This course explores the history of the world by focusing on non-European regions. World history (the study of the history of interactions of and between complex societies) and global history (the study of the process of globalization) are central to our understanding of the past. The class will investigate how the rise of complex (urban and imperial) societies has always intertwined with processes of exchange across long distances before and after the integration of the Americas and Oceania into the modern-world-system from 1500 on. By analysing a world-history textbook in comparison with work by earlier and recent world historians, students acquire an understanding of the history of humankind from the first migrations out of Africa to the high-tech global societies of today. They also learn about the different ways that historians have dealt with this past. The focus of world historians tends to be on a top down perspective of humanity, which ignores lived experiences of actual people. By studying a popular sixteenth century travel account, for example, students learn how case-studies from below (microhistories) enrich our understanding of world history.
- Teacher: Arjan Dixhoorn van