History 1123 Spring 2005

Modern World History, 1400-Present

Section 0338: TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m., Room: Sciences Complex 102
Section 0320: TTh 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Room: Conwill Hall 106 

Instructor: Doug Catterall
Office: 634 South Shepler Tower

Office Hours: MW, 11a.m.-12 p.m., 2-4 p.m.; TTh 1-2 p.m., 3:30-4:30 p.m.; and by appointment

work telephone: 581-2949
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

Goals and Approach:
This course will give you broad background in world historical events that unfolded from the 15th century to the end of the 20th century. I intend the course to familiarize you with the big picture while at the same time giving you the opportunity to see the events, people, and processes we examine as part of a history that was lived. With such a large task and only one semester to work with, we will focus on the following themes.

  1. The balance between global integration on the one hand and local and regional autonomy on the other through world exploration, trade, migration, colonization, colonialism, and interdependency vs. dependence.

  2. At the level of groups and the individual as well as that of societies we will also pay attention to identity, one of the primary motivations for much of human action.

  3. Finally, we will take on the the bread and butter concerns of how people earned their daily livings.
Through these three categories we will trace how humanity went from living in a world in which multiple power blocs dominated different regions to one in which chiefly western societies were calling the shots to the current situation, in which western societies are still dominant but other voices are clearly heard. The main focus of our attentions this term will be Africa, Eurasia, and the Atlantic World (a term for Africa, the Americas and Europe operating as a linked unit).

In addition to learning about past societies and how they worked, the purpose of this course is also to teach you some skills that historians (and many who are not historians, such as lawyers, doctors and computer scientists) use all the time: critical thinking and critical reading; writing and effective oral communication; and interpretation. I you take all this away with you at the end of the term I will be well satisfied indeed. Perhaps more than any other sort of course that you will take, I view a survey course like this as a place for experimentation with ideas and my role as the person who makes experimentation possible. The following quote expresses this nicely:

"Teaching is leading students into a situation from which they can only escape by thinking."
To see the CU General Education Skills this course emphasizes click on the hypetext in this sentence.

Course Materials:
Kevin Reilly, Worlds of History: A Comparative Reader, Volume Two: Since 1400, Second Edition (Boston & New York: Bedford/St. Martin's Press, 2004) [Required]

Bulliet et al., The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Volume I: Since 1400, Brief Edition, Second Edition (Boston & New York, NY: Houghton-Mifflin, 2001) [Optional]
Primary Sources and Other Materials:
Catalina De Erauso, The Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World, translated by Gabriel Stepto and Michele Stepto with notes by Marjorie Garber (Boston: Beacon Press, 1997)  [Required]

Multatuli, Max Havelaar or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company (New York: Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1995)  [Required]

Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living (New York: The Modern Library, 1999)  [Required]

Additional supplemental readings as needed (indicated with the the following phrase and marking: Supplemental Reading* or a specific title and the * symbol) to be handed it out in class [Required]

Online secondary and primary sources linked to the online syllabus that you must consider as part of the required reading unless otherwise noted. Please note, if you see internet-based sources with a double ** next to them, the sources in question may be copyright protected and downloading them (as opposed to using them online and taking notes then and there) may be a violation of that copyright.  [Required]

All of the above readings will be required for the course and (with the exception of the supplemental readings) are available at the CU bookstore or online.

On-line Reference Books and Helpful Resources: If you have questions that the readings, lectures, and class activities do not answer I recommend using the online resources you can access by clicking on the hypertext in this sentence.

Course work consists of four graded elements: participation, 4 reaction papers, 4 quizzes, and 1 comprehensive, essay-based final examination.

Participation (150 points):

a. Attendance (100 points) : Except during the three days occupied by the Colonialism Game you will receive 4 points for every COMPLETE class that you attend for a total of 100 points.  No partial credit will be given.  You were either in class for the full time or you were not, and no excuses will be accepted.

b. Discussion (40 points): Participation in discussion is required.  I will gauge your discussion grade by your performance on particular days indicated with a *** in the schedule of assignments and readings.  On these days you can earn up to 4 points beyond your attendance mark for a total of 40 points over the course of the semster.

c. Informal Writings (up to 20 points): Occasionally I may assign short writing exercises to help focus our discussions.  These are extra-credit opportunities.  They are offered solely at the instructor's discretion and only to the class as a whole, NOT on an individual basis. 

d. Online Discussion (40 points): Beginning in week two, and each week for the rest of the semester, you will have the opportunity to participate in online discussion.  You can earn up to 5 points of participation credit for each week in which you make at least three contributions to the discussion board spread across two discussion threads.  You can earn a maximum of 40 participation points for the semester in this way.  I will start things off with two discussion threads in week two.  In order to count, contributions need to be posted within a calendar week, i.e. by Saturday.  Remember, you need to participate in multiple threads to gain maximum credit.  Also, don't repeat anything that's already been said and plan your comments carefully and be thorough.  Finally, use proper etiquette.  Don't write anything you would not state aloud in class.

