Conference: (Dis)entangling Global Early Modernities, 1300-1800.

Michael Tworek's picture

Dear Colleagues,

In light of recent discussions on the future of global history, I wanted to bring to your attention a conference that I have co-organized on the new paths and approaches to global history in studying the early modern world. A year in the making, this conference will take place this Friday, March 24, at Harvard University. Below you can find the basic details of the conference and the schedule of presentations in case of interest. Many thanks!

Best wishes,

Michael Tworek


Conference: (Dis)entangling Global Early Modernities, 1300-1800

Date: Friday, March 24, 2017, 8:45am - 5:00pm

Location: Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, Harvard University, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Organizers: Michael Tworek (Harvard), Stuart McManus (UChicago), Devin Fitzgerald (Harvard), Anja Goeing (Harvard).

This conference proposes a new concept—“(dis)entanglement”—in order to provide alternative narratives of the early modern world, 1300-1800. Recent scholarship has emphasized the integrative nature of economic, material, and religious developments. In contrast, we will examine what the “global” could mean in intellectual and cultural interactions in terms of both integration and disintegration across multiple continents and oceans. Our conference participants will explore how the notion of “(dis)entanglement” allows us to evoke a polycentric early modern world that is simultaneously connecting and disconnecting. 

Introductory Remarks: What is (Dis)entanglement?                           8:45-9:00 am

Panel 1: Ideas                                                                                     9:00-10:30 am

Chair: Tamar Herzog (Harvard University)

Xin Wen (Harvard University) “A Periphery Central to All: Dunhuang and the Geographical Productions of Eurasia (800-1000).”

Anand Venkatkrishnan (Oxford University) “Love in the Time of Scholarship: Religious Intellectuals in Early Modern India.”

Michael Tworek (Harvard University) “The Homnivore’s Dilemma: The Republic of Letters and (Dis)entangling Cannibalism in  Dutch Brazil and Central Europe.”

Discussant: Carolien Stolte (Leiden University)

Panel 2: Books                                                                                    10:45-12:15 pm     

Chair:  Ann Blair (Harvard University)

Holly Shaffer (Dartmouth College) “Canton, Cochin, Java, London: Birds and Books in Flight.”

Nir Shafir (University of California, San Diego) “Are Travelogues a Proper Proxy for Connectivity in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire?”

Devin Fitzgerald (Harvard University) “A Boring Book Abroad: Using The Collected Institutions of the Great Ming in 18th-Century Japan and Europe.”

Discussant: Alexander Bevilacqua (Harvard Society of Fellows)

Panel 3: Scholarly Practices                                                              1:30-3:00pm

Chair: Darrin McMahon (Dartmouth University)

Ananya Chakravarti (Georgetown University) “In What Language Does the Global Speak? (Dis)entangling Marathi Christian Poetry.”

Kirsten Windmuller-Luna (Princeton University) “Idea over Praxis: Foreign Design and Native Labor in Early Modern Christian Ethiopian Architecture.”

Stuart McManus (University of Chicago) “The Bourbon Reforms in the Philippines: (Dis)entangling Colonial Latin America from the Early Modern Muddle.”

Discussant: Gregory Afinogenov (Harvard University)

Roundtable Discussion                                                                       3:15-5:00pm

Facilitator: David Armitage (Harvard University)

Jorge Canizares-Esguerra (Univerity of Texas, Austin)

Laura Mitchell (University of California, Irvine)

Eugenio Menegon (Boston University)

Roger Chartier (University of Pennsylvania/Collège de France)


Conference Website:

Sponsored generously by Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School, Harvard Asia Center, Harvard Colloquium for Intellectual History, Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard Center for African Studies, Harvard History Department, Harvard Early Modern History Workshop, Harvard Medieval Studies Committee, Harvard Center for History and Economics, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Contact: Michael Tworek ( or Anja Goeing (

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