HIST 5341: Approaches to World History
Spring 2022; Tuesday evenings
University Hall 13

Instructor Information

1. Instructor: John Garrigus; website: http://johngarrigus.com
2. Office: University Hall 343
3. Student Office Hours: 5pm to 5:30pm Tuesday; 5pm to 7pm Thurs
4. History Department Office Telephone: 817-272-2661
5. Email: garrigus@uta.edu
6. Faculty Profile: https://mentis.uta.edu/explore/profile/john-garrigus


This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the broad outlines of world history and historiography and to strengthen their ability to research and teach in this field.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Students will be able to describe and analyze key works and theories in the field of world or global history. Assessed in class discussions and book reviews.
2. Students will be able to effectively communicate their description and analysis of world historiography verbally, in writing, and using information technology. Assessed in weekly class discussions, book reviews, and the StoryMaps/timeline assignment.
3. Students will be able to describe and compare major historiographical approaches in the field of world or global history. Assessed in historiographical comparison essays and the final historiography review essay.

Required Books : [listed in order]

• Olstein, Diego. Thinking History Globally. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2015.
• Harari, Yuval N. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. New York, NY: Harper, 2015.
• Marks, Robert B. Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Environmental Narrative. 3rd ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.
• Green, Toby. Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019.
• Colley, Linda. The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World. N.Y.: Liverright Publishing, 2021.
• Beckert, Sven. Empire of Cotton: A Global History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
• Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World. New York : Verso, 2001.
• Getachew, Adom. Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination. Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2019.


At the end of the semester, students who have accumulated 900 or more points will receive a “A”; 800 to 899 is a “B”; 700 to 799 is a “C”; etc.
Assignment Points
Reaction Paper 50
Pre-recorded author biography 100
Historiographic comparison papers (3) 300
Discussion/participation 100
StoryMap/ Timeline 100
Final historiographic review essay 350
TOTAL 1000

Description of Major Assignments

Reaction Paper

Students will produce a two-page reaction paper about the Olstein book. This will describe Olstein’s aims, the structure of the book, and his major ideas.

Pre-recorded author biography

Students will sign up to make a pre-recorded audio and video presentation on one of the nine authors we are reading this semester. The method of recording these presentations is up to each student, as long as they can be uploaded to, or linked to from, our Canvas course page. You can use Canvas Studio, PowerPoint, Prezi, or online screencast tools like Screencast-o-matic. You may upload videos to YouTube.
The presentation should be 5 to 10 minutes long and it should sketch the author’s intellectual biography [graduate advisors, significant influences], his or her other books, and reviews of this book.
The presentation must be uploaded or linked to the class Canvas page no later than 5pm of the first day the class will discuss the book.


Students will sign up to make a computer-assisted visual overview of one of the seven books we are reading this semester, not including Olstein. The overview can take the form of an on-line map, using the websites ArcGIS StoryMap or https://storymap.knightlab.com/, or a on-line timeline, like those available on https://www.sutori.com. The overview must include at least ten elements from the book, illustrating its chronological or geographical range. The overview should describe the author’s thesis and address how this range influences that thesis
The overview must be linked to the class Canvas page no later than 5pm of the second day the class will discuss the book.

Historiographic comparison papers

Students will write three historiography papers, each comparing and analyzing two books: Harari and Marks, Green and Colley, Davis and Beckert. Each paper will be about 1,000 to 1,200 words long. The papers will compare the methodologies, goals, and arguments of the two works. How do the authors define the kind of work they are doing? What are the time- and geographic-scales of their analysis? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?


• Classroom participation is a big part of this course!
• Simply attending class does not count in this area, though I do take attendance at every class meeting.

Final Essay

• You will write a 3,000 word historiographical review essay describing recent books in the field of world history.

Class Schedule

Week 1: January 18 — online
Read (posted on Canvas) before class and be prepared to discuss: 1) Vinay Lal, “World History and Its Politics,” Economic and Political Weekly 46, no. 46 (2011): 40–47; and 2) Richard Drayton and David Motadel, “Discussion: The Futures of Global History,” Journal of Global History 13, no. 1 (March 2018): 1–21.

