Chicago’s approach to international history considers the interaction of historical forces across national boundaries and regions of the world. These interactions are very broadly defined to include demographic, environmental, cultural, intellectual, and media exchanges. They also encompass the more traditional canon of military, political, and economic interactions. National identities and regional affiliations are examined from an international, transnational, or global perspective.
The unique strengths of Chicago’s international history program are its genuinely global coverage of international interaction, its interrogation of the local articulation of global forces, and its openness to interdisciplinary approaches from the humanities and social sciences to inform more capacious and original approaches to historical problems. Among the issues of central interest to our faculty and students in international history are regional East Asian and Latin American history, US and the world, gender, colonialism and postcolonialism, modern war, genocide, human rights, humanitarianism, the world economy, and the environment.
Some Chicago historians (Mark Philip Bradley, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Bruce Cumings, James Hevia, Kenneth Pomeranz, and Tara Zahra) are primarily concerned with international exchanges. Many others (Leora Auslander, Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Thomas Holt, Emily Osborn, Moishe Postone, Julie Saville, James Sparrow, and Mauricio Tenorio) incorporate international or transnational themes into their scholarship or teaching. In addition, students can draw on the resources of the Center for International Studies, the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, the Film and Media Studies Center, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, the Center for the Study Race, Politics, and Culture, and the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory.
Some of Chicago students self-identify as international historians, but others see themselves as students of national and regional history (Asia, the United States, Europe, Latin America, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa) with a strong emphasis on transnational and global processes. International history at Chicago offers a critical cross-field intellectual haven for students interested in diverse geographical spaces but with common intellectual concerns.