History 22 ContemporaryWorld History(1760 and After) Spring 2015--M, W, F: 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM Instructor: Vinay Lal, Professor of History Department of History, Bunche Hall 6265 (T: 310.825.4601) Instructor’s Office: Bunche 5240 (T: 310.825.8276) Office hours: M, 2:30-4:00 PM; F, 1:30-3:00 PM Course webpage: Instructor’s faculty webpage: -1/faculty-1?lid=51 Instructor’s blog: Brief Course Description: This course covers world history from around the end of the 18thcentury to the present. Our canvas is huge, but our ambitions will perforce have to be modest. We have a great deal more knowledge of the modern world than we do of the pre-modern world; many of the institutions and ideas that we take for granted took their birth in the “modern” period, assuming that the “modern” can be dated, though this is itself a matter of some debate, to the 18thcentury. By the same token, there is a good deal of what we assume to be modern that in fact has its origins in the pre-modern world; we might, for instance, believe that people who are modern are also cosmopolitan, but it can also be reasonably argued that in many respects the pre-modern world was much more cosmopolitan, and in perhaps more significant ways, than the modern world. There are also questions to be asked about what we mean when we speak of the “world”, for all too often the world has meant little more than Europe, the United States, or more broadly what is termed ‘the West’. It is also imperative to probe the politics of world history itself: world histories are written in New York, Chicago, Los Angles, London, Cambridge, and Berlin, not in Accra, Lima, Cairo, Khartoum, or even New Delhi or Beijing. Do we begin to do “world history” merely by becoming more inclusive, making certain that we do not confine ourselves to Europe and the United States and their impact on the world? This course makes no pretense at covering all the major developments of the modern period. Nevertheless, it will attempt to signpost and interpret some key aspects of modern history, thought, and experience. The rise of the nation-state; the growth of the middle class; the industrial revolution; the ascendancy of ideas of liberty, progress, and democracy; the emergence of new instrumentalities of governance, among them the census and modern administrative systems; the growth of the metropolis and the megacity as a new life-form; successive technological revolutions that take us from the invention of the steam engine, telegraph, railways, telephone, automobile, aircraft, and antibiotics to our present digital age; the colonization of much of the world by European powers; histories of anti-colonial resistance and decolonization; the ‘emergence’ of large segments of the population—women, racial, sexual and linguistic minorities, laborers—into history: this is a very partial list of some of the main topics we shall seek to probe. But how about sensibilities, mentalities, and emotions?