New approaches to history of the world from ca. 500 to 1500 CE. Examines the world before European hegemony. Topics may include nature of autonomous centers of production around the globe; characteristics of trade, empire, science, technology, and high culture across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas; diffusion of inventions, ideas, cultures and religions through travel, trade, state and empire building. Readings and films explore diverse cosmopolitan worlds before the coming of modernity.