Welcome to the Global City, Past and Present!

As early modern historians, whose research highlights cities as both centers for and promoters of economic, demographic, and cultural global processes, we think that the relationship between the urban and the global is not solely a contemporary dynamic.  Therefore, our network’s first goal is to develop a discussion that will bridge the gap between scholars of the contemporary city in its global context and past cities that were already at the center of globalizing processes. We hope to extend this conversation backwards to at least 1450, when cities first emerged as global hubs and vehicles of colonization.

We are also hoping to facilitate a public discussion of  cities as places with rich pasts that have bearing on their current realities; and urban development as a non-linear historical process that should not aim to reproduce the perceived trajectory towards global connectivity of a few, mainly western, cities.

Our website includes reports on each of our four workshops and also discussion pieces by some our participants.