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Series:

Edited by Francine Giese, Mercedes Volait and Ariane Varela Braga

The present volume offers a collection of essays that examine the mechanisms and strategies of collecting, displaying and appropriating islamic art in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many studies in this book concentrate on lesser known collections of islamic art, situated in Central and Eastern Europe that until now have received little attention from scholars. A section of the volume focuses on the figure of the Swiss collector Henri Moser Charlottenfels, whose important, still largely unstudied collection of islamic art is now being preserved at the Bernisches Historisches Museum, Switzerland. Contributors to the volume include young researchers and established scholars from Western and Eastern Europe and beyond: Albert Lutz (foreword), Roger Nicholas Balsiger, Moya Carey, Valentina Colonna, Francine Giese, Hélène Guérin, Barbara Karl, Katrin Kaufmann, Sarah Keller, Agnieszka Kluczewska Wójcik, Inessa Kouteinikova, Axel Langer, Maria Medvedeva, Ágnes Sebestyén, Alban von Stockhausen, Ariane Varela Braga, Mercedes Volait. Les contributions de l’ouvrage examinent le mécanisme et les stratégies relatifs à la collection, la présentation et l’appropriation des arts de l’Islam au XIXe siècle et début du XXe siècle. Elles mettent l’accent sur des collections situées en Europe centrale et orientale, lesquelles ont été peu étudiées jusqu’à présent. Une partie de l’ouvrage est dédiée à la figure du collectionneur Suisse Henri Moser Charlottenfels, dont les objets se trouvent aujourd’hui au Bernisches Historisches Museum (Suisse) et qui ont été de même peu étudiés. Les textes émanent de jeunes chercheurs comme de chercheurs confirmés, basés en Europe occidentale et orientale, et au-delà.

Series:

Elisabeth Heijmans

In The Agency of Empire: Connections and Strategies in French Expansion (1686-1746) Elisabeth Heijmans places directors and their connections at the centre of the developments and operations of French overseas companies. The focus on directors’ decisions and networks challenges the conception of French overseas companies as highly centralized and controlled by the state.

Through the cases of companies operating in Pondicherry (Coromandel Coast) and Ouidah (Bight of Benin), Elisabeth Heijmans demonstrates the participation of actors not only in Paris but also in provinces, ports and trading posts in the French expansion. The analysis brings to the fore connections across imperial, cultural and religious boundaries in order to diverge from traditional national narratives of the French early modern empire.

Science, (Anti-)Communism and Diplomacy

The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs in the Early Cold War

Series:

Edited by Alison Kraft and Carola Sachse

From 1957 onwards, the Pugwash Conferences brought together elite scientists from across ideological and political divides to work towards disarmament. Through a series of national case studies - Austria, China, Czechoslovakia, East and West Germany, the US and USSR – this volume offers a critical reassessment of the development and work of “Pugwash” nationally, internationally, and as a transnational forum for Track II diplomacy. This major new collection of work reveals the difficulties that Pugwash scientists encountered as they sought to reach across the blocs, create a channel for East-West dialogue and realize on the project’s founding aim of influencing state actors. Uniquely, the book affords a sense of the contingent and contested process by which the network-like organization took shape around the conferences.

Contributors are Gordon Barrett, Matthew Evangelista, Silke Fengler, Alison Kraft, Fabian Lüscher, Doubravka Olšáková, Geoffrey Roberts, Paul Rubinson, and Carola Sachse.

Fernanda Bretones Lane, Guilherme de Paula Costa Santos and Alain El Youssef

Abstract

This article analyzes the ways that discussions regarding the abolition of the slave trade held at the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815) affected slavery in the Iberian empires. Drawing from newspaper coverage, diplomatic correspondence, and conference minutes, we reassess the conditions under which Portuguese and Spanish agents negotiated with their British counterparts; highlight the Iberian political dilemmas that surfaced at the Congress; and elucidate the plenipotentiaries’ subsequent resolutions addressing the transatlantic slave trade. As a result of the talks held in Vienna, Spanish subjects in Cuba and Portuguese subjects in Brazil established political and diplomatic strategies to support slavery in order to maintain their positions in the world market of tropical goods. In other words, while slavery was undergoing reconfiguration in Brazil and Cuba, slave-owners and their political representatives were forced to engage with the hegemonic, abolitionist discourse systematically established by the British at the Congress in order to formulate their proslavery response. The article thus demonstrates that the Congress of Vienna was integral to the international consolidation of the politics of “second slavery” in the Americas. In other words, Brazil and Cuba were forced to engage with the hegemonic discourse systematically established by the British at the Congress in reconfiguring slavery and formulating their proslavery defense.

The “Fused Horizon” of Abolitionism and Islam

Historicism, the Quran and the Global History of Abolition

Nathaniel Mathews

Abstract

This article considers slavery and abolition in Muslim societies globally as a historical and historicist problem. I argue that the changes in popular consensus among Muslims about the desirability and permissibility of owning slaves is primarily due to a Gadamerian “fused horizon” of abolitionism and Islam. I theorize one site of its emergence from interreligious African cooperation in New World slave rebellions. By studying slavery as a global process and parochializing the boundaries between the civilizational and regional histories of Islam, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, there emerges a radical critique of slavery and capitalism that combines elements of both abolitionism and Islam. The historical experience of enslaved people provides an experiential and evidential basis for this new hermeneutical horizon.

In Memoriam

Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia

Mapping Uncertainty

The Collapse of Oyo and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, 1816–1836

Henry B. Lovejoy

Abstract

This historical GIS experiment attempts to map the collapse of the kingdom of Oyo alongside the departure of slave ships from the Bight of Benin. The achievements and drawbacks of mapping Africa’s pre-colonial past require an overview of the sources and methods used to illustrate the dissolution and formation of inland places during an intense period of intra-African conflict. By collating geopolitical data, it is possible to represent on annual maps the likely origins and migrations of diverse groups of enslaved people who were involved in the warfare in the Bight of Benin hinterland between 1816 and 1836. During this period, an unknown number of captives were enslaved and forced into an internal slave trade, most especially into the Sokoto Caliphate, while over 75,000 individuals involuntarily boarded European slave ships leaving for Brazil, Cuba and, due to British abolition efforts, Sierra Leone.

Pernilla Myrne

Abstract

Women probably made up the majority of the slave population in the medieval Islamic world, most of them used for domestic service. As men were legally permitted to have sexual relations with their female slaves, enslaved women could be used for sexual service. Erotic compendia and sex manuals were popular literature in the premodern Islamic world, and are potentially rich sources for the history of sex slavery, especially when juxtaposed with legal writings. This article uses Arabic sex manuals and slave purchase manuals from the tenth to the twelfth century to investigate the attitudes toward sexual slavery during this period, as well as the changing ethnicities and origins of slaves, and the use of legal manipulations.