Nouvelle parution : Rila Mukherjee (ed.), Networks in the First Global Age: 1400–1800

Indian Council of Historical Research, 2011, 410 p.  ISBN: 978-93-80607-09-2

The book

The dynamics of the maritime world has held the fascination of researchers and scholars of history for long. Viewing the waterscapes as conduits of much economic and cultural sharing between peoples and lands, the focus of Networks in the First Global Age: 1400–1800 is on the oceans and seas––the Indian, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea––and economic, military and cultural transmissions within and across them.

The book shows how conventional arguments in history writing about the rise of the West, the hegemon of the State and the might of overseas colonial empires can be overturned by emphasizing on dynamic, collaborative, nonlinear networks as opposed to formal networks based on hierarchy. Such networks signal a completely different picture about global interactions in the period 1400–1800, emphasizing the centrality of peoples and commodities at different times in different parts of the world. More importantly, the book challenges chronological readings and urges us to think spatially instead.

With contributions from Indian, American, French and Iberian scholars, Networks in the

First Global Age: 1400–1800 tells us what happens when the sea of history meets the sea of network analysis.

The editor

Rila Mukherjee is Professor and Head, Department of History, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India. Her specialization is on the silk trade and traders in pre-colonial Bengal. She is the author of Strange Riches: Bengal in the Mercantile Map of South Asia (2006) and Merchants and Companies in Bengal: Kasimbazar and Jugdia in the Eighteenth Century (2006).

The contributors

Amândio Jorge Morais Barros * Ernestine Carreira * David Alonso García * Rattan Lal

Hangloo * Srijan Sandip Mandal * Rila Mukherjee * Antoni Picazo Muntaner * J.B. Owens * Amélia Polónia * Ana Crespo Solana * Alex M. Thomas * Timothy D. Walker



List of Contents

Rila Mukherjee, Introduction- “The Many Faces of the First Global Age, c. 1400-1800”

I Situating the Agenda: The Many Systems of the First Global Age

01 J.B. Owens, ‘What kind of system is it? The DynCoopNet Project as a Tribute to Andre Gunder Frank (1929-2005)’.

02 Ana Crespo Solana, ‘Geostrategy of a System? Merchant Societies and Exchange Networks as connection centres in the Spanish Atlantic trade in the First Global Age’.

II Oceans, Routes and Ports: Systems and Networks

03 Antoni Picazo Muntaner, ‘Ports and Commercial Networks in the Indian and Pacific Ocean: Models and Flows of Capitalism’.

04 Amândio Jorge Morais Barros, “Linking the Atlantic and Asian Worlds: Porto and the Indian Trade Dynamics in the Sixteenth Century”

III Other Networks: Military, Scientific and Terrestrial

05 Ernestine Carreira, ‘The French Military Network in the service of the Portuguese in India’

06 Timothy D. Walker, ‘Stocking Colonial Pharmacies: Commerce in South Asian Indigenous Medicines from their Native Sources in the Portuguese Estado da Índia’.

07 Rattan Lal Hangloo, “Between South and Central Asia: Networks in the Himalayan Region of Ladakh”

IV Dynamic Cooperative Commercial, Financial and Cultural Networks in Europe and Asia

08 J. B. Owens, ‘Social Networks of Milanese Merchants in Sixteenth-Century Castile’.

09 David Alonso García, ‘Between Three Continents. The Fornari Networks and their Businesses at the Beginning of the First Global Age’.

10 Rila Mukherjee, “The ‘Small World’ of the Silk Merchant at Kasimbazar, India”

11 Amélia Polónia, ‘Global interactions: Representations of the East and the Far East in Portugal in the Sixteenth Century)’.

V. Systemic Theories and the Pitfalls of Comparative History Writing

12 Srijan Sandip Mandal, “A ‘World System’ Stretched? The Case of the ‘Eurasian and African World Systems’

13. Alex M. Thomas, “Networks of Production and Circulation in South Asia, 1500-1700: An Indian Ocean Perspective”


Eric Vallet

Maitre de conférences, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

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