Professor: Dagomar Degroot
World II sections consider human history since about 1500 AD, focusing on the dynamics of global interaction. The class seeks to familiarize students with, and help them contextualize, historical processes and phenomena such as colonialism and imperialism, industrialization, modern population growth, nationalism and the rise of the nation-state, great power politics, and the emergence of modern science. Its goal is to explain how the world got to be the way it is, with a particular focus on how social and ethno-cultural identities have been shaped—and have in turn shaped—political, economic, and physical environments. In this course, we will explore the history of climate change over the past two centuries. We will examine how the Earth has warmed, and the different environmental manifestations of warming from region to region. We will study how scientists discovered that Earth was warming, and how influential skeptics quickly mobilized popular and political suspicion of this “inconvenient truth.” Finally, we will investigate the already significant present-day consequences of climate change for vulnerable societies in the Middle East, Africa, the Arctic, and Oceania.