Digital Research Tips for Dissertations in Imperial & Global History

Image from Journal of a Residence in the Burmhan Empire, and more particularly at the Court of Amarapoorah [Edited by H. C. M. Cox.], p. 328. Courtesy of the British Library.
Image from Journal of a Residence in the Burmhan Empire, and more particularly at the Court of Amarapoorah [Edited by H. C. M. Cox.], p. 328. Courtesy of the British Library on flickr.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

It is that time of year again. The semester begins; students scramble to find digital archives for research papers; supervisors seek to steer them in the right direction. In contrast to a decade ago, online archival options are now overwhelming. To help wade through the sea of digital archives, over the past couple of years we have offered some suggestions for digital research in imperial and global history, included below. Any other new digital archives that those researching topics in imperial and global history might find useful?
Continue reading “Digital Research Tips for Dissertations in Imperial & Global History”

A Parisian Ho Chi Minh Trail: Writing Global History Through Interwar Paris

Antiimperial Metropolis cover

Michael Goebel
Freie Universität Berlin
Follow on Twitter @mgoebel29

Anxieties over the possible political fallouts of African and Asian migration to Europe have a much longer history than the current refugee crisis might have you suspect. Colonial migration to interwar Paris, as I argue in Anti-Imperial Metropolis, turned into an important engine for the spread of nationalism across the French Empire. Studying the everyday lives of these migrants, in turn, might also offer a way out of the impasse that global historians currently face.

Let me begin with an anecdote that encapsulates my argument: In autumn 1919, while statesmen gathered in Paris’s upscale banlieues to redraw the political world map, local police hired a discharged Vietnamese adjutant as an undercover agent. His task was “to exercise a discrete surveillance” over a compatriot of his who had distributed leaflets entitled “The Demands of the Annamite People” among diplomats and informal spokesmen in the city’s shabbier neighbourhoods.

The newly enlisted informer took his assignment very seriously. He filed daily reports on just about every movement in the city’s Vietnamese community, producing a paper trail that can now only be traced through the National Archives in Paris and in the Colonial Archives in Aix-en-Provence. Continue reading “A Parisian Ho Chi Minh Trail: Writing Global History Through Interwar Paris”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Aftermath of the Wall Street explosion in 1920. Source: Getty
Aftermath of the Wall Street explosion in 1920. Getty

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From bombing Wall Street to rewriting the history of the Second World War, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

What was the Role of Scientific and Technical Intelligence During World War II?

Allied drawing of a Focke-Achgelis Fa 223, a helicopter developed by Germany during the Second World War. Courtesy of Duke Library.
Allied drawing of a Focke-Achgelis Fa 223, a helicopter developed by Germany during the Second World War. Courtesy of Duke University Libraries Magazine.

Richard Toye
History Department, University of Exeter

Follow on Twitter @RichardToye

Intelligence is an aspect of World War II that has long held a fascination for historians and the public alike. Very naturally, much interest has focussed on the role of the Security Services and the role of Bletchley Park in cracking the Enigma Code – witness, for example, the success of the recent film about Alan Turing, The Imitation Game. Continue reading “What was the Role of Scientific and Technical Intelligence During World War II?”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

“De negro é española sale mulato” (A Black Man and a Spanish Woman Produce a Mulatto). Pintura de castas, ca. 1780.
“De negro é española sale mulato” (A Black Man and a Spanish Woman Produce a Mulatto). Pintura de castas, ca. 1780.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From the ‘imperialist’ Second World War to purchasing whiteness in colonial Latin America, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”