World History Workshop


The World History Workshop is a weekly discussion group open to postgraduate students and early career fellows. In collaboration with the World History MPhil course, the workshop focuses on innovative research into global and transnational currents, colonial and post-colonial societies and regional histories from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East spanning roughly from 1750 to 2000 C.E. We encourage submissions on a variety of topics including global economic history; histories of science, migration, race, gender and empire; post-colonial studies and comparative history. In return, speakers at the Workshop can expect feedback from a wide range of theoretical and disciplinary approaches from a friendly and welcoming group of scholars.

The Workshop meets on Thursdays at 2 pm during termtime. Typical sessions are structured around two 25 to 30 minute presentations followed by questions. However, the Workshop also runs a number of special events ranging from small roundtable discussions to an annual talk on using overseas archives and dedicated presentation days for World History MPhil students. In Easter Term, the Workshop also hosts a World History Conference for graduates and early-career fellows based around a theme or theoretical debate in world history.

The World History Workshop is currently being held both virtually and in person. For online sessions, all links will be distributed through the mailing list prior to each session - you can sign up to the mailing list here or by emailing the convenors directly at You can also receive updates on the Workshop and other relevant Cambridge events by following @CamWorldHistory on Twitter.


Term Card: Lent Term 2023 [REVISED]

We will meet on the following dates from 23.30 pm. In-person sessions will take place in a hybrid format: Participants are welcome to join us in Room 12 of the History Faculty building, while they may also attend via Zoom. Online sessions will take place entirely on Zoom. Links will be available via our mailing list.


26 January (Thursday; in-person)

  • Bobby Amis (Goldsmiths College), Flies, Streams, Sacred Trees and Schemes: Racecraft and Colonial Development in Northern Nigeria
  • Pritam Singh (London School of Economics and Political Science), Caste, Race and Capital in the Indian Ocean Arena: The Tale of the Indian Traders in South Africa c.18601910

2 February (Thursday; online)

  • Jonathan Yeung (University of Cambridge), Impeaching Qing China's Highest Officials: Late-Qing Reform Politicians and their Transnational Japanese Roots
  • Jessica Siu-yin Yeung (SOAS, University of London), Hong Kong Literature and the Taiwanese Encounter: Literary Magazines, Popular Literature, and Literary Adaptation, 1950s–1990s

Rescheduled: 17 February (Friday; online)

  • Urna Mukherjee (Johns Hopkins University), Indigenous Expertise in Eighteenth Century British Shipbuilding in South Asia
  • Matthew Plishka (Vanderbilt University), Panama Disease in the Era of High Imperialism: Local and Global Approaches to Banana Blight in Colonial Jamaica

Rescheduled: 24 February (Friday; online)

  • Lillian Tsay (Brown University), The Sweet War: Consuming Sweetness in Frontline and Home Front Japan, 1939–1945
  • Haochen Wang (Washington University in St. Louis), ‘Fake Cops Everywhere’: Everyday Impersonations in Japanese-occupied Beijing, 1937–45

Rescheduled: 3 March (Friday; online)

  • Frances Hisgen (Stanford University), ‘His Female Pensioner’: An Intimate History of Jardine Matheson, 17811871
  • Shu Wan (University at Buffalo), Measuring up Chinese Children across the Pacific: Vivia B. Appleton's Transnational Anthropometric Research

Rescheduled: 9 March (Thursday; In-person)

  • Annabel Storr (Durham University), Through the Mirror: Reflections and Distortions in Late Nineteenth Century British Conceptions of China and Japan
  • Emma Wordsworth (University of Cambridge), British Famine Relief in Comparative Perspective: India, China, and the Ottoman Empire, 1873–1879



The convenors for the academic year 2022-2023 are Bipasha Bhattacharyya, Darold Cuba, Thomas McNally, Allan Pang, and Thomas Parkinson. Please contact them via email ( if you have any questions regarding the workshop.