Instructions for accessing the discussion board may be found by clicking on the hyptext in this sentence.

e. Credit for Participation: A perfect scorce in participation is 150 points, meaning that an A requires 135 points, a B 120 points, a C 105 points, a D 90 points, with anything below that an F.
Reaction Papers (300 points): You will have to write four reaction papers in this course, each of which will be based on an online source or one of the three major outside readings for the course.  Each of these papers will be worth 75 points and I will drop the lowest score and replace it with the average of the other three.  All papers must be double-spaced, typed, and in Times New Roman font with a 12-pt. pitch (type-size).  In addition, all papers must be footnoted using the style appropriate to historical work, which means that the MLA parenthetical style will not be acceptable.  If you want a general tutorial on footnoting using a computer see: general guidelines.  Detailed instructions for the different papers may be found by clicking on the title of each of the works that will be used for the different papers:
Reaction Paper 1: Introductory Text Interpretation Exercise
Reaction Paper 2: Lieutenant Nun
Reaction Paper 3:Max Havelaar
Reaction Paper 4:The Cost of Living
Quizzes and Final Examination (300 points):
Quizzes (150 points):  Quizzes 1 and 2 are each worth 35 points.  Quizzes 3 and 4 are each worth 40 points. The quizzes, which will entail analytical writing, will increase in complexity as the term progresses and will prepare you for the final examination.  I will drop the lowest of your three quiz scores and replace it with the average of the other three.

Final Examination (150 points): There will be a comprehensive final examination consisting of short-answer and essay components.
Grading Standards: General guidelines for my Grading standards for all written work (including the formal writings listed above) are available by clicking the hypertext in this sentence. Guidelines specific to a given writing assignment or examination are available in the on-line descriptions/review sheets of the assignments and examinations.

Grading Breakdown:

Course Component
Component Point Value
Reaction Papers
Final Examination
Total of All Categories

Calculation of your mark: In this course 750 points is a perfect score.  Thus an A requires a minimum of 675 points, a B at least 600 points, a C at least 525 points, a D at least 450 points.  Anyone earning less than 450 points fails the course and earns a mark of F.

General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  

Attendance: Regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  Equally, and as outlined above, lateness in coming to class and early departures will be penalized as these habits are rude to your fellow classmates and to me as the instructor.  I will take attendance daily in this class and an absence is an absence and will be counted as such.  

Preparation: All assignments, whether involving reading or writing, for a given day are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and dicussions as this will make studying for the quizzes and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Late Reaction Papers: The following policy applies to all late papers or formal writings for this course that will receive a letter grade. All papers submitted to me at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero.

Late Informal Writings: As they are extra credit, no late informal writings will be accepted, so don't ask.

Missed Quizzes and Examinations:  There will be no make-ups for quizzes.  I will, however, drop your lowest quiz score, so if you happen to miss a quiz, I will only count the scores on the other quizzes that you do take.  Make-ups for the final examination are granted to the student at the instructor's discretion and only with a legitimate (e.g. a medical emergency) and documented reason.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions. I will hand out a sheet explaining the basics of citation before any formal essays come due.  If for some reason you do not receive a copy of this hand-out, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the current "Student Handbook," as described in sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

1) The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;

2) The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of "W" or "F"; or

3) The student's grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure. 

Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Disability Statement: Cameron University is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible.  The University provides a range of special services for those with disabilities.  If you anticipate a need for any of those services, please contact the Cameron University Disabled Student Services office, located in 314 N. Shepler, 2800 W. Gore Blvd., Lawton, Oklahoma 73505-6377. Phone: (580) 581-2209. 
Website for this office:


Schedule of Readings, Lecture Topics, and Assignments

Weeks 1-6: The Early Modern World: Three Perspectives

Weeks 7-12: The 19th Century: A New World of Global Interaction

Weeks 13-16: The 20th Century

Final Examination Week

Please note, the syllabus is subject to change if I judge that this is necessary.

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