Global and Transnational History

(Thematic, disciplinary)

Program requirements:
Specialization in Global and Transnational History
Stream in Global and Transnational History

Sample Course Selections:
First Year: Global and Transnational History
Second Year: Global and Transnational History

Affiliated faculty members:
Global and Transnational History

Sponsoring unit website:
Department of History

The Specialization in Global and Transnational History looks at the history of global interconnectedness, transactions and movement across borders, asking how these have come about, and what their implications have been in the past and present. We, above all, historicize the very idea of the “global” and the “international”, which is to say, we show how these concepts have been implicated in cultural, economic, political, and social conditions specific to time and place. We conceive of the global world as one in which divisions of labour, transnational (or non-national) communities, capital and technology flows, and environmental change, are bisected by multiple claims to political authority. In a sense, then, this Specialization provides context for everything else in BGInS by showing how every approach to understanding the modern world—from economics to law, human rights to political institutions—has a history, and a history that is constantly debated.

By understanding global process this way, students in the Specialization will grasp how representations and interpretations of world history are grounded in these concrete historical situations and therefore need to be questioned. Students will be able to grasp and use key concepts related to the field: imperialism, hegemony, migration, diaspora, technology, colonization, decolonization, cultural transmission, trade and labour, religion, epistemic communities, networks, international relations, and others. They will therefore acquire the means of thinking historically and communicating effectively about these issues. Graduates of the Specialization will find such knowledge indispensable for careers in the foreign service, international development, journalism, cross-cultural economic and business fields, and indeed any job path that demands a profound understanding of how the world became what it is today.  This Specialization provides the basis for graduate school in History, International Affairs and cognate disciplines.