Global History of Empires
International PhD programme in partnership with
Higher School of Economics
(St. Petersburg and Moscow)
The PhD programme Global History of Empires is designed to provide a suitable scientific and professional qualification for research in early modern and modern history, with particular attention to its global dimension. It offers an interdisciplinary degree for students who desire to study global issues such as conflict, migration, human rights, governance, environment, energy, technology, sustainable development and the challenges these issues present for lasting peace, equality and prosperity. The PhD programme is based on the assumption that empires did not belong exclusively to the past, and that they left their imprint on the contemporary world in a variety of ways that we often fail to appreciate. Its aim is to enrich the understanding of the historical origins of the complex mosaic of institutions, practices, habits of thought and organization that make up the modern world.
The consortium will include faculty and research teams that are specifically poised to address the key questions in the study of the global history of empires: the historical dynamics of imperial transformations and post-imperial political and cultural orders, the global entanglements between imperial formations, the role of peripheral, emulative, and rival imperialisms in the global dynamics of empire, and de-colonization in early modern and modern history.
With the help of a broad range of new methodologies for studying empires, such as the connected history or the post-colonial studies, the PhD programme fosters research with a focus on:
the global dimension, conceived as a way to go beyond national histories and uncover the entanglements between spaces, regions, and rival universalisms;
the early modern and modern historical dynamics of imperial expansion, decline, transformations and de-colonization;
the beyond-Europe perspective and a revision of the taxonomy based on the First World and the Third World with the help of perspectives from peripheral and rival universalisms;
a cross-disciplinary research interacting with the humanities, the social sciences and the history of science and knowledge production.
Thematic focus will include intellectual construction of empires, subjecthood and citizenship in imperial and post-colonial settings, gender, trajectories of transition from empire to post-imperial orders, European studies and the perspective on Europe from outside, history of migrations and diaspora, legal pluralism in comparative perspective.
Through the skills and knowledge acquired, the PhD graduates will be able to successfully take a path towards academic research as well as teach in the historical disciplines at both a university and secondary school level. Furthermore, the methodological and critical training in history and the social sciences, as well as the strong international dimension, provide a background that can be applied within other professional areas (research institutions, publishing houses, libraries, museums, cultural institutions and foundations, international, regional and national organisations).
Teaching activities will be organized in three main strands:
Individual tutorship: each PhD student will be supervised by one tutor, who will work in collaboration with the other members of the PhD committee. Supervision is aimed at providing the adequate analytical tools to carry out the research and to write the final dissertation. It will be focused both on research methodologies and the use of interdisciplinary perspectives. As part of their training, PhD students will be required to present their research during workshops and seminars organized in cooperation with other universities and/or research institutions.
Interdisciplinary training: the PhD program will organize seminars and workshops in which the PhD students will get in touch with different methodologies and fields of enquiry. This strand is aimed at developing analytical tools needed to study history, politics and cultures in a global perspective. Thanks to these activities, PhD students will be able to develop the skills needed to situate their research in a wider interdisciplinary analytical framework.
Job-oriented training activities: this strand is aimed at providing PhD students with teaching skills, network-building capacities, and the know-how needed to write and manage successful research proposals.
The most important outcome of the PhD school will be the development of original PhD thesis in English and the communication and dissemination of their research results in broader research environments. The acquirement of some basic abilities in the field of research will be guaranteed by means of a specific training in the following fields: ability to integrate in international research networks, to publish in high-ranked scientific journals, to develop research projects for post-doc job opportunities.
In order to promote their international training, enrolled PhD students will be required to spend at least twelve months abroad. As part of their training, they will be encouraged to participate to international conferences and summer schools organized by the PhD programme, as well as by international and Italian research institutions and to organize graduate conferences on topics of common interest for groups of PhD candidates.
University of Turin: Giovanni Borgognone, Paolo Caraffini, Barbara Curli, Marco Mariano, Alberto Masoero, Federica Morelli, Umberto Morelli, Franco Motta, Pier Paolo Portinaro, Sofia Venturoli.
Higher School of Economics: Evgeny Akel’ev, Tatiana Borisova, Igor Fedyukin, Alexander Kamensky, Evgeny Khvalkov , Leonid Gorizontov, Alexander Semyonov, Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov
Other Universities: Martin Aust (Bonn University), Giuseppe Marcocci (Oxford University), Jean-Frédéric Schaub (Ehess, Paris), Edoardo Tortarolo (Università del Piemonte Orientale).
The Phd Programme can take advantage of the partnership with the Higher School of Economics and of the international network supporting it (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, University of Bonn, Oxford University). It avails competitive research funding in global history gained by the partner universities.
The programme can also take advantage of the partnership that University of Turin and HSE have established with other university institutions (University of Berlin, University of Leipzig, University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, Cornell University, Mc-Gill University, University of Laval, University of Lyon, Sciences-Po Paris, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad Tres de Febrero in Buenos Aires, Universidad San Marcos in Lima, Pontificia Universidad Católica of Peru, Universidad Nacional Autónoma of México, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Universidad de Rosario in Bogotá, Ecole de Gouvernance et d’Economie of Rabat, Pecking University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Tokyo University, Makerere University in Kampala, Saint-Joseph University in Beirut).
How to apply
Admission to Doctoral Programmes is granted through a highly selective application process, subject to international attention. The call for application is available at following link:
The PhD programme is designed as an international learning environment, promoting exchange of experiences among PhD candidates from different countries and different educational backgrounds: a special emphasis is placed in fostering the participation of international graduate students.