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Fall 2020 Semester Prague

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Course Overview

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HIS 103 World History I

HIS 103 World History I Course Overview

OVERVIEW

CEA Partner Institution: Anglo-American University
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Primary Subject Area: History
Instruction in: English
Course Code: HIS 103
Course Details: Level 100
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 42
Prerequisites: None

DESCRIPTION

This course is primarily an overview of Ancient Civilizations from approximately 3500 BC to AD 1500. It includes the civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Ancient and Medieval India, Ancient and Medieval China, the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, the rise of Christianity and Islam, the Eurasian world in the Middle Ages, and finally, a brief overview of Native American Civilizations from their earliest appearance to the arrival of Columbus in 1492.

This "World History" course is conceived as an opportunity to restore balance to educational systems that have traditionally emphasized the history of "western civilization" and largely ignored the history of other regions. Thus, the emphasis is on "non-western" civilization, although "western" civilization (of course a part of "world history") is not ignored.

This course focuses more on comparison of civilizations than contrast. While differences between human civilizations are striking and important, the amount of similarity, and the ability of all humans to adapt to, learn from, and modify new cultures is also significant. Therefore, the class tries to focus on universal themes, such as the development of writing, the spread of "universal" languages, political ideals of global significance, imperial systems and their management, philosophies and ideologies, and the development of major religious systems and the unifying cultures they helped to create.

The class critically analyses the notion a historical "clash" between mutually antagonistic civilizations. The course looks at ways in which humans have sought to organize and unify themselves. It searches more for similarities and integration than for sensational "exoticism" and remote otherness (although there is much that is intriguing and surprising!). Rather than presuming perpetual antagonism and a simple "oppression" and "victimization" scheme, the course emphasizes cultural negotiation, continual change and adaptation, syncretism, and advantageous borrowing.

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