I went into this semester possibly overly optimistic, perhaps naively so. There was something about the beginning of this year (calendar year, not academic) that just felt like it was going to go right… then the world surprised us, as it always has done and will continue to do so. That said, there is little about this semester that I look back on and do not now view through the lenses of transnational thinking – I fear I have fallen down the rabbit hole. From this module, its content, then more broadly – this university full of students and staff from all over the world bring together different cultures and understandings – and now our world has changed due to a global crisis everyone reiterates as unlike anything experienced in living memory, something that is effecting the whole world, the effects of which will continue to affect us for a considerable period to come, everything appears as an interaction of different nations and how they work with, against and in spite of each other, and how now more than ever their decisions and actions affect all the nations and cultures around them.
More than the transnational and global connections though, this module has encouraged me to think and question the understanding that I have held of events and ideologies, how they are constructed and developed. When I think of transnational and global history now, I think I consider the significance of connections. The connections between people and countries and cultures, but also the connections between methods of study. Transnational history appears as so much broader than a method. There are so many ways in which other so called ‘methodologies can tie into transnational analysis – comparison, intellectual, micro, and likely many more. So, when I look at something ‘transnational’ in the future I think I will focus on the connections and value and significance of those connections, and the effects that these connections have on all involved parties.
The nature of curiosity and questioning is one that this module has never failed to encourage, that is only too apparent in some of the areas that conversation and debate has strayed to in each session held. From OXO cubes to high intellectual theory debate to nudist history and back; from the high optimism at the beginning of the semester to the lows and the gradual builds; from those who seem almost intimidatingly knowledgeable and prepared (but super sweet when you finally talk to them) to the superbly skilled procrastinators who love a last minute panic (not) to two of the most dedicated, passionate and actually helpful tutors I (and I’m sure many of us) have ever had – it has been a pleasure to partake in this module for so many reasons. Now I am going to go eat some Haribos, and try work put some of the pieces of my project back together… Good Luck Kids!