HIST 1006B - World History
2004 - Spring 2005
Thursday 8:30 am - 9:50 am, Edmund Casey 103
Instructor: Dr. Fikru Gebrekidan
Office: 122 Edmund Casey Hall
Office hours: T Th 10:30-12:00 pm or by appointment; drop in any time if you find my office door open.
Bulliet, Richard., et al. The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History. 3rd edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
World history is the study of the human past with a particular focus on inter-continental and inter-regional themes. Understanding world history requires understanding human interdependence as well as appreciating its cultural and civilizational diversities. At the subliminal level, however, world history is the history of ourselves and of where we fit in the larger global puzzle. As such, world history provides us with a unique context with which we understand our own society in relation to other societies. For this reason, studying world history not only contributes to our intellectual refinement, it also bolsters our cross?cultural awareness and our ability to live and work in an ever more complex global setting.
In this class we will survey the history of human kind from pre-history to the present. World history is a vast and infinite subject. So we will pay particular attention to two basic questions to help us identify a central theme: How, why and when do societies come together and form centralized polities such as states and empires? How, why and when do societies find centralization undesirable or resist being centralized? Asking these questions would help us address how history has been galvanized by various socio-economic and political forces: religion, trade, migration, technology, military rivalry, competition for resources and cheap labor, etc.
This is a full-year course worth six credit hours, which means it covers both fall and spring semesters. Your final grade will depend on six factors: attendance and participation fifteen percent, group activity ten percent, take-homes and quizzes ten percent, midterms thirty percent, Christmas exam fifteen percent, and final exam twenty percent.
Take-homes and quizzes
These comprise ten percent of your grade. They will be given periodically to ensure you remain abreast with your readings. There will be no makeup quizzes or take-homes unless you can document extenuating circumstances such as hospitalization or family emergency. All take-home assignments will be submitted electronically by email unless asked otherwise. Make sure to keep a carbon copy of each email transaction. Should you send your assignment to the wrong address or encounter an unexpected email problem, this will save you from the frustration of having to retype your assignment from scratch.
and final exams
These are due on the scheduled dates. The format of each exam will be announced two weeks in advance. Together, the four exams comprise sixty-five percent of the final grade: final twenty percent, Christmas fifteen percent, and midterms thirty percent. Remember that there will be two midterms (one for each semester), each being worth fifteen percent. No makeup exams unless extenuating circumstances such as hospitalization can be documented.
Attendance and participation
Attendance and participation count for fifteen percent of the final grade. Assessment is based on several factors: class activity, coming to class prepared, respect to the professor and fellow students, positive attitude, class etiquette, attendance and arrival on time. You are allowed a maximum of eight absences. Each absence beyond that will lower your grade by a percentage point. For instance, if you have fifteen absences, your grade for attendance and participation will be lowered by at least seven points, which might mean a loss of a full letter grade. Students with obligatory campus activities that may conflict with class schedule should immediately see the professor. Extenuating circumstances such as family emergencies and health problems have to be documented through the registrar's office to be excused, and even then the student has the responsibility to turn in all assignments on time.
Discussions, debates, asking and answering questions help sharpen students' analytical and reasoning skills as well as expose them to different perspectives. As such, they are central components of class activity. Political views have nothing to do with grades and students should feel free to express their opinions without feeling intimidated. Feel free to disagree with a particular point of view, but use a polite and formal language to assert your views. Derisive, disrespectful and spiteful comments toward a fellow student or the professor create a hostile atmosphere and may result in an automatic zero grade on attendance and participation. If you are new to St. Thomas or have not done so already, consult STU's academic handbook to learn more about the policy on "mutual expectations" in the classroom.
Food is not permitted in class. Cellular phones must be turned off before entering class and should stay off until the class is dismissed. Portable CD and cassette players should be put away before entering class. Falling asleep or snoring in class is embarrassing to the student and disruptive to the class. Ask permission to leave the class if you cannot keep yourself awake. Bathroom trips, although understandable under critical circumstances, are generally discouraged and should never become a pattern. While communicating with your professor in person or by email, address him or her by the last name and the proper title unless you are told otherwise. Do not start to pack up before the class is over.
