HIS 120: WORLD HISTORY TO 1000


North Island College Fall 2017

Meeting Time:  T - Th: 2:30 - 3:50 pm

Meeting PlaceTyee 201

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office:  Village G6

Office Hours:  T - Th: 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

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind (New York: Signal, 2016).

Tony Perrottet, Naked Olympics: The True Story Of The Ancient Games (New York: Random House, 2004).

Mary Beard, SPQR: A History Of Ancient Rome (New York: Liveright, 2016).

Lesley Hazleton, After The Prophet: The Epic Story Of The Shia-Sunni Split (New York: Anchor Books, 2009).

Neil MacGregor, History Of The World In 100 Objects (London: Penguin, 2012).


My Assumptions About This Course

That you are interested in world history and eager to learn as much about it as possible in this course.

That it will be impossible to learn all that you would like to learn given the massive amount of relevant material and the time constraints involved.

That history should involve not merely the struggle to understand past events but also to find meaning from those events.

That my job as instructor is to strike an appropriate balance between providing a common core curriculum and setting up structures that also allow you to study materials of personal interest.

That this course should help to set you up for future formal or informal study of world history rather than being a survey that teaches you "all that you need to know" about the ancient past.


Tentative Class Schedule

Week 1

Tuesday, September 7

a)  Course Introduction

b)  Name That Monument!


Week 2

Tuesday, September 12

a)  Discussion: Cyrus Cylinder

b)  Introduce Breaking Bread Assignment

c)  Start Lecture: Between The Rivers -- Ancient Mesopotamia

Viewing Assignment:

"2600 Years Of History In One Object," Ted Global, July 2011.

Optional Listening Assignment:

  "The Library At Nineveh," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, May 15, 2008 (45 minutes).

Thursday, September 14

a)  Discussion: History Of The World In 100 Objects #1-10

b)  Finish Lecture: Between The Rivers -- Ancient Mesopotamia

Listening Assignment:

Episodes #1-10, History Of The World In 100 Objects (Making Us Human and After The Ice Age)


Week 3

Tuesday, September 19

a)  Discussion:  Ancient Egypt In The News

b)  Video: "Egypt's Golden Empire" (PBS, 2010) [55 mins.]

Reading Assignment:

Browse in Ancient Egypt In The News

Thursday, September 21 

a)  Discussion: Museums And Ancient History (1): Iraq And Syria

b)  Lecture: "The Habit of Civilization Was Continuous Here": Ancient Egypt (3000 BCE-30 BCE)

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Museums And Ancient History (1): Iraq And Syria Discussion Topic.


Week 4 

Tuesday, September 26

a)  Video: "Kingdom Of David: The Saga Of The Israelites" (PBS, 2010) [60 mins.]

Optional Reading Assignment:

Browse in Ancient Israelites Discussion Topic

Thursday, September 28

a)  Discussion: Sapiens -- A Brief History Of Mankind

Reading Assignment:

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens -- A Brief History Of Mankind


Week 5

Tuesday, October 3

a)  Lecture: "We Are All Greeks" -- The Glory That Was Greece

Optional Viewing Assignment:

"The Pharaoh And The Showman," Episode 3, Egypt: Rediscovering A Lost World, BBC (2005, 56 minutes).

Optional Listening Assignment:

"Who Owns Ancient Art?," Part 1, Ideas, CBC, November 20, 2015.

"Who Owns Ancient Art?," Part 2, Ideas, CBC, November 27, 2015.

Thursday, October 5

a)   Breaking Bread: Food and World Civilization Mini-Presentations


Week 6

Tuesday, October 10

a)  Video: "The Spartans" (2004) [60 mins.]

Listening Assignment:

  "Sparta," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, November 19, 2009.

Thursday, October 12

a)  Discussion: Naked Olympics

Reading Assignment:

Tony Perrottet, Naked Olympics

Optional Listening Assignment:

  "The Delphic Oracle," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, September 30, 2010.


Week 7

Tuesday, October 17

a)  Discussion: Museums And Ancient History (2) -- The Elgin Marbles.

b)  Discussion:  Herodotus And Thucydides

c)  Lecture:  Athens -- The Dawn Of Democracy

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Museums And Ancient History (2) -- The Elgin Marbles Discussion Topic.

Browse extensively in Herodotus And Thucydides Discussion Topic.

Optional Viewing Assignment:

  Greeks, National Geographic:

Episode 1, Cavemen To Kings:

Episode 2, The Good Strife:

Episode 3, Chasing Greatness:

Thursday, October 19

a)  Discussion:  Greece Vs. Rome

b)  Lecture:  The Grandeur That Was Rome (1)

Viewing Assignment:

  "Greece Vs. Rome, With Boris Johnson And Mary Beard," Intelligence Squared, November 19, 2015.

***First-Half Journal Due


Week 8

Tuesday, October 24

a)  Video: "Meet The Romans" (BBC, 60 mins.)

Thursday, October 26

a)  Discussion:  Pompeii

b)  Lecture:  The Grandeur That Was Rome (2)

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Pompeii Discussion Topic.


