Davis Center News


Massimiliano Tomba's is co-winner of the 2021 David and Elaine Spitz Prize for the best book in liberal and/or democratic theory

Insurgent Universality: An Alternative Legacy of Modernity is co-winner of the 2021 David and Elaine Spitz Prize for the best book in liberal and/or democratic theory.

Former visiting scholar, Massimiliano Tomba’s Insurgent Universality: An Alternative Legacy of Modernity reorients its readers to new sites of political action and possibility. Displaying admirable ambition, erudition, and originality, the book points us to what Tomba calls the "insurgent universality" of locations and temporalities out of joint with the dominant and normative course of modern history. His historiographical perspective favors a politics not only from below, which is a site of insurgency and residue, but also a politics of the anachronism, wherein time and space are each transformed. These spaces are identified as the 1793 French Sans-culottes assemblies in conversation with Haitian revolts; the institutions of the 1871 Paris Commune; the Soviet Constitution of 1918; and the 1994 Zapatista Manifesto and movement in Chiapas, Mexico. Other locations and points in time could have been chosen, but what these four demonstrate for Tomba is the necessity of linking the social to the political, of thinking the common rather than the individual, of conceiving of a porous plurality rather than an entrenched center as the model for politics, all to displace the rhythm of the nation, the law, and the market. The book is a powerful critique of deference to the liberal democratic state with its focus on the centrality of rights and the law of property. Tomba charts another path — a creative, common, relational politics rooted simultaneously in imagination and the practice of collective action.


Announcing the 2022-23 Davis Center Fellows and Postdocs
Fellows: Rosie B'Sheer, Nicole Barnes, Anne Berg, Sarah Cameron, William Cavert, Benjamin Cohen, Reinaldo Funes-Monzoto, and Andrew Needham
Postdocs: Camille Goldmon and David Patterson

New Journal Issue: The Decolonization of International Law
This special issue of the Journal of the History of International Law, edited by former Associate Director Natasha Wheatley and Yale’s Samuel Moyn, came out of a Davis Center conference on the subject: Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international Volume 23 Issue 1 (2021) (brill.com).

Book by Former Davis Fellow Pierre Fuller Out in 2022
Pierre Fuller's forthcoming book Modern Erasures: Revolution, the Civilizing Mission, and the Shaping of China’s Past will be published in early 2022 by Cambridge University Press.


Announcing the 2021-22 Davis Center Fellows and Postdoc
Thomas Dodman, Lawrence Glickman, Durba Mitra, Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, Neslihan Senocak, Juned Shaikh, Asif Siddiqi, Charles Walker, and postdoc Sara Kozameh.

New Book: Risk on the Table
Risk on the Table: Food Production, Health, and the Environment came out of a joint Davis Center conference/History of Science workshop.

Building on Stone: Perspectives on the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Fifty
Building on Stone, edited by Angela N. H. Creager, celebrates fifty years of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies.

Incoming Davis Center Fellow Thomas Dodman (Columbia University) was interviewed in Le Monde about his book, just translated into French, on the surprising history of nostalgia as a disease: « Les populismes montrent toute l’emprise d’une politique de la nostalgie » (lemonde.fr)

2020-21 Davis Center Fellows and Postdoc
The fellows for 2020-21 are Zara Anishanslin, Kate Cooper, Thomas Dodman, Durba Mitra, Cristina Soriano, Massimiliano Tomba, and Kirsten Weld. Sara Kozameh joins us as postdoctoral fellow.

2020-21 Davis Center Fellows Picnic (Kate Cooper, Sara Kozameh, Kirsten Weld not pictured)



50th Anniversary: Davis Center for Historical Studies
November 8, 2019
"Let's Have At It": The Shelby Cullom Davis Center at Fifty

Davis Center Fellows and Postdoc, 2019-2020
The fellows for 2019-2020 are Debjani Bhattacharyya, Malachi Crawford, Rohit De, Sarah Ghabrial, Stuart McManus, Mary Mitchell, Benjamin Nathans, Judith Surkis, and Karl Ubl. George Aumoithe remains with us for the second year of his postdoc.

Former Davis Center Fellow William Deringer’s *12 Calculated Values Wins Kenshur Prize
His book, Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age, was recognized by the Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Indiana University as the year's best book in eighteenth-century studies.

New Shelby Cullom Davis Center Volume Released September 2019
Formations of Belief: Historical Approaches to Religion and the Secular is edited by Philip Nord, Katja Guenther, and Max Weiss.