World Histories

  • Marnie Hughes-Warrington
Part of the Palgrave Advances book series (PAD)


Compare any two maps of the world and a host of differences will become apparent. Placenames vary across time and culture, but so too do the geophysical and biological features represented and the determination of a ‘centre’ and a ‘top’. In one map, for instance, a landmass labelled ‘North America’ may be centre and top, in another it may be ‘Europa’; one may chart the flow of rivers, another human migration. Smaller differences are also apparent, from the colours used — for example, blue means water, pink means British Empire — to the fonts used in labels. World histories too come in a wide array of forms, varying in rhetorical structure, organizing principles and labels, foci and spatial and temporal breadth. Differences are most apparent when multiple works are produced on the same problem, period or event. To take just one example, in recent years the works of — among others — Andre Gunder Frank, Ken Pomeranz, R. Bin Wong and Angus Maddison have stimulated a lively debate on areas of growth in the eighteenth-century world economy and, more generally, ‘Eurocentrism’ in the writing of world history.1 The volume of works produced on this topic is now so large that there are surveys devoted to it.2


World History National History Historical Practice Rhetorical Structure Burgess Shale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Recommended Resources

  1. Alonso-Nünez, J. M., The Idea of Universal History in Greece: From Herodotus to the Age ofAugustus (Amsterdam: JC Gieben, 2001).Google Scholar
  2. Barrow, J., Theories ofEverything (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991).Google Scholar
  3. Bentley, J., Shapes of World History in Twentieth-Centuty Scholarship (Washington, DC: American Historical Association, 1996).Google Scholar
  4. Clarke, K., Between Geography and History: Hellenistic Constructions of the Roman World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  5. Costello, P., World Historians and their Goals: 1 iventieth (‘enturyAnswers to Modernism (De Kalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 1994).Google Scholar
  6. Dunn, R. (ed.), The New World History: A Teacher’s Companion (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000).Google Scholar
  7. Gaddis, J. L., The Landscape ofHistory: How Historians Map the Past (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).Google Scholar
  8. Gleiser, M., The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang (New York: Plume, 1997).Google Scholar
  9. Green, A., and Troup, K., The Houses ofHistory (Melbourne: Manchester University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  10. Hardy, G., Worlds ofBronze and Bamboo: Sima Qian’s Conquest ofHistory (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  11. H-World [electronic discussion forum].Google Scholar
  12. Hughes-Warrington, M., Fifty Key Thinkers on History (London: Routledge, 2000).Google Scholar
  13. Journal o/World tiistory (1990-)Google Scholar
  14. Manning, P., Navigating World History: Historians Create a Global Past (New York: Palgrave Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press, 2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mortley, H., 1 he Idea ot Universal History/rom Hellenistic Philosophy to Early Christian Historiography (Lewiston: Edwin Mellon, 1996).Google Scholar
  16. Pomper, P., Elphick, R., and Vann, R. (eds), World History: Ideologies, Structures, Identities (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1998).Google Scholar
  17. Robinson. C. F., Islamic Historiography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).Google Scholar
  18. Schneide, A., and Schwierdrzik, S. W. (eds), Chinese Historiography in Comparative Perspective, special issue of History and Theory, 35(4) (1996).Google Scholar
  19. Stuchtey, B. and Fuchs, E. (eds), Writing World History1800–2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).Google Scholar
  20. World History Association.Google Scholar
  21. World History Connected: The e-journal of Teaching and Learning.Google Scholar
  22. Zeitschrift fdr Weltgeschichte, vol. 1, 2000-.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Marnie Hughes-Warrington 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marnie Hughes-Warrington

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations