World History and the History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

In his recent—and excellent—study of the development of world history, Navigating World History, Patrick Manning remarks on the lack of intersection between social history and world history as the two fields have developed over the last several decades.[1]

World history and the history of women, gender, and sexuality have also seen relatively few interchanges, which several women’s historians, including Bonnie Smith, Judith Zinsser, Margaret Strobel, and I, have noted in various venues.[2]

Manning does as well in Navigating World History, writing “World history, especially as a history of great states and long-distance trade, included little recognition of gender and little space for women …it remains striking that studies of women and gender roles in world history have developed so slowly and that their development has been restricted to a small number of themes.”[3]

Why might this be? In his comments about this issue, Manning suggests that the reason for this is the “well established presumption that women’s lives are acted out in the private sphere of the family rather than the public sphere of the economy and politics” and notes that one reason scholarship on colonized societies seems to be leading the way in a gendered approach to world history is that “in colonial situations, the state interferes in the working of families and social values generally.”[4]

This may indeed be a well-established presumption among world historians, whom Manning knows very well. Most historians of women, gender, and sexuality today begin with the exact opposite presumptions, however: that women’s history is not the same as the history of the family, that the state has always interfered in the working of families and social values (and continues to do so), that the boundaries between public and private are contested, variable, and shifting, and perhaps don’t really exist at all.

Manning’s statements and his thorough discussion of the field of world history inadvertently highlight what I would see as the reason for this situation: women’s/gender history and world history have both developed at the same time as, in part, revisionist interpretations arguing that the standard story needs to be made broader and much more complex; both have been viewed by those hostile or uninterested as “having an agenda.” Both have, as Judith Zinsser has commented, “had to write with the stories of men’s lives in the United States and Europe paramount in their readers’ memories.”[5]

Both have concentrated on their own lines of revision and, because there is only so much time in a day and only so many battles one can fight, have not paid enough attention to what is going on in the other. Thus neither has a very good idea of what the other has been doing over the last several decades, and each conceptualizes the other in terms that the other would find old-fashioned: world historians see women’s history as a matter of families and private life; women’s/gender historians see world history as area studies and world-systems theory.

The primary revisionary paths in world history and women’s and gender history have also been in opposite directions. In Patrick Manning’s words, “world history is the story of connections within the global human community. The world historian’s work is to portray the crossing of boundaries and the linking of systems in the human past.”[6] As David Northrup commented recently, world history has been the story of the “great convergence.”[7]

In contrast, after an initial flurry of “sisterhood is global,” women’s and gender history over the last decades have spent much more time on divergence, making categories of difference ever more complex. There was, of course, the Holy Trinity of race, class, and gender, but there was also sexual orientation, age, marital status, geographic location, and able-bodiedness. Women’s historians emphasized that every key aspect of gender relations—the relationship between the family and the state, the relationship between gender and sexuality, and so on—is historically, culturally, and class specific. Everything that looks like a dichotomy—public/private, male/ female,gay/straight, black/white—really isn’t, but should be “queered,” that is, complicated so as to problematize the artificial and constructed nature of the oppositional pair.

These differing revisionary paths have meant that most historians who identify themselves as scholars of women, gender, and sexuality thus do not think of themselves as world historians, and both leading and younger scholars who do identify as world historians do not regularly focus on women or sexuality, or include gender as a primary category of analysis. This lack of intersection is reflected in the fact that at the 2003 World History Association conference, there was only one full panel and two individual papers (out of forty panels) that focused on women, gender, or family; at the 2004 conference there were two panels and two individual papers; and at the 2005 conference two papers and no panels. At none of these conferences was there anything on sexuality. Of the eighty articles in the last five years of the Journal of World History, only three specifically examine women or gender, and none focuses on sexuality. Of the more than thirty books in the Ashgate series “An Expanding World: The European Impact on World History 1450–1800,” not one focuses on women or gender, though there is one on families. This could be because gender is so well integrated as a category of analysis that separate articles or books aren’t necessary (in other words, that the “add women and stir” stage has been vaulted over), but this is not the case.

