Dividing the World? – 4th GRAINES Summer School

The winter ahead – the next summer (school) in mind. We are pleased to announce the theme of our 4th GRAINES summer school: Dividing the World? Imperial Formations in Continental and Maritime Empires from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century. 

Following our summer schools in Menton (France), Vienna, St Andrews, GRAINES2016 will be hosted by our colleagues Ulrike Lindner and Dörte Lerp from the University of Cologne.

Information will be announced under grainesnetwork.com. You can follow us under the twitter hashtag #Graines2016. More to come soon.

 

Global History Lecture – Welcome Emma Hunter

Dr Emma Hunter (Edinburgh) will be giving a research seminar paper on “Concepts of Democracy in Mid-Twentieth-Century Africa: Re-Imagining Political Accountability from the Bottom Up”. Emma Hunter

Emma Hunter is a lecturer in Global History at Edinburgh University. Her research focus is on African history in relation to political, intellectual and cultural history as well as the history of African print cultures. Her monograph “Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania: Freedom, Democracy and Citizenship in the Era of Decolonisation” was published with CUP in 2015. Congratulations, Emma!

Time & Venue: Monday 19 October 2015, New Seminar Room, School of History, University of St Andrews, 5.15pm.

More on the Modern History Research Seminar series – please see under Modern History Seminar .

Key Note Lecture “The Global 1989 – networks of neoliberalism”

As part of the 3rd Graines Summer School under the title INTERCONNECTED Professor Philipp Ther will be giving a key note lecture on “The global 1989 – networks of neoliberalism”.

Time & Venue: Monday, 8 June 2015, 5.30pm – University St Andrews, School 2, St Salvator’s Quad.

Philipp Ther is professor in Eastern and East Central European history at the University of Vienna. His main research focuses on the history of Poland, the Czech lands, and Ukraine.

Professor Philipp Ther, University of Vienna

Professor Philipp Ther, University of Vienna

He has a particular interest in comparative and transnational history of the region, mainly on the 19th and 20th century. Professor Ther has published widely on the region on border lands, ethnic cleansing or the role of the opera in central Europe.

His key note, based on his recent “Die neue Ordnung auf dem alten Kontinent” (Suhrkamp Verlag) revolves around the transformation of East Central and Central Europe from the images1980s into the present days. It draws a number of connections and comparisons between Poland, former Czechoslovakia, GDR, Hungary and beyond – for instance on the “co-transformation” of unified Germany, or the lack of similar processes in southern Europe – and the transfers of neoliberal thought from the “West” to central Europe before, during and after the crucial years around 1989.

Welcome Professor Fabricio Prado

The School of History and the Institute for Transnational & Spatial History welcome Professor Fabricio Prado from the College of William & Mary, Virginia. As part of our joint international Masters Programme between St Andrews and William & Mary members of staff cross the Atlantic on a regular bases to foster research and teaching links.

Professor Fabricio Prado, College of William & Mary

Professor Fabricio Prado, College of William & Mary

Professor Prado will be spending some time at St Andrews in early May 2015. He specialises in the the history of trade networks, global cities and borderlands, mainly in the Southern Atlantic as a connecting zone between the Spanish, Portuguese and British Empires in the eighteenth century.

Due to a number of links and shared interests around trade, cities, networks, global & transnational history, Fabricio will be a more regular guest in  the coming months. Fabricio will be back as part of our GRAINES summer school Interconnected in early June 2015. He will also be collaborating with Dr Emma Hart on the AHRC-funded network on Global Cities.

On 6 May 2015 Fabricio will give a paper entitled ‘Entangled Empires: Spanish and Portuguese Networks in the South Atlantic (1777-1805)’. Venue: School of History, St John’s House, St Andrews, New Seminar Room. Time: 4.30pm.

Leverhulme Visiting Professor Elena Marushiakova-Popova

We would like welcome our Leverhulme Visiting Professor Elena Marushiakova-Popova, who will be hosted by the School of History and the Institute for Transnational & Spatial History in 2014-15.

This is how Professor Marushiakova-Popova describes her research interests:

Professor Elena Marushiakova

Professor Elena Marushiakova

“I research a wide variety of topics from the history, ethnography, traditional and modern ethnic culture of the Roma (formerly known as ‘Gypsies’) in Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe, and post-Soviet Central Asia and South Caucasus. On the other hand, I also probe into contemporary ethno-cultural and socio-political processes unfolding in Roma communities in the aforementioned areas, including their migrations to Western Europe. Such case studies feed into my broader work on ethnic processes, identity formation, the dynamics of national identity and transnational identities.

