Percentages in Grade

20%  Each.  Class participation, exam 1, exam 2, paper 1, paper 2.   A re-write is allowed on each paper and is due with marked up original paper a week after paper is passed back.

Class participation, including attendance, presentations on recommended readings, progress on papers (including oral presentations), comments on other students' ideas and historical arguments.

Exams: There is no Final.   2 Hour Exams will have short essays. One might be asked to compare items or identify (who or what, where, when) and interpret the significance.

 Paper 1. Due  Fri. Feb. 13. 4 pages plus Univ. of Chicago endnotes  See preparatory assignment due dates on syllabus.  1)  Erasmus had subtle ways of critiquing European society and its institutions. Montaigne also in “On Cannibals” comments on Europeans as well as Amerindians. Both were influential "public intellectuals" as we would call such authors today.  Discuss the ways each author critically analyzed Europeans, showing both similarities and differences. Cite specific examples, raising issues of how to interpret.  Your paper is a  focus on analysis of primary sources and may use other writings of these two authors. If you need additional secondary readings beyond class books and discussion, you may include up to 2 endnoted articles and 2 books and 2 encyclopedia articles. (Fine to read Montaigne “On Cannibals” in Frame's or Screech's recent translations of Essays with critical notes.)  OR

2) Reserve reading has a section on Renaissance Diplomacy—both documents of diplomacy and historical analysis of the traits of Renaissance diplomacy.  Include both types of readings as you present current understanding of the workings of diplomats particularly in the 15th and 16th centuries.  You may focus in on a case study.


Paper 2. Due Wed. April 15    See preparatory assignment due dates on syllabus.  4 pages plus Univ. of Chicago endnotes. Narrow your focus to your specific concern or question in social history or intellectual history. You may cite class books and up to 2 endnoted articles and 2 books and 2 encyclopedia articles. Include a xerox of at least 1 image (maximum 4 images) with a list of figures.  There are many books on history of utopias or utopianism. You are welcome to make specific references to lines in Plato’s Republic. You are welcome to cite in addition to our Famous Utopias critical editions of the works (cite editor when referring to a commentary).

1) Analyze the role of visuals in education in Campanella’s City of the Sun in Famous Utopias or compare and contrast Campanella’s utopia with Bacon’s utopia.

2) Present your interpretation of  Francis Bacon's New Atlantis while responding to at least 4 of 9 authors in Bronwen Price, ed., Francis Bacon's NEW ATLANTIS: New Interdisciplinary Essays (Some individual articles scanned separately)  (Reserve)                    

3) Present your interpretation of Thomas More’s Utopia (Book I and II) in relationship to at least 4 distinct authors in chapters or articles on Thomas More’s Utopia.   For biography of More, you may enjoy dvd Man for All Seasons.(in library)

4) Analyze a particular topic in 2 utopias:  More, Bacon, Campanella.  


5) Focus on an issue of controversy in early modern cartography.  Compare specific early modern maps. Discuss similarities and differences and explain the reasons for the differences. Use Jerry Brotton, Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World (reserve, some chapters assigned) as a model for writing on early modern cartography. Newberry Library and Library of Congress websites have many cartographical images organized for student use.

Tutorials in History of Cartography:

Library of Congress also has maps organized for student use; below is on age of exploration:

Huntington Library digital library of maps:

Rewrites on Papers for regrading: Due 1 week after paper is returned, passed in with marked up paper.

20%  Essay Exam 1  Wed. March 4, typing on PCs.

20%  Essay Exam 2 Fri. April 10 typing on PCs.

Center for Academic Excellence sponsors Peer Writing Advisors who invite you to bring an early draft of your paper with the assignment instructions above.

·  Phone: (323) 259-2545

·  Office: Academic Commons, Ground Floor

Additonal work for hist. 397 students: Students enrolling as Hist. 397 are required to do the first paper and to replace the second paper assignment by a research paper of 15 pages including endnotes, as well as bibliography divided into primary and secondary sources.  At the time of the 2nd paper due date, 7 pages plus endnotes and bibliography and a sentence outline of research paper are due. The entire paper is due Monday, April 26.  For Hist. 397, the first paper will count 10% and the research paper will count 30%.

If you have specific physical or learning differences that require accommodations, you will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Coordinator of Academic support Services, who can be reached at (323) 259-2969. The Coordinator will then send accommodation information to me. You must work with the Coordinator early in the semester so that your needs may be appropriately met.  It is your responsibility to give the Coordinator plenty of time to secure appropriate accommodations for you.

College Policies:

College Policy on Disabilities: Students with documented disabilities who are registered with Disability Services are required to present their accommodation letter to the instructor at the beginning of each semester or as soon as possible thereafter. Any student who experiences significant physical or mental impairments may contact Disability Services at (323) 259-2969 to learn about available services and support.  More information is available at

College Policy on Academic Honesty: Current policy at   This class helps prevent plagiarism by teaching you how to endnote either quoted or summarized material in Univ. of Chicago format.

Computers are encouraged in classroom for reference to your reading notes, electronic readings or for class notetaking (not email, not browsing).

Important Dates in Bold in syllabus.

Best Sellers of the early modern times (primary sources), particularly satires, utopias, and political advice. In class discussion, we'll have opportunities to consider multiple ways of interpreting the works, and in examination we'll have a chance to compare utopian visions and to compare satiric techniques of ridiculing one's own society.

Participation: Bring appropriate book and your reading notes on day indicating discussion. Use Document Analysis Form to help contextualize primary texts and images.