Why No Specialists in Canadian History at the Global 1860s Conference?

17 10 2015

A conference titled “The Global 1860s” is currently (15 to 17 October) being held at Princeton.

The long 1860s witnessed an extraordinary sequence of global developments. Massive conflicts rocked the Americas, Europe, South Asia, and parts of the Caribbean and the Pacific world, while even regions relatively untouched by warfare—such as North Africa, Russia and Japan—experienced momentous political transformations. Simultaneously, the decade saw major shifts in science, communications, art, economics, and the politics of gender. This conference brings together scholars from many different areas of expertise to discuss how far there was a “global 1860s”—and what this might mean.

The organizers for the conference are Linda Colley, Princeton and Matthew Karp, Princeton. The event is sponsored by Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Oxford University Centre for Global History, and the Princeton Program in American Studies.
I’ve pasted the program below. As someone who has long wondered why the 1860s saw a burst of accelerated change in political institutions across the world (my preferred explanation relates to the advent of new weapons), I wish that I could have been at this conference. I am saddened by the fact there are no papers on Canada in the 1860s on the program. I think their absence speaks volumes the current state of research into Canadian history.  It also says something about the relationship between Canadians and their past.
A New Kind of Warfare? | Session One
Vitor Izecksohn (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro): “The Labyrinths of Statehood: Military Recruitment during the War of the Triple Alliance in South America”
Matthew Karp (Princeton University): “Regions, Nations, Empires: The American Civil War in Global Perspective”
Stephen Platt (University of Massachusetts): “The Taiping Rebellion and the Wider World”
Chair: John Darwin (Oxford University)
Informal Networks | Session Two
James Belich (Oxford University): “Folk Globalization: ‘Crew Culture’ and the MidNineteenth
Century Gold Rushes”
Edyta Bojanowska (Rutgers University): “Circuits of Global Trade and Sociability in a mid- 19th Century Russian Travelogue”
Gordon Chang (Stanford University): “The Global 1860s: Chinese Workers and the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad”
Arthur Downing (Oxford University): “The Friendly Planet: Friendly Societies and the Global Transfer of Community”
Chair: John Ikenberry (Princeton University)
Empires and Monarchies
David Cannadine (Princeton University): “Monarchies and Empires in the 1860s”
Erika Pani (Colegio de México): “‘That Wonderful Institution’: Mexican Monarchism during the Revolutionary Sixties”
Ekaterina Pravilova (Princeton University): “Autocracy, Institutions, and the Problem of Trust: Russian Reforms of the 1860s”
Chair: Yaacob Dweck (Princeton University)
Time and Money
André Dombrowski (University of Pennsylvania): “Early Impressionism and Second Empire Financing”
Harold James (Princeton University): “The Making of Globalization’s Financial Infrastructure: Or, Monetary Debate in the Sixties, Nineteenth Century Style”
Vanessa Ogle (University of Pennsylvania): “Time and the Global Imagination after the Long 1860s”
Jay Sexton (Oxford University): “Steam Transport and the Global 1860s”
Chair: David Cannadine (Princeton University)
New and Old Nationalisms
Enrico Dal Lago (National University of Ireland, Galway): “Making and Unmaking Nations: The United States, Italy, and the Euro-American World in the 1860s”
Federico Marcon (Princeton University): “The Meiji Restoration: The Contradictory Nature of a Global Event”
Elecktra Kostopoulou (Rutgers University): “A Tale of More than Two Cities: Ottoman and Greek Constitutional Changes in the Long 1860s”
Chair: Jay Sexton (Oxford University)
Nodes: Sites of Overlap
John Darwin (Oxford University): “Port Cities as Agents of the New Global Order: An Ambiguous Role”
M’hamed Oualdi (Princeton University): “Are We Still Part of the Same World? North Africans between 1860s Empires”
Gyan Prakash (Princeton University): “The Emergence of Bombay as a Metropolis: Industry,
Empire and the City in the 1860s”
Chair: Linda Colley (Princeton University)
Global Minds, Global Orders | Session Seven
Jürgen Osterhammel (University of Konstanz): “Global Geographies and the Scope of “‘Civilization’”
Jonathan Sperber (University of Missouri): “Silver, Opium, Slavery, and Race War: Karl Marx Thinks Globally during the Long 1860s”
Chair: David Bell (Princeton University)
Not Quite Final Thoughts | Roundtable Discussion • Jeremy Adelman (Princeton University) • Sven Beckert (Harvard University) • Rana Mitter (Oxford University)



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