Sebastian Conrad on Approaches to Global History

Court Ladies Sewing Western Clothing (Jokan yōfuku saihō no zu), August 23rd, 1887. Yōshū (Hashimoto) Chikanobu. Triptych of polychrome woodblock prints; ink and color on paper. Dimensions: 14 5/16 x 29 11/16 in. (36.4 x 75.4 cm). Accession Number: JP3340. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

Welcome to the second episode of the Global History Podcast. We would like to extend a warm welcome to Professor Dr. Sebastian Conrad, who holds the Chair of Modern History at the Freie Universität Berlin. Professor Conrad has a background in both modern European and Japanese history, and his recent work has extensively explored transnational and global approaches to studying the past.

His publications include German Colonialism: A Short History, Globalisation and the Nation in Imperial Germany, and The Quest for the Lost Nation: Writing History in Germany and Japan in the American Century.

On this episode, we will be discussing Prof. Conrad’s well-known critical approach toward the burgeoning discipline of global history, entitled What Is Global History?, published by Princeton University Press in 2016. So far translated into Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and Estonian, and with further translations into Turkish, Portuguese and Japanese under contract, this is a book that has had wide resonance with the academic community worldwide.

So, how does one go about writing the history of the world, and who is global history written by and for whom? Listen on to find out more.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments about this episode, or would like to pitch us an idea for a new episode, feel free to email us at, or send us a message on our website’s contact formfacebooktwitter, or instagram.

COVER IMAGE: Time Zone Chart of the World. “Used for laying out route for New York to Paris flight, San Diego, California, 1927 C.A.L.” Annotator: Charles Lindbergh. Map: Hydrographic Office, Washington, D.C. January 1927. 67 x 119 cm. Scale: 1:28,500,000. 5th edition. H.O. chart no. 5192. American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Image downloaded from the World Digital Library.

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