A History of the World since 1300

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ΔΙΔΑΣΚΟΝΤΕΣ: Χρ. Κουλούρη - Jeremy Adelman 
ΚΩΔΙΚΟΣ 110529  

Συνδιδασκαλία με τον καθηγητή Jeremy Adelman (Πανεπιστήμιο Princeton)

Description ― This course explores the history of the modern world since Chinggis Khan’s armies conquered China and Babylon; it traces the cycles of integration and disintegration to the present.  It emphasizes the relations between the societies and regions that made and make up the world.  Many now call this globalization.  These relations bring the world together, but they also create new global divisions.  The dynamics creating these new combinations and divisions are many: spiritual, economic, ideological, military, and political.  The aim will be to understand the forces that pull the parts together as well as those that drive them apart.  Our story of globalization pays as much attention to the fragile and discontinuous aspects of the global past as it does to the forces that create interdependency.

We have some driving questions, starting with what makes our globalization so different from globalizations past?  What explains European global expansion in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries?  How do we explain the staggering wealth of China in the centuries up to 1750, as well as China’s recent ascent?  Where did the United States come from, and where is it headed?   What are the significances and legacies of empire in the world?   What is the past and future of Islam?  How have world wars and revolutions shaped the international system over time?  How does integration redefine the relationship between humans and nature over the centuries, especially in the use of resources and the effects on world climate?

Tackling these questions means learning about the past in an integrative way that connects parts of the world.  It also means developing analytical tools to make sense of complex patterns.  You will refine these tools by applying them in historical case studies, analyzed in teams. 

A vital part of this course is collaborative teamwork on historical case studies, which we are calling labs.  Each precept section will constitute a “team” – whose goal is to work through primary documents, conduct Narrative Mapping exercises, and then produce team posts on the Princeton platform “Canvas”.  The goals are:

  1. To enable teams to learn history better by learning together.  Global history is complicated; more minds at work will make better work. 
  2. To open up channels of communication between Greek students and students in the rest of the world taking the same course on the “Canvas” platform; global history can thereby be learned globally. 
  3. To allow students to be the creators of historical knowledge – interpreting events in a way that engages other readers. 

The semester’s labs are divided into five thematic tracks: “war”, “science, medicine and global health,” “statelessness,” “trade and integration,” and “civic engagement and social change.”  Each precept/team will be allocated a theme for the semester.  So, in addition to reading the textbook and the primary documents for your case studies, students will be expected to study the work posted for the parallel themes.

Course format: This course is the only one supported on an online platform called “Canvas”.  All students will be expected to enroll, view lectures, and post their written lab results on this platform. 

Readings:  The readings consist of a textbook (Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, 5th edition, volume 2) as well as weekly assigned primary documents.  These materials are posted free online on “Canvas” at the same time as the weekly lectures.


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