Cat. I An introduction to the history of the American city as an important phenomenon in itself and as a reflection of national history. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach to study the political, economic, social, and technological patterns that have shaped the growth of urbanization. In addition to reading historical approaches to the study of American urban history, students may also examine appropriate works by sociologists, economists, political scientists and city planners who provide historical perspective.
Cat. I An introduction to the historical study of American society. It addresses two questions: What is social history? and how do social historians work?
Cat. I An introduction to the various components of U.S. foreign policy decision making and the basic techniques of diplomatic history. The course will focus on one or two topics in the history of American foreign relations, using a variety of primary documents and secondary sources.
Cat. I An introduction to historical analysis through selected periods or themes in the history of America before the Civil War. A variety of readings will reflect the various ways that historians have attempted to understand the development of America.
Cat. I An introduction to the study of modern European social history since the Industrial Revolution. Topics will include industrialization in Britain and Europe, class formation, gender and the condition of women, technology and economy, culture and society. Students will learn to work with historical sources, to formulate arguments, to read critically, and to write clearly. No prior knowledge of European history is required.
Cat. I In this course students think through some of the major intellectual currents that have defined modern Western Civilization. Topics include the philosophical impact of science on modern thought, the development of liberalism and socialism, the crisis of culture in the twentieth century. Students read selections from major thinkers in the Western tradition and develop their skills at critical thinking, analysis, oral and written argument. No prior knowledge of European history is required.
Cat. I An introduction to the methods and source materials historians use to study the past, through the concentrated examination of selected case studies in the history of science. Possible topics include: contexts of scientific discovery, translation and transmission of scientific knowledge, revolutions in scientific belief and practice, non-Western science, social consequences of science.
Cat. I An introduction to concepts of historical analysis ? i.e., the nature and methodology of scholarly inquiry about the past ? through the concentrated examination of selected case studies in the history of technology. Possible topics include: the influence of slavery on the development of technology in the ancient world and the middle ages; the power revolution of the middle ages; the causes of the Industrial Revolution in 18th-century Britain; and the emergence of science-based technology in 19th-century America.
Cat. I An introduction to the study of global history since 1500. Topics include global expansion, the Columbian exchange, and the slave trade; Renaissance, Reformation, and revolution in Europe; global industrialization, imperialism, and nation building; the world wars and revolutionary movements; decolonization and the Cold War. The course will also discuss case studies of developing nations of interest to students. Especially appropriate as background for students interested in International Studies or any of WPI?s global Project Centers.
Cat. I This course surveys early American history up to the ratification of the Constitution. It considers the tragic interactions among Europeans, Indians, and Africans on the North American continent, the growth and development of English colonies, and the revolt against the Empire that culminated in the creation of the United States of America.
Cat. I This course surveys American history from the Presidency of George Washington to the Civil War and its aftermath. Topics include the rise of American democracy, the emergence of middle-class culture, and the forces that pulled apart the Union and struggled to put it back together.
Cat. I This course surveys the transformation of the United States into an urban and industrial nation. Topics will include changes in the organization of business and labor, immigration and the development of cities, the peripheral role of the South and West in the industrial economy, politics and government in the age of ?laissez-faire,? and the diverse sources and nature of late 19th- and early 20th century reform movements.
This course surveys the major political, social, and economic changes of American history from 1920 to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the Great Depression, the New Deal, suburbanization, McCarthyism, the persistence of poverty, the domestic effects of the Vietnam war, and recent demographic trends.
This survey of American diplomatic history begins with the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, continues through our apparent isolation in the 1920?s, American neutrality in the 1930?s, World War II, the early and later Cold War periods, and concludes with an overview of the current global involvement of the United States. Some sections of this course may be offered as Writing Intensive (WI).
Cat. I This survey course explores the dramatic expansion of government?s role in American life between the Civil War and World War I. It does so by examining the response of constitutional, common, and statutory law to the social, economic, and political change associated with this pivotal period in the nation?s history.
Cat. I A survey of the major socio-economic, political, and cultural developments in European history from the Old Regime to World War I. The course will focu s upon those factors and events that led to the formation of modern European society: Nation-State building, The French Revolution, industrialization; liberalism, democracy, and socialism; national unification of Italy and Germany; the coming of World War I. No prior knowledge of European history is required.
Cat. I A survey of the major political, socio-economic, and cultural developments in European history since World War I. The course will focus upon those factors and events that have led to the current world situation: the World Wars, fascism and communism, the Holocaust, the Cold War, the welfare state, decolonization, post-industrial society, popular culture, the collapse of communism, contemporary Europe. No prior knowledge of European history is required.
