Globalisation envelops the world - and historians too. The 'g' word is now mandatory in titles of books and articles; PhD students follow their leaders in dedicating their dissertations to the subject. Yet, not so long ago postmodern approaches to the past were equally compelling: if you could not tell your trope from your alterity and your Spivak from your Bhaba, your chances of landing a job were minimal. Wise investors buy at the bottom of the market and get out at the top. So, it is worth asking whether shares in globalisation have further to run or whether full value is already in the market. One way of answering the question is by considering the reasons why historiographical phases, like empires, rise, flourish and decline. This approach provides pointers to the current state of globalisation studies and offers an estimate of the current value of the shares. The advice comes with a wealth warning; past performance has limited predictive power. As a famous trumpeter remarked when asked which way jazz was going: 'Man, if I knew which way jazz was going, I would be there already!'
Professor A.G. Hopkins is Emeritus Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Cambridge (where he held the Smuts Chair from 1994-2001) and an Emeritus Fellow of Pembroke College. Between 1977 and 1988 he was Professor of Economic History at the University of Birmingham and from 1988 until 1994 Professor of History at the University of Geneva. From 2002 to 2013 he held the Walter Prescott Webb Chair of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Hopkins is best known for his extensive work on the history of Africa, empires, and globalization.
His principal works include An Economic History of West Africa (1973), Globalization in World History (2002), Global History: Interactions Between the Universal and the Global (2006), and, with Peter Cain, British Imperialism, 1688-2000 (1993), which won the Forkosch Prize awarded by the American Historical Association in 1995. His contribution to the field was recognised in 2011 with Africa, Empire and Globalization: Essays in Honour of A.G.Hopkins,edited by Toyin Falola and Emily Brownell. He is currently completing a study of the United States written as imperial history.
‘Australia in the World’ is a lecture and seminar series that presents international and transnational perspectives on the past. The series highlights the interconnectedness of past worlds and future challenges with speakers from around the country and across the globe.
Supported by the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.When
Monday, 3 November 2014, 6:00 pm
Theatre C, Old Arts Building