Photo of a four people in African attire carrying water jugs on top of their heads, walking across a dry dirt field. Their backs are to the camera.

Browse Research by Topic

The following list comprises nine main subjects and concepts examined over the course of Patrick Manning’s career, beginning with his most recent work. 


History of Humanity, from Start to Tomorrow

These publications provide a comprehensive overview of human history, backed up by articles on major themes, including social evolution, the human system, the formation of spoken language, and today’s crises in inequality and environment.

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Methods and Questions for World History

This work explores methods and perspectives across multiple academic disciplines, with special attention to the methods for studying world history.

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World History of Science Since 1000 CE

The history of knowledge, too often neglected in world history, is explored in three collaborative volumes produced through the World History Center. They interpret translations of knowledge (1000 – 1800 CE), organization of new knowledge (1700 – 1900 CE), and the worldwide expansion of life-science knowledge (since 1940).  

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Global Historical Datasets

Global datasets are necessary to document and analyze world history. These studies discuss the techniques and complexities of building global historical datasets. They also trace the past and present work of developing, indexing, critiquing, and analyzing such datasets.

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The African Diaspora

The connections of Africans across the home continent and throughout the world created a new structure, the diaspora. These social and cultural networks preserved diversity yet sustained priorities of inclusion and equality. This worldwide African Diaspora stimulated the formation of other diasporas.

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Migration History, Modern Era and Long-Term

These essays explore how migration has been a central factor in shaping human history. Migration brought four great consequences for the earth: Pleistocene-era habitat change, Holocene-era climate stability, Medieval collisions of climate and society, and Anthropocene inequality and degradation of the environment.

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Community in Society, Culture, and Population

This body of work focuses on community dynamics in families, population, art, culture, the economy, and human knowledge. The essays emphasize distinctive community processes in order to trace their interactions and the generation of global processes.

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African Population and Slavery Since 1650

Large-scale enslavement was a great tragedy for African lives. These studies analyze the effects of enslavement on populations in Africa and overseas. While the African population stagnated and declined amid three centuries of slave trade and colonialism, recent growth has brought it back to one-seventh of global population.

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Economic and Social History of Modern Africa

These studies (produced with other scholars) document the previously neglected economic and social history of Africans. Since the 1950s, the accumulation of these works has helped to close the gap, so that African socio-economic life is now recognized for its global significance.

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