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Fall 2012, New School for Public Engagement

NHIS 3116
Section 7912
Tues. 8:00 – 9:50 p.m.
Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room 615

Office Hours
By Appointment

course documents

Syllabus PDF HTML
Outline PDF HTML
Examining Primary Sources PDF HTML
Writing a Position Paper PDF HTML
Paper Requirements PDF HTML


Maps Archive   HTML
Map – Important regions   HTML
Map – First civilizations   HTML
Map – Bronze Age Aegean   HTML
Map – End of the Bronze Age   HTML


Periods of history   HTML
The Bronze Age   HTML

Slides & Review Materials

Review materials from the course will be posted periodically throughout the semester.

Course DescriptionFrom the moment we humans abandoned the hunter-gatherer’s roving life and devised civilization, exchanging mobility for stability and prosperity, we’ve faced the same unending problem: no matter where you set down roots, something will be lacking. Every society wants for some resource found far away — a necessity like wood or a luxury like porcelain; and the more complex, powerful, and proud a society, the more they yearn for that which they do not have. How do the world’s societies slake these needs? And what is the relationship between trade, or acquiring distant resources — and empire, asserting control over them? Is the intrepid adventurer beating a path to Samarkand to acquire their silks or to San Salvador in search of gold the handmaiden—or rival?—to the next generation’s conqueror of the same lands and riches?

In this course we’ll explore the most interesting and illuminating of humanity’s quests and competitions for control of distant resources, toward a greater understanding of what we do as nations when we want what we do not have.

NoteThis course has been canceled as of Aug. 9, 2012.