This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles (1950) is collection of science fiction short stories about the colonization of Mars by humans fleeing an environmentally devastated Earth and coming into conflict with aboriginal Martians (left). The film poster for Sun Ra’s Afrofuturist science fiction film, Space Is The Place (1974), (right).

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

From colonizing Mars to the imperial origins of gun rights, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.

Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

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

From deconstructing BBC’s The Crown to fascism’s pre-Trump transatlanticism, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Reminder – Call for Applications: Global Humanitarianism Research Academy 2018

GHRA2018.png

Reminder – Call for Applications:

Global Humanitarianism Research Academy 2018

International Research Academy on the History of Global Humanitarianism

Academy Leaders:   

Fabian Klose (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz)

Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz)

Andrew Thompson (University of Exeter)

in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva)

and with support by the German Historical Institute London

Venues:  University of Exeter & Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva

Dates:               9-20 July 2018

Deadline:        31 December 2017

Information at: http://ghra.ieg-mainz.de/, http://hhr.hypotheses.org/ and https://imperialglobalexeter.com/

The international Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy (GHRA) offers research training to PhD candidates and early postdocs. It combines academic sessions at the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The Research Academy is for early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present. Continue reading “Reminder – Call for Applications: Global Humanitarianism Research Academy 2018”

War heroes, armchair lawyers, and imperial legacies

Paulus Vladmiri, the Latin rendering of Paweł Włodkowic, author of the Tractatus de Potestate Papae et Imperatoris Respectu Infidelium (1415)

Edward Cavanagh
University of Cambridge

Complete autonomy in the waging of war is a proud attribute of countries like Australia. It has been so ever since the imperial crown finally got around to delegating this aspect of the royal prerogative to peripheral nations of the British Commonwealth in the wake of World War II. But with power comes responsibility, so the old adage goes, otherwise complacency is allowed to set in, blurring history and politics in the vindication of bellicosity abroad. If this trend cannot be countered with expressions of criticism, then history suggests that we might well have surrendered, for the time being at least, all expectations we might have for pacific reforms of any kind.

Chris Masters, a prominent Australian investigative journalist, has just published a book, No Front Line (2017), which provides a glimpse into the lives of that country’s special forces serving in Afghanistan. Eyebrows have been raised at the description it carries of an incident in June 2006, which saw an unarmed Afghani man gunned down by Australian soldiers fearful of revealing their secret location.

Sadly an affray like this is unexceptional in the scope of any war featuring foreign troops placed into a region and given objectives to defend their positions against elements of the population hemming them in. And its coverage in the book is even-handed, one of many incidents catalogued by the author in a mostly bland way, rescued only by the occasional quotation of soldiers accounting for the performances of their ‘mates’ with unflinching manliness.

What makes the incident noteworthy is Australia’s remarkable inability to separate the politics of war from the commemoration of its victims. Unhelpful here are the apparent aversions, more generally, of senior public servants, journalists, and returned soldiers to articulate with any nuance some of the problems associated with the politicisation and memorialisation of Australian participation in foreign wars. These might be the symptoms of a deficiency of criticism in popular discourse. They might rather suggest an intolerance to history. In any case, here is an ailment that can be treated by insisting upon an observation of war not just as a policy but, more importantly, as an idea plenty quarrelled over, across empires and epochs, and through time and space. Continue reading “War heroes, armchair lawyers, and imperial legacies”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

sugar cane cutters in Jamaica during the late 19th century

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

From facing empire in an age of revolution to connecting urban development with colonialism, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.


Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”