Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Global history (c.1492 - c.1870)

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The idea of this study-unit, with its focus on the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, is to alert students to early modern Europeans' growing sense of awareness of ‘new’ lands. Today, we are living in an age where we are constantly reminded of the global dimensions of our lives. In effect, people from across the globe have been interacting together for much longer than our present-centric assumptions would have us believe. The period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries witnessed the so-called 'Age of explorations', when European conquerors, traders and missionaries ventured far and wide creating new links, opportunities, challenges and problems. The study-unit seeks to account for the expansion of European territorial empires, first in the New World, later in Asia and Africa. It also looks at strategies of resistance and adaptation by non-European peoples in relation to the Europeans. The core focus of this study-unit will be the early modern experience of the interaction of different parts of the globe. At the same time, this is the essential backdrop to understand the long-term processes that have shaped the globalized world of today; hence the extension of the study-unit into a part of the nineteenth century. Themes to be covered include: the age of discovery, the impact on European thought processes, the globalization of Christianity, centres and peripheries, Europeans and indigenous populations, movements of goods and ideas, the early history of the United States of America, the slave trade and its abolishment.

Study-unit Aims

• To offer students insights into the history of the world, from a variety of angles, including political developments, economic changes and religious issues;
• To make students aware of divergent points-of-view about global history;
• To underscore the interaction between the different parts of the world and the effects that this interaction has had;
• To alert students about varying interpretations of the past.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• explain what the key conceptual debates in global history are;
• highlight how this field of study has evolved from a minor subject to a discipline in its own right;
• describe developments in the history of early modern and early nineteenth-century Europe, in relation to wider, global developments and inter-connections.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• read critically and selectively and make sense of a range of secondary sources;
• navigate with confidence through online resources and understand how to distinguish between generic web sites and serious academic tools for the study of history;
• write an essay with a clear structure and logical presentation of arguments;
• show an awareness of the long-term development of cultural differences across humanity and of the importance of being aware of these.

All of these skills are transferable and will prove useful to students in a variety of fields and career avenues.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Main texts
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Pathfinders: a global history of exploration, (New York, 2007).
Pomeranz, Kenneth, Great divergence: China, Europe and the making of the modern world economy (Princeton University Press, 2000).
Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, The world of Catholic renewal, 2nd ed. (2005), BR305.2 .H72 2005.
Csaba Lévai (ed.), Europe and the world in European historiography, (Plus-Pisa U.P., 2006).
Mary N. Harris (ed.), Sights and insights: Interactive images of Europe and the wider world, (Plus-Pisa U.P., 2007).
Mary N. Harris, Anna Agnarsdóttir and Csaba Lévai (eds.), Global encountes, European identities, (Plus-Pisa U.P., 2010).
Seija Jalagin, Susanna Tavera, Andrew Dilley (eds.), World and global history : research and teaching, (Plus-Pisa U.P., 2011) [Main Lib D210 .W67]
O’Rourke, Kevin H., The international trading system, globalization and history, (Elgar, 2005) [Gozo Campus HF1379 .I5849].
Grove, Richard H., Ecology, climate and empire : colonialism and global environmental history, 1400-1940, (White Horse P., 1997) [Main Lib GE170 .G76]
Daniel Woolf, A global history of history, (Cambridge, 2011).

Supplementary readings
Ferro, Marc, Colonization : a global history, (Routledge, 1997) [Main Lib JV61 .F47].
Liam Brockey, Journey to the East. The Jesuit mission to China 1579-1724 (2007).
Luke Clossey, Salvation and globalization in the early Jesuit missions (2008).
Stuart B. Schwartz (ed.), Implicit understandings: observing, reporting and reflecting on the encounters between Europeans and other peoples in the early modern era (1999).
A. Hastings, The Church in Africa 1450-1950 (1994).
Richard Gray, Black Christians and white missionaries (1990).

During the course of the lectures, students will be advised about, and provided with material for further reading, particularly through the VLE.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Emanuel Buttigieg

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.