Linguistic Landscapes: Using Signs and Symbols to Translate Cities

June 26-30, 2023

Call for applications: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2023 via the VIU website

This course focuses on the growing interdisciplinary field of Linguistic Landscapes (LL), which traditionally analyses “language of public road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs on government buildings”, usually as they occur in urban spaces. More recently, LL research has evolved beyond studying only verbal signs into the realm of semiotics, thus extending the analytical scope into the multimodal domain of images, sounds, drawings, movements, visuals, graffiti, tattoos, colours, smells as well as people. 

Students will be informed about multiple aspects of modern LL research including an overview of different types of signs, their formal features as well as their functions.

Faculty
Kurt Feyaerts, KU Leuven
Claire Holleran, University of Exeter
Eliana Maestri, University of Exeter
Michela Maguolo, Iuav University of Venice
Luca Pes, Venice International University
Paul Sambre, KU Leuven
Richard Toye, University of Exeter

Continue reading “Linguistic Landscapes: Using Signs and Symbols to Translate Cities”

Masterclass – PhD proposal and funding 101

Are you considering a Phd? In this Eventbrite masterclass the experts disclose the secrets to a successful PhD proposal. Learn to apply like a pro!

When: Tue, 6 December 2022, 15:00 – 16:30 GMT

Where: Online

Learn how to write a PhD proposal, and apply for funding with this online masterclass.

Our experts will discuss the main funding schemes available and offer advice on how to decide your next move. They will also cover the ideal PhD proposal structure and key things to include.

There will be workshop segments and plenty of time for questions, and PGR involvement on the panel too.

Hosted by the Archaeology and History department at the University of Exeter, we invite all those (of any discipline) who are interested in the PhD application process. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please reserve a spot – the link will be emailed to you prior to the event.

If you have any questions, email James Davey at J.Davey3@exeter.ac.uk or your prospective supervisor.

Click here to reserve a free spot

World population has reached 8 billion – India’s history reminds us why population control is still a bad idea

Family Planning imagery on an Indian postage stamp, 1967. Attribution: Post of India, GODL-India, via Wikimedia Commons.

Rebecca Williams
University of Exeter

World population has probably now reached 8 billion. For many, this will be a cause for alarm rather than celebration. However, Natalia Kanem, the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has rightly cautioned against ‘population alarmism’ and warned against population control measures, saying these have historically been ‘ineffective and even dangerous.’ Some commentators call for calm on the basis that past and present projections of runaway population growth leading directly to mass famine and other catastrophes have been overblown. A brief look back at the history of India’s experience of population control reminds us why population alarmism and population control can be so harmful.

Continue reading “World population has reached 8 billion – India’s history reminds us why population control is still a bad idea”

Waking up a sleepy world: U.S. Textbook Narratives of Imperialism

Stephen Jackson
University of Sioux Falls

For the past century, the World History course has been one of the most important ways that secondary students in the United States formally learn about imperialism. Fascinatingly, World History thrived in American high schools long before it emerged as an organized subfield at the university level.[1]

In my new book The Patchwork of World History in Texas High Schools: Unpacking Eurocentrism, Imperialism, and Nationalism in the Curriculum 1921-2021, I argue that American students have been exposed to largely triumphalist narratives of empire. While textbooks readily admit that imperialism was difficult for non-Western peoples, they overwhelmingly associate imperialism with the arrival of modernity and progress, a narrative trope reminiscent of J.M. Blaut’s concept of Eurocentric diffusionism.[2] Over time textbooks have become more nuanced, and the criticisms of empire have mounted, but this core idea of imperialism as a catalyst for progress and development remains standard fare in American classrooms today.

Continue reading “Waking up a sleepy world: U.S. Textbook Narratives of Imperialism”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Piazza del Quirinale during the 1922 March on Rome putting Mussolini in power. Photo by De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter

From fascism’s liberal admirers to how a defender of American Empire became a dissenter, 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

Black lives matter protesters in the Leeds City Centre (Shutterstock), Leeds UK, 14 June 2020

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

From the sovereign individual in Downing Street to Queen Elizabeth, colonization, and global perceptions, 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

Una Marson recording at a reception for Jamaican technicians working in factories in Britain

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

From the nature of J. A. Hobson’s racism to dispelling the myths of Swiss colonialism, 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 the foods that ‘changed’ the world to the politics of money, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.

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

H-Diplo Roundtable XXIV-4: Duncan Bell,  Dreamworlds of Race

Duncan Bell.  Dreamworlds of Race: Empire and the Utopian Destiny of Anglo-America.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.  ISBN:  9780691194011 (hardcover, 2020).

