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Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
* HIS 428 / HLS 428 / MED 428 (HA)   na, npdf

Empire and Catastrophe

Teresa Shawcross

Catastrophe reveals the fragility of human society. This course examines a series of phenomena--plague, famine, war, revolution, economic depression etc.--in order to reach an understanding of humanity's imaginings of but also resilience to collective crises. We shall look in particular at how political forces such as empire have historically both generated and resisted global disasters. Material dealing with the especially fraught centuries at the transition between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period will be set alongside examples drawn from antiquity as well as our own contemporary era.

Sample reading list:
M.-H. Huet, The Culture of Disaster
W. Burgwinkle, Utopia and Its Uses
M. Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem
J. Alexander, The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition
O. J. Benedictow, The Black Death
P. Fernandez-Armesto, Before Columbus

Reading/Writing assignments:
Readings will average 100-150 pages per week, and will include a selection of primary sources (in translation), as well as some secondary material.

Requirements/Grading:
Take Home Final Exam - 35%
Papers - 35%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Other information:
Short response papers due weekly throughout the semester (15%) and one longer analytical paper due approximately halfway through the semester (20%).

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
22159 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th   Scheide Caldwell House   103   Enrolled:8 Limit:12