History 1310 —  Spring 2012
G. Shanafelt

World Civ to 1500


Books to purchase

Peter N. Stearns, World History in Brief, 7th edition
David Howarth, 1066: The Year of the Conquest


Readings on Moodle
Jared Diamond. “Easter’s End.” Discover, August 1995, pp. 62-69.
Tung-tsu Chü. “The Position of Women in Han China.” Lynn H. Nelson, ed. The Human Perspective, Readings in World Civilization. Vol. I, The Ancient World to the Early Modern Era. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1987, pp. 85-101.
Bruce Heydt. “The Lost Secret of Greek Fire.” Military History, April 2006, vol. 23, issue 2.
David Landes. “Clocks: Revolution in Time.” History Today, January 1984, pp. 19-26.
Guy Gugliotta. “The Maya: Glory and Ruin.” National Geographic, August 2007, pp. 68-109.
Garrett Mattingly. “Navigator to the Modern Age.” Horizon, November 1960, pp. 73-83.


Course Objectives

As described in the McMurry University Catalog, this course seeks to examine the origins and major characteristics of the chief civilizations of the world to about 1500, the “great traditions” as one historian calls them. More specifically, you will be expected to
1.  Compare and contrast the main features of the early traditions of civilization (China, India, Middle East, Greece/Rome, pre-Columbian Western Hemisphere, Africa);
2. Discuss the chief features of the major world belief systems (Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity);
3.  Analyze the development and interaction of post-classical civilizations (Abbasid Caliphate, Tang/Song China, India, Japan, Byzantine Empire, Medieval and Renaissance Europe);
4. Understand the spatial location of geographic features and civilizations in relation to each other; and
5. Explain specific items within each of the above contexts as detailed on three study sheets, one for each test.
6. By doing all the above, improve your study, data retention, written composition, and time management skills.

Paper

Everyone in the class will write a short (3-4 page) typed, double-spaced paper based on Howarth’s 1066. The paper will be graded on both originality of content and clarity of expression. The specific assignment will be forthcoming later in the semester. Late papers will LOSE TWO PERCENTAGE POINTS for every day past the stated due date, including weekends, up to 10 points max. Moral: plan to turn your paper in on time!

Evaluating Your Performance

How well you’ve attained the objectives of the course will be measured by three (3) tests during the semester (two midterms and a final), six (6) brief reading quizzes, and the paper. The tests will be half objective and half essay, the objective sections to test your factual knowledge and the essays to evaluate how you conceptualize those facts. Each test will include a map section. Make-up tests are likely to be more difficult than the original versions unless you like all-essay tests. The six quizzes can NOT be made up: a no-show counts as a zero. However, the two lowest quiz grades will not be counted in computing your final grade.

Attendance

You’re responsible for the material covered at every class meeting. That means if you miss a class, you should get the notes from someone else. If you miss a lot, you’ll be reported to the Registrar’s Office. Three or more unexcused absences can lead to your being administratively dropped from the course. While I won’t take off points from your grade for specific numbers of days missed, bear in mind that there is generally a direct relationship between attendance and grades. I will be on the watch for excessive absences.

Work

You get out of a course what you put into it. There will be no provision in this class to make up substandard work; it is assumed that you will give everything your best shot the first time around. If you plagiarize a test or other assignment in this class (that is, deliberately copy someone else’s work and pawn it off as your own), you should expect a zero grade for the assignment, with no possibility of making it up. In egregious cases, you can be expelled from the class or from the University.

Moodle

The six articles you'll be reading to supplement the textbook are accessible from your Moodle account. You can access Moodle either from the pull-down menus on the McMurry homepage (from Current Students select My McM and then log in to reach the link to Moodle) or you can go there directly by typing http://moodle.mcm.edu. Once at the main Moodle page, find HIST 1310 World Civ to 1500 (Shanafelt) and click it. That should give you a list of the articles; and at that point, you simply click the one that you want to read.

Students with Disabilities

McMurry University abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no otherwise qualified student shall be denied the benefits of an education “solely by reason of a handicap.” If you have a documented disability that may impact your performance in this class and for which you may be requesting accommodation, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Services Office, located in Old Main Room 102. Arrangements will be made for students needing special accommodations.

Cell Phones and Other Non-Class-Related Activities

Expect to be held accountable to the basic rules of considerate behavior as described in the McMurry University Council Fire. Cell phones should be turned off during class. Your computer should also be turned off during class, since students are too easily distracted by Facebook from paying attention to the lecture material which will actually be covered on the tests. If you take lecture notes on your computer, you now get to live history by using pen and paper to do so in this class. Of course, if you fall asleep during one of Dr. Shanafelt’s brilliant expositions, you should endeavor not to snore.

