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1. Diasporas in History: Jews and Armenians

1. lecture

Introductory lecture outlining the main approaches to the study of migration and diaspora, followed by a closer discussion of two groups of shaped many of the early connections in global history: the Jewish diaspora and the Armeian diaspora.

2. seminar discussion points

  • What does the term ‘diaspora’ mean, and how significant are the origins of the word for the study of diasporas?
  • How different are the Jewish and Armenian diasporas and what characteristics do they share?
  • How central is trade to the Jewish and Armeinian diaspora communities?

3. core readings

  • Philip Curtin, 'Trade Diasporas and Cross-Cultural Trade' in Curtin, Cross-cultural trade in world history (1984)
  • Robin Cohen, Global Diasporas: An Introduction (1997)

4. essay questions

  • To what extent did diaspora communities contribute to urban life? Concentrate on one diaspora.
  • To what extent were diasporas global phenomena?

5. further readings

  • Nicholas Canny, Europeans on the Move: Studies on European Migration, 1500-1800 (1994)
  • Robin Cohen, The Cambridge Survey of World Migration
  • Patrick Manning, Migration in World History (2004)
  • David B Ruderman, Early Modern Jewry: A New Cultural History (2010)

6. podcasts


7. external links


Galata Tower

Galata Tower in the Jewish quarter in Istanbul


Armenian merchant

Depiction of an Armenian merchant (1652-1718); British Museum collection