8 FEBRUARY 2023, 16:15 - ONLINE VIA ZOOM AND IN HÖRSAAL H51
"Homeland and its Infrastructures: Mecca in the Imaginaries and Mobilities of Chinese Muslims in the Twentieth Century"
Dr. Janice Hyeju Jeong (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
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Mecca is often conceptualized as a destination for the hajj or a source of leverage for imperial states, Saudi national foreign policy, and Islamist movements. For studies of Islam in China, the pilgrimage to Mecca has been identified as a significant factor in initiating new waves of religious movements upon pilgrim-scholars' returns. While building on such transnational angles, the talk proposes to view Mecca as a convergence point for diaspora populations from across Asia, an intermediary site that has hosted and redirected mobilities of sojourners, refugees, and exiles throughout the manifold turnovers of the twentieth century. Specifically, I will focus on an eclectic community of first to third-generation Chinese Muslim settlers in the Hejaz (western coasts of the Arabian Peninsula) who themselves or whose predecessors arrived in the region at different points in time between the 1930s and 2010s — as pilgrims, exiles, and students. The talk shows that the variegated routes between Mecca and China, coupled with imaginaries of the city as a distant home place of origin, served as a rare constant orienting force that sustained two-directional mobilities of Chinese Muslim diasporas through the wars and revolutions of the modern times.
Janice Hyeju Jeong is a historian and an anthropologist interested in transnational Islamic networks between China and the Arabian Peninsula, inter-Asian migrations, and mixed methods in anthro-history. She joined the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Göttingen in 2021 with broad research interests in formations of Islamic networks between China and the Arabian Peninsula, inter-Asian connections, and history and anthropology. She pursued her doctorate degree in History at Duke University, where she completed a thesis entitled “Between Shanghai and Mecca: Diaspora and Diplomacy of Chinese Muslims in the Twentieth Century.” The thesis utilized Mecca as a locational anchor and an analytical framework to trace the metamorphoses of religious and migratory networks of Chinese Muslims across mainland China, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia in the course of the twentieth century, and showed mobilizations of such networks as channels of informal diplomacy at moments of international war. To collect textual and ethnographic data, Jeong conducted multi-regional fieldwork in places including Jeddah, Riyadh, Linxia, Shanghai, and Taipei with the support of several grant agencies. She has had affiliations with the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Peking University, and New York University Shanghai.
1 FEBRUARY 2023, 16:15 - ONLINE VIA ZOOM AND IN HÖRSAAL H51
"Towards a Global History of the Nicaraguan Revolution, 1977-1990"
Dr. Eline van Ommen (University of Leeds)
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This presentation, drawing on Dr. van Ommen's current book project, traces the efforts of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional [Sandinista National Liberation Front, FSLN] in Nicaragua to gain external support in a rapidly changing global context. Van Ommen argues that the Sandinistas’ innovative diplomatic campaign captured the imaginations of people around the globe, resulting in a dense web of contacts between Nicaragua and the outside world. These interactions went far beyond elite politics, as thousands of musicians, politicians, teachers, activists, priests, feminists, and journalists flocked to this small Central American country to experience first-hand how the revolution unfolded. At the same time, Sandinista diplomats traveled across the world in search of allies as they were faced with an increasingly hostile United States. Pragmatically calculating that Western European involvement in Central America could tip the regional power balance in their favor, the FSLN specifically reached out to European activists and governments. Starting with the tumultuous period leading up to the overthrow of the dictatorship on 19 July 1979 and ending with the electoral loss of the FSLN on 25 February 1990, van Ommen reveals the opportunities and limitations that the international environment offered to a small revolutionary state in Central America.
Eline van Ommen is a historian of Latin America in the twentieth century, particularly interested in revolutions, transnational and grassroots activism, and foreign policy during the Cold War. She has published on the international and transnational history of Nicaragua’s revolutionary decade, European solidarity activism, and Central American-European relations. She obtained her BA at the University of Groningen before moving to the London School of Economics (LSE) to do her MSc and PhD in International History. Prior to being appointed as a lecturer in the School of History at the University of Leeds in 2021, she was a lecturer at the University of Utrecht. Before that, she taught courses on Latin America and the Cold War at the LSE.
