Planet History

Autor: editorial board

Semantic Geo-Annotation for Ancient History and Beyond

By Elton Barker. Sometime in the second century CE, Pausanias of Magnesia wrote the Periegesis Hellados (Description of Greece). Representing a unique deep dive into ancient Greece’s built environment to the level of individual statues and paintings, this text projects a tour of the Greek mainland in ten books, from Attica (I) to Phocis (X), in a clockwise circuit around the Peloponnese.

Trauma and the 1980s in Arabic Literary Studies

What is a literary history of the present? There are many ways to imagine such a project and its debt to Foucauldian genealogy, from accounts of how literature writes history to how the notion of literature is a historical aspect of the present. This essay, part of the upcoming workshop, “The Literary 1980s in the MENA: Towards a History of the Present”, asks what trauma has come to name in Arabic literary studies since the 1980s.

Constructing Global Order – Book Review

By Ulf Engel. Four years after his ground-breaking presidential address to the International Studies Association (ISA) in 2014, in which the author called for decentring the Western-dominated field of international Studies, Amitav Acharya has produced a monograph on global order in which the contours of a different way of practicing international studies are outlined.

Philology and Microhistory: A Conversation with Carlo Ginzburg

Islam Dayeh in conversation with Carlo Ginzburg. In this Philological Conversation, Carlo Ginzburg reflects on the place of philology in his work and explores the connections between philology, microhistory, and casuistry. We talk about the people who inspired his early thinking, including his father Leone Ginzburg, his mother Natalia, and his grandfather, moving on to Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer, and Sebastiano Timpanaro.

Notes from Another Exodus: The Four-Month Struggle to Evacuate Afghan Poets and Scholars

By Fatemeh Shams. On 15 August 2021, Kabul fell to the Taliban, after twenty years of US-led military occupation. As the situation escalated over the following days and weeks, harrowing footage of airport stampedes, Taliban violence, protestors, chaos, and panic dominated the news. Four months later, the news cycle may have quietened, but the crisis in Afghanistan intensifies every day.

Spatial Formats under the Global Condition – Book Review

Reviewed by George White. Through their work at the Collaborative Research Centre at Leipzig University, Steffi Marung, Matthias Middell and their collaborators have produced a comprehensive and impressive volume on the weighty topic of globalization. The topic is innately geographical, specifically spatial, and geographers not only have a lot to say about it, they already have written much about it.

Contextualizing and Conceptualizing Debates about Academic Freedom in Europe

By Anna L. Ahlers. After participating in the re:constitution seminar in Ljubljana, Slovenia in November 2021 and, also crucially, while working with colleagues in China, I cannot help but feel extremely lucky and privileged to be able to work under the academic circumstances that I do. They appear to be  so much easier to deal with than the ones I learned about in my interactions with academics from China, Hungary, Slovenia, Turkey, and other countries.

We Didn’t Start the Fire: Military Interventions from Kosovo to Kiev

By Katarina Ristić. Only a few days before the attack on Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin responded to those scandalized by the prospect of a war in Europe, reminding Europeans that such a war had already taken place. In 1999, he said, it was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – not Russia – that had started a “large-scale military operation that included air strikes against a European capital, Belgrade”.

Towards a Truly Global Digital Humanities

By Diana Roig-Sanz. The idea that the digital humanities enjoy a global scope remains utopian. Most of the departments and research institutions that house postgraduate studies, summer schools, international conferences, and scientific journals on the matter remain anchored in the Global North, especially in certain countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

“Resisting Multiple Pressures – Perspectives on Academic Freedom in Europe” – Side Note on the re:constitution Seminar

By László Detre. re:constitution is a joint program of the Forum Transregionale Studien and Democracy Reporting International, funded by the Stiftung Mercator. Re:constitution awards fellowships, inspires and organizes topical seminars, and offers fact-based analysis on and around the rule of law and democracy in the European Union.

“The Problem is Not in the Illusions, but in the Aims of the Apparatus of Power” – Interview with Gintautas Mažeikis

Interview with Gintautas Mažeikis by Miglė Bareikytė. I remember when professor Gintautas Mažeikis, during the first week of the semester at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, told his students, including me, that we should read Horkheimer and Adorno’s “Dialectic of Enlightenment”. We were young, the book was poorly translated, perplexity set in.

The Russian Orthodox Church and Modernity

By Regina Elsner. Russian Orthodoxy is often suspected to be pre or anti-modern because of its difficulties engaging with a plural and secular society – for example, when relating to democracy, human rights, or gender diversity. After the end of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church associated increasingly with the agenda of the political elites in Russia and other successor states of the Soviet Union.

