Global History Seminar Series

2015 Series

February 12 - Daniel Pick (Birkbeck, University of London): Manchurian Candidates: Brainwashing, the Cold War, and the History of the Psy Professions.
How did ‘the talking cure’ contribute to understanding politics, especially the extreme right and the idea of totalitarianism, in the middle decades of the last century? What were the enduring legacies of this Freudian ‘mobilization’ in the Allied struggle against Germany and in the Cold War?
 
The talk entitled Manchurian Candidates: Brainwashing, the Cold War, and the History of the Psy Professions will focus on encounters between psychoanalysis and fascism, the brainwashing furore that emerged during the Korean War and some of the outcomes in culture, clinical knowledge and political thought. Pick will also consider how the psy profession helped shape contemporary understanding of totalitarianism, especially in its various contributions to group psychology, and suggest how these professions were also significantly reshaped by this history.
 
Pick is a psychoanalyst and cultural historian. Alongside his private clinical practice, he is professor of history at Birkbeck, University of London, where he co-runs an MA program of Psychoanalysis, History and Culture, leads undergraduate courses, and supervises a variety of doctoral projects. He is a fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society and of the Royal Historical Society, and was recently awarded major funding and a senior investigator award by the Wellcome Trust for a project on the Cold War, the human sciences and the psy professions. He is also an author, editor, advisor, and historical series consultant.
 
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February 19 - A panel on The Mediterranean and Mediterraneans in Global History
The Mediterranean is the world's most studied sea. Debate about Mediterranean civilization - does it exist and if so what is it? - has ignited controversy about other rimlands all over the world and about the role of seas in global history. Do seas divide or unite their shores? Does culture seep across them or get diluted by them? Do they register their chief impact on adjoining lands as routes of exchange, or pools of resources; cauldrons of climate, or traps for winds and currents? Some of the world's leading experts - including the authors of The Corrupting SeaThe Making of the Middle Sea, and The Great Sea - gather to air the issues.
 
Featuring David Abulafia (professor of Mediterranean history, University of Cambridge), Cyprian Broodbank (Disney Professor of Archaeology, University of Cambridge), and Paolo Luca Bernardini (professor of history, University of Bergamo, Italy). Peregrine Horden (professor in Medieval history, Royal Holloway) chairs the panel. Nick Purcell (Camden Professor of Ancient History, University of Oxford) will initiate the discussion.
 
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February 26 - A Panel on Global Approaches to the Middle Ages
The concept of ‘the medieval’ has long been essential to global imperial ventures, nationalist ideologies, and the discourse of modernity. Yet the projects enabled by this powerful construct have essentially hindered investigation of the world’s interconnected territories during a millennium of movement and exchange. The mission of TMG is to reclaim this ‘middle age’ and to place it at the center of global studies. TMG accordingly provides an interdisciplinary forum for scholars of all world areas by focusing on convergence, movement, and interdependence. It advances a new theory and praxis of medieval studies by bringing into view phenomena that have been rendered practically or conceptually invisible by anachronistic boundaries, categories, and expectations: polities, networks, affinity groups, artistic influences, identities, bodies of knowledge, faiths, and forms of association. TMG also broadens discussion of the ways that medieval processes inform the global present and shape visions of the future.
 
Featuring Carol Symes (associate professor of history, University of Illinois), James Barrett (reader in Medieval archeology, University of Cambridge), and Elizabeth Lambourn (reader in South Asian and Indian Ocean studies, De Montfort University, Leicester). Chris Wickham (Chichele Professor of Medieval History, University of Oxford), will chair the panel and Nicholas Vincent (professor of Medieval history, University of East Anglia), will reply.
 
This interdisciplinary panel discussion marks the appearance of the new journal The Medieval Globe.
 
