History 117: The Contemporary World

An overview of the post-World War II world and consideration of globalization.

Every object that a person has fashioned or impacted in some way offers testimony about human life. Anthropology/History 211 provides an introduction to interpreting objects as a means of understanding the culture, history, and values of a society. Through reading, writing, and discussion, we will explore methods for analyzing objects in a variety of contexts: 1) objects in history; 2) objects in museums; and 3) objects in archaeological sites.

Over the course of the term, we will consider a wide range objects from various times and places, ranging from an ancient Greek vase to a Colonial American mill, the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, and twentieth century root beer cans. Almost every class will involve a hands-on project to illustrate and explore the concepts and theories in the readings.

The goal of material culture studies is the analysis of objects. But objects do not speak for themselves. Instead, we must learn to derive meaning from objects and then communicate that meaning with words. Therefore, this course focuses on developing analytical reading and writing skills. Anthropology/History 211 meets the Writing requirement for Bryn Athyn College’s Core program.

This course examines the rise and fall of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler from the ashes of World War I through the battles of World War II and Germany’s defeat by Allied forces in 1945. Over the term, we will consider the historical, social, economic, and political factors that contributed to the Nazi party’s rise and downfall. Particular focus is given to Nazism's impact on German society, individual choice and to underpinning philosophies such as fascism, cult of personality, eugenics, anti-Semitism, social Darwinism. 

This courses explores intersecting notions of justice and vengeance in medieval European law. Of special interest is the tension between customary forms of justice seeking, largely retributive in nature, and the development of jurisprudence, that is a 'philosophy of law' based on Christianity and Christian rulership. 3 credits. 

Human Society 402 is the capstone experience for the Human Society majors. In it, you will conduct a major research and writing project that showcases the skills you have been developing in the program. The seminar environment is designed to provide a forum for an examination of the different facets of undertaking such a project and offers a community for support and the exchange of ideas.