A blog devoted to the research and teaching of the history of humanity, aimed at enlivening the teaching of history, linking it to current social problems and debates.
In his new book, historian James Quirin examines the oral traditions, cultural practices, and written records of the Beta Israel, a community of farmers and artisans who lived near the Ethiopian kingdom. Quirin uncovers a lively historical record, showing how small ethnic groups can create significant historical change.
This essay, the conclusion of a three-part series, explores the seventh phase of human evolution: the expanding scale of social organization.
This post—the second in a three-part series—builds on the main categories and dynamics of human evolutionary change established in part one. I outline six phases of human evolution, exploring different models and hypotheses of growth and change.
When and how did Homo sapiens become a species? What are the roles of subgroups and migration in human evolution? The first in a three-part series, this post reviews six main categories of human evolutionary change and considers how each of them might lead to unification and/or differentiation of the human species.
The extraction of minerals from the Earth today—the most dangerous change in our environmental crisis—is also essential to life as we know it. In a 2017 interview, ecological historian Gregory Cushman explains his work on humanity’s relationship with the lithosphere and provides valuable insights into this issue.
The “bottom-up” approach to world history focuses on the most basic elements of human existence. It identifies problems and explores them through individual and group behavior, relying on multiple disciplines, especially anthropology. The objective is to link basic levels of society to the higher scales of activity. The work of E.P. Thompson provides valuable context.
Peoples of the world are divided today into nations, which replaced the empires that dominated in earlier centuries. But that is not all. Diasporas took shape as millions of people migrated from their homelands, linking common cultures across geographical and political boundaries.
The events of history do not happen in a vacuum. Societies are deeply connected through their cultures and the exchange of ideas and values; they constantly interact and influence one another. This academic exercise helps students explore such interactions more deeply.