August 2019

CSSH is delighted to announce that Kimberly Arkin‘s CSSH article, “Historicity, Peoplehood, and Politics: Holocaust Talk in Twenty-First-Century France” (CSSH 60-4, 2018) has won this year’s Berkshire Conference of Women Historians article prize (for an article published in 2018) in the category of “an article in any field of history other than women, gender, and/or sexuality.” Congratulations! Cambridge University Press has kindly made the article free to access.


Congratulations to Wilson Chacko Jacob (“Eventful Transformations:Al-Futuwwa between History and the EverydayCSSH 49-3, 2007) on the publication of his new book, For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World (Stanford University Press, 2019). From the publisher’s website:

Sayyid Fadl, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, led a unique life—one that spanned much of the nineteenth century and connected India, Arabia, and the Ottoman Empire. For God or Empire tells his story, part biography and part global history, as his life and legacy afford a singular view on historical shifts of power and sovereignty, religion and politics.

Wilson Chacko Jacob recasts the genealogy of modern sovereignty through the encounter between Islam and empire-states in the Indian Ocean world. Fadl’s travels in worlds seen and unseen made for a life that was both unsettled and unsettling. And through his life at least two forms of sovereignty—God and empire—become apparent in intersecting global contexts of religion and modern state formation. While these changes are typically explained in terms of secularization of the state and the birth of rational modern man, the life and afterlives of Sayyid Fadl—which take us from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Indian Ocean worlds to twenty-first century cyberspace—offer a more open-ended global history of sovereignty and a more capacious conception of life.