World History

Tibetan New Year

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This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly features Tibetan Buddhists in the U.S. performing the traditional services of the Tibetan New Year. The activities of the Tibetan New Year symbolize purification. They are intended to drive away evil spirits, renew positive spiritual energy and reinforce the resolutions a person has made.

Political Debate in Turkey | Wide Angle

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Secularists in Turkey are fearful that the ruling Islamic AK party will move the nation away from its secularism and impose Islamic law, resulting in a rise of Islamic fundamentalism. AK supporters feel that the party is compatible with modernity and harsh criticism from secularists has not been justified. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Turkey's Tigers," enter the debate on the roles and conflicts of secularism and democratic values with Islam in Turkey.  

Granito: How to Nail a Dictator : Collect Oral Histories About the Genocide in Guatemala

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In this lesson, students will watch a video clip about a young woman whose father disappeared during the Guatemalan dictatorship in 1984 as part of a systematic genocide. They will then discuss the strengths and limitations of oral histories in telling the story of such a complicated tragedy. Students will also reach out to Guatemalans in their families or community whose lives have been affected by the genocide; document their memories from that time period; and submit these stories to a website that serves as a public record and memorial of the Guatemalan genocide. If students are unable to speak to Guatemalans in their families or community, they can shift the focus of the activity to create audio recordings of stories told by other members of the local community.

Breaking New Ground | Wide Angle

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After the genocide of 1994, the women of Rwanda emerged as leaders in their communities and government. This video segment from the Wide Angle film "Ladies First" introduces some of the challenges the women have faced, and how they have succeeded.

The High Cost of Progress | Wide Angle

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India’s agricultural sector has yet to catch up with the rest of the country’s economic growth. In the rural region of Vidarbha, two factors contributing to farmers’ inability to produce a profit are global trade policies that benefit wealthier nations and the recent introduction of expensive genetically modified cotton seeds. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "The Dying Fields," meet Vandana Shiva, an activist who campaigns against unfair global trade practices and urges farmers to return to planting their own farm-grown seeds.

Remembering the Holocaust

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Watch and listen as Holocaust survivor Kaethe Schohl Wells and war crimes reporter James Hall reflect on their experiences during and following World War II.

The Power of Developers | Wide Angle

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The success of the market economy in China has led to a vast expansion in construction and property development projects across the country. The transition from a socialist legacy of collective ownership of land to a new system that allows for private ownership of property has not come easily, however, and many legal disputes have resulted. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "The People's Court," meet a family who have been pushed off their land and feel betrayed by the promises of property developers.

Memories of a Penitent Heart | Lesson Plan Clips

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Like any good detective story, Cecilia Aldarondo’s Memories of a Penitent Heart began with two things: a mystery and a clue. The mystery was the untimely death of Miguel Dieppa, a young Puerto Rican actor; the clue was a shoebox of decaying 8mm home movies. Although these home movies documented cheery moments like birthdays and vacations, they also prompted Cecilia, Miguel’s niece, to investigate a murky moment in their shared family history: Miguel’s deathbed conflict with his mother, and what had become of Robert, the lover Miguel left behind.

Combining home movies, video and written documents with artfully shot contemporary interviews and vérité footage, Memories of a Penitent Heart is a documentary that cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama. The intimate film also encompasses defining historic events and challenging social issues, from the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s to the ongoing tensions between social mores, cultural beliefs and LGTBQI rights today. Though the film is an excavation of history, it is also a potent reminder that HIV/AIDS and LGTBQI stigma are not a thing of the past, especially for people of color and residents of rural communities. The conversation about rights and acceptance of LGTBQI people is ongoing, particularly in places where religion is a powerful cultural factor.

Through Cecilia’s journey to recover her uncle’s story, students will explore how we learn about the past and the many factors that can influence—and at times distort—our understanding of history. In the process, they will examine how the HIV/AIDS crisis in particular shaped negative perceptions of the LGTBQI community that persist today, contributing to growth of the HIV epidemic in low-income communities of color, both rural and urban. Using Cecilia Aldarondo’s investigation as inspiration, students will conduct their own research on narratives from their families or communities and understand the broader historic context in which those occurred.

A Step Too Far - The Failure of the Blitzkrieg Machine | Nazi Mega Weapons: Blitzkrieg Part 6

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Learn more about how the incredible early success of Blitzkrieg in the Soviet Union ended up being a task beyond its resources. Fuel supplies soon became exhausted and tank losses through action or mechanical breakdown became crippling to the German Army. Blitzkrieg was a short range technique well-suited to war in the West but not for the much greater distances and harsher conditions of the East.

Reconstructing the Seigfried Line After D-Day | Nazi Mega Weapons: The Seigfried Line

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Learn how and why Hitler had to refurbish the Siegfried Line after the D-Day landing. Hitler stripped the Siegfried Line to strengthen the Atlantic Wall, so when the Allies overran that on D-Day the Nazi's began to fall back to the Siegfreid Line which was nothing more than a shell. Fritz Todt has been killed in a plane crash and Hitler has to run the renovations himself. It is rush job with hundreds of small bunkers and minefields laid. Hitler also calls his best military tactician to organize the troops: Field Marshall Model. Model prepares the troops at the point of the line he knows will be most prone to attack, the Aachen gap.

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