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Modern China Lecture Series featuring Shellen Wu – Writing Global History from an Asian Perspective
October 26, 2023 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Speaker: Shellen X. Wu, Associate Professor and L.H. Gipson Chair in Transnational History, Lehigh University
Global history has drawn criticism for its lack of diversity among its practicing ranks and the flattening effect of its materialist focus. I would like to propose a middle way: a global history that encompasses individual agency; an intellectual history that addresses the racism and misogyny built into much of frontier discourse from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; a history that acknowledges the exclusions built into archives and written records but also the way that these unpalatable pasts created the modern world in which we live. The use of multiple and intersecting biographies as a global history method breaks down the flattening effect of larger historical narratives into the individual trajectories of lived lives along with all their associated messiness, triumphs, and reversals of fortune. Individual lives give texture to broader concepts of “empires,” “frontiers,” and “nations” and cross the temporal and spatial boundaries we have created in the professionalization of modern history writing.
Also via Zoom. Register: https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_p20wuoxoTxCJWrNJ4oYQzw