Joseph Hodge Roundtable

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

Joseph Morgan Hodge’s two-part historiographical review of the literature on development, published in two recent issues of Humanity, is an extensive study of the historical study of development over the last twenty-five years. His essays (available here and here) offer one of the most comprehensive historiographic overviews of the history of development available, and are likely to anchor much of the discussion of the history of development in coming years. Humanity has invited a number of scholars to comment on Joseph Hodge’s essays. This roundtable discussion examines important questions raised by Hodge’s articles and explores the historical study of development more broadly.

CONTENTS

Adding Environment to the Picture

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. Joe Hodge has done a great service with this insightful article. A good review should summarize, analyze, and situate existing literature but also point to new roads to walk down. This piece does exactly that. I find two of Hodge’s main points particularly important. The first is that “a more Read More »

Comment on Joseph Hodge, On the Historiography of Development (Part I and II)

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. In comparatively little time, the history of development has become a highly popular and equally populated subject of scholarly research. It is characterized by lively debates and a high number of publications of all genres, and it might well be considered one of the most productive fields of research in Read More »

A Comment on Professor Hodge’s Articles

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. This is a very ambitious article in terms of themes, historical periods, world regions, and types of writings. Its overall theme is development, an extremely broad idea. (So far as I know, Hodge never defines it explicitly in abstract terms, although it appears he means by it progress in nation-states.) Read More »

The Stages of Development’s History?

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. I will admit surprise when asked to comment on a historiographical essay. These essays an interesting position in academic circles and do not usually rate debate. If we are frank, in the hierarchies we build in the historical profession they are not granted the esteem of articles grounded in primary Read More »

On Writing the Historiography of Development

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. In early 2002, amid the growing optimism surrounding the United States’ Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, I heard on the radio an U.S. official claim that the United States’ nation-building efforts should strive to transform Kabul into Zurich. The statement struck me as preposterous and perplexing. How would the United Read More »

Global and Usable Histories of Development

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. My sincere thanks to Dr. Hodge for producing this remarkable review essay. It brilliantly captures the simultaneous appeal and challenge of exploring the history of development. As Hodge shows, development has embodied both disruption and creativity, engaging a wide range of historical actors in both aspects of the work within Read More »

Commentary on the Essay of Joseph Hodge

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. Joseph Hodge offers us a richly detailed analysis of the making of a new academic subfield, anthropological and historical studies of development. Students will be mining his footnotes for years to come, and they will appreciate the intelligent—and sometimes severe—critiques he presents of the literature whose influence he has made Read More »

Response to the Commentators, Part One

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. I would like begin by expressing my gratitude to the Humanity editorial collective, and especially to Nils Gilman and Sam Moyn, for providing me with the opportunity to publish these two pieces. I would also like to thank the commentators – Tom Robertson, Corinna Unger, Robert Packenham, David Ekbladh, Steve Read More »

Response to the Commentators, Part Two

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. Once again let me express my gratitude to the commentators, most of who appear to agree with the overall argument, analysis and historiographical arc I have sketched out in these essays. That said, as previously noted, several contributors also see the need to reflect more deeply about the study of Read More »

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