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Revising the Geography of Modern World Histories

On 9-10 February 2018, in partnership with the British Academy, the University of York Department of History hosted an international workshop and conference responding to the recent boom in "global" history. The event provided a forum for keynote speakers (please see videos below) and early-career scholar groups to discuss the challenges and possibilities of writing multi-sited modern histories that encompass fully situated lives and local contexts.

Early-career researcher participants examined various aspects of empire, political economy, nationalism, social movements, and statecraft, offering specific nineteenth- and twentieth-century histories spanning Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas (for participants and their project names, please see below).

The organizers also requested that all conference applicants submit mini-bibliographies of five works that they have found both helpful in their research and relevant to the conference theme. The result is a crowdsourced bibliography available here as a pdf document: RGMWH Bibliography (PDF , 145kb)

This conference was a collaboration between David Huyssen (York), Samantha Iyer (Fordham), Aaron Jakes (The New School), Patrick William Kelly (Northwestern), Katherine Marino (O.S.U), Sarah Miller-Davenport (Sheffield), Shaul Mitelpunkt (York), Bevan Sewell (Nottingham), and Kirsten Weld (Harvard).

Keynote speakers

Manu Goswami (New York University)

Paul A. Kramer (Vanderbilt University)

Lara Putnam (University of Pittsburgh)‌

Andrew Zimmerman (George Washington University)

Panel session


Participant Groups and Projects:

Group 1

Christine Mathias (Kings College London): Capitalism's Manifest Destiny

Aaron Jakes (The New School for Social Research): Colonial Economism

Rebecca Herman (University of California Berkeley): The Americas at War

Andrew Offenburger (Miami University of Ohio): Gilded Frontiers

Rafael Stern (Harvard): The Fault Lines of Partition


Group 2

Alexander Rocklin (Willamette): Hindu Cosmopolitanism of the Afro-Atlantic

Andrea Wright (William & Mary): The Histories of Oil

Max Holleran (Melbourne): Tourism, European Integration, and Europe's Two Peripheries

Maurice Labelle (Saskatchewan): Thunderbolt

Kirsten Weld (Harvard): Ruins and Glory

David Huyssen (York): The Socialist Who Invented the Hedge Fund


Group 3

Akhila Yechury (St Andrews): Empire at the Margins

Thomas Fleischman (Rochetser): The Hog City in the Boar Forest

Oliver Charbonneau (Western Ontario): Connected and Coproduced

Maria Fernanda Lanfranco (York): International Women's Organizations and Solidarity in Chile

Samantha Iyer (Fordham): Agrarian Superpower


Group 4

Sarah Miller-Davenport (Sheffield): Capital of the World

Christy Thornton (Johns Hopkins): Overcoming the Decolonization Divide

David Stein (University of California Los Angeles): The Making of the Dollar Standard

Daniel Stolz (Northwestern): Public Debt and Public Interest

Alexia Yates (Manchester): Domesticating the International


Group 5

Lydia Walker (Harvard): The Political Geography of International Advocacy

Stuart Schrader (Harvard): A Comparative Compulsion

George Roberts (Cambridge): At the Limits of the Transnational

Molly Todd (Montana): Sisters Against Empire

Shaul Mitelpunkt (York): Civilian Empire


Group 6

Bevan Sewell (Nottingham): Thatcher's Britain and the Age of Human Rights

Tehila Sasson (Emory): Affective Economies

Lisa Covert (College of Charleston): Global Visions for a Modern Cusco

M. Scott Heerman (University of Miami): Kidnapping, Free Soil, and the Second Slavery

Patrick W. Kelly (Northwestern): AIDS: A Global History



Contact us

If you have any questions about the conference, you can get in touch with the organisers by email at