Week 2: January 25 – online
Read before class: Olstein, Introduction and Chapters 1-8

Week 3: February 1 – online
Read before class: Olstein, Chapter 9; Harari, Chapters 1-10

Week 4: February 8 First live meeting
Read before class: Harari, Chapters 11-20

Week 5: February 15
Read before class: Marks, entire; Harari/Marks comparison paper due

Week 6: February 22
Read before class: Green, pages 1-239

Week 7: March 1
Read before class: Green, pages 243-475

Week 8: March 8
Read before class: Colley, pages 1-250

Week 9: March 15-17 SPRING BREAK

Week 10: March 22
Read before class: Colley 250- 424; Green/Colley comparison paper due

Week 11: March 29
Read before class: Said, Orientalism [chapters to be supplied]; Beckert, 1-6

Week 12: April 5
Read before class: Beckert, Chapters 7-14;

Week 13: April 12
Read before class: Davis, Chapters 1-6

Week 14: April 19
Read before class: Davis, Chapters 7-12; Beckert/Davis paper due

Week 15: April 26
Read before class: Getachew, Introduction, Chapters 1-2

Week 16: May 3
Read before class: Getachew, remainder
Historiographic review essay due: May 10

Institutional Information:

UTA students are encouraged to review the below institutional policies and informational sections and reach out to the specific office with any questions. To view this institutional information, please visit the Institutional Information page (https://resources.uta.edu/provost/course-related-info/institutional-policies.php) which includes the following policies among others:
• Drop Policy
• Disability Accommodations
• Title IX Policy
• Academic Integrity
• Student Feedback Survey
• Final Exam Schedule


At The University of Texas at Arlington, taking attendance is not required. Rather, each faculty member is free to develop his or her own methods of evaluating students’ academic performance, which includes establishing course-specific policies on attendance. As the instructor of this course, I use the quizzes and discussion assignments to gauge your active involvement in the class but I do not have a separate attendance grade.

Academic Integrity:

Students enrolled in all UT Arlington courses are expected to adhere to the UT Arlington Honor Code:
I pledge, on my honor, to uphold UT Arlington’s tradition of academic integrity, a tradition that values hard work and honest effort in the pursuit of academic excellence.
I promise that I will submit only work that I personally create or contribute to group collaborations, and I will appropriately reference any work from other sources. I will follow the highest standards of integrity and uphold the spirit of the Honor Code.
UT Arlington faculty members may employ the Honor Code as they see fit in their courses, including (but not limited to) having students acknowledge the honor code as part of an examination or requiring students to incorporate the honor code into any work submitted. Per UT System Regents’ Rule 50101, §2.2, suspected violations of university’s standards for academic integrity (including the Honor Code) will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. Violators will be disciplined in accordance with University policy, which may result in the student’s suspension or expulsion from the University. Additional information is available at https://www.uta.edu/conduct/.

Academic Success Center:

The Academic Success Center (ASC) includes a variety of resources and services to help you maximize your learning and succeed as a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. ASC services include supplemental instruction, peer-led team learning, tutoring, mentoring and TRIO SSS. Academic Success Center services are provided at no additional cost to UTA students. For additional information visit: Academic Success Center. To request disability accommodations for tutoring, please complete this form.

Student Support Services:

UT Arlington provides a variety of resources and programs designed to help students develop academic skills, deal with personal situations, and better understand concepts and information related to their courses. Resources include tutoring, major-based learning centers, developmental education, advising and mentoring, personal counseling, and federally funded programs. For individualized referrals, students may visit the reception desk at University College (Ransom Hall), call the Maverick Resource Hotline at 817-272-6107, send a message to resources@uta.edu, or view the information at http://www.uta.edu/universitycollege/resources/index.php.

Emergency Phone Numbers:

In case of an on-campus emergency, call the UT Arlington Police Department at 817-272-3003 (non-campus phone), 2-3003 (campus phone). You may also dial 911. The non-emergency number is 817-272-3381.