The Oxford Handbook of World History presents thirty-two essays by leading historians in their respective fields. The chapters address the most important issues explored by contemporary world historians. These broadly fall into four categories: conceptions of the global past, themes in world history, processes of world history, regions in world history. Chapters on conceptions deal with issues of space and time as treated in the field of world history, as well as questions of method, epistemology, historiography, and globalization as viewed from historical perspective. Themes discussed include the natural environment, agriculture, pastoral nomadism, science, technology, state formation, gender, and religion. Chapters dealing with large-scale processes review current thinking on some of the most influential developments of the global past, including mass migrations, cross-cultural trade, biological diffusions, imperial expansion, industrialization, and cultural and religious exchanges. Finally, a set of chapters explores distinctive historical developments within the world's major regions, while also situating individual regions in larger global context.
Taken together, the essays in this volume provide the best guide to current thinking in one of the most dynamic fields of historical scholarship.