Honors Western Civilization II

Course Description and Schedule

HIST 122 Section 045 (Honors), Spring 1996
12:30-1:45 TTh, Churchill-Haines 118

Mr Lehmann
Office Hours: 8:30-11:00 W
East Hall 210, 677-5573, clehmann@charlie.usd.edu, [http://www.usd.edu/~clehmann]

This is the second of a two-part survey of Western Civilization, and introduces the student to some of the leading figures, ideas, and events of the modern world. It also exposes the student to the concerns and methods of historical inquiry, through the example of lectures, by analyzing and discussing selected texts, and by writing papers.

Students are expected to read all assignments, attend every lecture, take notes, participate in discussions, and secure all handouts, which contain chronological and geographical background to the lectures and readings. In addition, the students write three papers and attend special discussion sessions three times during the semester. Material from the lectures may be incorporated into the papers and observations during discussions, but the main purpose of the papers is for the students to treat in detail certain themes that appear only generally in the lectures: the nature of historical evidence and knowledge, the relationship between ideas and events, the nature of government, and explanations of historical change. Finally, students will participate in group projects that constitute critical analysis of some central feature of Western Civilization; these projects will appear on the Honors Web site.


Evaluation is by written work and participation in class and discussion sessions. Students who expect to miss more than three meetings should meet with the instructor in the first week. Each student writes three papers and participates with three or four other students in a multimedia project (described below). Each student also keeps a single notebook, dedicated to this course only and available for periodic inspection and evaluation by the instructor. The notebook should include the student's neatly organized notes on the lectures and, in separate sections, the readings. The papers count 50 points each, divided into 30 points for content, 10 points for style, and 10 points for discussion. The multimedia project counts 50 points, divided into 30 points for content and 10 points for style--each member of a group receives an equal number of these points--and 10 points assigned by fellow group members. The notebook counts an additional 50 points. From a total of 250 points possible,

250-225 = A
225-200 = B
200-175 = C
175-150 = D

Required Books and Recording

Recommended Book

Discussions and Papers

The instructor has set three problems based on the books and the opera. Each student will write short papers (5-10 pp) addressing the problems, and join a small group to discuss the problem after completing each paper. Students will be assigned to one of four groups at the second meeting, 16 January. The papers will conform to Chicago style and include title page and bibliography: see K L Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 5th ed (Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 1987), or The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed (Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 1993). The title page will indicate the appropriate discussion session. Students should begin by defining a specific historical problem relevant to the assigned texts and proceed by solving that problem, arguing closely and carefuly from the texts. Those students new to this course in particular should consult closely with the instructor as they develop their topics.

Papers are due in the History office (207 East Hall) by 4:00 pm on the scheduled days; discussions follow accordingly at the Honors Lounge in the Chi Omega Center. Papers submitted on time may be rewritten for a higher grade. Papers submitted after the first discussion following the due date will be penalized by ten points, and an additional ten points every twenty-four hours thereafter.

Paper 1, due Fri 2 Feb. Discussions:
Paper 2, due Fri 15 Mar Discussions:
Paper 3, due Fri 26 Apr. Discussions:

Paper Assignments

  1. The use of the epic past: Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, performed by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants; Virgil, The Aeneid, trans Fitzgerald, books 1, 4; Milton, Samson Agonistes, ed Prince; and the Bible (King James Version), Judges 13-16.
  2. Men and women in early modern Europe: Laclos, Les liaisons dangereuses, trans Parmee; and G Kates, Monsier d'Eon is a Woman.
  3. The use of the epic present: V S Naipaul, A Way in the World; and D Walcott, Omeros.

Multimedia Assignment: The House the West Built

The instructor will divide the students into about ten groups, each of which will develop a theme that treats some important aspect of Western Civilization throughout its extent in space and time as far as treated in this class. The results of each group's analysis will appear as a multimedia presentation in a format readable by Web browsers and linked with the other projects to an assigned window in an image of Old Main in turn linked to USD's Honors web site. That is, anything you can write, scan, record, photograph, or videotape is fair game. Have fun with this project; however its point is not to perform tricks but to develop a cogent and elegant critique of some aspect of your culture's history. Completed projects must be submitted to the instructor on DOS-formatted computer disks by 4:00 pm Friday 12 April. The aggregate project should appear in the IdeaFest showcase the week of 22-26 April, and students will be assigned to supervise its demonstration.

Schedule of Lectures and Assignments

Click here for Chronology sheet.

11 JanIntroduction: What is the Modern World?

Part 7: Absolutism and Enlightenment [Chodorow chs 19-21]

16 JanIntroduction and Chronology
18 JanAbsolutism in France and Germany
23 JanThe English Exception
25 JanThe Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment

Part 8: The Age of Revolutions [Chodorow chs 22-24]

30 JanIntroduction and Chronology
1 FebThe French Revolution and Its Consequences
2 FebPaper on Problem 1 due
6, 8 FebDiscussions on Problem 1
13 FebThe Industrial Revolution and Its Consequences
15 FebNineteenth Century Economics; Slides

Part 9: A Century of Ideas [Chodorow chs 25-26]

20 FebIntroduction and Chronology
22 FebLiberalism and Nationalism
27 FebSocialism and Democracy; read Communist Manifesto
29 FebNew Directions in Thought and Science
12 MarImperialism

Part 10: Turn of the Century [Chodorow, chs 28-30]

14 MarIntroduction and Chronology
15 MarPaper on Problem 2 due
19, 21 MarDiscussions on Problem 2
26 MarBismarck's Germany; read Radetsky March
28 MarWorld War I
2 AprThe Russian Revolution

Part 11: The Twentieth Century [Chodorow, chs 32-34]

4 AprIntroduction and Chronology
9 AprWorld War II
11 AprPostwar Tensions: The Cold War
12 AprProject due: The House the West Built
16 AprThe Third World
18 AprDiscussion on The House the West Built
23 AprThe Postmodern World; Slides
25 AprNo class; attend Student History Conference
26 AprPaper on Problem 3 due
30 Apr, 2 MayDiscussions on Problem 3