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EAUH Conference 2018


Session RT01 - Exploring Intersections of Urban History and Global History

Coordinators: Carl Nightingale (, Joseph Prestel (

Read Session abstractRoundtable: Exploring Intersections of Urban History and Global History
Carl H. Nightingale, University at Buffalo, SUNY
Joseph Ben Prestel, Freie Universität Berlin, chairs

Bronwen Everill, University of Cambridge
Anindita Ghosh, University of Manchester
Ayala Levin, Northwestern University
Cyrus Shayegh, Graduate Institute of Geneva
Rosemary Wakeman, Fordham University and CEU Budapest

What can urban history and global history teach each other? Growing numbers of historians--including those who operate the successful Global Urban History Blog, as well as the networks that merged in 2017 to form the Global Urban History Project--have wandered onto the complex crossroads where smaller-scale inquiries meet with the largest. Historians of cities came to this place somewhat later than social scientists and urban theorists, for whom concepts like “globalization,” “global cities,” “networks,” and “the global urbanization process” have become established concepts. Still, urban historians have published a rapidly growing number of empirical studies in recent years in this hybrid field. The prospects of hybridizing these two fields are enticing: not only to radically expand the purview of urban history, but also to trade ideas with global historians interested in cities to anchor their observations in the most important sites of global connection-making, and for both urban and global historians to engage with the discussions current in larger interdisciplinary galaxies of urban and global studies.

This roundtable at the 2018 EAUH Conference in Rome aims to assemble a diverse showcase of empirical research projects that attest to the rich possibilities of venturing into this intersection, and also assess the many challenges.
In this call for papers, we hope to celebrate the fact that global urban historians approach the intersection of urban and global history from different directions. Some of us travel along “transnational turns” in various subfields, others follow mental maps defined by the “translocal,” the “glocal,” the hemisphere, the ocean, the diaspora, the migratory stream, the continent, the empire, the colony, the settler colony, the slave trade, the supply-chain and its ports and free economic zones, or the connections between cities and their variably-sized hinterlands or ecosystems. Still others focus on cities as incubators of larger cultural, economic, or political phenomena. Some of us aim mostly to compare different places; others seek to understand connections or networks between cities or larger-sized phenomena. Some of our projects focus on a single “hub” city, others on two or more cities, still others cities across an entire region or empire, still others aim to synthesize larger global historical narratives.
Keywords: urban history; global history; transnational

Thursday 30th August 2018
  Room 03 13.30-15.00, 15.30-17.00