From the other side, well over half of the paper proposals to the Berkshire Women’s History Conference in the last several years it was held (1996, 1999, 2002, 2005) focused on U.S. history, despite the fact that the 1996 Berks theme was “Complicating Categories,” the 1999 theme was “Breaking Boundaries,” and the 2002 theme was “Local Knowledge and Global Knowledge.” The 2005 Berks theme was even more pointedly global: “Sin Fronteras: Women’s Histories, Global Conversations,” but about half the proposals were still in U.S. history. Yes, the “globalization” of U.S. history has affected women’s history, and many of the papers that focused on U.S. topics considered issues such as migration, American neo-imperialism, various diasporas, ethnic identity, and transnationalism. They were still about the United States, however. Of the eighty-eight articles published in the last five years of the Journal of Women’s History, only eight are what I would term “world history” topics, though two-thirds do deal with topics outside the United States. Of the books submitted to the American Historical Association by publishers for consideration for the Joan Kelly Prize in women’s history for the last two years (about ninety books a year), about 40 percent focus on U.S. history, another 40 percent focus on Europe, and about 20 percent are about the rest of the world. Only a handful take on topics that have been at the center of world history, such as trade, cultural diffusion, or encounters between population groups.

Though some people may interpret all these numbers as intentional exclusion on the part of journal editors and conference organizers, I edit a journal and have run enough conferences to know that it more likely reflects a lack of manuscripts or papers submitted. Because conference paper submissions often come from younger scholars, including those still in graduate school, however, the prospects for the immediate future aren’t great—too much world history does not involve gender, and too much women’s and gender history focuses on the United States.

The lack of interchange between world history and social history, and between world history and women’s history, might seem to be directly related, as most stories of women’s history as a field link it with the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s and also with the rise of the New Social History in the 1960s. That latter connection is one that has not always been comfortable, however. In a recent article in the Journal of Women’s History, Joan Scott comments that “there was nothing inevitable about women’s history arising from social history. Rather, feminists argued, within the terms and against the grain of behaviorism and new left Marxism, that women were a necessary consideration for social historians. If they were omitted, key insights were lost about the ways class was constructed. While male historians celebrated the democratic impulses of the nascent working class, historians of women pointed to its gender hierarchies [and] also offered a critique of the ways in which labor historians reproduced the machismo of trade unionists. This did not always sit well, indeed feminists found themselves (and still find themselves) ghettoized at meetings of labor historians.”[8]

I remember this from a conference years ago sponsored by History Workshop Journal, which had only just changed its subtitle to “a journal of socialist and feminist historians,” but in which the two sides of that linking were still quite separate and definitely not equal.[9] That has changed; the editorial board at History Workshop Journal is now exactly gender balanced, and that of Radical History Review has slightly more women than men. (What’s going on in labor history, at least in terms of journals, has been complicated by the dispute between the editors of Labor History and its publisher, Taylor and Francis, which led to a founding of a new journal in 2004, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, edited by Leon Fink. The editorial board of the new journal is distinctly more gender-balanced than that of Labor History, however, and the phrase “men and women” does appear in its mission statement.)

Despite Scott’s sliding from one to the other, labor history and leftie history are not the same as social history, of course, though both are often seen, like women’s history, as growing out of the New Social History of the 1960s. In the last several decades, however, women’s historians have stressed that what they do is not always social history, to avoid the very presumption about the limitation of women’s lives to the private sphere of the family that Manning talks about. They assert that there is really no historical change that cannot be analyzed from a feminist perspective, and no historical change—or continuity—that did not affect the lives of women in some way. (They also assert that these two things are not the same, that is, that feminist analysis does not have to be about women.) They argue most forcefully in historical fields in which the fit seems less obvious and in which the resistance to women’s history has been greatest—intellectual history, political history, military history. This is in part because who doesn’t love a good fight? But also, I would argue, because it has been more satisfying and comfortable to take on people in such fields than those who are closer politically and intellectually. Generally when women’s historians set what they do up against “traditional” history, that “traditional” history, despite Scott’s comment, is more often the story of states and generals than that of labor unions and socialist parties.