I have worked in the field of Romani Studies for more than three decades. Now I am President of the Gypsy Lore Society. This most important and oldest international scholarly organization devoted to Romani Studies. I am also founding and Scientific Committee member of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies, established by European Commission and Council of Europe. I am a member of the editorial boards of the international peer reviewed journals Romani Studies and Studia Romologica (Poland), and of the book series Grazer Romani Studien (University of Graz)and Nationalisms Across the Globe (Peter Lang).

During my Leverhulme Professorship I will strive to integrate the Roma history into the mainstream of European and global history, of which Roma have been an inalienable part since the Middle Ages. Simultaneously, I will work on my new research project ‘In Search of Utopia: Roma Visionaries (1865-1971).’ The project gathers and analyzes the written source-based history of Roma political visions of the future, as placed in broader intellectual framework of those times. With this research I will help including the history of Roma political ideas into the mainstream of the history of European thought.”

Throughout the academic year, Professor Marushiakova-Popova, will contribute to a number of research seminars and postgraduate teaching and supervision. Welcome, Elena.

Hunting Whales, Maritime Knowledge and the Transformation of Dundee

Welcome to our new PhD student: Matt Ylitalo. Matt came to St Andrews in 2013 to do an MLitt in Reformation History. Over the year he developed interests in the question of what constitutes knowledge and facts, leading to a dissertation the linked travel, the transfer of knowledge, and the Royal Society in the seventeenth century.

From the dissertation emerged fascinating discussions around transnational and global history, the history of knowledge and knowledge transfers. And here we are with a new project:

Matt’s project assesses how whaling in Dundee contributed to the history of maritime science, and to the city’s ‘global’ status, during the long nineteenth century.

Sperm whale at Leith Harbour, South Georgia, 1913

Sperm whale at Leith Harbour, South Georgia, 1913

The project will investigate whalers’ networks and processes of knowledge accumulation and transference; the project will then examine the impact that this epistemic migration had on Dundee in comparison to other transatlantic whaling ports.

Many towns throughout coastal Scotland engaged in whaling in the nineteenth century. On a transatlantic scale, ports such a New Bedford, Massachusetts and Sandefjord, Norway far outstripped Dundee in the magnitude of their whaling operations. Yet Dundee distinctly stands apart from other Scottish and transatlantic whaling communities. Most whaling communities followed an ephemeral pattern of existence, which consisted of hunting whales intensively for several decades, falling into decline and then realigning to more locally- or regionally-oriented commercial orbits. Dundee, however, defied this model both in duration and commercial scope. (…) Read more here.

 

Welcome Emma Bond

We are delighted to welcome Emma Bond as a new member of staff joining our Institute. Emma is a Lecturer in Modern Languages at St Andrews with interests in the interrelationship between space and identities in modern and contemporary literature.

P1110287_2[1] copyOther areas of her research cover women’s writing as well as the idea of mapping ‘Adriatic’ literature in order to tie together comparative links between Italian, Albanian and Greek literature.

Among her publication is the 2012 published Disrupted Narratives: Illness, Silence and Identity in Svevo, Pressburger and Morandini.

Welcome on board, Emma. It is a pleasure to see the Institute growing and bringing different schools, disciplines and perspectives together, notably History, International Relations, and Modern Languages.

CFP now open for our summer school INTERCONNECTED

Interconnected – Actors, Objects and Ideas on the Move

3rd GRAINES Summer School, St Andrews, 7-10 June 2015

GRAINES network and the Institute for Transnational & Spatial History, St Andrews in collaboration with the Institute for Intellectual History, St Andrews & Global Cities (AHRC Project)

Over the past years, networks, along with Actor-Network-Theory, have attracted scholars’ attention. While networks are not new as a topic, they have gained attention in particular in the field of global and transnational history. As part of global and transnational research perspectives, as well as in urban or intellectual history, in the history of science or in economic history networks serve multiple purposes. All these fields share an interest in processes of exchange, in connections and flows of people, goods and ideas that can be tracked and analysed through networks.

In these and related fields networks can be: Unknown

  • objects of research
  • outcome of research
  • a heuristic device and tool in order to generate research agendas.

Networks may also serve as a way of seeing spatial relations and dynamics beyond (or in addition) to more conventional geographical and territorial frameworks, e.g. nations, empires, regions, cities. The increasing interest in the study of networks coincides with a rapidly changing research environment and the rise of Digital Humanities. A variety of software and computing tools are available to visualise data and networks. This again poses questions on how to treat data, how to narrate and how to collaborate across and between disciplinary boundaries.

