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Assistant Professor in World History, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Fresh off of our recent posting of a position in world history at Emerson College, here’s another opportunity for scholars of world history located in the Boston area, this time at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Founded in 1873 as the first free-standing public school of art and design in the United States, the…

Assistant Professor of Modern/Contemporary World History, Emerson College

Here’s an exciting job posting from the Institute for Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisicplinary Arts at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. The Institute, a recent advertisement notes, invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor starting in Fall 2016. Qualified applicants should be prepared to offer courses in modern and contemporary world history. Preference will be…

Harvard Graduate Student Conference on International History (CON-IH)

Fresh off our recent announcement about Tufts University’s upcoming graduate student international and global history conference, we’re pleased to post another recent call for papers from one of the other international history centers in the Boston area, namely the Harvard Graduate Student Conference on International History (Con-IH 16), slated to take place on March 10-11,…

City of Light, City of Revolution:  Walking the Streets of Anti-Imperial Paris with Michael Goebel

Paris, nous t’aimons! For centuries, foreigners have come to Paris with the expectation of reinventing themselves, finding inspiration on the Left Bank, or simply being bowled over by what was–once if not now–the European cultural capital par excellence. For decades after American writer Ernest Hemingway spent a much-mythologized few years in the French capital, wannabe writers would frequently waste a few years moving from café to café along the Seine in hopes of making their prose more like that of Hemingway’s, or indeed other writers from the Lost Generation. Today, as a burgeoning East Asian middle class seeks to explore the City of Lights, the institution of the stay in Paris has taken on new dimensions, as Japanese and Chinese tourists reportedly suffer from “Paris Syndrome,” whereby an exaggerated, romanticized view of the French metropole quickly gives way to the reality of cigarette butts, push Parisiens on the Metro, and–in lieu of Maxim’s–the encroachment of le Big Mac onto the French diet, if not also waistline.

Michael Goebel's "Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism"

Michael Goebel’s “Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism”

Paris, in short, defiantly challenges the stereotypes that both travelers East and West so readily project upon it. But as the work of Michael Goebel, Professor of Global and Latin American History at the Freie Universität Berlin and the latest guest to the Global History Forum, shows, scraping off the romantic stereotypes attached like barnacles to the banks of the Seine might make not only for a more realistic engagement with what remains a great city, but also with the history of the emergence of the “Third World.” For as Goebel shows in his new book, Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism, Paris has long played host to a rather different cast of characters than the romantic writers of the 1920s, or the stick-figure models imagined to inhabit the city by so many Asian tourists. More compellingly, during the 1920s and 1930s, Paris played host to an astounding array of intellectuals who would go on to lead national liberation and Communist movements around the Global South in the decades to come. Some of them, like Ho Chi Minh, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping, are familiar to almost everyone; others, like George Padmore, César Vallejo, and Messali Hadj, perhaps less so, even if they, too, played a fundamental role in the making of African, Peruvian, and Algerian history. During the interwar years, Goebel shows in his tightly argued book, published by the Global and International History Series of Cambridge University Press this fall, Paris became a crucial incubator for different models of anti-colonial confrontation that would reshape the world in decades to come.

Recently, Goebel made a visit to Harvard University to present his work at the Harvard International and Global History Seminar. Before the talk, Toynbee Prize Foundation Executive Director (and fellow author in the International and Global History Series that Anti-Imperial Metropolis appears in) Timothy Nunan sat down with him to discuss the making of the book and his future plans as he seeks to integrate not only the history of metropole and colony, but also–as we find out in the conversation–of social and intellectual history.…

Chinese, Christian, Global: Discussing Chinese Popular Histories with Dr. Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye

The Republican Period (1911-1949) was an extremely important period for modern China. During this time, China was often politically divided, while there was no strong central government. Meanwhile, however, people in China enjoyed relative cultural, social, and religious freedom. Some people became Communists, while others converted into Christianity. Although China was generally seen as a weak and poor country by people in the West in the first half of twentieth century, some ordinary Chinese  people grew increasingly aware of China’s position in the world. Among them, Chinese Christians played important roles as they could act as bridges between people in China and the outside world. Chinese Christians became more aware of the global situation, since they often enjoyed international networks.

