HSRU 1000-013: HISTORY OF THE WEST: ENLIGHTENMENT TO THE PRESENT

Room: Keating  214                              

TF 2:30-3:45 p.m.

 

Instructor: Tomas Zahora

Office: Dealy 647                                 

Office Hours:    Tuesday 9:30 a.m.-11:20a.m.

                                     1:30 p.m.-2:20 p.m.

Friday 1:30 p.m.-2:20 p.m.

and by appointment

 

E-mail: tzahora@highstream.net (checked at least twice daily: this is the best way to reach me when I am not in Dealy Hall)

Web Page: www.tomaszahora.org — syllabus, handouts, lecture outlines, and useful links will be updated throughout semester

 

 

 

Required texts:

Textbook:

Kishlansky, Geary, and O’Brien, Civilization in the West, vol. II: Since 1555, 6th ed. (2003). ISBN: 0-321-23625-4

 

Primary source readings and recommended editions:

Voltaire, Candide

           (Penguin paperback, trans. John Butt, ISBN 0140440046)

           e-text: http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/v/v93c/

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

           (Penguin paperback, ISBN 0141439475)

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

           (Penguin paperback, ISBN 0140432078)

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

           (Penguin paperback, ISBN 0140447571)

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

           (Harvest books, ISBN 0156787334)

Albert Camus, The Rebel

           (Vintage paperback, ISBN 0679733841)

 

Course objectives:

The course will focus primarily on Europe from the second half of the eighteenth century (after 1750) to the present. The main goal of the course is to provide students with historical and historiographic vocabulary with which to read, understand, and evaluate events and forces that have been shaping European and global history from the end of the eighteenth century to the present. The second goal of the course is to introduce students to primary source material and to provide them with basic skills for working with them. Finally, students will be encouraged to seek continuities, discontinuities, and impact upon the present among the issues, forces, and ideas presented in class.

Class will be conducted in the form of lectures and source-based discussions. Students are encouraged to participate by raising questions and commenting on assigned readings or research projects. All students are welcome to continue class discussion during the instructor’s office hours or via e-mail.

Course requirements and evaluation:

Class attendance                                                                         10%

Florilegium                                                                                20%

Essay                                                                                                    30%

Midterm                                                                                    18 %

Comprehensive Final Exam                                                         22 %

Total                                                                                                    100%

No incompletes will be given in this course.

 

Attendance policy:

You do not need to bring documentation to excuse your absence. Likewise, you do not need to ask me for permission to miss class. However, class attendance and participation in discussions constitute ten percent of your total course grade. Since discussions are a vital part of the class, I will count them as 2 attendance points. There are six discussion classes (12 points) and 20 lecture classes (20 points), which adds up to 32 points worth 10% of your class grade. You do the math: in other words, a couple of missed classes will not automatically shift you down on the grade scale. On the other hand, absences do add up, missed lectures tend to hurt at exam time, and the difference between an A- and a B+ can amount to a single missed class.

 

Florilegium:

Prepare a florilegium (“gathering of flowers” flos, floris: flower; legere: to gather, collect, read) from assigned primary sources.

For each primary source, select three passages (each a few sentences or a brief paragraph long) that in your opinion encapsulate the most important or interesting points made in the book. Then choose one passage (again, a few sentences or a brief paragraph) that you find troubling, singularly wrong, or with which you simply disagree. Provide each of the four passages with a commentary of 150 to 160 words—not less, not more.

Your commentary should reflect not your gut response but a reasoned understanding of the entire work (not just a few pages of it) in its historical context. Pulling out a passage describing Victor Frankenstein in his laboratory and commenting at length on how corny, amazing, or cute the scenery looks will not do.

SUGGESTION: be judicious in selecting passages as well as in commenting on them. Weigh your words carefully. 150 words can be typed easily without expressing much of substance. Condense your thoughts, making sure you touch on most important issues.

 

Each segment of the florilegium will be due at 5:00 p.m. on the day before discussion. Please e-mail me your florilegia, addressing them to tzahora@highstream.net.

 

Essay Project:

Write an eight-page essay that will trace the development, within the period of time under discussion, of an issue/point of view/political or social or intellectual problem or question that you find intriguing or particularly relevant. Begin by selecting a theme from one or more of the assigned primary sources (for example, you can start by comparing  the vision of a society presented by Mill with that presented by Marx; or look at the treatment of women in Candide in light of what Virginia Woolf has to say in A Room of One’s Own). Read the text(s) carefully, research the treatment of your thesis by contemporaneous writers or modern historians, and build up a brief annotated bibliography consisting of at least eight secondary sources. The annotated bibliography, together with an abstract of your essay, will be due at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 21 October. A handout with more specific information will be provided.

 

Late assignments:

Late assignments will incur a 10% penalty for each day they are overdue, beginning at 5:01 p.m. of the due date.

Course Schedule:

► NOTE: Chapter assignments refer to the textbook by Kishlansky et al. You should have them read by the end of the week as noted.

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Week 1: INTRODUCTION; EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY WORLD [Chapter 17]

            Friday 2 September

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Week 2: THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: POLITICS, SOCIETY, CULTURE [Chapters 18, 19]

Tuesday 6 September

Friday 9 September

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Week 3: THE FRENCH REVOLUTION [Chapter 20]

Tuesday 13 September DISCUSSION:

Voltaire, Candide [Florilegium due by 5:00 p.m. Monday, 12 September]

Friday 16 September

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Week 4: NAPOLEON; INDUSTRIAL EUROPE [Chapter 21]

Tuesday 20 September

Friday 23 September

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Week 5: ROMANTICISM; REVOLUTIONS [Chapter 22]

Tuesday 27 September

Friday 30 September DISCUSSION:

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein [Florilegium due by 5:00 p.m. Thursday, 29 September]

 

Last day to withdraw without incurring a WF

——————————————————————————————————————

Week 6: A CENTURY OF IDEOLOGIES [Chapter 22]

Tuesday 4 October

Friday 7 October

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Week 7: NEW VISIONS OF FREEDOM

Tuesday 11 October DISCUSSION:

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty [Florilegium due by 5:00 p.m. Monday, 10 October]

Friday 14 October MIDTERM EXAM

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Week 8: THE BIRTH (AND REBIRTH) OF NATIONS [Chapter 23]

Tuesday 18 October

Friday 21 October

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Week 9: SCIENCE OF NATURE, SCIENCE OF HUMANKIND [Chapter 23]

Tuesday 25 October DISCUSSION: The Communist Manifesto [Florilegium due by 5:00 p.m. Monday, 24 October]

Friday 28 October

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Week 10: BUILDING BETTER TOMORROWS: 19TH-CENTURY SOCIETY [Chapter 24]

            Tuesday 1 November

            Friday 4 November

 

 

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Week 11: EMPIRES [Chapter 25]

Tuesday 8 November

Friday 11 November

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Week 12: WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN: THE GREAT WAR [Chapter 26]

Tuesday 15 November

Friday 18 November

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Week 13: A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN

Tuesday 22 November DISCUSSION:

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own [Florilegium due by 5:00 p.m. Monday, 21 November]

Friday 25 November THANKSGIVING: NO CLASS

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Week 14: THE LOST GENERATION [Chapter 27]

Tuesday 29 November

Friday 2 December

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Week 15: THE APOCALYPSE AND AFTER [Chapter 28]

Tuesday 6 December

Friday 9 December DISCUSSION:

Albert Camus: The Rebel [Florilegium due by 5:00 p.m. Thursday, 8 December]

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Week 16

Thursday, December 22 ► FINAL EXAM 1:30 p.m.