Global History Lab


Global History Lab logoIn the summer of 2020, the GHL received a multi-year grant from the Open Society University Network (OSUN). With its new OSUN partners, the Central European University (CEU) and Bard College, the GHL was able to expand its global reach to international students at eighteen institutions and NGOs worldwide. With this expansion, some of the GHL’s programming has moved from Princeton's Department of History, where the GHL was founded in 2012, to the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).

Princeton's Global History Lab (GHL) is a platform for learning, skill development and collaboration in the creation of new narratives across global divides. The GHL enlists universities and NGO’s in over 20 countries to engage in a new model of global education through peer-to-peer exchanges. Using cutting-edge technologies, innovative pedagogical practices and training in oral history methods, the GHL runs the online course “A History of the World” (for Princeton undergraduates, HIS 201), which educates students about the history of globalization and prepares them to become knowledge producers for a wider world. The GHL pushes the study and application of history into new humanitarian frontiers by integrating displaced peoples and refugees into its network.  It promotes human capabilities of understanding by developing narrative voices and listening skills between strangers. The GHL is committed to the pursuit of the production of knowledge about the global past globally — in a way that is innovative, economical and reaches across the world’s fractures.

In 2019, the GHL launched the pilot of a second online history course for refugee and host community learners who had successfully completed the GHL: “History Dialogues” (HD). After intensive training in oral history research and ethics, learners embark on independent research projects that they then share with their global colleagues, creating new knowledge and narratives that connect local stories to global themes.

To learn more about the Global History Lab programming at PIIRS, including the “History of the World” and “History Dialogues” courses, please visit the PIIRS website.

Support for Graduate Students

For graduates, we offer a two-semester sequence of seminars. The first covers the period from 1300-1850 and the second from 1850 to the present. We also coordinate the Global History Workshop, which provides a forum for graduate students and scholars from institutions in the United States and around the world to share their research. Finally, together with our worldwide partners, we co-host a variety of conferences, collaboratives, and dissertation workshops that allow for rich intellectual exchanges among faculty and graduate students working in the field of global history, broadly defined.

Faculty and Research Interests

Faculty in the field of global history study the histories of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas in international perspectives; we also explore the connections across and forces that divide regions from each other.

We have a broad conception of global history. For some of us, it means examining the flows of people, commodities, ideas, and institutions across national and regional boundaries and the ways in which these processes of contact, exchange, and integration affect regional and national dynamics. For others, global history also includes the ways in which regional and national dynamics shape global processes. We are also eclectic about the scale of analysis; some focus on micro-histories of transnational experiences; others are more engaged in research on global systems and regimes.

What unites us is our deep interest in narratives about and explanations of processes that transcend familiar national or local boundaries.