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The Oxford Handbook of World History presents thirty-two essays by leading historians in their respective fields. The chapters address the most important issues explored by contemporary world historians. These broadly fall into four categories: conceptions of the global past, themes in world history, processes of world history, regions in world history.
Chapters on conceptions deal with issues of space and time as treated in the field of world history, as well as questions of method, epistemology, historiography, and globalization as viewed from historical perspective. Themes discussed include the natural environment, agriculture, pastoral nomadism, science, technology, state formation, gender, and religion.
Chapters dealing with large-scale processes review current thinking on some of the most influential developments of the global past, including mass migrations, cross-cultural trade, biological diffusions, imperial expansion, industrialization, and cultural and religious exchanges. Finally, a set of chapters explores distinctive historical developments within the world's major regions, while also situating individual regions in larger global context.
Taken together, the essays in this volume provide the best guide to current thinking in one of the most dynamic fields of historical scholarship.
Jerry H. Bentley was professor of history at the University of Hawai`i and editor of the Journal of World History. He wrote extensively on the cultural history of early modern Europe and on cross-cultural interactions in world history, including Humanists and Holy Writ: New Testament Scholarship inthe Renaissance (1983), and Politics and Culture in Renaissance Naples (1987), and in later years, concentrated on global history and particularly on processes of cross-cultural interaction, resulting in Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times (1993) and Shapes of World History in Twentieth-Century Scholarship (1996). He passed away in 2012.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Task of World History, Jerry H. Bentley Part I: Concepts 1. Theories of World History since the Enlightenment, Michael Bentley 2. Geographies, Martin W. Lewis 3. Periodization, Luiji Cajani 4. Modernity, Matthew Lauzon 5. Globalization, Jurgen Osterhammel 6. Epistemology, Patrick Manning Part II: Themes 7. World Environmental History, David Christian 8. Agriculture, John A. Mears 9. Nomadic Pastoralism, Thomas J. Barfield 10. States, State Formation, and War, Charles Tilly 11. Genders, Marnie Hughes-Warrington 12. Religions and World History, Zvi Ben-Dor Benite 13. Technology, Engineering, and Science, Daniel R. Headrick 14. Advanced Agriculture, Kenneth Pomeranz Part III: Processes 15. Migrations, Dirk Hoerder 16. Trade across Eurasia to about 1750, James D. Tracy 17. Industrialization, Patrick Karl O'Brien 18. Biological Exchanges in World History, J. R. McNeill 19. Cultural Exchanges, Jerry H. Bentley 20. Premodern Empires, Thomas T. Allsen 21. Modern Imperialism, Prasenjit Duara Part IV: Regions 22. East Asia and Central Eurasia, Peter C. Perdue 23. South Asia and Southeast Asia, Andre Wink 24. The Middle East in World History, John Obert Voll 25. Africa in World History: The Long, Long View, Christopher Ehret 26. Europe and Russia in World History, Bonnie Smith and Donald R. Kelley 27. The Mediterranean Basin, David Abulafia 28. The Americas, 1450-2000, Edward J. Davies, II 29. The Atlantic Ocean Basin, Alan L. Karras 30. Ocenia and Australasia, Paul d'Arcy 31. The Pacific Ocean Basin to 1850, Rainer F. Buschmann