Between the 14th and 16th centuries, the world’s center of cultural gravity shifted from societies east of the Mediterranean Sea — the Islamic World, India, China, and the Silk Road civilizations of Central Asia — to Europe, which began its ascent until “Western Civilization” dominated a globalized Earth. The voyages of Christopher Columbus mark the turning point. We will look at the world before and after his voyages and explore how cultural power shifted then — and why it may now be shifting back.
Tamim Ansary is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes, which won the Northern California Book Award for nonfiction in 2009. His previous OLLI courses have examined world history through various cultural lenses.
Note: this class will be recorded, and video of the lectures will be made available to students enrolled in the class. Perfect for those who want to take a class but may miss a lecture or two due to schedule conflicts.