Global South Scholars in the Western Academy: Harnessing Unique Experiences, Knowledges, and Positionality in the Third Space

This book was conceptualized at an international conference on refugee studies in Germany in 2018, where the editors, Staci Martin and Deepra Dandekar, first met. At the time, Staci wanted to explore a pedagogic practice of teaching that co-creates spaces of critical thinking and hope in the classroom, resulting in social action or change. Deepra was focused on questions of migration, gender, and belonging outside the bureaucratic-administrative purview of citizenship.

Islam, Ethnicity, and Conflict in Ethiopia: The Bale Insurgency, 1963-1970 by Terje Østebø

By Ulf Engel. Contemporary conflicts in Ethiopia are overshadowed by the ongoing war between the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the one hand and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on the other. Between 1991 and 2018 both parties were partners in a Tigray dominated coalition front which finally failed to impose its hegemonic nation-building project on the multi-ethnic country.

Whose History is it? The Challenges and Paradoxes of Studying Queer History in a Neoliberal and Nationalist Context

By Mathias Foit. Ever since the Law and Justice (PiS) party’s victory in the 2015 parliamentary election, queer research in Poland has become especially challenging and more politicised than ever before. The moment the ultraconservative PiS party won the election in 2015 and secured an outright majority can be pinpointed as the beginning of what some have referred to as a “conservative revolution” in Poland.

Racism in German Public Institutions – Interview with Matthias Middell

The Research Institute for Social Cohesion is investigating racism in German public institutions on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior in a project titled “Rassismus als Gefährdung des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalts im Kontext ausgewählter gesellschaftlich-institutioneller Bereiche”. We discussed the goals of this research with Matthias Middell (University of Leipzig), spokesperson of the FGZ and co-principal investigator of this study.

Dealing with Sexual Harassment and Violence in the Neoliberal University

By Tanja Wälty. The issue of sexual harassment and violence (SHV) has received more attention in recent years thanks to feminist interventions such as #Aufschrei, #MeToo, and #NiUnaMenos. At the same time, neoliberal governmentality has led to an “economization of the social” (Ludwig 2010), in which the market becomes the structuring principle for social relations.

Navigating Socialist Encounters: Moorings and (Dis)Entanglements between Africa and East Germany during the Cold War

By Immanuel R. Harisch. Only recently, the decades-old debate regarding former Mozambican contract workers in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) experienced new momentum. Characterized by Marcia C. Schenck as “wandering journeymen of the Cold War” (“Wandergesellen des Kalten Krieges”), the trajectories of Mozambican contract workers were crucially shaped by socialist encounters and the close relations between the GDR and Mozambique.

Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics

By Carl Rommel. One does not have to spend a long time in Egypt to apprehend that football is a serious matter that stirs powerful emotions across the male population. Match shirts of Cairo’s two giant clubs, al-Ahly and al-Zamalek, are omnipresent in streets and squares throughout the country; club rivalries are a source of passionate controversies and banter in cafés, workplaces, and social media.

Entanglements of the Maghreb: Cultural and Political Aspects of a Region in Motion

By Imen Louati and Julius Dihstelhoff. This anthology aims to generate a new approach to address regional studies in the Maghreb. Indeed, capturing the Maghreb’s heterogeneity and its dynamic is central for reflecting on recent transformations, not only in the Maghreb but in the Arab world generally, particularly in relation to the Arab uprisings of 2010–11.

Enchevêtrement du Maghreb: Aspects culturels et politiques d’une région en mouvement

Par Imen Louati and Julius Dihstelhoff. Cette anthologie vise à produire une nouvelle approche pour aborder les études régionales au Maghreb. En effet, saisir l’hétérogénéité du Maghreb et sa dynamique est essentiel pour réfléchir aux transformations récentes, non seulement au Maghreb mais dans le monde arabe en général, en particulier en relation avec les soulèvements arabes de 2010-11.

Affective Readings: Emotion and Society in/of Egyptian Literature, 1990 to 2020

By Christian Junge. What are the social functions of reading literature? While many studies approach Arabic literature primarily through the lens of authors, the literary field, or sociopolitical discourses, my interdisciplinary postdoctoral research project, “Affective Readings”, shifts the focus to the readers. I ask: What do readers read, and how and why?

The Allure of Airport Rhythms

By Juan Miguel Leandro L. Quizon. Travel entails expectations, musings, and meanderings. The moment travelers make final confirmations of flight bookings, their minds begin to explore the countless possibilities of their new journey. However, this year reminded us how a pandemic can seize travel instantaneously.