Home » Departments and Centres » History and Civilization » Research & Teaching » Seminars » 2018-2019 2nd term » Global History

Global History

Departmental Seminar

Organised by Prof Regina Grafe and Prof Lucy Riall
Registration code: HEC-DS-GLOHIS-18
Thursdays, 11:00 - 12:50, Sala del Torrino
Starts on 10 January 2019

Admin. Assistant: Fabrizio Borchi


Seminar Description

This seminar aims to discuss the methodology, scope and subject matter of Global History. Global history has been understood variously as either the history of globalization and global trends; a methodology that analyses local, regional, and supra-regional histories within global or transnational networks and ‘connectivity’; an approach that seeks to ‘de-centre’ Europe in world history; or a spatial perspective that shifts the level of enquiry away from the nation-state to other scales of analysis. The seminar will examine these different kinds of global history and explore relevant topics by leading practitioners in the field, focusing in particular on the early-modern period and the nineteenth century. We will also consider global history as a broad approach, and how it might transform the writing of other fields, for example, economic history, the history of science and technology, or the history of colonialism. Researchers are expected to take an active part in the seminar discussion based on the readings for each session. In addition, sessions will be introduced by a brief presentation of the readings by one or two participants in the seminar.


10 January : Introduction

  • P. O’Brien, ‘Historiographical Traditions and Modern Imperatives for the Restoration of Global History’, Journal of Global History, 1 (2006), pp. 3-39.
  • S. Conrad, What is Global History? (Princeton, 2016), introduction and ch.4.

17 January: Global History and its Critics

Presentation by Daniel Banks

  • Jeremy Adelman, ‘What is global history now?’, Aeon, 2 March 2017.
  • R. Drayton and D. Mortadel, ‘The futures of global history,’ Journal of Global History, 13 (2018), pp.1-21.

24 January: From Area Studies to Global History

Presentation by Gabriele Marcon

  • D. Chakrabarty, 'Postcoloniality and the artifice of History: Who speaks for "Indian" Pasts?’ Representations, 37, Special Issue: Imperial Fantasies and Postcolonial Histories (1992), pp. 1-26.
  • G. Austin, ‘Reciprocal comparison and African History: Tackling conceptual Eurocentrism in the study of Africa's economic past,’ African Studies Review 50, no. 3 (2007), pp. 1-28.
  • K. Pomeranz, ‘Scale, scope and scholarship: Regional practices and global economic histories,’ in S. Beckert and D. Sachsenmaier (eds), Global History, Globally: Research and practice around the world (London, 2018), pp.163-94.

31 January: Modernization, Modernity and Europe

Presentation by Augusto Castanho Da Maia Petter

  • L. Hunt, ‘Modernity: are modern times different?’ in Hist. Crit. 54, 2014, pp.107-24.
  • K. Manjapra, ‘Transnational approaches to global history: a view from the study of the German-Indian entanglement,’ German History, 32 (2014), 274-93.
  • J. Osterhammel, The transformation of the world. A global history of the nineteenth century (Princeton, 2014)Part 1, ch.2, pp.45-76. 

7 February: The History of Global Capitalism

Presentation by Guillaume Minea Pic and Luise Elsaesser

  • J. Kocka, Capitalism, a short history (Princeton, 2016), introduction and ch. 4.
  • R. Bin Wong, ‘Possibilities of Plenty and the Persistence of Poverty,’ in S. Conrad and J. Osterhammel (eds), An emerging modern world (Cambridge, Mass. 2018), pp.251-409.

14 February: Law, Laws and Universal Rights

Presentation by Eduardo Fernandez Guerrero and Pablo Canon

  • P. Seed, Ceremonies of Possession in Europe's Conquest of the New World, 1492-1640 (Cambridge, 1995). chs 1, 2 and 3.
  • L. Benton, ‘Possessing Empire: Iberian claims and interpolity law,’ in S. Belmossous (eds), Native claims. Indigenous law against Empire, 1500-1920 (Oxford, 2012), pp.19-40.
  • R. Adorno, ‘Court and chronicle: a native Andean’s engagement with Spanish colonial law,’ in S. Belmossous (eds), Native claims. Indigenous law against Empire, 1500-1920 (Oxford, 2012), 63-84.

21 February: Empires

  • D. Gosh, “Another Set of Imperial Turns?” American Historical Review 117:3 (June 2012), pp. 772-793.
  • P. Kramer, ‘Power and connection: Imperial histories of the United States in the world,’ American Historical Review, 116 (December 2011), 1348-1391.
  • E. Calderwood, Colonial el-Andalus (Cambridge Mass. 2018) - pages TBC.

28 February: Race and Hybridity

Presentation by Gilberto Mazzoli

  • K. Burns, ‘Unfixing Race’, in M. Greer et al (eds), Rereading the Black Legend (Chicago, 2007), pp.108-204.
  • C. Dean and D. Leibsohn, ‘Hybridity and its discontents: Considering visual culture in colonial Spanish America,’ Colonial Latin American Review, 12 (2010), 5-35.
  • R. White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815, (Cambridge, 2012) - pages TBC.


14 March: Slavery and Un-free Labour

Presentation by Ana Spariosu

  • L. W. Bergad, The Comparative histories of slavery in Brazil, Cuba and the United States (Cambridge, 2007), ch.2.
  • L. Benton and L. Ford, ‘Magistrates in Empire: Convicts, slaves and the remaking of the plural legal order in the British Empire,’ in L. Benton and R. J. Ross, Legal Pluralism and Empires, 1500-1850 (New York, 2013), 173-97.
  • M. Rodrigo y Alarilla, 'Spanish Merchants and the Slave Trade', in J. M. Fadera and C. Schmidt-Nowara, Slavery and Anti-Slavery in Spain's Atlantic Empire (New York, 2013).


Page last updated on 22 February 2019