Students will become better aware of the intimate relationship of nature and culture and the crucial role that culture has played in the evolution of humans and their adaptation to various physical environments. They will also learn to better appreciate the importance and continuing relevance of past events to present circumstances and the enduring legacy of ancient civilizations.
Through studying human cultural distinctiveness in a comparative perspective, it is hoped that students will achieve a clearer comprehension of their own native language and culture as well as those of others, and to attain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the kinds of cultural barriers which often stand in the way of closer communication between people from different cultures, as well as what aspects of culture may potentially serve as intercultural bridges between different peoples.
A tentative schedule of lectures and topics is given below. The actual topics covered may vary from week to week. 進捗状況により内容は前後する。
1 Guidance and Course Introduction; Preview and Overview of Course Content and Main Topics
Explanation of course goals, classroom management and methods of evaluation; introduction to and outline of course content and lecture schedule; questions and answers (Q & A).
2 Nature and Culture; The Interaction of Humans with their Physical and Cultural Environment in Prehistoric Times
Origins of human culture and language; role of culture in human evolution and life; interaction of nature and culture; human migration out of Africa; gradual formation of different physical races and division into various tribes; the nomadic lifestyle of hunting and foraging for food; the beginning of religious practices and artistic expression, and other selected topics.
3 The Culture and Lifestyle of the Earliest Civilizations and the Beginning of Recorded Human History
The beginning of agriculture and the domestication of animals; settlement in villages, towns and cities; birth of the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China; invention of writing systems; social specialization and stratification; formation of city-states and empires and practice of warfare; invasion and conquest of civilizations by nomadic peoples and formation of new empires and other selected topics.
4 Comparative Culture of the Earliest Civilizations
The customs and beliefs, ideas and inventions of the earliest civilizations of Asia and Europe in comparative perspective and their influence on the modern world; their gods and goddesses,heroes and heroines; stories and myths compared to our modern ones and other selected topics.
5 Cultural Revolution--the Axial Age Thinkers and Philosophers
Confucius and other Chinese thinkers and the founding of various schools of thought; the Hebrew prophets; the earliest Greek philosophers; Socrates, Plato and Aristotle; introduction to some of the key concepts and core values found in ancient Chinese, Hebrew, Indian and Greek philosophical and religious texts and other selected topics.
6 The Empire of Alexander and the Hellenic Cultural World
The conquests of Alexander's army in Asia and the subsequent role of Greek as a common language;the founding of Greek cities and dynasties; the spread of Hellenic culture; the destruction of the library at Alexandria and other selected topics.
7 The Roman Empire and Its Cultural Legacy
The transformation of the Roman republic into the Roman empire: the Pax Romana and the spread of Roman culture and lifestyle throughout the empire; the fall of the pagan Roman gods and the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman empire; the founding of Constantinople and other selected topics.
8 The Cultural Legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Medieval Europe
The important historical role of the Byzantine Empire; nomadic invasions of Europe; Germanic invasions of Celtic Britain; Viking and Norman migrations and invasions; development of feudalism and division of society into lords and ladies, knights and monks, artisans and peasants; the Crusades; the Mongol empire; the Black Death and other selected topics.
9 Renaissance and Reformation in Europe, the Scientific Revolution and the European Voyages of Exploration and Discovery
The Italian city-states and the 'rebirth' of Europe; the rediscovery of classical learning and literature; the Protestant Reformation; European voyages of exploration and discovery; the 'new world' of America and new oceanic routes to India and the 'East Indies'; the European encounter and exchange of products with native Americans and Asians; the Atlantic slave trade and other topics.
10 Review of Main Points and Topics; Questions and Answers; Midterm Examination
11 Enlightenment, Revolution and War in Europe and America
The French, English and Scottish enlightenments; the scientific, technological and industrial revolutions; the causes and ideals of the American and French revolutions; the rise of Napoleon and the struggle for political, economic, military and cultural supremacy in Europe; the role of Russia as a cultural and political bridge to Asia and other selected topics.
12 The Birth of the Modern World in Europe, America and Asia, 1815-1919
The Congress of Vienna and the new European order; the growth of industrialism, commercialism and capitalism; the rise of the middle and working classes; the opening of the Pacific rim to international commerce and cultural intercourse and the development of steamship routes between California, Japan and China; the unification of Germany, Italy and Japan; the Russo-Japanese War and the First World War; the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and other selected topics.
13 The Culture of the Roaring Twenties and the Turbulent Thirties and another World War 1920-1945
The economic, political and intellectual culture of the 1920s and 1930s in the US, Europe and Japan; the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929 and the worldwide economic depression of the 1930s; the outbreak of war in East Asia and Europe; the search for ever more powerful weapons in quest of victory; the manufacture and use of the first atomic bombs and other selected topics.
14 The Dawn of the Nuclear Age, the Cold War and the Fearful Peace 1945-1991
The Yalta Conference; the division of Europe into East and West by an "Iron Curtain" and the beginning of the Cold War; the Soviet atomic bomb; the Korean war; the hydrogen bomb and the escalation of the nuclear arms race; the launching of the Sputnik and the space race;the war in Vietnam; the policy of detente between the USA and USSR; the American opening to China; the radical shift in Chinese policy under the leadership of Deng; glasnost and perestroika in the USSR under the leadership of Gorbachev; the political and cultural revolutions in eastern Europe and the breaking apart of the Soviet Union, and other selected topics.
15 Review of Main Points and Topics; Questions and Answers; Final Examination
Lecture, and small group discussions; computer-based presentation and accompanying worksheets and handouts. VHS, DVD, and other visual media and printed materials may also be used to supplement the lecture topics. Weekly reading assignments of materials provided by instructor.