Beyond the Sinosphere. Modalities of Interwar Globalisation: Internationalism and Indigenization among East Asian Marxists, Christians, and Buddhists, 1919-1937

Jul 13, 2016 - Jul 15, 2016

The rise of economic nationalism during the Great Depression led scholars to pronounce the 1930s to be the end of globalisation that had started in the 19th century. However, if we look at the social movements of the interwar period, we will see unprecedented transnational circulation of ideas and people. Their aspirations transcended the nation and were truly global. In the context of global consciousness and increasingly globalized political and religious activism of the interwar world, communist, Protestant Christian, and Buddhist movements mediated conflicting visions of modernity but had structural similarities. All three movements espoused universalist ideology, strove to create a “new man,” had a transnational organization, and created local organisations. In the process, the ideas and organisations were adapted to local conditions, i.e. indigenized.  While the concerns of national survival were real in many contexts, yet, national discourses often became the vehicles for larger concerns. What do these tell us about the workings and trajectory of globalisation and about the meaning of nationalism in the interwar time?

The conference is organized by Anna Belogurova (GEAS) and funded by Volkswagen Stiftung.