Browse Teaching
Explore commonly taught topics along with related primary sources, discussion questions, teaching strategies, and annotated bibliographies.

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.

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Short Teaching Module: Modern Racism in the U.S. and South Africa

This module has students examine the roots of “modern” racism and make connections between the status of Black individuals in the United States and in South Africa. This approach is designed to foster a discussion on American “exceptionalism,” in particular that U.S. history is also rooted in colonial and imperial relations, exchanges and forced migrations. If students have not studied U.S.

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Short Teaching Module: Women in Classical Athens and Sparta

Primary texts about women in classical Athens and Sparta provide an excellent, if extreme, example of one of the main themes in the 100-level “World History to 1500.” This theme is the relationship between social structure and political institutions.

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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.

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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?

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Short Teaching Module: Slavery, Labor, and Gender

In this case study, developed for a lower-division lecture class on “World History 1400-1870,” students explore gender though a primary source the personal account, “The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave Related by Herself.” This first-person account was written by British abolitionists and disseminated through the London Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1831.

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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.

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Long Teaching Module: “Reading” Primary Sources on the History of Children & Youth

How do you study the history of young people? What can primary source documents reveal? What limitations do they pose? What light can the history of young people shed on the past? This essay aims to serve as a guide to finding, interpreting or “reading” primary sources on young people from ancient civilizations to the present.

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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.

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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.

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