HIS 309L • Western Civ in Modern Times
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
In this course, we examine the central cultural characteristics of the Western heritage after the Reformation and discuss their transformation up to the present. A chronological historical narrative will be followed, but the most important focus of the course will be devoted to the examination of a number of central questions within Western society from the Reformation on through the present. We will attempt to formulate an understanding of "western civilization" and its central concerns and transformations. We will discuss such issues as the construction of political authority and its relationship to emerging conceptions of political liberty, the emergence of scientific thinking and religious tolerance, the genesis of revolution, market economies, the problem of genocide, and the consequences of globalization. We will examine and explain the emergence of the central characteristics of modern Western society, including mass society, democracy, colonialism, capitalism, secularism, political sovereignty, and the nation-state. Designed to accommodate 100 or more students.
2 hour exams @ 20% 1 final exam @ 30% 6 reading/discussion quizzes (lowest grade to be dropped) @ 6% each Exams will consist of term and primary text identification and essays.
Coffin, WESTERN CIVILIZATION Martin Luther, ON THE FREEDOM OF A CHRISTIAN Cabeza de Vaca, THE ACCOUNT: THE RELACION OF C. D. V Jean-Jacques Rousseau, THE SOCIAL CONTRACT Alexis de Tocqueville, THE OLD REGIME AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION John Reed, TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD Hannah Arendt, EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM Franz Fanon, THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH Additional readings from the Internet (I recommend you download them all at the beginning of the semester for your convenience