Tag: Global History

Assistant Professor in Global and International Studies (Boston College, Massachusetts, US)

For those TPF readers looking for an assistant professor position in global and international studies, the History Department at Boston College has announced the following job opportunity.  The call for applications explains more: The History Department at Boston College seeks to hire an Assistant Professor of Global or International History, who will hold a joint appointment…

Workshop: “Global Cultural Encounters (1750-1950)” (University of Michigan, August 2-4, 2017)

For readers of the Global History Blog, here’s a recent call for attendance at a workshop titled “Global Cultural Encounters (1750-1950)” at the University of Michigan on August 2-4, 2017. The workshop that will take place with the participation of many important scholars including Albert Wu, who was previously interviewed by the Toynbee Foundation. Sponsored by the Thyssen Foundation, the…

Of Prostitution and Port Cities: A Conversation with Liat Kozma

Dr. Liat Kozma

Prostitution may be considered the world’s oldest profession, but its practice and regulation has been far from fixed throughout history. As Dr. Liat Kozma explores in her most recent book, Global Women, Colonial Ports: Prostitution in the Interwar Middle East (2017), state-regulated prostitution in the Middle East—and the lives of prostitutes themselves—was directly influenced by major global shifts following World War I. These shifts included the transition from Ottoman to French and British colonial rule in the Middle East, as well as the ongoing processes of industrialization, urbanization, and large-scale migration set in motion in the nineteenth century.

Exploring prostitution through the regional lens of the Mediterranean—rather than through a political lens like that of a single nation or empire—Kozma innovatively dissects the many layers of state-regulated prostitution and the involvement of global and local institutions. From Casablanca to Beirut, Alexandria to Haifa, people, practices, germs, and attitudes toward prostitution and sexual practices migrated and spread during the interwar period.

Importantly, this story of the internationalization of prostitution regulation is far from one of top-down colonial policy-making. It involved a complex web of interactions and knowledge-sharing between individuals at every level, including actors from the newly created League of Nations, who sought to monitor traffic in women and children; colonial officials who shared policies maintaining racial boundaries between populations; local feminists, abolitionists, and medical doctors who wrote and debated about how to best prevent the spread of venereal disease; and individual prostitutes and brothel keepers who migrated to different cities in search of employment opportunities. As Kozma puts it, “the drunken sailor affected international policies on clinics that treated venereal disease, and international conventions affected the availability of care in his port of call.”

Kozma’s narrative telescopes in and out, between the local and the global; between the individual brothel keeper in Port Said and the League of Nations meetings in Geneva; between the syphilitic soldier and the history of Salvarsan. In doing so, Kozma sketches out a new model for writing global history—one that connects the dots between social history, women’s and feminist history, and Middle Eastern history.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Kozma, a senior lecturer in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We talked about her research process for the book and her main findings about prostitution in the interwar period. We also discussed some of the broader challenges of writing a social and gendered history of a global phenomenon, the exciting potential of multi-archival research, and her recent work in bridging the divide between academic and non-academic audiences through social history.

–Caroline Kahlenberg

CFP: European Architectural History Network (Tallinn, Estonia, June 2018)

Researchers working at the intersections of global history and architectural history may like to participate in the fifth European Architectural History Network International Meeting to be held in Tallinn, Estonia during June 2018 by the European Architectural History Network. Please find the detailed call for session and paper proposals for the various sessions below: Abstracts are invited for…

CFP: Revising the Geography of Modern World Histories (University of York, 9-10 February 2018)

Readers of the Global History blog may consider participating in ” a forum to discuss the challenges and possibilities of writing multi-sited modern histories that encompass fully situated lives and local contexts”. Please find below the call for proposals from the organizers of Revising the Geography of Modern World Histories to be held in York, UK, from 9 to 10…

Call for Submissions: Global Histories, A Student Journal

Our graduate student readers should consider this exciting call for submissions for the journal Global Histories: Deadline: July 10th, 2017 In recent years, global history has become one of the most ambitious and promising strands of historical research. The approach targets relations, flows, and actors that challenge the assumption of the nation state as a natural…

Call for Publication: “Africa and the World: The Continent in Global History”

Scholars who are working on the history of the African continent from a global history perspective may like to explore this opportunity to contribute to a new book project edited by Saheed Aderinto. You may see the call for submissions below: Contributors are invited for a new book project titled, “Africa and the World: The…

Global Capitalism and Trans-Atlantic Revolution: An Interview with Andrew Zimmerman

The American Civil War decisively showed the world how thoroughly America dominated cotton production. From Berar in Western India, to the fields of Egypt and German Togoland, pockets of cotton production suddenly expanded, even as this cotton was derided for not being as fine, or the correct length, for the spinning machines in Europe’s factories. German imperial ambitions coloured their interest in American cotton production and strategies for its replication in German Togo. It also drove their incorporation of the Polish periphery into Prussia and sugar beet cultivation by labour gangs of Polish migrant workers to rival British sugar production in the Caribbean. What connected these projects in Germany and German Togo to the American New South was the need to manage racially dominated labour for complex and large-scale production processes.

Andrew Zimmerman (George Washington University), our latest guest to the Global History Forum

Andrew Zimmerman’s book Alabama in Africa draws together the disparate threads, and often surprising intersections in a global history of how capitalism produces transnational forms of labour expropriation; a globalization of the ideology and practices of oppression across nations and global regions. Alongside, he shows also how sociology emerged as a discipline in Germany that buttressed the claims and concerns of the imperialist German nation-state. In America, the influential Chicago School of Sociology under the German trained sociologist Robert E. Park became the institutional framework for a new objectification of African American migrants from the New South to Chicago. The transnational exportation of “the Negro problem” of the New South undergirded the emergence of specific forms of labour and its control globally; and this in turn produced a global humanitarian discourse through which the Global South emerged as an object of policy.…

CFP: On Top of the World: Sizing Up Global History (Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 20-21, 2017)

As part of an explosion of recent work on the theory and practice of global history, the 2017 Great Lakes History Conference has issued a call for papers on the theme  “On Top of the World: Sizing Up Global History.” The conference is to be held at Grand Valley State University from October 20-21, 2017. In…

CFP: Berkeley Global and International History (Big-H) Conference (Berkeley, September 2-3)

For our graduate student readers, please see this call for papers for the Fourth Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) Graduate Student Conference, themed “The Contingency of Transmission: A symposium on transnational movements in ideas, people, and goods.” Never has global history been as relevant, among both disciplines that study the global and fields of historical…