a free market take hold in Europe, rather than Asia? Geography, Mokyr claims, played a role: the continent’s fragmentation into a number of states allowed thinkers to sell their ideas elsewhere when their home countries made them feel unwelcome.

The magazine gently criticizes Mokyr for omitting the historiographical context for his arguments; his is not, it argues, “for someone looking for a general introduction to the great divergence,” and makes no attempt to strengthen its argument by taking on competing theories – such as, presumably, Kenneth Pomeranz’s seminal Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000), which focused not on the role of ideas, but material factors (for example, the ease of extracting coal, and the development of colonial trade) to answer the question of why an industrial economy rose first in Britain rather than China. “Those familiar with the historiography will have their own grumbles,” the review acknowledges, but finds its own greatest frustration in how “untestable” Mokyr’s vague contentions about the “greatness” of European intellectual figures’ contribution to the world of ideas is – how exactly these figures set the stage for economic superiority.

CFP: Fascism and the International: The Global Order Today and Tomorrow (Mexico City, June 18-20, 2017)

For readers interested in the international dimensions of fascism, here’s an exciting (and topical) call for applications for an interdisciplinary workshop  to be held at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City:

Paper proposals for this workshop on the international dimensions of fascism are warmly invited from scholars, artists and activists working in and across the fields of international law, history, history of art, international relations, postcolonial studies, sociology, anthropology, political theory, geography, feminist studies, queer theory and critical race theory.

In light of the recent and very rapid re-centring of fascist discourse and iconography across the world, the workshop aims to take fascism and its concept of the international seriously as distinctive, perhaps even inevitable consequences of the unification of ‘the world’ as such since 1492.

While the workshop leans towards the field of international law, its character is strongly interdisciplinary. Interventions (including textual, visual and aural interventions) from individuals and groups working in all disciplines are welcome.

We are delighted to say that the workshop is being hosted by the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) in Mexico City. The MAM, itself a landmark in modernist architecture, is home to one of the most important collections of anti-fascist art in Latin America. An introduction to and tour of this collection will be included in the workshop’s activities.

The topics we expect to be investigating include (but are by no means limited to):
** The international dimensions of neo-fascist groups like Golden Dawn and the ‘Alt-Right’, together with their historical connections to(and disconnections from) inter-war fascist movements;
** The innovations made by fascist international lawyers and theorists of the international in the1920s and 1930s in Italy, Japan, France, Germany, Argentina and elsewhere;
** The relationship between decolonisation, fascism and anti-colonial theory in Indonesia,Martinique, Ethiopia and elsewhere in the Third World;
** The political economy of fascism;
** The influence of fascist ideas and practices on post-War dictatorships, both in the Third World and in the West;
** The fascist and anti-fascist history of everyday concepts such as environmentalism,motherhood, freedom, space and accumulation;
** The relationship between fascism/anti-fascism and Futurism, Dada, Surrealism and other art movements both during the inter-war period and today.

Abstracts should be sent to the workshop’s organiser, Rose Sydney Parfitt (Melbourne Law School/Kent Law School), at rose.parfitt@unimelb.edu.au no later than 1 March 2017. The organizers of the conference note that spaces are “very limited,” so apply soon! For more information, see the workshop Facebook page.

Connected Anticolonialisms: The Sultanate of Mysore and the American Revolution

Surprisingly little research focuses on how the mid to late eighteenth century rise of the British East India Company’s empire in India coincided with the disintegration of British control over what became the United States. The few exceptions, moreover – most notably P.J. Marshall’s Making and Unmaking of Empires: Britain, India, and America c.1750-1783 – also tend to focus on connecting those episodes through a British lens.

Blake Smith adds a new angle to the examination of these simultaneous developments by connecting them through relatively novel perspectives: that of the French Empire, which supported both the American and Indian states that resisted British colonial encroachment during the period, as well as that of the relationship between two polities fighting off metropolitan power: the American colonies and the Indian Sultanate of Mysore. In a recent article for Aeon, the Northwestern University and EHESS (Paris) PhD candidate, whose work focuses on the French East India Company, describes both the American colonists and the Mysorean resistance as “members of a global coalition funded by the French government, which saw both uprisings as a chance to humble Britain” in the wake of French defeat in the Seven Years’ War.

This was not lost on the Americans, Smith writes. They had cheered the growth of British power in India and the goods it brought to their ports, but lamented that the empire prevented them from trading there of their own accord – the Boston Tea Party was, in part, a protest not just against the high prices the East India Company’s monopoly brought with it, but Americans’ inability to launch their own competition. Naturally, they became immersed in the idea of independent American and Indian states alike – and lionized Mysore’s leaders, Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan – until the south Indian state’s ultimate defeat by Britain was sealed. French support for global, anticolonial resistance had plunged it into debt, and funding for Mysore decreased dramatically, despite attempts to revive the relationship on both sides. Tipu Sultan’s state fell in 1799, and soon after the new United States became too immersed in its own colonization of the North American interior to thrill to anticolonial activities elsewhere.

CFP: Britain and the World Conference (April 2017)

The British Scholar Society is accepting paper proposals for its 2017 conference (to be held from April 6-8, 2017), which will take place in Austin, Texas:

As ever, the conference is concerned with interactions within the ‘British world’ from the beginning of the seventeenth century to the present and will highlight the importance of transnational perspectives…The conference accepts both individual twenty-minute papers and complete panel submissions. Panels are expected to consist of three papers and should be submitted by one person who is willing to serve as the point of contact. Complete panels must also include a chair. In addition to abstracts for each individual paper, panel submissions should also include a brief 100-150 word introduction describing the panel’s main theme…

Submissions are bieng accepted on a rolling basis and should be emailed to  editor@britishscholar.org . For further information on the format of submission see the conference’s website.