Since 2007, the Department of History has made a strong commitment to developing a program of graduate education in global history. This commitment was informed both by enthusiasm about the intellectual vigor of this new field and by the practical necessity of preparing graduate students for an academic job market that demands competence in global history. The field of global history rose to its present prominence due to a convergence of developments: the intellectual challenges to Eurocentrism and to self-contained national and regional histories; the curricular demands of engaging an increasingly diverse student body in American high schools and colleges; the need to recover the precedents and to understand the historical complexities of the “globalization” that dominates our present moment; and, not least, contemporary global shifts in economic and political power. These practical circumstances have resulted not just in the expansion or the diversification of the existing curriculum and intellectual field, but in a fundamental reconsideration of the methodological practices and theoretical assumptions of historical research. As the history of the nation-state has become increasingly recognizable as a peculiar preoccupation of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, global historians of the twenty-first century are able to understand anew the connections and interactions among nation-states, as well as the ever-fluid relations among peoples and polities prior to the nation-state.
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