Nationalism and State Sovereignty: Notes
Nationalism and State Sovereignty: Notes

The historical documents included in the module represent a range of possibilities only.  All of them should be edited for length by the instructor, and supplemented with other source materials of the instructor’s choosing.  In addition, diverse visual sources—advertisements, posters, photos, political cartoons, paintings, short historical films, video documentaries —can prove valuable for exploring the module’s themes.  The number of source excerpts or images used will vary according to time constraints and particular themes under consideration in the given lesson. 

All of the documents referenced in the module, and the only reading that is formally required, may be found in The Human Record (Sources of Global History), Sixth Edition, Volume II:  Since 1500, Alfred J. Andrea & James H. Overfield, eds. (Houghton-Mifflin, 2009).  The numbers and designations used for them here are identical to those used in the Andrea & Overfield sourcebook.

The exact structure of class or group discussion, its particular flow, is always, of course, subject to the instructor’s discretion.  The “group work” format outlined here is merely one of various options.

Groups of 3-5 students each seem to work best.  Class size and time constraints, among other factors, will ultimately determine the group size and number of groups that each instructor deems reasonable and pedagogically useful. 

The module developer’s preferred format:  assign each group a different document or image, and then pose different questions to all the groups for their own separate discussions.  During their group work, tour the room, visiting each group briefly to answer questions, clarify difficult aspects of its particular text, and provide direction if necessary.  Next, following each group’s informal “report” on its discussion and conclusions, try to connect their thoughts and ideas to the main organizing theme of the lesson, while continuing to elicit further comments from the entire class on important related issues.

In place of the group presentation, or added as an assignment to be done after the formal module is completed, a short paper (2-4 pp.) may be assigned in which students are asked to adopt the historical identity or “historical voice” of one of the non-western authors of one of the source documents discussed earlier in the module.  Students will write in the first person from a different cultural perspective about an issue or topic of the instructor’s choosing, drawn from the required class readings.  A short film that effectively contextualizes and portrays nationalist strife could also serve as the foundational material for this short paper in place of one of the document-discussion lessons.