Shana J. Brown and Kieko Matteson of the Department of History at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa honor Jerry Bentley in the following 10-year remembrance published in Journal of World History Volume 33, Number 4:
Founding editor of the Journal of World History Jerry Bentley, who passed away a decade ago at far too young an age, left an indelible legacy in the field of World History. Co-author of a highly popular world history textbook, Traditions and Encounters (written with Herbert F. Ziegler and published by McGraw-Hill, now in its seventh edition), Jerry wrote convincingly of how history from a global perspective could advance human understanding by highlighting the dynamism of cross-cultural interactions and demonstrating the mutual influence of world societies in shaping processes of historical change.
Trained at the University of Minnesota as a specialist in the history of Early Modern Europe, Jerry authored two fine monographs on Renaissance scholarship and statecraft before finding his calling in the then-emerging field of World History. Jerry shifted gears when asked to teach the University of Hawai‘i’s introductory survey course in World Civilization, as it was then titled. He accepted the assignment with aplomb, bringing a Renaissance humanist’s understanding of text, context, and sociopolitical relations to bear as he worked to wrangle what had been a largely chronologically framed narrative into a compelling thematic interpretation of the intersections and interdependence of human societies over time. Seeking to improve the available curriculum and teaching texts, Jerry reached out to friends and colleagues who found themselves similarly eager to expand beyond nation-state frameworks. Together, they founded the World History Association in 1982 to facilitate dialogue about World History pedagogy, foster scholarship, and stimulate the development of methodological frameworks for the emerging sub-discipline. As part of the association, Jerry inaugurated the Journal of World History in 1990 with a view towards publishing “articles on comparative and cross-cultural themes,” that would focus on multiple cultural regions; analyses of encounters between peoples of different regions; studies in the historiography and methodology of world history; and reflections on conceptualization and periodization.
More from or about Jerry Bentley:
Volume 16, Number 1 (2005)
Myths, Wagers, and Some Moral Implications of World History
Jerry H. Bentley
Volume 9, Number 2 (1998)
Hemispheric Integration, 500-1500 C.E.
Jerry H. Bentley
Volume 23, Number 3 (2012)
In Memoriam: Jerry H. Bentley: (December 9, 1949–July 15, 2012)
Journal of World History
Volume 25, Number 4, (2014)
Special Issue in Honor of Jerry H. Bentley
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