Cross-posted from H-Diplo / 23 September 2022 | https://hdiplo.org/to/RT24-4

Introduction by Georgios Giannakopoulos, City, University of London, and Marc-William Palen, University of Exeter

Duncan Bell’s Dreamworlds of Race is a timely intervention in the field of imperial and international thought. In many ways this book continues Bell’s earlier studies on the Anglo-American discourses of imperial federation and on the theoretical underpinnings of liberal imperial ideology. It completes a trilogy dissecting what the author calls “the metropolitan settler imaginary” (3).[1] Utopian ideas about racial unity were a key feature of the Anglo-American metropolitan settler imaginary of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Bell dissects this timely pattern of thinking by focusing on individual and varied case-studies that include industrialists (Andrew Carnegie), imperialists (Cecil Rhodes), journalists (W.T. Stead) and, finally, utopian writers (H.G. Wells). But Dreamworlds of Race is also about much more. Bell takes on the late Victorian genre of science fiction and argues for its importance in propagating ideas of racial utopianism. He is also interested in how racial utopias of an Anglo-American union—a peaceful Anglo-American imperial order, or Anglotopia—framed wider debates on war, peace, and citizenship. While Amanda Behm, Sam Klug, Ryoko Nakano, and Neil Suchak provide wide-ranging reviews of Bell’s book, all agree that Dreamworlds of Race is a timely and compelling intervention.

Amanda Behm situates Bell’s work in dialogue with the work of James Belich, Marilyn Lake, and Henry Reynolds.[1] She applauds the critical eye that Dreamworlds of Race casts on Anglo-American visions of international order, and the history of Anglo-American relations more widely. Behm focuses particularly on Bell’s reading of H.G. Wells and traces an ambiguity that frames the book revolving around the function of racial thinking in Wells’s thought.  Sam Klug discusses Bell’s discussion on citizenship and patriotism. Klug applauds Bell’s dissection of racialized forms of citizenship proposed by those invested in the political project of Anglo-American union. He argues that Bell could have integrated more systematically in his analysis the political “challenges to the authority and coherence of whiteness” and as an example he mentions the American debates on immigration. Ryoko Nakano analyses the book’s analysis on late twentieth century neo-Victorian fiction and the discussion of “Afro-modern perspectives.” Nakano argues that an exploration of alternative non-western utopian imaginaries linked with the ideologies of Pan-Islamism and Pan-Asianism could be a fruitful way of expanding and developing further some of Bell’s key insights on the making of racialized anti-imperial imaginaries. Neil Suchak, finally, highlights Bell’s complex analysis of the problem of peace and the links between peace theories and racialized Anglo-Saxon utopias. He argues that “the integration of this racialized and utopian definition of peace into the study of the wider scene of peace activism warrants further scholarship.”

In his substantive response, Bell addresses the points of all of the reviewers. He agrees with their suggestions for further exploration, including the American South, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, pan-Asianism, pan-Islamism, and utopian “dream” language. Bell also expands upon the racialized contradictions that Behm observes within the work of Wells. Bell agrees with Klug that more work could be done on the connections between Anglo-Saxonism, immigration, and white supremacy, while highlighting where Dreamworlds does engage with these issues. Bell next acknowledges Nakano’s points about further developing pan-isms (e.g., Pan-Asianism, Pan-Africanism) to incorporate spatial imaginaries beyond the “West-centric world order.” He concludes by responding to Suchak, including his suggestion that Bell perhaps underplayed the resonance of his book’s findings for interdisciplinary peace studies, such as democratic peace theory, the women’s peace movement, and international arbitration. The richness of this roundtable discussion illustrates the importance of Bell’s book, as well as how it opens the door for further investigation.

Participants:

Duncan Bell is Professor of Political Thought and International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Christ’s College. He is Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Political Thought. His research focuses on visions of world order in Britain and the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Dreamworlds of Race (Princeton, 2020) is his most recent book. His current work explores how the future of humanity has been imagined – by philosophers, scientists, and fiction writers – since the late nineteenth century.

Georgios Giannakopoulos is Lecturer in Modern History at City University of London and a visiting research fellow at King’s College, London. His publications include “Britain, European Civilization and the Idea of Liberty,” in the edited special issue History of European Ideas 46/5 (2020), “A World Safe for Empires? A.J. Toynbee and Internationalization of Self-Determination in the East (1912-1922), Global Intellectual History 6:4 (2021). He is currently completing a monograph on British international thought and imperial order in southeastern Europe (1870-1930) with Manchester University Press.  

Marc-William Palen is a historian at the University of Exeter. His publications include “Empire by Imitation? US Economic Imperialism in a British World System,” in Martin Thomas and Andrew Thompson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire (Oxford, 2018) and The “Conspiracy” of Free Trade: The Anglo-American Struggle over Empire and Economic Globalisation, 1846-1896 (Cambridge, 2016). His current book project with Princeton University Press explores the left-wing fight for globalism, anti-imperialism, and peace since the mid-nineteenth century.

