*I reserve the right to revise or alter this syllabus at any time.
Catalog course description
This course investigates the major trends in Western civilization in the context of global developments from the sixteenth century to the present. Students will examine the political, economic, social, and cultural developments that characterize the history of the West in that period, and also consider the historical roots of present global or international issues as they develop through interactions between the West and other world regions.
Certified for Foundations Element category: Global Citizenship HIS 102: The West in the Worldprovides students with the basis for understanding some key developments that continue to shape lives, including the challenges of democratic systems; the role of the state and government in people’s lives; political, economic, cultural and social globalization; and the role of the individual as a potential historical actor. Because the West has had a profound influence on world developments, and the West in turn has been shaped by that same interaction. The content and skills associated with this course enable students to engage with contemporary issues through a broader understanding of the historical development of those issues.
Note to students who matriculated at YCP before FALL 2015: Beginning in Fall 2015, York College will simultaneously operate two general education systems. Students who entered the college before Fall 2015 will remain under the Core/ADR systems, while new students to the college have a different set of non-major (general education) requirements that are part of a system called Generation Next. You, however, remain part of the Core/ADR system, and will finish out that system with its current requirements. Some courses belong to both the “old” and “new” systems. That’s okay. A course may be an ADR course, in groups I-V, and at the same time, may be a Disciplinary Perspectives Course, or a Foundations Course, or a Constellations course. For instance, this course is in the current ADR under area IV, but in the new system, is a Foundations-Global Citizenship course. A student sitting next to you may be taking the course as a Generation Next requirement or for a Core or ADR requirement. The course is serving you both well as a requirement in your separate systems.
Student learning outcomes
1) Demonstrate an understanding of past and/or present global or international issues and processes, and the political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions of those issues, including their past and/or present interconnectedness.
2) Demonstrate an understanding of diverse perspectives and approaches to those past and/or present global or international issues.
3) Demonstrate understanding of the norms, values, and practices important to members of another culture and/or nation.
4) Extend knowledge from their own personal background and academic disciplines to consideration of global issues and/or solutions.
5) Analyze primary and secondary sources in order to develop interpretations, presented as arguments, and supported by evidence.
6) Convey an accurate understanding of the narrative of major historical periods and their associated events, individuals, developments, causes and effects.
7) Students will solicit and respond appropriately to feedback from peers and faculty.
8) Students will present work with professional appearance and demeanor.
9) Students will be able to write competently, including using correct mechanics and style appropriate for audience, and cite sources as required by the instructor.
Techniques to be used in this course to achieve the course student learning outcomes:
Students’ understanding of global issues and diverse perspectives will be developed through readings and discussions that address relevant material about the relationship between the West and the World. Your understanding of globalization will be assessed via in-class or take-home essay writing assignments for which you will answer a prompt that requires you to construct your own argument, using specific readings from the Sources book and the Manifesto.
Students will develop communication skills through class discussions and debates, during which students will be provided with the opportunity to think critically about the readings.
Students will be assigned a range of materials used by historians to understand the past, including primary and secondary source materials, which may be available in print; as video, art and or music; or Web-based information resources. Students will be expected to work with this material to develop the analytical skills necessary to construct interpretations and offer arguments backed by evidence drawn from that material.
Course Materials The following books are available at the campus bookstore. All are required:
McKay, Crowston, Wiesner-Hanks & Perry, A History of Western Society, Eleventh Edition, Vol. 2, (Bedford St. Martins, 2014) [hereafter McKay]
Sources for Western Society, Vol 2. Third Edition (Bedford St. Martin’s, 2014) [hereafter Sources]
Marx, The Communist Manifesto, Edited by F. Bender. 2nd Edition (Norton Critical Edition, 2013) [hereafter Manifesto]
You must use these editions of the books! Other editions are available, but the assignments will not match.
You will also be required to access documents on Moodle which you will have to print, read and bring to class with you. All the photocopied material for the course (syllabus, document handouts, essay guidelines, etc.) will be available on Moodle in the “Course Documents” folder.
