Curriculum Guideline

Global Issues in Historical Perspective

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 1105
Global Issues in Historical Perspective
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hours per week Seminar: 2 hours per week
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Class meetings will consist of lectures, student oral presentations, group activities and seminar discussions that will require active participation. Throughout the course, the case-study methodology will be used. Students will view, read, analyse and critique a variety of primary source documents. There will be in-class quizzes and scheduled exams, and a variety of written assignments.


While the instructor and course texts provide models and guidance for interpreting historical sources, a key component of the course will be the exchange of ideas and insights between peers. Seminar discussions and student presentations will serve as forums for students to develop, test, and refine their ideas about history and interpretations of past events. Participation in lectures and seminar discussions is required for the successful completion of the course


The scholarly study of history is predicated on clear and judicious written communication explaining one’s reasoned interpretation of past events. A significant portion of this course, therefore, will be devoted to developing student writing skills.

Course Description
This course explores the historical background of selected transnational issues. Through a series of topical case-studies, broad themes of modernization, economic and cultural globalization, decolonization/post-colonialism, and resource competition will be examined. Studying in detail the historical development of current problems in the regions selected, which may include Canada, the United States, Europe, Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, students will trace the development of identities, ideologies, and aspirations in different local, national, and international groups and communities across national boundaries. Their effect on populations of global historical processes like industrialization, urbanization, modernization, immigration and migration, agricultural change and development, the impact of technology on the environment, and the nature of labour in transnational economies are investigated. Not a chronological survey, the course explores the nature of historical change while introducing students to the basic methods of historical analysis. Note: the specific case studies and themes in the course will vary by term and instructor.
Course Content
  1. Introduction: Globalization and Development Debates
  2. Colonialisms and Imperialisms
  3. Technology and innovation
  4. State systems, warfare and terrorism
  5. Tribalism, populism and modern nation states
  6. Indigeneity, Aboriginality and self determination
  7. New social movements and the politics of identity
  8. Mapping, geographies and the control of resources
  9. Environments and economies
  10. Urban dynamics: Design for whom?
  11. Technologies of health and disease
  12. Unruly appetites: the politics of consumption
  13. Decolonisation
  14. Global cultures


Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:


  1. Examine historical sources critically and analytically (reading history). These sources include not only survey texts and scholarly articles, but also short monographs and extended primary sources.
  2. Create and communicate personal interpretations of historical problems (writing history) through comparative book reviews, short interpretive essays, primary source studies, and final examinations.
  3. Independently analyze the ideas of other students and the instructor during tutorials and seminars (discussing history).
Means of Assessment

The evaluation of student performance will follow Douglas College policies as outlined in the calendar. Specific components of evaluation will include some of the following: quizzes, scheduled exams consisting of short answer and essay questions, student presentations, primary document analyses, review essays, research papers, position papers, and participation in seminar discussions.

Evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor during the first class meeting, based on that semester’s specific focus of study and assignments.


An example of a typical evaluation scheme:


Any combination of the following totalling 100%


Primary source document analyses


Midterm examination


Seminar presentations


Class participation


Research essay (or short essays)             


Final examination




Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

 Readings for the course will be compiled in a custom course package, reflecting the particular topical and thematic foci of the course.


Instructors may also choose from introductory thematic texts such as: 

Aldridge, Alan. Consumption. Key Concepts. Polity, 2003.

Aldridge, Alan. The Market. Key Concepts. Polity, 2005.

Colas, Alejandro. Empire. Key Concepts. Polity, 2007.

Crossley, Pamela Kyle, Lynn Hollen Lees, and John W. Servos. Global Society: The World Since 1900. 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

Findley, Carter Vaughan, and John Alexander Murray Rothney. Twentieth-Century World. 6th ed. Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

Howe, Stephen. Empire: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2002.

Overfield, James H. Sources of Twentieth-Century Global History. Houghton Mifflin, 2002.

Smith, Anthony D. Nationalism. Key Concepts. Polity, 2002.

Spellman, W. M. A Concise History of the World Since 1945. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Steger, Manfred B. Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Townshend, Charles. Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2002.

Young, Robert J. C. Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2003.