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News from the Global History and Culture Centre

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Who knew potatoes could be this political?

Rebecca Earle's new book reviewed in The Telegraph on 20 June 2020, and here is a blogpost she wrote about the book:

Baked potato saved my life’, sang Matt Lucas, in a fundraising video for the NHS that brought smiles to faces across the UK. The joyful silliness helps explain its appeal. Of course a baked potato can’t save anyone’s life. Or can it'

Fri 26 Jun 2020, 08:59 | Tags: Publication

New book publication: Migration, edited by Johannes Knolle, Imperial College London, James Poskett, University of Warwick (Cambridge University Press)

Migration is in the news every day. Whether it be the plight of refugees fleeing Syria, or the outbreak of the Zika virus across Latin America, the modern world is fundamentally shaped by movement across borders. Migration, arising from the 2018 Darwin College Lectures, brings together eight leading scholars across the arts, humanities, and sciences to help tackle one of the most important topics of our time. What is migration? How has it changed the world? And how will it shape the future? The authors approach these questions from a variety of perspectives, including history, politics, epidemiology, and art. Chapters related to policy, as well as those written by leading journalists and broadcasters, give perspective on how migration is understood in the media, and engage the public more widely. This interdisciplinary approach provides an original take on migration, providing new insights into the making of the modern world.

Fri 19 Jun 2020, 09:55 | Tags: Publication

new publication by GHCC member Jonathan Schroeder

On the 25th of October, Jonathan Schroeder, assistant professor in English at Warwick and one of the new members of the Global History and Culture Centre, published an article with the title 'What Was Black Nostalgia?'. It has appeared as an advance publication in the journal American Literary History. The piece deals with the formation of the medical concept of nostalgia and its transformation (ca. 1790-1860) in slavery in the Americas (esp. in non-Anglophone societies). Please take a look!

Fri 09 Nov 2018, 11:21 | Tags: Publication

History: why it matters

Lynn Hunt, one of the leading thinkers in the disipline of history, has recently published a small book about the importance of studying history 'in a time when politicians lie brazenly about historical facts'. It is gratifying to see that she noted the Warwick Department of History's interest in global concerns: ‘at the University of Warwick, almost two-thirds of the academic staff indicated some interest in global questions…’. Lynn Hunt, History: Why it Matters (Oxford: Polity Press, 2018), p. 81.

Wed 22 Aug 2018, 18:47 | Tags: Publication

Publication: Global Gifts: The Material Culture of Diplomacy in Early Modern Eurasia

Book description

This anthology explores the role that art and material goods played in diplomatic relations and political exchanges between Asia, Africa, and Europe in the early modern world. The authors challenge the idea that there was a European primacy in the practice of gift giving through a wide panoramic review of imperial encounters between Europeans (including the Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English) and Asian empires (including Ottoman, Persian, Mughal, Sri Lankan, Chinese, and Japanese cases). They examine how those exchanges influenced the global production and circulation of art and material culture, and explore the types of gifts exchanged, the chosen materials, and the manner of their presentation. Global Gifts establishes new parameters for the study of the material and aesthetic culture of Eurasian relations before 1800, exploring the meaning of artistic objects in global diplomacy and the existence of economic and aesthetic values mutually intelligible across cultural boundaries.


‘Combining the thriving field of material culture with the intriguing paths of new diplomatic history, this book explores in novel ways the gift-exchange processes between individuals, courts and empires in the early modern era. Global Gifts is an unusually cohesive collective endeavor that truly enriches our understanding of the diverse nexus between Europe and Asia in the period.'

Jorge Flores - European University Institute, Florence

‘This rich collection demonstrates the power of ‘things' to shape cross-cultural relations in formal diplomacy. Gifts of art and material culture were fulcrums around which negotiations were staged in early modern Eurasia. Pushing interpretive boundaries, these trans-cultural histories illuminate the thorny mechanics of gifting, the meanings of gifts and the diplomatic aims these served.'

Beverly Lemire - University of Alberta

‘Asking what made a good gift in the early modern past, Global Gifts explores the intersection of diplomatic history and material culture studies. Textured and deeply researched, this volume traces the itineraries of exotica across a tangle of cultural and geographic boundaries. Whether one is Thailand or Portugal, India, or Italy, this book will prompt new thinking about issues that were crucial in the past yet have resonance in our own time – labor and luxury, politics and trade, generosity and thwarted desire.'

Dana Leibsohn - Smith College, Massachusetts

Mon 07 May 2018, 12:13 | Tags: Publication

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