Spring is upon us, and soon we will
all begin thinking in earnest about the end of the academic year. At World History Connected, we suggest
taking some of the ideas presented in this issue with you into the long summer
months, when many of you will be using your extra time to plan for next year.
Indeed, the essays in this issue provide some challenging ways to rethink the
ways one might teach world history, whether through new conceptual models or
via new resources. For example, the essay by Maritere Lopez and Melissa Jordine
provides a model of teaching world history that is based on both civilizational
as well as thematic approaches. For those interested in transforming regional
into global history, Matthew Smith demonstrates the ways that Atlantic History
courses can in fact be ‘world' history. Finally, Michael Marcus shows us the
many ways we can use art in the classroom to demonstrate global
interconnectedness long before the twentieth century.
In addition to these helpful and
inspiring pedagogical essays, this issue features an essay by Jeff Somers that
is part historiography, part reflection. Ultimately, he argues that we study
world history because its time has come: given the globalized nature of our
world, we can no longer answer historical questions adequately without
employing a global perspective. To complete the issue, Tom Laichas has
conducted a fascinating interview with Merry Wiesner-Hanks, whose publications
in the field of world history no doubt feature largely on most of our bookshelves.
Of course, this issue also features its excellent regular teaching columns and plentiful
Sadly, we say goodbye in this issue
to WHC board member Jack Betterly,
who passed away on March 7, 2008. Many of our readers knew him well, and were
fondly familiar with his humorous emails and frequent postings on H-World. As a
gesture of farewell, we have included in this issue the responses that WHC staff and H-World members wrote in
reaction to Jack's passing.
This issue also marks my last as
co-editor. It is difficult to imagine that it has already been five years since WHC was inaugurated. I wish to thank
Washington State University, the WHC staff and editorial board, our wonderful contributors and—most of
all—you, our readers, for your support and enthusiasm over the years. I
hope you will continue to read, enjoy, and learn from WHC as Aims McGuinness of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
gives the journal a new home and takes the reigns as co-editor for the next
five years. Happily, Tom Laichas will continue in his position of co-editor to
help make this transition as smooth as possible. May the future of WHC be as bright and full of promise as
the field of world history itself.
Heather Streets, Co-editor