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Fall 2020

  • Western Civilization 1: Prehistory to Charlemagne (50:510:101:01)

Description: This course explores the emergence and development of what has been called “Western Civilization”, from the prehistoric period, down to the creation of the Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne. Students will journey through much historical and geographical terrain, including the Mesopotamian world of Gilgamesh, the matriarchy of Çatalhöyük, the Mediterranean of Homer, Pericles’ Athens, Alexander the Great in Afghanistan, down to the rise (and fall) of the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic empires. Within this timeline, the course focuses on key themes, such as how different forms of knowledge, imperialism, religion, intercultural exchange and material culture have all contributed to our definition of Western Civilization. Coursework includes attending lectures, active engagement in class activities, digital mapping tasks, short exams and short written analyses.

T/TH 11:10 am – 12:30 pm (**online only**)

  • Special Topics: Growing Up in Ancient Greece and Rome (50:510:380:01)

Description: How do we write the history of childhood and adolescence in the ancient world? This course examines a variety of possible answers to this question through the case studies of ancient Greece and Rome, from the Classical period in Greece down to the rise of Christianity in the Roman empire. Throughout the class and in the final essay project, students will assess the applicability of modern theoretical approaches to ageing, childhood and youth, drawn from disciplines such as cultural anthropology and performance studies, alongside previous social, political and cultural approaches in the field of ancient history. Students will encounter the early stages of the ancient life-course through various media, from portraits of youths and the material culture of childhood (e.g. dolls, games) to comedies, graffiti, tombstones, and biographical texts. Equal emphasis will therefore be placed on analysis of the ancient textual sources, as well as material culture from archaeological contexts, including the use of local and online museum collections in an artefact-as-history digital assignment. Classes will revolve around weekly discussion of thematic topics, such as demography and premature death, gendered notions of childhood and youth, coming-of-age rites, intergenerational conflict, the historical development of a youthful aesthetic, and the differences between elite and non-elite experiences of growing up, among others. Even as we compare two ancient societies—Greece and Rome—we will also look to how changes at large within these societies might be reflected in, or even be the result of, changes in the experience of growing up within them.

T/TH 3:35 pm – 4:55 pm (**online only**) 

Spring 2021


  • Perspectives on History: Cleopatra: Gender, Power, Race and History (50:509:299:01).


  • Special Topics in European History: Rise of Rome: From Republic to Empire (50:510:380:01)