Edinburgh Centre for Global History

About us

The Edinburgh Centre for Global History exists to facilitate cooperation between global historians of different regions and different periods across the University of Edinburgh, and to provide a supportive environment in which postgraduate and staff research can flourish. 

Our members are researchers drawn from across the University of Edinburgh who have interests in the history of global connections and the movements of people, objects, images and ideas, and historians of individual regions interested in working collaboratively to identify comparisons and connections, from antiquity to the contemporary world.

We are particularly interested in exploring the relationship between global, transnational, imperial and comparative histories, as well as the intersection between the local and the global. We combine the University of Edinburgh’s unique strengths in interdisciplinary and language-based area studies with its long tradition of cutting-edge historical research on the history of empires, diasporas and slavery. This unparalleled concentration of expertise provides a foundation for critical reflection on the past history of global connections, and on the limits and challenges of the global as an analytical category.

In addition to hosting an evening seminar series and the Annual Lecture in the History of Slavery, we hold informal workshops and work-in-progress seminars which provide an opportunity to read and discuss the current research of our members and develop new critical tools for the study of global and transnational history. We provide support for colleagues developing new research projects, particularly at the idea or concept stage. We seek to build connections between researchers across the University of Edinburgh and to contribute to curriculum development in global history in general and our core areas of research focus in particular. The William R. McFarlane Scholarship supports innovative PhD research in the histories of migration and diaspora.

History and Objectives

The Edinburgh Centre for Global History was formally established on 1 January 2019. It serves to build on and expand the University of Edinburgh’s long tradition of studying the histories of migration, diaspora and slavery.

Governance Structure

The Edinburgh Centre for Global History is built around a governance structure that encourages collaboration.

Affiliated Staff

Our staff have a wide range of research interests in global and transnational history, which we approach from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Affiliated Students

Our students are conducting cutting-edge research into a wide range of global and transnational history topics.