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Explore commonly taught topics along with related primary sources, discussion questions, teaching strategies, and annotated bibliographies.
Puppeteers Painting image thumbnail

Short Teaching Module: Play in Tokugawa Japan

At the beginning of a lecture on the daily life of townsmen in Edo (Tokyo), I first presented an image of Tokugawa-period (1600–1868) Japanese children. This detail from an ink painting by Hanabusa Itchô (1562–1724) shows a childhood experience common to both sexes: watching a puppet show. From this unusual starting point, I aimed to address the issue of social class.

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Title page for The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

Short Teaching Module: Childhood and Transatlantic Slavery

Especially useful in helping to place slavery in a world history perspective is one of the first slave narratives, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African, originally published in 1772.

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Short Teaching Module: Surnames and Nationality

Images of 1989 tend to center on dramatic events in Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, or other major East European cities. However, many of the changes in Eastern Europe and the world were far more subtle but no less important.

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Short Teaching Module: Bevel-Rimmed Bowls

The main point in discussing bevel-rimmed bowls in the classroom is that artifacts are as useful as texts in researching ancient societies.

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Florence Farmborough

Short Teaching Module: Florence Farmborough and the Russian Front, 1914-1918

Farmborough’s diary works well because it divides easily into short segments and is not difficult to understand because it uses modern language. Farmborough was an English nurse working on the Russian front. Her diary contains many descriptive, lively accounts of the war and the very active role played by women, both in the traditional role as caretakers of the wounded, but also as fighters.

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“Remarks on Chinese Character and Customs” article thumbnail image

Western Views of Chinese Women

As the sources in this module illustrate, this fundamental distinction between the Western and the Chinese was expressed in both implicit and explicit ways in the foreign press. Chinese women became representative objects for Western observers, proof of the failings of Chinese culture and the necessity of Christian conversion.

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