Skip to main content

Early Globalization: Contact, Conflict and Pandemics

Image of an old map of the world separated by Western Hemisphere and Eastern Hemisphere

The electric speed at which the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world reminds us about the nature of the globalized world that we now live in. And yet, globalization is not recent. Early River Valley Cultures in Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley, the tumult of the Crusades, the early global pandemics like the Black Death, and the global spread of the Renaissance, and the turmoil unleashed by the revolutions of the 18th century are some of the themes and topics that will help us to understand the history of globalization as a continuous process and how early globalization has affected every aspect of our lives from the ancient times until the mid 1700s. By examining warfare and conquest, the formation of early empires, trading networks, commodity exchanges, global pandemics, and medicine and religion, this course will show how over the centuries the world became an interconnected whole. This is a text-free course and you are not required to purchase any textbook. Course readings will be provided online.  

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.