In the vein of previous GRAINES summer schools we invite applications from within and beyond the GRAINES network. While GRAINES shares a strong historical orientation with a focus on European history from the late medieval period to the present, we welcome applications from neighboring disciplines like Art History or Literature as well as the sciences (geoscience and computer science).

The purpose of the summer school is to bring together scholars and postgraduate students working on or with the concept of networks in projects related to transnational, global, urban and intellectual history.

Pair Programming

Pair Programming

The summer school will seeks to be a forum for sharing and collaborating, for knowledge production rather than consumption. In conjunction with more traditional elements such as reading groups, paper presentations, we adopt different elements of collaboration inspired by the model of “unconferences” (a model we successfully used for the “Mapping and Visualising Transnational (Hi)Stories” workshop in June 2014) as well as “Pair programming” in the Humanities.

Please send your proposal as a single word or PDF document (abstract of a project / proposal of max 250 words; brief biographical sketch of max 150 words including the motivation to participate and what you are willing to contribute & share during the summer school, e.g. contribute to reading group, writing session, workshop introducing a tool or software) to

Giada Pizzoni, mail: graines.interconnected@gmail.com

Fees: 130 GBP – includes: 4 nights student hall accommodation with B&B, dinner and catering during summer school. Travel expenses are not included.

Fees: 50 GBP – participation without accommodation.

Submission Date: 9 March 2015

 For further information see Interconnected and GRAINES.

Call for Papers is here Graines Interconnected_CFP.

 

In Practice: Bernhard Struck

What is transnational history (to me)? The Q Factor OR Transnational History as a Hearing Aid

The following post is part of a series of postings in which our institute members ask themselves “What does transnational and global history mean for me and my research?”. Read the take by Kelsey Jackson Williams, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow based at St Andrews. The new post is by Bernhard Struck, currently co-director of the Institute for Transnational & Spatial History. 

Another semester has just come to a close. That makes four years of teaching and co-teaching transnational and global history on our two modules that feed into our general Modern History MLitt / Masters programme at St Andrews: Crossing Borders and Global Histories. End of semester is always a good to moment to step back (breathe, think what have we done and taught, how and why) and start thinking ahead. Next term will see the launch of a new undergraduate module Doing and Practicing Transnational History.

Next academic year, 2015-16, the Institute for Transnational & Spatial History will be launching its new Masters programme (MLitt) in Transnational and Spatial History – an exciting step for us as a team. So, time to breathe. Time to look back and ahead. And as we are at the end of term, my personal spin on the question “What is transnational history? (for me)” goes through the lens of teaching. In a nutshell: teaching – that comes with doing and practicing – transnational history for me is:

  • starting with & from curiosity
  • having exciting and unexpected conversations with a great mix of different people from various corners (and borders) of the world
  • seeing things differently and from different angles and perspectives
  • being pushed outside the comfort zone (including mine)
  • (re)mixing expertise & ignorance
  • being a better listener
  • give & take
  • finding flow & inspiration
  • thinking outside the box

These aspects and certainly others do not come in a particular order, though I have tried to put them in a order as I see them fit and interact. They correlate and reinforce one another. They may be more circular rather than linear or listed and ranked. But the circle has to start somewhere and, to me, transnational history starts with working with great, open-minded people in the first place. In 2011 we started teaching “Crossing Borders. European History in Transnational Perspectives”. Last year, in 2013, we added “Global Histories, Globalisation and its Histories”. Over the years we have taught groups of students that were small in size (which is part of the fun and quality, normally 4-6), but global in scale.

Discussing Spatial History and C. Withers "Placing the Enlightenment", Nov 2014

Discussing Spatial History and C. Withers “Placing the Enlightenment”, Nov 2014

In our little teaching and research village (that is St Andrews) on the east coast of Scotland we had students from the UK (perhaps obvious – but a minority), from the US, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, France, Austria, Greece doing and practicing transnational history. And I am sure this is incomplete.

In return the modules have been taught by a Scot working on France and colonial Algeria (Stephen Tyre), by a (well) Scott-Kiwi or Kiwi-Scott working on interwar Europe (Conan Fischer), a Brit working on the transfer of seeds and botanist networks (Sarah Easterly-Smith), a Norwegian-Scot-US breed with the (embarrassing – for me as I only know some European) capacity of speaking three Asian languages (and Norwegian, Spanish, English) (that is Konrad Lawson), a German with an interest in border regions and travel (myself), a Pole or should we say a “truly-speaking” Central-European who masters God knows how many languages and works on even more languages (Tomek Kamusella) and a colleague with an Indian and Empire background working on French imperial histories (Akhila Yechury).