Basis for Course Grade Quizzes 150
Class Participation 300
Class Debates 150
Take Home Essay 125
Communist Manifesto Assignment 100
“After” Quiz 50
Final Exam 125
1000 points total
Quizzes & Reviews: You will take a quiz on this syllabus as well as quizzes or reviews on lectures and on the McKay textbook. These are meant to gauge whether you have read and understood the McKay textbook and listened to and comprehended the lectures. Most quizzes and reviews must be submitted through Moodle, but some will be completed in class (for instance, the syllabus quiz). You will also take “before” and “after” quizzes meant to gauge what content you know before the course begins, and what you know when it ends. Whichever of these you score highest on will count towards your final grade.
Participation: At least twenty class periods (about half of the total) will be devoted to discussion of the reading assignments from the Sources book. Some of these discussions will be in groups, some as a class. For many of the discussion readings, you will be required write out your answers to questions about the documents and turn those in at the beginning of class. Your participation grade will be based on the quality of your written answers and your contribution to group and class discussions. Simply turning in the answers to the questions and/or being present for discussion is not enough; you must actively participate. That means you must read the assignments carefully and completely beforehand, have the reading with you in class, think critically about the questions asked, and make an effort to contribute to class discussion. When in discussion groups, you must take responsibility for completing your share of group assignments and try to involve others in the group discussion.
Active participation also implies that whether lecture, discussion or debate, you pay attention, come to class on time, turn off and put away your mobile device, don’t leave and/or re-enter class unless there is a break or some emergency, don’t work on outside assignments or other material during class, don’t read or respond to text messages, don’t update your Facebook status or Twitter feed, don’t surf the net, etc. If you do not actively participate you will be marked as absent on the roll and will lose a portion of your participation grade. If you disrupt the class, you will be asked to leave.
Debates: We will have two class debates during the semester. For these you will be evaluated both for how well your group performed and for how well you contributed to the group effort. In other words, part of your debate grade will be based on teamwork. In order to deter individuals from undermining the group effort, anyone who does not adequately contribute to the group preparation can be thrown off the team by unanimous decision of the other members of the group. In those circumstances, I will determine what additional assignments and penalties are appropriate for the offending student.
Essays: You will write three analytical essays outside of class in response to questions I will provide, one based on the Sources documents you’ve read, another on material from The Communist Manifesto, and the last on specific texts from both sources. All essays will be evaluated for content (did you get the facts right?), analysis (did you make a reasonable, convincing argument that answers the prompt?), organization (did you organize the essay logically and coherently?), and writing (style, grammar, and typographical errors). Essays must be submitted digitally through “Turnitin.com.” You need not turn in hard copies of your essays.
I abide by York College’s statement on writing standards, which states: “York College recognizes the importance of effective communication in all disciplines and careers. Therefore, students are expected to competently analyze, synthesize, organize, and articulate course material in papers, examinations and presentations. In addition, students should know and use communication skills current to their field of study, recognize the need for revision as part of their writing process, and employ standard conventions of English usage in both writing and speaking. Students may be asked to further revise assignments that do not demonstrate effective use of these communication skills.” (Source: Faculty Manual, C2.11)
Because writing is an important way students in this class and professionals in all fields learn, communicate knowledge, and are assessed as members of the discipline and because individual feedback throughout the writing process helps writers develop, all written assignments except the last essay (or any assignment turned in late) may be rewritten as many times as you wish. To submit a rewrite, you must a) rewrite the essay within one week of the date you received the graded [or re-graded] essay; b) turn in all your marked-up previous drafts with your rewrite, and c) explain to me in person how you will respond to the comments or criticisms I made of your previous drafts. The grade you earn for your last rewrite is the grade for the assignment, regardless of the original or intervening scores.
I also strongly encourage you to regularly visit the writing center to work with a writing tutor. The Center’s website is: https://ycpwriting.wordpress.com/. Contact the Center to make an appointment by calling 815-1216 or stopping by HUM Room 01.