25 JANUARY 2023, 16:15 - ONLINE VIA ZOOM AND IN HÖRSAAL H51
"To Connect One's Own National Culture and the World at Large Through Music: The Violinist Zlatko Balokovic, the United States, and Two Yugoslavias"
Nela Erdeljac (University of Zagreb/Karlovac University of Applied Sciences)
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This presentation centers and is concerned with illuminating a rather underresearched aspect of the life and work of Croatian violinist Zlatko Baloković, his cultural diplomatic activities through which he attempted to further the connection between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia and the United States. From the standpoint of scholarship on cultural diplomacy, both Zlatko Baloković as an actor on the international scene and his efforts to connect the aforementioned countries allow us to observe the work of a ''cultural ambassador'' who saw himself and acted as a representative of all three of the aforementioned countries. This presentation centers its analysis on the public discourse that surrounded the musician in the American and Yugoslav context, the public performances of Zlatko Baloković which allow us to analyze specific messages he disseminated to the audience in the three countries and his personal deliberations on the role he was to play in the relationship between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia and the United States. This presentation demonstrates that Zlatko Baloković was an individual that self-consciously inserted himself into the Yugoslav-American relationship equation by positioning himself as a cultural diplomatic agent in the service of both the United States and the two Yugoslavias.
Nela Erdeljac holds an MA in History and English Language and Literature and is a PhD candidate at the History Department at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, Croatia where she is currently finishing her doctoral dissertation on ''jazz diplomacy'' between Yugoslavia and the United States in the post-World War II era. Her primary research interest centers around cultural diplomacy, more specifically music diplomacy, but she has also ventured into the study of the connection between music and violence. She is currently employed as a Lecturer at Karlovac University of Applied Sciences and has presented portions of her research at several international conferences.
18 JANUARY 2023, 16:15 - ONLINE VIA ZOOM AND IN HÖRSAAL H51
"Crossroads of Empire: Revolutions and Encounters at the Frontiers of Europe"
Dr. Cristina Florea (Cornell University)
In this talk, Dr. Florea will discuss her forthcoming book Crossroads of Empire, which follows the small East European borderland of Bukovina over the course of two centuries, as it shifted from the Austrian Empire to Russia, Romania, the Soviet Union, and independent Ukraine. The book reflects on the power of place - or, in other words, the relationship between geopolitics, ideas, and everyday life - through the story of a small and distant territory caught in the whirlpool of great power politics. It shows how global transformations manifested themselves at a local level, how they were experienced by state officials and locals on the ground, and also how large processes - such as imperial competition, modernization, or the rise of twentieth century ideologies - developed local roots, such that they were seldom experienced merely as impositions from outside but much more often as developments internal to Bukovina.
Cristina Florea is an Assistant Professor in Modern European history at Cornell University, researching and teaching the histories of Eastern and Central Europe and the Soviet Union in the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries, with a focus on borderlands, imperial entanglements and competition, and the interplay of nationalisms and empires in the region. She is currently completing a book entitled Crossroads of Empire: State and Culture in Europe’s Eastern Borderlands, which traces the evolution of governance strategies and ideologies of rule in a region of Europe now straddling the frontier between Romania and Ukraine over the course almost two centuries. Combining a local, microhistorical lens with a sensitivity to global context, this book highlights the great extent to which remote, seemingly backward places at Europe’s periphery have shaped the development of modern statehood and sovereignty. Florea’s interests also include mass emigration and displacement in Eurasia, challenges to democracy, the workings of authoritarianism, and the rise of extremist politics (both on the right and on the left) in interwar Europe. She is hoping to explore this latter theme in her second book project, through the life story of the Austrian-Jewish writer Joseph Roth, who witnessed Europe’s decay first-hand as he traveled the continent after the Habsburg Empire’s collapse, moving from hotel to hotel throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
11 JANUARY 2023, 16:15 - ONLINE VIA ZOOM AND IN HÖRSAAL H51
"TRANSNATIONAL ENCOUNTERS IN CHINA: THE AHMADIYYA FROM INDIA AND CHINESE MUSLIM REFORMISM"
Dr. Hale Eroglu (Boğaziçi University)
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My paper explores the intellectual connection between Chinese Muslim intellectuals and the Ahmadi mission in London during the Republican period in China (1911-1949). This transnational network, which connected China to London via India, is quite an interesting case because of the alleged “heterodox” nature of the Ahmadi version of Islam. Chinese Muslim intellectuals in the early twentieth century struggled to create modern Muslim citizens out of Muslim subjects of the Qing Empire (1644–1911). They had a dual task. First, they were determined to preserve their Islamic identity in the context of modern China. Second, they were willing to contribute to China’s progress as fellow Chinese citizens. This could be possible through the selection, appropriation, and adaptation of ideas both from Chinese intellectuals in China and Muslim intellectuals from different parts of the Islamic world. The Ahmadi formulation of Islam, despite its marginal nature, appealed to a group of prominent Chinese Muslim intellectuals as it offered an alternative for Chinese Muslims, who were looking for a theological ground for a modernist interpretation of Islam, which could also guarantee the peaceful and harmonious existence of Islam in a non-Muslim majority country. The historical analysis of this interaction will contribute not only to our understanding of Chinese modernization from a minority perspective but also to the pluralist possibilities of Islam in a modern global world.
