1st Edition

History Below the Global On and Beyond the Coloniality of Power in Historical Research

By Lorenzo Kamel Copyright 2024
    230 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    History Below the Global aims to foster an entangled knowledge of global history, and to place "others" at the centre stage, to better understand the fluid world which we inhabit.

    Relying on primary sources in seven languages and books written by hundreds of African, Asian, Middle Eastern and South American scholars, Lorenzo Kamel examines the coloniality of power in historical research and sheds light on the largely neglected roles of the "others" and their modernities in history. The book provides three elements combined. Firstly, a thorough analysis of the process of accumulation (“knowledge piece by piece”) which underpins some of the major achievements in human history. Secondly, a view on pre-colonial perspectives and the process through which the latter have been swallowed up by Eurocentric and solipsistic perceptions. Lastly, a study of the roots and outcomes of colonialisms and their echoes in our present. These three elements are addressed by combining multiple methodologies and approaches, in the awareness that the history analysed, as well as the historiographical trajectories that underlie it, are ultimately inter-penetrable, as well as themselves the result of a process of accumulation. History Below the Global challenges the view that, first and foremost, the “West”, for bad and for good, is and was the centre: the proactive actor which did and undid.

    This volume will be of value to all those interested in global history, the history of colonialism, post-colonial studies, modern and contemporary history.

    1. Unlearning  2. The man of his time  3. Enslaved and "civilized" people  4. Colonialism’s new faces  5. Decolonization: from Third World to Global South  6. The Middle East, beyond “artificial states”  7.  A revolution “against global systems” Conclusion: Fostering discordant facts


    Professor Lorenzo Kamel, Ph.D, teaches History of International Relations at the University of Turin. He has held teaching and research positions at Harvard University, the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, ‘Ain Shams University in Cairo, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a number of universities in Europe and the Middle East. He has authored ten books, including The Middle East from Empires to Sealed Identities (2020).

     “In this passionate and timely book, Lorenzo Kamel threads the needle of articulating the contours of historical epistemic justice while avoiding simplistic west/non-west binaries. Part history, part manifesto, History Below the Global is a tremendous achievement which reveals complexity and entanglement amid relations of domination. It is time, he urges, that western scholarship reflects this constitutive reality.”  

    A. Dirk Moses, City College of New York, author of The Problems of Genocide

    "Drawing on his splendid knowledge of diverse and rarely matched historiographies, as well as decades of first-hand historical research, Lorenzo Kamel sets out in this remarkable book to decipher the many ways in which the interpretive paradigms of colonisation have endured in the contemporary world. In so doing, he also lays the foundations for a collective stance that is likely to inspire a renewal of the profession of historian, based not only on a critical eye, but also on a method that is attentive to those whom history has too often forgotten or disdained."

    Nora Lafi, Université de Tunis and ZMO Berlin

    "A highly significant intervention that goes a long way in mitigating the dangers of ethnocentrism. History Below the Global provides a stimulating and provocative way to debate the hopes and challenges that characterize epistemologies among various people in the “North” and the “South”."

    Obert Bernard MlamboUniversity of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

    “Lorenzo Kamel’s History Below the Global recasts the very terms of our historicality in terms both real and present and yet to be fully grasped. He is calling for a leveling of the planetary field of reading the world that has long since lost its fictional center and defetishized its alienated peripheries. His is an inaugural prose where our future historiography has already started.”

    Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University, author of Europe and its Shadows