Contact

My contact information will be found on my homepage at www.mcm.edu/~shanafeg. If you lose your syllabus, you can download another from the Moodle page for this course. If I need to send you any official communications, FERPA privacy regulations stipulate that I use your McMurry account, not any other email account that you might have. So, if you never check your McMurry email, now might be a good time to change your habits.

Grade

The final course grade will be computed as follows: 21% each for the two midterm tests, the paper, and the final; and 16% for the average of the top four quizzes. The grade scale will be A: 90 to 100, B: 80 to 89, C: 70 to 79, D: 60 to 69, F: 59 and below. Within those parameters, plus and minus grades will be given: A: 93-100, A-: 90-92, B+: 87-89, B: 83-86, B-: 80-82, etc. There will be no A+ grades and no plus or minus grades for an F. Borderline cases (e.g., 89.6 or 79.8) will be decided on the basis of improvement in the course, class participation, and regularity of attendance.

This Course and Your Degree Plan


This course fulfills several different requirements depending on your degree plan at McMurry. For most of you, it satisfies the requirement for three hours of world perspectives in the Global, Societal, and Personal Perspectives section of the general education requirements. If you’re a history major or minor, it is a required course. Note that in order to get credit for this course in your major, as with all courss in all majors, you’ll need a final grade of a C or better. A final grade of C- is not considered adequate; students getting a C- or lower who want to major in history or history teaching must either retake the course or find a different major.

If you’re looking to be certified as a teacher of either history or social studies in the Texas public schools, this class is required. Specifically, this course provides partial fulfillment of the following standards of the TEKS competencies as defined by the State Board of Educator Certification Standards for Teacher Education Candidates:

For a minor in Curriculum and Instruction, with a teaching concentration in History 8-12:

Standard IV. History: The social studies teacher applies knowledge of significant historical events and developments, as well as of multiple historical interpretations and ideas, in order to facilitate student understanding of relationships between the past, the present, and the future.
For a minor in Curriculum and Instruction, with a teaching concentration in Social Studies 8-12, or a major in Curriculum and Instruction with a teaching concentration in Social Studies 4-8:
Standard IV. History: The social studies teacher applies knowledge of significant historical events and developments, as well as of multiple historical interpretations and ideas, in order to facilitate student understanding of relationships between the past, the present, and the future.
Standard V. Geography: The social studies teacher applies knowledge of people, places, and environments to facilitate students' understanding of geographic relationships in Texas, the United States, and the world.
Standard IX. Culture: The social studies teacher understands cultures and how they develop and adapt, and uses this knowledge to enable students to appreciate and respect cultural diversity in Texas, the United States, and the world.
Standard X. Science, Technology, and Society: The social studies teacher understands developments in science and technology and uses this knowledge to facilitate student understanding of the social and environmental consequences of scientific discovery and technological innovation.

Note that to get credit for this course in your major, as with all courses in all majors, you'll need a final grade of a C or better. A final grade of C- is not considered adequate; students getting a C- or lower who want to major in history or history teaching must either retake the course or find a different major.


Proposed Lecture and Assignment Schedule

Jan. 17, 19, 24: Setting the Stage
Stearns, chs.1, 3
Jan. 24: First Quiz on Diamond

Jan. 26, 31: The Ancient Near East
Stearns, ch. 2

Feb. 2, 7: The Origins of China
Stearns, ch. 4
Feb. 7: Second Quiz on Ch'ü

Feb. 9: From Aryans to Indians
Stearns, ch. 5

Feb. 14, 16: Greece, Rome, and the Birth of the West
Stearns, ch. 6, 7

Feb. 21: FIRST TEST

Feb. 23, 28: The Triumphs of Islam
Stearns, ch. 8

Mar. 1: India and Southeast Asia
Stearns, ch. 9

Mar. 6, 8: The Byzantine Legacy
Stearns, ch. 11
Mar. 8: Third Quiz on Heydt
[Mar. 12-16: Spring Break]

Mar. 20, 22: The West: Middle Ages
Stearns, ch. 12
Mar. 22: Fourth Quiz on Landes

Mar. 27, 29: African Civilizations
Stearns, ch. 10

Apr. 3: SECOND TEST

Apr. 5, 10: East Asian Flowering
Stearns, ch. 13

Apr. 10: Papers due

Apr. 12, 17: The Americas Before 1492
Stearns, ch. 14
April 17: Fifth Quiz on Gugliotta

Apr. 19, 24: The Mongol Empires
Stearns, ch. 15

Apr. 26, May 1: The West: Renaissance
Stearns, ch. 16
May 1: Sixth Quiz on Mattingly

May 3: Conclusion

May 8: THIRD TEST, 8:00-10:00