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Less Scrambling, More Reflecting: How We can better Teach about the European Colonization of Africa

Every year thousands of teachers of world history teach about the problematically-named “Scramble for Africa”, and many of them make use of a popular classroom simulation that seems to have originated in the 1990s, based on what some teachers have told me. I remember first seeing pictures of the activity

Less Scrambling, More Reflecting: How We can better Teach about the European Colonization of Africa
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A Revolutionary Challenge: The Túpac Amaru Rebellion and Rethinking the Atlantic Revolutions

In many world history textbooks, discussion of the Atlantic Revolutions often begins with the background causes, such as the Seven Years’ War and the Enlightenment, that contributed to the outbreak of the Revolutions, and the first revolution discussed is almost always the North American Revolution. While it makes sense to

A Revolutionary Challenge: The Túpac Amaru Rebellion and Rethinking the Atlantic Revolutions
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Two Views of Global Lisbon

In October of 2016, I was exploring the Navy Museum in Lisbon. For a country with such a rich maritime history, I was somewhat disappointed with the museum itself. But as I was wandering through the bookstore on my way out, I came across this incredible book by edited by

Two Views of Global Lisbon
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More than Four Turtles: Global Renaissances in the Fifteenth Century (Part II)

In the final part of the Harkness discussion on Day 3, we talk about the second part of my essay “Reimaging the Renaissance,” which focuses on events in Central Asia in the fifteenth century. Central Asia never seems to get the credit it deserves in world history classes. Besides the

More than Four Turtles: Global Renaissances in the Fifteenth Century (Part II)
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More than Four Turtles: Global Renaissances in the Fifteenth Century (Part I)

After spending two days setting up the big picture of the revival of Afroeurasia in the fifteenth century, we dive into the Renaissance, or Renaissances, on the third day. I use two different readings with the students and set up the class in a sort of a modified Harkness style

More than Four Turtles: Global Renaissances in the Fifteenth Century (Part I)
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Don’t Call It a Comeback: Afroeurasian Revivals in the Fifteenth Century

Don’t call it a comeback I’ve been here for years I’m rocking my peers Puttin’ suckers in fear Makin’ the tears rain down like a monsoon Listen to the bass go boom Explosions, overpowerin’ Over the competition I’m towerin’ Wrecking shop when I drop these lyrics

Don’t Call It a Comeback: Afroeurasian Revivals in the Fifteenth Century
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Decolonizing Modern World History

For the last couple of years, I have been struggling to figure out what I want to do with this blog. When I began posting more regularly during my sabbatical in 2015-2016, I imagined it to be a place to reflect on my ideas about world history pedagogy. For the

Decolonizing Modern World History
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A Global Historical Take on American Debates about Free Trade

In teaching world history, one of the main global economic themes we frequently discuss has been trade connections between different regions of the world. And if we focus on the period from 1750 to present, we see a recurring debate between those individuals, movements, and states that have advocated for

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Globalizing the Renaissance

About ten years ago, I developed a lesson on “Placing the Renaissance in a Global Setting.” The lesson can still be found on the AP World History Teacher Community, although you need to have an account to access it. The lesson was partially a response to an earlier discussion on

Globalizing the Renaissance
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When the End of Growth is not the Beginning of Decline

If the myth of isolation is one of the main consequences of Eurocentrism for how we think about the history of East Asia, Eurocentric approaches to the history of the Ottoman Empire have encouraged us to begin to see its actual end in 1922 long before it occurred. A quick

When the End of Growth is not the Beginning of Decline