Late or Incomplete Assignments: Unless otherwise indicated, all assignments are due at the beginning of the class period on the date specified in the course schedule. Any work turned in late without the prior permission of the instructor may be marked down a full grade for each class period that it is late, or may not be accepted at all. Late assignments may not be rewritten.
Failure to complete all of the major assignments (participation in the debates, writing the essays,) will result in a 0 for the course, regardless of how many points you have otherwise earned.
Think of history as a collection of stories, some written by the people who participated in the events, some by later generations based on earlier accounts, and some by modern historians reinterpreting the original and intervening versions. All stories ever written – from history texts to children’s picture books to last night’s news to the latest Hollywood blockbusters – present a unique point of view and an underlying message or moral. However, the perspective and intended lesson are sometimes obscured, and the reader often ignores them. Their deeper meaning and importance are revealed only through careful examination and critical analysis. By questioning and interpreting what you read, see and hear you gain greater understanding, not only of these stories, but also of your own society and of yourself. Hence, studying history entails more than simply reading and repeating old stories; it means examining them critically to develop your own interpretation of the meaning of past events and ideas.
Because history is a record of our collective past, rich with stories on practically everything touching human existence, it is ideal material to use to improve reading, analytical, writing and speaking skills. In as much as you must have a clear grasp of facts and context to successfully analyze and produce your own interpretation, you will have to be familiar with certain concepts, recognize certain names, and remember the chronology of certain events. However, I am more interested in the process of examining these stories than in your retention of a lot of facts. For most of you, knowing the details of the French Revolution will be unimportant, but the ability to comprehend unfamiliar material, think critically about its meaning and implications, and clearly express a reasoned opinion about it will help you in any job you take.
I will lecture to try to highlight the most important material and ideas and frame them in a way that encourages analysis and interpretation, but a majority of class time (and most of your learning) will be comprised of your contributions. Listening to me lecture or your classmates talk will not necessarily help you become a better thinker, speaker or writer. You must work on these skills by coming to class prepared, thinking about (and challenging) what you hear and read, actively participating in class and group discussions, and writing (and rewriting if necessary) quality essays.
As you can see by the grading criteria and assignments, much of your grade depends on being in class. In this sense, class attendance is required. To further encourage you to show up, I take the roll every class and offer a significant point bonus to students who complete the course without an absence. You may be absent (for whatever reason) for three days without any penalty. For these absences you will be allowed to make up any missed assignments, though it is your responsibility to make the necessary arrangements with me. Upon your fourth absence (for whatever reason), however, you will not be able to make up assignments. If you miss more than nine classes, you should withdraw from the course. No student who has missed more than nine classes has ever managed to pass the course.
Use of Personal Technology in the Classroom:
College Policy: While York College recognizes students’ need for educational and emergency-related technological devices such as laptops, mobile devices, cellular phones, etc., using them unethically or recreationally during class time is never appropriate. The college recognizes and supports faculty members’ authority to regulate in their classrooms student use of all electronic devices.
Class Policy: All mobile devices must be turned off and stowed in your bags or pockets. If I see a phone on the desktop I will ask you to put it away. If you feel compelled to use your mobile device during class, I will not stop you, but I will mark you as absent for the day, and you will lose participation points. I strongly recommend that you not use a laptop or tablet to take notes on lectures, but if you choose to do so, you must email a copy of your notes to me as soon as the class period ends. I also strongly recommend against buying the Sources book as an “e-book” or digital text, but if you decide to do so, you must notify me at the first class discussion.
Cheating and Plagiarism
I begin the semester by assuming that you are all ethical adults, who would not deliberately cheat. However, after some painful experiences with dishonest students, I recognize the necessity of reminding you that cheating and plagiarism are unacceptable, and that I will do my utmost to discover and punish anyone who cheats or plagiarizes. I consider any obvious similarity (in argument, structure, phrasing or word choice) to another student’s written work to be cheating. In these circumstances, both students will receive a 0 for the assignment and will be asked to explain themselves to me pending further penalties. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of quotations and close paraphrases in written work. In other words, all written work must be in your own words, except for brief quotations from sources or literature, which must be clearly designated and credited. If you have questions about plagiarism, consult me and/or the websites about plagiarism you’ll find under “links” in Moodle, and on my home page (http://faculty.ycp.edu/~pkennedy/Site/Links.html).
