HIS 215: MODERN EUROPE I


North Island College Fall 2016

Meeting Time: M - W: 2:30 - 3:50 pm

Meeting PlaceVillage N

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office:  Village G6

Office Hours:  Mon. 11:30 am - 1:00 pm; Thurs. 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (or by appointment)

Office Phone: 250-334-5000, Extension 4024

Home Phone:   250-336-0238

Web-Site: http://www.misterdann.com/

E-Mail: dan.hinmansmith@nic.bc.ca


Books

Thomas Cahill, Mysteries Of The Middle Ages: The Rise Of Feminism, Science, And Art From The Cults Of Catholic Europe (New York: Anchor, 2008).

Thomas Cahill, Heretics And Heroes: How Renaissance Artists And Reformation Priests Created Our World (New York: Anchor, 2014).

Dava Sobel, Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir Of Science, Faith, And Love (New York: Walker, 2011).

Robert Darnton, Great Cat Massacre, And Other Episodes In French Cultural History (New York: Basic 2009).


Course Description

History 215 is offered as an introduction to the most significant trends in European history from the late Medieval era to the French Revolution.  It is not meant to be a comprehensive survey in which you are taught "all you need to know" but is designed to highlight several important issues loosely organized within a chronological framework.  We will be dealing with broad themes: the growth of commercial capitalism; the rise of the nation state; the impact of such intellectual movements as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment; and the expansion of European power, commerce, and culture to the Americas, Asia, and Africa.  But we will also try to bring history back down to the personal level.  How did people create meaning in their own lives?  How did they shape their world, and how, in turn, were they shaped by events, by social structure, and by other people?  We will approach such questions through a mixture of lecture presentation, class discussion, reading, student research, slide shows, and video.


Tentative Class Schedule

Week 1

Wednesday, September 7

a)  Course Introduction

b)  Welcome To The Dano


Week 2

Monday, September 12

a)  Discussion: The Renaissance And Our Disruptive Age

b)  Video: "Medici: Godfathers Of The Renaissance" (PBS, 2004)

Listening Assignment:

"What The Renaissance Can Teach Us About Trump And Our Disruptive Age," Current, CBC, September 6, 2016.

"What The Renaissance Can Teach Us About Our Disruptive Age, Part 2," Current, CBC, September 7, 2016.

Wednesday, September 14

a)  Discussion:  Imagining Columbus

b)  Video: "The Fall Of The Aztecs" (Michael Wood's Conquistadors Series, PBS, 2000)

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Imagining Columbus Discussion Topic

Viewing Assignment:

  "Reconquest," Episode 2, Blood And Gold: The Making Of Spain, BBC, 2015.


Week 3

Monday, September 19

a)  Introduce Places Mini-Assignment

b)  Lecture: Europe 1492

Wednesday, September 21 

a)  Discussion: Mysteries Of The Middle Ages

Reading Assignment:

Thomas Cahill, Mysteries Of The Middle Ages: The Rise Of Feminism, Science, And Art From The Cults Of Catholic Europe


Week 4 

Monday, September 26

a)  Lecture: The Italian Renaissance

Viewing Assignment:

"Travels With Vasari, Part 1," BBC, 2008:  Andrew Graham-Dixon's marvelous encounter with the Lives of the Artists.

"Travels With Vasari, Part 2," BBC, 2008.

Wednesday, September 28

a)  Discussion: Machiavelli

b)  Lecture:  The Renaissance (Part 2)

Viewing Assignment:

  "Who's Afraid Of Machiavelli?," Imagine, BBC, 2013.

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Machiavelli Discussion Topic


Week 5

Monday, October 3

a)  Video: "Martin Luther" (Empires, PBS, 2002, 120 minutes)

Viewing Assignment:

  "Boom And Bust," Episode 2, The High Art Of The Low Countries, BBC Four, 2013 (59 minutes).

Wednesday, October 5

a)  Start Student Mini-Presentations:  Places Assignment

b)  Video: "Martin Luther" (Empires, PBS, 2002, 120 minutes)


Week 6

Monday, October 10:  NO CLASS -- THANKSGIVING

Wednesday, October 12

a)  Student Mini-Presentations:  Places Assignment


Week 7

Monday, October 17

a)  Lecture: "One Monarch, One Empire, One Sword": Spain

Optional Viewing Assignment:

  "The Dark Heart," Episode 2, The Art Of Spain, BBC Four, 2010 (59 minutes).

