This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Bretton Woods Conference, July 1944. Image source: UN photo

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

From Bretton Woods 2.0 to revisiting the Zong Massacre, 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

Knole House, home of the Sackville-Wests. Photograph: IR_Stone/Getty Images.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter

From Belgium’s reckoning with its brutal colonial past to Novia Scotia’s lobster wars, 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

“A new Map of the whole World, by H. Moll. [In hemispheres, on the stereographic projection]” – British Library shelfmark: Maps K.Top.4.25.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter

From the threat of academic authoritarianism to when Louis Armstrong stopped a civil war in the Congo, 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

A potester demonstrating against the continued conflict in Yemen. Parliament Square, London,  July 5, 2020. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter

From how the Soviets recruited Nazi war criminals to spy on the West to misremembering the British Empire, 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

From teaching anticolonial archives to race and empire in Meiji Japan, 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

From how Japanese Canadians survived internment to when Africa was a German laboratory, 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 demonstration in London on July 8, 2016 (Photo: Alisdare Hickson, Flickr).

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter

From the transnational roots of Black History Month in Britain to how bad medieval history feeds far-right fantasies, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

The Human Rights Dictatorship – An Interview with Ned Richardson-Little

Ned Richardson-Little. The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany. New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2020. £22.99 Paperback

Interviewed by Marc-William Palen

Ned Richardson-Little’s The Human Rights Dictatorship recovers the history of human rights within the German Democratic Republic (GDR). In doing so, he provocatively reinterprets the Cold War, the evolution of human rights in the Eastern Bloc, and the revolutions of 1989. The book provocatively shows how “human rights” had multiple meanings depending upon which side of the Cold War – and the Berlin Wall – you found yourself. Richardson-Little’s tracing of how the meaning of human rights evolved in the decades after the Second World War illuminates a global battleground of ideas that continued to be fought in Eastern Europe long after the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.

Dr Richardson-Little is a Freigeist Fellow at the University of Erfurt, Germany, where he leads a project on international crime and globalization. Before this, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the 1989 after 1989 research group (2014-18). He received the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize from the German Historical Institute (Washington) and a commendation from the Fraenkel Prize committee at the Wiener Library. Academic publications include numerous chapters and journal articles, and the editing of a special issue of East Central Europe.  He has also written for the Imperial & Global Forum, and hosts a blog, History Ned. You can follow him on Twitter @HistoryNed.

How would you briefly summarize your book? Give us your “elevator pitch,” if you will.

The idea of human rights was crucial to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of state socialism in East Germany, but before that, it had also been a core part of communist ideology used to legitimize dictatorship. The ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) came to see itself and the German Democratic Republic as a champion of human rights, both at home and around the world. The party even created a socialist version of Amnesty International to campaign on behalf of victims of human rights violations in West Germany and beyond. For dissident activists, creating a human rights movement wasn’t a matter of being inspired by the West, but reclaiming the idea of human rights from the state by demanding democracy and pluralism from within. The SED was able to use human rights politics to sustain power for decades, but once dissident groups succeeded in wresting it from the party, this accelerated the process of collapse leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Continue reading “The Human Rights Dictatorship – An Interview with Ned Richardson-Little”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Castro in Harlem
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, left, and Cuban President Fidel Castro, center, are seen outside the Hotel Theresa in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. (Associated Press)

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter

From the African who transformed Anglo-Saxon England to the anti-colonial repatriation of museum artifacts, 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

Demonstrations against Treuhand, as seen in the documentary. Photograph: Netflix

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

From Germany’s answer to the JFK assassination to Wendell Willkie’s world without borders, 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 using Instagram to teach forgotten histories to when rock fought against racism, 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

“Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On)” by J. M. W. Turner, 1840

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

From how not to be an alien to the microdynamics of late colonial violence, 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 revisiting grand theories of history to topics you’re not supposed to discuss at dinner, 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

India Office Records and Private Papers. Source: British Library, Mss Eur F112/276, f 102-103

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

From an independent Kurdistan to when fascism almost came to Australia, 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

Dancers at the first-ever iteration of Carnival in St Pancras Town Hall. © Getty Images

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

From remembering Claudia Jones to Brexit, Australian style, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”