Hale Eroglu is an assistant professor in the History department at Bogazici University. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and she works on the intellectual history of Chinese Muslims, with a specific focus on transnational networks. Her book on Chinese Muslim reformism and transnational connections will be published by Columbia University Press in Columbia Studies in International and Global History series.
21 DECEMBER 2022, 16:15 - ONLINE VIA ZOOM AND IN HÖRSAAL H51
"BEYOND BILATERALISM? ECONOMIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION IN THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT "
Dr. Anna Calori (Universität Wien)
The “global turn” in the history of state socialism and the Cold War has produced compelling accounts of Second-Third World entanglements. It has suggested that the ways in which the socialist camp expanded its sphere of influence in the Global South, and contributed to co-producing the current global order, amounted to a “socialist” or “alternative” form of globalisation.
Following an overview of the recent developments in the field of global socialism, this lecture will zoom in on East-South connections beyond the COMECON sphere – by focusing on exchanges within the Non-Aligned Movement. It will follow the ideas, practices, and actors that built the foundations for multilateral technical cooperation amongst developing countries. It will then trace how the initial ideas for building collective self-reliance and economic de-colonization morphed into a more complex agenda: countering North-South development imbalances through the establishment of the New International Economic Order. Through new research findings on Yugoslav enterprises in the Global South, the lecture will illustrate the complex dynamics of its implementation on the ground, and the multiple constraints faced by this project. An aggressive turn away from development cooperation and towards neoliberal marketisation reforms did only seemingly entail the failure of this project. The lecture will conclude by exploring the afterlives of these connections and suggesting some potential implications of non-aligned cooperation in a multipolar world.
Anna Calori is a REWIRE post-doctoral fellow at the University of Vienna, where she leads a project on economic cooperation between Yugoslavia and the Non-Aligned world. Her research interests cover labour and social history, economic history, and global history. For her doctoral studies at the University of Exeter, she researched economic reforms and deindustrialization in the former Yugoslavia. Before coming to Vienna, she worked at the University of Leipzig and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Outside academia, she has worked in the NGO sector in the Western Balkans and at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva.
12 dezember 2022, 16:15 - online via Zoom and in presence at h51
Dr. Emma Kluge (European University Institute)
Decolonisation from the Margins: The Limits of Afro-Asian solidarity on West Papuan Activism
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Traditional histories of decolonisation have tended to focus on struggles for decolonisation against European powers, particularly in Asia and Africa. In this paper, I move beyond this canon to explore the West Papuan campaign for independence in the 1960s. West Papuan activists asserted their right to self-determination and independence from both Dutch colonialism and Indonesian imperialism. The West Papuan campaign in the 1960s was deeply influenced by ideas circulating in Afro-Asian networks and at the United Nations. Through studying the campaign of West Papuan activists, I reveal new imagined networks of solidarity cultivated between Africa and the Pacific, while also drawing attention to the ways in which Global South politics worked against the claims of colonial peoples such as the West Papuans. Focusing on the West Papuan movement offers a new perspective on a transformative moment in international history, revealing how ideas relating to self-determination and decolonisation were critically engaged with by thinkers outside centres of power at the United Nations in New York.
