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Assistant Professor Position in Global History, University of Warwick

The University of Warwick (located in Coventry, England) has announced a search for a three-year Assistant Professor position with a specialization in Global History. “The Department,” reads the advertisement, seeks to appoint an Assistant Professor in Global History for the period 1st September 2015 to 31st July 2018. You will conduct research and teaching in…

Getting to (Global) Work with Andrea Komlosy: Discussing “Work: A Global History”

Work remains ever-present with us, yet somehow elusive. We spend more time doing it than anything else, other than sleeping, and yet defining what, exactly, the term means can be a challenge. Part of the reason may be the decline of solid salaried work, where one punched in and out of the factory, and knew that hours logged meant hours logged. For a time, even white-collar workers had the certainty of knowing that the weekend was just that – physical and infrastructural distance from fax machines, cell phones, and the papers, mountains of paper at the office. Today, however, many people not only allow office e-mail to intrude into the weekend; more than that, they embrace working from home.

 Others are less lucky. Among historians, those who wash out in the brutal competition for the promise of tenured lifetime employment sometimes submit to the even crueler reality of the adjunct route. The root of the term itself demonstrates their precariousness: in linguistics, an adjunct is an optional, a “structurally dispensable” part of an utterance. All the same, as more and more work seems to become “casualized” (another telling term), organizers demand rights and privileges that were traditionally bundled with “full-time” or “traditional” employment. All the while, back at home, partners may grumble that there is precious little talk of unionizing or granting medical insurance to those of us stuck doing dishes, vacuuming, or putting a hot meal on the table.

The cover of Andrea Komlosy's "Arbeit: eine globalhistorische Perspektive" ("Work: A Global History Perspective")

The cover of Andrea Komlosy’s “Arbeit: eine globalhistorische Perspektive” (“Work: A Global History Perspective”)

The vocabulary that we use to talk about work remains, in short, of massive political importance, but all too often, we don’t scrutinize it very closely. Not, at least until Andrea Komlosy‘s 2014 book Arbeit: Eine globalhistorische Perspektive (Work: A Global History Perspective), published by Promedia Verlag. We recently had the chance to speak with Komlosy about her road to writing about social history and the history of work, as well as what it means to apply a global history perspective to a theme that necessarily stretches across hundreds of years. Let’s get to work, then, and dive into a discussion about Work.…

Lecturer Position in International History (King’s College London)

As our recent posts suggest, it’s an exciting job market season for UK positions in international and global history. It’s about to get even more exciting, as our colleagues at King’s College London have recently advertised a Lecturer position in Twentieth-Century International History, tenable from September 1, 2015.  This is a great opportunity for historians interested in modern…

Political Economy of the World System Conference (PEWS) in Berlin, Germany

Followers of global history in the German capital, or simply those interested in one of the most venerable traditions of global history, will be interested to know that the 39th Annual Conference on the Political Economy of the World System will be taking place this March 19–21, 2015, at the Institute for Latin American Studies of  the Free…

2015 Harvard International History Conference – “Transitions: States and Empires in the Longue Durée”

Our colleagues at Harvard have announced the schedule for this year’s Harvard Graduate Student Conference on international history, taking place this March 12-13, 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA). In addition to stimulating presentations by graduate students around the world, the conference features a public keynote address by NYU’s Jane Burbank, “Escaping Empire, Escaping Europe? History and Historians…

Job in International History at the University of Sheffield

Here’s another good job posting: our colleagues at the University of Sheffield have advertised a position for a Senior Lecturer or Reader in International History, with a starting date of this September. (For those unfamiliar with the British academic system, a Senior Lecturer or Reader position is roughly equivalent to an Associate Professor position in a…

Samuel Moyn & Andrew Sartori on Global Intellectual History

Over at one of our favorite blogs, the Imperial and Global Forum run by the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter, Professors Samuel Moyn (Harvard) and Andrew Sartori (NYU) have authored a useful contribution to discussions about the future of global intellectual history. In their piece, “What is Global Intellectual History –…

Summer School in Comparative and Transnational History: Theories, Methodology and Case Studies (September 2015)

Our colleagues at the European University Institute in Florence have recently announced what looks to be an exciting summer school in Transnational and Comparative History. Taking place from September 14-17, 2015 and targeted at graduate students (up until their last year of enrollment), the Summer School pitches itself as a forum to participate in seminars with faculty from the European University Institute, visit the Library and Archives of the European Union and, of course, meet other practitioners. The announcement explains further:

Are you dissatisfied with the study of national history? Do you want to widen your historical horizons? If so the tenth EUI Summer School in Transnational and Comparative History is for you. It will take place in September 2015 in the historic Villa Schifanoia set in beautiful gardens overlooking Florence.

Thinking Big … and Small About U.S. History in a Global Context with Daniel Immerwahr

Whether they know it or not, Americans are a people ruled by community organizers, indeed fascinated by them. Barack Obama, many will know, worked as a community organizer in Chicago for three years in the late 1980s, while former Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton wrote her thesis on the community organizer Saul Alinsky. The current slate of potential Republican challengers may not boast quite the same communitarian credentials – Scott Walker was a Boy Scout and Bobby Jindal a volunteer at LSU football games – but the once-touted David Petraeus was, of course, famous as a master of counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, a man who (prior to his resignation as CIA Director) was famed to have mastered the community scale as the proper war against Iraqi rebels and the Taliban. Fittingly for a nation that supposedly bowls alone, Americans are obsessed with community – what it was, how to get it back, indeed, how to develop it.

Daniel Immerwahr, assistant professor of History at Northwestern University and our most recent guest to the Global History Forum

Daniel Immerwahr, assistant professor of History at Northwestern University and our most recent guest to the Global History Forum

As our most recent guest to the Global History Forum, Daniel Immerwahr, shows, this American fascination with community is not some recent invention. Indeed, even as the scholarly literature on the United States in the world these days is in the midst of a focus on development in the Third World, typically the term (“development”) means heavy infrastructure. “Dams are the temples of modern India,” said post-independence Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru, and the same could be said of the 21st century historiography of the United States in a global context. Yet as Immerwahr, an assistant professor of history at Northwestern University, shows in his recent book Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development, this dream of large-scale development was always accompanied by a parallel drive to use the small scale – the group scale – of community development as a tool to guide Third World societies away from the temptations of Moscow and Beijing.

How did we forget this story? Given the prominence that the historiography today tends to assign to dams, power plants, and railroads, why did we lose the focus on community in America’s outreach to the world? Most importantly, given that community development’s accomplishments in both the Third World and in America itself are so ambiguous, why do Americans remained fascinated with it as a panacea for poverty? These are precisely the questions that were in our mind when we had the chance to speak with Professor Immerwahr about his latest work and his forthcoming projects on American international history.…