History 73c: The University and Society—Reading Seminar Monday, 2-4 p m. Robinson Hall 107 Michael Tworek, Instructor

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Michael Tworek, History 73c

M 2-4

History 73c: The University and Society—Reading Seminar

Monday, 2-4 p.m. Robinson Hall 107

Michael Tworek, Instructor


Office Hours: 10am-12pm, Tuesdays, Robinson Hall L-14
Course Description

For many, the university is simply another stepping stone to professional success in life. Yet in addition to their central role as places of learning, universities have played a tremendous part in the intellectual, cultural, religious, political, and economic life of societies across the world for centuries. This course will investigate the multi-faceted significance of the university as a historical phenomenon from its antecedents and origins in the medieval period to its ubiquitous presence today. We will approach the university and its constituent parts—students, professors, curricula, libraries, and administration—as historical subjects in and of themselves.

The primary goal of the course will be to engage in assessing the historical, reciprocal relationship between universities and societies, past and present, through the exploration of primary and secondary sources. We will discuss the nature and types of sources—notes, lectures, archives, textbooks, matriculation records statutes—as well as the challenges associated with them. We will debate and evaluate what they can reveal about the history of universities and the potential biases depending on their use. Students will explore the wide array of methodologies—quantitative, qualitative, network analysis, textual and literary methods—as well as engage in different interpretations on the significance of universities to the development of professionalism, academic freedom, social protest, and nationalist student movements. Moreover, the course will engage in historiographical debates on universities and their importance and assess universities’ impact on society in the past and today. Course topics include collegiate life, teaching and curriculum, student movements and politics, philosophies of education, women and higher learning, religion and secularization, study abroad, academic freedom, and ideas/concepts of a university.

Course Requirements

Participation and Attendance (20%): Active participation entails attending all meetings, completing the assigned readings, preparing thoughtful comments and questions on them, and engaging actively in classroom discussion.

Three Response Papers (30%): Two pages in length examining a historiographical issue, theme, or problem from readings due in weeks 4, 8, and 12.

Presentation of Class Material (15%): This will include co-leading the first part of one weekly meeting, introducing readings and materials of that week, and preparing discussion questions.

Final Interpretative Essay (35%): 10 pages in length, the essay will consist of a synthetic historiographical reflection on the historical relationship between universities and societies based on suggested themes and topics; response papers can serve as a partial basis for this essay.

Course Schedule

Week 1—Jan. 23: Introduction—What is a University? Concepts, Terms, Problems, Challenges.

Week 2—Jan. 30: The Beginnings of the University—Origins, Schools, Institutions, and Preconditions

Darleen Pryds, “Studia as Royal Offices: Mediterranean Universities of Medieval Europe” (Available on course website).

George Makdisi, “Scholasticism and Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 109, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1989), pp. 175-182.

Walter Rüegg, ed., A History of the University in Europe, selections.

“Medieval Universities” BBC’s In Our Time with Melvin Bragg podcast (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zf384)

Week 3—Feb. 6: The Medieval University, Academic Freedom, and the Power of Students

Alan B. Cobban, “Medieval Student Power,” Past and Present 53 (1971), pp. 28-66.

William J. Courtenay, “Inquiry and Inquisition: Academic Freedom in Medieval Universities,” Church History 58, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 168-181.

Primary Source: Lynn Thorndike, University Records and Life in the Middle Ages (all in English translations, brief excerpts, choose two to three for class).http://quod.lib.umich.edu.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=acls;idno=heb06048

Week 4—Feb. 13: Between Renaissance and Reformation, Between Innovation and Tradition—Education and Universities in Early Modern Europe

Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine, From Humanism to Humanities, selections.

Paul Grendler, “The Universities of Renaissance and Reformation.” Renaissance Quarterly 57, No. 1 (2004), pp. 1-42.

Paul Grendler “The Decline of Italian Universities,” in The Universities of the Italian Renaissance.

** Response Paper 1

Week 5—Feb. 27: Study Abroad and Learned Travel in Early Modern Europe

Thomas Platter, Autobiography, ch. 3.