Scholars often study Chinese church leaders, and their institutional structure, but we know little about Chinese Christians’ life experience at an everyday level. That’s where the research of our latest featured scholar on the Global History Forum comes in. Based at the University of Auckland, Dr. Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye seeks to enhance our understanding of social and cultural histories of China by studying Chinese ordinary people and in particular Chinese Christians in the first half of the twentieth century. Her research suggests that many Chinese Christians were increasingly aware of the global affairs and China’s position in the world during this early twentieth century conjuncture. How, then, did Chinese converts view the place of the Chinese nation in the world? How did they perceive events like the Great War? Like the partial disintegration of European empires following that conflict? And how were the egalitarian ideals of Christianity reconcilable with a world that still spoke the language of “yellow perils” and which often limited the circulation of Chinese into the “white man’s world” of European, North American, and Oceanian spaces?

Dr. Melissa Inouye, our guest to this latest installment of the Global History Forum

Dr. Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye, our guest to this latest installment of the Global History Forum

These are some of the questions that Toynbee Prize Foundation Editor-at-Large Tiger Li discusses with Inouye in the interview that follows. In it, he discusses Inouye’s initial road from her upbringing in Costa Mesa, California to her undergraduate education at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as her graduate studies at Harvard University, where she completed her dissertation in 2011, writing about the history of the True Jesus Church and the history of charismatic Christian modes in China in the twentieth century. You might not be familiar with the True Jesus Church, but as one of the largest Christian denominations in the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan today (1.5 million members), it merits attention both as a matter of current affairs and intellectual history. Inspired by Pentecostalism, the True Jesus Church is also of interest for scholars of Christianity insofar as it forms the largest branch of Oneness Pentecostalism in the world. (In contrast to mainstream Christian doctrine, which stresses the trinitarian nature of Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit, churches like the True Jesus Church stress the indivisible nature of God and the idea that Jesus Christ is the sole manifestation of God’s personhood.) Lest we move too far away from history to theology, however, let us jump into the conversation between Inouye and Li to learn how this movement fits into an emerging wave of scholarship on China in the world and transnational religious movements.

Graduate Student Global History Conference – Tufts University, March 5, 2016

Are you a graduate student based in or around New England and interested in getting feedback on your global history project – a dissertation chapter, an article-in-draft, or a new project? The Tufts History Department has announced a Graduate Student Global History Conference to take place on March 5, 2016 at Tufts University, in Medford, MA.…

Global Humanitarian Research Academy (Exeter – Geneva, July 10-22, 2016)

Over at the Imperial and Global Forum, run by the University of Exeter, our colleagues have announced for the second time a most interesting summer program for historians working on international history and the history of humanitarianism, namely a Global Humanitarian Research Academy to take place between Exeter (UK) and Geneva from July 10-22, 2016. Run jointly…

International Research Award in Global History 2016

Active readers of the Toynbee Prize Foundation’s blog may recall one very interesting call for applications from around this time last year, when the Universities of Heidelberg, Basel, and Sydney teamed up to sponsor an International Research Award in Global History for €10,000, to be used to sponsor a conference devoted to a global history…

Exploring the League of Nations’ Official Documentation – A Call for Ideas

Did you enjoy our recent interview with Susan Pedersen on her recent book The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire? If so, or if you are interested in digital history projects and international collaborations, here’s the opportunity for you. The Institutional Memory Section at the United Nations Office in Geneva  has announced a…

“What’s New in Global History Approaches?” – A Discussion with Indra Sengupta and Andreas Eckert

Over at the blog of TRAFO, the Blog for Transnational Research, there’s a new fascinating hour-long conversation between Professor Andreas Eckert of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Indra Sengupta, an Academic Coordinator of the Transnational Research Group of the German Historical Institute in London. The video discussion (in the German language) touches on a number of fascinating…