 
March 5 - An Interdisciplinary Panel on The History of Trust
This interdisciplinary panel is inspired by Trust: a History by Geoffrey Hosking, who believes that historians have seriously underestimated the importance of forms of social solidarity, which do not depend wholly on political structures or rational choice. He will argue the need to complement political science with a kind of 'trust science' - using 'trust' as the focus of a cluster of concepts, such as confidence, reliance, faith, belief etc. Hosking also views trust as mediated through symbolic systems and the institutions associated with them. Such systems and institutions change greatly over time and differ from one society to another. In European-North American societies we are currently experiencing a 'crisis of trust' which we understand poorly because we do not appreciate how our trust structures have changed in the last 50-70 years.
 

Featuring Geoffrey Hosking (emeritus professor of Russian history, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies), Warren von Eschenbach (director of the University of Notre Dame London Global Gateway where he also lectures in philosophy, and assistant provost for Europe, University of Notre Dame), Anthony Seldon (co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary British History, author of Trust: How We Lost it and How to Get it Back), and Kieron O’Hara (senior research fellow in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, author of Trust: from Socrates to Spin).

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March 12 - no meeting
March 19 - Jürgen Osterhammel (University of Konstänz): The Transformation of the World: On the Difficulty of Writing Social History in a Global Mode
Is a history of “society” still possible in terms of social history?
 
Jürgen Osterhammel (professor of modern and early modern history, Universität Konstanz) will consider this question in a discussion of his new book, The Transformation of the World (Princeton University Press, 2014). He will take up a critic’s observation that there is no proper chapter on social history in the book, leading to his current attempt to write such a chapter in the context of another of his publications, History of the World (co-edited with Akira Iriey, Harvard University Press, 2012).
 
Copies of The Transformation of the World will be available to purchase at the seminar.
 
March 26 - Leonard Blussé (Leiden University): Sounding China's Maritime Past: in search of Joseph Needham's enduring legacy

More than 4 decades of scholarship and debate have unfolded since Needham and his collaborators produced challenging views on the long history of Chinese navigation and water management. Is now the time to write a general history of China’s maritime past?

Blussé (emeritus professor of the history of European relations with China, Leiden University) suggests how the subject could be addressed.

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April 2 - Jaime Pensado (University of Notre Dame): Catholic Youth in Cold War Mexico
Did a conservative and/or progressive Catholic movement proliferate in Mexican universities during the Cold War? What lasting effects did the networks forged in the aftermath of World War II between young Catholic Mexicans, the MIEC (Movimiento Internacional de Estudiantes Católicos), and the more radical JECI (Jeaunesse Etudiante Catholique Internationale) have on the politicization of the nation’s youth? By introducing answers to these and additional questions, Pensado will move away from what has developed into an official narrative of youth activism in Mexico in memoirs, plays, novels and essays over the last 40 years.
 
Jaime M. Pensado specializes in contemporary Mexican history, student movements, youth culture, and the Cold War. He is currently working on a second book that examines Catholic youth in Mexico during the post-revolutionary period. Professor Pensado’s first book, Rebel Mexico: Student Unrest and Authoritarian Political Culture During the Long Sixties (Stanford University Press, 2013) received The Mexican History Book Prize from the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH) in 2014. His recent publications can be found in Mexican Studies/Estudios MexicanosThe Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, Special Issue: Latin America in the 1960sThe Journal of the History of Childhood and YouthReVista Harvard: Review of Latin America; Robert Clarke et. al., eds., New World Coming: The Sixties and the Shaping of Global Consciousness; and The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture.
 
April 9 - A Panel on Exotic England
Gerald Maclean (professor of English, Exeter, and co-author, with Nabil Matar, of Britain and the Islamic World) meets renowned journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to discuss her new book, Exotic England, which talks about how England has always been expansive, open and lured by the East and that its sense of itself cannot be restricted to just these isles. From the 16th Century to now, when we look at the arts, science, sex, food, architecture and trade, we see the east embedded in England. It is a glorious story which small Englanders do not care to know.
 
