Tag: Global History

CFP: Business History on Commodity Trading Companies in the First Global Economy, 1870-1929 (Norwegian University, Norway)

For those interested in the global economy, this recent call for paper is for you! The editors, Marten Boon and Espen Storli from Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim invite article submissions for “a special issue on commodity trading companies in the first global economy” titled “Business History on Commodity Trading Companies in the…

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor Position, Portland State University

For those global historians looking for an academic position, here is a recent call for applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at The Department of International and Global Studies at Portland State University. The call for applications explains more: The Department of International and Global Studies at Portland State University is seeking candidates for…

Postdoctoral Fellowship: The Buffett Institute, Northwestern University

For those readers of the Global History Blog looking for a post-doctoral fellowship, here’s the good opportunity on global, transnational and international studies. The Buffett Institute for Global Studies of Northwestern University has announced two-year postdoctoral fellowship application on any range of social science. The call for applications explains more: About this fellowship The Buffett Institute…

CFP: Female Entrepreneurship in the Long 19th Century: Global Perspectives – Edited Collection and Workshop

Scholars who are working at the intersections of gender studies, entrepreneurship and global history would be interested in this call for an edited collection on Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth Century: a Global Perspective. Read the original call from the editors, Dr Catherine Bishop (University of Sydney) and Dr Jennifer Aston (University of Northumbria), below:…

CFP: Rethinking Power in Global and Transnational History (Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro)

For those interested in global and transnational history Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional (RBPI) is calling for contributions to a special issue titled “Rethinking Power in Global and Transnational History.” This issue will be devoted to the analysis of power in broad fields such as diplomacy, economy, gender, ethnicity, culture, science, governance.  The call for…

Conference Report: Fifth Congress of the European Network in Universal and Global History, August 31-Sept 3, 2017

Written by Stefan Huebner (National University of Singapore)

Click here for a copy of the programme.

2017 is a European Network in Universal and Global History (ENIUGH) year. The ancient Olympic Games took place every fourth year and lasted for more than a millennium. The triennial ENIUGH congress is younger, but already a very well-established event that has an important impact on the travel schedules of academics interested in global, world, and transnational history. When ENIUGH 5 concluded, about 600-650 scholars had presented their research in more than 150 panels, which was slightly less than the 700-750 participants in Paris (2014), but more than in London (2011). Not a record, but a very substantial demonstration of academic interest in the event.

2017 is also the year that marks the centennial of the Russian Revolution. Considering the long-lasting global implications of that event, it was no surprise that the organizers chose the theme of “Ruptures, Empires and Revolutions” for this year’s ENIUGH. While this theme left panel organizers sufficient space to find their own ways of reflecting on such phenomena, the plenary events corresponded to the organizers’ intention of including more scholars from or working on Central/Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The keynote address, given by Tamás Krausz (Budapest), reflected on Lenin and global history, while the first plenary roundtable, organized by Attila Melegh (Budapest), addressed the connections between socialism and global history. The second plenary roundtable on “Revolution and Religion”, prepared by Nadia Al-Bagdadi (Budapest), was the event that most obviously involved the study of the Middle East. Such thematic and geographical accentuations need to be seen in light of the fact that plenary events at the last Congress (Paris 2014) featured mostly French and African academics. It is without question desirable to use ENIUGH’s venue rotation system and shifting regional foci in plenary events to communicate to academics from Europe and all over the world that they are welcome. Long term impacts are difficult to measure, but in the case of French academia, which can be very skeptical of English language events, paging through the program (admittedly a problematic quantitative method) showed that scholars from a variety of French institutions were again present – not as many as in Paris, but there seems to have been a positive impact.

How to Start an Empire: An Interview with Steven Press

Dr. Steven Press

Open a world map. Chances are it carves the world into a multi-colored jigsaw of national territories.  We’re used to thinking of the contemporary international order as composed of regular nation-states. But what happens if we imagine a different map—one made up of irregular, overlapping, and contested claims, not just to territories, but to languages and peoples as well? A cartography of international disorder would emerge.

For starters, the large landmass conventionally thought of as Australia would be overlaid with the black, yellow, and red flag of the Aboriginal Provisional Government (APG). The APG claims Aborigines never ceded sovereignty over Australia; that they “are and always have been a sovereign people.” The APG has enacted Aboriginal sovereignty by issuing birth certificates and Aboriginal passports (which have been accepted in Libya, Norway, Switzerland, and the Mohawk nation), and sending diplomatic delegations overseas. Just off the coast of Australia, a small set of mostly uninhabited islands and reefs would feature the rainbow coloring of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands. In 2004, the Kingdom’s soon-to-be Emperor, Dale Parker Anderson, raised the rainbow flag on one of the islands, claiming them “as homeland for the gay and lesbian peoples of the world.” The Kingdom has adopted the rainbow pride flag as its official ensign, the Euro as its official currency, and issued its own stamps. And what about the territory beyond Earth? Zoom out and you would see the proposed Space Kingdom of Asgardia. Its Head of Nation, Russian-Azerbaijani scientist and businessman Igor Ashurbeyli, plans to create a new nation in outer space, with orbiting satellites serving as the space nation’s initial capital.

