International History

The History Department of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies teaches and researches the contemporary world through its layered histories and from a multiplicity of perspectives. We study history before, between and beyond the nations, thereby encouraging historically-informed approaches to current policy, politics, economics and culture.


The Annual Pierre du Bois Conference

Economic Development in the Anthropocene: Perspectives on Asia and Africa

The conference, Organized by the Graduate Institute - Professor Gareth Austin - in partnership with the PIerre du Bois Foundation, will take place at the Graduate Institute in Geneva from 26-27 September 2014.

Please find the program here.

On Friday 26 September 2014, 18:30-20:00, in the Auditorium A1b (Maison de la Paix), Kenneth Pomeranz, Kaoru Sugihara and Julia Ardeney Thomas will hold a public roundtable, chaired by Gareth Austin.

Please click here to register.


New Professors

Nicole Bourbonnais

We are delighted to welcome Nicole Bourbonnais, who joined the Graduate Institute and the International History Department on 1 August, as an assistant professor. Her work focusses thematically on gender and inequality, and her regional emphasis is upon the Caribbean and the Global South. A Canadian citizen, she did her BA at the University of British Columbia, and her MA and PhD at the University of Pittsburg. Her doctoral dissertation (2013) examined the rise of birth control campaigns in the Caribbean from the 1930s to 1970s, especially in Jamaica. It won two university prizes, and was the basis already of several published essays. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies and has volunteered/interned with international development, reproductive health, and human rights organizations in Canada, Guyana, and Kenya. For more on her research, click here.

In 2014-15 Professor Bourbonnais will teach three courses, one for the MIA program and two for International History:

We hope Mrs Bourbonnais will enjoy the city and the Institute, and we look forward to working with her.



Prix Pierre du Bois 2014

Our department is very proud to annouce that the Prix Pierre du Bois 2014 has been awarded to Dr. Nadia Sartoretti for her thesis in Contemporary History titled "Mediating Power: the Self in Chinese and Indian Popular Media". The thesis has been defended at the Graduate Institute in Geneva during the academic year 2013-2014.


Prix Arditi 2014

We are very proud to announce that our very own William Sharman, Master of International Studies in International History, has been awarded the Prix Arditi 2014 aux Hautes Etudes Internationales for his thesis entitled: "Myth or Modernity? Settler Colonization in Imperial Germany, 1884-1914".

Congratulations Bill, we look forward to more great things from you to come! 


Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship

Jayita Sarkar (PhD defended in June 2014; supervisor: Jussi M. Hanhimäki) will be a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for 2014-15 academic year. Concurrently, she will be a visiting postdoctoral scholar at the Davis Center, where she will be affiliated with the Harvard Project on Cold War Studies. During her fellowship, Jayita will be investigating U.S. counterproliferation strategies in South Asia during the 1970s with particular reference to Franco-Pakistani, West German-Indian and Soviet-Indian nuclear relations.