The constitution of borders, the transgressing travels of merchants and the search for new trade routes has been a human endeavour essential to the formation and reshaping of the globalised world. Treating these processes under the historical categories
trade and exchange draws on a long tradition of historical thought and describes the change of societies, states and cultures in a wider, comparative frame than the nation-state. We hence embark on a journey of three lectures, each stopping at vital
turning point in Chinese, U.S. American and West African History.
We would add one small thought. The very words that you are reading now – and in fact all the words that you have written recently – were created on equipment that was touched by several sets of young Chinese hands. For they, in their youthful hundreds of thousands,
assembled, by hand, the keyboard that I am in physical contact with, now, as well as the rest of the system which brings these words to you.
But what do we know about these dozens, these hundreds, of people who personally brought me to you? Almost nothing, excepting what some wonderful reporting has indirectly made available in the Western press. One example, and a simple one, of the complexities that trade and exchange brings to the fore.
2nd Week (24 Jan) Dr. Zheng Yangwen (University of Manchester)
‘China On the Sea: How the Maritime World Shaped Modern China?’
4th Week (7 Feb) Associate Professor Konstantin Dierks (Indiana University & Rothermere American Institute, Oxford)
‘The Burden of Competing in a Global Economy Dominated by the British Empire: Postcolonialism and Transnationalism in the United States, 1789-1869’
6th Week (21 Feb) Professor Paul Nugent (University of Edinburgh)
‘Borderlands and State-Making in West Africa: Senegambia and the Trans-Volta’
8th Week (6 Mar) Dr Rui Esteves (Brasenose College, Oxford)
‘Between Imperialism and Capitalism. European Capital Exports Before 1914’