Pre-Modern East and West

International History Research Cluster

This cluster provides a research forum that focuses on the premodern era (broadly defined as between the late medieval period and the mid-nineteenth century), in which researchers discuss their work together in a constructive, comparative environment. It provides an opportunity to bring together the department’s considerable range of regional and thematic specialisms across this period, with an emphasis on encounters and exchange as a means to explore the significance of this period in global terms. While Europe necessarily remains an important presence in this discussion because of its growing presence on a global stage in the premodern era, the cluster also serves to complicate and de-centre the preeminence of Europe by focussing on other autonomous developments, as in the Islamic heartlands and Qing China.

Spokesperson: Professor Marc David Baer

Keywords: Global history, world history, empire, maritime, circulation, network, space, religion, Asia, Islamic, Europe, conversion, imperialism, violence, slavery, emancipation, revolution

Faculty Members

Professor Marc David Baer

Professor Marc David Baer
Professor of International History

Research interests:
Early Modern and Modern Europe and Middle East; Ottoman Empire,Turkey; Germany


Dr Paul Keenan
Assistant Professor

Research interests:
Cultural History of 18th-Century Russia

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po
Associate Professor

Research interests:
History of China; Maritime Studies; History of Cartography; Frontier Studies; Global History


Dr Gagan D. S. Sood
Associate Professor

Research interests:
The Mughal, Safavid and Ottoman Empires; Early Modern Globalisation; Transition to Colonialism in the Middle East and South Asia


Dr Paul Stock
Associate Professor

Research interests:
Intellectual and Cultural History; Long Eighteenth Century; Britain; Idea of Europe; Spatial History; History of Cartography; Travel and Tourism

PhD Students


28 October 2021: Professor Marc David Baer (LSE International History) and Dr Dina Gusejnova (LSE International History) - Book Launch: The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars, and Caliphs

21 November 2019: Dr Paul Stock - Book Launch: Europe and the British Geographical Imagination, 1760-1830

21 March 2019, Professor Jeffrey Auerbach (California State University, Northridge), Imperial Boredom: Monotony and the British Empire

22 November 2018: Dr Ronald C. Po's book launch: The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire


22 November 2018, Gagan D. S. Sood, "Knowledge in the Art of Governance: The Mughal and Ottoman Empires in the Early Seventeenth Century

18 January 2018, Jeppe Mulich: "In a Sea of Empires: Networks and Crossings in the Revolutionary Caribbean".

8 March 2018, Ronald C. Po:  "The Nineteenth Century Camphor War".

Selected publications

Research grants

Dr Ronald C. Po, 2020: STICERD Grant

A STICERD grant was awarded for Dr Po's book project entitled “The North China Sea: A History”. The project will be the first comprehensive study to weave together the long-forgotten North China Sea into a more productive and enduring dialogue with Chinese, Asian, and global history. Dr Po aims to reconnect this sea space to the broader historical spectrum, and to bring it out of almost a century of solitude.
Read more about STICERD Research grants for LSE Staff.

Professor Marc David Baer, 2018-19: Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship Award

This award will allow Professor Baer, a scholar of the connected histories of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Europe and Middle East, from the early modern era to the modern, to complete his work on the project “Guided by Goethe: German-Jewish Gay Muslim Writer Hugo Marcus, 1880-1966”. German Jew Hugo Marcus (1880-1966) is the only man to have played an important role in the world’s first gay rights movement and in establishing Islam in Europe. His life and work shed new light on the history of Islam in Europe, Muslim-Jewish relations, and the gay rights struggle. Despite his significance, Marcus is relatively unknown. What is published about him does not incorporate his being German, Jewish, Muslim, and gay. Professor Baer plans to utilise his twelve-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write the first biography of Marcus, based on his German-language publications, speeches, private correspondence, and personal documents.

Dr Ronald C. Po, 2017: LSE Santander Travel Research Fund

Dr Po was awarded a LSE Santander Travel Research Fund in December 2016 to visit universities in Hong Kong and South Korea, from late June to July 2017, where he gave talks and seminars. He also conducted archival research to develop his new project, entitled “A Global History of Camphor: From an Oleoresin to a Commodity", and attend two international conferences, namely the AAS-in-Asia Conference (in Seoul) and the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) in Chingmai. Both highly regarded in the field of Asian studies.