The Transnational Mind: Shaping Global Public Opinion through Academic Networks, Libraries and Reading Clubs (1918-1939)

Wed, 10 July 2019 18:00-1930

Room 3509, 5th floor, Mercury Tower, Hitotsubashi University Kunitachi Campus

Dr. Steven W. Witt

Director, Center for Global Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Currently Visiting Professor, Institute for the Study of Global Issues, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University

Focusing on the role of information professions and non-governmental organizations in the creation and dissemination of information to support the internationalist movement during the early 20th century, this paper will examine the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace‚Äôs (CEIP) International Mind Program. Through this program, the CEIP established International Mind Alcove book collections across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, and Oceania to promote internationalism and globalism through books for the general public.  At the same time, the CEIP supported International Relations Clubs in Universities around the world to disseminate academic books on international relations and politics while developing academic networks around the topic of internationalism and international studies.  Through the dual lens of information history and transnational history, this presentation provides further understanding of the evolution of these information dissemination and propaganda activities as they were implemented domestically and abroad toward enacting the transnational aspirations of internationalists during this period.  Further, the presentation will focus on my current research on the adoption of these clubs and book collections in Japan and the network of Japanese scholars engaged in the CEIP supported discourse on the International Mind.