To help students avoid plagiarism and improper citation, students are required to submit their essays through “Turnitin.com,” a software program. It cross-references submitted materials with archived databases of student essays, journals, newspaper articles, books, and other published and unpublished works to help students identify which words and phrases they have taken from other sources. This is meant as an educational tool as well as a deterrent. Once you’ve written your essay, you can check to ensure you haven’t inadvertently plagiarized.
When I suspect cheating and/or plagiarism, I will follow the procedure laid out by the Faculty Handbook (reproduced in full below).
York College’s mission statement stipulates that strict adherence to principles of academic honesty is expected of all students. Therefore, academic dishonesty will not be tolerated at York College. Academic dishonesty refers to actions such as, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, fabricating research, falsifying academic documents, etc., and includes all situations where students make use of the work of others and claim such work as their own.
When a faculty member believes a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member must promptly notify the student in writing and obtain confirmation of notification from the student. The faculty member then has ten business days from that written notification to the student to report the incident to the Dean of Academic Affairs and the Department Chair. Documentation related to instances of academic dishonesty will be kept on file in the student’s permanent record. The faculty member has full discretion to determine a suitable penalty for the student, up to a course grade of 0. This discretion is limited to the course in which the dishonesty took place. Students may not withdraw from a course in which they have been accused of academic dishonesty, unless and until the accusation is withdrawn by the faculty member or is overturned by the Student Welfare Committee or the Dean of Academic Affairs.
Students who believe they have been unjustly charged or sanctioned must discuss the situation with the faculty member and have 10 business days thereafter to submit an appeal to Student Welfare Committee through the Dean of Academic Affairs. If an appeal is filed, the Student Welfare Committee will then conduct a hearing to review the charge and/or sanction. In the case of an egregious first offense, the faculty member may request that the Student Welfare Committee conduct a hearing and determine a sanction, which may involve academic probation, suspension or dismissal from the College.
If the Dean of Academic Affairs determines that the academic dishonesty is the student’s second offense, the Dean will provide written notification to the student, the faculty member, and the Department Chair. The Student Welfare Committee will automatically conduct a hearing to review the charge and decide on an appropriate sanction, which will involve academic probation, suspension or dismissal from the College. Students who believe the Student Welfare Committee has unjustly sanctioned them may submit a written appeal to the Dean of Academic Affairs within 72 hours of receiving notification of the Student Welfare Committee’s sanction.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
If you are a student with a disability in need of a classroom accommodation and have not already registered with Linda Miller, Director of Disability Support Services, please contact her at 815-1785 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss policies and procedures related to disability services and to establish the accommodations for which you are eligible.
The letter grades as defined by the Faculty Manual of York College, with my point scale:
4 (Excellent) (900-1000 pts): This grade denotes accomplishment that is truly distinctive and decidedly outstanding. It represents a high degree of attainment and is a grade that demands evidence of originality, independent work, an open and discriminating mind, and completeness and accuracy of knowledge, as well as an effective use of the knowledge.
3.5 (Very Good) (850-899 pts): This grade denotes mastery of the subject matter. It represents very good achievement in many aspects of the work, such as initiative, serious and determined industry, the ability to organize work, and the ability to comprehend and retain subject matter and to apply it to new problems and contexts.
3 (Good) (800-849 pts): This grade denotes considerable understanding of the subject matter. It represents a strong grasp and clear understanding of the subject matter and the ability to comprehend and retain course content.
2.5 (Above Average) (750-799 points): This grade denotes above average understanding of the subject matter. It represents a good grasp of the subject matter and the ability to comprehend and retain course content.
2 (Average) (700-749 points): This grade denotes average understanding of the subject matter. It represents the grade that may be expected of a student of normal ability who gives the work a reasonable amount of time and effort.
