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Architects of World History : Researching the Global Past - Kenneth R. Curtis

Architects of World History

Researching the Global Past

By: Kenneth R. Curtis (Editor), Jerry H. Bentley (Editor)

Paperback

Published: 28th March 2014
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Architects of World History presents an innovative collection of original essays that introduce themes, characteristics, and scholars that are key to understanding contemporary approaches to the study of world history. Taking the form of intellectual biography, each chapter is written by an individual historian considered among the ‘architects’ of the field. The essays cover particular topics including environmental history, gender and world history, cultural interactions and colonialism, legal studies, “big history” among others. In each case the author introduces the theme, defining its parameters within world history, and exploring its potential future development. The essays also address the authors’ own intellectual trajectories, the encounters and motivations that inspired their development as a world historian. These personal narratives are both engaging and revealing, shedding light on the experiences of these pioneering scholars, and the particular challenges and possibilities of world history.  

"This collection clearly frames the methodological and historiographical trajectories that give coherence to world history as a field. The contributions from a wide range of scholars humanize broad patterns of inquiry and provide a fresh, original approach. Architects is essential reading for scholars and teachers at all levels who want to grasp the history and scope of a dynamic field."
-Laura J. Mitchell, University of California, Irvine

"The authors of these thoughtful and engaging autobiographical essays show us that, like most historical change, world history as a modern intellectual and scholastic endeavor emerged not because a group of innovators had a good plan but through an inchoate process of accident, contingency, and personal encounter. This is a fascinating story of how nine distinguished historians, dissatisfied with the severe limits of nation-state history, found their way, often serendipitously, to one another and to larger networks of like-minded professionals. In the process they helped establish world history as a fertile field of research and teaching."
-Ross Dunn, San Diego State University

"This is a stimulating collection, at once presenting leading voices in the field and some of the key topical approaches within world history. The goal of attracting and guiding students toward a greater sense of how world history is done is particularly attractive."
-Peter Stearns, George Mason University

"Each of the authors is a genuine architect and visionary in the field of world history.  Collectively they provide a rich introduction to current approaches to teaching and research, while at the same time unfolding their own personal and often remarkable intellectual journeys that brought them to the forefront of world history."
-Craig Benjamin, President of the World History Association (2014 / 15)

Notes on Contributors vii

1 Architects of World History 1
Kenneth R. Curtis

2 En Route to World Environmental History 30
J.R. McNeill

3 Gender Intersections 56
Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks

4 No Great Divergence? Reaching World History Through East Asian Studies 81
Kenneth Pomeranz

5 Cultural and Religious Exchanges 108
Dominic Sachsenmaier

6 Law and World History 134
Lauren Benton

7 Africa in the World: From National Histories to Global Connections 159
Kerry Ward

8 Big History 190
David Christian

9 In Search of a Global Cultural History 215
Jerry H. Bentley and Karen Louise Jolly, foreword by Alan Karras

Index 238

ISBN: 9781118294840
ISBN-10: 111829484X
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 252
Published: 28th March 2014
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.5  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.34