Thinking globally about history
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Conference Report: Looking Back and Forward—Developments, Challenges, and Visions for the Future of Global History (Queen’s University)
The Blog | August 1, 2020

Conference Report: Looking Back and Forward—Developments, Challenges, and Visions for the Future of Global History (Queen’s University)

As we face a set of unknown changes to humanities scholarship and education that will inevitably unfold in the coming months, we are confronted with the meaning of Global History and the directions in which it will move. In March 2019, precisely one year before the global lockdown, four scholars, Amitava Chowdhury, Heather Streets-Salter, Julia McClure, and Joseph McQuade, reflected on how the field of global history developed over the course of their careers and imagined future directions. With special attention to how the roots of what we call global history today developed institutionally, our panelists discuss how graduate education in global history developed and what shape it might take in the future.

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Queering the Pandemic
Article | July 22, 2020

Queering the Pandemic

The commonly-accepted COVID-19 narrative is that those most at risk are people with underlying medical conditions, immunocompromised people, and the elderly. While biological factors such as immune function and age seem to be paramount for determining whether someone who contracts the virus will become critically ill or not, social factors are equally as important. By centering queer and trans experiences of COVID and analyzing these in the context of LGBTQ history, Eleanor Franklin and Aaron Wiegand's "Queering the Pandemic" project gives a platform for future historians to understand the pandemic from the view point of a group that has historically been forgotten and left at the margins of history.

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Navigating PARES, or, how to research the history of the global Spanish Empire during a global pandemic
The Blog | July 11, 2020

Navigating PARES, or, how to research the history of the global Spanish Empire during a global pandemic

The digital revolution has seen millions of pages of Spanish manuscripts digitized and shared through the free PARES (portal de archivos españoles) platform in recent years, the Spanish government’s archive web portal. These include sources for the study of topics including Iberian voyages of discovery and conquest, the Atlantic slave trade and the diverse experiences of slavery in the Iberian world, and indigenous revolts against colonial rule such as the Tupac Amaru rebellion. Scott Cave led a one-hour ‘hands on’ seminar guiding participants on how to find and read digitized documents relating to this rich history through PARES.

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Archival Reflections—Dewi Sukarno Goes to London, or How to Handle an Indonesian VIP during Konfrontasi
Article | June 22, 2020

Archival Reflections—Dewi Sukarno Goes to London, or How to Handle an Indonesian VIP during Konfrontasi

Archival Reflections

A single folder of British Foreign Office records (FO 371/180366) held at the National Archives in Kew details the private visit to the UK by the third wife of Indonesian President Sukarno, Dewi, in June 1965. British officers, determined to make a good first impression on Dewi to soften her bellicose husband, quickly found themselves attending to out-of-the-ordinary tasks: scrambling to find a “young enough” companion for having tea with Dewi, infiltrating a wedding reception to gather information on her, and even disposing of an unwanted gift that Dewi brought for none other than Queen Elizabeth II.

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INTERVIEW—Toynbee Coronavirus Series: Dominic Sachsenmaier on China, geopolitics, and global history post-COVID-19
Article | June 22, 2020

INTERVIEW—Toynbee Coronavirus Series: Dominic Sachsenmaier on China, geopolitics, and global history post-COVID-19

Toynbee Coronavirus Series—A global historical view of the coronavirus pandemic: Interview with Dominic Sachsenmaier.

"The concept of ‘deglobalization’ has been gaining currency during the past five years, and already before 2020 there was a corresponding pressure on some aspects of international academic life, particularly the humanities. For instance, Sino-Western collaborations in the academic sector came under much pressure—both from an increasingly authoritarian government in China and from a Western public that increasingly felt threatened by greater Chinese academic influence. What I observe right now is that there are a growing number of voices that see any kind of collaboration with China as highly problematic, if not altogether endangering the academic ethos and a supposedly intact academic community. What I am concerned about is that if this type of deglobalization—of which Sino-Western collaboration patterns are only one element among several—continues, we could potentially witness a return to regionalism in the humanities." Toynbee Prize Foundation President Dominic Sachsenmaier on China's global role, the academy, and deglobalization trends post-COVID-19.

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INTERVIEW—Toynbee Coronavirus Series: Dipesh Chakrabarty on zoonotic pathogens, human life, and pandemic in the age of the Anthropocene
Article | June 17, 2020

INTERVIEW—Toynbee Coronavirus Series: Dipesh Chakrabarty on zoonotic pathogens, human life, and pandemic in the age of the Anthropocene

Toynbee Coronavirus Series—A global historical view of the coronavirus pandemic: Interview with Dipesh Chakrabarty.

"Many Earth system scientists, evolutionary biologists, and Anthropocene scholars have been reminding us that the global economy is destroying bio-diversity and that, on human scales of time, biodiversity is a non-renewable resource that is critical to the flourishing of all life, including ours. It is time we debated the kind of civilization humans would want to live in. The Cold War battle between capitalism and socialism is well and truly dead. But that does not mean that the question of debating capitalism has lost any of its importance." Dipesh Chakrabarty on the pandemic, zoonotic pathogens, migrancy, and globalization in the age of the Anthropocene.

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Toynbee Coronavirus Series—Global History Forum: Jeremy Adelman, Or Rosenboim, Jamie Martin, Cindy Ewing, and Akita Shigeru
Article | June 16, 2020

Toynbee Coronavirus Series—Global History Forum: Jeremy Adelman, Or Rosenboim, Jamie Martin, Cindy Ewing, and Akita Shigeru

Toynbee Coronavirus Series—A Global Historical View of the Pandemic: Forum

Living through historically unprecedented times has strengthened the Toynbee Prize Foundation's commitment to thinking globally about history and to representing that perspective in the public sphere. In this multimedia series on the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be bringing global history to bear in thinking through the raging coronavirus and the range of social, intellectual, economic, political, and scientific crises triggered and aggravated by it.

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INTERVIEW—Toynbee Coronavirus Series: Erez Manela on the WHO, smallpox eradication, and the need for renewed internationalism
Article | June 15, 2020

INTERVIEW—Toynbee Coronavirus Series: Erez Manela on the WHO, smallpox eradication, and the need for renewed internationalism

Toynbee Coronavirus Series—A global historical view of the coronavirus pandemic: Interview with Erez Manela.

"Out of inertia, the US remains the biggest contributor, but diplomatically and politically it doesn’t care. What replaces it are organizations like the Gates Foundation, which in some ways, though not all ways, represents a return to the inter-war period, when the leading spender on global health was the Rockefeller Foundation. You can say all sorts of bad things about the WHO, but the one thing the WHO does is it gives some sort of voice to small nations and was designed to do precisely that." Erez Manela on the concept of global health, the WHO, smallpox eradication, and the need for renewed internationalism amid the pandemic.

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