In this global history course, you will learn not just by reading and watching lectures, but also by analyzing historical documents and applying your knowledge.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.
Luis Ribeiro is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
It would be better titled as the Global History of the Marketplace aka Mercantilism/Capitalism Lab. The instructor is knowledgeable, but his lectures are way too focused on trade and production as the only force shaping world history. The MOOC leaves...
It would be better titled as the Global History of the Marketplace aka Mercantilism/Capitalism Lab. The instructor is knowledgeable, but his lectures are way too focused on trade and production as the only force shaping world history. The MOOC leaves the human side of history almost entirely out and thus becomes rather boring after some weeks--a long, long string of information-crammed lectures. After Week 6, I just didn't feel like watching the following weeks' lectures as I knew what they would be like. Despite the instructor cataloging innumerable examples of human greed associated to historical events (trade, colonial, imperial wars and conflicts), criticism of it is virtually absent. No major economic/political theory, be it Adam Smith's laissez-faire capitalism or Marxism, is discussed in any depth. What really saves this MOOC from itself is the assignment session in which students are given the opportunity to exercise their critical thinking. If your intention is only to audit this MOOC, i.e., watch the lectures, just find another course.
Dave Rawlings completed this course, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
An excellent introduction to world history. The course advances at a rapid rate and the coverage of some events can feel a little superficial. The assignments, if you chose to do them, can be done on your own. However, there is an opportunity to work with fellow students across the world. I found that a rewarding experience. As a warning don't expect everyone in your team to contribute - only 4 did out of 10 in the team I was in.
Also there is a lot of work to do to keep up with the pace of the course, especially if you are going to get the associated text book and read it.