Fall Greetings from the World History Center

Dear Friends of the World History Center,

We are delighted to have commenced the fall semester with largely in-person events, even as our minds turn to those nearby and around the world who remain vulnerable to Covid and other ills. As world historians who study connections and ruptures in our shared human past, we continue to think of those locked down against their will, from Chengdu to Guantánamo, and those who are forced to leave their homes because of floods, wars, and economic collapse, from Kyiv to Karachi to Caracas.

After a robust year of programming and conversation in AY 2021-2022 around the theme of the Limits of Networks in World History, we are now pleased to offer another busy year of world historical engagement.  We have already hosted a roundtable on “Difficult Cartographies: Race, Power and Resistance in Pittsburgh and Rio,” and we have welcomed Professor Tanuja Kothiyal (Ambedkar University Delhi) and Dr. Lance Pursey (University of Aberdeen) over Zoom to discuss their work on Historical Zomias. The Center will also host a book talk group by Professor Mae Ngai (Columbia University) to discuss The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics, organized by the working group “Migration and Belonging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” Throughout the year, the Center will  host a monthly Coffee Hour, weekly Digital Historian is in office hours, and a climate fiction reading group. Please see our calendar of activities for the full schedule. 

This year will be unique as the World History Center prepares to host the 32nd annual World History Association (WHA) conference from June 22-24, 2023. Each year, the WHA’s annual meeting brings together more than three hundred academic historians, college instructors, and secondary school teachers from around the globe  to share new and innovative research and teaching in the field of world history. In the spring semester, we will orient our programming around topics that explore Pittsburgh as a global city, and around the theme of this year’s conference, “Energies.” We are thrilled to welcome the WHA and its diverse constituency to the University of Pittsburgh this summer.

The Center also welcomes several new affiliates to the WHC: Krysta Beam joins us as the Department of History Graduate Student Fellow in World History. Krysta is working on a dissertation entitled "Transnational Child-Saving and Evangelical Reform in Costa Rica, 1920-1980.” The Center’s new Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital World History, Dr. Nathan Michalewicz, will use his extensive research and teaching experience in digital history and methods to serve as the lead instructor of the Center’s undergraduate Digital Atlas Design Internship. Dr. Michalewicz will also contribute to the World Historical Gazetteer and other WHC projects. We congratulate our past Digital History Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Susan Grunewald, on her new position as Assistant Professor of History at Louisiana State University. We welcome Randall Taylor as a new Research Affiliate.

Looking ahead, we are happy to report that the Dean of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at Pitt has reappointed Professor Ruth Mostern for a second four-year term as WHC Director and has extended Professor Molly Warsh’s term as Associate Director through June 2023, at which point she will step down to focus on her research.  Her successor will be announced in late spring 2023. Dr. Alexandra Straub continues as Research Coordinator, and Dr. Karl Grossner and Kathy Hart continue as Research Affiliates.  We are grateful for the generous support of the Dietrich School, which permits the Center to continue its work of promoting critical research about the global past. 

We hope to see all of you at our upcoming events and we look forward to working with you on the shared endeavor of research, teaching, and public advocacy related to world history. Please be in touch with any suggestions for activities, groups, and ideas for participation in the WHA conference next June.

With warm best wishes,

Ruth Mostern (Director), Molly Warsh (Associate Director), and Alexandra Straub (Research Coordinator)

September 2022