Cat. I A survey of modern Britain from the 18th century to the present. Topics include the British state and national identity, the industrial revolution, political and social reform, the status of women, sport and society, Ireland, the British Empire, the World Wars, the welfare state, economic decline. Especially appropriate as background for students planning IQP?s or Sufficiency Projects in London. No prior knowledge of British history is required.
This course examines the historical origins of modern France and the distinguishing features of French society and culture. Some of the topics covered include: Bourbon absolutism; the cause and effects of the French Revolution; the struggle for democratic liberalism in the 19th century; class and ideological conflict in the Third Republic; Vichy fascism, and present-day politics in the Fifth Republic. No prior knowledge of French history is required.
A survey of some of the most important revolutionary movements of the twentieth century. We may consider topics such as racial, nationalist, feminist and non-violent revolutionary ideologies, communist revolution, the ?green? revolution and cultural revolution. No prior knowledge of the history of revolutions is expected.
This course surveys American science and technology from the first European explorations until the founding of WPI (in 1865). Topics may include: Enlightenment scientific theory and practice in colonial North America; Romanticism and the landscape; the politics of knowledge gained through contact with Native Americans; engineering and internal improvements; geography and resources in a continental empire; the American Industrial Revolution; the rise of science as a profession; the emergence of scientific racism; technology and the Civil War.
Cat. I This course surveys American science and technology from 1859 to the present. Topics may include: Darwinism and Social Darwinism; scientific education; positivism and the growth of the physical sciences; the new biology and medicine; conservation, the gospel of efficiency and progressivism; science, World War I and the 1920s; the intellectual migration and its influence; science technology and World War II; Big Science, the Cold War and responses to Big Science; and cultural responses to science and controversies about science.
This course examines the historical origins of contemporary global crises and political transformations. Students keep abreast of ongoing current events through periodical literature and explore the underlying long-term causes of these events as analyzed by scholarly historical texts. Topics will vary each time the course is taught but may include such topics as the following: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Democratization in Africa, the Developing World and Globalization. No prior knowledge of world history is required.
This course will explore two thousand years of Asian participation in an international system, in Asia and with the rest of the world. Whether ruled by Chinese, Turks, Mongols or Manchus, China has been the political and cultural center of East Asia. Understanding the role of this superpower is critical to Asian and world history. The course will focus on themes such as the cosmopolitan experience, the early development and application of `modern? ideas such as bureaucracy, market economy, and paper currency, and the centrality of religious ideology as a tool in statecraft. No prior knowledge of Asian history is required.
This course surveys major developments in the global history of mathematics, astronomy, and cosmology, as manifestations of the human endeavor to understand our place in the universe. Topics may include: Ancient Greek, Ptolemaic, and Arabic knowledge systems; the Copernican Revolution; mathematical thinking and the Cartesian method; globalization of European power through the navigational sciences, applied mathematics, and Enlightenment geodesy; social consequences of probability and determinism in science; theoretical debates over the origins of the solar system and of the universe.
This course surveys major developments in the global history of biology, ecology, and medicine, as manifestations of the human endeavor to understand living organisms. Topics may include: Aristotelian biology, Galenic, Chinese, and Arabic medical traditions; Vesalius and the Renaissance; Linnaeus and Enlightenment natural history; Romantic biology and the Darwinian revolution; genetics from Mendel to the fruit fly; eugenics and racial theories as ?applied? biology; modern medicine, disease, and public health; microbiology from the double helix to the Genome project; and the relationship of the science of ecology to evolving schools of environmental thought.
This course surveys major developments in the global history of geology, physics, and chemistry, as manifestations of the human endeavor to understand time, space, and the rules that govern inorganic nature. Topics may include: ancient atomism; alchemy and magic; the mechanical philosophy of Galilean and Newtonian physics; Hutton and the earth as eternal machine; energy, forces, matter, and structure in 19th century physics and chemistry; radioactivity, relativity, and quantum theory; the plate tectonics revolution.
This course surveys the environmental history of North America from the time of Columbus until the present, exploring how the environment has shaped human culture, and how human activity and human ideas have shaped nature. We will examine changes during three periods: a ?contact? period focusing on the ecological, economic and cultural ramifications of Old World-New World interconnection; a ?development? period focusing on the rise of a market-based, urban-industrial society during the nineteenth century; and a final period characterized by the growth of reform movements to protect nature and the increasing global movement of goods and ideas in the twentieth century. In each period, we will trace changes in production, labor, and consumption patterns; transportation and other technologies; science, knowledge, and planning; disease, health and medicine; and cultural understandings, political debates, and place-making strategies.
This course will trace the history of evolutionary thought, including the growth of the geological sciences and expanding concepts of geological time, increased global travel suggesting new perspectives on biogeography, discoveries of fossils of now-extinct animals, and developments in comparative embryology and anatomy, culminating in the synthesis effected in 1859 by Charles Darwin, and in the Modern Synthesis of the 1940s. It will include emphases on the relationships of evolutionary and religious thought, and on depictions of evolutionary themes in the larger culture, including the arts, film, literature and popular culture, and will examine controversies, including current controversies, over evolution and the teaching of evolution in public schools in the United States.
This course will introduce students to global environmental history, a field that examines how the environment has shaped human society, and the effects of human activity and human ideas on non-human nature. The course will trace human history from hunter-gather societies to the present, addressing changes in production, trade, and consumption patterns; transportation and other technologies; science, knowledge, and planning; disease, health and medicine; and cultural understandings, political debates, and place-making strategies. This course is appropriate for students interested in WPI's project centers in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean and Central America.
Cat. I This seminar course will deal with the history of organized labor in America as well as with the historic contributions of working people, whether unionized or not, to the growth and development of American ideas, politics, culture, and society. Among the topics to be covered will be: the origins, growth, and expansion of trade and industrial unionism; the roots and development of working class consciousness; the underlying causes and eventual resolution of labor disturbances; the philosophical and ideological perspectives of the labor movement. Students will explore topics raised by common readings via written papers, seminar presentations, and work with primary source materials. Suggested background: HI 2314, American History, 1877-1920; or HI 2315, The Shaping of Post-1920 America.
Cat. I A seminar course on analysis of selected aspects of social organization in American history, with emphasis on the composition and changing societal character of various groups over time, and their relationship to larger social, economic, and political developments. Typical topics include: communities, families, minorities, and women. Suggested background: Some college-level American history.
Cat. I This seminar course considers the social, political, and intellectual history of the years surrounding American independence, paying particular attention to the changes in society and ideas that shaped the revolt against Great Britain, the winning of independence, and the creation of new political structures that led to the Constitution.
In this advanced seminar course, students will explore one aspect of twentieth-century U.S. history in more depth. Topics vary each year but may include political movements such as the New Deal or the Civil Rights Movement, an aspect of American foreign policy such as the Cold War, a short time period such as the 1960s, a cultural phenomenon such as consumption, or a geographical focus such as cities or New England. The course will require substantial reading and writing. Suggested background: HI 2314 (American History, 1877- 1920), HI 2315 (The Shaping of Post-1920 America), or other American history courses.
In this seminar course, students will explore one aspect of U.S. or global environmental history in more depth. Topics vary each year but may include environmental thought, environmental reform movements, comparative environmental movements, natural disasters, the history of ecology, built environments, environmental justice, New England environmental history, or the environmental history of South Asia or another region of the world. The course will require substantial reading and writing. Suggested background: HI 2401 U.S. Environmental History.
This seminar course examines topics in the cultural, socio-economic and political history of modern Europe, with a focus on Great Britain. Topics may vary each year among the following: nationalism, class and gender, political economy, environmental history, sport and society, film and history. Readings will include primary and secondary sources.
This seminar course in the history of ideas focuses each year on a different theme within the intellectual-cultural traditions of Western Civilization. Some topics are the following: The Impact of the New Physics on 20th Century Philosophy; The Social History of Ideas; The Enlightenment and the French Revolution; Sexuality, Psycho-analysis, and Revolution. The course is structured around classroom discussion of major texts on the topic under study and a related research paper.
A seminar course on the relationships among science, technology, and society in European culture, examined through a series of case studies. Topics from which the case studies might be drawn include: global scientific expeditions, mapmaking, and European imperialism; the harnessing of science for industrial purposes; the role of the physical sciences in war and international relations; the function of the science advisor in government; the political views and activities of major scientists such as Einstein. Students will use primary sources and recently published historical scholarship to analyze the case studies. Suggested background: Courses in European history and the history of science and technology.
Cat I This seminar will examine a particular issue or theme in the history of American science and technology. Topics will vary from year to year, but may include: technology and the built environment; science, technology and the arts; communications of science and scientific issues with the larger public; technology and scientific illustration; science in popular culture; science and the law; or close examination of episodes in the history of American science and technology such as the American Industrial Revolution; science and technology in the years between the world wars; the Manhattan Project; science and the culture of the Cold War; or science, technology and war in American history. This course will require significant reading and writing. Suggested background: Some familiarity with history of science or history of technology, and with United States history.
