CFP: The 9/11 Legacy: “History is Not Was, History Is” (New York City, June 15-16, 2017)

For scholars of the US in the world,  here’s a call for papers on the legacies of 9/11 to be held on the former site of the World Trade Center itself:

This conference to be held at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on the former World Trade Center site will explore the broader legacy of 9/11. We seek panel and paper proposals – both traditional and novel, empirical and conceptual – that consider the myriad ways that the events of September 11, 2001, continue to inform the past, the present and the future: both in the United States and around the world.

This was the most globally witnessed event in history and one that led to the longest war in the history of the United States. What, then, are the legacies that ripple out from the memorial fountains here in lower Manhattan across the city, the country, and the globe? As William Faulkner observed, “History is not was, history is.” How has the event of “9/11” reverberated in our understanding of the past and in more contemporary social, political, and cultural life; in the economy, in war and peace, surveillance and security, the geopolitics of the Middle East, the refugee crisis and in the debates over identity, memory and sacred space? What historical processes might we trace – either backwards or forwards – from September 11, 2001? What news headlines can we connect to 9/11 in meaningful and instructive ways: Paris, Orlando, Istanbul, the Arab Spring, Aleppo, the death of Syrian refugee child Alan Kurdi, Edward Snowden, Russia, the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the list goes on…

We welcome proposals that consider the ways in which, to quote Mark Redfield in The Rhetoric of Terror, a “new history begins here at this calendrical ground zero.”

Topics might include (but are not limited to):

9/11 and historiography
9/11 and periodization
Memory and memorialization
Sacred and contested spaces
“America in the world”
The conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia
Acts of terror around the globe since 9/11
The changing face of terrorism
The changing face of warfare and nation-building
Intelligence, surveillance and counter-terrorism
Para-legality, states of exception and rendition
Nationalism, identity, “self “and “other”
Human rights, civil liberties and conceptions of “freedom”
Shifts in cultural production and representation since 9/11
The media, social media and the “image” of terror
The academy, museums and cultural institutions
The return of religion
The refugee crisis
Discussions of time and space; home and homeland
We especially seek interdisciplinary panel and paper proposals that draw on the intersections between these topics and themes in order to explore the ways in which they might (or might not be) traced back to, or through, 9/11. Do they have a narrative coherence shaped by the forces created that day in September? Or do they operate outside the event, as part of some other inevitable geopolitical shift that we now know only by that name-date even if that shift might have happened anyway?

Scholars, practitioners, curators, graduate students and other professionals are all encouraged to submit paper and panel proposals. To apply, send an abstract of less than 300 words and a CV to 2017conference@911memorial.org. Applications are due April 1, 2017.

CFP: BGEAH 2017: “Land and Water: Port Towns, Maritime Connections, and Oceanic Spaces of the Early Modern Atlantic World.” (Aug 29-Sep 3, 2017)

The British Group of Early American Historians has chosen the theme of “Port Towns, Maritime Connections, and Oceanic Spaces” for their 2017 conference to take place from August 29 to September 3, in Portsmouth, UK. While this conference will be of special interest to those studying the Atlantic World, the consideration of intercultural exchange, movement of peoples, and transitional/border zones speak to important questions in global history.  Further details:

The British Group of Early American Historians will hold its annual conference at the University of Portsmouth, 29 August – 3 September 2017.Drawing on Portsmouth’s historic significance as a port town this year’s conference theme is: “Land and Water: Port Towns, maritime connections, and oceanic spaces of the early modern Atlantic World.” Portsmouth was a site of embarkation for those who shaped (or attempted to shape) the political, social, and demographic contours of the Atlantic World: the Roanoke colonists departed from the town in 1587; as did Admiral Nelson for the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It was a hub of imperial force in the form of the Royal Navy and intimately connected with the imperial conflicts across the globe, and also of the protection and then prevention of the transatlantic slave trade.

Yet, as with all port towns, the social space between water and land was a space for contestation and conflict; a space for opportunity and escape.The organisers therefore welcome work that explores the themes of port towns in the early modern Atlantic World in their broadest construction: sites of intercultural exchange, sites of tension, and sites of community. The relationship between land and water is intended to encompass all of the inhabitants of the Atlantic World: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas; Africans; Europeans; and their descendants. Moreover, we are keen to encourage scholars with interests from all parts of the Atlantic World in the broad early modern era. In keeping with BGEAH tradition, however, papers that do not necessarily fit the theme are still invited for consideration.

We invite proposals for panels and papers of many types: from traditional panels of three 20-minute papers to pre-circulated papers/panels to roundtables to “state-of-the-field” reviews. We will accept individual paper proposals, but whole panels are encouraged.Programme Committee: Thomas Rodgers (Organiser), Sheryllynne Haggerty (Nottingham), Rachel Herrmann (Southampton), Gareth Davis (UCL).

Please email proposals to Thomas Rodgers at Thomas.rodgers@port.ac.uk with the subject line BGEAH 2017. Proposals should be sent as a single document attachment with the name of the submitter and BGEAH in the file name (either Word doc. or PDF). Individual submissions should include a 250-350 word summary of the paper and a brief (1-2 page) C.V. Panel submissions should include a one-paragraph overview of the intended session in addition to the individual paper descriptions and a brief C.V. for each participant. The deadline for submissions is March 3, 2017.

