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

GEP: Humanities, Global Knowledge

The course explores political, economic, social, and cultural history of Europe during the Early Modern Period (ca. 1450 – 1789). Topics to be discussed include Renaissance and Baroque art and political thought, voyages of exploration and transatlantic trade, confessionalization, printing revolution and public opinion, witchhunts, warfare, education, performative rituals, theory and practice of different types of statehood and Enlightenment.

In the course the students are to be acquainted with the specificities of historiography as a discipline of humanities.

The students will critically assess influential writings and academic controversies about the topics under scrutiny in order to develop sensitivity for different approaches, questions and perspectives. Embedding alternative interpretations both in historiographical and political context they will learn to consider both the historian and the “user” of history as a part of history. They will become aware of distinction between facts and constructs.

The course aims at illustrating the general European developments on preferably Czech examples, which are not commonly covered in textbooks, and discussing their representativity. The students are to be acquainted with the state of Czech public debate about history and the ways of reading history before and after 1989.