World History Reading Groups

World History Reading Groups

Teachers in ORIAS World History Reading Groups read one book each month within a global studies theme. Participants meet monthly to eat and spend two hours in collegial conversation. It is a relaxing, intellectually rich atmosphere for both new and experienced teachers.

San Francisco book discussions are facilitated by Shane Carter, Outreach Coordinator for ORIAS and by Alan Karras, author and Associate Director of the Global Studies Program at University of California, Berkeley. East Bay discussions are facilitated by Shane Carter.

In-service teachers are eligible for book reimbursements or, in the case of regular attendees, may receive the books ahead of time from ORIAS. Meetings are open to all k-12 and community college faculty. Space is limited to 10 people per group.

photo credit: Books of Knowledge Picton Library Liverpool via flickr (license)


San Francisco Group


Wednesday, October 16

Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World by Gregory T. Cushman

Monday, November 18

India Connected by Ravi Agrawal

Wednesday, December 11

The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire by Kyle Harper

Wednesday, January 15

Empire of Guns: the violent making of the Industrial Revolution by Priya Satia

Wednesday, February 19

Russian Hajj: Empire and the Pilgrimage to Mecca by Eileen Kane

Wednesday, March 11

The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empire, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam by Michael G. Vann

Wednesday, April 15

The Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade by Benjamin Breen

Wednesday, May 13

The Medieval Islamic Hospital: Medicine, Religion, and Charity by Ahmed Ragab 


East Bay Group


Friday, October 18

The Woman Who Turned Into a Jaguar, and Other Narratives of Native Women in Archives of Colonial Mexico by Lisa Sousa

Friday, December 6

A Social History of the Deccan, 1300 - 1761 by Richard M. Eaton

Friday, January 24

Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Friday, February 28

In discussion with Samar Habib. Reading selections will be provided to attendees.

Friday, March 20

cancelled due to covid-19

Friday, April 24

Mirrorlands: Russia, China, and Journeys in Between by Ed Pulford

Date TBD

The Age of Trade: The Manila Galleons and the Dawn of the Global Economy by Arturo Giraldez

SF Meeting Location

Civic Center Secondary School
727 Golden Gate Ave
San Francisco, CA

East Bay Meeting Location

ORIAS Office
1995 University Ave., 5th floor
Berkeley, CA


All meetings: 5 PM to 7 PM


SF Dates

October 16, 2019

November 18, 2019

December 11, 2019

January 15, 2020

February 19, 2020

March 11, 2020

April 15, 2020

May 13, 2020


East Bay Dates

October 18, 2019

December 6, 2019

January 24, 2020

February 28, 2020