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Durham University

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Transnational History

A research group of the Department of History.

The Transnational History theme brings together scholars interested in a wide variety of transcultural, international, and global aspects of historical research. Its primary purpose is to consider the practical, conceptual, and topical concerns that are brought into focus when departing from methodological nationalism. In promoting conversation and collaboration between specialists of different time periods and geographic areas, it aims also to foster an inclusive and open research environment for the sharing of ideas and written work. 


The main historical interests of the group include:   

  • diasporas, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, and internationalism; 
  • borderlands, border controls, and cross-border chains and flows; 
  • migrant and indigenous histories of nations within nations;  
  • global and international aspects of nation state formation and nationalism; 
  • the relations of empire, anti-colonialism, post-colonialism, globalization, foreign affairs, and diplomacy to forms of domestic politics;  
  • the relations of sovereignty, citizenship, and rights to imperial, supranational, and world order;  
  • comparative, network-based, and multi-scalar analysis and narration; and 
  • processes of translation. 

All are welcome to attend one of our regular lunchtime sessions. The particular research topics pursued by current members range from vernacular architectures of early modern British colonies to British-Soviet encounters in the cultural Cold War; from boundary disputes between South Sudan and Uganda to the exile of defeated US confederate soldiers in Fiji and Brazil; from multilingual accounts of equine care during the Qing dynasty to the spatial histories of East European memory cultures; and from sexuality’s bearing on human rights to trans-local histories of England’s northeast. We warmly encourage any interested members of staff, postgraduate researchers, and PhD students to come along.  


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Associated Staff