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Editor's Message

Marc Jason Gilbert

     The World History Connected, Vol. 17, no. 2 (June 2020) issue opens with a Forum, or section of related articles, entitled "Diffusion, Comparisons, and Periodization in the Pre-modern World." The title may seem prosaic, but the contents of this issue reflect the larger effort among research scholars and scholar-practitioners to demonstrate the value of pre-modern world history in light of the steady ongoing decline of interest in that era. The Forum introduction addresses the contributions made by world historians working in the premodern period to our understanding of pandemics and the ongoing shift of the center of the world's economy back to Asia that has led one observer to remark that the world in this respect looks today "more like 1,000 CE than 1950."


Forum articles address the diffusion and subsequent disappearance of war elephants between the rise of the Mauryan Empire in India and the end of the Roman Republic (Stanley Burstein); the risks and rewards of comparative approaches to Epic literature (Joseph Snyder), and the benefits of setting aside the recent debate over periodization among practitioners and administrators of Advanced Placement World History to look more closely at 1200 CE as watershed in world history worth exploring on its own merits (Paul Philip). Each Forum article addresses directly or in Appendices active learning approaches to their subject.

Additional Articles

This issue's additional Articles section begins with a Forum- related contribution from the journal's digital resource editor. It first examines the traditional meaning of the terms "classical," and "Classical Age." It then offers the expanded (non-Eurocentric) meaning of these terms as employed by world historians and addresses the "Classical Age" in another of his much-praised annotated databases of digital resources for research in, and teaching of world history.

The additional Articles section also features a study of the reformist members of the Jesuit Order in India as they pursued the re-orientation of the Catholic Church to serve the poor, especially following the resolutions of Vatican II in the mid-1960s; their response to the rise of a militant Hinduism (Hindutva) in the 1980s; their effort to address the new priorities of the Indian economy after liberalization in 1991; and the constraints imposed by the decline by half in the numbers of Jesuit priests globally.

Book Reviews

Michael Clinton, review of Eric D. Weitz, A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation States. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019.

Guy Lancaster, review of Harry Harootunian, The Unspoken as Heritage: The Armenian Genocide and its Unaccounted Lives. Durham: Duke University Press, 2019.

Andrew Wender, review of Noel Malcolm, Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450–1750. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

Reid Wyatt, review of Charles A. Desnoyers, Patterns of East Asian History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.


For those unfamiliar with World History Connected (ISSN 1931–8642), it is an open-sourced (free) double-blind peer reviewed e-journal publication of the University of Illinois Press ( ) and an affiliated publication of the World History Association that annually reaches 1.85 million readers (those who read more than two articles) and attracts 6 million visits to its website. It is published 3 times a year (February, June, and October). Recent issues of the journal have explored the Atlantic in World History and Film in World History. Future issues, tentative due to COVID-19, will feature Forums that address Southeast Asia in World History (deadline extended to August 1, 2020), Latin America, and Empires in World History (deadlines extended to November 1, 2020), The Environment and Sustainability, and Pandemics (Deadline March 1, 2021), the Indian Ocean, active learning (games, simulations) and authoritarianism in global and historical perspective with deadlines as yet to be determined. Scheduling is an art rather than a science, so those wishing to submit articles for consideration on these subjects or any subject should express that interest as soon as possible. The journal perennially seeks submission of Forum ideas and also Guest Editors who might wish to curate a "Forum" on a topic of interest to the field. "Forum" guest editors have included Presidents of the American Historical Association and the World History Association, such as Patrick Manning and Laura Mitchell. Book review essays and reviews, as well as manuscript reviewers, are also welcome.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to the Editor at Correspondence relating to books to be reviewed and those interested in reviewing books for this issue, should contact Due to cost, books for review cannot be supplied to reviewers outside the United States. All submissions are subject to double-blind peer reviewer. World History Connected reserves the right to decline to publish any submission.

All submissions must follow the style sheet on the left-hand side of the journal's webpage at (though currently the need for an abstract has been waived). It should be conveyed with the subject line "WHC Submission and the author (s) last name." Submissions should also be prepared double spaced, with one-inch margins and subheads at the left-hand margins, with endnotes, a short biography (250 words) such as that appears on all published WHC articles, a mailing address, and phone number. Length of submitted articles should be more than 3,000 words, with upper limitation as is appropriate (usually not more than 10,000 words).

Marc Jason Gilbert, Editor
Hawai'i Pacific University

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