Author Archives: Steve Tamari

About Steve Tamari

Ever since I was a child I wanted to blog. Here goes. I have crossed many borders and boundaries. My father is from Jaffa, Palestine and my mother is from Little Rock, Arkansas. We lived in the United States, Algeria, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and Haiti as I was growing up. Since then, I've lived in Greece, France, Palestine/Israel, Syria, Germany, Lebanon, and, now, southern Illinois. I study the Middle East and Islam and I live in the Midwest on the edge of the Bible Belt. I am a Quaker (and a pacifist) and I am attached to my students, many of whom serve(d) in the military. There are other contradictions and ambiguities in my life and in our world that I want to explore here. Please give me your feedback.

The Global Cold War and the Empire of Justice

In my last post I outlined historian Odd Arne Wested’s argument for the ideological foundations of American policy during the Cold War. Unlike earlier generations of Cold War historians he places American Cold War policies in the the context of … Continue reading

Posted in History and Historians, What is Modern?, World History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Global Cold War and the Empire of Liberty

For a global phenomenon, it is striking that the Cold War has traditionally been interpreted almost exclusively as a European affair. “Cold War” brings to mind cloak and dagger intrigue involving CIA and KGB agents knocking one another off in … Continue reading

Posted in History and Historians, War, What is Modern?, World History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cultural Brokers: Exploring the Complexities of Historical Encounters

All too often, we are led to understand history in terms of the clash of monolithic political and cultural bodies, like states and civilizations. We assume, for example, that the conquest of the Americas was a zero-sum struggle pitting Europeans … Continue reading

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World History in My Backyard: Cahokia Meets Bali

When I first came to Edwardsville, IL to teach more than 10 years ago, if someone had mentioned Cahokia Mounds to me I would have scratched my head wondering what they were talking about. I knew about the Gateway Arch … Continue reading

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Haitian History as Antidote to Eurocentrism

I have to remember to tell my mother how much she influenced me as a historian. Mary Ellen Tamari lived in and studied a rural community, Bellevue la Montagne, in the mountains above Port-au-Prince, Haiti for the better part of a decade. … Continue reading

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Witch Hunts and World History: A Feminist History of Capitalism

Thus far in our exploration of Eurocentrism (and its crtics) in the writing of modern world history, my graduate students and I have not seen radical challenges to keeping Europe at the center. For all their efforts to redress the … Continue reading

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Competing Approaches to Modern World History, Part II: The Case of Europe’s Late Take-off

This week my graduate students and I explored a new front in the battle over modern world history. To recap the first installment in this series: David Landes argues for the cultural factors that explain European economic success in the … Continue reading

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Try Some Radical for a Change

What a welcome surprise to find that young writers are thinking and writing about radical change, and are even–dare I say– agitating for socialism. I just discovered a new journal that demonstrates (once again) the poverty of Liberalism in its … Continue reading

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Competing Approaches to World History: Part 1, NeoEurocentrism

During the last 20 years or so in American education, courses in World History have replaced courses in Western Civilization as compulsory for most undergraduates. The Illinois State Board of Education, for example, now requires students who want to be … Continue reading

Posted in What is Modern?, World History | 3 Comments

The US and Arabic Language Instruction: Serve the Empire or the Globe?

It is my firm conviction that anyone who wants to learn about the Middle East (or, for that matter, any part of the world) has to actually live in the region that interests them. Even better is to learn the … Continue reading

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