The split between “women’s history” and “gender history” also became mixed up in this distinguishing of women’s history from social history. Afsaneh Najmabadi has recently commented that “social history was most welcoming of the former [that is, women’s history], but anxious about the latter, especially as gender became a troubled category in itself.”[10] The development of gender history occurred at the same time as the “linguistic turn” and “the new cultural history,” and in some people’s minds—both in and out of the fields—the two are related. Many women’s historians responded harshly to the linguistic turn. Wasn’t it ironic, they noted, that just as women were learning they had a history, and asserting they were part of history, “history” became just a text and “women” just a historical construct? In her wonderfully titled 1998 article in Church History, “The Lady Vanishes,” Liz Clark wrote, “Why were we told to abandon subjectivity just at the historical moment that women had begun to claim it?”[11]

In an article in the most recent issue of the Journal of Women’s History that surveys books and dissertations in U.S. women’s history 1998–2000, Gerda Lerner documents and criticizes the trend toward studying representation, culture, and discourse. She comments that “the subject of class is being massively ignored, and interest in the economic realities of women’s lives in the past seems generally to be fading.”[12] She also finds, and criticizes, a “low order of interest aroused by topics such as suffrage, women’s organizations, women’s struggles for equality under the law, and political subjects in general,” and calls for more research that “focuses on the activities, thoughts, and experiences of women,” and that also constructs theory that develops a “new paradigm for an egalitarian history of men and women as agents of history.”[13] In recent speeches, Lerner’s critique of the focus on representation has been even sharper.

The linguistic turn provoked strong reactions and led to splits within many other historical fields as well. Most recently, however, cultural history, or rather the more broadly defined “cultural studies,” has portrayed itself not as a divisive force but as a healer of all wounds, a sort of humanistic unified field theory. “Cultural studies” understands itself—at least in self-descriptions on Web sites and in essay collections—as including everything I’ve been talking about: social history, women’s history, world history, gender history. The word “social” appears in most descriptions of cultural studies programs—social theory, social construction of values, social relations—as do words that suggest (though they rarely use the word) history—contemporary and past cultures, change and continuity, present and past.

Cultural studies does not understand itself as growing out of or even linked to social history, however, and even less to anthropology. Both Colin Sparks (in the reader What Is Cultural Studies?) and Simon During (in The Cultural Studies Reader) locate the origins of cultural studies in two books of literary theory, The Uses of Literacy by Richard Hoggart and Culture and Society by Raymond Williams.[14] Sparks does note that these two represented a “shift from the aesthetic to the anthropological definition of culture,” but it was only when literary criticism shifted that a new field was born. The fact that anthropologists had had an “anthropological definition of culture” for quite some time did not seem to matter. Nor did it seem to occur to the folks at Towson State’s cultural studies program that someone, somewhere might have already been studying “aspects of everyday life in both the present and the past,” a phrase they include in their description of the program’s objects of study.[15] They do world history and women’s history, too, of course, studying “gender, sexuality, class, race and ethnicity, globalization, and national identity.” So apparently we can just stop worrying about finding connections and promoting interchange, because cultural studies has done it for us.

There are some problems with this, however, as you can imagine. Despite the sweeping (and often breathless) self-definitions, programs and readers in cultural studies tend toward the literary and the contemporary, as might be expected from programs that often grew out of the theory wing of English departments. Simon During’s introduction to The Cultural Studies Reader notes first that the field’s focus is culture, but then adds, “more particularly, the study of contemporary culture.”[16] A few historians are included in the general readers, and some course descriptions also include the same language about “contemporary and historical” that the program definitions do. But it is, not surprisingly, primarily in cultural studies materials produced by historians that there is much concern with the deep past, that is, the past before the invention of television. These materials are often specifically framed as “cultural history,” however, a reification that has both benefits and detriments; it highlights the historical nature of some studies of culture, but also implies that there is some history that is not cultural, while the definitions of cultural studies imply no such limits.

I don’t think, therefore—to use a highly gendered metaphor—that cultural studies is quite the white knight and unifier that it represents itself as being. That sentiment is shared by some of the historians and anthropologists who have been most associated with the field, yet who continue to stress its problematic nature. Lynn Hunt, for example, whose The New Cultural History was required reading in the 1990s, has more recently published Beyond the Cultural Turn.[17] The anthropologist Sherry Ortner goes even further, putting culture in quotation marks in her edited volume The Fate of “Culture.”[18] Things in quotation marks —the “Enlightenment,” Athenian or Jacksonian “democracy”—are clearly things that raise questions, not answer them or make them moot.

