1. Please select one of the prompts below and write your initial response to it. Your response needs to be at least 2 solid paragraphs and offer detail and analysis.
- Lynda Shaffer’s article is a ‘revisionist’ work. Having read this work, define revisionism. Provide examples from “Southernization” to show how her work challenged your view (or the dominant view as you understand it) of human history.
- Is the History of Technology addressed thoroughly enough in teaching history as a whole? Is it addressed incorrectly? For example, should technology be seen as something that determines the course of a particular society, or is the development of a civilization and its values more complex than this?
- Drawing on this week’s readings, explain this quote, “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” (L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between 1953, 17)
- The underlying assumption for many modern people is that technology = progress. Is this true? What does progress mean? What are some of the many ways people define progress?
- This class in entitled “Technological Transformations,” and the focus is on progress as a product of technology. Drawing on this week’s readings as an introduction to the topic, discuss what you expect to learn in this class. What is the importance of Aristotle, Archimedes, and the concept of southernization to the big picture?
2. Please select one of the prompts below and write your initial response to it. Your response needs to be at least 2 solid paragraphs and offer detail and analysis.
- Discuss the impact of technology on Medieval society and culture and the impact of society and culture on the development of Medieval technology.
- Strayer asks the question, “Why Europe?” Indeed, why did Europe experience the Scientific Revolution? How did this occur when Europe was so backward after the Sack of Rome?
- The term Middle Ages was invented during the Renaissance in order to heap opprobrium on what was seen as a sterile age in which government had degenerated into feudal anarchy, religion into superstition, and scholarship into pedantic quibbles of schoolmen over texts that they scarcely understood.
- Discuss the nature of the Medieval university and the ways in which its structure influenced the reception of Aristotelianism in the Latin West.
- The intellectual history of the later Middle Ages has traditionally been described as decadent, autumnal, waning. Yet recently a few scholars have asserted that the period between 1250-1450 was one of innovation, change, possibility. Which view is more accurate and why? Medievalists tend to dismiss this argument out of hand. Take a fresh look at this argument and consider the extent to which the Middle Ages was an sterile age, merely passing on diluted versions of the heritage of antiquity, and the extent to which it contributed new and vital elements to the European tradition.