Objective: Demonstrate your mastery of Course Goals 1 and 2 by:
- Accurately and effectively communicating ideas, information, arguments, and messages to present material in a historical context.
- Investigating and evaluating historical information from global, social and ethical perspectives to guide decision making.
Instructions: Compose a 1000 word essay citing your sources (which may come from the required course readings, Discussions, and credible outside sources) in your choice of Chicago Style, APA, or MLA, including a Bibliography or Works Cited Section. You may always write beyond this minimum guideline. State which citation style you are using. The 1000 words do not include the Bibliography. The 1000 words are to be your analysis.
Choose 1 group (women, laborers, farmers, believers, scientists and scholars, the middle class, the aristocracy, artisans, merchants, military people, entrepreneurs, religious authorities, heretics, artists, patients, builders and architects, physicians, musicians, entrepreneurs, etc.) and trace them in the readings from the ancient world through the 20th century. For the ancient world, prehistory will certainly work, but beginning with the eras of Egypt or classical Greece and Rome will suffice. You may choose another group; simply ask me for approval first.
With your chosen group, trace the technological transformations in their lives and the changes in how they see the universe.
You may wish to use one of the following quotes to guide your essay.
- “At any time in the past, people have held a view of the way the universe works which was for them … definitive, whether it was based on myths or research. And at any time, that view they held was sooner or later altered by changes in the body of knowledge.” – James Burke
- “Necessity is the mother of all invention.” – This quote is attributed to numerous people.
Be sure to address all of the following in the essay. These points and questions overlap and may seem a bit redundant; they are designed to ensure that you explore the power of shifts in knowledge:
- How did your group view the working of the universe, and did how that view change because of changes in the body of knowledge.
- At what points did the universe change for your chosen group of people? How did it change?
- How did changes in knowledge or technology transform their truths?
- How were they affected by the creation of major institutions or changes in their ways of life or the ways others now lived? Did social structures change? If so, how?
- What was now possible (by the end of the readings) for them that had not been before, or conversely what was no longer possible for them as a result of changes in technology and / or knowledge? Trace these changes back to shifts in technology or advances in knowledge.
- Finally and perhaps most importantly, how did technological change affect this group differently from other groups?
Your essay must have a thesis statement and be organized into paragraphs including an introduction, body, and conclusion. Support your response with historical detail (names, dates, and events), and not merely generalizations. Including additional relevant and substantive content beyond the minimum word count will help your grade.