With normally two of us in the room we try to teach and discuss aspects such as “comparative and transnational history”, “transnational and global history”, “the question of scales in global history”, “networks and ANTs” (Actor-Network-Theory), “border regions”, “transfers and circulation of knowledge”, the role of “global cities” or the relevance of space in transnational & global history. (Take a look: Handbook Global History 2014)

Back to the students: the national labels used above as shorthand are somewhat misleading. We have had social anthropologists joining in from the Californian-Mexican borderlands. We have had students from, historically speaking, places from the former Habsburg lands that cannot be easily labelled under one national banner. We have had takers from the Bavarian-Austrian border or the French Jura with a view of the Swiss Alps.

What do these people (students and tutors alike), put into a single room once a week, share? What do we have in common? Not much apparently. In particular not if one starts with the national label. The national label and background apart, however, this constantly varying group that comes from different institutions (yes, they matter and we discuss that in the modules as part of the role of institutions, places of science and the circulation of knowledge) shares a lot, despite or rather because of different (national) traditions of doing history.

What these groups share leads back to my list above: taking curiosity as a starting point (not the safe or assumed safer ground of starting from the nation as spatial entity), mixing different expertise, pushing one’s comfort zones – all these contribute to the joy of teaching in such an environment (transnational in itself). These are elements that, to me, tease out the extra edge in teaching history, often simply by bringing in an otherwise unexpected perspective, and feed back into my own research. I would not like to compare teaching transnational & global history to other ways of teaching and practicing histories. There are too many exiting ways of doing it. However, what I have enjoyed over the years teaching these modules and the type of student is that they come with a certain openness and curiosity to step onto new grounds and unexplored territory.

Morenish House, Loch Tay - Transnational Away Weekend, January 2014

Morenish House, Loch Tay – Transnational Away Weekend, January 2014

Students come prepared for methodological discussions and are receptive to the open (and puzzling) questions: Where is transnational history (when history is not set in a – national – container)? How to enter global history – from the global (daunting) or the local? They come prepared to run the extra mile – learning another language. (If I did not miscount: there were six different native languages around the table at the last reading and hiking away weekend.)

This leads to a level of openness, receptiveness and alertness. It brings together different and unexpected fields of expertise. It makes people talk to one another across time and space that otherwise may not sit around the same table. It opens up confessing ignorance. It is easy to listen to an expert in field X. But experts are not always the best listeners – or explainers, for that matter. The transnational mix in class makes for better explainers and speakers. If you do not share too much of the same common ground, expertise, historiographical background, you have to explain more carefully and nuanced. You share more, but take more. This is where the unashamedly selfish researcher inside me comes in: I take a lot of ideas away from our classes as I learn so much from students and colleagues. (Do not worry, I like experts and expertise. Achtung! If you click on this, be aware of unashamed self-advertising and something on experts.)

Perhaps in a nutshell: Doing and teaching transnational & global history feels a bit like the famous Q factor that helps explaining the success of Broadway musicals. The mix makes the music. And I find myself often being a better listener to the transnational or global music in class, when I am ignorant of something others can teach me. To sum up: transnational history for me is a hearing aid. Happy to put it back in next term and start from scratch – and curiosity.

People on the Move I: Sending PhDs @tshts

Doing the Alps in the Alps 

Part of the joy of being a PhD student is to be on the move, isn’t it?  To see different places, to experience archives, to be stimulated by different institutional and intellectual cultures.

Jordan Girardin presenting at ENIUGH 2014 conference at ENS, Paris

Jordan Girardin presenting at ENIUGH 2014 conference at ENS, Paris

One of our PhD researchers, Jordan Giardin, who came from Sciences Po to St Andrews in 2012 for an MLitt in Modern History, stayed on for a research project on the Alps with a transnational twist: “The Alps from Natural Border to Transnational Space” investigates the Alps as a space – an espace vécu, to speak with Henri Lefebvre – through the lens of networks, travel, encounters around 1800.

In his second year, it was time to move and experience the Alps first hand and to dig into archives between Basel, Bern and Zurich. We are grateful that our GRAINES partners at the University of Basel and Professor Martin Lengwiler in particular for hosting and welcoming Jordan this semester.