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The University of Illinois Press announces the publication of World History Connected, Volume 17, no. 3 at https://worldhistoryconnected.press.uillinois.edu/. The continuing COVID-19 epidemic has led to a crisis in global affairs, including the disruption of most aspects of education and academic life. While the impact on World History Connected is trivial in comparison to larger events, it did lead to the delay in the publication of this, the October 2020 issue, until January 2021. This delay will not have any further impact on the journal’s publication schedule, with the next issue and its Forum on the new turn in considering Latin America and Latin Americans in world history, is expected is, as usual, in mid-to-late February.
This announcement features:
- A Table of Contents.
- A short summary of the nine articles that comprise the issue’s topical Forum on Southeast Asia in world history, which offers innovative research and useful teaching approaches and resources addressing art, ethnicity, gender, identity, modernity, and trade.
- An introduction the individual article on American vice-consuls in the Middle East before the First World War.
- A moving as well as informative interview with the doyen of historians of the ancient world in world history, Stanley Burstein.
- A list of book reviews in this issue.
The Table of Contents
Summary of the Current Issue
Introduction to World History Connected 17.3, October 2020
Introduction to the Forum
“Giving Up the Ghost: Rethinking Southeast Asia’s Maritime Past and its Place in World History,” by Jennifer L. Gaynor
“Negotiating Ambiguities: Female Rule in Muslim Asia during the Early Modern Period,” by
Barbara Watson Andaya
“Islam and Modernity: A Reconciliation through Southeast Asian History,” Ethan Hawkley
“Chinese Principalities in the Water Frontiers of Southeast Asia: Historical Significance and Memory of Hà Tiên, Lanfang, and Kokang,” by Robert Y. Eng
“The Friction of Distance in Borneo: Migration, Economic Change and Geographic Space in Sabah,” by Daniel R. Saunders
by Rila Mukherjee
“History Lessons from Vietnamese Francophone Literature,” by Jack A. Yeager
“Girl with Lotus and M-16: the equivocal legacy of the École des Beaux-arts de l’Indochine 1924–1945,” by John Michael Swinbank
“Digital Resources for Research and Teaching Southeast Asia in World History,” by John Maunu
“Imperial Intrigue: Entrepreneurs and Early Twentieth Century Attempts at U. S Economic Expansion in Ottoman Iraq,” by Jameel Haque
An Interview with a World Historian: Stanley Burstein
Camilla Townsend, Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs, by Andrae Marak
Robert N. Spengler III, Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat, by Robert Klemm
Delgado, James P. War at Sea: A Shipwrecked History from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century, by Cynthia Ross
Dejung, Christof, David Motadel and Jürgen Osterhammel, eds., The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire, by Jeffrey Auerbach
Headrick, David R. Humans Versus Nature: A Global Environmental History, Thomas Anderson
Books Available for Review
This issue’s topical Forum is devoted to exploring world history in a region, Southeast Asia, once neglected, but now of increasing interest to, world historians for a variety of reasons, such as the recognition of the global importance of its diverse Muslim population and the region’s growing recognition as a place where scholars and teachers have been able to identify world history processes and test new paradigms. The Forum is comprised of eight articles that offer fresh perspectives that are as important to the world history classroom as they are for researchers.
The first article, by Jennifer Gaynor, closely examines why the region has attracted less interest than other regions, including, but not limited to, approaches that portray non-European history as beginning with European “discovery,” a dated concept that nonetheless survives in textbooks and even in research regarding Southeast Asia. It then offers “an approach to Southeast Asia and its intra- and interregional maritime past focused on the agency of Southeast Asian mariners, who built networks of interaction in Southeast Asia and in transnational Asian spaces,” revealing the emergence of dynamic “shared social systems and similar political systems that were hierarchical and intensely competitive,” while fluid as dictated by circumstances.
The second and third articles undermine the tendency, again in both world history classrooms and academic work, to place South and Southeast Asia into separate silos. The second article, by Barbara Andaya, does so by comparing gendered politics in the trans-regional Islamic South and Southeast Asian World. The third article by Ethan Hawkley, traces the joint rise of Islam and modernity in Southeast Asia through the stories of influential Muslims, and thus joins one of the most current topics in world history research, indigenous modernity, to one of the most successful means of introducing such concepts into the classroom—biography.
The fourth article, by Robert Eng, explores the significance of both the reality and continuing memory of Chinese settlements on the water frontiers of Southeast Asia, in part by briefly referencing the life of Admiral Zheng familiar to most students of world history, but chiefly by expanding our understanding of Chinese maritime commerce and its impact in Southeast Asia.
The fifth and sixth articles revise our understanding of two trade networks. David Saunders demonstrates the active role of Sabah in the region’s larger commercial networks, while Rila Mukherjee challenges received wisdom regarding the importance of the Portuguese Melaka by testing it against the realities of the Bay of Bengal’s trade with that entrepôt.
The seventh and eighth articles illuminate the lived experience of the 20th Century world through the arts and literature. The seventh article, by Jack Yeager, examines generational conflict, sexual and ethnic identity, anti-colonialism and revolution—as viewed through the lens of women writing in Vietnamese literature in French (and in English translation). The eighth article, by John Michael Swinbank analyses how French Indochina’s leading fine arts institution not only unwittingly trained the major artists of the Vietnamese revolution, but laid the foundations of Vietnamese revolutionary visual communication.
The Ninth article is one of the best of World History Connected’s topical annotated digital guides to resources in world history that offers further support for research and teaching approaches to Southeast Asia in world history from the arts to patterns of trade, in addition to those resources found in the articles themselves. It opens with reference to an open-access, classroom-ready article by Craig Lockard that identifies several key themes that can serve as a means of integrating Southeast Asia into world history courses as more than a sideshow of marginal importance.
The Forum is followed by a rousing study of American intrigues in pre-First World War Iraq and the Ottoman empire that greatly expands our understanding of the role of entrepreneurial consuls as agents of empire.
Interview with a World Historian, Stanley Burstein
The issue features the second of the series of interviews with senior world historians. The interview subject on this occasion is Stanley Burstein, perhaps the senior-most historian of the classical world committed to serving research in, and the teaching of, world history. The interview provides a glimpse into the travails of facing scholarship and professional advancement in the academic world prior to emergence of the “new” world history in the 1980s and 1990s, which in many ways still face world history scholars and practitioners today. Burstein also discusses the current state of the field and addresses its success and discontents.
The issue concludes with five book reviews which illuminate the conquest of the Mexica (Aztecs) and their cultural survival using indigenous (Nahuatl) sources; a study of the Silk Road across time, while tracing the origins of the foods we eat every day all around the world; a book that its expert author describes as “a review for the general readers of what archaeologists have learned about lost warships, battles on the water, and the life and death of those caught up in those conflicts” as a tour through an imaginary museum of underwater archaeology;” an edited collection on the rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire that deliberately avoids Karl Marx’s focus on the means of production; and a classroom ready coursebook that offers an excellent synthesis of the latest scholarship on global environmental history offering a clear argument about how humans used, exploited, and degraded the environment that concludes with a warning of the consequences of the destruction of the natural world.
About the Journal and Authors’ Submissions
Throughout its fifteen-year history, World History Connected (ISSN 1931-8642), an open-source (free) e-journal affiliate of the World History Association, has been devoted to research and the scholarship of the teaching of world history. Its title reflects the journal’s commitment to assisting both scholars and practitioners to invigorate and expand the reach of research and the teaching of world history and global studies. Its guest editors and editorial staff include past (and now in-coming) presidents of the World History Association and award-winning history educators at all levels of instruction.
Marc Jason Gilbert,Editor, World History Connected