Methodology and pedagogy

Featured Interviews

Histories of the Big and Small: An Interview with Mark Mazower
Interviews | February 20, 2019

Histories of the Big and Small: An Interview with Mark Mazower

Mark Mazower discusses the experience of telling a personal narrative in a historical context, the struggles and opportunities presented by writing history with a focus on nations and people outside of the immediate center of power, and the importance of revisiting early twentieth-century political discussions in our current moment.

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How Do We Teach Global History? A Toynbee Prize Conversation
Interviews | January 9, 2019

How Do We Teach Global History? A Toynbee Prize Conversation

What are the current challenges for teaching global history? What materials or techniques have proven effective? What are the pedagogical implications of these approaches? We've invited five academics, representing a variety of institutions around the world, to reflect upon their experiences in designing and delivering courses to undergraduate and graduate students in global history.

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Writing Global Ecological History 'From Below': An Interview with Gregory Cushman
Interviews | January 31, 2018

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

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.

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The Grid and the Territory: Discussing What Comes After the Map with William Rankin
Interviews | March 31, 2017

The Grid and the Territory: Discussing What Comes After the Map with William Rankin

If we accept the GPS beacons embedded in our smartphones—or guided missiles—as the exponent of "progress," we risk overlooking how differently (and not just "better") GPS's relationship to territory and space is from those of earlier world-mapping technologies. After the Map seeks to provide, then, not just a technical history of different mapping tools over the twentieth century. It provides an analysis of how shifts in tools engendered shifts in what William Rankin dubs geo-epistemology: "not just what is known about the earth, but how it is known— and how it is used."

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Thicker Than Water: Revisiting Global Connections on the Banks of the Suez Canal with Valeska Huber
Interviews | July 20, 2016

Thicker Than Water: Revisiting Global Connections on the Banks of the Suez Canal with Valeska Huber

There was perhaps no more potent symbol of this world of ultra-connectivity than the Suez Canal, built in what was still Ottoman Egypt in 1869 and connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. The Canal increased world trade. It also soon became a vital strategic artery for the British Empire, since it made the "passage to India" via intermediary stations like Suez and Aden far shorter than the former trip around the Cape of Good Hope. So powerful was the imaginary of the Canal as one of the crucial changes of the epoch that, when Henry Morton Stanley finally located David Livingstone (of "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?") on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in 1871, the Canal was the first thing that came to Stanley's mind when Livingstone asked him what had changed in the world during his many years out of contact with the Western world. Yet as Dr. Valeska Huber, a research fellow at the German Historical Institute in London, shows in her recent book Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalization in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, paperback 2015), the Suez Canal did not so much open as channel migration and globalization during this world of increasing trade and economic integration.

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Global History as Past and Future: A Conversation with Sebastian Conrad on "What Is Global History?"
Interviews | March 7, 2016

Global History as Past and Future: A Conversation with Sebastian Conrad on "What Is Global History?"

It's a common question that teachers of global history face. We belong to one of the most quickly-moving, contested, and changing subfields within the historical profession, and the travel schedules on many of our dockets—Istanbul one week, Tokyo the next—make our colleagues who slave away in the same provincial state archive blush. The years spent learning foreign languages begin to pay off, as one can not only read the newspaper but also foreign colleagues' peer review comments on an article scheduled for publication in this or that journal. Life, it seems, is good. But when it comes time to teach global history as a field, one hesitates. For audiences of graduate students, of course, it's possible to follow the tactic of assigning a pile of monographs bringing global history perspectives to different regions of the planet: China the one week, the Gambia the next. But how to put it all together into one common language that speaks to the Americanists and the East Asianists in one seminar? Worse yet: how to teach this all to undergraduate audiences for whom the monograph approach would incite revolt?

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A Global History Primer: Discussing "Thinking History Globally" with Diego Olstein
Interviews | July 18, 2015

A Global History Primer: Discussing "Thinking History Globally" with Diego Olstein

Diego Olstein, a specialist on medieval Spain and world history, outlines the many ways in which historians today compare, connect, conceptualize and contextualize their subjects beyond pre-existing boundaries of national communities, linguistic boundaries, or pre-defined regions. No mere encyclopedia of global history approaches–Olstein limits his bestiary to twelve kinds–Thinking History Globally also provides readers with applied examples of how these approaches and cognitive patterns might actually be applied to different subjects. More than an entertaining read, the book is thus of great use for the professor or TA confronted with the question of, for example, what it actually means to write the First World War "in a global context."

