Global History

Departmental Seminar

Organised by Prof. Lucy Riall and Prof. Giorgio Riello
Registration code: HEC-DS-GLOHIS-20

  • Tuesdays 6, 13, 20, 27 October (15:10‐17:00) 
  • Friday 13 November (10:30‐18:00) 
  • Friday 27 November (10:00‐17:30) 
  • Friday 4 December (11:00‐12:50) 

Starts on 6 October 2020
Admin. Assistant: Laura Borgese

Seminar description

This seminar aims to discuss the methodology, scope and subject matter of Global History. Global history can be 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. We will also consider how global history might transform the writing of other fields, for example, economic history, cultural history, public history and museum studies. Four weekly seminars will be followed by two one-day workshops with multiple sessions dedicated to ‘Italy and the Spaces of Global History’ and ‘Global Public History’. 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. 


Session 1- 6 October: Introduction

  • Sebastian Conrad, What is Global History? (Princeton, 2016), introduction and ch.4.
  • Maxine Berg, ‘Global history: approaches and new directions’ and ‘Panel discussion: ways forward and major challenges’, in Maxine Berg, ed., Writing the history of the global: challenges for the twenty-first century. London, 2013.
  • Jeremy Adelman ‘What is Global History Now?' - (link available on Sharepoint)
  • What Is Global History? A Roundtable – 20 February 2020 -  (link available on Sharepoint)

Additional reading

  • Richard Drayton and David Motadel, ‘Discussion: The Future of Global History’, Journal of Global History, 13:1 (2018), pp. 1-21.
  • Roland Wenzlhuemer, Doing global history: an introduction in 6 concepts (London, 2020), ch. 1

Session 2 - 13 October: Methodological Approaches

  • Martin Dusinberre, ‘Japan, Global History, and the Great Silence’, History Workshop Journal, 83:1 (2017), pp. 130–150.
  • Gareth Austin, ‘Reciprocal Comparison and African History: Tackling Conceptual Eurocentrism in the Study of Africa's Economic Past,’ African Studies Review 50:3 (2007), pp. 1-28.
  • Hideaki Suzuki, ‘Kaiiki-Shi and World/Global History: A Japanese Perspective’, in Manuel Perez Garcia, L. De Sousa (eds), Global History and New Polycentric Approaches. Palgrave Studies in Comparative Global History (Singapore, 2018). 

Session 3 - 20 October: Why Some Grew Rich and Others Did Not

  • James C. Scott, Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (New Haven, 2018), introduction pp. 1-36.
  • Prasannan Parthasarathi and Kenneth Pomeranz, ‘The Great Divergence Debate’, in Tirthankar Roy and Giorgio Riello, eds., Global Economic History (London, 2019), 19-37.
  • Thomas Piketty, Capital and ideology (Cambridge MA, 2020), Introduction.

Session 4 - 27 October: Micro-global History

  • Francesca Trivellato, ‘Is there a future to Italian Microhistory in the Age of Global History?’ California Italian Studies, 2:1 (2011).
  • John-Paul A. Ghobrial, ‘Introduction: Seeing the World like a Microhistorian’, Past & Present Special issue on ‘Global History and Microhistory’ 242 supplement 14 (2019), 1-22.
  • Amy Stanley, ‘Maidservants' Tales: Narrating Domestic and Global History in Eurasia, 1600-1900’, American Historical Review, 121:2 (2016), pp. 437–460 or chapter of Amy Stanley, Stranger in the Shogun's City: A Woman’s Life in Nineteenth-Century Japan (London, 2020), ch. 1 ‘Faraway Places’.
  • Maxine Berg, ‘Sea Otters and Iron: A Global Microhistory of Value and Exchange at Nootka Sound, 1774–1792’, Past & Present, Volume 242 Supplement 14 (2019), 50–82. 

13 November. One-day workshop. The Challenges of the Global

Session 5. 10.30-12.30. Global History and its Conceptual and Physical Spaces

  • Sunil S. Amrith, Unruly waters: how mountain rivers and monsoons have shaped south Asia's history (London: Penguin, 2020), chs. 1 and 7.
  • David Armitage, Alison Bashford, Sujit Sivasundaram, eds., Oceanic Histories (Cambridge, 2017), pp. 1-28 (‘Introduction: Writing World Oceanic Histories’).
  • Bathsheba Demuth, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait (W.W. Norton & Company, 2019), pp. 1-11 and ch. 3 pp. 73-101.
  • Jane Ohlmeyer, ‘Eastward Enterprises: Colonial Ireland, Colonial India, Past & Present, 240 (2018), 83–118.

