Approved by Faculty Senate

University Studies Course Approval

Department or Program: History
Course Numbers: History 120: Western Civilization to 1500
Semester Hours: 3
Frequency of Offering: Ever Semester
Course Titles: Western Civilization to 1500
Catalog Description:

A survey of Western traditions and institutions from their beginnings in Egypt and Mesopotamia through Greece, Rome and the Middle Ages. Grade only. Offered every semester.

This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2:
YES

This is a new course proposal:
NO

University Studies Category
Arts and Sciences/Core Humanities

Department Contact Person:
Alex Yard
Ayard@winona.edu

Rationale:
The department strongly believes that this sequence of courses will play a significant role in University Studies
program by providing students with an appreciation for the historical context of human experiences and culture
and an improved understanding of the discipline of history.

USP Humanities Objective 1:

The University Studies program requires that courses in the Humanities promote students’ ability to identify and
understand specific elements and assumptions of a particular Humanities discipline.

History 120, 121 and 122 will introduce students to significant bodies of information about western civilization, a
vital element of the discipline, but will also introduce students to historical explanations, the intellectual skills of
historians, and the ways in which historians conceive and write about the past.

The courses introduce students to the main lines of historical development (including the development of western
culture) from its early beginnings in the Near East and Africa to the present day. The specific sets of facts and
subplots emphasized will differ from instructor to instructor and year to year, but students will experience the
same general chronology.

The courses introduce students to the principle elements of history as a discipline. All three aim at developing
students’ ability to identify and evaluate various kinds of evidence used by historians, to identify themes (as
opposed to collections of facts) in historical literature, and to write clearly. All three courses also invite students
to begin using historical evidence to construct explanations of the past and discuss relationships between events.

The courses do all of this by means of lectures, readings of both primary documents and historical literature, class
discussions (both small-group and full-class discussions), tests, and writing assignments.

USP Humanities Objective 2

The University Studies program requires that courses in the Humanities promote students’ ability to understand how
historical context, cultural values, and gender influence perceptions and interpretations.

History 120, 121, and 122 address this objective in two distinct ways. In part, the courses explore how people in the
past had differing perceptions and interpretations of the events of their times. In large part, these divergent perceptions
and interpretations resulted from their differing historical experiences, cultural values and genders. These three courses
provide students with an abundance of instances that provide occasion for expression of divergent perceptions ranging
from the significance and limits of Greek Democracy to the nature and benefits of the French and Russian Revolutions,
and finally to the "progress" of western civilization.

The courses also address this issue by introducing students to the varying ways in which historians perceive and
interpret the past, and begin to explore the sources of these differences.

The courses attempt to achieve this objective through lectures, reading assignments focused on both documents
drawn from the times and historians’ discussions of the past, small group and class discussions, and writing assignments.

USP Humanities Objective 3

The University Studies Program requires courses in the humanities to promote students’ ability to understand the role
of critical analysis (e.g., aesthetic, historical, literary, philosophical, rhetorical) in interpreting and evaluating expressions
of human experience.

History 120, 121, and 122 address this objective by emphasizing the role of historical analysis in understanding past as
well as contemporary developments. The courses, in other words, direct students’ attention to the task of explaining, and
not just remembering, past events, including ideas and their expression in a wide range of forms. The courses direct student attention to the critical documents of classical thought, for example, as well as those of groups such as women and the disadvantaged trying to change society. The courses, in other words, challenge students to understand how events and
Ideas came to be as they were.

The courses attempt to achieve this objective through lectures, reading assignments focused on both documents drawn
from the times and historians’ discussion of the past, small group and class discussions, and writing as

Representative Syllabus for History 120: Western Civilization to 1500
Appended to University Studies proposal
November,2000

 History 120: Western Civilization to 1500

History 120 is an introductory course that surveys a variety of themes and topics from neolithic times to 1500 C.E.
hopefully, this course will make an understanding of the past relevant to the world in which you live. This course
will concentrate on some topics and skim over others. The time period this course covers is so vast that many
important ideas and events from the past will by necessity not be covered.

Most of this course will be driven by class discussion. There will usually be a written quiz on days when the class
has discussion, All quizzes as well as all exams will be essay. The quiz will be on the material to be discussed
that day.

The following are the required books for this class:
   Western Civilization, Vol. l
    Sources of the Western Tradition, Vol. 1
   
The Bible

Evaluations:

Your grade will be based on three in-class essay exams, numerous essay quizzes, and participation. The following
formula will determine your final grade:

3 Exams                     45%
Quizzes                      45%
Class Participation 10%

University Studies Program Note to Students

This course is included in the Humanities category of the University Studies Program. As such it address the following
objectives required of all courses in the humanities category:

a. To promote students' ability to identify and understand specific elements and assumptions of
        particular Humanities discipline;
b. To promote students' ability to understand how historical context, cultural values, and gender
        influence perceptions and interpretations; and
c.     To promote students' ability to understand the role of critical analysis (e.g. aesthetic   
        historical literary, philosophical, rhetorical) in interpreting and evaluating expressions of human
        experience.

 The following course schedule uses the letters USOa (meaning University Studies Objective a), USOb (meaning
University Studies Objective b), and USOc (meaning University Studies Objective c), to indicate where the course
will address each of these University Studies objectives.

Course Schedule:

Topic 1                                              Introduction to the Course

Topic 2: The Ancient Near East                  Egypt and Mesopotamia
                                                             Sources, 3-26 Law and Religion (USO a,b,c)

Topic 3: Israel and Judaism                      Genesis (USO a,b,c)
                                                             Exodus (USO a,b,c )
                                                             Isaiah (USO a,b,c}
                                                             Examination 1

Topic 4: Ancient Greece                            Sparta (USO b,c)
                                                             Athens (USO b,c)
                                                             Sources, 47-78-Democracy (USO a,b,c)
                                                             Sources, 55-78-Gender (USO b )
                                                             Sources, 79-100-Philosophy (USO a,b,c)

Topic 5: Rome                                      Republic (USO b,c)
                                                             Sources, 102-128 Plebians (USO a,b)
                                                             Empire (USO a,b,)
                                                             Sources, 131-165 New Values (USO a,b,c)
                                                             Examination 2

Topic 6: Christianity                                   Matthew (USO a,b,c)
                                                              John (USO a,b,c)

Topic 7: Early Medieval                              Barbarian Values (USO b,c)
                                                              Christian Influences (USO b,c)
                                                              Sources, 171-190 Early Church (USO a,b,c)

Topic 8: High Medieval                               Feudalism (USO b,c)
                                                              Women (USO b)
                                                              Sources, 193-217 Prejudice (USO a,b,c)

Topic 9: Late Medieval                               The Black Death (USO a,b,c)
                                                              Sources, 221-234 Distress (USO a,b,c)

Topic 10: Renaissance                               Italy (USO b,c)
                                                              Northern Europe (USO b,c)
                                                              Sources, 235-246-New Values (USO a,b,c)
                                                              Final Examination