Exploring History Through Innovations and Exchanges: Spotlight on UCI Summer Session 2020

As we navigate the modern COVID-19 world, it’s easy to forget that everything that we know and do can find its roots in history. Even now, as we battle through a global pandemic, we can look to the past to see how disease outbreaks and epidemics have spread and changed lives, cultures, and societies throughout history.

In Arnold Alahverdian’s four-unit course World History: Innovations and Exchanges, Prehistory to 1500 (HISTORY 21A), students will explore global historical development by studying the exchange of ideas, diseases, goods, and technologies that shaped the pre-modern world.

Covering a wide range of topics from the Silk Road to the Black Plague, this class will guide students on a journey through major historical events and investigate these developments in connection with gender relations, class divisions, ethnic/tribal identities, and more. Additionally, by making comparisons between historical events and the present day, students will also see why history remains so important even in contemporary times.

Instructor Alahverdian notes that students do not need any previous historical knowledge of the topics covered in the course. Having been a TA for the course three times before taking on the role of instructor, he says students are always surprised by how engaging and relevant they find course materials and discussions.

He explains, “Because we cover such a diverse set of topics, students from all disciplines and backgrounds can find something that relates to their own major or themselves.”

Taught during Summer Session II, this course offers a great opportunity for history, international studies, and global culture majors or minors to fulfill course requirements. For students looking for general education credits, this course also fulfills general education requirements IV (Arts and Humanities) and VIII (International/Global Issues)

As this course will be taught remotely, Instructor Alahverdian is taking steps to ensure the class is as engaging and accessible as possible. In addition to live lectures where students are encouraged to participate, he will also record lectures for those who are unable to meet in real-time. Instructor Alahverdian is also willing to make special arrangements and schedule individual meetings with students who are experiencing technical issues or require extra help.

Course grades will be based on midterm and final papers, along with a series of short discussion assignments. The best part is that students do not have to purchase textbooks or other resources as all course materials will be provided.

Students interested in taking HISTORY 21A during Summer Session II can enroll using course code 26540 until July 31 here.