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Centre for Modern Studies, University of York Interdisciplinary One-Day Symposium on 'Cultures of the Global'

The term 'globalization' is often perceived to apply primarily to the contemporary period, denoting capitalism's triumphant spread into even the remotest areas of the world. But over the whole of the modern era, nations, regions, and localities have become increasingly shaped and reconfigured by global circulations of peoples, ideas, texts, images, and goods-circulations that have provoked reactions ranging from enthusiastic appreciation to anxiety to intense hostility. Both hegemonic and resistant modern cultures have consistently drawn on an imagination of global transmission and coalescence in order to frame and advance their disparate agendas. Conceptions of the global have played a crucial role across a range of intellectual, aesthetic and political projects. Ironically, however, the study of global circulation has been hampered by a lack of exchange between scholars in different disciplines.

On 20 June, the interdisciplinary 'Cultures of the Global' symposium aims to fill this gap by bringing together academics from the fields of History, History of Art, Politics, and English-among others-to reconsider the complex role that the concept of the global has played throughout the modern period. Co-organised by Liz Buettner from the Department of History and Jane Elliott from the Department of English and Related Literatures, 'Cultures of the Global' is one of a series of events leading up to the inauguration of the University of York's new Centre for Modern Studies. We aim to foster new research initiatives across several departments involved in the Centre and offer the opportunity to develop conversations and links with academics based at other universities. These include our four invited speakers, who will present introductory papers:

Professor Maxine Berg (History, University of Warwick):
'Trading Eurasia: Material Cultures of the Global, 1600-1800'

Professor Michael Dillon (Politics, University of Lancaster):
'The Life and Death of Global Biopolitics'

Dr Angela Dimitrakaki (History of Art, University of Edinburgh):
'Art as Knowledge, Globalisation as Production Site: Lessons of the Video Essay'

Dr Priyamvada Gopal (English, University of Cambridge):
'What's guilt got to do with it?: Liberalism, Empire, and the Globe'

Following these introductory papers, the symposium will move to a round table format. Speakers and the audience will have the chance to engage in more in-depth discussions of the presentations in tandem with several pre-circulated readings selected by the speakers that the audience will have read in advance. The poster for the symposium is attached. Spaces are limited and attendees must register in advance. Those registered will then receive information about the readings and the day's schedule. To download a registration form with information about registration fees, please go to:

For further information about the 'Cultures of the Global' symposium, please contact Liz Buettner (History; Deputy Co-Director, Centre for Modern
Studies) at