Western Civ readings

January 14, 2005

Well, that took too long, but I have the class names and readings for Western Civ.

Now we get to see if I am over-powering the kids. There are a couple of truly evil weeks in there, and also a couple of weeks with nothing but a couple of cartoons.

The readings are long on dead white men, but I am using them to illustrate a theme of changing notions of state, society, and liberty over time - and most political theorists before the 20th century were white men. I would rather have the kids read Karl Marx than Rosa Luxembourg. List of classes and readings below the fold.


18, Tuesday - What is Europe? Where do we find it?
no reading

20, Thursday - It's Good to be the King
McKay Chapter 16, pp 531-548,
James I 581 words.
St. Simon on the court of Louis XIV 2,000 words.
Homework AAA, due Jan 20 "James I claims that kings are like gods. Respond to his claim."

25, Tuesday - Constitutionalism
McKay 16, pp 548-560.
Locke Excerpts, 4300 hard words.
Homework BBB, due Jan 25. "What is Locke's social contract?"

27, Thursday - Absolutism
McKay 17.


1, Tuesday - They Blinded Me With Science
McKay 18, pp 595-615

3, Thursday - Enlightened Monarchs?
McKay 18, 615-627 - close read Voltaire 626-7,
Rousseau Social Contract excerpts on the General Will 3650 words.
Homework CCC, due Feb 3 "What is the General Will?"

8, Tuesday - The Atlantic Economy
McKay 19,

10, Thursday - 18th Century Life
McKay 20,
Hogarth - Beer/Gin. 2 pictures and commentary
Optional: Hogarth - Idle/Industrious Prentices. 12 pictures and commentary
Homework DDD due Feb 10 "Why was beer better than gin?"

15, Tuesday - Liberty and Equality,
McKay 21, pp 691-704

17, Thursday - Generations, Burke and Paine,
PAPER 1 DUE Feb 17
Optional, Richard Price "A Discourse on the Love of our Country" 9,000 words.
Burke, "Reflections on the Revolution in France" 98,000 easy words.
Paine, "Rights of Man", Part I, 20,000 words
Part II, 14,000 words
"What is liberty? What threatens it? What defends it?"

22, Tuesday - Nappy Baby,
McKay 21, pp 704-723. Close reading of women, 722-3

24, Thursday - Industrial Revolution,
McKay 22. Close read parliamentary reports
Homework EEE due Feb 24, "How did industrialization change women's lives?"


1, Tuesday - MIDTERM
3, Thursday - Reforms and Revolutions,
McKay 23

8, Tuesday - Karl, not Groucho
Karl Marx Communist Manifesto, chapters 1, 4. 6,300 words.
Karl Marx 18th Brumaire, chapters 1, 7 10,000 words.

10 Thursday - Sex and the City,
McKay 24,
Gogol "The Nose" 10,200 words.
Homework FFF Due Feb 10. Use Marx to read Gogol: "What social class are Yakovlevitch, Kovalev, and the nose?"

15, Tuesday SPRING BREAK
17, Thursday SPRING BREAK

22, Tuesday - Nationalism,
McKay 25,
William Blake "Jerusalem"

24, Thursday - Imperialism,
McKay 26,
Rudyard Kipling "Our Lady of the Snows," "White Man's Burden", "Gunga Din"
Homework GGG due Feb 24, "How does Kipling use race?"

29, Tuesday - The Guns of August,
McKay 27 pp 887-904, 918-19,
Songs: "Smile, Smile, Smile", "Over There"

31, Thursday - The Great War,
Erich Maria Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front,
One of the reasons Remarque wrote AQWF was as a response to the rise of the Nazi Party. How does he use the novel to oppose Naziism?


5, Tuesday - Bolsheviks,
McKay 27, 904-917,
V.I. Lenin, two speeches. 1600 words.
Homework HHH due April 5. Respond to this quote: "When Trotsky spoke, we cheered. When Lenin spoke, we marched."

7, Thursday - Anxiety,
McKay 28, pp 921-942,
Ernest Hemingway "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" 1933. 1,500 words.
Mary Webb "In Affection and Esteem" 1,800 words.

12, Tuesday - Depression
McKay 28, pp 942-951

14, Thursday - Dictatorships
McKay 29, pp 953-971,
Benito Mussolini, "Fascism" 1932 6,600 words.
Optional - Benito Mussolini, Appendix to Fascism, 3,500 words.
Adolf Hitler, Excerpts, 6,500 words.
Adolf Hitler, Speech on parties and intolerance, 1932, (video) http://www.earthstation1.com/WWIIAudio/Hitler_-_Intolerance.wav
Homework III due April 14. "Why was Hitler so popular?"

19, Tuesday - World War Two
McKay 29, pp 971-987,
Marlene Deitrich "Lili Marlene",
Vera Lynn "Lili Marlene" (audio clips)

21, Thursday - Cold War
McKay 30
Winston Churchill, "Iron Curtain", 1,321 words.
Homework JJJ due April 21 "Who started the cold war?"

26, Tuesday - Life After the Cold War
McKay 31,
Vaclev Havel, "The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World", 1994, 2700 words.
Homework KKK due April 26. Havel claims the world has changed, and describes that change. Do you agree or disagree with him?

28, Thursday - Terrorism
no reading, review session.

Posted by Red Ted at January 14, 2005 04:10 PM

I think it's an excellent overview of Western Civ! It must be hard to come up with something comprehensive enough to cover, yet light enough to keep their interest. You've mixed it up really well!

Posted by: Catt at January 18, 2005 11:01 AM
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