Emma Kluge is a historian of decolonisation and anticolonial thinking and holds a Max Weber postdoctoral fellowship at the European University Institute. Her research investigates the intersection between anticolonial activism and institutions of global governance. She earned her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2021 with a dissertation on the West Papuan campaign for decolonization at the United Nations. In 2020, she published an article with the International History Review, ‘West Papua and the International History of Decolonisation, 1961-69’, and in 2022 she published another article with Humanity ‘A New Agenda for the Global South’ as part of a special issue on The Global South and the United Nations. Emma is currently working on her book manuscript ‘The Limits of Decolonisation: West Papua and the Politics of Self-determination in the 1960s’.
7 December 2022, 16:15 - ONLINE VIA ZOOM AND IN H51
Dr. Catherine LeFevre (European University Institute)
"From Détente to Debt: How the Political and Economic Strategies From the West Contributed to the Eastern European Sovereign Debt Crisis (1970-1982)"
Catherine Lefèvre holds a PhD in Economic and Social History and a Masters in Russian, Central and Eastern European studies from the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on the development of the 1981–82 Eastern European sovereign debt crisis and explores the links between sovereign lending and politics, and the role of creditor countries in the development of financial crises, specifically between the UK, Poland, Romania and Hungary. Besides her work at the EUI, Catherine supervises Masters dissertations as an associate lecturer for the MSc Global Economy program at the University of Glasgow.
Through archival research this project focuses on the UK government and UK banks and their political and economic relationships with Eastern European countries during the Cold War. It analyzes how the UK, as a creditor country, contributed to the development of the Eastern European sovereign debt during the 1970s. The crisis first broke out in Poland in March 1981, before spreading to Romania in July and Hungary in 1982.
Previous research on the role of creditor countries in the Eastern European sovereign debt crisis focuses primarily on the years around the outbreak of the crisis in 1981. Although creditor countries’ foreign policies had a significant effect on the accumulation of debt in Eastern Europe, there is limited literature on the link between politics and finance during the development of the crisis despite its Cold War context.
This research contributes a new perspective to the growing literature on creditor countries’ contribution to the development of a sovereign debt crisis by prioritizing their own political agendas despite evidence that their approach led to an unsustainable cycle of debt for debtor countries.
23 November 2022, 16:15 - online via Zoom and in presence at IOS (Landshuter str. 4, Room 017)
Volha Bartash (Leibniz-Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung)
“Memory Activism and the Commemoration of the Nazi Genocide of Roma in the Baltics"
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Volha Bartash is an ethnologist and historian of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, having published widely on the history and culture of Roma communities and their memory of the Nazi genocide and World War II. Her current research interests include the relationship between history and memory, memory and borders, grassroots activism and the state. Methodologically, her research integrates archival history, oral history and ethnography. She is committed to the practice of writing history “from below” and reconstructing the experiences of vulnerable and marginalized populations. Before joining the Graduate School, she was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. Her research has received support from the European Commission, Swedish Institute and Kone Foundation. She has held fellowships at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Vienna Wiesenthal Institute and the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena.
Dr. Bartash’s talk examines common challenges that Roma communities and memory activists face across the Baltics in their commemoration efforts. Nationalist narratives of history, persistent prejudice, their low social status and lack of resources act as entry barriers to national memory. Most mass killing sites of Roma genocide victims remain undocumented and unmarked, and community initiatives break apart due to the lack of coordination and institutional support. Regarding official recognition, the situations are different. Lithuania has recently included the Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma (August 2) in the calendar of national observances. In contrast, Latvia and Estonia have hardly started a national debate on this topic. What accounts for these differences? Why do they occur in the countries with a shared historical past (post-Soviet states and new EU member states)? This talk will frame analysis of the local commemoration initiatives alongside developments in the International Romani movement and Holocaust commemoration.
9 November 2022, 16:15 - online via Zoom and in H51
Dr. Augusta Dell'Omo (Southern Methodist University)
“Networking White Supremacy – Understanding the Pro-Apartheid Movement, 1980-1988 ”
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Augusta Dell’Omo is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin in 2022. Her research agenda focuses broadly on global white supremacist movements and their use of emerging mass media and Internet technologies.
