Cogut Institute for the Humanities
Center for the Study of the Early Modern World

About the Center

The Center for the Study of the Early Modern World brings together a range of expertise at Brown in different disciplines to focus on the multiple historical traditions of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe — and on potent connections between them.

The term Early Modern designates the historical period of globalization, during which sustained interaction between different regions of the world occurred as a result of exploration or conquest and colonization. Thus, transfers and exchanges of ideas, arts, technologies, and human populations between those regions are an important object of study: material and visual culture, performance, languages and literatures, systems of belief, and narratives of the past can all be viewed from diverse vantage points.

The complex legacy of the Early Modern period has shaped and continues to shape the present time. Much of the work of the center interrogates this process, bringing to prominence interconnections between the contemporary moment and a multifaceted and dynamic historical past. In September 2022 we will begin a series of lectures and events, “Early Modern World – Contemporary Connections.” The program is devoted to a range of interdisciplinary themes, but with a common agendum: to highlight, from a global and cross-disciplinary perspective, the direct and sometimes urgent relevance of early modern legacies to contemporary questions.