Under the Baobab


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The Covid-19 pandemic has irrevocably changed teaching and learning and will have a lasting effect on how we practice historical scholarship. What does that mean for you? How have your colleagues responded? What insights, tips, and new questions have emerged in our recent collective experience that can shape world history moving forward? Join your friends and colleagues in the World History Association for a series of online gatherings designed to spark your curiosity, develop debate, and deepen your engagement with the field.

Each session will present new research, practical teaching applications, hands-on engagement, and lively conversation.

#5 ) Under the Baobab “Biography in World History: Sex, Lies, and Secrets”

Saturday 17 October 10:30 am – noon, PDT/1:30 pm – 3 pm EDT

This event will focus on the challenges of creating and using biographies in world history. What is the relationship between the individual and the broader patterns of the past? How do historians navigate the history of gender diversities? What can the narrative of individual lives bring to the world history classroom?

Dr. Candice Goucher (Washington State University), Editor of Women Who Changed the World (ABC-CLIO, 2021) will be joined by: Dr. Yaari Felber-Seligman (City College of New York), Dr. Bashabi Fraser (Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies, Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Dundee and Honorary Fellow at the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Suzanne Litrel (American Historical Association).

#4 ) Under the Baobab “Maritime History as World History”

Wednesday 23 September 12 noon – 1:30 pm, PDT/3 pm – 4:30 pm EDT

What does maritime history have to do with world history? In A World at Sea (Penn Press), a new volume edited by Lauren Benton and Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, nine contributors reflect on the promise and prospect of a global approach to maritime history. Drawing on social history, history of science, legal history, and many other approaches, the authors consider how the study of the sea and seafaring can inform and alter narratives in world history and the contributions that a global lens can make to maritime history.

Please join us for an interactive, audience-driven discussion with participation from Benton and Perl-Rosenthal along with many of the volume’s contributing authors: Jeppe Mulich, Matthew Raffety, Margaret Schotte, Lisa Norling, Carla Rahn Phillips, and Catherine Phipps.

#3 ) Under the Baobab “Reframing Revolutions: Centering Indigenous, Black, and Women’s Voices in the Age of Revolutions”

Tuesday 28 July 4:30 – 6:00 pm, PDT

It is easy to replicate dominant perspectives on the “Age of Revolutions” in ways that marginalize the historical agency and influence of people of color, indigenous people, and women. This session highlights strategies and materials to support interventions that correct this bias by centering the actions of marginalized people, such as indigenous Andeans or enslaved Haitians, complicating the role of the Enlightenment in the Age of Revolution, and by incorporating the stories of women as revolutionaries.

  • Eric Beckman of Anoka High School Anoka, MN has taught World, US, and European History with high school students for thirty years, first in California and now in Minnesota. Eric presents professional development sessions on globalizing World History and teaching historical thinking and World History for state and national organizations. Eric has a Master of Liberal Studies Degree from the University of Minnesota with a focus on the racial dynamics of housing in post-World War II American cities.
  • Bram Hubbell of Friends’ Seminary, NY, has taught world history at the Seminary in New York City for nearly twenty years. He has also taught courses on the modern Middle East, peace and non-violence in the twentieth century, and the relationship between humanity and the environment. He was the co-chair of the AP World History Test Development Committee and Curriculum Redesign Committees from 2008 – 2012. He also maintains the blog,
    Liberating Narratives which is focused on decolonizing world history.
  • Angela Lee of Weston High School, Weston, MA has been a world history educator in Weston for twenty years. She has been teaching AP World since its inception and was one of 90+ readers in Lincoln at the first reading in 2002. From 2013 – 2017, Angela served as a member of the APWH Test Development Committee. She is currently a member of the WHA Executive Council and chair of the WHA Social Media Committee.

This session will include presentations from each speaker, followed by an interactive discussion and closing conversations.

Click here to view this session of Under the Baobab.

#2 ) Under the Baobab “Roads and Oceans — The Journal of World History’s 30th Birthday”

Monday 20 July, 4:30-6 PM Pacific, 7:30-9 PM Eastern

This Under the Baobab gathering was hosted by Candice Goucher, who was in conversation with Matt Romaniello, Editor of JWH and David Christian, Lauren Benton, and Jennifer Gaynor about their papers, the relevance of their work today, and the current state of the field. Editor Matthew Romaniello curated the issue, “Roads and Oceans,” selecting papers based on use statistics and the thematic trends over the last three decades.

Click here to view this session of Under the Baobab.

Lauren Benton, The Legal Regime of the South Atlantic World, 1400 – 1750: Jurisdictional Complexity as Institutional Order (2000)

David Christian, Silk Roads or Steppe Roads: The Silk Roads in World History (2000)

Jennifer Gaynor, Ages of Sail, Ocean Basins, and Southeast Asia (2013)

For more on this issue of the JWH, see: http://bit.ly/jwh30th

#1 ) Under the Baobab “How Can History Help You During a Pandemic?”

Wednesday 27 May, 4-5:30 PM Pacific, 7-8:30 PM Eastern

What’s the point of taking a history class now? History teachers know that historical thinking skills help students evaluate sources and arguments in the past and the present, but communicating that to our students is a challenge, particularly now. The sources and strategies shared in this session offer paths to engaging students and connecting historical thinking skills to their lived experiences in the context of our new normal.

Sharon Cohen, Springbrook High School, Silver Spring Maryland

Bennett Sherry, OER Project and World History Center at the University of Pittsburgh

Shane Carter, ORIAS Program Coordinator, UC Berkeley


Member registration: Go to landing page for our secure database.

Non-member registration: Go to landing page for our secure database.