Introduction This class offers students a broad historical accounting of our modern world. Participation is required. Those who devote themselves to the material will learn to recognize how historical processes like industrialization, mass migration, imperialism, and ecological change have unfolded over the past several hundred years. Our evaluation of student performance rewards careful reading and thoughtful writing. It also requires that students master the rudiments of library research using the Merrill-Cazier Library. If you are willing to invest the time to reading, writing and and thinking about our past, Ms. Jacobson and I welcome you. If, for whatever reason, you feel unable to meet requirements, please find a course that more closely fits your educational goals.
Contact: Please attend office hours if you have any questions about the course content. The best time to visit is before an exam or assignment is due rather than after you receive a grade. Ms. Jacobson will serve as the first line of contact for students. Please use the Canvas email system.
Interrelated Course Themes: Human Rights
Academic Honesty Any case of academic dishonesty will result in automatic failure of the course. For information on university policy see the Utah State University Catalogue for an explanation of university policies. It is in your best interest to read and understand the policy.
Keys to Passing: 1. Attend class regularly – I often make announcements in class. If you are not there, you will miss updates and you may miss relevant lecture material, but more importantly, you will miss the give and take of lecture and question sessions that serve as the basis for the written assignments.
2. Take careful notes on everything.
3. Ask questions. Develop questions from your notes and raise them during class.
4. Complete all assignments. Most students who fail this course fail to turn in assignments. Staying continually engaged with course materials is key to performing well and to passing.
Course Etiquette Class starts on-time. Late students will walk into an active class and disrupt the proceedings. Please arrive on time.
No Laptops – As all of you must know by now, people who have laptops open during class are often not using them for course purposes.
You may not record any class sessions.
Please turn off cell phones during class.
Discussion –Please listen attentively to all discussion. Extend to your fellow students the same courtesy that you would expect when you speak.
Required Books for 1510: Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Various editions.
Jenks, Andrew. The Perils of Progress: Environmental Disasters in the Twentieth Century. New York: Pearson, 2010.
Additional Reading Listed below in the course schedule. Please see the daily schedule for specific readings. Most readings can be found in Canvas.
Films I will be showing some film snippets from films that reflect course themes. I also ask you to watch film in your own time. Material from the films will be included in quiz questions, writing assignments, and recitation responses.
Evaluation: 4 In-class Quizzes, 100 pts. each = 400 pts.
Short answer identifications from lectures and readings. 20 minutes to respond to 2-4 items followed by class discussion of responses.
The quizzes will test your knowledge of the lectures, reading material and films. Students will be asked to write two 500 word essays. Each should be typed, double spaced, and represent a thoughtful examination of course materials. Essay must include citations where appropriate. We will develop the questions during class during the final week of class.
Research Assignment = 100 pts.
Requires students to master the Historical Abstracts database in order to create a brief annotated bibliography and propose a research topic. The assignment will follow the basic steps to creating a research topic in the field of world history.
Recitations, 4 @ 50 pts. each = 200 pts.
Four required recitation responses out of five sessions.
Take-home Final = 300 pts.
Total = 1000 pts.
Class Schedule Reading:
Marks, Robert. The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Environmental Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2002.
Monday, August 29th, Introduction and Syllabus
Wednesday, August 31st, The Modern World – What is modernity? Reading, Marks, “Introduction: The Rise of the West?” (Canvas)
Part I. Slavery and the Slave Trade Readings:
Reader, John. Africa: The Biography of a Continent. New York: Vintage Books, First edition, 1999.
Getz, Trevor and Liz Clarke, Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2015.