Amanda Behm is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of York. Her first book, Imperial History and the Global Politics of Exclusion: Britain, 1880-1940, appeared with Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. She is working on two current projects: “Parliamentary Empire: British Democracy and Settler Colonialism, c.1867-1939” (organized with Professor David Thackeray at the University of Exeter), and a study of British visions of the North American Pacific Coast after 1846 as they shaped imperial culture and politics.

Sam Klug is an incoming postdoctoral fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University. He is working on a monograph provisionally titled “The Internal Colony: Black Internationalism, Development, and the Politics of Colonial Comparison in the United States.” His work has appeared in Journal of the History of International LawModern Intellectual History, and the volume Globalizing the U.S. Presidency: Postcolonial Views of John F. Kennedy (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Ryoko Nakano is Professor of International Relations in the Faculty of Law at Kanazawa University, Japan. For more than a decade, she has engaged in the study of Japanese political thought in pre- and post-war eras and has published extensively on Yanaihara Tadao (1893-1961), the chair of colonial studies at Tokyo Imperial University. Her areas of interests comprise memory of war, identity politics, and the role of ideas in international relations. Nakano has served as a guest editor for International Journal of Asian Studies, and her recent work explores UNESCO, cultural heritage, and memory politics in East Asia.

Neil Suchak is a D.Phil. Student at the University Oxford where he researches the imperial dimensions of the nineteenth century American peace movement.

Continue reading “H-Diplo Roundtable XXIV-4: Duncan Bell,  Dreamworlds of Race”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

A plate from Curry and Rice on Forty Plates (no date; author died 1859). No copyright asserted at https://archive.org/details/curryriceonforty00atkiuoft

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

From Indo-English and Anglo-Indish to the class conflict hiding behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.

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

How not to do international intervention

U.S. Navy Seals search for al-Qaida and Taliban in the Jaji Mountains, Afghanistan, Jan. 12, 2002. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Tim Turner) (Released, Public Domain)

Stephanie Carvin, Igor Istomin, Valérie Rosoux and Richard Toye

Cross-posted from International Affairs Blog

Over a year after the US completed its ill-fated withdrawal from Afghanistan the limitations for those states looking to pursue forms of international intervention have been thrown into sharp relief. In this blogpost we bring together experts on different forms of intervention to discuss the challenges different approaches face. From war to political interference and conflict mediation, they discuss the key factors that can render interventions ineffective and contribute to policy failure.

Continue reading How not to do international intervention

Mobility and Mutability: Lessons from Two Infrastructural Icons

John Munro*

An imposing monument to ideology and power, it stood as a marker of urban division from its construction during the height of the Cold War until its fate was sealed in 1989. Featured in films from noir to arthouse, its austere aesthetics absorbed observers on the scene and around the world. With its grey, alienating appearance, it also attracted no shortage of denunciators. “Oppressive,” one urban design expert opined in retrospect, “does not begin to describe it.” It’s still remembered by history, even if most people now enjoy inhabiting or traversing the public space its absence affords with little thought to this once formidable fabrication.

I refer, of course, to San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway.

Construction of the Embarcadero Freeway, January 1958 (San Francisco Chronicle)

But this reference also recalls that structure’s infrastructural doppelgänger; Berlin’s infamous edifice was also built to control mobility and to shore up a system of unequally distributed power.

Installing Berlin Wall reinforcements, 1961 (research.archives.gov)

Standing as they did across the same temporal span, the Freeway and the Wall, despite their differences, invite comparison for the lessons they hold. Two of those lessons – that mobility is power, and that nothing lasts forever – might issue from the twentieth century, but they are particularly salient for thinking about the city of the twenty-first.

Continue reading “Mobility and Mutability: Lessons from Two Infrastructural Icons”

Call for proposals: Parliamentary Empire workshop

Settler Colonialism and Parliamentary Democracy: Histories and Legacies, 1867 to the Present (History of Parliament, London, 12 Apr 2023- participants are welcome to present papers in-person or via Zoom)

Over recent years, growing attention has been paid to how histories of settler colonialism have shaped people’s engagement with parliaments and parliamentary culture across and beyond the former British Empire. Calls for improved representation by and for peoples of colour, such as the Australian campaign for a greater ‘indigenous voice’ to parliament, have responded to historical imbalances in power and built on historical struggles to define the political nation. We wish to facilitate discussion across disciplines from scholars interested in the histories and legacies of parliamentary culture, settler colonialism, and resistance. This will lead to a special issue of Parliamentary History to be published in 2025.

Continue reading “Call for proposals: Parliamentary Empire workshop”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

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

From the next shockwave to hit Puerto Rico to why trade couldn’t buy peace, 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

Pool photo by Frank Augstein, New York Times.

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

From escaping the Taliban to the Du Bois Doctrine, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.

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