Global History at Oxford

The Oxford Centre for Global History was established by the History Faculty in June 2011 to reflect its strong commitment to promoting Global History. The Centre is based in the History Faculty Building in George Street, Oxford.

Global History
Global History in Oxford is defined broadly as the global movement of people, goods and ideas and the consequences that flow from them. Chronologically, it extends across all historical periods from Ancient to Late Modern. The Centre is particularly keen to encourage cooperation between historians of different periods, as well as places, in the study of themes of global significance, including:

  • The dialogue between imperial, transnational and comparative history
  • The different meanings of the concept ‘global’, including the balance in the dialogue between cultures in different historical periods
  • The global history of rights, and the history of global governance
  • Cross-cultural and transnational histories of varieties of representative government and of public spheres (including attitudes to public ethics and the global history of corruption)
  • The development of economic interdependence, including its relation to technological transfer and scientific interchange
  • The movement of peoples as against the movement of ideas and practices
  • The history of regions seen in a global context, and the study of intersecting local societies
  • The roles of lingua francas in history, including the practices of translation and their cultural significance

Incubating New Research
The Centre’s purpose is to promote Global History through the support of research projects and the provision of workshops, seminars and conferences. The ‘founding’ conference ‘New Directions in Global History’ took place on 27-29 September 2012 and ‘The Great War and Global History’ conference was on 9-10 January 2014.

However, a key part of the Centre’s role is to facilitate the research of all those in Oxford who are keen to develop a global history dimension in their work. In its History Faculty and in kindred departments, including Classics and Ancient History, Oriental Studies, Chinese Studies, Politics and International Relations and Economics, Oxford has one of the largest concentrations in the world of historians and others with interests in Global History. The Centre is designed to reflect and promote these wide-ranging interests, developing and carrying out team projects on clearly significant issues that cross time, space, and discipline.

The Centre’s activities are generously supported by the Oxford University Press John Fell Fund.

For an update on the Centre’s activities and plans, see Oxford Centre for Global History January 2013 Update.