As a classmate of Jordan's, I can relate that the issues raised in her post were the subject of lively debate in our class, especially Olstein's attempts to neatly delineate world and global history, as well as the ten other categories mentioned by Jordan: comparative, relational, international, transnational, sociological, civilizational, ocean, world-system, global, history of globalization, world, and big histories.
Welcome to H-World, a network for practitioners of world history. The list gives emphasis to research, to teaching, and to the connections between research and teaching.
I think that your point about using physical objects or important texts is very important and needed in history. I have found that using things like visual culture gives students something to hang their hat on. Students remember the material better if they have something tangible to think back on. I definitely take your points and I dislike people who make world history for the sake of world history. I also understand the political reasons why many states want us to focus more on things that are western.
This discussion has been pretty “theory” heavy so far. Some in this discussion suggest the need for a “broader theoretical framework” and the need to more clearly communicate that. For others, it seems, such models are already in place. It might be “Big History,” “globalization,” or etc.
For many others “history” is, at least in part, about “story.” What role does narrative history, biography, fiction, etc. play as you look at the “state of the field of world history” either as a teaching or research field?