*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

Our Undivided Past? An Historical Perspective
New!

Recent political discourse in the U.S. has become polarized around simplistic divisions of "us versus them," "black versus white," "good versus evil." The goal of this course is to demonstrate how the study of history can provide a useful corrective to "presentism," our tendency to view everything by today's values and opinions. We shall look at how people have been classified in the past according to six important categories of human identity: religion, nation, class, gender, race, and civilization. An historical perspective shows that although these human identities have often been in extreme conflict, there is also strong evidence of human solidarity throughout the ages.
Note: This course does not meet on Wednesday, March 21.

Instructor Bio:

John Mason holds a PhD in history from the University of Birmingham, UK. His teaching and research interests in twentieth-century European history are closely linked to living in particular places. In England he taught for the Open University for 25 years, and in the late 1990s did research and teaching in the post-Soviet countries of Slovakia, Hungary, and Armenia. John is also an active stone sculptor.

Required Reading:

Cannadine, David. The Undivided Past, Humanity Beyond Our Differences, 2013.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
A604 John Mason Feb 21, 28, Mar 7, 14, 28, Apr 4 We 10:00-11:30 a.m. The R. R. Smith Center WL

Return to Courses