World History 1 - Fall 2020

Welcome to World History 1

Professor: Dr. Celeste Tường Vy Sharpe (she/her)

Welcome to World History! 10,000 BCE to 1400 CE is a massive amount of history to cover in one semester. There’s no way we can get to everything, and we’re not going to try. Instead, we’ll take some deeper dives into learning about particular cultures, events, and people and spend time considering how historians interpret the past. 

We’ll use data and digital methods to explore the limits of sources and what we can know, and connect the long past with the present.


  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of World History from pre-History through the early modern era (thirteenth through seventeenth centuries CE).
  2. Make use of historical thinking.
  3. Analyze historical sources, distinguishing primary from secondary sources.
  4. Communicate effectively using historical evidence and methods.
  5. Analyze and understand the diversity of peoples within their distinctive historical contexts. 
  6. Develop digital and quantitative reasoning skills (including the ethics of finding, using, and presenting data) that are applicable in history and other fields by working with data and digital materials.
  7. Develop strategies for advancing your learning skills such as effective reading, writing, and file management.

What is the point of this website?

This site houses the content of the course: readings and things to watch, assignment descriptions, and technical tutorials. Because of FERPA, student personal information (including grades) is protected, which is why Normandale (and many other colleges and universities) have a learning management system like Brightspace D2L that’s secure and password protected.

For this course, all assignments and discussion posts are turned into and graded in D2L. This website has all the content. There are a couple reasons for this: it’s easier and faster for me to update to correct or edit information, and students have shared with me that it’s easier to access and reference what’s needed when it’s not behind a login.

Your Professor

Hello hello! I’m Celeste Tường Vy Sharpe. My general research interests fall into two categories: topics where the histories of disability and visual culture combine, and the scholarship of teaching and learning, specifically the access and accessibility of digital methods and data for learning history.

I’m originally from central California, which has given me very strong opinions about produce. Before becoming a professor at Normandale, I earned my PhD in history from George Mason University and worked at Carleton College in academic technology (basically I was a collaborator and guide for faculty who wanted to integrate tech and data into their classes).

brown and white tabby cat pokes her head out of brown grocery bag to look around

In my downtime, I love to cook and bake. I grew up in a family where making food and feeding others was a major way we connected across differing ideas, ages, and experiences so I continue the tradition by making things and hosting large meals when it’s not a pandemic. That being said, I can’t make a pie crust to save my life and I’ve had so many people try to teach me that I’m clearly a lost cause at pie crust making. Taking nature walks and exploring parks and trails is one of my favorite ways to get outside. Walks and keeping my cat Beatrix entertained are some ways I relax and clear my mind.