Instructor: Dr. Hal Goldman

This one-credit course will examine the history of European society from its origins in the ancient civilizations of the Near East up to the present day.  Material covered includes the rise of the first civilizations in the ancient Near East, the origins of Judaism, classical Greece, the Roman Republic and Empire, the fall of Rome, barbarian invasions and the rise of Christianity, medieval society, the rise of Islam, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the French Revolution, the industrial revolution, early feminism, imperialism, World War I, the Russian Revolution and the rise of Soviet totalitarianism, the rise of Italian and German fascism, World War II, the Cold War, and the establishment of the European Union.

Our challenge in this course is to understand all of these developments and the people who gave birth to them.  What made people laugh?  What made them cry?  How did they deal with the challenges their often difficult surroundings posed to them?  To find out, this course will focus not simply on political developments, but on cultural and social ones as well.  Students will attend one lecture and one discussion group per week.  Assigned work tentatively consists of readings in a textbook, short quizzes, one short paper in each semester on one of two additional assigned readings, two primary source assignments, and two non-cumulative end-of-term examinations.