What were you working on during your time at global dis:connect?
I was at global dis:connect from October 2021 to September 2022, working on my monograph on advertising practices and the construction of markets in an early modern border region. As academic schedules demand multi-tasking, there were also some side projects to be pursued: I finished an article discussing the emergence of the ‘Global Middle Ages’ in historical scholarship – a publication linked to my broader interest in temporality and periodisation in global history. Together with a group of colleagues, I worked on an edited volume about Encountering the Global in Early Modern Germany (hopefully appearing with Berghahn in 2024).
Where do you work now and are you still dealing with dis:connectivity?
After my stay in Munich, I returned to Tübingen University, where I work as a tenure-track professor of late-medieval and early modern global history, aiming to finish the monograph in 2024. In discussions with colleagues as well as in thinking about my own work, the theme of dis:connectivity helps me to reflect on the changed and changing position of global history. In this sense, I always found it helpful to conceive of dis:connectivity both as an agenda for obscure and invisible research topics and as a call for a more reflective edge in historical scholarship and the humanities, thinking about the conditions and limitations of our engagement with the world at large.
What work have you encountered recently that particularly impressed you?
Stuart Hall’s Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands (2017, Duke University Press). It’s a captivating intellectual autobiography about the making of the postcolonial.
Which song could be the soundtrack for your time at gdc?
Whom would you most want as a dinner guest – anyone alive, dead or fictional?
If this is about food for thought rather than an elaborate meal, I think Thomas ‘Mad Hatter’ Tryon (1634-1703) might be an interesting dinner guest. Feasting on a cup of fresh water and some gently steamed vegetables, we could talk about religious radicalism in early modern London, life in Barbados and the Caribbean plantation economy, before moving on to discuss Jacob Böhme, Hindu religion and the importance of a well-aired bedroom, alongside vegetarianism and animal rights. It would be hardly anything than a very sober meal but a thought-provoking one, to be sure.
In November Andreas Greiner commenced his term as a associated fellow at global dis:connect. Welcome.
Andreas Greiner is a fellow at the German Historical Institute Washington. He specialises in infrastructure networks and their spatiality and materiality in the 19th and 20th centuries.
At gd:c Andreas is studying intercontinental civil air routes between 1919 and 1947. The project examines the codification of aerospace as well as the diplomatic and economic factors driving intercontinental airway extension. Continue Reading
A warm welcome to our new fellow Yvonne Kleinmann who joins global dis:connect in early October.
Yvonne Kleinmann is a professor of Eastern European history and director of the Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies at Halle University
Her project at gd:c, Communicating Constitutions: A Cultural and Entangled History of Poland’s Basic Orders, deals with Polish constitutional history from the 14th century to the present from the angle of cultural history and (transnational) entanglement.
In early October, Matthias Leanza joins global dis:connect as a new fellow. Welcome to Munich, Matthias!
Matthias Leanza is a historical sociologist specialising in empires, colonialism and nation-state formation and is a senior lecturer at the University of Basel.
At global dis:connect Matthias will complete his current book project on the legacy of German colonialism. Drawing on a wide range of sources from European and African archives, the study shows how and why the German overseas empire helped consolidate the nascent German nation-state. Germany soon lost its colonies, but their effects on the country persisted, leaving a complex legacy. Continue Reading
In October Valeska Huber commenced her term as a fellow at global dis:connect. Welcome.
Valeska Huber is a professor at the University of Vienna. She has led an Emmy Noether Research Group and has been a fellow at the German Historical Institute London. She is particularly interested in the mutual interdependence of opening and closure.
During her fellowship at global dis:connect, she will work on a monograph about the 20th-century dream of universal literacy, tracing the Each One Teach One method propagated by US missionary Frank C. Laubach and applied around the globe from the Philippines to Cuba and Brazil. Continue Reading
A warm welcome to our new guest Joël Glasman who joins global dis:connect in october.
Joël is a Professor of African History at University of Bayreuth. He focuses on West and Central Africa in the 20th century, particularly colonialism, governmentality, humanitarianism and the production of power as framed by praxis theory and science and technology studies. His publications inquire into social classifications produced by state institutions, international governmentality and private corporations. He further engages with the theory of global history, global norms and colonialism. His last book, Les humanités humanitaires. Manuel d’autodéfense à l’usage des volontaires (2023), reflects on the practical use of the humanities.
Joël’s project At gd:c, Empire of waste, looks at imperialism as a regime of waste built on material exploitation and racial inequalities. Immobilisation, hiding and destruction of waste played a crucial role in imperial domination, as indicated by recent research on toxicity, waste dumping and radioactivity in Africa.
In September David Motadel commenced his term as a fellow at global dis:connect. Welcome.
David Motadel is an associate professor of international history at the LSE. A former Gates Scholar at Cambridge, he has held visiting positions at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Sciences Po and the Sorbonne.
At gd:c he is working on a global history of Europe’s empires around the Second World War, 1935-1948, exploring the history of the war in the imperial world, its impact on colonial subjects; the history of the colonial soldiers who fought in Europe’s armies; the history of anti-colonial movements during the war, from the Viet Minh to the Quit India movement; and the war’s impact on the end of empire and twentieth-century world order. Continue Reading
A warm welcome to our new fellow Günther Sandner who joins global dis:connect in early September.
Günther Sandner is a political scientist and historian. He works as a research fellow at the Institute Vienna Circle (University of Vienna) and teaches civic education extramurally. His research includes the history of logical empiricism and Isotype.
His project at gd:c, Following Isotype: visual languages and universal symbols in the decades after 1945, deals with projects that aimed to overcome the active absence of a universal language and to establish one with the help of pictures, graphics, symbols and pictograms. Its focus is on the 1950s and 1960s. Continue Reading
In early September, Ayala Levin joins global dis:connect as a new fellow. Welcome to Munich, Ayala!
Ayala Levin is an associate professor of architectural history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Ayala specialises in architecture and urban planning in postcolonial African states with interest in the production of architectural knowledge as part of north-south or south-south exchange.
At global dis:connect Ayala will research how U.S. planners sought to reorganise rural spaces in post-independence African states to curb urban migration. Continue Reading
Judd C. Kinzley from the University of Wisconsin-Madison joined global dis:connect in early July.
Judd Kinzley is a professor of modern Chinese history. His research treats borderlands, materiality and natural resources. He is currently working on the transnational exchange of Chinese raw materials for cash, weapons and industrial goods during World War II. This work reveals the transnational networks that developed to finance, produce and transport such resources. These trans-Pacific networks channelled objects in both directions during the war and served as the blueprint of a new postwar international order.
His project at gd:c focuses on the legacies of Allied wartime oil exports to China , the Middle East, SE Asia, the US and the European powers together.