A four-week institute for twenty-five college and university faculty on new theoretical approaches to teaching world history.
Historians Charles Parker (Saint Louis University) and Ahmet Karamustafa (University of Maryland, College Park) direct an institute that offers new theoretical approaches to world history by setting up encounters between societies as a framework for understanding historical developments. The institute is held at Saint Louis University. Three key themes provide the organizational structure for the program: 1) "Empires and Economies of Scale," which focuses on the intersection of state-building and commerce; 2) "Religious and Biological Interactions," which analyzes both missionary encounters and biological exchanges; and 3) "Ideas and Connections," which explores episodes of intellectual engagement. During the first week, the institute examines economies of scale and East Asian empires and cultural interaction as a strategy for apprehending the global past. Week two focuses on two major theaters of empire building in the early modern world: the Asian landmass and the Atlantic basin. Lectures and discussion cover the Ottoman Empire, the Mughal Empire, and the Safavid Empires, followed by European empires in the Atlantic. Week three explores two corollaries of imperial expansion throughout the early modern world: missionary enterprise and biological exchanges. Lectures and discussion cover Islamicization and Christianization in the early modern world; the diffusion of plants, animals, and disease pathogens that affected food supply; reordered populations; and altered ecosystems. In the last week, lectures and discussion shift to the transmission of knowledge across cultural boundaries and the range of intellectual exchanges between Europeans and Asians in cartography, astronomy, and art. Participants complete work on their projects during this week. Institute faculty include Timothy Parsons (Washington University), Laura Hostetler (University of Illinois, Chicago), Molly Green (Princeton University), Rudi Matthee (University of Delaware), Carla Phillips (University of Minnesota), Richard Bulliet (Columbia University), Simon Ditchfield (University of York, UK), George Lovell (Queen's University, Canada), and Ulrike Strasser (University of California, Irvine). Readings include Uriel Heyd (ed.), Ottoman Documents on Palestine; Scott Levi and Ron Sela (eds.), Islamic Central Asia: An Anthology of Historical Sources; Steven Harris, Mapping Jesuit Science; and Matteo Ricci, True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven.
Faculty: Laura Hostetler, Molly Greene, Rudi Matthee, Carla Rahn Phillips, Simon Ditchfield, W. George Lovell, Richard Bulliet, Ulrike Strasser, Timothy Parsons