Thursday, January 6, 2011

MMW5 - Revolution, Industry & Empire

UCSD's MMW series is the most complete history lecture collection you could want to follow. MMW stands for Making of the Modern World and in six series they offer the history from the earliest of times to the modern. The fifth in the series covers the period 1750 - 1914 CE and is likely the most accessible of the series. In addition MMW5 has many comparable series: History 5 from Berkeley, History 1c from UCLA, European Civilization from Yale. They all give this tale of Revolution, Industry & Empire and Europe that comes to dominate the world.

MMW5 is running again this semester with Professor Heidi Keller-Lapp as the lecturer. The first two lectures have been published already so now is the best time to join in. You won't miss much if you start listening from the second lecture. The first half of the first lecture is entirely dedicated to administrative details of the course and can be skipped by the podcast listener. Then Keller-Lapp proceeds to give a general intro to the course, boiling down to this: how is it that Europe in this period suddenly became the center of the world? (feed)

This question, either explicitly or implicitly also stars in the other courses as well as many other podcasts. Keller-Lapp gives a brief mention of a view that suggests that even if it seemed that the focus of the world moved from China to Europe, this was in fact not the case. Europe just briefly profited from the fact that China wanted to buy its goods and services. China was still the motor of things. And what is tangible in all of these debates obviously is also: China is back and Europe is about to lose its centrality again.

More MMW5:
Two podcast issues on the History of Haiti,
Revolution, Industry & Empire - UCSD.
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