Elisabeth Leake (Leeds) ‘Rethinking the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan’

Tuesday 20th November, 16:15
Jessop West G:03
All welcome!

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was one of the most significant events in the end of the Cold War in the non-Western world. It had major consequences for Afghanistan, South and Central Asia, and international politics, both during the end of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. It also created one of the biggest refugee crises of the twentieth century. This paper focuses on the impact of the Soviet occupation on the Afghans who chose to flee their homeland and settle in nearby Pakistan and Iran. It derives from a broader project that rethinks the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in local, regional, and global politics and explores the ways that different actors conceived of Afghan statehood and political identity. This paper specifically explores the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan as a humanitarian crisis and considers how the conflict shaped the daily lives of Afghans in exile.

Exhibition sheds new light on European peace protests of 1980s

Dr Eirini Karamouzi has curated a new exhibition which shines new light on peace protests that swept across Southern Europe in response to the nuclear arms race of the late 1970s and 1980s has been launched by a historian from the University of Sheffield.

The exhibition provides a new and comparative perspective on the anti-nuclear and anti-militarist peace protests that were held throughout the continent, particularly in Greece, Italy and Spain.

Launched at the Hellenic Parliament Foundation by the President of the Greek Parliament, Nikolaos Voutsis, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue showcases the strong relationship between governments, nuclear strategies and peace movement mobilisation.

Developed in collaboration with Dr Giulia Quaggio – a Max Batley Peace Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sheffield – the exhibition also aims to be a reminder of the existential threat that nuclear weapons still pose to humanity and the value of harnessing the power of the people.

Read the full article

Alan Strathern (Brasenose College, Oxford) ‘Unearthly Powers: Religious Change & Politics in World History’

Tuesday 30th October
Jessop West G:03
All welcome!

Dr Strathern’s research focuses on the global history of religious encounter and conversion in the early modern period, and his paper will discuss some of the main ideas in his forthcoming book Unearthly Powers: Religious and Political Change in World History (Cambridge 2019). Please see his abstract below for further information.

Abstract:

In this rather theoretical paper, I will introduce some of the main ideas advanced in a forthcoming work of comparative global history Unearthly Powers: Religious and Political Change in World History (Cambridge, 2019), which draws heavily on anthropology and historical sociology. Rather than telling some kind of comprehensive story, this sets out to identify certain patterns in the relationship between religion and politics over the global long term, and to suggest a set of analytical concepts that may help us to work at this scale. The book is particularly concerned with explaining the development of sacred kingship and the rise of the world religions – or what I refer to as ‘transcendentalisms.’ Indeed, the distinction between ‘transcendentalism’ and ‘immanentism’ lies at the heart of the project.  After explaining these phenomena and their inter-relationship over time, I will discuss their implications for kingship – for they generated distinct ‘righteous’ or ‘divinized’ forms. Lastly, I will suggest a model for explaining how and why rulers – from Anglo-Saxon kings to Fijian chiefs – have converted to religions such as Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, focussing particularly on the role of immanent power. This takes us some way towards explaining why the religious map of the world today looks the way it does.

Modern International History Group Events Autumn 2018-19

The Modern International History Group is a postgraduate-led discussion group based at the University of Sheffield. Though our primary focus is (predictably) modern international history, we welcome involvement from a other disciplines, or related projects outside of academia.

For more information on meetings and activities, please see our upcoming events and social events pages which will be updated regularly, view our past events, or join our mailing list.