1 (Below Average) (600-699 points): This grade denotes below average understanding of the subject matter. It represents work that falls below the acceptable standard.
0 (Failure) (below 600 points): This grade denotes inadequate understanding of the subject matter. It signifies an absence of meaningful engagement with the subject matter and that the student is not capable of doing or understanding the work or has made little or no effort to do so.
Schedule of Course Topics and Assignments Wednesday, Sept. 2: Introduction
Friday, Sept. 4: Lecture & Discussion: What is History: What is the West?
Monday, Sept. 7: NO CLASS—Labor Day Wednesday, September 9: Early Modern Europe
McKay, pp. 438-75
Friday, Sept. 11: Absolutism & Constitutionalism
McKay, pp. 476-513
Monday, Sept. 14: Discussion: What is the purpose of government?
Friday, October 2: Discussion: Why were the French Revolting?
Sources, pp. 290-303 & Robespierre document (on Moodle)
Answer reading questions for Commissioners (290-3), Decl. of Rights of Man (298-24), & Law of 22 Prairial (300-3) Monday, October 5: Napoleon & Discussion: How did the Revolution Change?
Sources, pp. 303-11
Wednesday, October 7: Industrial Revolution
First Essay due through Turnitin.com by beginning of class Friday, October 9: Discussion: How Did Industrialization Affect Society?
McKay, pp. 654-686
Sources, pp. 312-31
Monday, October 12: Ideologies or “isms” - Conservatism, Liberalism & Socialism
McKay, pp. 687-701 & Manifesto, 1-43
Wednesday, October 14: Discussion: What Ideology Would You Support?
Sources, pp. 332-40, 48-52 & Fourier document on Moodle
Answer reading questions for Metternich (336-39), & Mill (339-40) Friday, October 16: Movie in Class Monday, October 19: Fall break, No class Wednesday, October 21: Discussion: Marxism & You
Manifesto, pp. 59-96
Friday, October 23: Ideologies continued - Romanticism & Nationalism
McKay 701-21 & Mazzini document on Moodle
Monday, October 26: Mass Society
Manifesto essay due through Turnitin.com by beginning of class Wednesday, October 28: Discussion: How has Mass Society Affected the Family?
Friday, October 30: New Directions & Discussion: How has Science Affected Society?
Monday, November 2: Debate: Who are the Enemies of Humanity? Wednesday, November 4: New Nationalism & Discussion: (Why) Is Nationalism Conservative?
Friday, November 6: More Industrial Revolutions
Monday, November 9: The New Imperialism
Wednesday, November 11: Discussion: Imperialism, What is it Good For?
Sources pp. 387-401
Answer Discussion Questions for Lin (387-89), Ferry (389-91) & Hobson (399-401) Friday, November 13: “Sanders of the River” & Discussion: How did the West View the World?
Imperialism Documents on Moodle
Monday, November 16: The Great War
Wednesday, November 18: Discussion: Oh What a Lovely War?
Sources pp. 403-20
Answer questions forSwanwick (408-13), Lenin (413-16) & Wilson (416-17) Friday, November 20: Peace?
Monday, November 23: Discussion: What’s Gone Wrong?
Answer questions for Freud (421-25), Stewart (430-32), & Hauser (432-36) Wednesday, November 25: Thanksgiving Break – No class Friday, November 27: Thanksgiving Break – No class Monday, November 30: Debate Preparation
Wednesday, December 2: Dictator’s Debate
Sources, 439-46, 450-52 + Documents on Moodle (for debate)
Friday December 4: World War Two & Discussion: What Sort of War?
Sources: 446-50, 452-4
Monday, December 7: Cold War
Wednesday, December 9: Discussion: Why Did We "Fight" a Cold War?
Answer questions for Marshal (456-59), Stalin (465-66), & Fanon (467-71) Friday December 11: Discussion: Is This a New World Order?
McKay, pp. 1017-1054
Sources, pp. 574-94
Monday December 14: Discussion: What Has Changed, What Hasn't
Manifesto, pp. 234-59 (Bender essay)
Final Exam – See final exam schedule for date and time.