 
April 16 - Julio Crespo MacLennan (Instituto Cervantes): The Rise of Europe to World Hegemony.
In the late 15th century no one would have predicted that European civilization would have the capacity to dominate the world. 1492 marked the beginning of a new era in which first the Iberian kingdoms followed by several European states, experienced a meteoric rise that allowed Europeans on the whole to enjoy hegemony until the early 20th century.
 
In his talk, Crespo MacLennan will aim to prove that European powers were guided by very similar principle, aims and methods in their imperial expansion and that there is a European legacy that plays a very influential role in the global civilization of the 21st century.
 
Julio Crespo MacLennan is an academic, historian, and writer specialized in contemporary Spain, Europe, and history of international relations. He has taught at several Spanish, British, and American universities, including University of Oxford. His research areas include contemporary Spanish history, the history of Europeanism, comparative Imperial history, and the legacy of Europe. He is author of 5 books, has written over 100 articles and book reviews published in academic journals, and is a regular contributor to the Spanish daily newspaper ABC. His books on Great Europeanists and Eurosceptics in history, and European imperial history have been critically acclaimed in Spain. His next book The Rise and Fall of Europe in the World from 1492 to Present will be published in 2015.
 
 
 

2014 Series

View the Global History Seminar Series 2014 review and photos from the event.

February 13 - Norman Hammond (Boston University and University of Cambridge): The Ancient Maya and the World
Hammond, who is the doyen of Maya archeology, and author of Ancient Maya Civilization, is the archeology correspondent of The Times.
 
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February 20 - Thomas Tweed (University of Notre Dame): Toward a Global History of Religion
The Welch Professor of American Studies and president of the American Academy of Religion has made fundamental contributions to the history of religion, including Our Lady of the Exile (American Academy of Religion book award), and Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion.
 
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February 27 - Jon Coleman (University of Notre Dame): Humans and Other Animals
Coleman won the Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association for Vicious: Wolves and Men in America. He is also the author of Here Lies Hugh Glass.
 
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March 6 - No meeting
March 13 - Tim Blanning (Universtiy of Cambridge): The Triumph of Music in the Modern World
Blanning edited The Oxford History of Europe and has won broad popular success and important academic prizes for works including The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture, The Pursuit of Glory, and The Triumph of Music.
 
March 20 - Pierre Singaravélou (Paris-Sorbonne University): Laboratory of Globalization? Tianjin, c. 1900: Colonization, Internationalization and “Modernization”

Singaravélou´s ground-breaking work on the comparative and global study of modern empires includes L´Empire des géographes (2008), L´Empire des sports (2010), and, as editor, Atlas des empires coloniaux (2013).

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March 27 - Sunil Amrith (Birkbeck, University of London): CANCELLED
Amrith, who works on global; dimensions of modern Asian history, is engaged on an ERC project on the environmental history of the Bay of Bengal. He is the author of Crossing the Bay of Bengal and Migration and Diaspora in Modern Asia.
 
April 3 - A Panel on the Scientific Revolution in Honour of Patrick O’Brien
O’Brien (London School of Economics and St Antony’s College, University of Oxford) debates his controversial views with Robert Iliffe (University of Sussex), Richard Drayton (King's College London), Andrew Wear (University College London), and Alan Powers (Bristol, Ma.).
 
April 10 - A Panel on the Palestine Question in Global Context
Dan Cohn-Sherbok and Mary Grey discuss their new book, War or Peace: Debating Israel and Palestine, with Ziauddin Sardar, author of What Do Muslims Believe? and Desperately Seeking Paradise.
 
 

2013 Series

January 30 - Robert Ross (Leiden University): Homogenisation of Material Culture 
Ross is celebrated for Clothing: a Global History: Or the Imperialists' New Clothes (2008) and for many contributions on the history of South Africa.
 
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February 6 - Hilde de Weerdt (King's College London): Re-thinking Sino-European Comparative History 
Following her acclaimed study of the history of Chinese Civil Service examinations, de Weerdt is at work on the formation of a sense of empire in China.
 
