'Hyperdiffusionist' is certainly a 'hyper-misunderstanding' of the course, since I stated that the course was interested in addressing the debates concerning the various views involved, 'debunked' or otherwise. Alongside the history of med, sci & tech in WH itself, I'm interested in helping students understand – among a number of other complex related issues – the historical development of the debates surrounding questions of contact & exchange versus independent development.
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.
Perhaps I misunderstand the objective of this particular course, but the description caught my attention. It reminds me a bit of hyperdiffusionism (not to be confused with diffusion). In the history of anthropology, as you may know, this debunked position is historically exemplified by the Egyptocentric (heliolithic) theory of Grafton Elliot Smith and W.J. Perry in the 1920s. Half a century later, an Afrocentric version appeared in Ivan van Sertima’s “They Came Before Columbus” (1976).
New Year greetings. I will be teaching 'Medicine, Science and Technology in World History' this semester. Debates over crosscultural contact and exchange versus independent development are central to the undertaking. Among other historical cases, I plan to raise the question of possible pre-Columbian contact between the Mayan and Egyptian cultures. Along these lines, I've come across the following sources in my brief, limited searches thus far:
I’m interested in organizing a panel for the AHA 2020 that will explore ways for incorporating the environment in world history courses, particularly in survey courses and in the pre-industrial period, though I am flexible. If interested, let me know.
Sincerely, Matthew Herbst
UC San Diego
I think it is worth sounding a note of caution as to whether the piece (by Brands & Gavin) really expresses all or even most of what there is to say about this topic. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it does not even support the case its authors are themselves trying to make.