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Birth of the Modern World




Admissions requirements



History as a professional academic discipline developed in tandem with the rise of the modern nation-state. This course, by contrast, highlights aspects of the human past that transcend any single nation-state, empire, or politically-bound territory. Covering the period from 1500 to 2000, it will acquaint students with a range of important social formations: from the development of cities, to the impact of long-distance trade and migration, to the rise and fall of nations and empires (as well their related ideologies) and the development of transnational social movements. The course will introduce students to some classic debates among historians and how these changed with the advent of Global History. What does it mean to be “modern”? What do we talk about when we talk about “globalization”? By exploring concepts and questions like these—through scholarly readings, individual writing assignments; and classroom discussion—students will become practiced in thinking historically about social, economic, and political phenomena that continue to shape our world today.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, it is my intention that students will be able to:

  • discuss the significant patterns, processes, and events of modern global history;

  • provide a critical historical perspective on the concept of “globalization”;

  • summarize, analyze, compare, and evaluate the competing arguments of historians; and

  • engage with dense, sometimes lengthy scholarly texts—both critically and carefully.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

During this class we will practice critical reading by debating the assigned literature, and individual writing assignments. Students will become practiced in “thinking historically” about social, economic, and political phenomena that continue to shape our world today by bringing current events explicitly into the discussion of the literature.


Class participation (15% of final grade)
Presentation (15% of final grade)
Web Posts or ACI (40% of final grade)
These must be submitted via Blackboard before class
They should reflect historical thinking
They should demonstrate the ability to process relatively large amounts of text
They should demonstrate the ability to read critically

Final paper, historical review, 800 words (30% of final grade)
Week 8


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Cátia Antunes and Karwan Fatah-Black (eds.), Explorations in Globalization and History (London 2016).


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact