Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Modern World History Syllabus

Reproduced below, sans bureaucratic material, is my Spring 2014 syllabus for the introductory world history survey "Thinking Historically in a Global Age," known until recently as "World History II."  Our department's new common textbook for this course is Crossroads and Cultures by Bonnie Smith, et al.  Some people find it too detailed, but the way I teach that isn't a problem.  It has good pedagogical features, such as maps and margin vocabulary, and the scholarship is generally up-to-date.  The book does stand out in de-emphasizing political history in favor of broad trends in social and cultural history, which are often linked to technology and changes in the global economy.

HIS 106: Thinking Historically in a Global Age
208 Dauphin Humanities Center, MWF 2 p.m.
Dr. Brian J. Ulrich
Required Texts:
Crossroads and Cultures, Vol.II, Bonnie Smith, et al
Sources of Crossroads and Cultures, Vol. II, Bonnie Smith, et al
America in the World: United States History in Global Context, Carl Guarneri
Electronic reserves found on D2L
Course Overview

Thinking Historically in a Global Age is specifically required under the “Required Skills and Competencies” category of the Shippensburg University general education program.  As such, educational objectives reflect not only historical content, but skills important for success at Shippensburg University and after graduation.

In this course we will frequently revisit the following themes:
1.)    Identity construction – People have many different identities, which can include national, religious, and ethnic.  An understanding of how these are formed among groups and how people think about them is among the most important elements of core curricula around the United States, and is crucial to understanding many developments in history over the past few centuries, which have seen the rise of countries and political movements and the outbreak of wars based on such identities.
2.)    Science, Technology and Transformation – The past 500 years have seen rapid progress in science and technology, which has affected our everyday lives, the scale of our identities, government power, and our economic roles, all in ways which can be seen as both good and bad.  In this course, we will look not just at new inventions and discoveries, but more importantly their impact on society.
3.)    Economic and Political Ideas – The rise of new types of identity and changes related to science and technology have given rise to a number of theories on how to properly organize a society and ensure economic prosperity.  These ideas are still around today, and represent a core part of our contemporary political discourse.  In this course, we will come to understand all of these “isms” and the historical context in which they emerged.
4.)    The United States – The United States is often considered alone, but it is part of the larger world.  This course will explore the American experience and the idea of American exceptionalism by relating American history to broader global trends and developments.

With these themes as our focus, assignments will ensure you develop a foundational understanding of world history since 1500, an ability to write clearly and think critically about world history since 1500, an ability to analyze historical events and trends effectively, and the cognitive tools of inquiry-based research.  There will be three exams during the course of the semester, which will not all have the same format.  The final exam will emphasize the last section of the course, but still have a cumulative component.  On March 24, you will also hand in an “Identity Construction Essay.”  You will receive an assignment guide for this essay in mid-February.  Attendance and participation are mandatory.  Students are allowed to miss three classes.  After that, your total participation grade will be lowered by 5% for each additional absence.

Schedule of Readings and Major Assignments
Full citation – see D2L under “Content”
RtP – Reading the Past
StP – Seeing the Past
LaL – Lives and Livelihoods

Part I: The Early Modern World
January 22 – Course Introduction (syllabus and agrarian societies)
January 24 – Guarneri, pp. 1-22 (historical narratives, polities of 1500)

January 27 – Crossroads, pp. 551-5, 585-600, 574 LaL (Early Portuguese expansion)
January 29 – Crossroads, pp. 555-77, Guarneri, pp. 56-67 (Spanish and Portuguese in the Americas)
January 31 – Crossroads, pp.  617-20, 632-5; Guarneri, pp. 89-91; Kenneth McPherson, The Indian Ocean: A History of People and the Sea (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 157-74. (Portuguese in the Indian Ocean) (paragraph due: According to McPherson, what was the overall result of the Portuguese entry into the Indian Ocean, and what are some key pieces of evidence he uses to support this position?)

February 3 – Crossroads, pp. 620-32; Sources, pp. 99-102 (Mughal Empire)
February 5 – Crossroads, pp. 635-2, 650-7, 636-7 LaL, 658-9 LaL (Ottoman and Safavid Empires)
February 7 – Crossroads, pp. 647-50, 658-66; Tridentine Creed; Martin Luther, “The Three Walls of the Romanists”; Westminster Confession, “Of Good Works,” “Of the Lord’s Supper” [Reformation]

February 10 – Robert Marks, The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological   Narrative (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), pp. 84-9; Benedict Anderson, “The Origins of National Consciousness,” Imagined Communities, New Edition, (London: Verso, 2006), pp. 36-46 (Origins of the nation-state) (assignment due: complete the outline found on D2L)
February 12 – Crossroads, pp. 683-6, 690-704, 692 StP, 696-7 LaL (Far East)
February 14 – Crossroads, pp. 667-70: Geoffrey Parker, “Crisis and Catastrophe: The Global Crisis of the Seventeenth Century Revisited,” American Historical Review 113 (2008):  1053-79. (17th-century crisis)

