Globalisation in the Year 1000 and Lessons for the Present

Bournbrook Pavilion, Owsley Room
Tuesday 16 October 2018 (09:30-17:00)

If you are interested in a place at this workshop please email 


WORKSHOP LEADERS – Prof Naomi Standen (UoB) and Prof Valerie Hansen (Yale)

We live in an age of globalisation and global challenges, but understanding of the issues involved suffers from a lack of deep historical perspective, which is of vital importance to avoiding unhelpful assumptions that hinder our ability to make holistic, just and sustainable choices in a rapidly changing present. Past societies, ideas and practices, both in places close to home and those far away, were frequently startlingly different from those which our eurocentric standpoint allows us to imagine to be normal.

UoB is a leader in the rapidly growing field of global history, and in particular the Global Middle Ages. Professor Hansen’s Distinguished Visiting Fellowship project offers a truly global view of a medieval age, exploring what happened around 1000, when people living in the world's different regions began to move from their home regions to other places and encountered their neighbours often for the first time. When they met them, they had to decide what to do, and their decisions then to a surprising extent resemble ours about globalisation today. Considering completely different and highly diverse responses to this medieval global moment provides a focus for bringing together a group of distinguished scholars from multiple disciplines to mine the rich seam of alternatives that may be drawn from the deep past to inform or be applicable to present-day situations.

This workshop will take draft chapters of Professor Hansen’s book – focussing on encounters in North America, Eastern Europe, and East Asia – as the basis for discussing the diversity of responses to pressing issues historically and how the astonishing range of choices available in the past may help to expand the options perceived to be available to solve problems in the present day.

Registration opens at 9:30am for a 10:00am start.