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Editor's Message

What's New at WHC  

     From its inception, World History Connected sought a means of providing on-line continuing education for those teaching a course in world history, particularly the introductory college survey and its Advanced Placement equivalent.

     Last year, World History Connected’s editors explored the idea of a special “summer supplement” devoted to that subject. These discussions intensified this spring when it was decided to pursue a new “Forum” segment three issues a year. In proposing the “Forum” idea, it occurred to me that instead of a special summer issue, we would instead devote the Forum section of each summer issue to the greatest needs of teachers responsible for survey courses at all levels of instruction. We chose to devote the first of these Forums to assisting those who may have just been assigned to teach world history in recognition of the fact that many instructors are often informed in the spring that they will be teaching a world history survey course for the first time in that fall, leaving them with little time (and usually no institutional resources) to attend Advanced Placement and regular world history workshops or institutes over the summer months.

     It is our hope at World History Connected that the first of these June forums will be of service to all those engaged in teaching world history. Forum Guest editor Ane Lintvedt, in her introduction, highlights the goals and value of each of the Forum articles, which range from discussions of assessment strategies to summer reading assignments. Among the “Featured Articles,” James Diskant’s essay will be no less valuable to “newbies” seeking to employ active learning strategies to enliven required courses and encourage “student buy-in” in elective classes. Essays by Marjorie Bingham and Yuan-ling Chao will expose scholar/teachers and students alike to the complexity of human relations across lines of ethnicity, religion and gender during times of political upheaval. Tom Laichas, in the first of a series of essays on music in world history, attempts to take that subject out of the generic bin of “world music” into the forefront of the world history classroom. John Maunu offers teachers the means to literally as well as figuratively open students’ eyes to history through his review of on-line sources for Virtual History tours.

     The book review section fulfills its usual mission of offering evaluations of works of value to teacher/scholars of world history, but it is worth drawing attention to a pair of reviews that shoe how scholars are seeking new “cartographic” vehicles for their analysis Hilde De Weerdt’s review of Gunnar Olsson’s Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason. Weerdt’s review analyzes a challenging major philosophic undertaking in such a way as to make its contents, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of its central arguments, accessible to the general reader, while also establishing the value of this seemingly esoteric work for all practitioners of world history in terms of identifying how we “map” our conception of reality. Eric Engel Tuten’s review of John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past indicates that mapping our historical imagination is so far from being esoteric as to appeal to our visual senses, and offers the photographs to prove it, to ourselves and to our students.

     The editors at World History Connected are excited about the journal’s potential to expand the boundaries of world history scholarship while at the same time disseminating the means by which teachers can better ignite the fires of learning among students. However, they rely upon your feedback to validate and critique their efforts. All editors (in the “Editors” file on the bottom left hand of this page) and authors (at the conclusion of their articles) have provided their email addresses. Contact them, let them know if they are serving your needs, and consider making your own contributions to World History Connected through the submission of an idea, article or other material that may be fashioned into a form that can advance the field in terms of both scholarship and teaching.

Marc Jason Gilbert can be contacted at



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