World history for beginners
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HWH35
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
When we think about World History, do we think only about the global past or do we situate our understanding in the global present? Do we give primacy to oceans, empires and imperialism, technology and arms, trade and finances, power and resistance, people or systems, or all of them? Where we grow up, how our societies are organised and relate to the past in different ways also influence how we think about the world and its history. In some communities and societies, the past comes alive through generational family and kinship narratives rather than the nation (as we in most European societies consider the norm). These issues complicate how to do world history. In this course, we begin to take on this challenge.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Session 1: Introduction to World History & the First Civilizations
- Session 2: The Eurasian Agrarian Empires as the main centres of power
- Session 3: From Eurasian Agrarian Empires to European Colonial Empires: Connecting the Metropolitan Web, 1450-1850
- Session 4: Colonial Imperialism, the Industrial Revolution and Capitalism, 1870-1945
- Session 5: The Cold War and our own moment in world history.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Explain the broad strokes of world history
- Compare and contrast themes in world history
- Critically discuss world history.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is ‘introductory’ and does not require previous studies on the topic. However, curiosity and a willingness to discuss will help both your learning and class discussions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course does not require work outside class. Typically, the classes will be a combination of teacher presentation, brief exercises, and, most importantly, group discussion.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No, although a pen and paper may be useful for making notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Explore our range of history courses on our website. In particular, you may be interested in our follow-on World History courses.
Martin Ottovay Jorgensen is a historian by education (BA, MA and PhD in Denmark and Belgium). Overall, his research focuses on how forms of international cooperation were new international undertakings but also reflected deeper imperial practices that lingered on long after decolonization in various ways. As a university teacher, he has taught courses on world and global history; imperial and colonial history; the history of international organisations; peace and conflict; global issues and international relations as well as how memory is an active dimension in community-building, society, politics, international relations, conflict as well as corporate branding. Perhaps more importantly, Martin sees the active promotion of robust historical thinking as both a democratic practice of vital importance to the maintenance and continued strengthening of democracy and thus society as a whole. At City Lit, Martin combines these interests with his student-centric approach that aims to both promote history as a socially relevant way of thinking and give each class and course a horizon beyond itself.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.