How to write a world history of work?: Professor Jan Lucassen, International Institute of Social History

Event Date: 18 January 2023

Speaker: Professor Jan Lucassen

Time: 2.15pm to 3.30pm

Location: University of Strathclyde, Strathclyde Business School, 100 Cathedral Street, Stenhouse Wing, Room SW1.04 (or online - contact for details)


Writing world history in a convincing and attractive way is challenging. In order to prevent a long and boring catalogue of facts and opinions it depends on crucial choices about concepts, geography and periodization. Concepts have to be applicable to different cultures; a geographically balanced approach has to take into account different historiographies; periodization depends on both conceptual considerations and highly unequal availability of evidence. All this applies also to a global history of work from the beginning of humankind until the present. Apart from an overview of relevant historical studies (partially covered by the classical labour history) it asks for an integration of academic fields like e.g. labour economics, and the sociology and anthropology of work. This talk takes inspiration from my recent book, ‘The Story of Work’ (Yale hardback 2021; paperback 2022) and also a discussion in a diptych review by Patrick Manning and me in the "Authors in Conversation" section of the American Historical Review September 2022, pp. 1394-1401.  

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Published: 10 January 2023

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Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
G4 0QU

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