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Personal and Professional
Honors and Memberships
ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age
Andre Gunder Frank
Statement about World History and Work on the Same and on Contemporary Political Economy and Social Science
My understanding of, and perspective on, research and teaching on world history is in history of the world as a single global whole. As the saying goes that the whole is more than the sum of its parts and indeed it also helps shape the parts, so that studying history of the whole world is different from and more than studying only one or various parts of the world and even comparing them as though they were independent of each other and the whole is not adequate even to understand any part. We need connection and holism even more than comparison. As observed by Leopold von Ranke, there is only universal history; and as Marc Bloc wrote there is only history of the world predominantly. Unfortunately, neither of these masters of Eurocentric history practised what they preached, and studying only this or that part of the world at a moment of or through time is still the predominant practice among historians and even "world" historians and social scientists. However, beyond the predominant 'vertical' history of any one place or topic through time, we also need 'horizontal' history that examines how all or at least some places and topics around the world are connected and mutually influence each or at any one moment of time. In other words, while historical research and analysis of particular 'part/s' of course also remains important, it can also benefit enormously from being informed by a perspective that takes global and relational influences on the part into account.
My work is also interdisciplinary; and I have previously taught in departments and schools of history, economics, sociology, social change, anthropology and archaeology and most recently in international relations/studies. My work has been also used by scholars and politcal policy makers in politics, political science, demography, geography, regional studies and even more 'distant' ones like public health and nursing. I say that on the basis ot the wide range of journals from which the 3,000 plus references were recorded by the Social Science Citation Index and more recently appear on the internet. Moreover, my writings have appeared in edited readers whose titles refer to several dozen topics ranging from A to Z and to regions and countries in Western and East Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, which are recorded in my attached CV. The same also records my publication in 27 languages of over 30 books and over 130 editions thereof in various of these languages, in some 130 edited readers, and of over 350 articles published in some 600 issues of journal, magazine and newspaper serials, for a total of about 900 publications. The CV also mentions my membership the editorial boards of a half dozen journals and my participation in a dozen professional Associations in various fields, as well as the listings of my name in over a half dozen biographical dictionaries in various fields and countries and mentions the recent receipt of various research grants and several awards and honours. My last book ReORIENT has received the first book award by the World History Association and also one by the American Sociological Association's Political Economy of World Systems section. A Festschrift dedicated to me was published in 1996.
My research and publication, teaching and many lectures on world history and archaeology extends over 5,000 years back to the third millennium and concentrates on last 500 years and on the political economy of the last 50 years, as well as on contemporary affairs and future trends. Most of my work, several books and many articles and public lectures have been on the political economy of contemporary affairs and have concentrated on the economic, political and social crisis in the world as a whole and in its various regions since 1967 and its implications for public policy. My global historical research, teaching and concern also with some contemporary public policy implications for the present and future emphasize the global and regional structural inequalities and cyclical dynamics and transformation of Afro-Eurasia a whole before 1492 and of the entire world since then. My last book ReORIENT analyzes the global economy for the period 1400-1800. It was first published in 1998 in English by the University of California Press and since then in Chinese and Japanese and is forthcoming in Korean. My last public lectures on the period 1400-1800 covered in my last book were delivered as the keynote address in July to the Association of Asian Studies of Australia from whose president I enclose a letter of appreciation. In May I lectured the same to various institutes in China and explored its implications for the present and future of that country, and in October I lectured on the same topic in Denmark. That month also, I gave half a dozen lectures, but now on very contemporary problems, at the university and in various institutes as well as to members of Parliament in Latvia; and in August I participated in the "Millennium 3000" conference of the World Futures Society in Seattle. My weakest knowledge is on the 19th and early 20th centuries, although I have done some research and publication on this period as well. However, I have now begun new research and writing also to this more modern history for an intended sequel to my ReORIENT book that dealt only with the period until 1800. The advantage of now pursuing this research and writing on modern history is that I can thus also involve students in the same from the innovative global perspective of my previous work.
From this global perspective that has guided my teaching also in the past, I would now be prepared to offer reading and research seminars to your graduate and upper level undergraduate students from what I hope is on the frontiers of knowledge in modern world history as well as still also on pre-modern periods. I would also encourage students at the masters and doctoral level to write dissertations and colleagues to pursue their own research from that long global perspective, even if these may be on particular shorter periods in a particular region, and of course I would be prepared to supervise some such and other dissertations. To do so, I could also rely on my world-wide personal contacts to consider sponsoring and organizing some related national and international conferences if adequate outside and University financial and local infrastructural and logistic support is available.
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Andre Gunder Frank Website is hosted by The Róbinson Rojas Archive