Course

Global History Lab


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Learn the span of world history from 1300 to the present.

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In this global history course, you will learn not just by reading and watching lectures, but also by analyzing historical documents and applying your knowledge. The core of this course is a series of weekly lab assignments in which you and your fellow students will work in teams to use historical knowledge from the course to solve problems and develop new connections and interpretations of primary historical materials.

The course begins in 1300 AD at the height of the Silk Road, the triumphs of the Mongol Empire, and the spread of one of the most devastating contagions of all time, the Black Death. It examines the emergence of an international system of competitive empires and its effect on trade and exchange. We look at the Age of Revolution, and discuss industrialization during the 1800s. The course concludes with a close look at the 20th century and current-day globalization.

Course themes include migration and statelessness, economic integration, warfare and conflict, the transformation of the ecological balance, and cultural responses and innovations. To grapple with these themes, we explore first-hand perspectives of historical actors through a collection of texts and images.

This course integrates and actively supports groups of learners with partner institutions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. We especially welcome students in Paris, Athens, Kigali, across the Middle East, and the Kirynandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda. In all these sites, teams of refugees and host country learners will collaborate together and across teams to create cross-team international, humanitarian exchanges. We express our sincere appreciation to colleagues at Sciences Po, Panteion University, the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, Kiron University, and Kepler University for helping us all contribute to the implementation of this global learning project.

Course material
Although the lectures are designed to be self-contained, we recommend (but do not require) that you refer to the book Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World: From 1000 CE to the Present (Fifth Edition) (vol. 2), which was written specifically for this course.

  • How to explore first-hand perspectives of historical actors through a collection of texts and images
  • How historians interpret historical documents and artifacts in order to tell the history of the globe
  • How historical narratives and connections become valid and convincing
  • How classmates from around the world interpret historical events and narratives
Global History Lab
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