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Embassies and Encounters: New Sources for Global History

Monash Warwick Alliance Catalyst Fund May 2018 Round

Global History enables us to look beyond nation states to understand what connected and bound the world together. The period from 1600 to 1800 was a crucial watershed in human history. For the first time, the world was bound together by maritime trade routes that encircled the globe, tying diverse states together. In this connected world, the embassy formed one of the most important mechanisms for cross-cultural contact.

Through the Alliance, Associate Professor Adam Clulow, History Program, Monash University and Dr Guido van Meersbergen, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, Global History and Culture Centre, University of Warwick will produce the first scholarly examination of a key early modern embassy, led by Sir William Norris to Mughal India across a three-year period from 1699 to 1702. Georgia O’Connor, a MA student in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash is currently writing a thesis on Norris and will also play a pivotal role.

The project goal is to produce the first scholarly edition of the Norris Embassy Diaries. Transcribing and analysing the Norris papers present a significant challenge as the manuscript and accompanying project is so large that it can only be done through collaborative efforts with both universities. To make this project possible, it will pool together specialised knowledge, skills, and resources.

Once published, the transcription will contribute to a greater understanding of the relationship between Asia and Europe in the early modern period, and will complement existing work by other academics on East and Southeast Asia. It will also enable the collaborative team to produce new research and deliver direct educational benefit to students through a series of masterclasses, a Masters-led research project and development of a website that will provide a platform for further research collaboration and teaching of global history.

Principal Applicants:
Professor Adam Clulow Dr Guido van Meersbergen 

Dr Adam Clulow

Associate Professor, School of Philosophy, History & International Studies

Monash University

Dr Guido van Meersbergen

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, Department of History

University of Warwick


Carolyn James

Associate Professor, Department of History

Monash University

Professor Giorgio Riello

Director of Research, Department of History

University of Warwick