World history has become a crucial component of the current conversation on the past. These four seminars aim to explore the different ways in which a global approach to history has been developed prior to 21st century world history. Greek and Roman universal history, the historical vision exposed in the Bible, secularized philosophies of history from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the 19th and early 20th-century histories of the human civilizations will be among the subjects that will be treated. The final seminar will analyze the most recent and significant trends in world history, and discuss the tension between the analytical function and the predictive function shared by the different global/universal approaches to the past.
1. Monday, January 10, 12:30-14:45 (room 3.67), address Faculty of History, ul. Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 7 (Morasko)
Histories from a global perspective
The variety of approaches to a comprehensive approach to the past will be the focus of this seminar. Examples of the different insights will be discussed, ranging from Herodotos to the Book of Daniel, Sima Qian, Ibn Khaldun, Spengler, Toynbee, Jaspers, Galtung will be discussed.
- Arnaldo Momigliano, “The Origins of Universal History”. Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Classe di Lettere e Filosofi , 1982, Serie III, vol. 12, no. 2, 1982, pp. 533-560.
For further reading:
- Hervé Inglebert, Le monde l'histoire. Essai sur les histoires universelles. Paris: PUF, 2014.
- Siep Stuurman, “Herodotus and Sima Qian: History and the Anthropological Turn in Ancient Greece and Han China.” Journal of World History, vol. 19, no. 1, March 2008, pp. 1-41.
- Andrew Marsham, Universal Histories in Christendom and the Islamic World, c. 700-1400, Oxford History of Historical Writing, 2: 400-1400, edited by Sarah Foot, Chase F. Robinson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 431-456.
2. Wednesday, January 12, 10:30-12:45 (room 3.67), address Faculty of History, ul. Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 7 (Morasko)
Towards a secularized vision of the global past?
In this session, the focus will be on the emergence of the secular, empirical approach to the global past of mankind that European historians worked out in the early modern and modern period. Texts by Voltaire, Ferguson, Herder, Condorcet, Ranke, Teggart, Freyer, Osterhammel, Harari will be mentioned and discussed.
- Dan Smail, “In the Grip of Sacred History.” American Historical Review, vol. 110, no. 5, 2005, pp. 1337-1361.
Franz Leander Fillafer, “A World Connecting? From the Unity of History to Global History.” History and Theory, vol. 56, no. 1, March 2017, pp. 3-37.
For further reading:
- Paolo Rossi, The Dark Abyss of Time. The History of the Earth and the History of Nations from Hooke to Vico. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
3. Thursday, January 13, 10:30-12:45 (room 3.67), address Faculty of History, ul. Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 7 (Morasko)
The 20th-century world history and beyond
This session will focus on the forms of world history developed in the 20th century and on the methodological and political discussion on their implications as entangled or connected history, history of miscegenation and hybridization, history of encounters, big history, deep history, genetic historical maps. Examples of the historical production related to these new approaches will be presented and discussed, as well as critical approaches to world history from a post-colonial perspective (Guha, Lal, Dirlik).
- Jerry H. Bentley, “The Task of World History”, in The Oxford History of World History, edited by Jerry H. Bentley. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
- David Christian, “The Return of Universal History.” History and Theory, Theme Issue 49, 2010, pp. 6-27.
For further reading:
- Global History, Globally: Research and Practice Around the World, edited by Sven Beckert and Dominic Sachsenmaier. London: Bloomsbury, 2018.
- Ranajit Guha, History at the Limit of World History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.
is a Professor of early modern history at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy, since 1993. He is a permanent fellow of the Academy of the Sciences in Turin and a member of the Italian Committee on Historical Studies. A Humboldt fellow in 1989 and 1990, in 2006 he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and in 2010 the Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Italian History at Northwestern University. His research interests cover the 18th- and 19th-century intellectual history and the history of historical writing. He has co-edited the third volume of the Oxford History of Historical Writing (2012). His latest book is The Invention of the Free Press (Springer 2016).