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Last week I gave a paper at the Women’s History Network and International Foundation for Research into Women’s History conference (The title makes it sound really impressive!) My paper went really well – I felt confident and happy talking about my latest PhD chapter and I was able to answer the questions at the end – none of which focused on really random Jewish related subjects that were nothing to do with my actual paper. I also attended a number of other panels on subjects as wide-ranging from women’s cricket to Indian Wallpaper in the 18th century. The theme of the conference was the local and the global and a number of the panels I attended focused on missionary work and the empire. Obviously, there is a really clear relationship between these subjects and the conference theme, however it got me thinking about if there is more to the local and the global than just empire. My paper – on Jewish girls clubs and the role played by religion in aiding assimilation – certainly didn’t go down the obvious route, but still managed to bring in the theme, specifically the suppression of global identities with local ones. A paper on Radical Feminism in the Australian Lesbian community in the UK brought out both local and global themes in political beliefs, work on the dual identities of Constance of Castile in the late middle ages brought out the issue of identity in terms of local and international identities. Whilst there were other papers like these, it was clear that the overwhelming theme amongst most of the papers was Empire and Colonialism. I would argue that, whilst an important part of history, there is more to ‘the local and the global’ than just that, and we need to pay attention to the ways in which the local and the global interract outside of empire in order to gain a full understanding of history.

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