Exeter’s postgraduate history journal, Ex Historia, are hosting an afternoon interdisciplinary PGR conference at the University of Exeter. The conference aims to explore how the history of states and empires can help us understand the current Brexit phenomenon. We welcome proposals for 10 minute papers with a flexible interpretation of the below themes. We invite papers from PGR students across university institutions and departments.
Topics include, but are not limited to:
• Conceptualising statehood throughout history
• The construction and dissolution of state and empires
• National identity and the rise of nation states
• The variable nature of statehood
• The history of Britain-European relations
The event aims to promote interdisciplinary discussions, develop the skills and knowledge of PGR students, and provide an enriched understanding of how we can learn from history, connecting academia with current international affairs. The keynote speaker will be Dr Robert Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at Queen Mary, University of London. He has published widely on British politics and Brexit; his most recent book is titled Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain. Furthermore, he has provided commentary and interviews on Brexit for BBC News, CNN and NPR. Please submit a 300 word abstract and a short biography to email@example.com by 15 February.
Development and Securitisation, and (Counter)-Insurgency
Joint research workshop:
Understanding Insurgencies network and The worlds of (under)development: processes and legacies of the Portuguese colonial empire in a comparative perspective (1945-1975)
Lisbon, Portugal, 14-15 March 2019
Call for Papers
Proposals for papers are invited from members of the Understanding Insurgencies network and others for a two-day research workshop exploring the connections between development initiatives and counter-insurgent efforts to restore, impose, or otherwise establish forms of social control.
Enmeshed in rhetoric of poverty reduction and enhanced social opportunity, colonial development is increasingly viewed by scholars more sceptically: less as evidence of imperial goodwill than as an instrument of social and geo-political control in the face of mounting anti-colonial opposition. Sometimes described as integral to colonial claims to modernization, development policies could be highly coercive. At one level, technical aid and financial support was expected to diminish the appeal of anti-colonial alternatives, thereby stabilizing imperial order. At another, more tangible level, the instruments of development were often directives requiring forced relocation, the abandonment of customary practices, or the fulfillment of obligations that rendered individuals legible to – and controllable by – colonial authority. Arguments over development thus encapsulated the tension intrinsic to colonial authority: limited interventionism and purported respect for local ‘tradition’ or the pursuit of heightened social control characteristic of development projects. Continue reading “Call for papers: Development and Securitisation, and (Counter)-Insurgency”→
A good omen for the new year? It’s a pleasure to see that our post from late last year exploring a wonderful new digital map collection at Cornell Library was recently featured by Mimi Kirk over at the Atlantic‘s City Lab. Here’s a preview, in case you missed it:
When PJ Mode began to purchase old maps in the 1980s, he set out to amass a typical collection of world maps. But along the way, his attention turned to unusual maps that dealers weren’t sure how to categorize—those that attempted to persuade rather than convey geographic information.
“Most collectors looked down their noses at these maps because they didn’t technically consider them maps,” Mode says. “But they were fun and they were inexpensive, and over the years I became more interested in them than the old world maps.”
The interest has culminated in a collection of more than 800 “persuasive maps,” as they are now called, which can be found in digital form through Cornell University’s library. Mode has sorted them into themes, from imperialism to religion to slavery, many with meticulous notes about their history and meaning. One of the oldest, from a 1506 Italian manuscript, gives an overview of hell, while more recent acquisitions include a facetious 2012 New Yorker cover of the Second Avenue subway line.
Marc-William Palen, a University of Exeter history professor and author of The “Conspiracy” of Free Trade, recently came across the collection. “I got lost in it for days,” he says. Palen, who specializes in British and American imperialism, was particularly taken with an 1888 map depicting the trade policy platforms of the year’s presidential candidates, Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland and Republican Benjamin Harrison. While Cleveland and his party supported free trade, the Republicans’ platform was deeply protectionist.
When not portrayed as a heroic struggle for the betterment of mankind, polio vaccine development has mostly been told as a story of bitter rivalry between Salk and Sabin. It has also been recounted as a particular “American Story”, with the March of Dimes, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis with the occasional mention of the Sabin trials in the Soviet Union. Historical narratives of polio have rarely crossed national borders, even though polio is undisputedly seen as a global health issue today.
But if we step outside of the national boundaries and shift our perspective from an American view, another story of polio unfolds. It reveals that polio as a global health issue is not a recent phenomenon, but one that reaches back to the late 1940s and early 1950s. It sheds light on a global network of scientists and public health officials, who set in motion global vaccine trials in the 1950s and 60s. Against a backdrop of Cold War tensions and the remnants of the colonial world, the personal networks of researchers intertwined with the emergence of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the development of live poliovirus vaccines. The international agency capitalized on the network of scientists to become a coordinating, validating and standardizing entity, while researchers used the WHO to establish further ties, get access to cutting-edge technology, or to free vaccines in public health emergencies. Continue reading ““There is no Cold War”: global networks in polio vaccine research”→