HSS2 Course Objectives

During the semester students will:

1. Engage with foundational texts in the creation of the Modern age through close reading and class discussion. Students develop further their skills in reading and interpreting a range of texts in a range of genres (letter, report, treatise, essay, drama, non-fiction narrative).

2. Describe how course texts differently perform, reflect upon, elide or otherwise register the major social, political, and intellectual developments of their respective periods, in particular 1) the transformations and conflicts produced by European expansion, 2) the movement of ideas, people, and commodities across oceans, 3) the reception of ideas and impact of migration and commerce within regions and emerging national contexts.

3. Distinguish, and provide critical definitions for, the major periods and movements in the Early Modern Period, specifically History - Renaissance Humanism, the Reformation, the Puritan Revolution and the Enlightenment - with an appreciation for the problems of periodization.

4. Outline the contribution of the Scientific Revolution to the nature of knowledge, and describe in more detail the role of one major figure such as Bacon, Galileo, Descartes or Newton.

5. Trace and analyze, by citing specific authors and historical experiences, the changing conceptions of the political realm, including the development of the modern state; the relationship between politics and religion; and the rise of political individualism.