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The creation of the modern world is a paradox: the struggle for equality, rights and democracy is intertwined with new systems of subjugation, hierarchy and warfare. Attempts at annihilation has been met with a global movement for human rights. Resistance to oppression has, at times, been a path to dictatorship. From the advent of human rights during the Enlightenment, across waves of revolution, the present era is marked by unparalleled prosperity and immense suffering.
We’ll work as historians by asking questions (about warfare, freedom, resistance), analyzing evidence (including art, economic data, political philosophy), conducting research and staking claims in response. We’ll consider a diversity of voices from across the world and include challenges from women participants and lesser known peoples from 'developing countries' in the making of history. We certainly can not include all perspectives and all questions.
I hope to demonstrate that despite the modern ascendancy of Europe (and the dominant legacy it leaves in the United States and elsewhere), indigenous and subject communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America play a crucial role in writing the global narrative, especially the creation of a human rights and resistance framework. By way of example, I'll try to illuminate the power that students have to make history. I also intend to train students to become stronger and more informed thinkers who care about their world and their legacy.
I aim for this course to be driven by four themes, rather than a study of 'the most important events.' Most students will not become historians--yet they need to develop historical thinking and to evaluate the past to become informed citizens. It's the ideas, not the events, that drive this course. The four thematic frames are:
Welcome to BigHistory!
1st Semester: Making of the Modern World: Industrial Capitalism and the Emergence of Democracy
2nd Semester: The Quest for a Peaceful World: Humanitarian Intervention and Global Inequality
I will aim to include the following in each unit:
- About and Contact
Curriculum and Assignments
- Writing, Research, News
- Great Quotes about History
- Go Green!
- Video Resources
- Academic Integrity, Cheating and Plagiarism
- BHS Program in Social Justice Leadership
- Where is Mr. Grande?
- Election Resources
History is Off Da Hook!