HIST 308: Key Themes in Modern Global History

Instructor: Sheyda Jahanbani

Day & Time:
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Category I/II
a geographical map filled with color!

Key Themes in Modern Global History 

We often say we live in a “global community,” but what does that really mean? How did human beings come to see their own disparate parts of world as interconnected in the first place? When did the idea of the “globe” begin to make sense to people? And, how has contact between different peoples across geographic space changed the trajectory of human life on earth since 1450? This course will explore those very big questions.

HIST308 provides you with an opportunity to explore the past from beyond a narrow regional or national frame, following human communities from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East as they sought to exchange with one another, learn from one another, and, yes, conquer one another. Together, through interactive lectures, readings, film viewing, and class discussions, we will construct a narrative of major transformations in human life from 1450 to the present—including imperialism, nationalism, world wars, and anti-colonial revolution, as well as profound technological shifts like the advent of the combustion engine and the discovery of the atom—and focus in on case studies of especially significant moments in which one regional or national experience changed the fate of all. We will conclude the semester by thinking about the “the globe” as a shared ecological habitat in which humans play but one—albeit very important—role.

HIST308 will provide you with a window onto the world we live in by tracing its roots in the past we all share. Come join me on this voyage!

Average weekly workload: 2-3 hours plus class time in-person