Her talk focuses on her current book project. Her book manuscript, titled Saving Apartheid: White Supremacist Internationalism at the Dawn of the Internet Age, is the first examination of the “pro-apartheid” movement’s organizing in the United States and South Africa. By mapping an international network of white supremacist and terrorist organizations, Saving Apartheid argues that as the apartheid state crumbled, a global ecosystem of white supremacist actors took up the mantle of white rule, working to preserve apartheid at home and its reputation abroad. Combing critical security theories, African studies, and political history, she analyzes how white power groups in the United States, Eurasia, and South Africa built transatlantic networks that influenced policymaking in the face of mainstream right-wing opposition to apartheid. Saving Apartheid weaves together narratives of state and non-state actors, uncovering far-right organizing before the Internet and the historical origins of contemporary far-right extremism. Her research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and others.
Committed to bridging the gap between academia, policymakers, and the general public, Augusta works as an Associate Policy Researcher at the Bridging Divides Initiative at Princeton University. Previously, Augusta produced two podcasts - Right Rising and 15 Minute History. She graduated with highest distinction and highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A. 2016). Find her on Twitter @Augusta_Caesar!
2 November 2022, 16:15 - online via Zoom and in H51
Dr. Natália Schmiedecke (Universität Hamburg) | Cultural Cold War and Third World Solidarity: Tricontinentalism in OSPAAAL Posters (1967-1990)
This presentation will focus on the posters produced by the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAAL) during the Cold War. Founded during the Tricontinental Conference in 1966 as an NGO based in Havana, the organization was active until 2019, when it was closed by the Cuban government. It had representatives from the three continents and was divided into four departments, one being Information and Propaganda. Its main produced materials were the Tricontinental magazine and the posters distributed along it. Adopting different aesthetics, they were aimed at supporting revolutionary, anti-colonialist, and anti-imperialist causes in different parts of the world. Through various strategies that will be analyzed during the presentation, the OSPAAAL posters portrayed the “Third World” as a community of peoples that resisted capitalism and imperialism and that would be responsible for revolutionizing the world order. The posters called for and practiced solidarity as a means of achieving this goal, providing an ideological frame for Cuba’s military and financial support for struggles abroad.
Natália Schmiedecke is a Research Associate at the Department of History of the University of Hamburg. She obtained a PhD and master’s degrees in History from São Paulo State University, Brazil. She was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Campinas and a Visiting Researcher both at the University of Helsinki and the Ibero-American Institute of Berlin. Her field of expertise is Latin American history of the
twentieth century, with an emphasis on the Chilean New Song Movement, the Popular Unity Government, and the Cuban Revolution. She has authored the books Chilean New Song and the Question of Culture in the Allende Government: Voices for a Revolution (Lexington Books, 2022) and Não há revolução sem canções”: utopia revolucionária na Nova Canção Chilena (Alameda, 2015), among other academic works.
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Dr. Sheng Peng (University of Vienna) | Cherry Pick Lessons: European Influence on the Chinese Market Debate,1978-2010
This paper exams the ways western economic debates during the 20th century have shaped the market debate – or the lack of – in China since the late 1970s reform era till a few years after the 2008 global financial crisis. Through case studies including Eastern Europe’s market socialism debate, Japan’s industry policy debate, and the influence of western neoliberalism, this study shows that Chinese economists and economic policy makers have the tendency to cherry pick lessons from the West in order to avoid deeper market reforms that might challenge the state’s role in economic planning. As a result, China’s market reform stops at merely using a variety of market elements to “fix” the rigid planning system, instead of allowing the free market to fully replace the planned economic system. Many of China’s current economic problems associated with the planning system, this study argues, could be traced back to those half-hearted or even misguided lessons from the West.
Sheng Peng is a post-doctoral fellow at the Research Center for the History of Transformations, University Vienna. His current research focuses on the impact of western economic thoughts on the two simultaneous marketization debates in PRC in Chinese Mainland and ROC in Taiwan. Previously he finished a PhD at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where he lectured modern history and researched history of technology transfer from NATO countries to China during the Cold War. Sheng also holds a MA degree in International Affairs with a focus on American foreign policy from George Washington University and studied International Relations, Economics, and Music at Drake University as an undergraduate student. In 2018 Sheng was a visiting scholar at the Moscow Higher School of Economics, where he conducted research on Soviet sinologists’ view on China’s post-Mao reforms.