Writing Global Ecological History ‘From Below’: An Interview with Gregory Cushman

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Greg Cushman, Associate Professor of International Environmental History, University of Kansas.  Photo: Brian Hamilton 

To further our understanding of the development of industrial capitalism over the past two centuries Greg Cushman claims, we need to write histories ‘from below,’ in two senses: first, we need to write histories that consider not just those who ‘invented the steam engine’, but those which trace the origins of the steam engine’s parts (material and intellectual) wherever across the globe that leads us – often far beyond the ‘Global North’. Second, we need to investigate our planetary history below the earth’s surface. Lithospheric history Cushman calls it. That entails researching the history of rock and mineral extraction from the lithosphere and tracking the movement, use, transformation and impact of those materials upon humanity and the earth’s environment over millennia. He also claims that it entails taking elemental history seriously, that is, historicising the relationship between humankind’s understanding of the extraction and application of a chemical element or compound upon the earth’s environment. These trajectories are big and bold and they challenge forms of disciplinary knowledge historians presume they should master, but they’re exactly the type of interdisciplinary lines of enquiry that Cushman has been pursuing since his days as a doctoral student at the University of Texas, Austin.

CFP: “LAGlobal Symposium: The Global Past and Future of Latin American Studies” (21 MARCH, 2018, London)

For those interested in Latin American studies, here’s a recent call for papers for a symposium titled “LAGlobal Symposium: The Global Past and Future of Latin American Studies.” The call for papers explains more: This one-day international symposium will address the global dimensions of Latin American Studies, past, present and future. Contrary to common and…

Submission Deadline Extended: Global Histories (January 20th, 2018)

Global Histories has extended the deadline for its most recent call for papers. The deadline for submissions is now January 20th, 2018. The Call explains more: In recent years, global history has become one of the most ambitious and promising strands of historical research. The approach targets relations, flows, and actors that challenge the assumption of the…

Upcoming Public Lectures at the Centre for Global Health Histories, University of York

The Centre for Global Health Histories at the University of York in the UK has shared the following details for two upcoming public lectures to be held on 22 January and 19 February 2018: From Face/Off to the Face Race: An Emotional History of the Face Transplant With Dr Fay Bound Alberti, on Monday 22 January 2018,…

CFP: Challenging the Liberal World Order: The History of the Global South, Decolonization and the United Nations, 1955-2000 (Leiden, Netherlands 8-9 May 2018)

For those interested in the Global South, here’s a recent call for papers for a conference to be announced by Alanna O’Malley (Leiden University, The Netherlands) titled “Challenging the Liberal World Order: The History of the Global South, Decolonization and the United Nations, 1955-2000.” The call for papers explains more: Keynote Speaker: Vijay Prashad (Trinity…

CFP: Lessons and Legacies XV: The Holocaust: Global Perspectives and National Narratives (November 01-04, 2018)

For readers interested in global and national histories of the Holocaust, here’s a recent call for papers for a conference to be announced by Northwestern University and Washington University titled “Lessons and Legacies XV: The Holocaust: Global Perspectives and National Narratives.” The call for papers explains more: The Fifteenth Biennial Lessons and Legacies Conference, sponsored…

CFP: The History of Meteorological Knowledge Transfer in Colonial Contexts (ESHS, London, 14-17 September, 2018)

Scholars working at the margins of global history, colonial history and the history of science may be interested in participating in a proposed symposium on the history of meteorological knowledge in colonial contexts at next year’s European Society for the History of Science Conference, due to be held in London from 14-17 September 2018. The call…

Conference: Chronologics: Periodisation in a Global Context (Berlin, 7-9 December 2017)

For readers interested in historical periodization in a global context, here’s a recent conference announcement titled “Chronologics: Periodisation in a Global Context.” The conference will gather scholars from around the world in Berlin. The announcement explains more: Epochal divisions and terminologies such as “antiquity”, “baroque,” the “classical age,” the “renaissance,” or “postmodernity,” the “long 19th!” or…

CFP: Global Histories: A Student Journal

Graduate student readers should consider this great call for submissions for the journal Global Histories. The call explains more: In recent years, global history has become one of the most ambitious and promising strands of historical research. The approach targets relations, flows, and actors that challenge the assumption of the nation state as a natural…

CFP: Global History Student Conference (Berlin, Germany, June 9-10, 2018)

For graduate student readers of the Global History Blog, this recent call for applications is for you. The students of the Global History MA program at Humboldt University Berlin and Free University Berlin have announced “Global History Student Conference 2018” in Berlin. This graduate student-focused conference on global history provides the opportunity to enhance academic…