Shakespeare once wrote “the web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together”. In the book The Great Leveler, Walter Scheidel claims that violence has historically reduced economic inequality, and catastrophes are therefore somehow a historical human necessity since the Stone Age.
A few years ago I made a MOOC - a Massive Open-Access Online Course – for Leiden University on the Coursera platform. Its called The Rooseveltian Century, re-interpreting US history in the 20th century through the lives of Theodore, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt.
When I became Chair of the International Studies programme in February 2016, I already knew it as a lecturer, who had taught History Europe from its inception, and as Director of Education of the Institute for History with responsibility for staffing many courses in the programme.