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February 13 - Donald Sassoon (Queen Mary University of London): Capitalism and Anxiety 
The emeritus professor of comparative European history has published a dazzling array of renowned work, including a history of socialism, a study of the image of Mona Lisa, and, most recently, The Culture of the Europeans. He is working on a book about capitalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
 
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February 20 - James Belich (University of Oxford), topic TBA
The Beit Professor of Commonwealth History has made fundamental contributions to the history of New Zealand and to the global environmental history of empires. He is the director of Oxford's new Global History programme.
 
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February 27 - Alex Lee (University of Warwick): The Ugly Renaissance 
Lee will talk about his iconoclastic new book and set the Renaissance in global context.
 
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March 6 - John McGreevy (University of Notre Dame): Nineteenth-century Jesuits: A Global History 
The dean of the College of Arts and Letters and professor of history at Notre Dame, whose books include Catholicism and American Freedom (2003) will talk about the subject of his new book.
 
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March 13 - No meeting
March 20 - Maxine Berg (Unversity of Warwick): Industry, Craft, Global History: Oral Insights in India
Berg has made many important contributions to the history of material culture and consumption and is the author of Writing the History of the Global: Challenges for the 21st Century.
 
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March 27 - Simon Wessely (King's College London): War and Psychiatry: a Story in Three Acts 
The professor of psychological medicine at King's, who also teaches in the Department of War Studies, is one of the world's leading scholars of the history of the impact of war on mental health.
 
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2012 Series

January 25 - Stefan Halikowski-Smith (Brown University and Swansea University): Pirates
The Vasco da Gama Visiting Professor at Brown is the author of an acclaimed book on the Portuguese in Ayutthaya and is at work on a global study of early modern piracy. His new book on Portugal in the global spice trade is imminent.
 
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February 1 - Peter Burke (University of Cambridge), Steve Fuller (University of Warwick), and Felipe Fernández-Armesto (University of Notre Dame) in a panel on Burke´s The Social History of Knowledge: Encylopédie to Wikipedia 
Burke is one of the most influential and admired living historians. He joins the Auguste Comte Professor at Warwick University, whose books include Science vs Religion and New Frontiers in Science and Technology Studies.
 
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February 8 - Chris Bayly (University of Cambridge): A Passage to India, 1965-2012
Bayly is the Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial History at St Catharine´s. His books include Imperial Meridian and The Birth of the Modern World
 
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February 15 - Surekha Davies (Birkbeck, University of London): On Kings and Cannibals: Ethnography, Ethnology and Mapping the Americas in Early Modern Europe
Davies´s articles on early modern cartography, ethnography, and mirabilia have attracted much admiration. Having completed a book on New World ethnography and maps, she is working on the global history of colonial science.
 
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February 22 - Simona Valeriani (London School of Economics): Urban Water Supply and Knowledge Systems: A Case Study in Comparative Global History
On behalf of research officers Mina Ishizu, Ting Xu, Anjana Singh, Khodadad Rezakhani, and Patrick O’Brien, Valeriani will present work in progress from the School´s project on Useful and Reliable Knowledge in Global Histories of Material Progress in the East and the West.
 
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February 29 - Patrick Griffin (University of Notre Dame), topic TBA
The Madden-Henry Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Notre Dame is the author of American LeviathanThe People with No Name and other important contributions to Atlantic history.
 
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March 7 - Jeremy Black (University of Exeter), topic TBA
By popular acclaim, the holder of the Established Chair in History at Exeter, who is probably the world´s most productive historian, returns to the seminar.
 
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March 14 - Lucy Badalian and Victor Krivorotov (SOAS, University of London): The Market Pendulum: the Persistent Pattern of Globalizations, Past and Present

In response to popular demand, the Russian academicians return to the seminar with an update of their wide-ranging interdisciplinary study of the growth of the global knowledge economy.