Policy on accommodation
Students with disabilities and in need of special accommodations are encouraged to talk to the director of student affairs and the professor to make the necessary arrangements in accordance to the STU guideline on accessibility and accommodation. Let the professor know how he or she can be of help. It is more likely that you know more than the professor about the nature of your disability. It is therefore up to you to try to enlighten the professor about your needs in the classroom. Such information is confidential and is not shared with any other person without your knowledge.
Students are expected to honor principles of truth and honesty in their academic works. Academic honesty entails, among other things, that students will not plagiarize. This means that students will not submit someone else's work as their own, nor will they hand in a paper copied from the web or any other published or unpublished sources. Academic honesty also means students will acknowledge any borrowed ideas (be it in the form of quotation, summary or paraphrase) using the proper citation format. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense that can result in a failing grade for the course. Consult your academic handbook (pp. 237-38) for a detailed discussion on plagiarism.
For all assigned readings in the textbook, make sure to read also the corresponding primary sources on the internet site using the url address given on the first page of this syllabus.
Sep. 9. Course overview: introduction and syllabus review.
Sep. 14-16. The human genesis. Bulliet 1 (numbers refer to chapters not pages).
Sep. 21-23. Ancient valley civilizations. Bulliet 2-3.
Sep. 28-30. The Mediterranean world. Bulliet 4.
Oct. 5-7. Persia and the Greco-Roman world. Bulliet 5-6.
Oct. 11. Thanksgiving.
Oct. 12-14. India and Southwest Asia. Bulliet 7.
Oct. 14. Midterm.
Oct. 19-21. Imperial Islam. Bulliet 9.
Oct. 22. Last day to drop fall semester courses without academic penalty.
Oct. 26-28. Christianity and the Latin West. Bulliet 10-15.
Nov. 2-4. Mongol expansion and its impact on East Asia. Bulliet 13-14.
Nov. 9-11. Africa and its trade networks. Bulliet 8 and 14.
Nov. 11. Remembrance Day (no class).
Nov. 16-18. The maritime revolution. Bulliet 16-17.
Nov. 23-25. The transatlantic slave trade. Bulliet 19.
Nov. 30 - Dec. 2. Columbian encounters. Bulliet 12 and 18.
Dec. 9. Christmas exam (9:00am).
Jan. 4-6. Age of revolutions. Bulliet 22.
Jan. 11-13. The industrial revolution. Bulliet 23.
Jan. 11. Last day to drop full-year courses without academic penalty.
Jan. 18-20. Social and political transformation of Europe. Bulliet 27.
Jan. 25-27. Independence and nation building in the Americas. Bulliet 24.
Feb. 1-3. Land empires in Asia. Bulliet 20 and 26.
Feb. 8-10. Beginnings of modern overseas imperialism. Bulliet 25.
Feb. 15-17. Social Darwinism and colonialism. Bulliet 28.
Feb. 18. Last day to drop spring semester courses without academic penalty.
Feb. 22-24. World War I. Bulliet 29.
Mar. 3. The inter-war years and World War II. Bulliet 30.
Mar. 1. Midterm
Mar. 7-11: Spring break.
Mar. 15-17. Independence in Asia and Africa. Bulliet 31.
Mar. 22-24. Cold War. Bulliet 32.
Mar. 25-28. Easter weekend.
Mar. 29-31. Post-Cold War and the new era. Bulliet 33.
Apr. 5-7. Globalization and the new millennium. Bulliet 34.
Final exam: TBA.
Note about the syllabus
This syllabus is not a binding legal contract. Rather, it is meant to serve as a road map for both the students and the professor. Should the need arise, the professor maintains the right to modify the course by adding, subtracting, or rearranging reading assignments and course requirements.
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