Cyrus Schayegh

Cyrus Schayegh, Associate Professor at Princeton, will join the Graduate Institute, Geneva, this fall. He has inter alia authored The Middle East and the Making of the Modern World (Harvard UP, fall 2017). His current projects include “Globalization meets decolonization: urban links,” on Beirut, Dakar, and Singapore; “‘Anti-Geneva:’ European inter-imperial networks, 1925-35” and “Fundamental historical questions.”



Globalization meets decolonization: the urban linkage, 1940s-70s

In the 1940s-70s, a few city hubs, including Beirut, Dakar, and Singapore, performed a distinct function in the world: each linked multiple recently decolonized countries with international trade, finance, communication, transport, and knowledge circuits. Fledgling countries still needed those cities’ links, and outside actors needed them to access decolonized countries. This also made them socio-culturally hybrid meeting places – self-described “bridges” – for actors from near and far. In sum, they formed a specific type of “global city.”

  • Thursday 18 May 2017, 10:00-12:00 - EHESS-Marseille, Centre de la Vieille-Charité


Deprovincializing the U.S. Presidency: Views from the Third World, with Special Attention to the Case of John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy’s interest in the Third World has been oft-noted. This talk looks in the opposite direction. I ask what the history of the perception and treatment of the U.S. president as a, if not the, global president is, and how JFK fits into that history, especially as decolonization now interplayed with, and globalized, the Cold War, and as electronic media, including TV, rapidly changed around that time, too.

  • Tuesday 30 May 2017, 14:00-16:00, EHESS (room 12) - 105, bd Raspail 75006 Paris


The Empire Strikes Back: Cold War Iran in the global 1970s

From the late 1960s, Iran’s international status rose rapidly. In tandem, it globally projected a geo-cultural concept, tamaddon (civilization), with an imperial subtext. Harping on the «fact» that «the West» had lost its moral compass, and exploiting that the U.S. and Soviet centres of the two hitherto leading ideologies, liberal capitalism and communism, were somewhat destabilized from the late 1960s, Iran presented itself as an old-new beacon to the world.

  • Wednesday 31 May 2017, 14:00-16:00, ENS - 45, rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris


The socio-spatial making of the modern world: trans-spatialization as a new heuristic model

The primary feature of the socio-spatial making of the modern world is the intertwinement of cities, regions, states, and global circuits in faster changing and more mutually transformative ways than before in history. This process – transpatialization – is not empirical unit, but a heuristic umbrella. Its use makes sense because the intertwinements it bundles evolved in tandem, and because it does not assign ultimate primacy to any one process or to any one scale such as ‘the global,’ ‘the national, or ‘the local.’

  • Thursday 1st June 2017, 13:00-15:00, EHESS (room 13) - 105, bd Raspail 75006 Paris