Wednesday, October 19

b)  Discussion: Heretics And Heroes

Reading Assignment:

Thomas Cahill, Heretics And Heroes: How Renaissance Artists And Reformation Priests Created Our World


Week 8

Monday, October 24

a)  Lecture:  "The Egg That Luther Hatched": The Reformation

***First-Half Journal Due

Wednesday, October 26

a)  Introduce Faces Assignment

b)  Lecture: The Reformation (Part 2)

Viewing Assignment:

"An Introduction To The Protestant Reformation," Khan Academy, 2013:

Setting The Stage, Part 1 (8 minutes)

Martin Luther, Part 2 (11 minutes)

Varieties Of Protestantism, Part 3 (8 minutes)

The Counter-Reformation, Part 4 (10 minutes)

Optional Listening Assignment:

  "The Jesuits," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, January 18, 2007 (45 minutes).


Week 9 

Monday, October 31

a)  Discussion: Shakespeare's Mother

b)  Video: "The Body Of The Queen" (Simon Schama's A History Of Britain, BBC Two, 2000, 59 minutes)

Optional Viewing Assignment:

    "Shakespeare's Mother: The Secret Life Of A Tudor Woman," BBC Four, 2015 (59 minutes).

Wednesday, November 2

NO CLASS


Week 10

Monday, November 7

a)  Discussion:  Germany -- Memories Of A Nation

b)  Lecture: The Wars Of Religions In Europe, 1555-1648

Listening Assignment:

  "The Thirty Years War," Episode 1, The Invention Of Germany, BBC Radio 4, August 17, 2015 (28 minutes).

  Listen extensively within the Germany -- Memories Of A Nation Discussion Topic

Wednesday, November 9

a)  Lecture: The World Turned Upside Down -- The English Civil War

Viewing Assignment:

  "Roundhead Or Cavalier -- Which One Are You?," BBC Four, 20125 (58 minutes).


Week 11

Monday, November 14

a)  Discussion: Galileo's Daughter

b)  Possible Mini-Lecture:  The Scientific Revolution

Reading Assignment:

Dava Sobel, Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir Of Science, Faith, And Love

Wednesday, November 16

a)  Lecture:  The Rise Of Russia From Ivan The Terrible To Catherine The Great (1547-1796) or Video: "Wrath Of The Tsar: Peter The Great" (National Geographic, 2007, 88 minutes)

Reading Assignment:

Tim Marshall, "Russia And The Curse Of Geography," Atlantic (October 31, 2015).

Optional Viewing Assignment:

  "Reinventing Russia," Episode 1, Lucy Worsley's Empire Of The Tsars, BBC Four, 2016 (59 minutes).


Week 12

Monday, November 21

a)  Video:  "David's 'Marat,'" (Simon Schama's Power Of Art, BBC, 2006, 52 minutes)

Wednesday, November 23

a)  Discussion: The Shadow Of The Sun King

b)  Of Sun Kings And Enlightenment (1)

Optional Viewing Assignment:

  "Dream Of A King," Episode 1, Rise And Fall Of Versailles, 2014 (52 minutes).

Optional Listening Assignment:

  "Shadow Of The Sun King, Episode 1," BBC Radio 4, June 3, 2015 (28 minutes).

"Shadow Of The Sun King, Episode 2," BBC Radio 4, June 10, 2015 (28 minutes).

Optional Reading Assignment:

Peter Burke, "Fabrication Of Louis XIV," History Today (February 1992).

Reading Assignment:

Pankaj Mishra, "The Anti-Elite, Post-Fact Worlds Of Trump And Rousseau," New Yorker, (November 14, 2016).

Pankaj Mishra, "How Rousseau Predicted Trump," New Yorker, (August 1, 2016): 68-72.

Alison Gopnik, "How An 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis," Atlantic (October 2015).


