UCSC offers numerous courses on World History across several departments and all levels of curriculum, from lower-division undergraduate surveys to graduate-level seminars. If your looking for courses with a global or broadly transnational or regional approach, consult the list below. (And please contact the CWH to suggest classes that should be included on this list.)
Lower-Division Undergraduate Courses
HIS 2A: The World to 1500
Surveys the rise of complex societies: the formation of classical civilizations in Afroeurasia and the Americas, post-classical empires and cross-cultural exchange, technology and environmental change, up to the Mongol Empire. (General Education Code(s): CC, IH.)
HIS 2B: The World since 1500
Examines major world issues over the past 500 years. Topics include European expansion and colonialism, the Muslim empires, East Asia from Ming to Qing, the Americas, Africa, the scientific-technological revolution, decolonization, and modern environmental problems. (General Education Code(s): CC, IH.)
Upper-Division Undergraduate Courses
HIS 101C: Oceans in World History
Oceans, human communities, and the variety of relations between societies have been linked closely in world history. This course focuses on the three most well-researched and, historically, most important oceanic worlds–those that developed to link the regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean. (General Education Code(s): CC.)
HIS 101D: Topics in the World History of Science
Detailed consideration of some specific topic or period in the history of science and technology with significant global implication. Topic varies from year to year. Examples include: Copernicanism, Darwinism, climate change, and military technology. May be repeated for credit. (General Education Code(s): SI.)
HIS 105: Nations and Nationalism
Provides an historical, comparative, and theoretical exploration of the development of nations and nationalism. Emphases include the historical formation of nation-states, modernization, colonialism, decolonization, nations and globalization, and the intersections between ethnicity, race, religions, and nationalism. (General Education Code(s): CC.)
HIS 116: Slavery Across the Americas
Examines the exploitation of African people as slaves throughout European colonies in the Americas. How did slavery affect slaves, enslavers, and their societies? Emphasizes the diversity of slave regimes and their importance for shaping American life for all. Satisfies American History and Institutions Requirement. (General Education Code(s): ER.)
HIS 118: The Global Cold War, 1945-1991
Explores the history of the Cold War from a global, multinational perspective. Begins with the opening salvos between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1945, and concludes with the collapse of the latter empire in 1991.
HIS 124: American Empire
Examines U.S. expansion and subsequent ascent to global power. In tracing the presence of the U.S. in different areas of the world during the 20th century, course considers the ideas, politics, gender, and social relations that have influenced imperial aspirations.
HIS 145: Gender, Colonialism, and Third-World Feminisms
Introduces the history of feminism in the third world, focusing on the ways in which colonialism (and post-colonialism) has shaped gender relations and on the feminist movements that have emerged in response to the impact of colonialism. (General Education Code(s): E.)
HIS 152: Trade and Travel on the Silk Roads
Introduction to two millennia of history along the ancient trade routes popularly known as the “Silk Road.” These routes carried precious goods between Asia and Europe, while also serving as important conduits for the flow of people and ideas. (General Education Code(s): CC.)
HIS 158C / ANTH 179: Slavery in the Atlantic World: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives
Explores the African diaspora resulting from the transatlantic slave trade, drawing on methodologies from two academic disciplines–history and archaeology. Examines the slave system, using an array of source materials, both written documents and artifacts. (General Education Code(s): PR-E.)
HIS 177A: Tropics of Empire
Surveys the role of the tropics and tropical peoples in history, covering the post-Columbian encounters between indigenous Americans, Europeans, and Africans, colonialism, and the origins of fields, such as anthropology and tropical medicine.
HIS 181B: Africa and Britain in an Imperial World
Covers the long history of interaction between Britain and Africa, from the Atlantic slave trade and British colonialism in Africa up to the post-colonial present, from British settlers in Africa to the African presence in the British Isles. (General Education Code(s): ER.)
HIS 196H: Sex and the City: A History of Sexuality in Urban Areas Around the Globe
Focuses on the history of sexuality in major urban areas globally. Topics include: sexual identities and race, class, and gender; sex work, policing, and urban spaces; gay, lesbian, and transgender communities; race, gender, and sexuality within the context of colonialism. (General Education Code(s): W.)
HIS 196J: History of Drugs in the Early Modern World
What were drugs in the early modern world? Who grew and consumed them? How were they used? Students study how the emergence of the global drug trade shaped the Scientific Revolution, Atlantic slavery, colonialism, and modernity itself.
HIS 202: Practicing World History
Because world history surfaces in curriculums at all educational levels, this seminar interrogates its value. Why do historians advocate world (and transnational) history? How do historians actually practice it? What are the pitfalls? Can global perspectives apply to localized subjects?
HIS 203: Global Decolonization
Focuses on the histories and theories of decolonization in the mid-to-late 20th century, particularly, interactions among anticolonial movements, how Cold War era antagonisms inflected the process of decolonization, and efforts to forge Afro-Asian unity and/or a nonalignment movement.
HIS 204C: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Race Research Seminar
Research seminar introducing theories and methods of the comparative histories of race, ethnicity, colonialism, and nationalism.
HIS 205: Diaspora and World History
Examines the histories and historiography concerning diaspora. This area of study includes populations from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Students study the histories of diasporic populations, and the questions, theory, and methods that scholars use to approach the subject.
HIS 206: Empire in World History
Introduces the study of empire (as opposed to nations, regions, or continents) as an approach to world history and to recent historiographical trends in the history of empires.
HIS 220: The Atlantic World, 1500-1800
Explores the economic, social, and cultural history of early America in terms of its Atlantic connections and intersection with the cultures of early modern Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Builds upon previous work in early America and early modern Europe, challenging students both to work comparatively and to break out of traditional geographic models.
HIS 229: Worlds of Labor in Asia
Introduces students to important debates in labor studies in Asia. Studies the relationship between labor, capitalism, and imperialism. Also interrogates the relevance or irrelevance of Asia as a concept from the standpoint of labor.
HIS 265: History of the Body
A multidisciplinary history of the body from late antiquity to the present. Topics include: medical and religious constructions; the raced, gendered, and sexualized body; adornment and performance markers; power and control through the body; body parts; and the body’s permeability.