October 25, 2017 at 9:28 am

Dantas Co-Founds Global Urban History Project

Dr. Mariana Dantas

Dr. Mariana Dantas

In June 2017, a group of historians launched an initiative called the Global Urban History Project. The initiative seeks to “merge, expand, and formalize connections between scholars who share an interest in the field of global urban history.”

Dr. Mariana Dantas, Associate Professor of History at Ohio University, is a co-founder of the project, which since its founding has created an online directory of more than 213 members, organized panels and workshops at scholarly meetings taking place throughout the 2017-18 academic year, and has begun to produce a bibliographic resource.

Dantas’s role has its origins in an International Research Network Grant from the UK-based Arts and Humanities Research Council. She and co-investigator Emma Hart of the University of St. Andrews received approximately $48,000 to fund and organize three Global City international workshops in St. Andrews in Scotland, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and London.

The grant also supported the project’s inaugural meeting in February 2017 at Temple University in Philadelphia, where Dantas and Hart were joined by Carl Nightingale of University at Buffalo, SUNY, Michael Goebel of Freie Universität in Berlin, and Nancy Kwak of the University of California, San Diego.

“The meeting in Philadelphia allowed us to strategize our next step in promoting studies in global urban history,” Dantas recalls. “We had all been working separately toward that goal: Emma and I through our Global City network project; Michael through the Global Urban History blog that he and a colleague edit; and Carl and Nancy through their active roles in different urban history associations.” She explains how she and her colleagues “decided to combine forces and create a joint effort that would promote and facilitate academic exchange and collaborative research between scholars interested in the connection between urban and global history.”

An 1804 Grant from Ohio University played a key role in paving the way for the the project. In 2015 Dantas secured $17,599 to support, among other activities, the organization of the OHIO Global Cities, Past and Present Summer Symposium, held in July 2016. Dantas invited Carl Nightingale to give the keynote lecture and Emma Hart to present work in progress. The event helped to strengthen the group’s collaborative relationship and commitment to the study of cities, whether early modern or contemporary ones, as a way of exploring and understanding global historical processes.

As the Global Urban History Project continues to grow, its founders hope it will expand the resources it offers to students and faculty interested in pursuing work on the topic – “including students and colleagues at OHIO,” Dantas adds.

Visit the Global Urban History Project (GUHP) website for more details.

Read more about Dantas’s research and teaching interests on her History Department web page.

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