2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    Dec 06, 2021  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

HIST 227H - Social Misfits and Empires, 1450 -1850

Credits: 4
Prerequisite: Membership in Bascom Honors Program
This class explores histories of class, gender, race, religion, and systems of thought from the perspective of social outsiders in early modern empires. We will explore why and how certain kinds of people were pushed to the boundaries of their societies, and what their view looked like from the edge. In these centuries, humans redefined how and why people belonged to certain societies, and redefined what would happen to those who didn’t conform. Pirates of the Caribbean; colonies of escaped slaves; men and women who dared attempt their own interpretations of Christianity; Muslim travelers who admired Italian culture; women and children who confessed to being witches; madmen who murdered kings: all of these outsiders provide unique perspectives on the imperial powers which reshaped the early modern world. This period witnessed the emergence of nation-states and the development of modern science, but it also produced biological theories of race, new global pandemics, and genocide. Our class will seek to better understand the importance of the early modern period and its expanding empires through the eyes of those who were told they didn’t belong, and to learn what the experiences of outsiders can teach us about “otherness” and prejudice today. [M; W; C, I]