Working Groups

The WHC hosts Working Groups that consist of faculty and graduate students who explore a shared theme of interest related to the global past. Each group receives funding for regular meetings, access to Center facilities, official recognition through the Center, and space on the Center website to publicize activities and disseminate results. The Center puts out a call for working group proposals in the fall of each year. We favor interdisciplinary applicant groups. 

In the 2022-2023 academic year, three working groups from the previous year will continue their activities. The Working Group on Trans/Anti-Imperialism seeks to initiate a conversation on empires in an era of rising nationalism and anti-imperialism. Transforming Systemic Racism: Historical Truth Telling and Reparations Working Group will look to promote a more globalized understanding of the institution of slavery and its impacts as well as recent global efforts to advance reparations and transform systemic racism. Challenges of Migration and Belonging. Interdisciplinary Perspectives aims to establish an environment to discuss migration across disciplinary borders, bringing together Pitt scholars and graduate students from anthropology, culture studies, history, and political science.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the WHC hosted four working groups. Black Built Pitt is a digital tour that explores and highlights Black historical events at sites around the University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh campus. The project explores how Black internationalism and Black migrations have played out in Pittsburgh as well as how Black contributions to Pittsburgh have helped build a global city. The Center also supported the Trans/Anti-Imperialism Working Group, Transforming Systemic Racism: Historical Truth Telling and Reparations Working Group and Challenges of Migration and Belonging. Interdisciplinary Perspectives, all of which will continue their activities in the 2022-2023 academic year. 

During the 2020-2021 academic year, the WHC hosted the Italian Diaspora Archive Resource Map Project working group. The working group's aim was to explore collaborative networks around—and innovative digital approaches to—cataloguing the wealth of archival materials relating to the Italian diasporic experience. Of the working group, convening member Lina Insana said, “The World History Center’s Working Group framework has really given us the necessary structure to maintain momentum in this project, despite the considerable challenges to participants regardless of their institutional affiliation—museums, academia, archives and libraries.” 

Previous working groups include, 2017-18's Working Group on Spatial History that met twice a month in the WHC and focused on incorporating digital methods in research involving spatial history. During 2018-19, the WHC hosted Mapping Religious Pittsburgh, a group that created an online exhibition to  highlight, map, and analyze sites and objects related to religious life in the Pittsburgh region.  In 2019-20, we hosted the interrelated Europe after Eurocentrism (Fall) and Creating Europe (Spring) groups, which discussed common readings as a platform from which to brainstorm historical approaches to the study of Europe. It identified common intellectual currents at Pitt in this subject area as a means of engaging more concrete, practical questions related to speaker series, curriculum development, and graduate training.

Additionally, the WHC is open to sponsoring student run clubs or organizations that have a world-historical dimension.  Similar to our Working Groups, WHC affiliated clubs would have access to Center facilities, space on our website, and a small budget for meeting and research supplies.  A requirement for clubs and organization is that they sponsored by at least one current faculty, graduate student, or staff at Pitt.  To apply, simply submit a one paragraph application that outlines the focus and planned activities of your organization and how they relate to the study of World History.  You can submit this electronically to anytime during the academic year.