Week 9 

Tuesday, October 31

a)  Discussion:  Early Christianity In The News

b)  Lecture: Early Christianity

Reading Assignment:

Browse in Early Christianity In The News

Optional Viewing Assignment:

  "Christianity From Judaism To Constantine," Crash Course World History #11, April 5, 2012 (12 minutes).

Thursday, November 2

a)  Discussion:  The Historical Jesus

b)  Video:  "Prophet Muhammad And The Rise Of Islam" (PBS, 2000) [60 mins.]

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Historical Jesus Discussion Topic.


Week 10

Tuesday, November 7

a)  Discussion:  SPQR

b)  Start Lecture: Indian Civilization

Reading Assignment:

Mary Beard, SPQR

Thursday, November 9

NO CLASS


Week 11

Tuesday, November 14

a)  Discussion: The Story Of India

b)  Lecture: Indian Civilization

Viewing Assignment:

"The Power Of Ideas," The Story Of India, 2008.

Optional Viewing Assignment:

"Beginnings", Episode 1, The Story Of India, 2008.

"Spice Routes And Silk Roads," Episode 3, The Story Of India, 2008.

"Ages Of Gold," Episode 4, The Story Of India, 2008.

Optional Listening Assignment:

  "Profiles Of The Buddha; Mahavira Jain; Ashoka And Aryabhata," Incarnations, Episode 1, BBC World Service, September 13, 2015 (50 minutes).

Thursday, November 16

a)  Video: "Silk Roads And China Ships" (The Story Of China, 2016) [60 mins.]


Week 12

Tuesday, November 21

a)  Lecture: Islamic Civilization (610-1258)

Listening Assignment:

  "The Battle Of Talas," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, October 9, 2014.

Thursday, November 23

NO CLASS


Week 13

Tuesday, November 28

a)  Discussion: After The Prophet

Reading Assignment:

Lesley Hazleton, After The Prophet: The Epic Story Of The Shia-Sunni Split

Thursday, November 30

a)  Discussion:  Mayans In The News

a)  Video:  "Cracking The Mayan Code" (54 mins.)

Reading Assignment:

Browse in Mayans In The News


Week 14

Tuesday, December 5

a)  Lecture: China -- The Middle Kingdom

Viewing Assignment:

  "Confucius," Genius Of The Ancient World, BBC, 2015.

Optional Listening Assignment:

  "China: The Warring States Period," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, April 1, 2004.

Thursday, December 7

a)   Discussion: History Of The World In 100 Objects

Reading Assignment:

Neil MacGregor, History Of The World In 100 Objects, pp. 55-303.

Browse extensively in History Of The World In 100 Objects Reviewed Discussion Topic

Optional Listening Assignment:

Episodes #11-20, History Of The World In 100 Objects (The First Cities And States and Beginning Of Science And Literature)

Episodes #21-30, History Of The World In 100 Objects (Old Powers, New Powers and The World In The Age Of Confucius)

Episodes #31-40, History Of The World In 100 Objects (Empire Builders and Ancient Pleasures, Modern Spice)

Episodes #41-55, History Of The World In 100 Objects (Rise Of World Faiths and Silk Road And Beyond and Inside The Palace)


***Second-Half Journal Due Thurs. Dec. 14


Evaluation

Letter of Introduction

 1%

First-Half  Journal 

38%

Second-Half  Journal 

38%

Seminar Notes

8%

Class Participation

15%

a)  Letter of Introduction (1%)

Who are you? Where are you from? What are your interests? Why are you taking this course? Do you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions as we start the course? Write two or three informal paragraphs for the second class of the semester to introduce yourself to me.


b)  Journal (76%)

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 38% of the course grade.  The journal will then again be due at the end of the semester.  This installment will also contribute 38% 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 World 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 10 double-spaces in length and include a minimum of six entries.  There is no need to write about any of the course texts in the journal, since you will be writing seminar notes on those.  There may become circumstances in which you decide extra commentary upon one of the texts is appropriate.


c)  Seminar Note (8%)

The seminar note is a commentary of approximately two double-spaced pages apiece upon one of the course books.  Those students who did not either complete a seminar note in the first half of the semester or fold a Sapiens or Naked Olympics commentary into their First-Half Journal should hand in a second-half seminar note.

Rather than being graded on a letter scale, the seminar note will be evaluated on a check, check-plus, and check-minus basis:

Check:  A fully satisfactory seminar note (7.7/10, B)

Check-Plus:  A strong note that offers particularly strong analysis and/or a well-developed commentary upon the text (9.2/10, A)

Check-Minus:  A weak seminar note that does not successfully engage with the reading (6.2, C)

Particularly outstanding seminar notes may receive a Check-Plus-Plus (10.0/10, A+)


d)  Class Participation (15%)

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.


A Note On Plagiarism

Everything that you hand in should be your original work unless otherwise indicated.  Violations of this policy may result in failing an assignment or the course in its entirety.  Please talk to me if you have any uncertainty  about what is permitted here.


WELCOME TO THE COURSE

 

 

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