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A Companion to World History



A Companion to World History

Douglas Northrop (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-30547-8 August 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 640 Pages

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A Companion to World History presents over 30 essays from an international group of historians that both identify continuing areas of contention, disagreement, and divergence in world and global history, and point to directions for further debate.
  • Features a diverse cast of contributors that include established world historians and emerging scholars
  • Explores a wide range of topics and themes, including and the practice of world history, key ideas of world historians, the teaching of world history and how it has drawn upon and challenged "traditional" teaching approaches, and global approaches to writing world history
  • Places an emphasis on non-Anglophone approaches to the topic
  • Considers issues of both scholarship and pedagogy on a transnational, interregional, and world/global scale

List of Maps, Figures, and Tables x

Notes on Contributors xi

Editor’s Acknowledgments xviii

Introduction: The Challenge of World History 1
Douglas Northrop


1 World History: Departures and Variations 15
Kenneth Pomeranz and Daniel A. Segal

2 Why and How I Became a World Historian 32
Dominic Sachsenmaier

Researching the world: techniques and methods 43

3 Becoming a World Historian: The State of Graduate Training in World History and Placement in the Academic World 45
Heather Streets-Salter

4 The World Is Your Archive? The Challenges of World History as a Field of Research 63
Barbara Weinstein

5 What Are the Units of World History? 79
Adam McKeown

Teaching the world: publics and pedagogies 95

6 Meetings of World History and Public History 97
Leslie Witz

7 Challenges of Teaching and Learning World History 111
Robert B. Bain

8 Teaching World History at the College Level 128
Trevor Getz


Framing 142

9 Environments, Ecologies, and Cultures across Space and Time 143
I.G. Simmons

10 Deep Pasts: Interconnections and Comparative History in the Ancient World 156
Norman Yoffee

11 Big History 171
Fred Spier

12 Global Scale Analysis in Human History 185
Christopher Chase-Dunn and Thomas D. Hall

13 Region in Global History 201
Paul A. Kramer

14 Scales of a Local: The Place of Locality in a Globalizing World 213
Anne Gerritsen

Comparing 227

15 Comparative History and the Challenge of the Grand Narrative 229
Michael Adas

16 The Science of Difference: Race, Indo-European Linguistics, and Eurasian Nomads 244
Xinru Liu

17 Projecting Power: Empires, Colonies, and World History 258
Mrinalini Sinha

18 The Body in/as World History 272
Antoinette Burton

19 Benchmarks of Globalization: The Global Condition, 1850–2010 285
Charles Bright and Michael Geyer

Connecting 301

20 Networks, Interactions, and Connective History 303
Felipe Fernández-Armesto with Benjamin Sacks

21 Objects in Motion 321
Scott C. Levi

22 People in Motion 339
Kerry Ward

23 Religious Ideas in Motion 352
Karin Vélez, Sebastian R. Prange, and Luke Clossey

24 Diseases in Motion 365
Martin S. Pernick

25 Bullets in Motion 375
Stephen Morillo


26 The World from Oceania 391
Damon Ieremia Salesa

27 The World from China 405
Weiwei Zhang

28 Historicizing the World in Northeast Asia 418
Jie-Hyun Lim

29 Writing Global History in Africa 433
David Simo

30 Islamicate World Histories? 447
Huri Islamoğlu

31 The World from Latin America and the Peripheries 464
Eduardo Devés-Valdés

32 (Re)Writing World Histories in Europe 478
Katja Naumann

33 Other Globes: Shifting Optics on the World 497
Douglas Northrop

Bibliography 527

Index 576