In addition to the other activities we will be pursuing in class on Tuesday, I would also like you to print off and take a look at this pdf (HST 203 Urban Ruin Assignment). For now, just read it and think about what conclusions/observations you can make about these two narrative laments. We will be working with this in a more focused way in class, but since this is longer than a page or two, I wanted to give you some extra time instead of dropping it cold in your lap at the start of class. Ping me if you have questions.
Tag Archives: mesopotamia
For Monday’s class (17 January 2011), please read the assigned chapter in your Strayer text (Ch.3) and the short reading extract I have posted to Blackboard (*shudder*), a piece on “Cities and Civilizations” by Kevin Reilly. Please be prepared to discuss the following questions when you come to class on Monday:
1) What are some examples of items, classes, ideas, and so on created in the first cities? So then what aspects or characteristics denote civilization, as distinct from Neolithic settlements like Jericho or Çatal Höyük?
2) What role did geography play in the development of society and culture in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt?
We will not be discussing the primary source readings (listed on your syllabus) until Wednesday’s class. Ping me in Twitter, email, or my office hours if you have a question about this.
So, first and foremost, I have posted the outline for Topic #5 to the Teaching Hub. You can find it on the Lectures/Resources page in the navigation bar above. You know the drill.
Second, I have embedded below the next Companion Lecturecast for this course, this time dealing with the Hellenistic World built by the conquests of Alexander the Great. You also know the drill on this, but for those not paying attention: please watch this before next Monday and drop a comment or question in the comments section below. This is not a suggestion; it is an assignment that you will receive points for. If you don’t comment or ask a question by Monday, you will not receive the points. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Also, please note: This lecturecast has a few changes in the order and composition of the slides from what is appended to the Topic #5 PWPT already up on the Lectures/Resources page. I have posted this PWPT supplement as well, for those that want it.
Topic #5 Companion Lecturecast: Hellenistic Greece
This is just a reminder that you have a couple of primary sources that you need to have read before class on Monday, as a good chunk of that class will be taken up with an activity/discussion of those sources. You can find the readings listed on your course page under Classes in the navigation bar above or in the links below:
I have decided to try an experiment in lecturecasting with you guys and gals in my HST203 courses this semester. However, this will be a small tentative step. Instead of having a full lecture posted on the Hub for you, I have decided to break the in-class lecture into parts and post some of them as companion pieces. In this case, I am posting a two-part lecturecast called “Spotlight on the Second Millennium BCE,” which highlights more specifically the general narrative principles we are discussing in class about the Second Millennium BCE in Afro-Eurasia.
What I would like you to do before next week (but after we have class on Wednesday where I introduce this topic) is watch the two lecturecasts below and then post in the comment section any questions or comments you have about what was interesting or useful in the content of these lecturecasts (this is not a suggestion; I want you to do this — and this is not the place to critique the lecturecasts themselves; send me an email or comment if you have any suggestions for that). You do not need to register with the Teaching Hub to comment, so this shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone.
Here is Part One.
And here is Part Two.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if something is not working correctly.
Here’s hoping that you spend at least some time on Labor Day relaxing. But in case you feel the uncontrollable urge to be school productive on a holiday, here’s a few items for your consideration. First, I have posted the study guide for the Midterm Exam (scheduled for 18 October 2010) to the Teaching Hub. You can find it on your course page (located using the navigation bar above…under Classes). There’s no hurry on this or anything, but for those who want an idea of where we are headed, there you go.
Second, before you come to class on Wednesday all tanned and ready for fall, please make sure you read the assigned chapter in the Strayer text. While reading it, I would like you to make a short list of any and all innovations, ideas, technology, or whatever that first appeared in cities during the urban revolution of the 3rd Millennium BCE. We will be doing an activity in class related to this and taking care of it ahead of time will speed things along.
Lastly, if you are looking for something else to prepare you for the topic of the Urban Revolution, why not go listen to a podcast from the BBC series “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” which is being serialized this year on BBC Radio 4. You can find this podcast here:
You can also find this podcast, and others in the series if interested, on iTunes for free. This podcast in particular, which I had students in my summer HST203 course listen to, about an object called the “Standard of Ur,” explores a number of issues raised regarding the rise of urban civilization five thousand years ago. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
From time to time, I will be posting short, discussion-based assignments to the main DTH blog. These are designed to help you lubricate your brain, so to speak, before we more fully engage these issues in class. They will also, for the most part, contribute toward your In-Class Activities grade (there will be a separate, single, catch-all grade under that section in Blackboard’s Gradebook labeled “Blog Commentary”). It is very much in your best interests to engage with these assignments, especially when it comes to helping you understand the broader themes of this course.
Before next Thursday’s class (31 July 2010), I would like you to go listen to a podcast from the BBC series “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” which is being serialized this year on BBC Radio 4. You can find this podcast here:
You can also find this podcast, and others in the series if interested, on iTunes for free.
After listening, post in the comments about what you think of this episode and the issues raised in it regarding the rise of urban civilization five thousand years ago. How does the Standard symbolize the creation of urban civilization? What is the relationship between urbanity and power that the Standard represents? What does this podcast suggest to you about how one can go about making history?
Please note: I do not ask the questions above so that you can blandly answer them in order over and over. I want to know what you think about the material presented to you, and these sub questions are simply there to jump-start your thinking. Do not feel the need to talk about only these issues. Also, feel free to respond to and comment on your classmates’ observations. Regardless of where it actually is (meatspace, cyberspace, etc), the classroom is a community of learners (Warning: Academic Pedagogy Jargon!) where discussion between all of us will help you master this material.
See you in the comments.