Global Issues in Historical Perspective

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
HIST 1105
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
HIST 1105, Global Issues in Historical Perspective, introduces students to the historical background of contemporary transnational issues using a case-study method. The course takes a comparative historical approach to global issues such as terrorism and national security, environmental protection and degradation, resource distribution and trade, health and welfare, indigeneity and self-determination, cultural and religious diversity, and human rights, in various temporal and geographical contexts. Not a chronological survey, the course explores the nature of historical change and continuity. Students will have multiple opportunities to apply historical methods of research and analysis as they investigate the formation and development of particular global issues, and compare historical and contemporary perspectives on these issues. The specific case studies and themes in the course will vary by term and instructor.
Course Content

A sample course outline may include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics, and may be adjusted to provide students an opportunity to explore emergent or especially relevant “global issues” in historical perspective.

  1. Introduction
  2. Indigeneity and Colonialism
  3. Frontiers and Borderlands
  4. Nationalism and Self-Determination
  5. Rebellion and Resistance
  6. Economies, Competition and Consumption
  7. Urbanization, Environment, and Land Use
  8. Poverty and Hunger
  9. Public Health, Disease and Drugs
  10. Education and Childhood
  11. Gender and Sexuality
  12. Terrorism, Intelligence, and Espionage
  13. Human Rights
  14. Technology, Innovation and Global Culture
Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include guidance on student-led projects, student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, group projects and presentations, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.

 The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

  • Participation, Quizzes, In-Class Work: 20%
  • Historical Analysis of Popular and/or News Media: 10%
  • Primary and/or Scholarly Secondary Sources Analyses: 20%
  • Presentation of a Selected Global Issue and Written Report: 20%
  • Research Projects or Portfolios: 30% 


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:

1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).

2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).

3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).

4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers will vary by the particular themes selected by the instructor.

An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned, and links to specific resources may be provided in the course outline.

Typical thematic textbooks:

Appleby, Joyce Oldham. The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 2010.

Briggs, Asa and Peter Burke. A Social History of the Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet. Cambridge: Polity, 2009.

Chaliand, Gérard and Arnaud Blin, eds. The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to al Qaeda. Trans. by Edward Schneider, Kathryn Pulver, and Jesse Browner. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

Crawford, Dorothy. Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Kinney, Tracey J., ed. Conflict and Cooperation: Documents on Modern Global History. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2014.

O Grada, Cormac. Eating People is Wrong, and Other Essays on Famine, Its Past, and Its Future. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015.

Ponting, Clive. A New Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. Toronto: Penguin Books, 2007.

Reinhard, Wolfgang. A Short History of Colonialism. Trans. by Kate Sturge. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2011.

Stearns, Peter N. Globalization in World History. New York: Routledge, 2010.

Wiesner, Merry E. Gender in History: Global Perspectives. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.









Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for HIST 1105
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU HIST 1XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU HIST 1XXX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG HIST 1XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU HIST 1XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU HIST 1XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HIST 1XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HIST 1st (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV HIST 1st (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC HIST 1XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV HIST 1XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC HSTR 1XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU HIST 101 (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023