There are four assignments:
Due on the day of the reading
A précis is not a critique or review of a longer work. Instead, a précis is a very concise summary of that longer piece of work. It is an abridged statement of the argument and evidence provided by the author. It is difficult to write because you must distill the essence of a longer (and often very complex) argument without injecting your own judgment about the strengths and weaknesses of the original.
The books will be assigned for each student collectively. Students must make copies of the précis for the instructor and for each member of the seminar. With the exception of those marked [P] for the first week, all précis are due on the day the reading is assigned or suggested.
Due in Ses #7
Imagine that you are a historian writing in the year 2026 explaining how the world/region arrived at one of the following outcomes:
Be sure to assess the international, domestic political, national security, economic, and technological developments of the previous quarter century (2001-2026) in developing your analysis. Refer to the class readings — both narrative and theoretical — and to relevant baseline data you collect, and argue plausibly how this outcome was obtained.
These papers should not exceed 10 pages in length.
Due in Ses #10-12
Topic list and outline (PDF)