So if cultural studies can’t provide a unified-field theory, and most world history does not involve gender, and most women’s and gender history focuses on the United States, is there much promise of interchange? I think there is, and I would like to end with several examples of work in which I see this promise becoming reality, work that brings together world history and the history of women, gender, and sexuality. Most of these studies do not explicitly present themselves as world history, but they use concepts or investigate topics that have been extremely influential in world history: encounters, borderlands, frontiers, migration, transnational, national and regional identities, and heterogeneity.

Manning is absolutely right that studies of colonialism and postcolonialism seem to be leading the way—so much so, in fact, that we are already into revision and self-criticism in work on gender and colonialism. The Winter 2003 issue of the Journal of Women’s History was a special issue: “Revising the Experiences of Colonized Women: Beyond Binaries,” with articles on Australia, Indonesia, India, Igboland, Mozambique, and the U.S. Midwest.[19]

That issue also had a separate section on historians, sources, and historiography of women and gender in modern India that emphasized “dissolving” and “rethinking” various boundaries. It is not surprising that this section focused particularly on India, for among colonized areas, South Asia has seen the most research. Feminist historians of India, including Tanika Sarkar, Kamala Visweswaran, and Manu Goswami, have developed insightful analyses of the construction of gender and national identity in India during the colonial era and the continued, often horrific and violent, repercussions of these constructions today.[20]

Sarkar in particular highlights the role of female figures—the expected devoted mother, sometimes conceptualized as Mother India, but also the loving and sacrificing wife—in nationalist iconography. Though the theoretical framework in this scholarship is postcolonial, Sarkar and Visweswaran also take subaltern studies and much of postcolonial scholarship to task for viewing actual women largely as a type of “eternal feminine,” victimized and abject, an essentialism that denies women agency and turns gender into a historical constant, not a dynamic category.

The large number of works on India has led some scholars of colonialism to argue that Indian history has become the master subaltern narrative, and that Indian women have somehow become iconic of “gendered postcolonialism.” I was not surprised to find the cover image on a recent issue of Radical History Review, an issue titled “Two, Three, Many Worlds: Radical Methodologies for Global History,” a photograph of two Indian women, the environmentalists Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla.[21]

This choice of image makes sense given the lead article in the issue, which focuses on the aftermath of Bhopal, and given the powerful role of Indian women in global environmental movements. (Along with these two women, Vandana Shiva has become especially prominent on issues of biodiversity and the globalization of resources.) But it does reinforce the iconography.

Because it would be impossible to do justice to the many studies of South Asia, I would like to mention some excellent recent work on other parts of the world.[22] Gender and nationalism has clearly been a key area of scholarship, with edited collections and monographs.[23]

There are articles on gender and nationalism in many of the new collections on nationalism, and a special issue in 2000 of the new journal Nations and Nationalism titled “The Awkward Relationship: Gender and Nationalism.” Feminist Review, Gender and History, and Women’s Studies International Forum have all had special issues on nationalism, and there are chapters on nationalism in the new collections on global gender history, such as Bonnie Smith’s Women’s History in Global Perspective, and in Teresa Meade and my Companion to Gender History. Thus the interpenetration is going both ways, as it must: gender is making it into considerations of nationalism, and nationalism into considerations of gender.

The construction of nationalism and the imagined nature of national communities are important themes in this work, but women are viewed as important agents in that construction, and actual nations do result. Gender is also beginning to show up as a category of analysis in transnationalism, such as the new collection by Wendy Hesford and Wendy Kozol, Just Advocacy? Women’s Human Rights, Transnational Feminisms, and the Politics of Representation, and the new journal Meridians: Feminism, Race Transnationalism.[24]

The construction of gendered ethnoracial categories has been another strong area of research, including Jane Merritt’s At the Crossroads: Indians & Empires on a Mid-Atlantic Frontier, 1700–1763 and Nancy Appelbaum’s Muddied Waters: Race, Region, and Local History inColombia, 1846–1948.[25] This is also the focus of Susan Kellogg’s “Depicting Mestizaje: Gendered Images of Race in Colonial Mexican Texts” and Martha Hodes’s “The Mercurial Nature and Abiding Power of Race: A Transnational Family Story.”[26] Some of this work, and much of the scholarship on gender in colonial South Asia, is about discourse and representation—in this Gerda Lerner would not be pleased—but much of it is explicitly political, part of the burgeoning feminist work on gender and the state.

