PoznańAdam Mickiewicz UniversityArchive

Edoardo Tortarolo, Professor of early modern history at the University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy), w dniach 10-13 stycznia 2022 roku, poprowadzi serię seminariów gościnnych "The 20th Century Discussion on World History". Wykłady odbęda się na Wydziale Historii UAM, ul. Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 7 (Morasko), sala 3.67.

The 20th Century Discussion on World History


World history has become a crucial component of the current conversation on the past. These four seminars aim to explore the different ways in which a global approach to history has been developed prior to 21st century world history. Greek and Roman universal history, the historical vision exposed in the Bible, secularized philosophies of history from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the 19th and early 20th-century histories of the human civilizations will be among the subjects that will be treated. The final seminar will analyze the most recent and significant trends in world history, and discuss the tension between the analytical function and the predictive function shared by the different global/universal approaches to the past.


Program / Readings


1. Monday, January 10, 12:30-14:45 (room 3.67)
Histories from a global perspective
The variety of approaches to a comprehensive approach to the past will be the focus of this seminar. Examples of the different insights will be discussed, ranging from Herodotos to the Book of Daniel, Sima Qian, Ibn Khaldun, Spengler, Toynbee, Jaspers, Galtung will be discussed.
Required readings:

For further reading:


2. Wednesday, January 12, 10:30-12:45 (room 3.67)
Towards a secularized vision of the global past?
In this session, the focus will be on the emergence of the secular, empirical approach to the global past of mankind that European historians worked out in the early modern and modern period. Texts by Voltaire, Ferguson, Herder, Condorcet, Ranke, Teggart, Freyer, Osterhammel, Harari will be mentioned and discussed.

Required readings:

  1. Dan Smail, “In the Grip of Sacred History.” American Historical Review, vol. 110, no. 5, 2005, pp. 1337-1361.
    Franz Leander Fillafer, “A World Connecting? From the Unity of History to Global History.” History and Theory, vol. 56, no. 1, March 2017, pp. 3-37.

For further reading:


3. Thursday, January 13, 10:30-12:45 (room 3.67)
The 20th-century world history and beyond
This session will focus on the forms of world history developed in the 20th century and on the methodological and political discussion on their implications as entangled or connected history, history of miscegenation and hybridization, history of encounters, big history, deep history, genetic historical maps. Examples of the historical production related to these new approaches will be presented and discussed, as well as critical approaches to world history from a post-colonial perspective (Guha, Lal, Dirlik).

Required readings:

For further reading:


Edoardo Toratarolo

is a Professor of early modern history at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy, since 1993. He is a permanent fellow of the Academy of the Sciences in Turin and a member of the Italian Committee on Historical Studies. A Humboldt fellow in 1989 and 1990, in 2006 he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and in 2010 the Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Italian History at Northwestern University. His research interests cover the 18th- and 19th-century intellectual history and the history of historical writing. He has co-edited the third volume of the Oxford History of Historical Writing (2012). His latest book is The Invention of the Free Press  (Springer 2016).

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