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Week 2. Methods and Concepts in Global History

Tutor: Guido van Meersbergen ( and Guillemette Crouzet (

Global History is often criticised for not having developed a unified methodology or approach to the study of history. Global and world histories can be comparative, connective, but also consider the world as a whole. They also consider different periods and in fact provide very diverse periodisations for history. They are read by people across the world with different interests, background and national histories. This seminar will focus on the different approaches to the study of global history and consider in particular some of the key concepts used in this branch of history.

Which methodological approaches are adopted by global history?

Which concepts are used in global history and which disciplines do they come from?

How do we deal with periods and periodisation in global history?

Key Reading
Sebastian Conrad, What is Global History? (Princeton, 2016), ch. 3 'Competing Approaches', pp. 37-61.

Patrick O’Brien, 'Historiographical Traditions and Modern Imperatives for the Restoration of Global History', Journal of Global History 1:1 (2006), pp. 3-39.

Martin Dusinberre, ‘Japan, Global History, and the Great Silence’, History Workshop Journal, 83/1 (2017), pp. 130–150.

Further Readings

C. A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons (Blackwells, 2004).

Sven Beckert and Dominic Sachsenmaier, eds., Global History, Globally: Research and Practice around the World (London, 2018).

James Belich, John Darwin, Margret Frenz, and Chris Wickham, eds, The Prospect of Global History (Oxford, 2016).

Pamela Kyle Crossley, What Is Global History? (Cambridge, 2007).

'Global Times and Spaces: On Historicizing the Global', History Workshop Journal, 64:1 (2007), comments by Driver, Burton, Berg, Subrahmanyam, Boal, pp. 321-46.

Eliga H. Gould, 'Entangled Histories, Entangled Worlds: The English-Speaking Atlantic as a Spanish Periphery', American Historical Review, 112 (2007), pp.764-86 (see also following article by Jorge Canizares-Esguerra on 'Entangled Histories', pp. 787-99)

A.G. Hopkins, Global History: Interactions Between the Universal and the Local (London, 2006).

Bruce Mazlish, 'Comparing Global History to World History', Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 28:3 (1998), pp. 385-95.

Bruce Mazlish, The Global History Reader (London, 2004).