A seminar course on the relationships among science, technology, and society from cultures outside Europe and North America, examined through a series of case studies. Topics from which the case studies might be drawn include: Chinese medicine and technology; Arabic mathematics, medicine, and astronomy; Indian science and technology (including, for example, metalworking and textile production); Mayan mathematics and astronomy; Polynesian navigation; various indigenous peoples? sustainable subsistence technologies (e.g. African agriculture, Native American land management, aboriginal Australian dreamtime). Suggested background: Courses in global history and the history of science and technology.
This seminar course examines topics in the history of European imperialism, colonialism, and the postcolonial aftermath. Topics vary each year among the following: culture and imperialism, the expansion of Europe, the economics of empire, travel and exploration narratives, imperialism in literature and anthropology, decolonization in Asia and Africa, postcolonial studies. Readings will include primary and secondary sources.
This seminar course compares and contrasts major religious, philosophical, social, and political themes in different civilizations. Comparisons will vary each year but may be drawn from Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Africa, and indigenous cultures of the Americas. It examines the historical foundations of these civilizational differences and draws comparisons with common features of Western civilization. One important goal of the course is to enhance student appreciation of non-Western values and traditions.
Cat. I This seminar course examines topics in the cultural, socio-economic, religious and political history of East Asia. Topics vary each year and may include the following: nationalism and the writing of history, travel and exploration narratives, cross-cultural contact, the role of religion and ideology in political history, development and the environment in Asia, film and history, and the place of minorities and women in Asian societies. Suggested background: previous courses on Asia such as HU 1412, HI 2328, HI 2343, or RE 2724.
The goal of this course is to provide international students for whom English is not their native language the necessary skills for academic success through reading and writing assignments. Students will focus on developing vocabulary, critical reading, paragraph, and essay writing skills. Emphasis is also given to a review of English grammar through intensive written and oral practice to promote accurate and appropriate language use. Strongly recommended for first-year international ESL students. Admission determined by Writing Placement or consent of the instructor.
This course is for international students who want to develop their academic writing skills through a sequence of essay assignments, with emphasis on rhetorical and grammatical issues particular to second language learners (ESL). Students will concentrate on producing coherent paragraphs, developing short essays in a variety of rhetorical modes, and improving mechanics (grammar, punctuation) and vocabulary usage. Both personal and academic writing assignments provide practice in the process of writing and revising work for content and form. Recommended Background: ISE 180X or equivalent skills (determined by Writing Placement or consent of the instructor).
In this course students will practice analytical reading, writing, and thinking intensively, through a variety of exercises and assignments. Emphasis is placed on using various methods of organization appropriate to the writer?s purpose and audience. Students will read and discuss a selection of non-fiction texts; these readings will form the basis for writing assignments in summary, critique, synthesis, and persuasion. The course also stresses the ability to understand, use, and document college-level non-fiction readings as evidence for effectively formulating and accurately supporting a thesis. This course is for international students who have already studied grammar extensively and need to refine the ability to produce acceptable academic English. Recommended Background: ISE 181X or equivalent skills (determined by Writing Placement or consent of the instructor).
This course focuses on the speaking and listening skills that are necessary in an academic setting. Students practice formal and informal communication skills, including listening comprehension, pronunciation, and conversational and presentation skills. Students are encouraged to practice oral/aural exercises with the class as a whole and in small groups. Class work will build language skills and personal confidence levels.
Cat. I This course offers, through conferences, tutorial sessions and extensive writing practice, a review of English composition principles for international students. The following topics are included: the motivation of the writer; basic grammar; organization of the paragraph, sentence, and overall essay or report; vocabulary and word choice; spelling hints; and style. Much emphasis is given to the development of effective revising techniques. For the purposes of demonstrating ?depth? and ?breadth,? this course may be considered an English (EN) or Writing (WR) course.
Cat. I This course focuses on developing international students? ability to speak effectively, organize ideas logically, improve voice and diction, and use visual aids. Television and audiotapes are used to record competence and poise. For the purposes of demonstrating ?depth? and ?breadth,? this course may be considered an English (EN) or Writing (WR) course.
Cat. I An introduction to American history designed to provide international students with a basic understanding of the history and culture of the United States. Written and oral assignments will also help these students gain a more effective command of the English language. For the purposes of demonstrating ?depth? and ?breadth,? this course may be considered a history (HI) course.