Browse Teaching
Guides on commonly taught topics in world history along with selected primary and secondary sources, discussion questions, teaching strategies, differentiation, interactive activities, and annotated bibliographies.

Source Collection: The Enlightenment and Human Rights

When the French revolutionaries drew up the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in August 1789, they aimed to topple the institutions surrounding hereditary monarchy and establish new ones based on the principles of the Enlightenment, a philosophical movement gathering steam in the eighteenth century.

... Read More »

Source Collection: Monarchy Embattled

Reality never matched the popular image of the all-powerful French King. Even Louis XIV, exalted by his own propagandists and many historians as the Sun King, never actually enjoyed that kind of authority. Theories of divine right, which linked the King to God, proved untenable for many.

... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Gender and Race in Colonial Latin America

When I teach a survey of the colonial history of Latin America, I often focus on the era’s cultural history, and specifically on the issue of hegemony and resistance.

... Read More »

Source Collection: Social Causes of the French Revolution

Instead of bringing unity and a quick, political resolution to the questions of 1789, as intended by its originators, the Revolution was producing further conflicts. What had happened? Had the revolutionaries expected too much? Did the fault lie with the new political elite, because they excluded the lower classes from the optimistic prospects for change?

... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Humor as Resistance

In order to help students think about the dynamics of power in different kinds of societies, this case study attempts to challenge the black-and-white thinking to which students are inclined when thinking about Communism. By analyzing jokes from the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) we can see how people sought to create their own sense of freedom.

... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Filipino Comfort Women

This lesson on Filipino “comfort women” fits into a women’s history course. I chose this topic because it exposes the false dichotomy between being a victim and being a forceful advocate for your cause. These women prefer the word “survivors” as opposed to the word “victims” to describe themselves.

... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Letters of Milada Horáková

Horáková makes a good case study for several reasons. One of the most prominent European feminists of the first half of the 20th century, she was an active member of the resistance during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1940, she and her husband, Bohuslav, spent the rest of World War II in the Terezín (Theresienstadt) concentration camp.

... Read More »

Long Teaching Module: The Romanian Revolution of 1989

The December 1989 revolution in Romania has been the subject of scholarly discussions, passionate debates, conspiracy theories, and political struggles. In 2004, for instance, an Institute for the study of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (IRRD) was founded in Bucharest, headed by then President Ion Iliescu whose term in office was soon to expire.

... 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.

... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Memory in East Germany

This case study examines how a group of East German dissidents re-appropriated the memory of Rosa Luxemburg and turned her writing against the Communist Party during an annual parade in January 1988.

This short teaching module includes an essay containing context, discussion questions, and a guide to incorporating the three primary sources.

... Read More »

Pages