New England Teachers to Hold World History Symposium at WPI, Saturday, Sept. 26

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. -- World history teachers from throughout New England will meet on the WPI campus on Saturday, Sept. 26, for the annual meeting of the New England Regional World History Association (NERWHA). This day-long symposium will address state standards for the teaching of world history, the role of technology in world history, and a workshop discussing strategies and problems of teaching world history by Patrick Manning, an internationally acclaimed Africanist from Northeastern University, and president of the association.

"We've assembled a spectacular program and anticipate 70 teachers attending to discuss issues in the teaching of world history," says Bland Addison, associate professor of History and conference chair. "Our keynote speaker is Pamela Crossley of Dartmouth, author of "A Translucent Mirror: History of Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology" (1997), "The Earth Transformed: A Global History" (1996), "The Manchus" (1996), and "Orphan Warriors: Three Manchu Generations and the End of the Qing World" (1990)."

The session on "The Role of Technology in World History" is free and open to the public. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at WPI's Salisbury Laboratory Kinnicutt Hall. Addison notes that NERWHA has 60 percent of its membership from middle and high school teachers. Those wishing to attend other sessions are asked to contact Addison at 508 831-5190.

"Our first session deals with the controversies surrounding state standards in the teaching of world history, and features award-winning teachers from Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts," says Addison.

The second session addresses the role of technology in world history. Professor Daniel Headrick, Roosevelt University, and Professor Peter Perdue, MIT, will be discussing how technological change has affected the course of world history. Professor Headrick is author of many publications about technological history, including "Invisible Weapon: Telecommunications and International Politics, 1851-1945" (1991), "The Tentacles of Progress: Technology Transfer in the Age of Imperialism, 1850-1940" (1988), and "Tools of Empire: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century "(1981). Professor Perdue, an acclaimed China expert, is author of "Chinese History in Economic Perspective" (1992), "Exhausting the Earth: State and Peasant in Hunan, 1500-1850 A.D." (1987), and a noted article, "Technological Determinism in Agriculture," in Does Technology Drive History? (Merrit Roe Smith, ed.).