2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Apr 10, 2020  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog

HIST 363 - Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern Europe

Credits: Three (3)
“There was no such thing as the Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it.” Taking inspira-tion from this quote by Stephen Shapin, students in this course will interrogate our accepted knowledge of the Renaissance, Reformation, and the social and scientific revolutions which oc-curred in Europe in the early modern period (1450-1789). While studying the glories of Renais-sance achievement in the innovations of artists and thinkers like Michelangelo and Machiavelli, students will also query the depth and spread of the Renaissance in an attempt to understand how much the rebirth of classical knowledge actually changed life for non-elite people, and women. We will examine the centuries of warfare that attended the Reformation, and the kinds of unexpected social phenomena, such as witch crazes, which attended religiously-motivated violence. As for the scientific revolution: did Galileo invent the telescope? Was this “revolution” the product of great men like Isaac Newton, or a network of scholars working together? What about the female scientists who contributed to the advance of science? Students will investigate these and other questions about our accepted views of the emergence of modern science. Finally, students will examine the Enlightenment roots of Revolution, seeking to understand how notions of a social contract and human rights could develop at the same time that African slavery drove Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic world’s economy. [M; W; I]
General Education Area: Social Science