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HIST 200 Genealogy in Global Context

Where did our ancestors come from? What prompted them to remain in a place or move? What evidence do we have to document their experience? Were our families part of a large historical event or phenomenon? In this project-based course, students will learn to locate family history/genealogy in time and space with a global focus. In order to understand their literal or figurative ancestors' experience, they will gather relevant primary as well as secondary sources and evaluate them. They will also investigate their family history/genealogy in political, economic, linguistic, cultural, environmental, and/or demographic contexts. Topics and perspectives to be explored include, but are not limited to, migration, war, colonialism, persecution, segregation, genocide, revolution, industrialization, urbanization, famine, flooding, epidemics, education, and employment, as well as identity, adoption, traditional and nontraditional families (including GLBTQ families, intentionally designed or proxy families), nationality, religion, race, gender, and class. Class projects and discussion are designed to deepen students' grasp of global history by putting a human face on history.


2-4 Undergraduate credits

Effective May 4, 2021 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Gather primary and secondary sources related to one's own or any individual's family history/genealogy.
  • Evaluate primary and secondary sources as reliable historical sources.
  • Situate a person's family history/genealogy in broader historical and geographical contexts.
  • Articulate connections between events in a person's life or family's timeline and events in world history.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of world history as it is relevant to a family history/genealogy.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 8: Global Perspective

  • Describe and analyze political, economic, and cultural elements which influence relations of states and societies in their historical and contemporary dimensions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, social, religious and linguistic differences.
  • Analyze specific international problems, illustrating the cultural, economic, and political differences that affect their solution.
  • Understand the role of a world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.