Studies that are clearly in what we usually think of as the realm of social history are fewer, but here I would highlight two articles from last year in the Journal of World History, both about North American women in Japan: Manako Ogawa’s on missionary women’s establishment of a settlement house in Tokyo right after World War I and Karen Garner’s on the World YWCA visitation to occupied Japan right after World War II.[27]

Jennifer L. Morgan’s Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery explores the way that work and reproduction both shaped the economic value, gendered identity, and day-to-day lives of African women in West Africa and the New World.[28] The ways gendered patterns of consumption shaped trade and production worldwide over very long periods emerge in Michelle Maskiell’s study of Kashmiri shawls and Maxine Berg’s analysis of European response to Asian luxury goods.[29] Several of the thematic essays in Teresa Meade and my Companion to Gender History address social history topics: labor, the family, popular religion, schooling.[30] M. J. Maynes and Anne Waltner provide suggestions of how to do comparative or global social history in several articles focusing on marriage.[31]

This brief survey is certainly not exhaustive, but even a more complete list would not be as long as it should be, and would also be skewed toward certain issues: race, political rights, slavery, representations of the “Other.” There is far less social and economic history in gendered global history than one would expect. These trends are a reflection of what has happened in history as a whole, of course; one can hardly expect a subfield that has been seen as a “fad” now for thirty years to avoid whatever is the newest trend.

But they are also a reflection, as I argued earlier, of historians of women and gender being more eager to take on what seem to be less likely fits—the Renaissance; the French, American, Haitian, and Scientific Revolutions; the Meiji Restoration—to make sure that the stories of formalized power relationships and of intellectual change do not remain stories of ungendered men. As Linda Kerber, Alice Kessler-Harris, and Kathryn Kish Sklar wrote in the introduction to U.S. History as Women’s History, the most significant task has been “to discover how gender serves to legitimize particular constructions of power and knowledge, to meld these into accepted practice and state policy.”[32]

That point still needs to be made, for gender remains what Randi Warne has called an “expertise of the margins” in global political and intellectual history, where there are huge areas that have not been analyzed at all in terms of either women or gender, to say nothing of sexuality.[33] (There are now nearly thirty books on the history of English masculinity, so won’t someone please, please do the manly Mongols?[34]) But I think that world history might provide historians of women, gender, and sexuality with an opportunity to also work on social history topics without seeming too fuddy-duddy.

Lerner’s survey of recent work in U.S. women’s history finds that books, articles, and dissertations on African American women tend to focus much more on women’s organizations and on class than does the rest of U.S. women’s history, and to be “more interested in the realities of lives of the past than they are in interpretation and representation.”[35] The first of these areas—women’s organizations—has seen many studies from a world-history perspective, as so many of those organizations had a global reach and mission. Gendered class analysis from a global perspective, however, is another matter, and one where the insights gained through investigating the intersection of gender, sexuality, and race, and the role of gender in constructions of the nation and national identity, can be fruitfully applied.

We may now be at a point where the opposite paths of world history and women’s and gender history—one toward convergence, and the other toward divergence—could be coming together. In his discussion of the emphasis on convergence in world history, David Northrup commented that this may have been an overly “cherished framework,” and that divergence now needs more attention from world historians.[36] On the other side, historians of women and gender are clearly more willing to pay particular attention to instances of encounter and convergence, as is clear from the exploding amount of scholarship on gender and empire. Increased interchange between world history and the history of women, gender, and sexuality can help develop what we might choose to call the “new, new social history.”

