2014 Conference

A full list of speakers and panels for the 2014 Conference. Please scroll down for the original CFP.


University of Cambridge, 17-18 April 2014

Venue: St John’s College – Divinity School (accessed via All Saints’ Passage)

Day One

9.30-9.50 Registration

9.50-10.00 Welcome address

10.00-12.00 Panel 1 – Conceptualizing international order from non-Western perspectives

Youngchan Justin Choi (SOAS, University of London) – Natural Rights and Neutral Sea: the Korean perspective.

Juan P. Scarfi (Cambridge University) – Between Regional Bolivarianism and Hemispheric Monroism: Contending languages of modern international law in Latin America, 1880-1920.

Yi Mo (Oxford University) – Land, Trade, and Sovereignty: East Asian Maritime Disorder and Confucianism in Tokugawa Japan.

Commentator: Dr Simon Layton, Faculty of History

12.00-13.00 LUNCH

13.00-15.00 Panel 2 – Critical reorientations in modern Islamic thought


Banu Turnaoglu (Cambridge University) – Beyond the East and the West: Political thought of the early Young Turks and positivist universalism.

John T. Chen (Columbia University) – Re-Orientation: the Chinese Azharites between ‘Islamic World’ and ‘Third World’, 1938-55.

Idriss Jebari (Oxford University) – The Renewal of Arab Thought from the Maghrib: critical intellectuals and knowledge production, 1965-1975.

Commentator: Dr Andrew Arsan, Faculty of History


15.00-15.30 TEA BREAK

15.30-17.00 Panel 3 – Cosmopolitanism and transnational intellectual currents in the early twentieth century

Imaobong D. Umoren (Oxford University) – ‘The true cosmopolitan has the “international mind”’: Experienced and imagined cosmopolitanism among New Negro women intellectuals in the 1920s.

Oliver Crawford (Cambridge University) – The Scarlet Pimpernel of Asia: Tan Malaka and the Indonesian Revolution in transnational context.

Commentator: Dr Leslie James, Faculty of History


Professor David Armitage (Harvard University) – ‘Expanding Frontiers in Political Thought: From the Civic to the Global’.

18.45-19.30 WINE RECEPTION

19.30 Conference dinner


Day Two

9.00-10.45 Panel 4 – Medieval answers to political problems

Julia Costa-López (Oxford University) – Hierarchy and Difference in International Orders: the construction of boundaries in late-medieval canon law.

Andrew Salamone (George Mason University) – Sultans and Rajas: the theory and practice of Muslim and Hindu statecraft in medieval India.

Yang Fu (Cambridge University) – The Language of Great Peace: the formation of Sui (581-681) ideology in Medieval China.

Commentator: Dr Magnus Ryan, Faculty of History

10.45-11.15 TEA BREAK

11.15-13.00 Panel 5 – Political thought and intellectual encounters in East Asia
Soonyi Lee (NYU) – Guild Socialism and the Pluralist Imagination of Society: G.D.H. Cole and Zhang Dongsun in May Fourth China (1919-1927).

Thomas M. Meaney (Columbia University) – The Leninist-Burkean Synthesis: Professor Huntington goes to Saigon.

Ryan Rossner (Cambridge University) – Inventing a Chinese Legal Tradition: comparative law, social rights, and the intellectual foundations of Chinese constitutional thought in the nationalist era.

Commentator: Dr Rachel Leow, Faculty of History

13.00-14.00 LUNCH

14.00-15.30 ROUNDTABLE: Where do the frontiers of intellectual history lie now?

With Dr Shruti Kapila (History), Dr Annabel Brett (History), and Dr Duncan Bell (History/POLIS).

15.30 END


2014 Conference Committee: Faridah Zaman, Harry Dadswell, Kenzie Bok, Ben Slingo, Nick Mulder, and Ben Hand

We would like to thank all of our generous sponsors, without whom this conference would not be possible:

St John’s College, Cambridge

Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge

George Macaulay Trevelyan Fund




St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, 17-18 April 2014

Keynote speaker: Professor David Armitage (Harvard)

Paper proposals are invited for the 7th Cambridge Graduate Conference in Political Thought and Intellectual History, themed ‘Frontiers in Political Thought: Non-Western, International and Global’.

There will be a keynote address from Professor David Armitage of Harvard University, whose publications include Foundations of Modern International Thought (2013), The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (2007), and The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (2000).

This conference aims to explore the burgeoning fields of non-western, international and global political thought, facilitating discussion of the work of a broad range of graduate students in a collegial and supportive atmosphere. As such, the theme will be interpreted broadly.

We invite papers on the history of political ideas in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Arabic-speaking world. Bringing together researchers working on the histories of different regions, the conference hopes to foster contrasts and comparisons between political theories developed in specific regional historical contexts. Possible topics include theories of the state, society, constitutional order, civilisation, nationalism, political economy, imperialism, jurisprudence, gender, and the relationship of religion and politics.

In addition, the conference welcomes papers from those working on Western political thought, whether relating to the non-Western world (once again, interpreted broadly), or to the history of international and global political thought, both recently developed and contested fields of research. Papers are welcome on all periods, from antiquity to the present.