Week 13

Monday, November 28

a)  Lecture: Of Sun Kings And Enlightenment (2)

Optional Viewing Assignment:

  "Power Of Knowledge," Episode 1, Heroes Of The Enlightenment, BBC Worldwide, 2011 (52 minutes).

"Changing Society," Episode 2, Heroes Of The Enlightenment, BBC Worldwide, 2011 (52 minutes).

Optional Listening Assignment:

  "The Encyclopedie," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, October 26, 2006 (45 minutes).

Wednesday, November 30

a)  Discussion: Great Cat Massacre

b)  Lecture: "It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times": The French Revolution (1)

Reading Assignment:

Robert Darnton, Great Cat Massacre, And Other Episodes In French Cultural History


Week 14 

Monday, December 5

a)  Discussion:  Symbols Of The French Revolution

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Symbols Of The French Revolution Discussion Topic

Wednesday, December 7

a)   Course Wrap-up

b)  Lecture: The French Revolution (2)

Listening Assignment:

  "Maximilien Robespierre," Episode 2, The Invention Of France, BBC Radio 4, November 9, 2015 (28 minutes).

Viewing Assignment:

  "The French Revolution: Tearing Up History," BBC Four, 2014 (59 minutes).

Optional Listening Assignment:

  "The French Revolution's Reign Of Terror," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, May 26, 2005 (45 minutes).

***Faces Assignment Due


Second-Half Journal Due Friday, December 16

**There will be no Final Exam in HIS 215**


Evaluation

First-Half  Journal 

30%

Second-Half  Journal 

30%

Faces Assignment

20%

Class Participation

20%


a)  Journal (60%)

The student journal is the main assignment in this class.  The purpose of the journal is to provide you the opportunity for frequent thoughtful, analytical and personal commentary upon course-related material.  The advantages of the journal, to my mind, are that it breaks work down into regular and manageable chunks, and that in enables you to seize hold of the curriculum in a way which reflects your own interests and style.

The journal will be graded in two installments.  It will be due at the mid-point of the semester.  This installment will count for 35% of the course grade.  The journal will then again be due at the end of the semester.  This installment will also contribute 35% towards the course grade.

In order to give you a basic structure and to clearly communicate my expectations, I will specify certain mandated entries and suggest a format for some responses.  However, while it is required that all work in the journal be your own original writing, you are encouraged to be imaginative in your own investigation and analysis of the core curriculum and of Early Modern European History more generally.  Part of the logic of the journal is that it provides you with some space to pursue topics of particular interest.

The embedded tension within the assignment between structure and flexibility is deliberate.  The entries will, no doubt, vary in format, length, and quality.  Do not hesitate to take risks and to express your own opinion.  It's fine if some entries read more like summary than analysis; it can be helpful to put what you have learned from an article or a video into your own words.  This is an assignment designed to encourage and to reward extensive student effort and learning.  My expectation is that a good-faith approach to the course will lead to success.

I recommend that each Journal installment be at least 12 double-spaces in length and include a minimum of six entries.


b)  Faces Assignment (20%)

This assignment will ask you to research assorted significant figures from world history and then to portray each through in over-sized bubblegum card biographical format.


c)  Class Participation (20%)

The class participation grade will be based upon attendance; pre-class preparation; and the willingness to contribute thoughtfully to full-class and small-group discussion.  Although attendance is not required, I will take roll, and those who are not in class regularly will receive a poor grade for this component of the course.  I would like to encourage a classroom environment in which all are eager to share their ideas and in which lectures are accompanied by thoughtful dialogue.

Assigning class participation grades can be quite arbitrary.  When I assign participation grades at the end of the semester, I place each student in one of three following categories:

1)  Regular class attendance and excellent class participation.

2)  Regular class attendance and  fully satisfactory class participation.

3)  Irregular class attendance and preparation.

Those in Category 1 receive top participation grades.  Those in Category 3 receive poor participation grades.  Those in Category 2 are most likely to receive no specific participation grade but rather have the 90% total for their written work pro-rated to a 100% scale (in some cases the participation component may help a Category 2 student's final grade but in no instance will it lower the final grade).  Thus,  shy students are not penalized for class participation so long that they attend faithfully and I need only to distinguish between strong, satisfactory and weak participation rather than attempt to make fine distinctions.


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