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Public Lecture Series: Professor Robert Gildea

Northumbria University


Professor Robert Gildea, Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford 

The Challenge of Global History

Refreshments will be available from 6pm


History is a dialogue between the present and the past. As the world changes, so do the questions we ask of how we got to where we are today. One of the drivers of the nineteenth century was national unification and historical narratives revolved around the nation state. From the end of the twentieth century we have been exposed to the forces of globalisation – the transnational movement of people, commodities, technologies, ideas and beliefs that seem to recognise no frontiers. To make sense of these changes historians have begun to write ‘global history’ that moves beyond national or regional histories. But what is global history? Is it one story or is it many? Is it macro history or can it also be a micro-history of small communities or even individuals? Should it be studied from a non-European perspective? In the end, global history cannot escape questions of power and in particular the legacy of colonialism, which is the context of the ‘Rhodes must fall’ campaign.

About the speaker

Robert Gildea is Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford. He specialises in French and European history and his most recent book was Fighters in the Shadows. A New History of the French Resistance (2015). The first edition of his Barricades and Borders: Europe, 1800-1914 was published in 1987.But he is keenly aware that research and teaching in history must come to terms with global history and he is currently working on a book exploring the legacies of French and British colonialism since the Second World War, entitled Empires of the Mind.

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Event Details

Northumbria University
Room CCE 002, Business & Law Building
City Campus East
Newcastle Upon Tyne


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