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HISA04 Lecture 1.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Camille Begin

HISA04 - Lecture 1 What is World History? • goal of world history is to identify the patterns and processes of historical journeys shared in common by all the planet's people • similarities and differences between the past and present • goal is also to understand how this global story is relevant to contemporary issues of our time • we can look at the patterns of environment, inequality (like class structure), and how people represent culture and use of technology to response to visions of past and present • connections between past and present • a comparative framework is important • Many world histories are possible because there are many ways of interpreting the past Theme in World History: "World of Water" • this is the theme we will look at in the course • water isn't just empty space. There are many things going on at the geographic level • water covers 70% of Earth • people tend to leave lights on around the coastal areas at night for example near The Nile River and Mississippi • Questions to explore: why do humans live around water? What is the difference between clear and salt water? • Clear water makes up 2.75% of the Earth's water. This is the water stored underground. We need it for drinking and agriculture • Salt water includes oceans, seas, etc. They make up borders between countries and function as bridges/links • Access of drinking water is shrinking which is a big issue. This is linked to the fact htat we consume more water than there is, thus emptying the underground water reserve. Another factor is water pollution Roots and Routes • Roots • rise of civilization and water • grounded agriculture and cultural habits and sea because that overlast political regimes • What happens when people are rooted in an Island for example in Japan? • Routes • People used to travel via water even before agriculture • Keep technology in mind too. As technology developed, travel via water bettered • important means of linking different parts of the world • economic exchange and trade networks • In this course, we'll look at how people navigated and explored via water • what did people exchange? Fabric, gold, spices, ID's. aspects of their cultur
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