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Getting to (Global) Work with Andrea Komlosy: Discussing "Work: A Global History"
Interviews | March 19, 2015

Getting to (Global) Work with Andrea Komlosy: Discussing "Work: A Global History"

The vocabulary that we use to talk about work remains, in short, of massive political importance, but all too often, we don't scrutinize it very closely. Not, at least until Andrea Komlosy's 2014 book Arbeit: Eine globalhistorische Perspektive (Work: A Global History Perspective), published by Promedia Verlag. We recently had the chance to speak with Komlosy about her road to writing about social history and the history of work, as well as what it means to apply a global history perspective to a theme that necessarily stretches across hundreds of years. Let's get to work, then, and dive into a discussion about Work.

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Featured Blog Posts

Conference Report: Looking Back and Forward—Developments, Challenges, and Visions for the Future of Global History (Queen’s University)
The Blog | August 1, 2020

Conference Report: Looking Back and Forward—Developments, Challenges, and Visions for the Future of Global History (Queen’s University)

As we face a set of unknown changes to humanities scholarship and education that will inevitably unfold in the coming months, we are confronted with the meaning of Global History and the directions in which it will move. In March 2019, precisely one year before the global lockdown, four scholars, Amitava Chowdhury, Heather Streets-Salter, Julia McClure, and Joseph McQuade, reflected on how the field of global history developed over the course of their careers and imagined future directions. With special attention to how the roots of what we call global history today developed institutionally, our panelists discuss how graduate education in global history developed and what shape it might take in the future.

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Navigating PARES, or, how to research the history of the global Spanish Empire during a global pandemic
The Blog | July 11, 2020

Navigating PARES, or, how to research the history of the global Spanish Empire during a global pandemic

The digital revolution has seen millions of pages of Spanish manuscripts digitized and shared through the free PARES (portal de archivos españoles) platform in recent years, the Spanish government’s archive web portal. These include sources for the study of topics including Iberian voyages of discovery and conquest, the Atlantic slave trade and the diverse experiences of slavery in the Iberian world, and indigenous revolts against colonial rule such as the Tupac Amaru rebellion. Scott Cave led a one-hour ‘hands on’ seminar guiding participants on how to find and read digitized documents relating to this rich history through PARES.

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Video: What is Global History? A Roundtable with Sebastian Conrad at the Institute for Advanced Study
The Blog | April 1, 2020

Video: What is Global History? A Roundtable with Sebastian Conrad at the Institute for Advanced Study

Since its publication in 2016, Sebastian Conrad’s What Is Global History? has been read and debated not only by historians of modern Europe but also by historians of different parts of the world and scholars in different disciplines. Who writes global history? How and for whom? And why now?

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Conference Report: Global History Student Conference (Istanbul Sehir University, June 22-24, 2018)
Conference Reports | July 26, 2018

Conference Report: Global History Student Conference (Istanbul Sehir University, June 22-24, 2018)

Academic trends can encourage collaboration among scholars from different parts of the world. A good example of this was the student conference on global history held in Istanbul last month, attended by students from 21 different universities. The fact the conference took place in Istanbul seemed particularly appropriate in the context of global history. Indeed, the city of Istanbul has long been a multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious place, especially during the long periods when it was the capital of empires. The conference was organized by undergraduate students from Istanbul Sehir University on behalf of the History Department.

Read more about `Conference Report: Global History Student Conference (Istanbul Sehir University, June 22-24, 2018)`
Conference Report: Fifth Congress of the European Network in Universal and Global History, August 31-Sept 3, 2017
Conference Reports | October 9, 2017

Conference Report: Fifth Congress of the European Network in Universal and Global History, August 31-Sept 3, 2017

Written by Stefan Huebner (National University of Singapore) Click here for a copy of the programme. 2017 is a European Network in Universal and Global History (ENIUGH) year. The ancient Olympic Games took place every fourth year and lasted for more than a millennium.
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