2013-2015 Program

State Formations: Histories and Cultures of Statehood



The Center for Historical Research will offer a two-year program of lectures and seminars in 2013-2015 on the topic of “State Formations: Histories and Cultures of Statehood.”


The overall aim of the program is to historicize, particularize, and thereby defamiliarize the human experience of statehood, to problematize “the state” as an object of historical and theoretical concern.  Currently, there seems to be no established consensus about how exactly to objectify states in history and explain their contributions to the production of social order.  Is the state a concrete, institutional assemblage, a discursive construct, or some combination of the two?  Does it function as an autonomous command structure or merely as a relay in a more diffuse circuitry of social power?  Do its actions express the interests of particular state actors, “the state” as a whole, powerful social groups, or society-at-large? Do we overstate the significance of states?  Can we even generalize about “the state” as a historical phenomenon?  To help us form a conspectus on current thinking, we welcome applications from scholars of any disciplinary background whose work engages innovatively with such issues.


The rubric for our first year is the “The State as Idea and Practice.”


In 2014-2015 the Center will focus on the problem of “States in their Environments.” Questions should directed to contact the CHR director, John Brooke, at brooke.10@osu.edu.


Program co-chairs

John Brooke (brooke.10@osu.edu)
Greg Anderson (anderson.1381@osu.edu)

Program Steering Committee
Leo Coleman, Comparative Studies
David Hoffman, History
Eric MacGilvray, Political Science
Chris Otter, History [on leave]
Kristina Sessa, History
GlebTsipursky, History
Ying Zhang, History [on leave]

CHR Fellowship Appointees, 2014-2015

Senior Faculty Fellowship (Autumn 2014)Senior Faculty Fellow [Autumn, 2014]
John F. S. Clark    [ clark.2698@osu.edu ]
Senior Lecturer, University of St. Andrews
The Global History of Environmentalism: The Rise and Decline of the Modern State?

Junior Faculty Fellow
Rebecca Tally    [ tally.3@osu.edu ]
Visiting Assistant Professor, Hamilton College
The Politics of Wheat in Colombia, 1930-1974

CHR Fellowship Appointees, 2013-2014

Senior Faculty Fellowship
Julia Strauss
Senior Lecturer, SOAS, University of London.
Security, Land and Rice: Trajectories of Regime Consolidation in China and Taiwan, 1949-1955 

Junior Faculty Fellow
Diane E. King
Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Univ. of Kentucky
Patrilineal Memory and Bodies Politic in the Middle East 

Dissertation Fellowship
Michael Martoccio
Ph.D. Candidate, Northwestern University
Between Contract and Conflict: Political Change in Florentine Tuscany, 1328-1454