The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST2007 Introduction to World History: Modern Era

Semester 1 (2023-2024)

Lecture TimeWednesday, 14:30 - 16:15

VenueG04, Y.C. Liang Hall (LHC G04)

LanguageEnglish

Lecturer Noah SHUSTERMAN (ncshust@cuhk.edu.hk)

Teaching Assistant Laurie LIU (1155186234@link.cuhk.edu.hk)

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the History of the Modern World – the events, people, and long-term developments which, since the end of the Middle Ages, have shaped and reshaped human society – with a focus on the growth of international developments and the creation of today’s globalized world. Throughout the semester, we will also be interrogating the continued tensions between local identities and dynamics, state centralization and the rise of nationalism, the spread of Western notions of universalism, and non-Western societies’ adaptation to or rejection of those dynamics. What role did the Christianization of Latin America play in the imperial project? What did it mean for a sparsely-populated settler-colonial society to declare that all men are created equal? How “anti-colonial” were the Marxist movements of the Global South?

Note that the course is designed to complement, rather than duplicate, already existing offerings in the history department. As most history majors who take the course will also be taking History 1002, this course will have only limited discussions of some of the major events in Western History.  

Syllabus
Week Date Topic
1 Sep-6  “With a view that they might be converted to our holy faith” – The Age of Exploration
2 Sep-13 “We shall be as a city upon a hill” – The Emergence of the Atlantic World
3 Sep-20 “We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident” – The Age of Atlantic Revolutions
4 Sep-27 “Among These Dark Satanic Mills” – Industrialization and its discontents
5 Oct-4 “To any portion of this hemisphere” – The Americas in the early nineteenth century
6 Oct-11 “Workers of the World, Unite!” – Urbanization and mass politics
7 Oct-18 “Dr. Livingstone, I Presume” – Colonization and the Rush for Africa
8 Oct-25 “A day which will live in infamy” – Global War in the Twentieth Century
9 Nov-1 “Ich bin ein Berliner” – The Cold War, the Bomb, and the Internationalization of local conflicts
10 Nov-8 “Is that all there is?” – Gender and Sexuality, and The Pill
11 Nov-15 “A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past” – decolonizing in a divided world
12 Nov-22 “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall” – The fall of the Soviet Bloc and the emergence of a New World Order
13 Nov-29 “It’s not the war in Ukraine, it’s the war in Europe” –  The remergence of populist dictatorship in the contemporary world
     
Assessment & Assignments

Every week will have 3 assignments: a textbook chapter, giving an overview of the period and the topic; a primary source text (most of which are quite short); and a podcast to listen to. The secondary sources are all available via the library’s website (you will have to sign in); the primary sources are links you can click on; and the podcasts are also links that you can click on. Note that for the podcasts, many are available in a variety of places, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

 

You need to complete the readings by the time class meets; the podcasts you can listen to either before the class meets, or in the day or two following class. Note that as of late August, while I am writing this, the choice of podcasts for the final three weeks of the semester are not yet final.

 

Week 1:

Secondary: (none)
Primary: (none)
Podcast: https://player.fm/series/history-extra-podcast/indigenous-american-travellers-in-europe

(Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5qkn3OVF6cNsTbwf6e3xwH

 

Week 2:

Secondary: Thornton, John. “The Slave Trade and the African Diaspora.” Chapter. In The Cambridge World History, edited by Jerry H. Bentley, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, 135–59. The Cambridge World History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139022460.007
Primary: https://web2.qatar.cmu.edu/~breilly2/odyssey/Montaigne.pdf
Podcast: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000pqbz

 

Week 3:

Secondary: Rodríguez O., Jaime E. “Atlantic Revolutions: a Reinterpretation.” Chapter. In The Cambridge World History, edited by J. R. McNeill and Kenneth Pomeranz, 273–98. The Cambridge World History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316182789.013
Primary: The Avalon Project : Constitution of North Carolina : December 18, 1776 (yale.edu)
Podcast: https://benfranklinsworld.com/episode-282-vincent-brown-tackys-revolt/

 

Week 4:

Secondary: Sugihara, Kaoru. “Global Industrialization: a Multipolar Perspective.” Chapter. In The Cambridge World History, edited by J. R. McNeill and Kenneth Pomeranz, 106–35. The Cambridge World History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139196079.005
Primary: Internet History Sourcebooks: Modern History (fordham.edu)-Lowell Mills
Podcast: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001gjcm

 

Week 5:

Secondary: Aguilar Rivera, José Antonio, Eduardo Posada-Carbó, and Eduardo Zimmermann. “Democracy in Spanish America: The Early Adoption of Universal Male Suffrage, 1810–1853.” Past & present 256, no. 1 (2022): 165–202: https://doi.org/10.1093/pastj/gtab028
Primary: The history of Don Francisco de Miranda’s attempt to effect a revolution in South America, in a series of letters : [Biggs, James] : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive – pp. 151-168 (not the whole thing)
Podcast: Challenging The Myths Of The Alamo : Fresh Air : NPR

 

Week 6:

Secondary: Metcalf, Thomas R., ‘Colonial Cities’, in Peter Clark (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (2013; online edn, Oxford Academic, 2 Apr. 2013), https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199589531.013.0040.
Primary: Internet History Sourcebooks: Modern History (fordham.edu) – Louis Blanc
Podcast: https://timetoeatthedogs.com/2018/08/20/episode-46-australians-first-encounter-with-captain-cook/

 

Week 7:

Secondary: T. C. W. Blanning. 2000. The Nineteenth Century : Europe 1789-1914. The Short Oxford History of Europe. Oxford: OUP Oxford. Chapter 6 Overseas expansion, imperialism, and Empire, 1815–1914 https://search-ebscohost-com.easyaccess1.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=633241&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Primary: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/944/944-h/944-h.htm Preface, Chapters I V, XVIII, XIX
Podcast: https://newbooksnetwork.com/michael-g-vann-the-great-hanoi-rat-hunt-empire-disease-and-modernity-in-french-colonial-vietnam-oxford-up-2018

 

Week 8:

Secondary: Overy, Richard. “Global War 1914–45.” Chapter. In The Cambridge World History, edited by J. R. McNeill and Kenneth Pomeranz, 299–320. The Cambridge World History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316182789.014
Primary: Internet History Sourcebooks: Modern History (fordham.edu) The Junius Pamphlet; and Nuremberg–A Fair Trial? Dangerous Precedent – 46.04 (archive.org)
Podcast: https://newbooksnetwork.com/francine-hirsch-soviet-judgement-at-nuremberg-oxford-up-2020

 

Week 9:

Secondary: Sargent, Daniel. “The Cold War.” Chapter. In The Cambridge World History, edited by J. R. McNeill and Kenneth Pomeranz, 321–46. The Cambridge World History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316182789.015
Primary: Internet History Sourcebooks: Modern History (fordham.edu)– Fidel Castro
Podcast: http://www.scienceforthepeople.ca/episodes/freedoms-laboratory

 

Week 10:

Secondary: Duara, Prasenjit. “Decolonization and Its Legacy.” Chapter. In The Cambridge World History, edited by J. R. McNeill and Kenneth Pomeranz, 395–419. The Cambridge World History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.  https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139196079.016
Primary: https://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/fanon/conclusion.htm
Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-mau-mau-the-court-case-and-the-hidden-documents/id1639561921?i=1000610489769

 

Week 11:

Secondary: Clifford, Rebecca, Robert Gildea, and Anette Warring, ‘9 Gender and sexuality’, in Robert Gildea, James Mark, and Anette Warring (eds), Europe’s 1968: Voices of Revolt (Oxford, 2013; online edn, Oxford Academic, 26 Sept. 2013) https://doi-org.easyaccess2.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587513.003.0010
Primary: https://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/ows/seminars/tcentury/FeminineMystique.pdf

Podcast: Podcast | Nicole C. Bourbonnais, “Birth Control in the Decolonizing… (newbooksnetwork.com)

 

Week 12:

Secondary: Middell, Matthias, ‘1989’, in Stephen A. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism (2014; online edn, Oxford Academic, 16 Dec. 2013),  https://doi-org.easyaccess2.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199602056.013.044
Primary: https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/declaration-civic-forum-representative-vaclav-havel-wenceslas-square-prague
Podcast: https://newbooksnetwork.com/vladislav-m-zubok-collapse-the-fall-of-the-soviet-union-yale-up-2021

 

Week 13:

Secondary: Neuman, Gerald L. “Populist Threats to the International Human Rights System.” Chapter. In Human Rights in a Time of Populism: Challenges and Responses, edited by Gerald L. Neuman, 1–19. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. https://doi-org.easyaccess2.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199602056.013.044.
Primary: https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/resolution-regarding-the-republican-party-platform

Podcast: https://newbooksnetwork.com/richard-j-bernstein-why-read-hannah-arendt-now-polity-2018

 

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/policy/academichonesty/.

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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