This is a History elective, which is also cross listed with the English department.
This course examines the politics of what came to be imagined and written about as world history. Most of what we understand as world history is really a product of Euro-centric epistemic frameworks and dominated by European history narratives. Inspired by postcolonial writings, the course is an attempt to de-colonise the pedagogy of the social sciences and the humanities. The questions it asks are: what kind of world history would we have if we were to set aside the European lens? Are the terms world history, history of the world and global history interchangeable? In answering these questions this course introduces the students to a novel way of thinking about the human past that is not limited to a linear tale of human evolution or is a simple collection of dates, facts, and events, or a story of emperors, kings and great men. It will demonstrate how history involves imagining lives, selves, ideas, emotions and actions of people who are not only not us, but are very different from us, because they are a product of a different time and place. The students will have an opportunity to read about exploits of Cheghis Khan, the cities of Sumerians, the Court scribes of Moorish Spain, the lives of the Aztecs, the sexual escapades of French royalty, the artwork of the Han Chinese, the tunnels made by the Vietnamese guerrillas, the lives of Japanese women and the history of pandemics that ravaged civilizations, the revolutions which fulfilled the human quest for freedom, the technologies that revolutionized human existence, the migrations which took our ancestors across the world, the human pursuit of the sublime, and finally, the history of love, sex and desire through the ages.