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Introduction to World History Connected 17.3, October 2020

     Much of this issue of World History Connected is devoted to one of the largest of its topical Forums. It is comprised of eight articles that offer fresh perspectives that are important in the world history classroom as they are for researchers. They explore why the region has attracted less interest than other regions and the great advantages the flow to those pursuing its history beyond the current Eurocentric approaches still found textbooks; they resist the tendency to place South and Southeast Asia in separate silos by comparing the gendered politics of the trans-regional Islamic South and Southeast Asian World; they view the rise of modernity in Southeast Asia through the stories of influential Muslims; they challenge or expand existing views of trans-regional trade patterns; and use culture and the arts to explore the relationships between art, gender, ethnic identity and revolution. The Forum closes with an annotated digital guide to resources for research in, and the teaching of world history not found in the companion articles.

     This issue also offers a study by Jameel Haque of entrepreneurial agents of American foreign policy in the Middle East. Those familiar with Scott Anderson's Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2014) will find Haque's study not only valuable in terms of further illuminating Western imperial activities in pre-war Iraq and the Ottoman empire, but will also that find his exploration of the activities of American Vice-Consul Rudolph Hürner in the Ottoman Empire breaks new ground in our understanding of the role of entrepreneurial consuls as agents of empire.

     Stanley M. Burstein is the subject of the second of a planned series of interviews with world historians. Burstein is arguably the senior-most historian of the classical world committed to the promotion of the teaching of world history. The interview follows the trials and rewards of his career and includes his generous comments the current trends and prospects of the field of world history.

     The interview is followed by book reviews of Camilla Townsend, Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs uses indigenous sources (Nahuatl) to illuminate the conquest of the Mexica (Aztecs) and their cultural survival; Robert N. Spengler III's Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat, study of the Silk Road across time and its relevance to daily life past and present; James P. Delgado's War at Sea: A Shipwrecked History from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century, which the underwater archeologist author describes as a review for the general readers of what archaeologists have learned about lost warships, battles on the water, and the life and death of those caught up in those conflicts;” Christof Dejung, David Motadel, and Jürgen Osterhammel’s collection of 14 articles on the rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire that deliberately avoids Karl Marx’s focus on the means of production; and Daniel Headrick’s, Humans Versus Nature, a classroom ready coursebook that offers an excellent synthesis of the latest scholarship on global environmental history and makes a clear argument about how humans used, exploited, and degraded the environment that concludes with a warning of the consequences of the destruction of the natural world.

Forthcoming Issues and Guide for the Submission of articles

     Future Forums under development include such topics as Latin America and the Caribbean, Empires, Sustainability, Pandemics, Maritime History and South Asia. To add to the journal's coverage of these topics, new-regional editors are being added to the Editorial Staff, most recently Nikki Magie, for Latin America and the Caribbean. To expand the journal's web presence and outreach to scholar-teachers and classroom leaders at all levels of instruction, the journal has welcomed Susan Litrel and Angela Lee to work alongside existing staff members promoting advances serving world history instruction: Sandra Cohen, Bill Strickland, and Wendy Eagan. For short biographies and images of all staff members, see

     World History Connected is an e-journal of world history devoted to research and the scholarship of teaching world history. Its title reflects the journal's commitment to assisting both scholars and practitioners to invigorate and expand the reach of research and teaching of world history. It editors include past (and now in-coming) presidents of the World History Association and award-winning history educators at all levels of instruction. The journal's publisher, the University of Illinois Press, estimates that it currently serves 1.85 million discreet readers of at least two articles annually and receives 6 million visitors to its website. It welcomes submissions of articles and book reviews on any subject germane to world history including (a) essays on the state of the field; (b) case studies, or topical overviews which cross regional boundaries to examine such issues as gender, technology, demography, social structure, or political legitimacy; and (c) the evaluation of curriculum and innovative instructional methodology. The journal also seeks peer reviewers and scholars to review recently published titles in the field of world history. The journal is open-sourced (free): its staff and contributors are not compensated for their work, and it is funded by individual contributions and organizations committed to advancing its goals. It accepts no paid advertising.

     All submissions must be prepared double spaced, with one-inch margins and subheads at the left-hand margins, with endnotes, a short biography of about 250 words (a feature of all WHC articles), a mailing address, and phone number. The length of submissions should be more than 3,000 words and less than 10,000 words, with 6,000 the norm. Prospective authors are encouraged to first read the submissions guide and an article or two as a means of promoting the swift consideration of their work, which is a matter of pride among the journal's staff and peer reviewers. The submissions guide, which includes a style sheet, can be found at The journal is published 3 times annually (February June, and October). To submit an article, please send an abstract and or a completed essay to the editor, Marc Jason Gilbert at, including in the subject line: WHC submission and author's or authors' last name (s). Book review correspondence should be directed to Christine Skwiot, the journal's Book Review editor, at

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