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Week 7. Global Intellectual History

Tutor: Claudia Stein (claudia.stein@warwick.ac.uk)

Students will be introduced to the different approaches and methodologies of global intellectual history. We will discuss what the questions of global intellectual history should be, whether ideas and concepts travel, or are always transformed or lost in translation. We will consider what a postcolonial approach to global intellectual history would look like.

Questions

What is global intellectual history and how should we approach it?

Do ideas travel? Or will ideas and concepts always be transformed by translation?

In what kinds of sources can we find traces of global intellectual history?

Postcolonial theory prompts us to move away from diffusionist models of the transmission of ideas, what are the alternatives for global intellectual history?

Key Readings
Bell, Duncan, ‘Making and Taking Worlds’, Global Intellectual History, eds. Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori.

Karatani, Kojin, The Structure of World History (Durham, North Carolina: 2014), intro, chaps. 5-7, 9-10.

Moyn, Samuel, ‘On the Nonglobalization of Ideas’, Global Intellectual History, eds. Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori.

Further Readings

Al-Khalili, Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Islamic Science (London, 2012).

Bell, Duncan, ‘Making and Taking Worlds’, in Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori eds, Global Intellectual History (New York, 2013), pp. 254-279.

Moyn, Samuel, The Last Utopia, Human Rights in History (London, 2010).

Osterhammel, J, Chapter X, Revolutions: From Philadelphia via Nanjing to Saint Petersbury, in The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (Princeton, 2015), pp. 514-571.

Pollock, Sheldon, ‘Cosmopolitanism, Vernacularism, and Premodernity’, in Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori eds, Global Intellectual History (New York, 2013), pp. 59-80.

Raj, Kapil, ‘Beyond Postcolonialism … and Postpositivism: Circulation and the Global History of Science’, Isis, 104: 2 (2013)Saliba, George, Islamic Science in the Making of the European Renaissance, Cambridge MA, 2007.
Starr, Frederick, Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane (Princeton, 2015).