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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.


The workshop convenors for 2019-20 are - Malika Zekhni, Martin Crevier, Thomas Bailey and Hana Sleiman


The workshop is happy to answer any enquiries sent to




Lent 2020 Termcard


This term, the workshop is meeting at 14:30 in the Sir Arthur Quiller Couch Room, Old Divinity School, St. John's College.



16th January 2020

Settlers and Transnational Politics


Inaya Khan, “Kenya’s South Africans and the Politics of Decolonization”


Éléna Choquette, “Liberalism, land and land taking in the 19th century British

settler world”



30th January 2020

Global Intellectual Histories of Greater India


Sean Phillips, “India & The ‘Pan-Pacific’ Idea: Diffusionist Nationalism &

Sub-Global Internationalism, c. 1920-1950”


Somak Biswas, “Making Hinduism Respectable Vivekananda, Vedanta and

the Transnational Politics of a World Religion (1890-1920)”


Francesco P. Cioffo, “The Indo-Japanese Entanglement: Lala Lajpat Rai's 1915 sojourn in Japan and his vision of Asianism"



13th February 2020


Yiyun Ding, “Making Modern Education in China: The History of China’s

First Female University President Yan Yinyu (1884 - 1938)”



MPhil Presentation Days

14:30 – 16:00, Sir Arthur Quiller Couch Room, St John’s College


First MPhil Presentation Day: 27th February 2020


Jordan Downie, “The Consequences of the Panama Canal on the Political Economy and International Position of Argentina, 1910 – 1930.”


Yanshu Zhang, “From Natural Law to Legal Posivitism: Rethinking the Translation, Interpretation and Application of International Law in Late Qing China from 1862 – 1895.”


Poorvi Bellur, “Thorn in the side of Empire: Navigating Networks of Imperial and Anticolonial Thought across the Middle East and South Asia in the Late Nineteenth Century through the Works and Correspondences of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.”



Second MPhil Presentation Day: 28th February 2020


Ella Bishop, “Whales, whalers and newspapermen: whaling through the Pacific Presses.”


Niels Boender, “The Rhodesian Department of Information, transnational anticommunism and the global imagination of settler rebellion, 1962-1970”


Yang Qui, "Collaborators' Forgotten Legacy? The Wang Jingwei Regime and the Abolition of Extraterritoriality in China 1943."



12th March 2020

Sounding Out the Past across the Mediterranean: Musical

Representations of Belonging and Memory


 Cancelled due to Industrial Action


Matthew Machin-Autenrieth, “The Memory Burns: Musical Constructions of

the Past in Spain”


Stephen Wilford, “ ‘L’histoire les a séparés, la musique les a réunis’: Present

and Absent Histories of Judeo- Arabic Music-Making in Algeria”


Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, “Singing through the Porphyryan Tree: Arab

Andalusian, Sephardi and Flamenco Repertoire”





                                                                                  Ruptures in World History


The Cambridge World History Workshop is excited announce our 2020 Graduate Conference, Ruptures in World History, which will take place from 08:45 - 19:00 in the Castlereagh Room, St John’s College, Cambridge on the 13th May 2020. The conference will be immediately followed by dinner for all registered guests and speakers.


In recent years, contiguous, long-term factors, as well as historical convergence, synchronicity and correspondence have dominated interpretations in world history. As a result, ‘ruptures,’ ‘disruptions,’ and ‘breaks’ have fallen out of fashion. The 2020 Cambridge World History Graduate Conference hopes to question this historiographical turn.


Papers at this conference will assess the usefulness of ‘ruptures’ as analytical and conceptual tools for writing the history of the modern world. Particularly welcome are papers that give attention to global historical perspectives and aim to transcend ‘the nation’ as a basic unit of historical analysis. Also welcome, amongst others, are contributions that focus on African, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Latin American, and Asian histories, as well as on economic histories, histories of science, race, migration, trade, colonial and post-colonial studies, resistance, and comparative history.


Speakers may also challenge the idea of ruptures in world history and offer alternative approaches. Others might critique how the concept of rupture is itself teleological, assuming a linear rather than a cyclical concept of time; only useful for world historians if strictly delineated.



Conference Schedule TBC