In what ways did the major developments of the 19th century—industrialization, nationalism, and imperialism—continue to shape the course of events in the 20th century?
How do two formerly colonized countries—India and Congo—serve as microcosms of the broader trends in the post-colonial world?
What were the major challenges facing colonies as they pursued independence and then later as they established their own states?
How did the tension between communism and capitalism shape both India and the Congo?
Why did India and Poland reach positions of cautious optimism at the end of the 20th century, while Yugoslavia and the Congo failed to do so?
From colonialism to independence:
India: The British raj and the emergence of Gandhi and Nehru
The move towards partition and independent India and Pakistan
Congo: Leopold and the Belgian Congo
The challenges of independence
India: Establishing an independent state
Indian democracy and the rise of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty
The License raj
Nonalignment in the Cold War
Congo: The birth of Zaire
The persistence of extractive political and economic systems
From Lumumba to Mobutu
The impact of the Cold War
The post-Cold War world
India: Globalization and industrialization
The persistence of democracy and corruption
Gendercide and gender inequality
Congo: From Mobutu to worse
The Rwandan genocide as trigger
The Great Congo War(s)
Preparing for the different segments of a major history exam, including:
Historical IDs--learning to distill a person/event/idea down to its key elements
Quote identification--learning to recognize style and content typical to the writing/speech of historical figures
Essay--building a comparative essay between Poland/Yugoslavia and India/Congo
The role of collaboration in the review process
Online tools: Prezi and Haiku
Analyzing primary source documents
Second semester final exam
Impromptu debates on the causes of partition in India/Pakistan
Use of Prezi software to understand geography of Congo and India
Student discussion leaders
Primary source documents from Gandhi, Nehru, and Lumumba
Secondary sources, including Yasmin Khan's The Great Partition, Didier Gondola's The History of the Congo, Shashi Tharoor's India from Midnight to the Millennium, and Martin Meredith's The Fate of Africa
Comtemporary work, including Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat, Vandana Shiva, and Jason Stearns's Dancing in the Glory of Monsters