3 Jul 2023 - 4 Jul 2023 9:00 - 18:00 Bradfield Room, Darwin College, Silver Street Cambridge CB3 9EU


‘Recasting the political: perspectives from deep history’ is a two-day conference held in person at Darwin College, University of Cambridge, UK.

Please note that places are limited.

This conference brings together historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists, political theorists, and global studies and international relations scholars to showcase and discuss the merits and challenges of adopting a deep historical perspective on the political, and what contribution a deeper historicisation of power, domination, inequality, order, hierarchy, community, security, or rule can make to our empirical and conceptual understanding of the political sphere of human existence, beyond—or against—the established canon of political theory/philosophy.

As deep history transcends the boundaries, methods, and scales of traditional ‘history’ and invites us to examine the transformation of political forms in relation to wider life-processes evolving in deep time, the discussion will also assess how deep history might help us illuminate—and potentially transform—the politics of the Anthropocenic present and future.


  • Barry Buzan (London School of Economics)
  • Yale Ferguson (Rutgers University)
  • Barry K. Gills (University of Helsinki)
  • Håkon Glørstad (Museum of Cultural History, Oslo)
  • Inanna Hamati-Ataya (University of Cambridge)
  • Jaakko Heiskanen (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Martin Jones (University of Cambridge)
  • Maarten Meijer (University of Groningen)
  • Jan Nederveen Pieterse (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Iver B. Neumann (Fridtjof Nansen Institute)
  • Nicholas G. Onuf (Florida International University)
  • Amanda Rees (University of York)
  • Susan Sherratt (University of Sheffield)
  • Daniel Lord Smail (Harvard University)
  • Fred Spier (University of Amsterdam)
  • Ayşe Zarakol (University of Cambridge)

gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.


Monday 3 July


9:30 - 10:00



10:00 - 10:30

Welcome& Introduction
Inanna Hamati-Ataya

10:30 - 11:30

Martin Jones
‘Epochs, Time and Timescales: Archaeological Reflections on 50 Years of Deep History Writing’

11:30 - 12:30

Amanda Rees
‘From Aberystwyth with Love: Peripheries, Prehistories and Political Paradigms’

12:30 - 14:00



14:00 - 15:00

Susan Sherratt
‘Varying Uses and Abuses of the Past (and Past Objects) in the Past’

15:00 - 16:00

Fred Spier
‘How Did Humanity Get Itself into Its Current Ecological Predicament?’

16:00 - 16:15

Coffee & Tea Break


16:15 - 17:30

General Discussion:
Conceptual & Methodological Challenges/Insights

Tuesday 4 July


9:00 - 9:15



9:15 - 10:15

Iver Neumann & Håkon Glørstad
‘The Emergence of a European Inter-Polity System: The Case for 3000 BCE-1800 BCE’

10:15 - 11:15

Inanna Hamati-Ataya
‘The ‘Global Condition’ in Deep Time: Big Anthropology and the Promise of Scientific Humanism’


Coffee & Tea Break



Barry Buzan
‘Reframing the Macro-Periodisation of Human History: Eras and Transitions’

12:30 - 14:00



14:00 - 15:00

Jan Nederveen Pieterse
‘Great Powers and the World Majority’

15:00 - 16:15

Roundtable 1
Daniel Smail, Ayşe Zarakol, Maarten Meijer

16:15 - 16:30

Coffee & Tea Break


16:30 - 17:45

Roundtable 2
Nicholas Onuf, Jaakko Heiskanen, Yale Ferguson

17:45 - 18:00

Inanna Hamati-Ataya

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk