UCSB Hist 2C, Spring 2006
World History 1700-present
Buchanan 1910, T-Th 11-12:15

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Office hours: Wed. & Thu. 1-2pm

World History, 1700-Present
Course Syllabus
(4 page pdf for printing)

and Goals
Required Books
Course Requirements
Writing Assignments Grading
Discussion Sections, TAs
& Website
Lectures & Assignments

Introduction and Goals

I don't think of history as a lot of information that "everyone should know." For me, it is a wealth of experiences, some of which are interesting and entertaining (like good books or movies), and some of which help me to understand and evaluate what is going on in the world around me. In this course we will study some historical experiences that should be helpful in making sense of the present. Some of those experiences are the lives of exceptional people, some of ordinary people. Some are great history-shaping events such as revolutions or wars. And some are ideas (or systems of beliefs) that have helped people to see the world around them in new ways, and have led to monumental changes in the way they--and we--live.

While we study these experiences, we will also learn and practice some historical skills, such as how to understand and draw meaning from primary sources, how to think beyond the obvious level of a story to its deeper meanings, and how to express our thoughts clearly in discussion and in writing.

I realize that within a few months after a course most students will remember only a small fraction of the content of that course. (I know that even I forget many details after I am done teaching a course.) Thus in teaching world history I tend to give less weight to remembering facts, emphasizing instead skills of analysis, organization, and expression.

Required Books (available at the UCen and Isla Vista Bookstores) (back to top)

  • Reader for discussion section (118 pages), available at the AS Copy in the UCen, ca. $13.
  • Tignor et al, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (Norton, 2002). I reviewed many textbooks for this course and found this one to be superior in its interpretative framework, guiding questions, graphics, and readability. Website: www.wwnorton.com/worlds/index
  • Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789), (Bedford ed., 1995, edited and introduced by Robert Allison), ca. $14. This autobiography of a former slave who earned the money to purchase his own freedom was written to convince readers of the evil and injustice of slavery.
  • Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (Boston: Bedford, 2004), $10.

Course Requirements (back to top)

  1. Effort. Take ownership of this course! It is yours--think of me as a guide who will help you to explore some aspects of the vast terrain of modern world history. Let me know where you want to go, what you want to learn about, and when you are lost.
  2. Lectures. Attendance is required. Lectures include images, music, videos, and information not available elsewhere. Neither I nor the TAs have time to fill in absent students. Please come on time. Arriving late or leaving early distracts me and disturbs other students.
  3. Discussion Sections (20%, see below). Attendance is mandatory and TAs will call roll. Preparation for section is crucial! TAs base part of your grade on your section participation.
  4. Readings and outside events. Four books are required: the textbook, a reader of sources and articles, a biography, and a guide to studying and writing history. For the second paper you will need to attend an outside event or purchase one additional book. Suitable books and events will be listed on the course web site. (back to top)
  5. Writing Assignments: This course fulfills the General Education writing requirement.
    If you do not submit and pass both writing assignments, you will fail this course.
    • Late policy: grades will be reduced 5% per day, beginning at the start of lecture.
    • Formalities:
      *All work must be typewritten and carefully spell-checked and proofread.
      *Number your pages (in a word processor: Insert->Page Numbers, or by hand!)
      *At the top of each assignment you should write:
         i) your name,
         ii) your TA's name and the section time,
         iii) the date, and
         iv) the word count (select the whole body text, then go to Tools->Word count).
      *Plagiarism: see my policy on plagiarism.
    1. Equiano essay (20%; at least 800 words, 3-4 pages; due Tuesday, April 25, 11am). Vassa/Equiano wrote his autobiography to expose the evils of slavery and prove that Africans are intellectually equal to Europeans. Often he anticipated criticism and counterarguments. What are some of the justifications of slavery that he refutes? What arguments does he make in order to do this? What is his evidence? Pick several arguments and assess them: do they convince you? If so, why, and if not, why not?
    2. Event/book analysis. (At least 1000 words, ca. 4 pages)
      Attend several of the outside events listed on the course web site (or others approved by your TA). Write a paragraph or two summarizing one of them, including what the author’s intention(s) and arguments were. Do some background research on the author or topic, so that you can put it into (a historical) context. Use concepts and arguments from this course to analyze the film or talk, and try to relate the film/talk/performance to one or more of the topics of the course. What insights have you gained by applying what you have learned in this course?
      • Draft: 10%; due Tuesday May 23, 11am. (electronic paper submission site)
      • Rewrite: 10%; due June 6 8 [changed 6/1/06] in lecture. In this version you will incorporate suggestions made by your TA on your draft. In order to receive credit, you must attach the draft version to it! You should be able to present and discuss your essay in section. (electronic paper submission site)
  6. Examinations. There will be a midterm and a final.
    1. In-class midterm (20%), Thursday, May 4.
      Two IDs chosen from 6, one source interpretation, and one essay question.
    2. A three-hour final examination (20%), Wed., June 14. It will have 3 IDs chosen from 9, one source interpretation, one post-midterm and one comprehensive essay question.
      A study guide will be distributed before the last class.

Grading (back to top)
Section 20%
Equiano paper 20%
Midterm 20%
Second paper draft 10%
Second paper rewrite 10%
Final Exam 20%

Your TAs do most of the grading according to standards set by the professor. If you feel your work was graded inappropriately, you must discuss this first with your TA. If you are still unsatisfied, you may write an explanation, have it initialed by your TA, and submit it to me, with all of your work for the course. I may lower a grade as well as raise it.

Discussion Sections (back to top)

  • You must officially enroll in the section you are attending, no exceptions. Enrollment after the first day of classes is only possible with a code from the TA in charge. Students who have not attended the first two meetings of the section in which they are enrolled will be dropped automatically if other students are waiting to enroll.
  • You must prepare yourself for each section meeting. Always read and bring the assigned texts in the course reader with you, as well as some thoughts and questions about them.
  • Discussion sections are a crucial part of this course--your participation in section counts for 20% of your final grade. (back to top)



Office Hours



Rafaela Acevedo-Field

HSSB 3214

Th, F 9-10


# 23168, F 10-11, GIRV 1106
# 23226, W 4-5, HSSB 4202
# 23234, W 5-6, ARTS 1426

Ricardo Caton

HSSB 3235

T, Th 9:30-10:30


# 23184, W 2-3, ARTS 1251
# 23200, W 1-2, ARTS 1247
# 23218, F 12-1, HSSB 2251

Laurence Christian

HSSB 3217

W 3-5pm


# 23192, W 6-7, HSSB 4201
# 51847, W 11-1 HSSB 4041

Mary Donaldson

HSSB 3218

F 10-11 and by appointment


# 23176, F 11-12, GIRV 1106
# 23242, F 8-9, HSSB 2201
# 23259, F 9-10, HSSB 2251


HSSB 3224

T 9-10 and by appointment


# 23143, W 8-9, HSSB 4202
# 23150, W 12-1, LSB 1101
# 23267, T 3-4, HSSB 3201

Communication (back to top)

Professors and students often see things quite differently, and I am very interested in feedback from you. You are welcome to ask questions during lecture. After lecture you are also welcome to come up and talk, or walk back towards the HSSB with me. I'm available during my office hours, and I encourage you to contact me by e-mail (marcuse@history.ucsb.edu).
I will also be attending sections throughout the quarter to find out how things are going and observe how you are doing in the course. You are welcome to ask questions then as well.

Course Website (back to top)

The course website is an integral part of the course. I post announcements, lecture notes, handouts and study guides there, as well as texts and links that supplement the course materials. A list of suggested events and books for the second writing assignment will also be available there. The URL is: www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/2c.

Reading Assignments

The assigned textbook chapters correlate with the lecture topics. Be sure to read the assigned chapters each week, so that you will have the necessary context for the lectures. Even at 20 pages/hour the textbook readings should take only 2 hours each week--spend that much time!
The paperback and reader selections must be read before your section meeting that week.

Schedule of Lectures and Assignments
(back to top)


Apr 4

Apr. 6


Section: Introductions, the "Global Village" (handout)
Introduction: Some uses of history

Revolutions of perception and causes of change

complete intro survey (responses)

Rampolla, chaps. 1 & 2 (pp. 1-21)
Apr. 11

Apr. 13


Section: Theory and reality; paradigms
The Factory and marketplace revolution

Economics and change: The Atlantic slave trade

R1,2: Kuhn, Wolf on Peron & Meir
extbook chap. 4 + pp. 216-222

Equiano: intro + chaps. 1-3, (4), 5

Apr. 18

Apr. 20



Section: Equiano; theses, evidence, counterevidence
Culture, ideas, and power

Special topics!

Equiano; Rampolla, ch. 3 (pp. 22-38)
Textbook (pp. 13-34), chap. 5
finish Equiano, chaps.
(6, 7), 8-11
write first paper

Apr. 25

Apr. 27


Section: Conceiving of social class
The Politics of change: Revolution in France

State Building in Latin America, Marxism
R3-6: socialism
Textbook chap. 6; Paper due

May 2

May 4


Section: Elites and leaders
Mobilizing the populace

R 7-9: Bolivar, Mazzini, Mussolini
Textbook chap. 7

in-class midterm
May 9

May 11


Section: Asian culture
Opium Wars in China

Prof. Roberts: Japanese Imperialism, 1870s-1930s
R 10-12: China & Japan
Textbook chap. 8

May 16

May 18


Section: Writing a research paper
The Great War and revolution in Russia

Women’s suffrage and women’s rights
Rampolla, chaps. 4-7
Textbook chap. 9

May 23

May 25


Section: Women as agents in history

World War II & genocide
R13-17: colonialism, suffrage
Textbook chap. 10; paper draft due

May 30

June 1


Section: Nationalism and development
World Systems Theory

Prof. Miescher: Nationalism and Development in Africa
R18-21: national movements
Textbook chap. 11

June 6

June 8


Section: Cold War; Individuals and the state
The Cold War

Conclusions: The Uses of History
R 22-24; 25-28
Textbook ch. 12; revised paper due
  June 14   Wednesday, noon-3pm: Final Examination bring a large blue book
[note: I will offer an early final exam to students with a valid reason: Monday, 6/12/06. See me about this.]
Plagiarismpresenting someone else's work as your own, or deliberately failing to credit or attribute the work of others on whom you draw (including materials found on the web)—is a serious academic offense, punishable by dismissal from the university. It hurts the one who commits it most of all, by cheating them out of an education. I will report offenses to the appropriate university authorities for disciplinary action. details

page created by H. Marcuse on Apr. 4, 2006; updated 6/5/06
back to top, to Marcuse's Hist 2c homepage, Marcuse's UCSB homepage