Introduction to World History challenges students to think analytically about the major historical processes that shaped and continue to shape cultures and civilizations. The course is based on a series of case studies that focus on shifting power relations between and within civilizations. Three major themes connect the several topics discussed throughout the semester: issues of authority and inequality within civilizations; encounters and conflicts between civilizations; and patterns of continuity and change across space and time. The course demonstrates how historians explain what has happened in the past and in various civilizations and cultures; presents the kinds of evidence that historians use to reconstruct the past; and examines the interpretations historians make based on this evidence. The semester begins with a consideration of the rich culture of medieval Iberia and then moves on to discuss: the encounters between the "old" world and the "new"; the emergence of a transatlantic society; industrialization in Europe and China; environmental imperialism in India; and tradition and modernity in post-colonial Africa.