HI 209: From Renaissance to Revolution: The Origins of Modern Europe

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Course Description

his course explores political, economic, social, and cultural history of Europe during the Early Modern Period (ca. 1450 – 1789).

You’ll be studying topics such as Renaissance and Baroque art and political thought, voyages of exploration and transatlantic trade, confessionalization, the printing revolution and public opinion, witch hunts, warfare, education, performative rituals, as well as the theory and practice of different types of statehood and enlightenment.

Through your study you’ll become acquainted with the specifics of historiography as a discipline of humanities, critically assessing influential writings and academic controversies. This will help you to develop a sensitivity for different approaches, questions, and perspectives.

Embedding alternative interpretations both in historiographical and political contexts you’ll consider the points of view of both the historian and the ‘users’ of history, learning to distinguish between facts and constructs.

Looking at examples not commonly addressed in textbooks, we’ll be covering general European developments from a Czech perspective and discussing their representivity. You’ll become acquainted with the state of Czech public debate, its history, and the ways of reading history before and after the revolution of 1989.