Spring 2023; Monday 6pm to 8:50

University Hall 16

Instructor Information

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

Course Information

Description of course content:

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. We’ll read and analyze eleven books covering a variety of regions, time periods, and perspectives. Each of them is an attempt to write history that goes beyond national borders.

Student Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  1. Summarize and interpret key works and theories in the field of world or global history. Assessed in class discussions and written book reviews.
  2. Plan, lead, and evaluate class discussions of assigned books. Assessed in discussion leadership assignments.
  3. Compare and evaluate major historiographical approaches in the field of world or global history. Assessed in historiographical essays and the final historiography review essay.

Required Books : [listed in order of class discussion]

  • Olstein, Diego. Thinking History Globally. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2015.
  • Harari, Yuval N. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. New York, NY: Harper, 2015.
  • Manning, Patrick. A History of Humanity: The Evolution of the Human System. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • Favereau, Marie. The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2021.
  • Livesey, James. Provincializing Global History: Money, Ideas, and Things in the Languedoc, 1680-1830. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2020.
  • 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.
  • Mikhail, Alan. Under Osman’s Tree: The Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and Environmental History. Chicago: The 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.: Liveright Publishing, 2021.
  • Beckert, Sven. Empire of Cotton: A Global History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
  • Otter, Chris. Diet for a Large Planet: Industrial Britain, Food Systems, and World Ecology. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2020.
  • Goebel, Michael. Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Major Assignments and Grading:

At the end of the semester, students who have accumulated 900 or more points will receive an “A”; 800 to 899 is a “B”; 700 to 799 is a “C”; etc.

Descriptive Paper [Olstein]50A two-page paper describing Olstein’s aims, the structure of the book, and his major ideas
Book analysis papers (3)240A three-page paper describing the aims, structure, and major ideas of three books. Choose among Harari, Favereau, Mikhail, and Colley. Each is due the week after we read the book.
Book comparison papers (2)200A five-page paper comparing and contrasting two books. For the first one, choose between Harari vs. Manning; or Favereau vs. Livesay; due on Feb. 27;  for the second paper, choose between Green vs. Mikhail or Colley vs. Beckert. Due on April 24.
Final historiographic review essay210A 3,000-word historiographical review essay describing what our reading list reveals about the present state of the field of world history.
Discussion/participation100Classroom 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.
Discussion leadership200Twice this semester you’ll plan, lead, and evaluate a book discussion. I’ll meet with you before this to help plan the class and talk about key points.

Class Schedule

As instructor, I reserve the right to change the course schedule and policies in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Week 1: January 16 NO CLASS: Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; sign up for 2 discussion leadership slots on Canvas. Also on Canvas, sign up for 3 book analysis papers, due the week after we discuss the book.

Week 2: January 23; Read for class discussion: Olstein, Chapters 1-9

Background lecture for Harari: Types of world history

Week 3: January 30; Read before class:  Harari, pages 1-415; Olstein reaction paper due

Model bio presentation on Yuval Harari; Background lecture for Manning: Types of world history, part 2

Week 4: February 6; Read before class: Manning, pages 1-255

Background lecture for Favereau: Empires and Edward Said’s Orientalism

Week 5: February 13; Read before class: Favereau, pages 1- 311

Background lecture for Livesey: French history in world context

Week 6: February 20; Read before class: Livesey, pages 1-169

Background lecture for Green: Regional histories in Atlantic Africa

Week 7: February 27; First comparison paper due. Read before class: Green, pages 1-239

Background lecture for Green: Africa and Atlantic History

Week 8: March 6; Read before class: Green, pages 243-475

Background lecture for Mikhail: Environmental History and the Anthropocene

Week 9: March 13 UTA SPRING BREAK

Week 10: March 20; Read before class: Mikhail, pages xi – 205

Background lecture for Colley: The Age of Atlantic Revolution

Week 11: March 27; Read before class: Colley, pages 1-250

Background lecture for Colley: “Modernization” in world history

Week 12: April 3; Read before class: Colley, pages 250-424

Background lecture for Beckert: Commodity History

Week 13: April 10; Read before class: Beckert, chapters 1-6

Background lecture for Beckert: World System Theory

Week 14: April 17; Read before class:  Beckert chapters 7-14

Background lecture for Otter: Food systems

Week 15: April 24; Second comparison paper due. Read before class: Otter (entire) pages 1-273

Background lecture for Goebel: Cities in world history

Week 16: May 1; Read before class: Goebel, pages 1-292

Historiographic review essay due: Monday May 8

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

Face Covering Policy

Face coverings are not mandatory; all students and instructional staff are welcome to wear face coverings while they are on campus or in the classroom.


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.

However, while UT Arlington does not require instructors to take attendance in their courses, the U.S. Department of Education requires that the University have a mechanism in place to verify Federal Student Aid recipients’ attendance in courses. UT Arlington instructors should be prepared to report the last date of attendance as part of the final grading process. Specifically, when assigning a student a grade of F, faculty must report the last date a student attended their class based on evidence of academic engagement such as a test, participation in a class project or presentation, or an engagement online via Canvas. This date is reported to the Department of Education for federal financial aid recipients.

Emergency Exit Procedures

Should we experience an emergency event that requires evacuation of the building, students should exit the room and move toward the nearest exit, which is located to the right as you leave UH16. When exiting the building during an emergency, do not take an elevator but use the stairwells instead. Faculty members and instructional staff will assist students in selecting the safest route for evacuation and will make arrangements to assist individuals with disabilities.

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.