Friday, September 2nd, An Introduction. Reading, Reader, Biography, chapter 36. (Canvas)
Wednesday, September 7th, The Plantation Complex, Capitalism and Slavery. Reading, Reader, Biography, chapter 37. (canvas)
Friday, September 9th, The Sea Passage. Reading, Reader, Biography, chapters 38. (Canvas)
Monday, September 12th, The End of Slavery? Reading, Reader, Chapter 39; Getz, Abina, court documents. (Canvas)
Wednesday, September 14th, Recitation, Section 1
Friday, September 16th, Recitation, Section 2
Monday, September 19th, In Class Quiz #1, and post quiz discussion
Wednesday, September 21st, Research Project, Introduction and Explanation
Part II. The Second Industrial Revolution Friday, September 23rd– October 7th Topics:
Energy and Industrialization
Political Economy of Industrialization
Stearns, Peter. The Industrial Revolution in World History, 4th edition. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2013, “Introduction,” and Chapters 1 and 2. (Available as Ebook at the Merrill-Cazier Library)
Crosby, Children of the Sun. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006.
Jenks, Perils of Progress.
September 23rd, First Phase. Reading, Stearns, Revolution, Introduction and Chapter 1.
September 26th, Second Phase. Reading, Stearns, Revolution, Chapter 2.
September 28th, Energy History. Reading, Crosby, “Fossilized Sunshine.”
September 30th, Crime? Reading, Jenks, “The Bhopal Gas Tragedy: A Perfect Storm of Injustice.”
October 3rd, Recitation, Section A
October, 5th, Recitation, Section B
Part III, Imperialism and Colonialism October 12th – October 31st
Getz and Streets-Slater, Modern Imperialism and Colonialism: A Global Perspective Boston: Prentice-Hall, 2011.
Reader, Biography, “An Imperial Ambition.”
Cook, Scott B. Colonial Encounters in the Age of High Imperialism. New York: Longman 1996.
Achebe, Things Fall Apart.
“The Battle of Algiers.” Watch on own. Snippets in class.
October, 12th, New Imperialism. Reading, Getz and Streets-Slater, “Imperialism: The New Imperialism and the Scramble for Colonies.” Chapter 10, (Canvas)
October 14th, The Africa Scramble. Reading, Reader, “An Imperial Ambition.” (Canvas)
October 17th, U.S. Imperialism. Reading optional, Cook, “Islands of Manifest Destiny.” (Canvas)
October 19th, The End of Colonialism. Getz and Streets-Slater, “Imperialism and Colonialism: Nationalism and Independence,” Chapter 15 (Canvas)
October 21, Fall Break
October 24th, Africa in the Early Colonial Era, Things Fall Apart October 26th, Recitation, Section A
October 28th, Recitation, Section B
October 31st, Quiz #3 and Discussion,
Part IV, Political Economy and Philosophy in the Century of Wars November 2nd – November 16th Communism and Fascism
Closman, Charles, ed. War and the Environment: Military Destruction in the Modern Age. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2009.
Remarque, Erik. All Quiet on the Western Front. New York: Ballantine Books, 1982. Selection.
Strayer, Peter. The Communist Experiment: Revolution, Socialism , and Global Conflict in the Twentieth Century. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007.
Film: All Quiet on the Western Front.
November 2nd, Fascism and Communism. Reading, Strayer, Experiment. (Canvas)
November 4th, Fascism and Communism. Optional reading, Hobsbawm, “The End of Liberalism.” (Canvas)
November 7th, Technology and Warfare. Reading, Remarque, All Quiet. (Canvas)
November 9th, War and Environment. Reading, McNeill and Painter, “Footprint.” In Closman, War and Environment. (Canvas)
November 11th, Recitation Group B
November 14th, Recitation Group A
November 16th, Quiz IV and Discussion
Part V, Environment and Energy in the Twentieth Century November 18th – December 9th Industrial Pollution
Jenks, Andrew. Perils of Progress.
Crosby, Children of the Sun. new York: Norton, 2005.
Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962.
November 18th, Industrial Pollution. Reading, Jenks, Chapter 2.
November 21st, Industrial Pollution. Reading, Jenks, Chapter 4.
November 28th, Energy. Reading, Crosby, Sun, chapters 7 and 8. (Canvas)
November 30th, Climate Change, TBA.
December 2nd, Final Research Project Assignment Due.
December 5th, Recitation Group B
December 7th, Recitation Group A
December 9th, Final Exam distributed