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Image Credit: Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection, University of Reading

Image Credit: Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection, University of Reading

Who is part of humanity? What are the constituencies of different global orders? Did new possibilities of exchange and participation in the twentieth century produce new forms of exclusion and control? If so, how?

The Emmy Noether Research Group Reaching the People engages with these fundamental questions of global history through the lens of communication. More specifically, we ask how various audiences were targeted by international initiatives and campaigns. And how, in turn, different groups tried to use the expanding international public sphere for their own ends.

Exploring a wide range of research topics, from worldwide education campaigns to religious internationalism and transnational women’s movements, we incorporate new groups and new spaces into the history of global orders. In this way we add to pertinent debates about publics and counterpublics, global information management (both in its broadening participation and limiting access), and, more generally, the politics of global communication in the twentieth century. 

The research group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is part of a strong network of international scholars in area studies and global history. For more information, please contact Valeska Huber (valeska.huber@fu-berlin.de

Upcoming Events

Newly published: "Global Publics: Their Power and their Limits, 1870-1990", edited by Valeska Huber and Jürgen Osterhammel

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News from Jun 09, 2020

The Reaching the People team are excited to announce the publication of a new volume edited by Valeska Huber and Jürgen Osterhammel. The volume, entitled Global Publics: Their Power and their Limits, 1870-1990, is part of a series by the German Historical Institute, London for Oxford University Press and combines a present-day and historical concern on the topic of global publics between the communication revolution of the second half of the nineteenth century and the digital age.

Building on earlier theories of public spheres, Huber and Osterhammel expand the notion of global publics not only geographically but also by charting new thematic territory, describing global publics as courts of global opinion, as market places, or as arenas for competition. This is the first historical volume to combine different facets of global publics ranging from human rights activism, newspaper empires, religion, film, and sport. It brings together established and emerging authors in the field of history, including the research group's very own Sophie-Jung Kim, and from related disciplines such as geography, sociology, and literature who explore how global publics were constituted, imagined, and used for different purposes. In this way, Global Publics: Their Power and Their Limits not only provides a new conceptual framework and important case studies but also shows how histories of global communication might be studied in the future.

The book was released on the 28 May. For more information, see the Oxford University Press website.

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