Second Annual Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) Graduate Student Conference : Actors and Agency in the International Past

Second Annual Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) Graduate Student Conference

“Actors and Agency in the International Past”

March 15-16, 2013
3335 Dwinelle Hall
UC Berkeley

In recent years, historians have offered new kinds of stories about the past to describe and explain processes that transcend nation-state boundaries. These efforts challenge us to reconsider our understandings of responsibility and power in history and in particular, who and what can effect change.  This graduate student  conference will consider the transnational histories and agency of non-state actors—such as people, ideas, cultures, environments, businesses, commodities, institutions-–as well as their encounters, collaboration, and conflict with state actors.

·       How and under what conditions have non-state actors been able to influence the actions of states?  For example, how have businesses and states collided or cooperated in history? 
·       How have non-human actors, including microbes, plants, and animals, aided or undermined the actions of states?
·       How do actors working at a local scale shape, import, and change international and global processes and narratives?

For additional information, please contact the conference organizers at

Confirmed speakers and commentators:

·       Jerry Davila, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
·       Gordon Chang, Stanford University
·       Emily Rosenberg, UC Irvine
·       Manu Goswami, New York University
·       Samuel White, Oberlin College
·       Kenneth Pomeranz, University of Chicago

From UC Berkeley:

·       Abena Osseo-Asare
·       Jan deVries
·       Brian DeLay
·       James Vernon
·       Mark Brilliant
·       David Hollinger
·       Tom Laqueur
·       Rebecca McLennan
·       Kerwin Klein
·       Daniel Sargent



Second Annual Big-H Conference Program

All events to take place in 3335 Dwinelle Hall on the Berkeley campus unless otherwise noted.


Friday, March 15

10 am: Panel 1: Trade, Power, and Resources in the Era of 19th Century Globalization. Chair: Jan deVries

·  Aaron Jakes (NYU) “Boom, Bugs, Bust: Locating the National between Plague and Crisis in Colonial Egypt." Comment: Abena Osseo-Asare

·   Kyle Gardner (Chicago) “The ready materials for another world": Frontier, Commerce, and the Hindustan-Tibet Road in the mid-19th century Northwestern Himalaya” Comment: Brian Delay

·   Bathsheba Demuth (Berkeley) “Levels of Adaptation:  Humans and Fur Seals as Actors in North Pacific Globalization.” Comment: Sam White

12pm: Catered lunch

2pm: Special Session on Transnational Methodologies. Chair: James Vernon

Kenneth Pomeranz, Manu Goswami, Sam White

3:30pm: Coffee break

4pm: Panel 2: Non-State Actors in the Making of National Policies in the 20th Century. Chair: Mark Brilliant

·   Katherine Marino (Stanford) “Popular-Front Pan-American Feminism and the Transnational Struggle for Working Women's Rights in the 1930s.”  Comment: Manu Goswami

·   Kyle Burke (Northwestern) Crossroads of Conservatism: The Manion Forum and the Making of the Transnational Right in the 1960s" Comment: David Hollinger

·  Gene Zubovich (Berkeley) “China, American Foreign Policy and the Role of Religion, 1931-1958.” Comment: Gordon Chang

6:30pm: Keynote Address by Tom Laqueur and Dinner. David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way.

Saturday, March 16

9am: Coffee

10am: Panel 3: Non-State Actors in the Making of National States in the 20th Century. Chair: Brian Delay

·   Shannon Monaghan (Boston College) "Lawsuits and State Creation: Irish WWI Veterans and the 1936 Supreme Court Rent Case."  Comment: Rebecca McLennan

·   James Lin (Berkeley) “Sowing Seeds and Knowledge: International Agricultural Development in the US, Taiwan, and the World, 1945 to 1980.” Comment: Kenneth Pomeranz

·   Chris Suh (Stanford)  "The Korean Conspiracy Case: A Pacific History, 1912-1915.” Comment: Kerwin Klein

12pm: Catered lunch

1pm: Panel 4: Networks, Commodities, and Identity in the Era of Late-20th Century Globalization. Chair: James Vernon

·   David Wight (UC Irvine) "A Klondike without Ice': American Businesses, Petrodollars, and the Middle East and North Africa in the 1970s.” Comment: Daniel Sargent

·   Tehila Sasson (Berkeley) “Becoming Ethical Consumers: “The Baby Killer” Campaign and the Politicization of Breast Feeding.” Comment: Emily Rosenberg

·   Sarah Seidman (Rochester) “The Venceremos Brigade, African American Activism and the Cuban Revolution.” Comment: Jerry Davila

3pm: Coffee break

3:30pm: Plenary Panel. Chair: Daniel Sargent

Jerry Davila and Emily Rosenberg

*Please note that conference attendees are welcome at all panels and on-campus catered meals. Pre-registration is required for the banquet.

Friday, March 15, 2013 - 8:00am
3335 Dwinelle