Spring 2013 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course traces the development of a global economy and society through a set textbook Von Siver's Patterns in World History and a series of weekly readings available online on economy, technology, politics, and religion.
The first part of the course will identify some of the key aspects of the rise of human civilization from its material bases and technological accomplishments. We will study regional variations in economic activity, along with the varying manifestations of culture, including politics, religion and art/architecture. Accordingly, our attention will shift from the Near East and Middle East to Southern Asia, East Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
The second part of the course will begin with a look at early international networks of communication and exchange. We will then see a shift in emphasis to an examination of the rise and development of large, expansive states and empires in the so-called Classical Age.
The final part of the course examines various aspects of interconnectedness between the major regions of the world. A key facilitator connecting the far flung parts of the world was the world's first "global religion," Islam. While the peoples of the Americas continued their own, independent developments, Muslim, as well as Christian and Asian empires during the "Middle Ages," continued to build on earlier accomplishments, albeit slowly. With the rise of the Mongols after 1200 ce, new challenges brought decline for some and opportunity for others. The subsequent recovery of Europe brought a rapid series of changes that would propel it overseas from the end of the fourteenth century.
Peter von Sivers, Charles A. Desnoyers and George B. Stow
Patterns of World History (Volume One: to 1600)
Paperback, 720 pages
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: