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World History

World History Workshop

'World history' refers to a variety of theoretical approaches, united only in their rejection of 'the nation' as a basic unit of historical analysis. Topics covered include all aspects of colonial and post-colonial history, as well as the histories of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America c. 1750-2000. While the workshop continues to maintain a focus on histories of European expansion and imperialism, papers also engage with comparative approaches to world history, including topics such as migration and trade networks, science and technology, and colonial and post-colonial law.

Seminars take place on alternate Thursdays between 14.30 and 16.00 in the Sir Arthur Quiller Couch Room, St John's, except where otherwise noted.


Michaelmas Term: 


11 October

Colonialism and the Post-Slave Society: The Evolution of an African Prison System on the Gold Coast, 1850 – 1957

Sarah Balakrishnan (Harvard)


25 October

From the Pacific North West to the Art Gallery: Ethnographic Collecting and the Colonial Ambitions of the Canadian State, 1875 – 1928

Martin Crévier (Darwin)


8 November

Archives Overseas: Roundtable on archival research abroad

Arthur Asseraf (Trinity), Elise Burton (Newnham), Kevin Greenbank (Wolfson)


22 November

Histories from the Plantation:

From the New World Group to the Caribbean Artist Movement

Jenna Marshall (Queen Mary)

A Free Race of Cultivators, 1802 – 1885

Catherine Peters (Harvard)


*Workshop Conference Call for Papers*

We are very excited to announce our World History Workshop Graduate Conference 2019, "Liminal Borders: Constructing and Deconstructing Borders in World History", which will take place in Cambridge from 17-18 May 2019.


The notion of a ‘border’ has meant different things to different people: signifying safety to some groups and violence to others. Borders can be physical and psychological, existing or not existing in territorial, oceanic, and domestic contexts. Borders have become markers of identities— racial, religious, ethnic— and, in turn, identities are semiotically attached to the temporally and spatially oscillating ‘border’; these conceptions provide interesting sites of socio-political and cultural contention. This interdisciplinary conference will bring together graduate students, early career scholars, and activists to investigate historical and contemporary borders as problematic sites across the globe. Borders encompass histories, ideologies and conflict; for instance, post-9/11 border intelligence strategies and technologies have had far-reaching consequences from people (including migrants and refugees) and economies (trade, international corporations) to emotional rhetoric about fear, security and difference. History plays a fundamental role in the construction and dissemination of inclusionary and exclusionary spaces and their interconnected conceptions of identity, both voluntary and coercive.

We welcome abstract submissions from various disciplines including and not limited to literary theory, sociology, political science, anthropology and history. We will consider papers that focus on, but are not limited, to the following:

• Colonial and post-colonial construction of borders

• Historical migrations and refugees

• Borders, authority and power

• Performing gender and sexuality at borders

• Environmentalism and drawing borders

• Indigenous expressions of space and identity

• Electronic borders

• Alternative conceptions of space

This is an interdisciplinary conference.

Abstract deadline: 10 February 2019. Send abstracts to

Conference website:



Damilola Adebayo (ada27)

Tamara Fernando (tsf30)

Mobeen Hussain (amh215)

Taushif Kara (tk488)

Aoife O'Leary-McNeice (ao426)

Jake Richards (jcr56)