H102 World Histories - Global Encounters and Connectivities

Key information

Start date
End date
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of History

Module overview

H102 History of the World explores the history of humankind from the Paleolithic period to the globalized twenty-first century. We proceed chronologically, to understand how the world as a whole got to be the
way it is. But we also explore the process from different angles, allowing us to make comparisons between and connections among different parts of the world. We will look at empires and nations, trade and industry, and at social movements, religion, culture, and ideas. We will explore the impact that European colonialism has had on the way in which we understand the world and its history, but we will also locate this regional
dominance carefully, to show how the rise of western dominance is a relatively recent development.

The module will provide a framework within which you can situate particular regions and periods, as well as an introduction to themes that you might want to explore further. It is designed to work alongside, and
help you to get more out of, our modules providing introductory histories to the different regions studied at SOAS and to push you to explore further some of the debates encountered in H101 Approaching History.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how the world got to be the way it is and of the main features of its evolution over time
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of how approaches to the global past have changed over time and differ depending on the historian's perspective
  3. Identify and evaluate the premises, argument and use of evidence in historical writing at a global scale and over large spans of time
  4. Construct convincing arguments, combining critical insight and a command of relevant evidence, about the historical development of the world

Method of assessment

  • Exam (50%)
  • Response paper, 500 words (5%)
  • Essay, 1,500 words (20%)
  • Response paper, 500 words (5%)
  • Essay, 1,500 words (20%)

Suggested reading

  • Darwin, J. After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires. London: Penguin, 2008.
  • Marks, R. The Origins of the Modern World. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2015, 2007.
  • The following will also be extensively used during the module:
  • Mazlish, B. The global history reader. New York: Routledge, 2004.


Esteban Salas


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules