HIST100_Scales - History 100 The History of Western...

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History 100: The History of Western Civilization Enterprise Hall 276 Section 13: Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-10:15 Section 15: Tuesday/Thursday 10:30-11:45 Professor Rebecca Scales Office Location: Science and Technology II, 8 and 8A Office Hours: TBA Email: [email protected] Introduction Welcome to History 100. This course examines the history of Western civilization from its classical origins to the contemporary present. We begin the semester by exploring the legacies of ancient Greece and Rome, three religious traditions, and trade networks in shaping the “West.” The course then progresses quickly to the Renaissance, the Reformation, the French Revolution, and the birth of the modern era. Much of this class focuses on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—the period of Europe’s global dominance—and concludes with the recent formation of the European Union. Because we cover over 200 years of history in just 15 weeks, this course adopts a non- conventional approach to historical time. We may discuss a 300-year period during one class, and in the next, a time span of 30 years. Course goals: To survey the religious systems, political ideologies, and cultural traditions that have shaped the West To assess the impact of the West on non-European societies; and investigate the reciprocal influence of non-Western intellectual, religious, and cultural traditions on the West To explore the practice of history . How do historians explain why particular events happened? What kinds of evidence do they use to make historical arguments? How do they assess change over time? To study people of the past as historical subjects . In other words, how did different historical conditions (economic regimes, religious values, consumer practices, literacy, wars) shape the personal identities, worldviews, and decisions of people in the past? To consider how the meaning of the terms “civilization” and “Western civilization” have changed over time. What does it really mean to talk about the “West” today? Course Readings For Purchase: Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (Harvard University Press, 1983) Lynn Hunt, ed. The French Revolution and Human Rights : A Brief Documentary History (Bedford St. Martin’s, 1996)
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Robert Lewis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Broadview Editions, 2005) Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That (Random House, 1998) Art Spiegelman, Maus I (New York: Pantheon Books, 1973) Azouz Begag, Shantytown Kid (University of Nebraska Press, 2007) These texts may all be purchased through the GMU bookstore, as well as through various online booksellers. Additional short reading assignments (usually 1-3 pages each) are listed on the syllabus. These documents may be located on our class discussion board as web links or pdf files. You should open these documents, print and read them, and bring them to class with you on the day of the reading assignment.
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