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<firstname.lastname@example.org> Fernando's reference to provincialism of Brazilian academia brings to mind Saul Steinberg's classic - and much imitated and spoofed - 1976 of the New Yorker's "View of the World from 9th Avenue." For those not familiar with the illustration, the features of Manhattan loom large and the rest of the world beyond New Jersey gets increasingly dwarfed, vague and humorously erroneous the further away you look. Certainly we all have an analagous map of the world that is shaped by many factors, no matter how cosmopolitan or outward looking we fancy ourselves. This thought actually occurred when reading Peter's original posting, and in particular the mention of national and "world" history (however we call it). Although not a historian, it seems to me that most countries see the history of the world through the lens of national history - with all the distortions ("fisheye" view, astigmatisms) that that entails. This tendency would be more exaggerated in the case of some of the largest countries, notably the US and China, which see themselves in one way or another at the center of the world. I imagine the view from a country like Brazil is a little more typical of most countries, at least to the extent that there is some self-focus and a selective clarity about regions beyond one's own. On the other extreme might be more recently colonized countries - e.g., in Africa - which understand world history at least partly through the lens of another country's national history. None of this is particularly revealing to most of us, but the idea of comparing cognitive maps of the world as a way of understanding how global/world histories play out in different places, may be useful. It may be especially interesting in thinking of approaches to take in teaching classes (at the risk of veering the thread in another direction). In a rather different learning setting, I've used the "view of the world from ..." example in talking with volunteers (Peace Corps, in Niger) about understanding some aspects of the mindsets of the communities they work in.