For a comprehensive list of Manning’s public lectures, see the full CV.

“Inequality: Historical and Disciplinary Approaches”

January 2017
American Historical Association Presidential Address

Most economists argue that economic growth is the answer to the crisis of economic inequality—failing to understand that more growth will only reinforce climate inequality. This presentation is a call for historians and social scientists to join together in research on socio-economic inequality and its ties to environmental degradation.


“A Synthesis of World History”

September 16, 2015
World History Center, University of Pittsburgh

In this lecture, Manning emphasizes the tension of hierarchy and quality in the expanding Human System, exploring periods from 100,000 years ago until today. The main argument is that the Human System has undergone recurring transformation for 100 millennia.

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“Language and History: Patterns of Migration through Language”

September 30, 2015
World History Center, University of Pittsburgh

This presentation explores patterns of the distribution of human languages, the processes by which languages spread, and the methods for studying language distribution. Examples center on the four main African language groups, the Eurasiatic languages, and the Amerindian languages of the Americas.

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“Population of Africa, 1650 to the present”

February 24, 2016
World History Center, University of Pittsburgh

The African population has been documented by census and survey since 1950, but it is not well understood in earlier periods. Nevertheless, the African population has averaged roughly one seventh of the global population for the last several millennia. This lecture, based especially on quantitative simulation of free and slave populations, summarizes efforts to estimate African population since 1000 CE and especially since 1650.

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