Internationalism in the (long) Twentieth Century
The international history of the twentieth century was long viewed primarily through the lens of nation-states, their foreign policies, and international institutions. In recent years, however, this focus has shifted. Exciting new scholarship now moves beyond the ‘national’, centering for instance on internationalisms in world socialist theory and practice or anti-colonial internationalisms of the Bandung era. Historians have also turned to transnational and transimperial women’s and anarchist networks, global peace movements, and trans-state intercultural structures of the ‘world religions’, to name but a few. As such, they started to unearth a plethora of political imaginaries of the international sphere that flourished both alongside and in competition with nationalism and imperialism.
Organized by a group of PhD students from Humboldt University and Free University Berlin, this interdisciplinary PhD workshop explores the histories of internationalisms in the long 20th century. Participants will be asked to reflect on the political, economic, social, and cultural circumstances and infrastructures that made internationalist thinking and activism throughout this period possible. To this end, the workshop poses important questions such as: How have different ideas about and actors of internationalism travelled across time and space? What mediums – from mass media over literature, image and music, to transportation technologies – allowed for the dissemination of concepts beyond national and imperial confines? And through what identities, groups, and networks did internationalist thinking emerge? In times in which liberal internationalist norms are increasingly under threat, this PhD workshop also seeks to focus more closely on competing internationalist ideas and unearth some of their inherent contradictions: how inclusive or exclusive were different internationalist visions? What kinds of knowledge have internationalists created or reconfigured?
The workshop particularly welcomes applications that focus on the following topics: