Global Inequality: a Divided History - GHCC 10th Anniversary Conference

University of Warwick
Global History and Culture Centre, University of Warwick
19.04.2017 - 21.04.2017
Amy Evans

Inequality has been at the centre of much debate in recent years. A fast growing literature on inequality has revealed a strong correlation between differences in wealth and globalizing forces. One important contribution to this debate has been Piketty’s book which provides an arena for the discussion of economic inequality as measured through differences in wealth and income within and between nations, and paints a historical analysis stretching back to the early nineteenth century. But inequality goes beyond the economic and it has a longer history: technology, education, gender, environment, ethnicity, health, labour and migration also have divided histories of inequality which begin in the early modern period and fully emerge in the eighteenth century.

This conference aims to bring together experts from history, sociology, politics, anthropology, and other social sciences and humanities disciplines. While the discussion will be informed by today’s debates over the subject, the overall aim of the conference is to investigate inequality from a historical perspective and consider in particular the period from the eighteenth century to the present. We embrace a definition of inequality that is understood in terms of economics, education, gender, ethnicity, health, access to resources, the environment, economic and socio-political rights, etc.


Wednesday 19 April

14.00-15.00. Introduction and Plenary Speaker

Francisco Bethencourt (King's College London), The Impact of Colonialism on World Inequality

15.00-16.30. Session 1. Deep and Global Histories of Inequality

Darrin M. McMahon (Dartmouth College), The Deep History of Inequality

Kaveh Yazdani (University of Witwatesrand), India, Modernity and the Great Divergence

Christian Olaf Christiansen (Aarhus University), Amartya Sen's Critique of Global Inequality:a Historical Contextualization

16.30-17.00. Coffee Break

17.00-18.30. Panel 1. Economic Inequality in a Global and Comparative Perspective

Chair: Pat Hudson (University of Cardiff). Speakers: Pat Manning (Pittsburgh University); Pedro Ramos Pinto (University of Cambridge) and David Washbrook (University of Cambridge)

Thursday 20 April

9.00-10.00. Session 2. Poverty, Development and Economic Inequality

Jennifer R. Cash (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology), Hunger or Human Rights? European Perceptions of Poverty as a Social Problem

Pedro Ponte e Sousa (New University of Lisbon), Development Cooperation and Portuguese Foreign Policy: Values, Interests and Practice

10.00-10.15. Coffee

10.15-11.10. Plenary Speaker

Isabel Hofmeyr (University of Witwatersrand), Imperial Shambles: Intellectual Property and Inequality - An Attempt at a Global History

11.10-12.10. Panel 2. Inequality and Socio-Economic Rights

Chair: Charles Walton (University of Warwick). Speakers: David James (University of Warwick), and Mark Philp (University of Warwick).

12.10-13.15. Lunch

13.15-14.45. Session 3. Gender, Migration and Education

Yue Teng (University of Trento and University of Florence), Educational Inequality at Regional Level and Its Determinants: the Evidence of Latin America in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

Paul Kramer (Vanderbilt University), The Geopolitics of Mobility: Migration, Inequality and Global History"

14.45-15.15. Coffee.

15.15-16.10. Plenary Speaker

Wayne Modest (Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden), Ethnographic Museums in an Unequal World

16.10-17.10. Panel 3. The Poverty Research Network: Poverty & Governmentality, the past and future of inequality

Chair: Julia McClure (University of Warwick). Speakers: Kathleen Vongsathorn (University of Warwick) and Jose Bento da Silva (University of Warwick).

17.10-18.00. Plenary Speaker

Andrea Muehlebach (University of Toronto), The Price of Austerity

Friday 21 April

9.00-10.00. Session 4. Inequality and Disability

Paul van Trigt (Leiden University), Which Inequality? The Neglect of the Concept Socio-economic Inequality in the United Nations' Observances Dedicated to Disabled People

Anna Derksen (Leiden University), 'Full Participation and Equality'? Disabled Persons in the Swedish Welfare Society and International Development Projects

10.00-11.00. Panel 4. Inequality and the Meaning of Human Nature

Chair: Claudia Stein (University of Warwick). Speakers: TBC

11.00-11.30. Coffee

11.30-12.30. Plenary Speaker

Lily H M Ling (The New School, New York), Ontological Parity with the West: Lessons from Asia for the Twenty-First Century

12.30-13.20. Lunch

13.20-14.20. Session 5. Inequality and Social Order

Andreas Exenberger (University of Innsbruck), Inequality, Extraction and Social Order

Eric L. Palladini (Independent Scholar), Time, Institutions, and the Subaltern in Latin American Economic History

14.20-15.15. Plenary Speaker

Dilip Menon (University of Witwatersrand), Is Hierarchy the Same as Inequality? Thinking through Louis Dumont

15.15-15.45. Coffee

15.45-16.45. Session 6. Labour and Work

Aneta Tyc, The Linkage Between Labour Standards and International Trade: How to Offset the Global Inequality?

Annapurna Mamidipudi (University of Maastricht), Telling Colour by Smell, Memory and Song: the Revival of Indigo Dyeing in South India

16.45-17.00. Conclusion


Prof Giorgio Riello
Director of Global History and Culture Centre, Department of History, University of Warwick

Mrs Amy Evans
Secretary for Global History and Culture Centre, Department of History, University of Warwick
Contact Email:

Global Inequality: a Divided History - GHCC 10th Anniversary Conference, 19.04.2017 – 21.04.2017 Coventry, in: Connections. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists, 18.03.2017, <>.