Colloqium in World History:
The Rise of the West in Global Perspective
Tuesdays, 4:20-6:50 p.m.
Sierra Hall 108
reading-intensive colloquium focuses on the vibrant and volatile debate
over the Rise of the West: How did Europeans become so rich and why did
they come to dominate so much of the world between the fifteenth and
nineteenth centuries? Was it the result of Europe’s unique culture?
Technology? Military supremacy? Politics? Religion? Science? Geography?
Luck? This course is designed for students who are teachers or will one
day teach world history, as well as those who are interested in trans
national, trans regional, integrative history.
Required Readings (all books are available through the
Matador Bookstore; additional readings can be accessed here)
- Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (Norton, 1999)
- Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony (Oxford, 1989)
- Eric Jones, The European Miracle, 3rd ed. (Cambridge, 2003)
- David Landes The Welath and
Poverty of Nations (Norton, 1998)
- Joel Mokyr The Lever of Riches (Oxford, 1990)
- Toby Huff, The Rise of Early Modern Science, 2nd ed. (Cambridge,
- Andrew Gunder Frank, ReOrient (University of California Press,
- John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization
- Ken Pomeranz, The Great Divergence (Princeton, 2000)
- Participation: Active, informed, engaged,
respectful participation in discussions (10%).
- Four short (2-3 page) responses to the
assigned reading, due Jan. 26 (Diamond), Feb. 16 (Landes), March 16
(Frank), and April 13 (Pomeranz) (10% each, 40% total).
- A 12-15 page
essay synthesizing the assigned readings, or a 12-15 page research
on a topic relating to the Rise of the West to be chosen in
consultation with the instructor, due May 11 (50%).
Schedule of Readings:
- You are expected to attend each class
meeting and to arrive on time. More than two absences (for any reason),
or repeated lateness, will result in a failing grade for the course. If
you miss a class, you must submit a 2-page summary and analysis of
the reading for that week before class begins.
- Late assignments will be marked down
1/3 grade per day. All assignments must be completed in order to
receive credit for the course.
- Any student caught plagiarizing (using
another person’s words or ideas without proper acknowledgment) will
receive a failing grade for the course be referred to the Office of
Student Affairs for disciplinary action.
- The instructor reserves the right to
course schedule or assignments. Students will be given adequate notice
of any changes.
I. The World to 1350
Jan. 19: Introduction
Jan. 26: Jared Diamond, Guns,
Feb. 2: Janet Abu-Lughod, Before
, 1-184, 212-290, 316-373
II. European Exceptionalism
Feb. 9: Eric Jones, The European Miracle
Feb. 16: David Landes, The Wealth
and Poverty of Nations
Feb. 23: Joel Mokyr, The Lever of
March 2: Toby Huff, The Rise of
Early Modern Science
Military Superiority Thesis…” JWH
10 (1999): 143-7; David Abernathy, The Dynamics
of Global Dominance, 1-12, 45-63, 175-224
III. The View from the East
March 16: Andre Gunder Frank, ReOrient,
and Giráldez, “Born with a ‘Silver Spoon’,” JWH 6 (1995): 201-21
March 23: John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization
March 30: No Class - Conference
April 6: No Class - Spring Break
IV. The "California
April 13: Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great
April 20: P. H. H. Vries, “Are Coal and
Crucial?” JWH 12 (2001):
April 27: Jack Goldstone,
“Efflorescences and Economic Growth…” JWH
13 (2002): 323-89 and “The
Rise of the West – or Not?” Sociological
Theory 18 (2000): 175-94
May 4: Conclusion
May 11: Final Paper Due