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Parallel and Interconnected Developments in the Early Modern World

April 19, 2010 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Portrait image of Andre Wink wearing a brown suit jacket and standing in front of book shelves

Monday Seminar:

André Wink

Senior Fellow (2009-2013)

History, UW-Madison


By today’s standard, early modernization does not always look like sweeping change. Yet there is growing consensus among historians that sixteenth-century developments in Europe – demographic expansion, the growth of territorial states and bureaucracies, commercialization, and religious reformations – have had significant parallels in at least some other parts of the world. Such findings put into question long-held notions of European exceptionalism and an entire literature that regarded early modernity as the product of a ‘European miracle.’ This lecture first takes stock of a new historiography that lends support to the view that early modernity is a world-wide and interconnected phenomenon. Subsequently, it will focus on the descendants of the medieval Eurasian nomads (Afghans, Turks, and Mongols) and argue that their role was critical in the transformation of the early modern world at large. To demonstrate the scope of this transformation, and to bring the human element back into world history, it will conclude by critically examining the life and career of the third Mughal emperor Akbar ( r. 1556-1605).


André Wink is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He obtained his Ph.D. in Indian history from the University of Leiden. Apart from Indian and Islamic history, his teaching and research interests also include medieval and modern world history. His most recent work includes Akbar (Oxford, 2009), two essays for the forthcoming Harvard New History of the World and Oxford Handbook of World History, as well as a history of the Afghans forthcoming in a special issue of Cracow Indological Studies (2009).


April 19, 2010
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States