Blogging Peregrinations: A New Gig with the Toynbee Prize Foundation

It’s time for a quick, but important update here on the blog. In recent weeks and months, my frequency of posting has declined, partly a result of a punishing schedule of making manuscript edits and busy days at Harvard.

But it’s also because the leadership team at the Toynbee Prize Foundation, a non-profit that aims to promote scholarship on global history, has asked me to serve as its Executive Director. Blogging on your own has its own rewards, but the chance to work with new leadership with the Toynbee Prize Foundation – new President Dominic Sachsenmaier and Vice-President Darrin McMahon – was too tempting to turn down. Hence, over the course of the last few months, we’ve been busy revamping the Foundation’s website, nominating the winner of the 2014 Toynbee Prize, and preparing for a more full-scale rollout of the site this autumn.

Over the long-term, we’re aiming to create a hub for discussions about the state of a burgeoning field in the discipline. On a day-to-day basis, we hope to promote and engage with content from other history blogs, something that guest editors and student assistants will likely take on. As for myself, other than making sure the engine room of the Foundation keeps running, I’ll be running a feature called Global History Forum that will run in-depth interviews with historians working primarily on global and international history topics. The series aims to highlight new work, young and upcoming scholars, and areas or institutions doing underrated work.

I’m still in the process of editing and writing up the text from several interviews I conducted in Cambridge this spring, but readers who have suggestions on potential guests or topics are welcome to volunteer their opinion either to me or via the Toynbee Foundation’s website.

What this means, conversely, is that I’ll be doing less blogging directly under my own name at this site. There are also various personal and professional reasons for this – lots of traveling, plus the small issue of figuring out where to devote my energies after a busy academic year in Cambridge and (temporarily) putting aside the one book for review. If it turns out to be just too difficult to keep up a modicum of blogging activity here, I may well re-organize the site architecture to keep the more static pages forefront, with the blog content still accessible but a bit more tucked away.