The reading recommended this week was not only significant in understanding the methodological approaches used to study space in transnational history, it also helped me make sense of some aspects of my research. Alcalde made some very interesting points about how space is not just a container within which historical events take place. These historical events are also responsible for creating these spaces. The example of migrant Italian communities that settled in Toronto and Buenos Aires demonstrated how geographically independent territories could become crucial points of interaction between societies and cultures. They reflect the permeability of borders. 

The idea of a nation-state has become subject to historiographical debate by scholars. As Alcalde exclaims “even territories were constructed transnationally”. This line in itself was powerful enough for me to think of examples of nation-states that were created as a result of transnational historical processes. I could very well be wrong, but this sentence reminded me of the creation of Pakistan. It was not merely the demand of the Muslim League; it was a result of various interactions. The policymakers of India were heavily influenced by the European models of inter-state peacemaking. As Pallavi Raghavan exclaimed “The aftermath of the break-up of large multinational empires along ethnic majoritarian lines posed administrative questions that were, in many ways, also similar to the partition of the sub-continent on religious lines[1]” 

The concept of ‘transnational sphere’ discussed in the reading was linked to some of the ideas I am planning to explore in my project. International organisations, congresses, the publication of journals were all a part of this sphere. These spaces were the centre of intellectual thought. The Indian suffragettes were a part of a progressive liberal movement that helped shape the lives of women across different continents and not just the west. The anti-colonial alliances formed during this time are also an example of this. The flow of ideas transcended boundaries and created a unique space.   

  [1] Pallavi Raghavan (2020) Partition: An International History, The International History Review, 42:5, 1029-1047

Construction of Territorial Notions