CFP: Settlement and Unsettlement: The Ends of World War I and their Legacies (German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C., March 22-24, 2018

Here’s a call for papers on the postwar (un)settlements of World War I, appropriately timed to commemorate the centenary of the 1918 armistice:

The armistice of November 11, 1918, is widely commemorated as the end of World War I, but that event was only part of a protracted process with far-reaching consequences. A series of peace treaties, starting with Brest-Litovsk in 1918 and continuing through Lausanne in 1923, brought the war to a stuttering conclusion. The 1919 Paris Peace Conference and the agreements it produced rank as the most prominent and most controversial aspect of that process. Scholarly debate has long focused on the Paris conference in the context of debates on war guilt, the burdens imposed on defeated Germany, or President Woodrow Wilson’s failure to realize his vision of a liberal world order. This focus was in line with addressing questions such as the rise of fascism, the causes of World War II, or the roots of the Great Depression. Yet the postwar settlements reached far beyond West and Central Europe. They shaped a new global order that, some hoped, would prevent another disastrous global war.

Many consequences of that reorganization are still being felt. The postwar order and the new respect paid to the right of self-determination sparked hopes and expectations while setting up the forces that would deflate them. Regardless of whether the postwar settlements led directly to the renewal of world-wide conflict in the 1930s, as many have charged, they created structures in which the later conflicts arose. A century later, participants in conflicts across the world still trace their grievances back to the pivotal period 1917–1923.

The centenary of the 1918 Armistice in 2018 provides a perfect occasion to reassess the postwar settlement’s global repercussions in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In light of the fresh scrutiny historians have recently given to the world these settlements created, the time is ripe for such a reassessment. That scrutiny commonly centers on the consequences of the Paris Peace Conference itself, the clash of different visions of an international order in full view of a newly assertive global public. The peace settlements created new forms of international organization and global governance. They spelled the end of centuries-old continental empires—the Habsburg and the Ottoman empires—and stripped Germany of its overseas colonies and important parts of its European territory. They initiated the remaking of the political landscape not only of Europe and the Middle East but also of colonized regions far from the wartime fronts, leading to forced population movements and “minority problems” of an unprecedented kind and scale. Political turmoil in Russia and parts of Central Europe brought about the specter of revolution and triggered Western military interventions in paramilitary conflicts and civil wars. International organizations, above all the League of Nations, came into existence after the war that were intent on overseeing interstates relations and creating political, economic, legal, labor, and other codes to regulate them. At the same time, a wide range of groups resisted the postwar political order and advocated alternative systems of sovereignty and sources of power.

With the Armistice, the idea of national self-determination began its global career as a pivotal principle of world order as it fed hopes of peoples around the world for an end to alien rule. The Wilsonian program inspired and mobilized people as far from the negotiations in Paris as East Asia. Enduring problems arose from the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, and challenges to colonialism evolved in response to the creation of the League of Nations’ Mandates Commission. Disappointment with the international order would fuel conflicts for decades.

Events and decisions linked to the end of World War I continue to resonate throughout the world today. The 1920 Treaty of Trianon, for instance, remains a point of reference in nationalist rhetoric in many of the successor states to the Hapsburg Empire. The refusal by the U.S. Congress to ratify the Treaty of Versailles and to approve membership in the League of Nations is still held up as the textbook example of the country’s deep-seated ambivalence about its role as a world power. The Greek-Turkish “population exchange” sanctioned by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne initiated a century of mass expulsions. The reorganization of the Middle East into several proto-nation-states sowed the seeds of regional conflicts that now, a century later, seem as firmly rooted as ever.

In view of exciting new and emerging scholarship on the legacies of World War I, the Max Weber Foundation, the German Historical Institute (GHI) in Washington DC, the American Historical Association (AHA) with the National History Center (NHC), and the German Historical Association propose to convene a conference that takes a fresh look at the events of 1917–1923, at the immediate post-Versailles period and at the cultural, social, and political ripples that the postwar settlements sent across the globe in subsequent decades. The conference seeks to reassess the global dimensions of the postwar moment and to examine both the short- and long-term consequences of the end of World War I from comparative and transregional perspectives.

Themes to be discussed at the conference include, but are not limited to:
the suite of treaties and international agreements that sought to bring the military conflicts between belligerent states to an end and their lasting consequences for the states and regions whose boundaries and relations they codified;
the regime of international organizations that were created or strengthened to oversee postwar relations between states, among them the League of Nations, its Mandate Commission, the International Labor Office, the International Red Cross, and the international court in The Hague;
the idea of national self-determination as a founding principle of the postwar world order, its reverberations and consequences in different world regions and for different population groups, and its uses by different groups of actors;
the postwar expansion and transformation of imperial rule by the victorious powers and the struggle against that rule by subject peoples;
the plans for social and economic postwar order and responses to expectations of disadvantaged and disempowered social groups: demobilization and demilitarization, postwar economic order, gender order, etc.

The conference will take place from March 22-24, 2018 in Washington, DC, at the German Historical Institute. The conference language is English. The organizers will cover travel and lodging expenses.

To apply, send a short abstract of no more than 400 words and a brief academic CV with institutional affiliation in one file by March 31, 2017 to hudson@ghi-dc.org. For more more information, see the conference website (https://www.ghi-dc.org/events-conferences/event-history/2018/conferences/settlement-and-unsettlement-the-ends-of-world-war-i-and-their-legacies.html?L=0).

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.