syllabus - History 140/141 Western Civilization: Origins to...

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History 140/141 Western Civilization: Origins to 1660 Professor Clare Crowston Spring 2011 Office Hours: M 11-12, W. 2-3 MW10-10:50 433C Gregory Hall Foellinger Auditorium Course Description: This course will survey essential developments in Western Civilization from Antiquity through the seventeenth century. It will focus on the evolution of political institutions from the city-states of Ancient Greece, through the Roman Empire, the feudal system of Medieval Europe and, finally, the emergence of nation-states in the seventeenth century. We will also study the philosophies or religious beliefs that helped men and women understand their society and the world, as well as the social structures and conflicts that characterized different periods of history. In particular, we will examine how relations with supposed "outsiders" - such as Jews, Muslims, indigenous peoples of the New World, enslaved Africans, and women – brought essential contributions to Western Europeans and helped them define their own identity. In the process, we will gain a new understanding of the cultural fusions and conflicts that continue to define, and challenge, our world. Another key element of the course will be to understand the role that history itself – stories about the past – has played in the creation of what we think of as Western Civilization. As much as a “real” historical entity, Western Civilization consists of the traditions and identities communities have taken on and the continuities they have claimed with earlier cultures and societies. Course Design: The course is designed to give you multiple perspectives on the history of “Western Civilization” in this period. The textbook, A History of Western Society , provides a narrative of the political, social and cultural developments of the West from the ancient Greeks up to the seventeenth century. Lectures will focus on particularly significant events, people and ideas in the periods we are studying, highlighting important details and themes. Discussion section is the place where you become an active learner and participant in the course. Here you will discuss primary sources produced by the people of the times: their letters, speeches, philosophical treatises and plays. These sources will allow you to become historians in your own right, analyzing and comparing the documents to produce your own interpretations of the past. Discussion section also provides an opportunity to ask questions about points covered in lecture or the text and to get help preparing for exams and written assignments. Throughout the semester, you will be required to read carefully, to attend class, to speak out in discussion section and to complete all written assignments. The payoff for all this hard work is that you will emerge from the course with an enhanced understanding of the people, ideas, and institutions that shaped Western Civilization and a much better grasp 1
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2011 for the course ECON 103 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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syllabus - History 140/141 Western Civilization: Origins to...

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