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2011 Series

February 7 - Richard Drayton (King's College London): Masked Condominia: Collaboration vs Competition in the Trans-European History of Imperialism
February 14 - John Darwin (University of Oxford): Imperial History and Global History
February 21 - Lucy Badalian and Victor Krivorotov (SOAS, University of London): Synchronicity in Global Development: from Great Divergence to Convergence?
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February 28 - Angus Lockyer (SOAS, University of London): What might a global history of the 20th century look like?
Lockyer lectures on the history of Japan at SOAS and has written many important and provocative pieces on modern Japanese representations of art, technology and nature.
 
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March 7 - Peter Barber (British Library): The image of the globe in the Renaissance
Familiar to U.K. television audiences for his celebrated documentaries, the head of map collections at the British Library is the author of Tales from the Map Room, and The Lie of the Land. The record-breaking Magnificent Maps was the latest of many exhibitions he organized at the Library.
 
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March 14 - William Clarence-Smith (SOAS, University of London): The 'Syrian' global diaspora: migrants from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan since the 1880s
Clarence-Smith, professor of the economic history of Asia and Africa has made many fundamental contributions on the history of commodities and labour, including Islam and the Abolition of Slavery and Cocoa and Chocolate.
 
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March 21 - Chris Hamlin (University of Notre Dame): Diseases Long Ago and Far Away: Does Doctors’ Knowledge Answer Historians’ Questions?
Hamlin, who teaches the history of science and of the environment at Notre Dame, is the author of exemplary studies of public health, including A Science of Impurity and Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick. His latest book was Cholera: the Biography.
 
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March 28 - Jeremy Black (University of Exeter): The Global History of War
Black is one of the most prolific, debated, and wide-ranging historians in the world. His books include War and the World; Why Wars Happen; and A Military Revolution?
 
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2010 Series

Presented by the Institute of Historical Research, the University of Notre Dame and the History Department of the University of Warwick.

February 17 - Patrick O’Brien (London School of Economics): Myths of Eurocentrism and Material Progress
O’Brien founded the IHR Global History Seminar when he was director of the IHR. He is the Centennial Professor of Economic History at the LSE and the author of much work of fundamental importance on the practice of global history, the history of industrialization, and imperial economic history.
 
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February 24 - Geoffrey Hosking (University College London): Trust, Distrust and Symbolic Systems
The speaker is emeritus professor of Russian history at SEEES, and author of many major works, including Russia and the Russians and The First Socialist Society. He is at work on a global history of trust.
 
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March 3 - David Edgerton (Imperial College London): Technology – A Global History
Edgerton has written some of the most impactful books of recent years on the history of technology, including Warfare State; Science, Technology and British Industrial Decline; and the iconoclastic The Shock of the Old.
 
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March 10 - Francisco Bethencourt (King's College London): Racism – A Global History
Bethencourt formerly headed the Biblioteca Nacional of Lisbon and the Gulbenkian Cultural Centre in Paris. He is now the Charles Boxer Professor of History at King’s College London. His many works on imperial, intellectual and cultural history include The Portuguese Overseas Expansion (with Diogo Curto) and a pioneering recent book on The Inquisition: a Global History. He is working on the history of racism.
 
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March 17 - Frank Trentmann (Birkbeck, University of London): Consumption – A Global History
Trentmann directed the research programme Cultures of Consumption and is the editor of OUP’s forthcoming history of consumption. Among his many works in the field are Free Trade Nation and Before ‘Fair Trade’. He edited Food and Globalization with Alexander Nützenadel.
 
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March 24 - Julia Thomas (University of Notre Dame): Environmental History – A Global Controversy
Thomas teaches Japanese history at the University of Notre Dame. Her book on Japanese Concepts of Nature, Reconfiguring Modernity, won the John Fairbanks Prize. She is at work on a book on the history of Japanese photography.
 
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March 31 - D.R.M. Irving (Christ´s College, University of Cambridge): Music and Culture – A Global History
Irving has been exploring the problems of writing about the music as part of cultural history in his groundbreaking book, Colonial Counterpoint, about music in the Philippines under Spanish rule, and a series of lectures at Cambridge on the globalization of music in the early modern period.

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