The Global History Forum

In cooperation with the Center for History and the New Media at George Mason University, the Foundation has established The Global History Forum, an online forum that promotes the study of global history as a distinct field, publicizes the work of scholars from around the world, and serves as a central platform to raise issues of interest to global historians.

The Forum engages in several core activities. First among these are our regularly appearing interviews with historians who either identify their work as global history or whose work engages with broader themes than span nations, regions, and times. At a time when some have questioned, even challenged, the productivity of a global history approach, the Global History Forum paints a portrait of a vibrant and growing field and the new research projects emerging from programs around the world. We seek to showcase the novelty and originality of new projects; to underscore the diversity of intellectual and professional paths to, and within, global history; and to highlight the utility of a global history not in opposition to, but rather as a complement to, national and area studies historiographical traditions.

Beyond these in-depth interviews, however, the Forum occasionally publishes think pieces on global history and themes that may engage scholars working across time periods and regions. The goal is not to enforce orthodoxy or a single “correct” way of doing global history; studies in global history do not require a single comprehensive vision of the world’s history. Instead, the Forum serves as an open-ended workshop, a sandbox where Contributors  publicize fruitful topics, methods and theories in the expanding field of global history.

Finally, from time to time, the Forum seeks to connect national or regional historiographical traditions by engaging with historians and historical research into specific countries or regions of the world to attempt to link recent trends in various national historiographies with the trends that we see emerging in the Forum’s other activities. Far from claiming that more circumscribed projects on problems in national history are global history, we seek to engage a fruitful and collaborate dialogue between historians who operate at different narrative, geographical, and registers in their work. In doing so, we hope to encourage a truly ecumenical vision of global history centered not only around economic globalization or international institutions, but one that also integrates the hard-won insights and lessons sometimes available uniquely to those who operate primarily (if also not exclusively) in the register of the national or the regional.

Throughout, the Forum makes global history truly global by engaging scholars from all over the world. Contributors may submit—in any language—scholarly essays, descriptions of their current research, a statement of topics they would like to see discussed, or comments on issues important to global history.

While the Global History Forum frequently solicits historians for interviews and to submit think pieces, and while we strive to provide a balanced coverage between pieces on “the global” per se and more regionally-focused attempts to write global history, we recognize that our scope can only be limited at best. Therefore, if you have a suggestion for a topic that you would like to see the Global History Forum address, a scholar whom you would recommend that we interview, or would like to be considered for an interview yourself, please learn more about how to contribute, or contact us at info@toynbeeprize.org.