PhD, Princeton University
Trained in modern world history (Princeton, 2010), Carolyn Biltoft's work approaches the dynamics of global capitalism since 1850 through the lenses of intellectual and cultural history. In particular, she is interested in the ways that individuals and institutions have responded to, made sense of, and then influenced the bundle of interconnected phenomena collated under the term globalisation. My first book project, Global Flesh and Spirit: The Information Age as seen from the League of Nations, 1918-1939, situates the rise and fall of the world’s first intergovernmental organisation within the riptides of a global modernity where markets and societies became entangled with information systems. Rather than telling one institutional story, the book uses the League's archives to tell a series of micro-histories. Missing typewriters, press releases and financial statements reveal that as information flows knit together people and economies, they also generated conflict over cables and the money and messages running through them. My burgeoning second project will revisit the “Interwar Crisis” by dissecting how the discipline of history (in particular the Annales School) and the newly emerging field of macroeconomics parted ways over questions of time frame, geographical boundaries and the proper relation of intellectual inquiry to politics. Above all, it will shed light on how disciplinary divergences occurred as intellectuals and policy makers tried to make sense of political upheaval and a crisis-bound global capitalism between the First and Second World Wars.