The Imperial and Global Forum is the blog of the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the History Department, University of Exeter. The Centre brings together the strong research expertise of the University's eminent imperial historians. It comprises of one of the largest groups of imperial and global historians currently working in the UK. Our blog offers a dynamic exploration of imperial history. Please also visit our homepage at http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/history/research/centres/imperialandglobal/
The Research Academy addresses 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.
The rapid economic and military ascent of China has been one of the major geopolitical developments over the past four decades, with the reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping entering its 40th anniversary this year. This has seen China go from a ramshackle, quasi-feudal empire into one of the Great Powers of the 21st century.  What has been the driving force behind this push has been China’s historical experiences, most notably those of the 19th and early 20th centuries, known to the Chinese as the Century of Humiliation (百年国耻), where China lost both its territory and its prestige to the imperial powers of the day.  These experiences have also been a tool in China’s relationships with the wider world as well as a unifying force within China, the legacy of which persists in the light of current tensions. Continue reading “How the Century of Humiliation Influences China’s Ambitions Today”→
The 1938 and 1944 pan-Arab conferences in Cairo, Egypt, were the events that “cement[ed] Arab feminist consciousness” (Golley, 2004) and the feminist debate was to erupt in the Arab world from the 1950s onwards. Hadidi and Al-Qadi have since investigated pioneering women’s writing in Syria and acknowledge the existence of new-woman characters, but they argue that the phenomenon only appeared in fiction from the 1970s onwards. They write: “[the] new woman is a type of female character almost wholly absent in previous periods; she starts to appear in the novels of the 1970s, which opened up to collective concerns and constructed fictional worlds based on the political and social reality in Syria and the Arab world” (2008, 87). Arab women’s feminist struggle, however, appeared much earlier — within fin-de-siècle Arabic fiction. Continue reading “Tracing the Origins of Early Feminism in the Arab World”→
Canada’s treatment of Indigenous persons by white settlers and contemporary government institutions are issues that have increasingly come to the forefront of late. They are at the heart of questions around how we should govern in the modern world. These institutions were not built by Indigenous persons, and Canadians are increasingly recognizing that our government has often contributed to the poor health, safety, and economic outcomes experienced by Indigenous persons.
Renilde Loeckx’s Cold War Triangle tells the story of an international scientific collaboration across the iron curtain that led to the development of HIV blockbuster drugs such as Viread and Truvada. It is as much a story of Cold War collaboration among scientists, as a story of collaboration between scientific institutions and pharmaceutical companies. In her introduction, Loeckx, a former ambassador of Belgium, sets out to bridge diplomacy and science to tell the story of Antonín Holy and Erik Le Clercq: the collaboration of a Czechoslovak and Belgian scientist with the American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. As Loeckx writes, the book is “about the human face of science, how scientists from three different cultures collaborated to create the complex drugs that saved millions of lives” (p. 15). Continue reading “Cold War Triangle: How Scientists in East and West Tamed HIV”→