History 261: World Civilizations to 1500
University of Tennessee
Fall 2013
Instructor: Joshua Durbin
Humanities and Social Sciences Building, 60

Office: Dunford Hall 2548
Office Hours: Monday 1:15-3:15 and by appointment

Introduction and Course Objectives:

This course will explore the political and cultural history of world civilizations from the Ancient Near East to the early sixteenth century. In addition to political and military history, the historical significance of gender and sexuality will also be major themes in the course. To the extent possible, readings and lectures will explore the ways in which assumptions about gender are expressed in the historical documents. Throughout the course, the role of gender in the civilizations examined will be considered along with political, military, and cultural history.

A Note on the Syllabus and Course Assignments:

Please read this syllabus and its requirements thoroughly and carefully. If you require any clarification or explanation regarding specific requirements, you may contact me via email or see me during my office hours. Please note that this syllabus is subject to change at the professor’s discretion.

Required Texts:

All texts listed are required, and will be used extensively in the course. Please purchase the editions and translations listed.

* John McKay, et al., Understanding Word Societies, Vol. 1, Boston: Bedford St. Martins, 2013.
* Walter D. Ward and Denis Gainty, Sources of World Societies, Vol. 1, Second Edition, Boston: Bedford St. Martins, 2012.
* The Epic of Gilgamesh, Anonymous, trans. Andrew George, New York: Penguin Books, 1999.
* Sun Tzu, The Art of War, trans. John Minford, New York: Penguin Books, 2009.
* Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince, trans. Peter Bondanella, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Reading Assignments:

Please complete the assigned readings before class. In order...

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