Global History and Culture Centre Blog
The Great Exhibition of 1851 and Popular Imperialism
In this blog post, Joshua Grey explores the Great Exhibition of 1851 as a form of popular imperialism, but also as a space of global connection and interaction. Through this case study, there is a consideration of the structuring of interactions between the imperial metropole and periphery. The flows of information, goods and cultural objects can be used for exploring motivations to justify imperialism and imperial expansion.
Golden Fever in the 1920s–30s and the Soviet Reception of Medieval Alchemy
The reception of alchemy in the early USSR remains a completely unknown field. This is despite the fact that many historians now work extensively on the history of alchemy more broadly. However, there were many mentions of alchemy both in the occult and the science literature in Russian in the 1920s and 1930s. In this blog entry, PhD student Sergei Zotov discusses how transnational connections in the beginning of the twentieth century shaped the reception of alchemy in the USSR.
Newton’s World: A Digital Map for Teaching the History of Early Modern Science
Like many of us, I’ve been preparing my teaching for the coming academic year. I’m planning on giving a lecture on early modern science as part of our Galleons and Caravans: Global Connections, 1500–1800 module. I was thinking about how to present these debates on Newton, particularly to a group of students who may have no previous experience in the history of science, but are certainly interested in global history.
Recalling a brief former stint as a computer scienceLink opens in a new window student, I spent a few days putting together an interactive map that is now available online. I hope it will be a useful resource, not just for my students, but for anyone teaching the history of science, or indeed global history.
You can check it out here: https://isaacnewton.world/Link opens in a new window
Five Books Every (Global) Historian of Science Should Read
In the last ten years or so historians of science have done much to challenge the existing Eurocentric historiography, yet such works are only just starting to make its way onto core reading lists and into the mainstream of the discipline. In this blog post James Poskett surveys the most exciting new scholarship in the field and makes a case for five books he thinks every historian of science should read. These are books that, whilst often focusing on particular regions or periods, nonetheless speak to the bigger concerns of the discipline. And in fact, for anyone more broadly interested in the history of science, who wants to know where the field is headed, these books are a great place to start.
“Orchids of the greatest rarity of Colombia”: collecting orchids in the Northern Andes in the 1840s
Orchids are one of the most popular plants in the world. But back in the nineteenth century, orchids, specially the tropical ones, were a botanical curiosity and an exotic and expensive item only a few could afford. Those plants were extracted from the tropical jungles of South America to be sold in auctions in Britain. In this blog post, Camilo Uribe Botta shows how the networks created between Colombia, Belgium and Britain in the 1840s led to a constant supply of plants from the tropical Andes and also to new botanical discoveries and innovative methods on how to cultivate them in Britain.