Samizdat, Tuzex


Tuzex, short for Tuzemský export (or domestic export), was a set of special stores in Communist Czechoslovakia. The Communist Party established Tuzex in 1957, in order to draw hard currency from citizens' pockets into the coffers of the state. Hard currency, including American dollars and West German marks, was convertible currency linked to the international gold standard (unlike currencies... Read More »

Scenes from Andrzej Wajda’s film, Man of Iron (1981)


Filmed just after Solidarity’s initial spectacular rise in 1980, Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Iron was won immediate global acclaim. Whereas Wajda’s earlier award-winning film, Man of Marble, had focused on the lonely struggle of an idealistic young film student to uncover the truth about the disillusionments and betrayals of the early communist era in Poland, the individual characters in Man of... Read More »

Section of "The Bubbles of Finance"


Malcolm Ronald Laing Meason was a famous journalist and book author. As a respected authority on trade and finance, he possessed insider knowledge that journalists of articles like “Islam on the Ebb” did not. In 1865 he witnessed the Levantine companies becoming wealthy from trading in futures. In his book, The Bubbles of Finance, he marveled that the uniqueness of Levantine business methods... Read More »

Detail of an early modern map of the Malay Peninsula

Sejarah Melayu: The History of the Malay Peninsula

Internet resources dealing with Malaysian history are difficult to locate. Although this site has some shortcomings, it remains one of the most accessible sources for such information.
Sketch of map with notes in Dutch

Sejarah Nusantara

The Sejarah Nusantara represents an invaluable digital archive for international researchers studying the history of Indonesia and maritime Southeast Asia.
Front page of a newspaper in Chinese

Short Teaching Module: Colonialism and Local Power


Colonialism and imperialism can take many forms, but more often than not these do not entail direct and strict control from a distant imperial metropole. As a matter of necessity, empires must work with local agents, and perhaps counterintuitively, empires can create uncertainty over territory and legal jurisdiction that offer opportunities for individuals and social groups that might not have... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Connecting Local and Global History via Mercantile Networks


European merchants spread throughout the world seeking new markets. In doing so, they actively connected remote localities to global networks across multiple continents. Local people around the world often challenged European economic dominance, forcing European merchants to pursue accommodating relationships with local people. We can see these processes within the isolated U.S.-Mexico... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Constantine and Christianity


Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth (ca. 3 B.C.E.–29 C.E.), a Jewish religious thinker who according to Christian Scripture lived in Judaea, a province of the Roman Empire. Accounts of his life and teachings spread orally and then in writing, among men and women from all social classes. Initially largely ignored and then sporadically persecuted, Christians grew in... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Consumerism in Poland


Throughout Eastern Europe, the decade of the 1980s was a time of significant change, including the everyday lives of average citizens. This case study looks at visual representations of consumer culture in Poland in an effort to examine the larger role that consumer goods played in the daily lives of those who lived in Eastern Europe.

This short teaching module includes an essay... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: John Ovington's A Voyage to Surat in the Year 1689


With its strong emphasis on commercial and cultural interactions, the Advanced Placement World History course is enriched by student exposure to the accounts of traders and travelers. From the 15th to the 18th centuries, Indian Ocean trade provided the stage for a rich drama of commercial and cultural interchanges. The Indian Ocean tale weaves together encounters among South Asians, East... Read More »