We might be tempted to dismiss these claims to sovereignty as oddities of the contemporary world. Not so, according to Steven Press’ new book, Rogue Empires: Contracts and Conmen in Europe’s Scramble for Africa (Harvard University Press, 2017). In Rogue Empires, Press offers a pre-history to these claims to sovereignty, taking his readers back to a time in the mid-nineteenth century when empires across South Asia and Africa were started and governed by companies and adventurers. Many of these individuals were what Press deems “disreputable types”: men like James Brooke, a British East India Company veteran who, by agreement with the Sultan of Brunei, became rajah of Sarawak on the island of Borneo in 1841. In Press’ telling, the ventures of private actors like Brooke culminated in the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, where Belgium’s King Leopold and the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck extended the imprimatur of European legitimacy to these “rogue empires.” The European powers would later rely on these private entities as precedents for establishing and extending colonies in Niger, South Africa, the Congo, Namibia, Cameroon, and beyond.

We recently spoke with Steven Press from his office in California. Press explained his interest in territorial anomalies and “disreputable” individuals, and foreshadowed his current book project on the afterlives of these rogue empires. Press is Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University. Rogue Empires is his first book.

—Aden Knaap…

Assistant Professor in Global and International Studies (Boston College, Massachusetts, US)

For those TPF readers looking for an assistant professor position in global and international studies, the History Department at Boston College has announced the following job opportunity.  The call for applications explains more: The History Department at Boston College seeks to hire an Assistant Professor of Global or International History, who will hold a joint appointment…

Workshop: “Global Cultural Encounters (1750-1950)” (University of Michigan, August 2-4, 2017)

For readers of the Global History Blog, here’s a recent call for attendance at a workshop titled “Global Cultural Encounters (1750-1950)” at the University of Michigan on August 2-4, 2017. The workshop that will take place with the participation of many important scholars including Albert Wu, who was previously interviewed by the Toynbee Foundation. Sponsored by the Thyssen Foundation, the…

Of Prostitution and Port Cities: A Conversation with Liat Kozma

Dr. Liat Kozma

Prostitution may be considered the world’s oldest profession, but its practice and regulation has been far from fixed throughout history. As Dr. Liat Kozma explores in her most recent book, Global Women, Colonial Ports: Prostitution in the Interwar Middle East (2017), state-regulated prostitution in the Middle East—and the lives of prostitutes themselves—was directly influenced by major global shifts following World War I. These shifts included the transition from Ottoman to French and British colonial rule in the Middle East, as well as the ongoing processes of industrialization, urbanization, and large-scale migration set in motion in the nineteenth century.

Exploring prostitution through the regional lens of the Mediterranean—rather than through a political lens like that of a single nation or empire—Kozma innovatively dissects the many layers of state-regulated prostitution and the involvement of global and local institutions. From Casablanca to Beirut, Alexandria to Haifa, people, practices, germs, and attitudes toward prostitution and sexual practices migrated and spread during the interwar period.

Importantly, this story of the internationalization of prostitution regulation is far from one of top-down colonial policy-making. It involved a complex web of interactions and knowledge-sharing between individuals at every level, including actors from the newly created League of Nations, who sought to monitor traffic in women and children; colonial officials who shared policies maintaining racial boundaries between populations; local feminists, abolitionists, and medical doctors who wrote and debated about how to best prevent the spread of venereal disease; and individual prostitutes and brothel keepers who migrated to different cities in search of employment opportunities. As Kozma puts it, “the drunken sailor affected international policies on clinics that treated venereal disease, and international conventions affected the availability of care in his port of call.”

Kozma’s narrative telescopes in and out, between the local and the global; between the individual brothel keeper in Port Said and the League of Nations meetings in Geneva; between the syphilitic soldier and the history of Salvarsan. In doing so, Kozma sketches out a new model for writing global history—one that connects the dots between social history, women’s and feminist history, and Middle Eastern history.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Kozma, a senior lecturer in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We talked about her research process for the book and her main findings about prostitution in the interwar period. We also discussed some of the broader challenges of writing a social and gendered history of a global phenomenon, the exciting potential of multi-archival research, and her recent work in bridging the divide between academic and non-academic audiences through social history.

–Caroline Kahlenberg