Tag: Transnational History

Gerald D. Feldman Travel Grants for Transnational Study

Advanced PhD students working on transnational/transregional topics may be interested in applying for a Gerald D. Feldman travel grant. Areas for study include: China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Turkey, USA. The supporting institutions explain as follows: Once a year, supported by the Peters Beer Foundation, part…

Chinese Jesus: Discussing German Missionaries’ Journey “From Christ to Confucius” with Albert Wu

Is Christianity in danger of disappearing? Since at least the middle of the twentieth century, Christianity in Europe has often been seen as in decline, with the most recent surveys indicating that scarcely more than half of EU citizens believe in any God at all. Many Christian communities in the Middle East, such as the Assyrians, have been displaced through the US invasion of Iraq, the Syrian Civil War, and the emergence of ISIS. The Eastern Orthodox Church, freed in its Russian incarnation from decades of Communist rule, shows strong signs of growth in Europe. However, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the displacement of Russians means, increasingly, that Orthodoxy’s southern frontiers end thousands of miles further north than they did a century-and-a-half ago.

In fact, Christianity in the world is in no danger of vanishing. The percentage of Christians as a part of world population is nearly the same as it was a century ago. What is changing, however, is the face of Christianity, as both the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant denominations see more and more of their congregations be composed of Latin American, African, and Asian populations. Pope Francis is the first Pope from Latin America, while Brazil constitutes the single largest Catholic country. There are almost as many Catholics in Nigeria as there are in Germany. There are perhaps tens million of Chinese affiliated with official state-sponsored Protestant organizations in that country, but the proliferation of unofficial “house churches” means that there could be up to 58 million Protestants and 9 million Catholics living in the People’s Republic of China. This, in turn, would make China the fourth-largest Protestant country after only the USA, Nigeria, and Brazil.

Demographic changes like these are bound to bring about conversations about theology and dogma. To take the example of the Anglican Church, bishops from the “global South” have boycotted conferences on the grounds that North American churches are too lenient on the ordination of homosexual bishops and their blessing of same-sex marriage. Conversely, many theological conservatives who approved of Joseph Ratzinger have expressed concern over the stress that Pope Francis has placed on issues such as global warming, consumerism, and US-Cuba relations (his more traditional views on matters such as abortion and same-sex marriage notwithstanding). As nations whose entry into Christendom is inescapably entangled with European imperialism come to occupy greater prominence, the question of how “North-South” relations will affect Christianity cannot but occupy the attention of Christians and non-Christians alike.

Our latest guest to the Global History Forum, Albert Wu, offers perspectives on these question in his recent book, From Christ to Confucius: German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Globalization of Christianity, 1860-1950, published with Yale University Press.

In his book, Wu (an assistant professor at the American University of Paris) explores how German Protestant and Catholic missionaries engaged with China during the late Qing period and during the Republican period. At the heart of the book stands a paradox. At the start of the period in question, German missionaries viewed Chinese Confucianism as backwards and a crucial hindrance to China’s conversion and, more broadly, modernization. Yet by the 1930s and 1940s, German Christians viewed Confucianism as a crucial ally of Christianity in China. They insisted that a synthesis of Confucianism with Christianity constituted not heresy but rather only common sense. Wu’s book explains this paradox of how Germans “struggled to make a religion with universal claims adopt particular forms” and “how a global religion should assume local guise.”

As many Christians on both sides of the North-South (not to mention European Muslims in search of a “European Islam”) debate these questions, Wu’s book provides useful historical perspective. Outgoing Toynbee Prize Foundation Executive Director Timothy Nunan recently sat down with Wu to discuss From Christ to Confucius as well as Wu’s ongoing research agenda.…

CFP: YEARBOOK OF TRANSNATIONAL HISTORY (SECOND VOLUME)

For readers interested in transnational history, the second volume of The Yearbook of Transnational History (YTH) is accepting articles for publication. The call for papers explains more: The Yearbook of Transnational History (YTH) is a newly established peer-reviewed annual journal published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. This annual is dedicated to…

CFP: On the Matter of Blackness in Europe: Transnational Perspectives (University of California, Santa Barbara 4-5 May 2017)

For scholars interested in the transnational history of blackness, see this call for papers for a conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara to be held from 4-5 May 2017: The presence of Black people in Europe dates back to the early medieval period. Since then, Black people in Europe have contributed significantly to…

CFP: Transnational Leftism: The Comintern and the National, Colonial and Racial Questions (McMaster University, September 21-22, 2017)

The L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University has put out a call for their upcoming workshop on “Transnational Leftism: The Comintern and the National, Colonial and Racial Questions,” taking place on September 21-22, 2017:  But as transnational studies of the Comintern, racial equality and the national question have started to show, these…

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Transnational Korean Studies, UC San Diego

For those readers of the Global History Blog looking for a post-doctoral fellowship, here’s the good opportunity on transnational Korean studies! University of California , San Diego has announced a postdoctoral/lecturer position in Transnational Korean Studies for the 2017-18 academic year. The call for applications explains more: The Institute of Arts & Humanities within the…

Workshop: “Heritage Studies and Socialism: Transnational Perspectives on Heritage in Eastern and Central Europe” (Giessen, Germany, 23-25 November 2016)

For young researchers with an interest in transnational history, here is a recent call to attend the workshop from GCSC and Herder Institut titled “Heritage Studies and Socialism: Transnational Perspectives on Heritage in Eastern and Central Europe” -taking place in Giessen, Germany on 23-25 November 2016. The call explains:

In the last decade, heritage studies have emerged as a field of cross-disciplinary research covering the topics including the built environment, museums and collections, urban planning, memory, and tourism. This workshop brings together both early career researchers and established researchers for a discussion about the concept of heritage in relation to the Eastern and Central European region. In light of the different traditions in heritage policies and property rights, what notion of heritage do we employ for the study of heritage in socialist and post-socialist societies? Using this question as a point of departure, the presentations seek to critically engage with the field of heritage studies and reflect on core concepts such as authenticity and originality. We discuss the advantages and limitations of these approaches when applied to the (post-) socialist context, while also bringing together alternative approaches from the examples presented during the workshop.

Assistant Professor of History (Willamette University, Salem, Oregon)

For those hitting the job market this year with an eye on the Pacific Northwest, here’s a recent call for applications to a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, the state capitol and not far from the Cascade Mountains, the Oregon Coast, or Portland. The Department of History invites…

Advanced Associate Professor / Full Professor, Military History, University of Texas-Austin

While not a topic we’ve featured enough here at the Toynbee Prize Foundation, military history is alive and well and a necessary part of the conversation on global history. Luckily for its practitioners, too, there’s a recent call for applications for a great job at the University of Texas-Austin, whose Department of History is in the process…

“Crossing Borders, Challenging Boundaries” (Conference, Central Michigan University, March 31-April 1, 2017)

For graduate students interested in transnational approaches and based in the Midwest, here is a recent call for papers for a graduate student conference at Central Michigan University. This is a great opportunity to present one’s work early on during graduate education. The International Graduate Historical Studies Conference will host “Crossing Borders, Challenging Boundaries, ”…