Session 6. 13.30-15.00 Whose Global Histories?

  • Cornell Fleischer, Cemal Kafadar and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘How to Write Fake Global History’, Cromohs 10 September 2020 -  (link available on Sharepoint)

Comments on this review:

  • Patricia Crossley, ‘Why women have no home in global history’ - (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Efe Khayyat and Ariel Salzmann — On the Perils of Thinking Globally while Writing Ottoman History: God’s Shadow and Academia’s Self-Appointed Sultans, in b20, an online journal, 1 October 2020 - (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Amy Stanley, ‘On global history, “trade book history”, and why we care’ - (link available on Sharepoint)

Fleischer, Kafadar and Subrahmanyam ‘response’ to their critics:

  • Cornell Fleischer, Cemal Kafadar and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘Romancing “American Selim”, in K24, 9 October 2020 - (link available on Sharepoint)

Session 7. (continued) 15.15-16.00 Whose Global Histories? A discussion among researchers

Session 8.  17.00-19.00 with Jeremy Adelman. Global Narratives of the Present and Presentism. 

  • Jeremy Adelman, ‘Policy Series: The Clash of Global Narratives’, H-Diplo | ISSF POLICY Series 15 March 2017 -  (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Jeremy Adelman, ‘Why we need to be wary of narratives of economic catastrophe’, Aeon, 22 January 2019 -  (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Adam Tooze, ‘How Much Should We Fear Post-Crisis Debt Or Inflation?’, Podcast -  (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Adam Tooze, ‘It’s A New Europe—If You Can Keep It’ -  (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Thomas Piketty, Jeremy Adelman, Anne-Laure Delatte, ‘How to Save Europe From Itself’, FP, 4 April 2016 - (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Jeremy Adelman, ‘From Hubris to Humility: An American Story’, Institut Montaigne, 8 April 2020 - 
     (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Adam Tooze, ‘The latest figures are a wake-up call: the global Covid-19 crisis isn't close to over’, The Guardian, 30 June 2020 -  (link available on Sharepoint)
  • The Long Night: America’s Status Quo Election, Institut Montaigne, 5 November  2020 - (Link available on Sharepoint)

27 November. One-day workshop. Global Public History

Session 9. 10.00-12.00 with Serge Noiret (Library, EUI). What is Global Public History?

  • Digital & Public History Blog
  • Serge Noiret and Thomas Cauvin, ‘Internationalizing Public History’, in Paula Hamilton and James B. Gardner, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Public History (Oxford, 2017). 
  • Serge Noiret, ‘Digital Public History’, in David Dean (ed.): A Companion to Public History (Hoboken, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018), pp.111-124. (Link available on Sharepoint)

Session 10.  13.30-16.00 with Trevor Burnard (Hull University). Slavery and Global Public History

Part 1 14:00-15:00, Why 1619?

  • `The 1619 project,’ New York Times, 14 August 2019 -  (link available on Sharepoint)
  • Sean Wilentz, “A Matter of Facts,” The Atlantic 22 January 2020.
  • `From the Editor’s Desk: 1619 and All That,’ American Historical Review 125, 1 (2020), xv-xxi
  • `Communications,’ American Historical Review 125, 2 (2020), 768-74.
  • `Editor’s Note: Racist Violence in the United States,’ American Historical Review 125, 3 (2020), xiv-xvi.
  • Mary O’Sullivan, “The intelligent woman’s guide to capitalism,” Enterprise and Society 19, 4 (2018), 751-802
  • Slavery and Global Public History Conference: Slavery and Public History around the World -  (link available on Sharepoint)

Further readings:

  • H. Reuben Neptune, “Thrown’ Scholarly Shade: Eric Williams in the New Histories of Capitalism and Slavery,” Journal of the Early Republic 36 (2019), 299-326
  • Mark Harvey “Slavery, Indenture and the Development of British Industrial Capitalism,” History Workshop Journal 88 (2019), 66-88
  • Gavin Wright, “Slavery and Anglo-American capitalism revisited,” Economic History Review 73, 2 (2020), 353-83
  • Tyler D. Parry, ‘Slavehounds and abolition in the Americas’, Past & Present 246 (2018) 69-108

Part 2. 15.00-16.00. Slavery, Public History and Black Lives Matter

  • Four Abstracts of papers in the forthcoming issue of Slavery and Abolition (available on Sharepoint)
  • Newspaper articles (Links available on Sharepoint)

Session 11 - 4 December: Conclusion

















Page last updated on 25 November 2020

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