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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Early Modern History: A Connected World (HIST08034)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to key themes and debates in early modern history (c. 1500-1800), using selected case studies from around the world. Attention will be paid to the usefulness (or otherwise) of the concept of 'early modernity', and the extent to which it can be applied to the world beyond Europe.
Course description The period between c. 1500 and c. 1800 was an age of discovery, in which adventurers, merchants and diplomats sailed farther than ever before, and the lives of peoples from disparate parts of the globe became meaningfully entangled for the first time in human history. Trade in new commodities allowed great fortunes to be made by some, while others found themselves subjugated by the emergence of new imperial powers. Established relationships between church, state and the self were contested, and social and technological developments allowed for the dissemination of the written word beyond a privileged elite for the first time. A vibrant and noisy urban culture - and the emergence of women into the public sphere - brought with it new opportunities and new anxieties for the people of the early modern world. This course introduces students to key themes and debates in early modern history (c. 1500-1800), using selected case studies from around the world.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: violence and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, sexuality, physical appearance, disability, socioeconomic status, politics, religion, and immigration. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: The Historian's Toolkit (HIST08032)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  357
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Online Activities 3, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Other Study Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 153 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study Hours to be used to prepare for the lectures
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 45 %, Coursework 55 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
2500 word essay (55%)

1 hour exam (45%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the tutor/Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)1:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)1:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the subject considered in the course;
  2. Assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. Research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. Organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
Reading List
Brotton, Jerry, Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World (London, 2003).

Burke, Peter, 'Rex et Verba:Conspicuous Consumption in the Early Modern World', in J. Brewer and R. Porter (eds), Consumption and the World of Goods (London, 1993), ch. 7.

Cameron, E. (ed.), Early Modern Europe (Oxford, 1999).

Collins, James B. and Karen L. Taylor (eds), Early Modern Europe: Issues and Interpretations (Oxford, 2006).

Crosby, Alfred W., The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (Westport, 1972).

Frank, Andre Gunder, ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age (Berkeley, 1998).

K├╝min, Beat (ed.), The European World, 1500-1800 (London, 2009 or 2013).

Parker, Charles H., Global Interactions in the Early Modern Age (Cambridge, 2010).

Porter, David (ed.), Comparative Early Modernities, 1100-1800 (New York, 2012).

Richards, John F., The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World (Berkeley, 2003).

Wiesner-Hanks, Merry, Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789 (Cambridge, 2nd edn, 2006 or 3rd edn, 2013).

Woodworth, C. K. 'Ocean and Steppe: Early Modern World Empires', Journal of Early Modern History, 11.6 (2007), pp. 501-518.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will develop the following graduate attributes and skills:

Skills and abilities in research and enquiry:

- ability to draw valid conclusions about the past
- ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
- ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
- ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
- ability to extract key elements from complex information
- readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- ability critically to assess existing understanding and the limitations of knowledge and recognition of the need regularly to challenge/test knowledge
- ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding

Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy:

- openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- ability to identify processes and strategies for learning
- independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self
- evaluation and self-improvement
- ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought
- ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
- intellectual curiosity
- ability to sustain intellectual interest

Skills and abilities in communication:

- ability to make effective use of oral and written means convey understanding of historical issues and one's interpretation of them.
- ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
- ability to collaborate and to relate to others
- readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness

Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness:

- ability to approach historical problems with academic rigour
- ability to manage and meet firm deadlines
- possession of the confidence to make decisions based on one's understanding and personal/intellectual autonomy
- ability to work effectively with others, capitalising on diversities of thinking, experience and skills
KeywordsEarly Modern
Course organiserDr Richard Oosterhoff
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMrs Shannon McMillan
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