sp08syl - Western Civilization (History 100/ver. 7.1)...

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Western Civilization (History 100/ver. 7.1) Professor T. Mills Kelly Office Hours Robinson Hall B377a M/W 1:30-2:45 phone: 703-993-2152 or by appointment email: tkelly7@gmu.edu website: http://chnm.gmu.edu/history/faculty/kelly blog: http://edwired.org aim: tkelly7029 In this course we will investigate the events and issues in Western civilization from the advent of that civilization before the Common Era (C.E.) to the Second World War, and maybe beyond if we make it that far. Because that leaves us with more than two thousand years of history to investigate in only 14 weeks, our approach will be highly selective. Unlike other history courses you may have taken, this course does not survey these events in a strict linear progression. We will not be memorizing lots of names and dates. Instead, we will take a thematic approach that focuses on a number of the most important developments during the two plus millennia we will cover. Our main organizing theme throughout the semester will be the ways that something that came to be known as science (previously philosophy, magic, etc.) developed and had an impact on society as a whole. Right from the start of the semester we will also concentrate our attention on how historians think, analyze and write about the past—in other words, on what historians do and how they do it. After that, we will devote two or more weeks to five different topics. Each of these segments includes a mixture of readings, discussion, and analysis of primary sources and what historians have written about those sources. As you will see, we will attack those topics in an interesting and, I hope, enjoyable way. By the end of the semester you will know a lot more than you do now about the history of the West and you will be able to apply that knowledge to not only the events of modern European history, but also to many other areas of scholarly investigation. I am sorry to say that you will not have an encyclopedic knowledge of the names, dates, battles, treaties, kings, queens, artists, and philosophers in modern European history. If memorization of these pieces of information is what you crave, you'll be better off in another section of this course. Weekly Pattern of Activity Each two-week segment of the course will follow the same general pattern. You will have assigned readings, both from secondary and primary sources, and you are expected to do these readings before class. In addition to doing the readings before class, you will also be expected to post a response to the questions for the week in our class weblog (blog)—more on this below. Our class sessions will be devoted to discussions of the
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questions posted in the blog and other issues that arise along the way. This means that if you have not done the necessary preparation before class (reading, blog posting), you won’t have much (if anything) to contribute to class. If you can’t contribute, your class participation grade will suffer and since it is a large part of your final grade for the
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 100 taught by Professor Millskelley during the Spring '08 term at George Mason.

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sp08syl - Western Civilization (History 100/ver. 7.1)...

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