This would not be the breathlessly totalizing unified field theory that cultural studies presents itself as (what the physicist Michio Katu has called “an equation an inch long that would allow us to read the mind of God”), but one that builds on the strengths of many subfields: the tradition of collaborative and collective work in radical and feminist history; the emphasis on interaction, exchange, and connection from world history; the focus on the agency of everyday people from the “old” new social history; the attention to hegemony, hierarchy, and essentialism from queer theory, critical race theory, and postcolonial theory; the stress on difference and on intersections between multiple categories of analysis from women’s history.

These are all lines of interchange that offer much, much promise. “Gender” and “global” are two lenses that have been used, largely separately, to re-vision history in the last several decades. Putting them together allows us to create both telescopes and microscopes, to see further and find new things we’ve never seen before, and to see very familiar things in completely new ways.


I presented this paper in January 2005 and revised it over the following year. As it was going into press, the 2006 World History Association conference was held at California State University at Long Beach. At that conference, there were three entire sessions devoted to issues of gender and/or sexuality, and several additional individual papers; one of the sessions was specifically organized to look at “confluences” of gender and world history.

Papers included analyses of brand-new topics and new approaches to familiar topics, some from areas of concern to social historians, such as the family and work, and others from cultural history, such as gendered constructions of imperial encounters. It is clear that the creative interchange between gender history and world history I call for here has already begun, and to that, I say huzzah! Fabuloso! Wunderbar! Ihmeellinen! Odorokubeki! Csodás! Ajabu!


1 Patrick Manning, Navigating World History: Historians Create a Global Past (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

2 Judith P. Zinsser, “And Now for Something Completely Different: Gendering the World History Survey,” in The New World History: A Teacher’s Companion, ed. Ross E. Dunn (Boston: Bedford, 1999), pp. 476–478, and “Women’s History, World History, and the Construction of New Narratives,” Journal of Women’s History 12, no. 3 (2000): 196–206; Bonnie Smith, “Introduction,” in Women’s History in Global Perspective Vol. 1, ed. Bonnie Smith (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004), pp. 1–8; Merry Wiesner-Hanks, “Women’s History and World History Courses,” Radical History Review 91 (Winter 2005): 133–150; and Margaret Strobel and Marjorie Bingham, “The Theory and Practice of Women’s History and Gender History in Global Perspective,” in Smith, Women’s History, pp. 9–47.

3 Manning, Navigating World History, pp. 208, 210.

4 Ibid., p. 210.

5 Zinsser, “Women’s History,” p. 197.

6 Manning, Navigating World History, p. 3.

7 David Northrup, “Globalization and the Great Convergence: Rethinking World History in the Long Term,” Journal of World History 16 (2005): 249–268.

8 Joan Scott, “Feminism’s History,” Journal of Women’s History 16, no. 2 (2004): 10–29. With responses by Afsaneh Najmabadi, “From Supplementarity to Parasitism,” and Evelynn M. Hammonds, “Power and Politics in Feminism’s History—and Future.”

9 That conference, held in 1983, was titled “Religion and Society” and organized by Raphael Samuel, James Obelkevich, and Lyndal Roper, who subsequently edited a conference volume, Disciplines of Faith: Religion, Patriarchy and Politics (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987). The conference ended with a session on “Women and Christianity Today,” which the conference organizers note in the book introduction “released a great deal of anger.” This is a very understated description of a scene I will never forget, with people shouting and standing on chairs, those in the back of the room calling for the heads of those who thought that the topic of the session could be discussed in a dispassionate way, and those in the front just as fervently arguing that it had to be.

10 Najmabadi, “From Supplementarity,” p. 32.

11 Elizabeth A. Clark, “The Lady Vanishes: Dilemmas of a Feminist Historian after the ‘Linguistic Turn,'” Church History 67 (1998): 3. Clark also has a book-length consideration of the linguistic turn, History, Theory, Text: Historians and the Linguistic Turn (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004).

12 Gerda Lerner, “U.S. Women’s History: Past, Present and Future,” Journal of Women’s History 16, no. 4 (2004): 10–27, with responses by Kimberly Springer, Kathi Kern, Jennifer M. Spear, and Leslie Alexander. The quotation is on p. 21.

