The end of the cold war challenges conventional views of history. New ideas, methodologies, and historical understandings are coming to the fore as we grapple with the dynamics of an ever-shrinking but ever more complex world. Global Histories provides a framework to investigate transnational viewpoints and local history, cultural study, and world politics.
Blending established themes with contemporary questions, Global Histories incorporates broad topics such as postcolonialism, nationalism, and state formation with specialized and creative approaches to historical analysis. Drawing on the cultural diversity of the Graduate School and New York City, Global Histories offers innovative perspectives on the contemporary world, both past and present.
Students should refer to a current class schedule each semester to determine current course offerings. The list below is representative, not exhaustive.
International Studies in Human Rights
Introduces students to international human rights and the movement’s relationship to the field of comprehensive peace education. As a multidisciplinary field, peace education takes a holistic approach to conflict and education. Essentially, peace education is the creation and transmission of knowledge needed to achieve and maintain peace. It is also about developing the critical and reflective capacities to apply knowledge in order to control, reduce, and eliminate various forms of violence. Using a peace education approach, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related normative global standards are used as the primary conceptual frameworks to guide the course’s inquiries.
Introduction to Global Histories I
Surveys world historical trends by examining spaces and practices outside the normative expectations of national histories. Students read accounts from different historical periods of human encounters on and across the world’s major seas and oceans—“contact zones” that blur conventional territorial and cultural definitions—and review related concepts, tools, and methodologies adopted by world and global historians in their analyses.
Introduction to Global Histories II
Studies colonialism from a comparative perspective. Examines the ways in which relations of power, subordination, and negotiation were constituted across time and space and poses questions about the most effective ways in which to understand the colonial “moment” in world history. Themes that are covered include race and classification, political subjectivity, and nationalism.
Topics in Global Histories: Islam and the Left: Languages of Resistance
Explores the complex interactions between two major intellectual and activist traditions of transnational resistance to Western imperialism over the last century and a half: leftist and Islamist political movements—each, contrary to popular perception (and orthodox insistence), a discourse of great internal diversity. The course starts with theoretical framing, locating both in the historical context of accelerated global connectivity, capital expansion, and processes of modernization. Students examine alternate critiques of Western capitalist modernity possible from vantage points along a spectrum of relationships within both genealogies, discussing the implications of liberalism, secularism, orientalism, and alternate modernities.
Topics in Global Histories seminars examine particularly focused subject matter and themes, which change frequently. Previous seminars have included “Violence, Culture, and Democracy in South Asia” and “History, Economy, Society, and Diaspora in the Indian Ocean.”