8 online history courses from prestigious universities you can take for free
Eight free, and easy-to-enrol-in online history courses to take while you’re staying home due the coronavirus. From Yale, Harvard University and more.
What caused the birth of religion? Are Hindu scriptures still relevant in 2020? What’s the meaning behind mysterious Japanese scrolls and texts? If you often find yourselves curious about beliefs and practices from the past, why not dig a little deeper while you quarantine at home? Many prestigious British and American universities — Harvard, and Yale among others — are making their online courses on these subjects available for free right now.
Though you may be struggling to find focus and balance during this uncertain period, if you have a little extra time, and are looking for new ways to occupy yourself, this might be the perfect opportunity to access short educational programmes from top-ranked institutions — and with the coronavirus lockdown, and social distancing restrictions likely to continue, it looks like we're going to be stuck at home for a while.
Ahead, we’ve listed a few virtual history courses that prestigious universities across the world are offering free of cost. So don’t wait. Shortlist, and get started immediately.
The Modern World, Part One: Global History from 1760 to 1910 offered by University of Virginia
Beginning with the worldwide political and economic revolutions of the late 1700s, part one of the course goes on to track the breakthrough transformation of the world that occurred through the 1800s. During a seven-week programme, learn about revolutionary wars, democratic revolutions, and more, all from a global perspective. Enrol here.
The Modern World, Part Two: Global History since 1910 offered by University of Virginia
There’s a fair chance that if you’re a history buff, your curiosity will go beyond the period covered in part one, and you will seek answers to the questions that may have arisen in your mind during the course. Considering the same, the university came up with a second part that begins early in the Twentieth century. The course focuses on important struggles of the era, and concludes in the present day. Enrol here.
Hinduism Through Its Scriptures offered by Harvard University
By way of hymns, narratives, and philosophical thoughts, the online course will enable you to gain more knowledge about the Hindu sacred texts — and what you can learn from them. Much like the modern thinkers across the world, who have taken inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita to enrich their ideas, you will learn to interpret, and engage with these writings. Enrol here.
Religious Literacy: Traditions and Scriptures offered by Harvard University
Often, human experience is shaped by social institutions that include various dimensions of religion in historic, as well as contemporary contexts. In this course by Harvard University, learn how these fascinating dimensions go beyond beliefs, and ritual practices, and explore the tenets through scriptures and themes, such as gender and art. Enrol here.
A History of Royal Fashion offered by University of Glasgow
Delve into the wardrobes of British kings and queens across five royal dynasties — from the Tudors, Stuarts, and Georgians to the Victorians, and Windsors. From a sumptuous court of the Tudors at Hampton Court Palace to the sleek and elegant Windsors at Kensington: go behind the scenes, and look at the fashion successes, eccentricities, and failures of different royal dynasties in Britain. Enrol here.
Japanese Books: From Manuscript to Print offered by Harvard University
If the Japanese art culture has always fascinated you, here’s a chance to start decoding it. The nine-week course will take you through their notable short stories, and epic tales, teach you how to examine Japanese books and scrolls, and introduce different approaches to visual and textual storytelling. Think analysing beautifully preserved manuscripts in the Harvard Art Museums. Enrol here.
Roman Architecture offered by Yale University
This course offers an introduction to the ancient buildings, and engineering marvels of Rome, and its empire, with an emphasis on individual monuments, and their decoration, including mural painting. The course description says: "While architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy are highlighted, the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and North Africa.” Enrol here.
The Ancient Greeks offered by Wesleyan University
Right from the Bronze age to the death of the classical Greek philosopher, Socrates, the virtual lessons dive deep into the ancient history of Greece. Fill yourself in on important events, and personalities, as well as the cultural-political aspects of the country's past. Enrol here.