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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Global Connections since 1450 (HIST08041)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the past history of global connections and disconnections from c. 1450 to the present day. The course builds on the foundations established in the first year history courses which explore the makings of the medieval, early modern and modern worlds. In this course, we drill down into key themes in global history to provide a foundation for honours courses in global history and in regional histories beyond Europe and North America.
Course description The course explores the global history of three themes - goods, peoples and ideas. We interrogate the new forms of power which sought to reshape global connections in the period from c. 1450 and explore the ways in which polities and societies in Asia, Africa and Latin America engaged with and resisted the rise of European power and produced alternative imagined geographies, leading to the creation both of new connections and new forms of disconnection. This enables us to engage critically with linear narratives of globalization. At the same time, the course also provides an opportunity to reflect critically on the writing of global history and to consider how we best make sense of the intersections of the local and the global in this period.


(three themes from the following indicative list of topics, depending on staff availability in any given year):

1. From the Silk Road to the New World
2. Trading Companies
3. Spices
4. Gold, Silver, and Diamonds
5. Ceramics
6. Coffee and Tea
7. Tobacco and Potatoes
8. Opium
9. Sugar
10. Arms and weapons
11. Loot
12. Art
13. Rubber and Oil
14. Silk, Cotton and Jute
15. Cars


(three themes from the following indicative list of topics, depending on staff availability in any given year):

1. The Indian Ocean world
2. The Atlantic world
3. Slave trade
4. Indentured labour
5. Germs and DNA: disease in global history
6. Refugees in History
7. Pilgrimage
8. Revolutionaries
9. Missionaries
10. Soldiers


(three themes from the following indicative list of topics, depending on staff availability in any given year):

1. Time
2. Religion: Christianity-global religion, local practice?
3. Religion: Buddhism and Islam in Asia
4. Religion: Neo-Confucianism, Neo-Buddhism, and Pentecostalism
5. Secularism and Atheism
6. Law and legality
7. Orientalism
8. Racial thought
9. Feminism/Gender
10. Paradigms of health and healing
11. Political ideologies
12. Pan-Asianism/Pan-Africanism
13. Technology
14. Railways and Canals

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: violence and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, sexuality, physical appearance, disability, socioeconomic status, politics, religion, and immigration. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: The Historian's Toolkit (HIST08032)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in any first level course achieved no later than August of the previous academic year.

Students on the Economic History (MA Hons) degree do not require the compulsory pre-requisite 'The Historians' Toolkit'
PLEASE NOTE: The pre-requisite is still compulsory for ALL OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMMES
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 1 introductory level History course at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  81
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,500 word essay (40%)
2,500 word essay (60%)

Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate command of a substantial body of historical knowledge
  2. develop and sustain historical arguments in a variety of literary forms, formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence.
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the varieties of approaches to understanding, constructing, and interpreting the past; and where relevant, knowledge of concepts and theories derived from the humanities and the social sciences.
  4. address historical problems in depth, involving the use of contemporary sources and advanced secondary literature.
  5. demonstrate clarity, fluency, and coherence in written and oral expression.
Reading List
C.A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World: Global Connections and Comparisons, 1780-1914 (Blackwell, 2004).

James Belich, The Prospect of Global History (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Sugata Bose, A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire (Harvard University Press, 2006).

John Coatsworth et al., Global Connections: Politics, Exchange and Social Life in World History (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Sebastian Conrad, What Is Global History? (Princeton University Press, 2016).

Akira Iriye, ed., Global Interdependence: The World After 1945 (Harvard University Press, 2014).

Wolfgang Reinhard, ed., Empires and Encounters: 1350-1750 (Harvard University Press, 2015).

Emily Rosenberg, ed., A World Connecting: 1879-1945 (Harvard University Press, 2012).

Edward Said, Orientalism (1978).

Megan Vaughan, 'Africa and the Birth of the Modern World', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 16 (2006), 143-62.

Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, A Concise History of the World (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsGlobal Connections
Course organiserDr Hatice Yildiz
Tel: (0131 6)50 2378
Course secretaryMr Rob Hutchinson
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