C O U R S E D E S C R I P T I O N
This course is a survey of world history from the end of the fifteenth century to the present, with a special focus given to the development of and resistance to individual, social, national, and global identities as they have been constructed from the pre- to postmodern ages of empire. The course is not designed to teach students “how we got where we are today,” but rather, it is designed to use the history of events, societies, people, places, things, and ideas, all from across the globe, in order to highlight the complexities of our existence and the value of doing history. As such, we will spend a significant amount of time in class focusing on the development of skills used by historians in assigning historical significance, identifying instances of continuity and change, and in approaching the study of the past with historical empathy. The course is structured both chronologically and thematically: That is to say, while we move from the distant past to the present through the content of this course, we will often pause to explore historical themes that tend to fit less neatly in a standard chronology.