Andrew J. Newman
I think the period is ripe for a re-think but ‘global modernity’ may not be the only, or even the best, ‘end-point’ of that process. Do we want to postulate that ‘end-point’ in advance of this re-think and thereby risk predetermining the processes of our research so as to guarantee the answer.
That said, however, there are certain questions that might be kept in mind as one proceeds and these might include ‘internationalisation’. There were ‘global’ networks in place over this period, and before. These were not only trade and commercial networks but also ‘networks of the mind’, encompassing cross-border discourse in art and architectural, literature and even spiritual matters/religion, for example.
Are we all agreed on what constitutes ‘global modernity’? ‘Globalisation’ is not a late 20th/early 21st century phenomenon although the forms and balance of relationships that characterize its present-day configuration are certainly historically specific. Of all the centuries encompassed by the 1300 to 1900 period, are not the ‘signs’ of global modernity as we might conceive of them as relating especially to such ‘modern’ phenomena as colonialism and imperialism, in their physical and non-physical manifestations, therefore only visible from the mid- to-late 19th century?