13 Ibid., pp. 22, 24–25.

14 Colin Sparks, “The Evolution of Cultural Studies,” in What Is Cultural Studies? A Reader, ed. John Storey (London: Arnold, 1996), pp. 14–30; Simon During, The Cultural Studies Reader (London: Routledge, 1999); Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1991); and Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780–1950 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983).


16 During, Cultural Studies Reader, p. 1.

17 Lynn Hunt, ed., The New Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989) and (with Victoria Bonnell) Beyond the Cultural Turn (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

18 Sherry Ortner, ed., The Fate of “Culture”: Geertz and Beyond (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

19 Claire C. Robertson and Nupur Chaudhuri, eds., “Revising the Experiences of Colonized Women: Beyond Binaries,” special issue, Journal of Women’s History 14, no. 4 (Winter 2003).

20 Tanika Sarkar, Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation: Community, Religion and Cultural Nationalism (New Delhi: Permanent Black; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001) and “Semiotics of Terror: Muslim Children and Women in Hindu Rashtra,” Economic and Political Weekly, 13 July 2002, pp. 2872–2876; Manu Goswami, Producing India: From Colonial Economy to National Space (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004); and Kamela Visweswaran, “Small Speeches, Subaltern Gender: Nationalist Ideology and Its Historiography,” in Subaltern Studies IX: Writings on South Asian History and Society, ed. Shahid Amin and Dipesh Chakrabarty (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 83–125. For more reading on gender and colonialism, see Temma Kaplan, “Revolution, Nationalism, and Anti-Imperialism,” in A Companion to Gender History, ed. Teresa A. Meade and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks (London: Blackwell, 2004), pp. 170–185; and Mrinalini Sinha, “Gender and Nation” in Smith, Women’s History, pp. 229–274.

21 Duane J. Corpis and Ian Christopher Fletcher, eds., “Two, Three, Many Worlds: Radical Methodologies for Global History,” special issue, Radical History Review 91 (Winter 2005).

22 For surveys of recent work on South Asia, see Barbara Ramusack, Geraldine Forbes, Sanjam Ahluwalia, and Antoinette Burton, “Women and Gender in Modern India: Historians, Sources, and Historiography,” Journal of Women’s History 14, no. 4 (2003); Nupur Chaudhuri, “Clash of Cultures: Gender and Colonialism in South and Southeast Asia”; and Barbara Molony, “Frameworks of Gender: Feminism and Nationalism in Twentieth-Century Asia,” in Meade and Wiesner-Hanks, Companion, pp. 430–444 and 513–539.

23 See, e.g., Ida Blom, Karen Hagemann, and Catherine Hall, eds., Gendered Nations: Nationalisms and Gender Order in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford International, 2000); Caren Kaplan, Norma Alarcon, and Minoo Moallem, eds., Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the State (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999); Social Text Collective (Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti, Ella Shohat), eds., Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997); Nira Yuval-Davis, Gender and Nation (London: Sage Publications, 1997); and Elizabeth Thompson, Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege, and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000).

24 Wendy Hesford and Wendy Kozol, eds., Just Advocacy? Women’s Human Rights, Transnational Feminisms, and the Politics of Representation (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005).

25 Nancy Appelbaum, Muddied Waters: Race, Region, and Local History in Colombia, 1846–1948 (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2003); and Jane Merritt, At the Crossroads: Indians & Empires on a Mid-Atlantic Frontier, 1700–1763 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

26 Susan Kellogg, “Depicting Mestizaje: Gendered Images of Race in Colonial Mexican Texts,” Journal of Women’s History 12, no. 3 (2000): 69–92; and Martha Hodes “The Mercurial Nature and Abiding Power of Race: A Transnational Family Story,” American Historical Review 108, no. 1 (2003): 84–118.

27 Karen Garner, “Global Feminism and Postwar Reconstruction: The World YWCA Visitation to Occupied Japan, 1947,” Journal of World History 15 (2004): 191–228; and Manako Ogawa, “‘Hull-House’ in Downtown Tokyo: The Transplantation of a Settlement House from the United States into Japan and the North American Missionary Women, 1919–1945,” Journal of World History 15 (2004): 359–388.

