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About Patrick Manning

Patrick Manning is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of World History, Emeritus, at the University of Pittsburgh. He served from 2008 to 2015 as founding director of the World History Center, within the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Trained as a specialist in the economic history of Africa, Manning also became a specialist in world history overall. Since 2014 he has focused on theorizing human history, including the rise of language, early social evolution of households and institutions, the history of science and knowledge, and on today’s inequality, environmental destruction, and popular social movements.

Manning served as president of the American Historical Association (AHA) from 2016 to 2017 and as vice president of the AHA Teaching Division from 2004 to 2006. He was educated at the California Institute of Technology (B.S. in chemistry, 1963) and the University of Wisconsin–Madison (M.S. in history and economics, Ph.D. in history, 1969). Manning was at Northeastern University for two decades before moving to the University of Pittsburgh in 2006.

Most recently, Manning has focused on the details of early human times as linked to today’s society. He has produced new work on the creation of language, history and anthropology, the evolution of households, migration in human history, theories of networks, and theories of human evolution. He has also published new studies on emergence of the idea of civilization, the transformation of  empires and nations, the second slavery in Africa, Africa in the world economy to 1850, and African migration since 1980.

About This Site: Statement from Patrick Manning

The work featured on this site reflects my current (yet still evolving) perspective on world history. In particular, I offer expanded content in a few key areas: human history from the bottom up, governed by language and group behavior;  interdisciplinary methodology, linking many sorts of new knowledge; and the human system, linking all the networks of human society. I’ve also created a new platform, the blog Contending Voices, which debates world-historical problems in teaching and research on the history of humanity.

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