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
• 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
• rise of civilization and water
• grounded agriculture and cultural habits and sea because that overlast political
• What happens when people are rooted in an Island for example in Japan?
• 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