Welcome to the on-line archive of the Sawyer Seminar, “Around 1948: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Transformation,” a yearlong program of events that took place at the Franke Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago during 2011-2012.

In a relatively short span of time, from 1947 to 1949, a wide array of nation-states and other institutions assumed new forms, most immediately in response to the aftermath of the Second World War but also in relation to the unfinished business of the decades that preceded it.  Like a few other dates in the modern period – 1848, 1968 and 1989 – the year 1948 stands for an abbreviated passage of time that bears importance and potency for many diverse locations, movements, peoples, and fields. Few moments in world history have had such far-reaching impact, temporally and geographically, in terms of intellectual developments and lived experience.

The significance of the seminar consisted in its effort to identify, clarify, and compare the shape and form of the novel alignments and institutions that emerged in the wake of World War II.  Its originality is methodological and historiographical as much as historical, consisting of the view that too intense a preoccupation with “scenes of consolidation” – the path of Cold War history – has seriously limited our ability to ask fresh questions and ascertain contingencies that have gone unremarked.   This Sawyer Seminar explored such questions and contingencies signaled by the remarkable historical moment “around 1948” across a range of international locations and disciplines.

Here you will find:

•  ABOUT: Steering Committee, Fellows, Sponsors, Project Description, News Articles

•  ARCHIVE: Downloadable audio-recordings, texts, photos of Sawyer Seminar events

•  PROGRAM: Program of Sawyer Seminar events to enable archive search by content

•  PARTICIPANTS: List of Sawyer Seminar participants to enable search by person

•  COURSES: Courses offered in relation to this Sawyer Seminar

Please note:  The administrator of this blog-archive will not be responding to comments.  If you have specific questions about this Sawyer Seminar or blog, please contact Margot Browning, Associate Director of the University of Chicago’s Franke Institute for the Humanities  (mb31@uchicago.edu).

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