Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 3, No 2 (2014)

Transnational history. What lies behind the label? Some reflections from the Early Modernist’s point of view

Bartolomé Yun Casalilla
Pablo de Olavide University, Spain


This essay presents the transnational approach to history from an early modern historian’s perspective. It starts with a short historiographical review of the recent trends in this field, showing how the transnational approach has been used predominantly in the study of contemporary history. Distancing itself from purely terminological debates, the essay discusses how the transnational approach can also be contextualized as a tool to understand pre-modern European societies or, by extension, the history of societies that do not fit the modern notion of the nation and are not organized as nation states, emphasizing the heuristic possibilities of this approach. The essay concludes by recalling some important contributions made from this perspective, even when their authors do not use the term “trans-national”.


transnational history; entangled history; methodology and approach; comparative history; nation; nation state; imagined communities; early modern history

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