Forum: a world of ideas: new pathways in global intellectual history, c..1880–1930

Su Lin Lewis, Stefanie Ganger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


This forum explores new directions in global intellectual history, engaging with the methodologies of global and transnational history to move beyond conventional territorial boundaries and master narratives. The papers focus on the period between the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth, an era in which the growth of cities, burgeoning print cultures and new transport and communications technology enabled the accelerated circulation and exchange of ideas throughout the globe. The proliferation of conferences, world fairs, and international congresses, the growing professionalization and definition of academic disciplines, and the enhanced circulation of scholarly journals and correspondence enabled intellectuals around the world to converse in shared vocabularies. Much of the scholarship on early twentieth-century intellectual history in the non-Western world has been viewed through the binary relationships of metropole and colony, or as nationalist reactions to colonial domination. This cluster widens the framework to consider the way in which intellectuals formed scholarly networks and gathered multiple influences to articulate new visions of community and society within a wider world of ideas. The multiplicity of imperial and transnational pathways allowed not only for “centers of calculation” in colonial metropoles, but also for points of convergence and encounter outside Europe. As these papers show, the routes by which ideas travelled brought forth a global republic of letters, composed of diverse “centers” for the collection and production of knowledge by intellectuals operating in different parts of the world.
Original languageEnglish
JournalModern Intellectual History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • global history
  • intellectual history
  • history of ideas
  • transnational networks
  • Knowledge Transfer


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