What is Global History?
Princeton University Press 2016
The last two decades have seen a surge in global histories, be they global histories of food, of ideas, or social movements. But why this move away from strictly national and regional histories? Is it because we think of ourselves as an increasingly globalized society? And how can we think globally without succumbing to some of the pitfalls of both globalization and global history? Sebastian Conrad’s What is Global History? (Princeton University Press, 2016) is an attempt at setting down a methodology —or perhaps a perspective—to inspire historians going forward. In the book, he tracks the history of the discipline, the implications of the discipline, and several approaches to writing global history. We go over the ABC’s of global history, what critics have to say about global history, global history beyond the academy and ultimately, how to write a global history.
Sebastian Conrad is professor of global history, intellectual history, and post-colonial history at the Free University of Berlin. He is the author of German Colonialism: A Short History, Globalisation and the Nation in Imperial Germany, and The Quest for the Lost Nation: Writing History in Germany and Japan in the American Century.
Nadirah Mansour is a graduate student at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies working on the global intellectual history of the Arabic-language press. She tweets @NAMansour26 and produces another Middle-East and North Africa-related podcast: Reintroducing.