This course will examine major civilizations in world history since roughly 1300, with particular attention to the foundational ideas and beliefs that have both inspired and challenged them. Human civilizations have been continuously evolving, adapting, expanding, fragmenting, and interacting with one another for thousands of years. Understanding the history of civilizations requires attention not only to material and technological changes over time, but also to the belief systems, ideologies, and structures of power that have defined civilizations and shaped our lived environments. Has the rising intensity of global interaction over the past several centuries led us on a path of convergence toward a single civilization? Or does the past demonstrate that despite high levels of contact and exchange, human civilizations remain as varied as ever?
This UB seminar will be a survey of the world’s most popular pastime,soccer, and its historical and contemporary roles in global society and within individual nations. Students will read primary and secondary sources, give oral presentations, and write a series of response papers. Furthermore, it is designed to teach the skills required to succeed at UB, including: research skills, critical thinking, oral and written proficiency and ethical reasoning.
The Second World War was the most destructive and profoundly transformative conflict of modern world history. This course will examine the origins, key decisions, major turning points, and consequences of the war from several perspectives. Because war constitutes one of the most terrible and all-embracing aspects of the human experience, considerable time will also be devoted to non-military aspects: daily life, propaganda, culture, and some of the ethical and practical dilemmas faced by ordinary people and leaders alike.
This course is organized thematically, and is designed to give undergraduate students a deeper, more nuanced understanding of disability history and of the lived experiences of people with disabilities or mental illness. This course focuses specifically on disability history in the United States. It begins in the early 19th century with the foundation of asylums and special schools for disabled children and adults. The course will trace the rise and decline of institutions and segregated education, the emergence of the disability rights movement in the 20th century, and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. There will also be sections on disabled veterans of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War.