HST 101: Introduction to World Civilizations
Syllabus Version: Winter 2011 – MWF (pdf)
Section: MWF 11:00-11:50am/D-1-209 MAK (#26660)
Course Description and Objectives
Designed to support general education goals and develop historical perspectives, this course emphasizes the comparison of selected African, American, Asian, and European civilizations from ancient times to the present, exploring the variety of activities that divide and unite human beings across cultures, time, and space. This course fulfills the Historical Perspectives Foundation of the university’s General Education Program.
In this course, students will:
- Demonstrate active knowledge of world history, as well as the contexts in which ancient and modern peoples and civilizations interacted with and influenced each other;
- Develop a broader cultural literacy through exposure to the key concepts, ideas, and events of the major world civilizations; and
- Gain experience in evaluating and interpreting various types of primary and secondary sources and materials.
Students will be evaluated in this course based on the following criteria:
- In-class Writing & Group Work: 10%
- Primary Source Analysis: 20%
- Group PowerPoint Presentation: 20%
- Midterm Exam: 20%
- Final Exam: 30%
In-class Writing & Group Work: Throughout the semester, there will be a number of different activities in class, such as response papers, lecture quizzes, and group work, in addition to the regular lecture/discussion format. These activities will count as 10% of your final course grade.
Primary Source Analysis: You will be required to write a primary source analysis on a historical document of your choosing from a list provided. For more information, please see the assignment sheet posted below.
Group PowerPoint Presentation: Details on this assignment will be provided during the PowerPoint Presentation Workshop.
- Group PowerPoint Presentation Assignment Sheet
- Group PowerPoint Presentation Student Evaluation Form
- Group PowerPoint Presentation Instructor Rubric Form
- Group PowerPoint Presentation Peer Evaluation Form
Exams: The midterm and final exams will consist of an objective section of multiple choice, matching, and geography questions and a subjective section consisting of short answer identifications all taken from course readings, lectures, and class discussions. You will receive study guides for both exams.
Attendance and Participation: It really goes without saying that attending class every session is rather important, if you are actually interested in learning anything in university. That being said, I am not your mother, your babysitter, or your high school principal. I will not be counting you every day. You are all adults now; you can make your own decisions. But be forewarned: we will be doing several in-class activities to better both your writing and your grasp of the historical content. Failure to attend class during these sessions will severely impact your success in this course. Also, the material covered in this course is significant, and the sheer volume of facts, names, places, and dates can become overwhelming for some. Excessive absences will only exacerbate this dynamic. In other words, we’ll be going over a lot of stuff rather quickly, and once you’re behind, it’s very difficult to catch up.
Late Work: Make-up exams are allowed provided the student contacts me before the exam is scheduled to take place. Students who fail to follow this set-up will not be allowed to make-up the missing exam. Assignments turned in late will be reduced one third of a grade (e.g., from an A to an A-) for each class period late. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to these rules.
Grading Scale: I will be using the following grading scale in this course:
A 100-94 B 86-83 C 76-73 D 65-61
A- 93-90 B- 82-80 C- 72-70 F 60-0
B+ 89-87 C+ 79-77 D+ 69-66
Academic Honesty: The principles of truth and honesty are recognized as fundamental to a community of teachers and scholars. This means that all academic work will be done by the student to whom it is assigned without unauthorized aid of any kind. In addition, plagiarism, cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty, including dishonesty involving computer technology, are prohibited. Any instances of academic dishonesty in this course (intentional or unintentional) will be dealt with swiftly, and potential penalties include receiving a failing grade (F) on the assignment in question or in the course overall. For further information, students should make themselves familiar with the Academic Honesty section within the Undergraduate Catalog.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: If you need academic accommodations because of a learning, physical, or other disability, please contact Disability Support Services (1 Campus Drive, STU 200, telephone 616-331-2490). Furthermore, if you have a physical disability and think you will need assistance evacuating the classroom and/or building in an emergency situation, please make me aware so I can develop a plan to assist you.
I reserve the right to alter any aspect of this course and its assignments and readings schedule as necessary during the semester. As a rule, reading assignments signify the reading that should be done before the class it is listed for (i.e., the reading for 24-26 January should be read before class on 24 January). Also, abbreviations for the primary sources contained in the various Strayer chapters, such as Doc.3.2, should be read as Document, Chapter, Source (i.e. “Doc.3.2” stands for the second primary source document in chapter three).
- Introduction and Syllabus (10 January)
- Digging in Dirt: The Neolithic Revolution (12 January)
- Strayer Ch.2
- PowerPoint Presentation Workshop (14 January)
- The Urban Revolution: Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt (17-19 January)
- Strayer Ch.3; Doc.3.1 & Doc.3.3
- Presentation Research Day (21 January) – Online Lab
- Imperial Struggle: The Greco-Persian Wars, 499-449 BCE (24-26 January)
- Strayer Ch.4: 143-154; Ch.5: 202-205
- Presentation Research Day (28 January) – Online Lab
- The Mandate of Heaven: Qin Shi Huangdi and the Unification of China (31 Jan-2 Feb)
- Strayer Ch.4: 154-165; Doc.4.3; Ch.5: 189-197; Doc.5.1; Visual Sources: 180-187
- Presentation Research Day (4 February) – Online Lab
- Footsteps of the Buddha: Mauryan and Gupta India (7-9 February)
- Strayer Ch.4: 165-167; Doc.4.4; Ch.5: 197-202; Doc.5.2; Visual Sources: 227-235; Ch.6: 242-247
- Presentation Research Day (11 February) – Online Lab
- Imperial Nadir: Surviving the Fall of Rome in Europe (14-16 February)
- Strayer Ch.10; Doc.10.1, Doc.10.2, & Doc.10.3
- Primary Source Analysis DUE (16 February)
- Presentation Research Day (18 February) – Online Lab
- Monks and Merchants: Traveling the Silk Road (21-23 February)
- Strayer Ch.8; Doc.8.1, Doc.8.2, & Doc.8.3
- Presentation Research Day (15 February) – Online Lab
- Review/Overspill (28 February-2 March)
- Midterm Exam (4 March)
- Spring Break: No Classes (7-9 March)
- Clash of Civilizations?: The Crusades (14-16 March)
- Strayer Ch.11
- Presentation Research Day (18 March) – Online Lab
- The Age of Discovery: European Contact with the World (21-23 March)
- Strayer Ch.13: 588-594; Doc.13.1 & Doc.13.2; Strayer Ch.14
- PowerPoint Presentation Day #1 (25 March)
- The Gunpowder Age: The Ottoman-Habsburg Struggle for Europe (28-30 March)
- Strayer Ch.13: 584-588; Ch.14: 647-650; Ch.15: Visual Sources: 711-719
- PowerPoint Presentation Day #2 (1 April)
- The Dual Revolution, 1750-1850 (4-6 April)
- Strayer Ch.17; Visual Sources: 817-823; Ch.18; Doc.18.1 & Doc.18.2
- PowerPoint Presentation Day #3 (8 April)
- 20th century Communist Empires: The USSR and the PRC (11-13 April)
- Strayer Ch.22; Doc.22.1, Doc.22.2, Doc.22.3, & Doc.22.4
- PowerPoint Presentation Day #4 (15 April)
- Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Israel and Palestine (18-20 April)
- Strayer Ch.23
- Review/Overspill (22 April)
- Final Exam (Wednesday, 27 April: 10:00-11:50am)