History Department



HIW 533 XT81
(World History and Historiography)

Tuesday 6-8:40 p.m.

Lehman College, City University of New York
Prof. S. Gellens
Department of History
Fall Semester 2010
Carman 212

Click here for a pdf version of the syllabus


INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION E-Mail: samgellens@hotmail.com; sam.gellens@lehman.cuny.edu; Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-3:30 p.m.; Phone: You may leave a message for me at the History Department office (Carman 201, 718-960-8288) or on my cell (917-797-2190 -- No text messages, please!)

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES This graduate-level course examines in some depth important themes in world history, with a focus on the content and critical thinking needed to teach this topic at the middle and high school levels. As you will note from our week-by week schedule, the course will deal with a number of much-debated issues which continue to inform the study, teaching, and writing of world history. And by using a narrative which is popular among world history instructors, you will get a sense of what it is like to use a world history text and grapple with the problems which any text raises for both teachers and students.

MATERIALS There are four required texts for this course and all are on reserve at Lief Library.

  • Richard Bulliet, et. al., The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History. One Volume Brief Fourth Edition.
  • Andre Gunder Frank, Re-Orient: Global Economy in the Asia Age.
  • Robert B. Marks, The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative

From the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Second Edition.

  • Heidi Roupp, Editor, Teaching World History in the Twenty-First Century.
  • Website: Under Course Documents on Blackboard, you will find the excellent series, “Bridging World History”, which we will be using frequently throughout the course.

BLACKBOARD We will be using Blackboard 8.0 for this course. It may be accessed through the Lehman website (www.lehman.edu). If needs be, we will go over how to access the site and its topography during the first week of class. If you have questions about your Lehman e-mail address and password, or problems with Blackboard, please call the IT Helpdesk (718-960-1111). You may also contact Mr. Stephen Castellano (stephen.castellano@lehman.cuny.edu; 718-960-8658) in the IT Center for help. You should check Blackboard daily for updates as regards readings, assignments, etc.


Grading Scale 97-100 = A+; 94-96 = A; 90-93 = A-; 87-89 = B+; 83-86 = B; 80-82 = B-; 77-79 = C+; 73-76 = C; 70-72 = C-; 65-69 = D; 64 and below = F.

How Grades Are Arrived At:

  • Attendance (10%)
  • Midterm Examination (20%)
  • Final examination (20%)
  • Analytical Writing (30%)
  • Class Participation/Evidence of Intellectual Engagement (20%)

ACCOMODATING DISABILITIES Lehman is committed to providing access to all program and curricula to students. Students with disabilities who may need classroom accommodation are encouraged to register with the Office of Student Disability Services. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services, Shuster 238, 718-960-8441.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND PLAGIARISM POLICY A statement may be found in the student handbook. For more information, refer to http://www.lehman.edu/student-affairs/document/student-handbook-02.pdf.

RULES OF THE CLASS Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class. If you are late, you will be marked absent. If you miss class, be sure to bring a note of some kind to the next class which will justify your presence. When you come to class, please turn off all electronic devices and put them away. Class participation is a very important aspect of the class. It is a sign of intellectual engagement and interest in the material studied. E-mail submission of written work will not be accepted. Technology issues, for example the breakdown of a printer at home, are not legitimate excuses for handing in work late. If you hand in a piece of written work more than two class sessions beyond its due date, your grade will drop an entire grade per day thereafter. All written work should be typed in 12-font, double-spaced, and stapled. No covers or folders, please.


August 31 – Preliminaries and Introduction: Why Teach World History? What Pedagogic Problems Will You Face as Teachers?
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 1-3; Roupp, I. Teaching World History, VII. Historiography, Chapter 31.

September 7 – What Does it Mean to Think Historically?
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 4-6; Begin reading Andre Gunder Frank, Re-Orient.

September 14 No Class (Friday schedule)
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 7-8; Roupp, II. Conceptualizing the Course.

September 21 – Periodization; United States History Gets “Worldly”
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 9-10.

September 28 – Beyond Nations and States: Thinking in Transnational and Cross-Cultural Terms
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters, 11-12; Roupp, IV. Planning.

Paper on Re-Orient due; Begin reading Robert B. Marks, The Origins of the Modern World.

October 5 – Modernization Theory and Its Detractors: There’s No Such Thing as a Third World!
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 13-14.

October 12 – Dependency Analysis Theory

Reading: Bulliet, Chapters, 15-16.

October 19 – World-System Analysis Theory
Reading: Roupp, V. Teaching Skills.

October 26 – Why Europe? Why Not China? “The Rise of the West” Revisited; Eurocentrism
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 17-18.

Midterm Examination

November 2 – Migrations and Diasporas
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters, 19-20; Roupp, VI. Learning and Understanding.

Paper on The Origins of the Modern World due.

November 9 – Empires and Imperialism
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 21-22.

November 16 – Cross-Cultural Trade
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 23-24; Roupp, VII. Historiography, Chapter 32.

November 23 – Biological Exchanges and Environnmental Change
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters, 25-26.

November 25-28 – Thanksgiving Break
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters, 27-28.

November 30 – Women and Gender
Reading: Bulliet, Chapters 29-30.

December 7 – Last Day of Class: Are You Ready?


Last modified: Oct 25, 2011

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