World History Connected Home
Home List journal issues Table of contents
Printer-friendly formatArticle citation

Editor's Message

Marc Jason Gilbert

     The February 2017 issue of World History Connected features a powerful Forum, introduced by Laura Mitchell and Andrea Felber Seligman. They remind us that biographies offer unique opportunities to combine narrative history with explicit attention to the thinking skills that are central to our discipline," but seek to move biographical studies beyond the usual suspects. They demonstrate how "recent scholarship has transformed the genre, democratizing and expanding a form once reserved only for the study of well-known political and cultural leaders. With new and increasingly diverse biographies available, there are exciting possibilities for humanizing high school and college classes while further developing students' analytical skills." They draw attention to recent methodological trajectories that have "blurred boundaries among microhistory, life history, and social history, challenging the notion that biography applied only to the powerful, or the already famous." The essays in the Forum demonstrate the validity of these remarks through case studies, which are followed by guidance from Seligman on employing this revived and expanded approach in the classroom.

     This issue offers two studies of use to all practitioners of world history. The first, by famed historian of the ancient world, Stanley Burstein, goes where few world historians have ventured, into the history of the ancient Black Sea urban trading world of Chersonesus in the southwestern Crimea. Founded as a Greek colony some 2,500 years ago, its trade network encompassed the Ukraine and reached as far as ancient Rhodes. Like the biographical approach pursued in the Forum, Burstein employs this lesser-known state to suggest how it can illuminate the complexities of the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian worlds. The second, by Digital Resource editor John Maunu, offers resources on Comparative World History, which helped lay the foundation for world history and still enriches historical study.

     The reviews of books in this issue are particularly rich, ranging in subject from a global history of time, capitalism, and abolitionist movements in global perspective, to Iran in world history and India during the Second World War.

     Future issues of World History Connected will explore, among other topics, the debate over global history vs world History and the continuing controversies over the nature of writing on Western and World History.


Marc Jason Gilbert, Editor
Hawai'i Pacific University

Marc Jason Gilbert is Professor of History and National Endowment for the Humanities Endowed Chair in World History at Hawai'i Pacific University. He can be reached at

Home | List Journal Issues | Table of Contents
© 2017 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Content in World History Connected is intended for personal, noncommercial use only. You may not reproduce, publish, distribute, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, modify, create derivative works from, display, or in any way exploit the World History Connected database in whole or in part without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Terms and Conditions of Use