To some, the term “international history” may come across as vague and unfamiliar. Gustavo Fernandez, a student at UT Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, has dedicated an entire website, “Using History to See the World,” to demystifying this academic field.
While even Stalin questioned the relevance of the term in as late as 1952, one glance at primary and secondary literature from across the globe during the twentieth century demonstrate that while the term may seem obsolete now, understanding what Bolshevism meant, how it was used, and why people had such strong reactions to it is crucial to understanding twentieth century history.
Can historians reinterpret the American Civil War as a global event? This question inspired Henry Wiencek, a first year doctoral student in history at the University of Texas at Austin, to create the website “The Civil World: A Global ‘War Between States.’”
In his novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Laurence Sterne describes the character Uncle Toby and his hobby-horse, the military. A hobby-horse, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “a favourite pursuit or pastime,” is something you’ve trotted out and ridden nearly to death. At the risk of losing the remainder of my friends, I am here to once again sing the praises of my hobby-horse, Twitter, and explain why you should be on it if you care about history.
If Digital History is “using new technologies to enhance research and teaching,” as the excellent website from the University of Houston puts it, then African American history is being well-served digitally. In honor of African American History month, I survey here one enormous and useful website that gives us all access to a very wide variety of materials.
During our interview Professor Amin was suffering from allergies and his nose was running constantly. He also had several attacks of sneezing. But he was patient and generous enough to continue speaking with me despite it all.
Irfan Habib is an Emeritus Professor of the Dept of History but he still appears daily in the department where he sits in the office of Professor Shireen Moosvi and interacts with all of the students, other professors, Communist party activists and others who move in and out of the office throughout the day. Irfan Habib always provides hospitality to these guest, endless cups of tea and biscuits.
S.M. Mehdi was surprised to see me, but agreed to answer my questions though he cautioned he could not be considered an expert on Aligarh. He told me, instead, of his experiences during partition as a Communist in Bombay. He worked for thirty years in the Soviet Embassy in New Delhi and has been a lifelong Communist.
In 2009, I spent five months living at the Aligarh Muslim University in the town of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. I was there to research the role and experience of Aligarh students in the movement for Pakistan during the 1940s. As part of this research, I actively sought out university employees and former students of the university from that period. I was referred to S.M. Mehdi through a chance encounter with a university official and arrived at his home without an appointment.
The death of Muammar al-Qaddafi and the end of his rule in Libya marks the end of an era. Our untiring colleague in International History, Jeremi Suri, blogs about the historical background.