Antoni Mączak, Travel in Early Modern Europe, selections.

Week 6—Mar. 5: The Birth of the Modern University—The Revolution of Higher Learning in German Universities

William Clark, Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University (2006).

Week 7—Mar. 19: The University and Reform in Great Britain

John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University, excerpt. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/newman/newman-university.html

Sheldon Rothblatt, “London: A Metropolitan University?” in Bender, ed., The University and the City: from medieval origins to the present, pp. 119-149.

Reba Soffer, Discipline and power: the university, history, and the making of an English Elite, selections.

Week 8—Mar. 26: The University in the New World---The Case of Making Harvard Modern

Charles William Eliot, ‘The Aims of the Higher Education,’ in Education Reform: Essays and Addresses (1898), pp. 223-249. (Available via Google Books)

Morton and Phyllis Keller, Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America’s University, selections.

** Response Paper 2 due

Week 9—Apr. 2: The Creation of the Research University and Women’s Colleges in America

Helen Horowitz, Alma mater: design and experience in the women’s colleges from their beginnings to the 1930s, selections.

Edward Shils, “The University, the City, and the World: Chicago and the University of Chicago,” in Bender, ed., The University and the City: from medieval origins to the present, pp. 210-230.

Week 10—Apr. 9: The Demand for Higher Education Elsewhere—The Case of India

Sumita Mukherje, Nationalism, Education, and Migrant Identities: the England-Returned, selections.

Jawaharlal Nehru, An Autobiography, Ch. 6 (on Harrow and Cambridge).

Subhas Chandra Bose, Indian Pilgrim: An Unfinished Autobiography, pp. 96-117.

Week 11—Apr. 16: Student Movements and Protests—1968 and Today

Martin Klimke, The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany and the United States in the Global Sixties, selections.

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai, selections.

Recommended: Martin Klimke and Joachim Scharloth, eds., 1968 in Europe: a history of protest and activism, 1956-1977.

Week 12—Apr. 23: The Great American University?—the Future of Higher Education in US

Jonathan Cole, The Great American University, selections.

** Response Paper 3 due

Week 13—Apr. 30: The University and Society—Reflections and Final Thoughts

Mark C. Taylor, Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities (2010).

***Final Essay Due at the End of Reading Period***

The texts listed below are available for purchase for a reasonable price and are also on reserve at Lamont. All the other course readings will be available on the course website.

William Clark, Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University (2006).

Jonathan Cole, The Great American University (2010).

Mark C. Taylor, Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities (2010).

Suggested Introductory Books, Journals, and Overviews:

Hastings Rashdall, The Universities of the Middle Ages (new edition, 1987) 3 v.

Walter Ruegg, ed., A History of the University in Europe (2011) 4 v.

Paul Grendler, The Universities of the Italian Renaissance (2002).

Michael Sanderson, ed., The Universities in the Nineteenth Century (1975).

Christopher J. Lucas, American Higher Education: A History (2006).

Thomas Bender, ed., The University and the City: from medieval origins to the present (1988).

Frederick Rudolph, Curriculum: A History of the American Undergraduate Course of Study since 1636 (1977).

The Chronicle of Higher Education (available via E-Resources)

History of Universities (journal)

History of Education Quarterly (available via E-Resources)

Suggested Course Topics

Academic Freedom

Women and Universities

Curriculum and Intellectual Movements

Policy and Governance

The Professor, Research, and Professionalism

Knowledge, Degrees, and Standardization

Study Abroad and Learned Travel

Town and Gown relations

Public vs. Private Universities

The State and Higher Education

Student Mobility, Student Movements and Protest

Economics of University Education

Universities, Religion, Secularization

The Research University

Collegiate Life and Alumni Networks

Libraries and Archives


Art, Donations, Architecture

Foreign Students

Academic Ritual, Ceremonies, and Violence

Minorities and Education

Fraternities, Sororities, Clubs

Academic Centers and Institutes

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