This volume considers the confluence of World History and historical materialism, with the following guiding question in mind: given developments in the field of historical materialism concerned with the intersection of race, gender, labour, and class, why is it that within the field of World History, historical materialism has been marginalized, precisely as World History orients toward transnational socio-cultural phenomenon, micro-studies, or global histories of networks? Answering this question requires thinking, in an inter-related manner, about both the development of World History as a discipline, and the place of economic determinism in historical materialism. This book takes the position that historical materialism (as applied to the field of World History) needs to be more open to the methodological diversity of the materialist tradition and to refuse narrowly deterministic frameworks that have led to marginalization of materialist cultural analysis in studies of global capitalism. At the same time, World History needs to be more self-critical of the methodological diversity it has welcomed through a largely inclusionary framework that allows the material to be considered separately from cultural, social, and intellectual dimensions of global processes.
Table of Contents
1. Material Matters: Recognizing the Confluence of World History and Historical Materialism Tina Mai Chen, David S. Churchill, and Susie Fisher Stoesz 2. What is World History? A Critique of Pure Ideology Rebecca Karl Section One: The "Blind Spots" of Historical Materialism 3. Language, State, and Global Capitalism: "Global English" and Historical Materialism Peter Ives 4. Open Secrets: Class, Affect, and Sexuality Rosemary Hennessy 5. "As Its Foundations Totter": International Imperialism, Gendered Racial Capitalism, and the U.S. Literary Left in the Early Cold War John Munro Section Two: World History and Interconnectivity: Re-engaging Materialism and its Abstractions. A. Spatial Categories and Norms of Interconnectedness 6. World History and International Relations: Disrupting the Discipline of the State Todd Scarth 7. Local Struggles, Transnational Connections: Latin American Intellectuals and the Congress for Cultural Freedom Jorge Nállim B. Denaturalizing Economic Thought 8. Perpetual Peace, Technology, and Effeminacy: Adam Smith and Eighteenth-Century Debates Erik Thomson 9. Understanding Global Interconnectedness: Catastrophic Generic Change Mary Poovey Section Three: Dialectical Inquiry, Historical Materialism, and the Localities of World History 10. Where the Dead Queued for Fuel: Zimbabweans Remember the Fuel Crisis and its Impact on the Funeral Industry, 1999-2008 Joyce M. Chadya 11. "We Are All Migrant Laborers": Democracy and Universal Politics Hyun Ok Park
Tina Mai Chen is Professor of History at the University of Manitoba.
David S. Churchill is Associate Professor of U.S. History at the University of Manitoba.