Archive of past events

Rethinking the Birth of the Modern World

July 23-27, 2012

(with the support of Harvard University, and the University of Sydney Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, China Studies Centre, and International Office)

In July 2012, at the University of Sydney, historians and students from around the world gathered to rethink the history of liberalism, and the early nineteenth century, from an international and global perspective.

The program included two workshops:

  • ‘Global Liberalisms’ July 23
    (also with the support of the University of Sydney, China Studies Centre)
  • ‘Rethinking the Early Nineteenth Century’ July 24

A postgraduate intensive:

  • Empire and International History, July 26-27.

Special Public Lecture, Tuesday 24th July:

  • 'The British Empire Between Reform and Repression'

Sir Chris Bayly, FBA, FRSL,Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History Cambridge University, Director of Cambridge University’s Centre of South Asian Studies.
(co-sponsored with the Faculty of Arts, and the Alumni Office, University of Sydney)

Download conference program


Prof. Glenda Sluga has received funding from the Australian Academy of the Humanities for an international workshop in Bologna.


The History of 20th Century Internationalism, January 2011, University of Bologna

The workshop was convened by Prof. Sluga and Prof. Patrizia Dogliani of the University of Bologna. It sought to investigate the history of 20th century internationalism, and to make the Australian past and Australian scholars part of that investigation

The aim was to shift historiographical attention from a singular history of mainly 19th century socialist (or proletarian) internationalism, and from the more idealist tradition of peace studies, towards historical studies that stress the complex dimensions and locations of 20th internationalism. These investigations of 20th century internationalism focussed on social and cultural as well as intellectual and political history; they comprised transnational and international, as well as national and local perspectives. For example, while there is a significant amount of evidence and analysis of internationalist movements and interest in the idea (through various federalist organisations) in the US in the mid-20th century, there is very little of this kind of history that has been done in the rest of the world. In general too, the varieties and significance of internationalism as a political project, including its relationship to nationalism, and imperialism, have been understudied.

The aim was not to homogenise the topic, but to revive interest in the history internationalism as a twentieth century phenomenon that has social as well as intellectual, cultural and political bases, that is geographically widespread, and to understand.

The participants:

  • Prof. Glenda Sluga (University of Sydney)
  • Prof. Patrizia Dogliani (University of Bologna)
  • Dr. Sunil Amrith (Birkbeck College, University of London)
  • Professor Akira Iriye (Harvard University)
  • Dr. Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck College, University of London)
  • Dr. Timothy Harper (Cambridge University)
  • Dr. Peter Mandler (Cambridge University)
  • Prof. Susan Pedersen (Columbia University)
  • Prof. Sandrine Kott (University of Geneva)
  • Prof. Kate Darian-Smith (University of Melbourne)
  • Prof. Marilyn Lake (LaTrobe University)
  • Prof. James Cotton (ADFA)
  • Dr Fiona Paisley (Griffith University)
  • Dr Patricia Clavin (Oxford University)

"International Society and its Discontents", March 12-13 2010

The term "international society" is widely used in academic and political parlance. Yet it remains relatively unexamined as a historical concept in its own right. ConIH aims to promote the conceptual analysis of "international society" as well as studies of its intellectual, political, legal, economic, religious, social, and cultural history.

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, international athletic competitions, international lawyers, the cultural and social life of international governmental, non-governmental, and inter-governmental institutions, international health initiatives, or human rights. We also hope to treat the threats to international society: agents of international social disorder, organized crime,terrorism, protectionism, and other barriers to the creation and maintenance of international cooperation and exchange. Papers on the history of international relations that address classic subjects such as war, peace, and diplomacy that cast light on the idea of international society are also welcome. We especially encourage papers treating these questions in periods prior to the twentieth century.

Click here for details on this conference.