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Roots of Contemporary Issues

Welcome to…














Our world has grown increasingly complex and interconnected, and the planet’s diverse peoples are facing common issues that will have tremendous impacts on our future.

This course begins with the premise that it is the job of historians and educators to provide students with the tools to address contemporary issues in mature, reasoned ways using evidence, critical thinking, and clear written and oral communication skills. These skills will help students face challenges today and in the coming years.

To do this, “The Roots of Contemporary Issues” suggests that we need both a deep historical understanding and an appreciation of the ways humans have been interconnected with far away places for centuries.


The Roots of Contemporary Issues is the foundational course for WSU’s university common requirements (UCORE). It not only introduces students to world history, but introduces students to five of WSU’s seven learning goals.

Students in History 105 and History 305 will learn to…

1) use reason, evidence, and context to increase knowledge, to reason ethically, and to innovate in imaginative ways.

2) identify, locate, evaluate, use responsibly and share information for the problem at hand.

3) learn to write, speak and listen to achieve intended meaning and understanding among all participants.

4) understand, respect and interact constructively with others of similar and diverse cultures, values, and perspectives.

5) develop depth, breadth, and integration of learning for the benefit of themselves, their communities, their employers, and for society at large.