Home » Departments and Centres » History and Civilization » Research & Teaching » Seminars » 2018-2019 1st term » International History

International History

Departmental Seminar

Organised by Prof Federico Romero and Prof Corinna Unger
Registration code: HEC-DS-INTL-18
Thursdays, 15:10 - 17:00, Sala del Torrino

Please note that the October 25 and November 15 sessions have been rescheduled to October 22 and November 12 respectively in Sala dei Levrieri.

Starts on 11 October 2018

Admin. Assistant: Laura Borgese


Seminar description

This departmental seminar explores some of the most innovative as well as established themes of twentieth-century international history with the aim of familiarizing researchers with the field’s varieties of focus, methods, and analytical scope. We consider how advances in the related fields of transnational, global, and world history are influencing the ways in which international history is conceptualized and written. Empirical case studies rather than programmatic statements are studied along with non-Western and Western perspectives and texts. We concentrate on a few central, exemplary topical areas, whose interpretations and methodological approaches have redefined the discipline in recent times.


Seminar Preparation and Participation

Preparation: Everyone is expected to thoroughly read the set texts each week. Thorough reading means attending to different dimensions of the texts: 

  1. identifying the author’s central arguments and how they relate to larger historical concerns and debates: how is the author responding to others in the field?
  2. analyzing how the author constructs her/his argument.
  3. attending to sources and evidence: how does the author correlate his/her argument to the sources? What claims do you think can be made with the adduced evidence?
  4. asking yourself how the author is trying to change the way you think about the topic at hand.

Participation: Everyone is expected to contribute to the discussion each week by expressing a viewpoint about the texts and salient issues, especially in relation to points 1–4 above.Each participant will be asked to make a brief introductory presentation on the readings each week.

Please note that there is reading for the first meeting



Background Texts:

  • Patricia Clavin, “Defining Transnationalism”, Contemporary European History 14.4 (2005): 421-439.
  • Patrick Finney, “Introduction: What is International History?,” in idem, ed., International History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 1-35.
  • Daniel Gorman, International Cooperation in the Early Twentieth Century (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).
  • Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, “Human Rights and History,” Past and Present 232 (2016): 279-310.
  • Joseph Anthony Maiolo, “Systems and Boundaries in International History,” International History Review 40.3 (2018): 576-591.
  • Kiran Klaus Patel, “An Emperor without Clothes? The Debate about Transnational History Twenty-five Years On,” [email protected] 26 (2015): www.histoire-politique.fr

11 October: Colonialism and Imperialism in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Background reading: Volker Barth and Roland Cvetkovski, “Encounters of Empires: Methodological Approaches,” in idem, eds., Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870-1930 (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), 3-33.

  • David Arnold, “Globalization and Contingent Colonialism: Towards a transnational history of ‘British’ India,” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 16.2 (2015), https://muse-jhu-edu.ezproxy.eui.eu/article/587721.
  • Tomoko Akami, “Imperial polities, intercolonialism, and the shaping of global governing norms: public health expert networks in Asia and the League of Nations’ Health Organisation, 1908-1937,” Journal of Global History 12 (2017): 4-25.

18 October: The End of War and the New Order after 1918

Presentation by Max Weber Fellow Sakiko Kaiga

  • Susan Pedersen, “Empires, States, and the League of Nations,” in Glenda Sluga and Patricia Clavin (eds.), Internationalisms: A Twentieth-Century History (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 113-138.
  • Tracey Banivanua Mar, Decolonisation and the Pacific: Indigenous Globalisation and the Ends of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 82-113.

22 October, 3.10 pm to 5.00 pm, Sala dei Levrieri: Internationalisms in the Interwar Period

Background reading: Jessica Reinisch, “Introduction: Agents of Internationalism”, Contemporary European History 25.2 (2016): 195-205.

  • Glenda Sluga and Patricia Clavin (eds.), Internationalisms: A Twentieth-Century History (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Introduction and chapter 4 by G. Sluga, “Women, Feminism and Twentieth Century Internationalism,” 61-84.
  • Marc Matera and Susan Kingsley Kent, The Global 1930s: The International Decade (London: Routledge, 2017), Introduction and chapter 3.

8 November: Global Order after 1945

Background reading: Elisabeth Roehrlich, “State of the Field Essay on the History of the United Nations and its Organizations,” H-Diplo Essay 153 (April 2018), http://tiny.cc/E153.

  • Eric Helleiner, Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014), Introduction and Conclusion.
  • Eva-Maria Muschik, “Managing the World: The United Nations, decolonization, and the strange triumph of state sovereignty in the 1950s and 1960s,” Journal of Global History 13.

12 November, 11.10 am to 1.00 pm, Sala dei Levrieri: Decolonization

Background reading: Martin Shipway, Decolonization and Its Impact: A Comparative Approach to the End of the Colonial Empires (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2008), 1-16.

  • Alanna O’Malley, The Diplomacy of Decolonization: America, Britain and the United Nations during the Congo Crisis, 1960-64 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018), Introduction, chapter 2, and Conclusion.
  • Ryan Irwin, “Sovereignty in the Congo Crisis,” in Leslie James and Elizabeth Leake, eds., Decolonization and the Cold War: Negotiating Independence (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), 203-218.1 (2018): 121-144.

22 November: Cold War

Background reading: Federico Romero, “Cold War Historiography at the Crossroads,” Cold War History 14.4 (2014): 685-703.

  • Artemy Kalinovsky, “New Histories of the End of the Cold War and the Late Twentieth Century,” Contemporary European History 27.1 (2018): 149-161.
  • Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History (New York: Basic Books, 2017), Introduction and Conclusion.

29 November: Human Rights

Presentation by Professor Hanne Hagtvedt Vik, University of Oslo

  • Steven L. B. Jensen, The Making of International Human Rights: The 1960s, Decolonization, and the Reconstruction of Global Values (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), Introduction and chapter 3.
  • James Kirby, “‘Our Bantustans are Better than Yours’: Botswana, the United States, and Human Rights in the 1970s,” International History Review 39.5 (2017): 860-884.

6 December: Global Socialisms

Background reading: David C. Engerman, “The Second World’s Third World,” Kritika 12.1 (2011): 183-211.

  • Jeffrey James Byrne, “Beyond Continents, Colours, and the Cold War: Yugoslavia, Algeria, and the Struggle for Non-Alignment,” The International History Review 37.5 (2015): 912-932.
  • Simon Godard and Laurien Crump, “Reassessing Communist International Organisations: A Comparative Analysis of COMECON and the Warsaw Pact in relation to their Western Competitors,” Contemporary European History 27.1 (2018): 85-109.

13 December: New International Orders

Background reading: Daniel Sargent, “The Cold War and the International Political Economy in the 1970s,” Cold War History 13.3 (2013): 393-425.

  • Giuliano Garavini, “Completing Decolonization: The 1973 ‘Oil Shock’ and the Struggle for Economic Rights,” International History Review 33.3 (2011): 473-487.
  • Lucia Coppolaro, “In the Shadow of Globalization: The European Community and the United States in the GATT Negotiations of the Tokyo Round (1973-1979),” International History Review 40.4 (2018): 752-773.



Page last updated on 24 August 2018