James Millward

James Millward, Professor of Intersocietal History at the Walsh School of Foreign Service and Department of History, Georgetown University

Paper Title: “Connectivity and Displacement in the World History Paradigm from the Big Bang to OBOR”

Paper Abstract: The field of “Big History” or “World History,” as recently invented and currently practiced, stresses connections and encounters between environments and people on a cosmic scale and over the very longue durée.  Its ideological underpinnings as a counter-argument to  anthropocentrism and the “clash of civilizations” discourse in a globalizing era are not hard to perceive.  Yet the connections, exchanges, interactions, hybridizations and syncretisms implicitly celebrated in the World History grand narrative come at a cost.  The occasion of the “Displacement and the Making of the Modern World” seminar and the current worldwide nativist reaction to “globalization” encourages a glass-half-empty look at displacement as the Dopplegänger of connectivity in world history, and especially in the silk road type historical phenomena that are the subject of the author’s current research.

Mellon Sawyer Seminar

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