February 17 - Exam – The Early Modern World

Part II: Science, Industry, and the Great Transformation
February 19 – Crossroads, pp. 600-7, 748-9, Guarneri pp. 42-50, 72-9 (Slavery, plantations, and Africa)
February 21 – Crossroads, pp. 719-41; Sources, pp. 156-9 (Colonial Latin America)

February 24 – Crossroads, pp. 741-8, Guarneri, pp. 79-87; Sources, pp. 165-9 (Colonial Northern America)
February 26 – Crossroads, pp. 670-2, 762-7; Sources, pp. 171-3; James E. McClellan III and Harold Dorn, Science and Technology in World History, 2nd Ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), pp. 227-33, 249-56. (Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment)
February 28 – Valerie Hansen and Kenneth Curtis, Voyages in World History (Boston: Cengage Learning, 2010), pp. 583-90; Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), pp. xv-xxiii.

March 3 – Crossroads, pp. 767-71; Guarneri, pp. 95-103; U.S. Declaration of Independence; Edmund Burke’s “Address to the British Colonists in North America”(American Revolution) (Two paragraphs due: Based on the Declaration of Independence and Burke’s address in the context of the other readings, try and decide whether you would have supported independence from Britain in 1776, supporting or countering the points in both Burke and the declaration as appropriate.)
March 5 – Crossroads, pp. 771-6; Guarneri, pp. 103-7; Declaration of the Rights of Man; Maximilian Robespierre, “On the Festival of the Supreme Being” (French Revolution)
March 7 – Crossroads, pp. 777-84, 784 RtP; Guarneri, pp. 108-12 (Latin American independence)

March 10 – Guarneri, pp. 115-36; Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early   Republic, 1789-1815 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 20-36 (Early U.S.)
March 12 – Crossroads, pp. 791-804 (Industrial Revolution)
March 14 – Crossroads, pp. 804-6, 812-7; Sources, pp. 196-201 (Consequences of Industrial Revolution) (Paragraph due: What benefits and drawbacks to industrialization are highlighted in the readings in Sources, and how might authors’ choice of what to highlight depend on where they fit into the world?)


March 24 – Crossroads, pp. 825-38, 841-9, 846 LaL (Nation-bulding) (Identity Construction essay due)
March 26 – Crossroads, pp. 838-41; Guarneri, pp. 136-48, 166-75 (American nation-building)
March 28 – Guarneri, pp. 148-63 (Slavery and emancipation)

March 31 – Crossroads, pp. 806-12, 857-69, 880-5 (New Imperialism)
April 2 – Crossroads, pp. 869-80; Sources, pp. 222-7 (Colonial cultures)
April 4 – Crossroads, p. 882 RtP; Guarneri, pp. 209-31; Thomas Bender, “Being the Whale,” Nation  among Nations: America’s Place in World History, (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), pp. 192-206 (American empire) (paragraph due: To what extent was American imperialism the same as or different from that of European nations in the late 1800’s?)

April 7 – Exam ID Section – Science, Industry and the Great Transformation
April 9 – Exam Essay Portion – Science, Industry and the Great Transformation

Part III – The 20th Century
April 11 – Crossroads, pp. 894-902, 905-13, Guarneri, pp. 231-5 (World War I)

April 14Crossroads, pp. 902-5, 911 RtP; Vladimir Lenin, “What is to be Done?”; Declaration of the Rights of the Toiling and Exploited Peoples” (communism)
April 16 – Crossroads, 913-21, Guarneri, pp. 175-99 (Early 20th century mass society)
April 18 – Crossroads, pp. 928-9, Guarneri, pp. 199-207 (Great Depression)

April 21 – Crossroads, pp. 939-53, 942 RtP, 946-7 LaL; Guarneri, pp. 235-42; Holocaust testimonies (testimony summary due) (World War II)
April 23Crossroads, pp. 959-69, 978-80; Sources, pp. 279-83; Guarneri, pp. 247-62 (Cold War)
April 25 – Crossroads, pp. 969-75, 983-5; Vietnamese Declaration of Independence (decolonization)

April 28 – Crossroads, pp. 989-1003, 1026-31, 1048 LaL (Technology and society)
April 30 – Crossroads, pp. 1003-19, 1049-54 (Late 20th century politics)
May 2 – Guarneri, pp. 281-96 (U.S. and the world today)

Final Exam: Wednesday, May 7, 1 p.m.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home