Why Global History? Opportunities and Challenges

Global History has arrived in the historiographical mainstream, and at the same time, it has increasingly come under attack. It is both hailed as the most advanced form of history writing, and criticized for naively buying into the rhetoric of globalization. In this talk, Sebastian Conrad will discuss what forms of Global History will continue to be useful to historians, and will explore the important challenges that lie ahead.

Sebastian Conrad is Professor of Modern History (FU Berlin). He joined the faculty in 2010 after teaching for several years at the European University Institute in Florence. He was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, a visiting professor at the Ècole des Hautes Études in Paris, and held the Theodor Heuss Chair at the New School, New York. Sebastian Conrad is the director of MA "Global History", a joint-degree program at Free University and Humboldt University, Berlin; he is also the director of the graduate school "Global Intellectual History". He is on the editorial board of History and Society, of Past & Present (2012-2019), and of Modern Intellectual History. His most recent publications include What is Global History? (Princeton University Press, 2016) and An Emerging Modern World, 1750-1870 (Harvard University Press, 2018, edited with Jürgen Osterhammel).

This lecture is part of the Gerda Henkel Lecture Series, organized by the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington in cooperation with the Gerda Henkel Foundation. The program brings German historians to the West Coast to present their research and engage in dialogue with their colleagues in the US and Canada. 


  • April 20, 2020 | 12:30 – 2 p.m. *Postponed, Date TBA
    Gerda Henkel Lecture at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, DML 241
    Speaker: Sebastian Conrad (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • April 23, 2020 | 4:30 – 6 p.m. *Postponed, Date TBA
    Gerda Henkel Lecture at the Stanford University, Palo Alto, Building 200, Room 307
    Speaker: Sebastian Conrad (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • April 24, 2020 | 5 – 6:30 p.m. *Postponed, Date TBA
    Gerda Henkel Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, 370 Dwinelle Room
    Speaker: Sebastian Conrad (Freie Universität Berlin)