Postgraduate Intensive 2008

Background and Aims

In less than a decade, transnationalism has had a remarkable influence on historiography. It has begun to transform the perspective from which historians view events, experiences, and the exercise of power.

To date, however, much of this perspective has had as its foundational focus on the nation itself. At the same time, international historians have found themselves defending their terrain against the insurgency of transnationalism, and positing the international as the more challenging of the two concepts.

The Intensive aimed to explore the relationship between the recent trend to transnational history and the conceptualisation of the international as a space and form of interpellation that is both constructed out of, and alternative to, nations.

What is the difference between transnational and international history? What is the relationship of transnational history to other concepts in current historiography, including cosmopolitanism, the global, as well as the international?

This Intensive was for postgraduates who saw their research fitting into either transnational or international history, and for those who saw both the transnational and the international as concepts relevant to, and constructive for their enterprise.

It was also an invitation to postgraduates to reflect upon the international as a concept that shifts attention away from nations and onto the forms that transnational spaces and experiences take, and have taken in the past.


The 2007 postgraduate intensive (photo) explored a variety of themes over three days. The 2008 themes explored were:

PG Intensive 2007
  • Transnational approaches to International History
  • The international roots of transnationalism
  • Diasporas in international history
  • Comparative history and transnational history
  • The transnational and/or international context of intellectual history
  • Cosmopolitanism in the international arena
  • The cultural and social history of international politics