Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Free European History Courses

Several universities are putting complete courses online for free now. Visitors can peruse course materials and watch lectures even if they do not get any academic credit for it. MIT is probably the best known for this but some other schools are as well including Notre Dame and the University of Washington.

Here are three example courses dealing with European history:

The Ancient World: Rome - This MIT course is from 2005. This course elaborates the history of Rome from its humble beginnings to the fifth century A.D. The first half of the course covers Kingship to Republican form; the conquest of Italy; Roman expansion: Pyrrhus, Punic Wars and provinces; classes, courts, and the Roman revolution; Augustus and the formation of empire. The second half of the course covers Virgil to the Vandals; major social, economic, political and religious trends at Rome and in the provinces. Emphasis is placed on the use of primary sources in translation.

The Making of Modern Europe - This is a UC Berkley course from 2008. This introductory course provides essential background to an understanding of Europe today by surveying the elements of its past that went into its making. It begins, roughly, with the "Closing" of Europe to the Islamic world after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. It ends with Europe's Re-opening, in the late 20th and early 21st century, symbolized, in part, by the Balkan conflict in the 1990s. As it covers these five and a half centuries, it will look at major landmarks in Europe's social, political, and intellectual development: the Renaissance, the expansion of Europe into the Americas, the breakup of a single Western Christendom into competing religious communities, the construction of the modern state, the Enlightenment, the European revolutions, industrialization, socialism, nationalism, imperialism, Communism and Nazism, the two World Wars, decolonialization, the Cold War, cultural changes in the post-war period, and the breakup of Communism in Eastern Europe. It will close with the continent's current reconfiguration, as former patterns of migration have moved into reverse and the non-European world expands into Europe.

Nineteenth Century Europe - This is a University of Massachusetts from 2008. The course is a political, social and cultural history of Europe from 1815 to 1900, including the history of each major European nation.

No comments: