Travels of the Lute: A Digital Humanities Resource for Teaching and Learning World History

World History has become an increasingly popular subject in both secondary and post-secondary curricula. This trend helps teachers impart to their students a fuller appreciation of the diversity of human cultures and a better grasp of the implications of globalization, but it also presents significant challenges. For teachers, the popularity of World History often means teaching far beyond any one area of expertise, while for students, it means navigating a very broad range of material.

Contributors to the Travels of the Lute come to the project from different academic fields and musical traditions, but they share an interest in creating resources that will help teachers and students at the high school, college, and university levels learn more about World History and teach it more effectively. In particular, this project offers resources that are designed to help instructors and students better understand “connection”, a central theme in World History, through the examination of one extended family of musical instruments. These instruments provide us with opportunities to appreciate far-reaching cultural contacts from many centuries ago through considerations for the how the instruments were created, how the players learned their skills, and how appreciation of the music itself created a shared cultural inheritance.

In recognition of the fact that instructors and students approach the study of World History from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, we are including a range of sources and exercises to suit different levels of expertise and different approaches to learning. We hope that you enjoy our videos, maps, and associated educational resources, and we invite you to contact us should you have any questions or comments about the material.

Project Director:
Dr. Mairi Cowan, Department of Historical Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga
Email: mairi.cowan@utoronto.ca