History seminars at the IHR

Economic and Social History of the Premodern World, 1500 - 1800

Convenors: Julian Hoppit (UCL), Anne  Murphy(University of Hertfordshire), David Ormrod (University of Kent), Patrick Wallis (LSE), and Nuala Zahedieh (University of Edinburgh)

Venue: Athlone Room 102, Senate House, South block, 1st floor, Unless otherwise stated


Time: Friday, 5.15pm

Summer Term 2014
DateSeminar details
2 May A roundtable discussion of Geoffrey Parker, 'Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (2013)'

Paul Warde (UEA) will give an appreciation of the book; Geoffrey Parker will respond


The concept of a 'general crisis' in seventeenth-century Europe was first developed and debated in the 1950s. Although rejected by some, the concept has evolved and gradually been applied to other parts of the world. Geoffrey Parker's book takes this development to a wholly new level, in the process confirming the 'general crisis' as a pivotal moment in global history. Those attending are encouraged to read at least parts of the book - Parts 1 and/or 5 most obviously. There is also an interesting review of it by Jan de Vries in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, XLIV:3 (Winter, 2014), 369-77.


30 May Rethinking the geography of global economic history: Northwest Indian cotton cloth and caravan trade, c.1600-1900

Jagjeet Lally (Cambridge)


For globally-minded economic historians, Indian cotton cloth is perhaps the pre-eminent early modern ‘commodity’, its production, trade, and consumption engendering far-flung connections, and its imitation and competitive effects evidence of simultaneities and comparisons. The global history of cotton cloth is seen as a lens through which to reinterpret British industrialisation and ‘the rise of the West’, for example, now conceived in terms of the ‘great divergence’, with an appreciation of the role of Asian knowledge, technologies, and agency. But historians have hitherto only focussed on India’s seaward-oriented textile centres with which European trading companies came into contact, overlooking landward-oriented textile production in Punjab in Northwest India towards Central Asia and Russia that remained the preserve of Asian artisans and traders. In this paper, I seek to provide a history of Northwest Indian cotton cloth production and trade, and, in so doing, shift the geography of global economic history from the fringes to the interior of the Eurasian continent.

This will be followed by a party at Dr Zahedieh's house for which a small charge will be made. If you wish to attend please email Julian Hoppit, j.hoppit@ucl.ac.uk