This course asks students to consider the ways in which social theorists, institutional reformers, and political revolutionaries in the 17th through 19th centuries seized upon insights developed in the natural sciences and mathematics to change themselves and the society in which they lived. Students study trials, art, literature and music to understand developments in Europe and its colonies in these two centuries. Covers works by Newton, Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Marx, and Darwin.
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This course covers French politics, culture, and society from Louis XIV to Napoleon Bonaparte. Attention is given to the growth of the central state, the beginnings of a modern consumer society, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, including its origins, and the rise and fall of Napoleon.
This course centers on historical eras in which the form and function of media technologies were radically transformed. It includes consideration of the "Gutenberg Revolution," the rise of modern mass media, and the "digital revolution," among other case studies of media transformation and cultural change. Readings are in cultural and social history and historiographic method.
We will doggedly ask two questions in this class: "What is history?" and "How do you do it in 2010?" In pursuit of the answers, we will survey a variety of approaches to the past used by historians writing in the last several decades. We will examine how these historians conceive of their object of study, how they use primary sources as a basis for their accounts, how they structure the narrative and analytical discussion of their topic, and the advantages and limitations of their approaches.
This course surveys the increasing interaction between communities, as the barrier of distance succumbed to both curiosity and new transport technologies. It explores Western Europe and the United States' rise to world dominance, as well as the great divergence in material, political, and technological development between Western Europe and East Asia post–1750, and its impact on the rest of the world. It examines a series of evolving relationships, including human beings and their physical environment; religious and political systems; and sub-groups within communities, sorted by race, class, and gender. It introduces historical and other interpretive methodologies using both primary and secondary source materials.