HIST437AA Utopias Syllabus.pdf - Early Modern Utopias...

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Early Modern UtopiasHIST437AA/4 | HIST610AA/4Winter Term, 2018Tuesday, 6-8:30pm, LB-1014Dr. Ted McCormickOffice Hours: Wednesday, 1:30-3pm, LB-1001.01E-mail:[email protected]Almost every utopia is an implicit criticism of the civilization that served as its background; likewise it isan attempt to uncover potentialities that the existing institutions either ignored or buried beneath anancient crust of custom and habit.–Lewis Mumford,The Story of Utopias(1922)DescriptionUtopian aspirations have arguably existed in every age and culture. Yet utopias have been muchmore prominent vehicles for political, social, religious, and scientific thought and activity in somesettings and periods of history than others. Early modern Europe produced an especially prodigiousnumber and range of utopian works. Renewed engagement with ancient history and philosophy,religious change, scientific discovery, technological innovation, expanding state power, economicdevelopment, social dislocation, and colonial expansion sparked a wide variety of utopian works andprojects in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Early modern utopias are thus awindow on early modern aspirations; and to the extent that the early modern world shaped ours, wemay wonder how these aspirations color our own. By examining early modern utopias and thescholarship around them, this seminar aims at exploring the meanings utopia could be given in thecontext of early modern politics, society and cultural life, and the power it still has in the present.
2Responsibilities and AssessmentYou have two major responsibilities in this course: participating in seminar discussions, anddeveloping a research paper. Each of these responsibilities includes multiple components which willbe assessed separately.Participation(35%)1. Reading/responses (15%)This course requires a substantial amount of reading (roughly the equivalent of one academicmonograph per week). You are expected to read carefully and critically and to engage withthe reading, as much as possible, on its own terms. Whether youlikea reading or not ismuch less important, in an academic context, than the ideas you can get out of it or the workyou can do with it. Each week, you will be responsible for writing a one-paragraph commentthat connects the different readings and suggests topics or questions for discussion.2. Attendance/participation (20%)The course also requires regular attendance and active participation. Participating in seminarconversations means not only attending every class, but being both prepared for class – i.e.,having doneand thought aboutthe readings – and being willing to contribute to the discussion.On occasion it may also entail small-group assignments in class. If you find classroomparticipation daunting, or if you simply have little background in seminar-style courses, Iencourage you to meet with me during Office Hours as soon as possible.

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Term
Winter
Professor
Ted McCormick
Tags
The Scientific Revolution 1550 1700, Francis Bacon, The Enlightenment 1650 1800, Glorious Revolution, 1984, Gulliver s Travels, The Land, Utopia, Britain, History Of Science, Primary sources, Utopian Studies, History of ideas, Early Modern, Early Modern Utopias

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