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The Oxford Handbook of World History



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Oxford University Press, USA
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    The Oxford Handbook of World History


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.

Author Biography

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 in the 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

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