28 Jennifer L. Morgan, Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004).

29 Michelle Maskiell, “Consuming Kashmir: Shawls and Empires, 1500–2000,” Journal of World History 13 (2002): 27–66; and Maxine Berg, “In Pursuit of Luxury: Global History and British Consumer Goods in the Eighteenth Century,” Past and Present 182 (2004): 85–142.

30 Meade and Wiesner-Hanks, Companion.

31 Mary Jo Maynes and Anne B. Waltner, “Women’s Life Cycle Transitions in a World-Historical Perspective: Comparing Marriage in China and Europe,” Journal of Women’s History 12, no. 4 (2001): 11–21, and “Family History as World History,” in Smith, Women’s History, pp. 48–91.

32 Linda Kerber, Alice Kessler-Harris, and Kathryn Kish Sklar, eds., U.S. History as Women’s History (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), p. 7.

33 Randi Warne, “Making the Gender-Critical Turn,” in Secular Theories on Religion: Current Perspectives, ed. Tim Jensen and Mikhail Rothstein (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2000), pp. 249–260.

34 In the oral presentation of this paper, I estimated that there were more than ten such studies, and then I decided to count them, which almost tripled my estimate. Many of these have a world history angle, but their primary focus is on British men. They include J.A.Mangan and James Walvin, Middle-Class Masculinity in Britain and America, 1800–1940 (New York: St. Martin’s, 1987); Ronald Hyam, Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990); Michael Roper and John Tosh, eds., Manful Assertions: Masculinities in Britain since 1800 (London: Routledge, 1991); Michael Roper, Masculinity and the British Organization Man Since 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994); David Buchbinder, Masculinities and Identities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1994); Donald Hall, Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Graham Dawson, Soldier Heroes: British Adventure, Empire, and the Imaging of Masculinity (London: Routledge, 1994); James Eli Adams, Dandies and Desert Saints: Styles of Victorian Masculinity (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell, 1995); Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (London: Routledge, 1995); Mrinalini Sinha, Colonial Masculinity: The “Manly Englishman” and the “Effeminate Bengali” in the Late Nineteenth Century (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995); Joanna Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain, and the Great War (London: Reaktion Books, 1996); Mark Breitenberg and Stephen Orgel, eds., Anxious Masculinity in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Michele Cohen, Fashioning Masculinity: National Identity and Language in the Eighteenth Century (London: Routledge, 1996); Jonathan Rutherford, Forever England: Reflections on Race, Masculinity and Empire (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1997); Revathi Krishnaswamy, Effeminism: The Economy of Colonial Desire (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998); David Alderson, Mansex Fine: Religion, Manliness and Imperialism in Nineteenth-Century British Culture (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998); Tim Hitchcock and Michele Cohen, English Masculinities, 1660–1800 (London: Addison Wesley, 1999); John Tosh, A Man’s Place: Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999); Angus McLaren, The Trials of Masculinity: Policing Sexual Boundaries, 1870–1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); Elizabeth Foyster Wiley, Manhood in Early Modern England: Honour, Sex and Marriage (London: Longman, 1999); Susan Kingsley Kent, Gender and Power in Britain, 1640–1990 (London: Routledge, 1999); Andrew Bradstock, ed., Masculinity and Spirituality in Victorian Culture (New York: St. Martin’s, 2001); Michael Mangan, Staging Masculinities: History, Gender, Performance (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); David Kuchta, The Three-Piece Suit and Modern Masculinity: England, 1550–1850 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002); Alexandra Shepard, Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); Kelly Boyd, Manliness and the Boys’ Story Paper in Britain: A Cultural History 1855–1940 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); Matthew Biberman, Masculinity, Anti-Semitism and Early Modern English Literature: From the Satanic to the Effeminate Jew (London: Ashgate, 2004); Thomas A. King, The Gendering of Men, 1600–1750: The English Phallus (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004); Paul R. Deslandes, Oxbridge Men: British Masculinity and the Undergraduate Experience, 1850–1920 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004); and John Tosh, Manliness and Masculinities in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Essays on Gender, Family, and Empire (Harlow, England: Pearson Longman, 2005). This list is probably not exhaustive, and it does not include studies of masculinity in literature, which would add at least another thirty.

35 Lerner, “U.S. Women’s History,” p. 19.

36 Northrup, “Globalization.”