Social Science Baha
Official

Nepali History as World History

20 June, 2007

Bernardo A. Michael
on
Nepali History as World History

World history seeks to understand the rich historical interconnections that have bound together human societies into webs of exchanges. World historians have studied the flows of humans, ideas, objects, and diseases over time and space in ways that have allowed them to connect localities, regions, historiographies, and disciplines. Such an approach offers new possibilities for the study of Nepali history. A world history approach suggests that the study of Nepal’s history might not provide a case for historical exceptionalism. Rather insights derived from the study of Nepali history might speak to wider issues, debates, and theoretical concerns that animate scholarship in other parts of the world. In this connection, historical evidence from the Anglo-Gorkha frontier concerning the organisation of territory can speak to wider ongoing debates in cultural geography and the history of cartography. For instance, this evidence helps us generate new historically grounded explanations about the production of space or territory. It also allows us to write thicker descriptions of the history of cartography that transcends the traditional accounts of surveying institutions and the representational effects of mapmaking.

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After receiving his BA and MA degrees from Delhi University, Bernardo Michael taught high school in the Far-Western Region of Nepal from 1987 to 1994. He went to the University of Hawaii-Manoa for graduate work and completed a dissertation titled ‘Separating the Yam from the Boulder: Statemaking, Space, and the Causes of the Anglo-Gorkha War of 1814-1816’. He is currently an Assistant Professor of History and Director of Center for Public Humanities at Messiah College, Pennsylvania, USA.