Western Civilization Syllabus


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Western Civilization Syllabus

  1. 1. IS-VNUIntroduction to Western Civilization Michael W. Beard Fall 2011Description:This course is designed as an overview of the history and humanities of Western Culture. We will conduct anintroductory exploration of several significant periods in Western Civilization from antiquity to thecontemporary West. Since this is an introductory course, we will have to cover a tremendous amount of materialin brief. A course of this nature does not allow for an in-depth study of any particular period, figure or theme inWestern Civilization though we will spend a greater amount of time in some areas while only skimming throughother areas. In particular, this course will give a greater amount of attention to the periods from the Renaissanceto Modernity.We will follow a lecture/discussion format for the class. All lectures and/or discussions in the class will occur inEnglish. Students are encouraged to take notes. Exams for this course will be based on material covered in thelectures and assigned reading. Students will not be able to pass the course exams if he/she does not attend classand complete the assigned readings.Expectations:All students are expected to attend each class. Please arrive before class begins in order to minimize distractionsat the beginning of class. If a student has a problem coming to class on time, the teacher may ask him/her towithdraw from the course.All assigned readings must be completed prior to class. The teacher may give a surprise reading quiz at thebeginning of class to check if students have done their reading which will be factored into their course grade.Due to the short length of this course, no extensions to any writing, reading or exam dates will be given.Required Textbook:A History of Western Society, McKay, Hill, Buckler, 8th EditionExaminations and Assignments:Mid-Term Exam – Short-answer and multiple-choice exam covering half of the course lectures andreading materials. Mid-term Exam Date: 27 October 2011Final Exam – Short-answer and multiple-choice exam covering ALL of the course lectures and readingmaterials. Final Exam Date: 17 November 2011Term Paper – Three page paper. More information will be given out in class regarding the term paper.Term Paper Due: 25 October 2011Readings – Reading in this course will be monitored by quiz, reading reports, and other assignments.Students should have all assigned reading completed prior to class (see reading schedule handout).Grading:Mid-term – 25%Final – 35%Term Paper – 20%Reading – 20% 1
  2. 2. Week 1:Session 1 – Course Orientation Foundations of Western Civilization (part 1) • The Ancient Near East • Ancient Israel • The Greeks and RomansSession 2 – Foundations of Western Civilization (part 2) • The Birth of Christianity • Rome and Western Christianity • Key People of the Middle Ages • Medieval Art • Medieval ArchitectureWeek 2:Session 3 – Foundations of Western Civilization (part 3) • The Rise of Islam • The Crusades • The Islamic RenaissanceSession 4 – Renaissance (part 1) • Renaissance Background • Renaissance Themes • Renaissance ArtWeek 3:Session 5 – Renaissance (part 2) • Renaissance Literature • The Reformation • Renaissance Music • The Scientific RevolutionSession 6 – Exploration and Enlightenment • The Age of Exploration • Feudalism • The Enlightenment • Baroque Art and MusicWeek 4:Session 7 – Revolutions • The American Revolution • The French RevolutionSession 8 – The Industrial Revolution • Agricultural Revolution • Textiles 2
  3. 3. • Machines, Factories and Transportation Systems • Social EffectWeek 5:Session 9 – Romantic Era • Romanticism • Romantic Arts – Music, Visual, LiteratureSession 10 – Evolution • Charles Darwin & Evolution • Social Darwinism • ColonialismWeek 6:Session 11: World Wars • World War I • Between World Wars • World War IISession 12: Impact of War • Post-war Europe • The Cold War • Modern Literature and ArtWeek 7:Session 13: Course Review and Final Examination 3