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Course Details

Fall 2014-2015
* CHV 350 / HIS 357 / POL 469 (HA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

The Age of Rights: Nature, Enlightenment, and Revolution

Dan Edelstein

The century that concluded with declarations of rights on both sides of the Atlantic witnessed a transformation in how people talked about rights. Previously a mostly philosophical discourse, rights talk entered the broader world of letters. But in some parts of the world (France in particular), this transformation also brought back Classical notions of natural right. This course explores how the modern language of rights emerged during the Enlightenment and Revolutionary periods, and also places this "Age of Rights" in a longer history stretching from Antiquity to the twentieth century.

Sample reading list:
Brian Tierney, The Idea of Natural Right
Voltaire, Treatise on Toleration
James Otis, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved
Olympe de Gouges, Declaration of the Rights of Woman
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
Rousseau, Second Discourse

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students will be expected to read the works assigned for each session in advance of the class.

Requirements/Grading:
Take Home Mid term Exam - 30%
Take Home Final Exam - 50%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23408 S01 11:00 am - 12:20 pm T Th   Ivy Lane, 5   106   Enrolled:14 Limit:18