Global History Lab


Learn the span of world history from 1300 to the present. 

In this global history course, you will learn not just by reading and watching lectures, but also by analyzing historical documents and applying your knowledge.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 refugee learners in Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Nairobi, and Uganda, with collaboration from students at Princeton University and the Central European University.   Beginning in the fall of 2020, with funding from the Open Society University Network (OSUN), our partnerships will expand and become a global network. Collaborators for the program will include: ADA University, Azerbaijan; Al Quds University, West Bank; the American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan; the American University of Iraq Suleymaniyah; Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Bard College Berlin, Germany; Brac University, Bangladesh; Central European University, Austria; European Humanities University, Lithuania; Fulbright University of Vietnam; Fundación del Pino, Spain; Higher School of Economics, Russia; Jusoor Refugee Education Program, Lebanon; Modern University for Business and Science, Lebanon; Panteion University, Greece; Sapienza University, Italy; Sciences Po, France; University of Ibadan, Nigeria; University of Potsdam, Germany; Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, Uganda; and various program partners in the Nairobi Hub, Kenya.

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What Learners Say

"This is one of the best history courses I have taken and I have taken many. It is a comprehensive look at the history of the world since the Middle Ages." - Paul

"Brilliant content provided a solid view of over 700 years of history. The Instructor provided engaging lectures which kept my interest all through the whole course." - Trefor