HIST 105 LRA 1: Humans and the Environment Hi, this assignment is about choosing topic and asking Questions for the research paper. I’ll be working with you for the research paper step by step. for now, we need to do this first task. if i like the work ill assign you to finish the research paper and ill give you all the instructions. I have attached both the syllabus ans assignment instruction. HIST 105: ROOTS OF CONTEMPORARY ISSUES
Dr. Michelle Rose Mann
Department of History
11-12 and 3-4 MWF
Schedule your Appointment at
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
– Marcus Garvey
Our world has grown increasingly complex and interconnected, and the planet’s diverse peoples
are confronting common issues that will have tremendous impact on our immediate future. In this
course we will explore the causes, consequences, and possible outcomes of the most important
issues facing our world. We will focus on five major themes: Humans and the Environment;
Globalization; Inequality; Diverse Ways of Thinking; and Contemporary Conflicts. By examining the
links between the past and present, we will also attempt to identify ways forward to a better future.
We will begin with a discussion of Humans and the Environment. For this theme, we will be studying
Resource Revolutions. Since ever since humans have walked the earth, our societies have been built
using the resources of the natural world. We build homes out of different materials, eat different foods,
earn a living in different ways, but we all depend upon the resources of the natural world to survive.
In this unit, we will ask: how have resource revolutions impacted human societies in the past?
Historically what has been the role of human technological change in shaping the environment? What
are the characteristics, causes and consequences of the current environmental crisis, and what can we
do about it?
Next we will explore how Globalization has transformed our world, creating connections of commerce
and culture as new technologies enabled more rapid communications between human populations. For
this theme, we will study Colonialism and Capitalism. About 600 years ago, the European ‘discovery’
of the Americas and the rise of modern European empires transformed the world through capitalism,
with many consequences for the world today. We will ask: what is the connection between colonialism,
capitalism, and globalization? Historically, who has benefitted from globalization, and who has not?
Now that we have so much technology and wealth, why are there still so many poor people in the world?
Third, we will delve deeper into the historical Roots of Inequality. For this theme, we will ask What Is
Intolerance? Ever since the rise of ‘civilization’ circa 10,000 years ago, humans have divided
themselves into different groups, classifying some groups as ‘superior’ and other groups as ‘inferior.’
Sometimes, race and ethnicity are used to justify intolerant treatment of others. Sometimes social class,
gender, religion, language, or even something as simple as clothing style, is used as an excuse to label
and treat some groups of humans as ‘inferior.’ In this unit, we will ask: What are the main causes of
intolerance in human society? Historically, what has intolerance looked like, and how has it evolved in
different times and places? How does intolerance affect our experiences as individuals in the world
Fourth, we will expand on our understanding of inequality by discovering that human societies have
Diverse Ways of Thinking, which have shaped our everyday decisions, actions and experiences as
individuals throughout history. For this theme, we will study Islam and the West. We will focus
specifically on understanding how the ideas of monotheism and secularism have shaped our identities
and values in the modern era. We will ask: Why do different groups of people think and act so differently
from each other? Historically, what is the role of monotheism in generating both peace and conflict in
the world? What is secularism and where did this idea come from? How can we recognize and respect
the diverse cultural views of other peoples of the world, while also remaining true to our own beliefs?
Last, but certainly not least, we will use everything we have learned in order to understand how
the environment, colonialism, capitalism, inequality and identity have all played a role in shaping the
Contemporary Conflicts afflicting our world in this day and age. In this unit, we will study
Revolutions of Decolonization. We will focus specifically on understanding the relationship
between colonialism, revolution and democracy in the post-colonial era. We will ask: What is
democracy, what is revolution, and where do these ideas come from? What is decolonization, and how
does it shape contemporary conflicts in the world today? How can we make the world of the future
more peaceful than the world of the past?
Books and Materials
Ways of the World by Robert Strayer, Custom Loose Leaf Edition (Macmillan, 2018)
o Available only at the Bookie
Racism: A Short History by George Frederickson (Princeton, 2002)
A Pocket Guide to Writing in History by Mary Lynn Rampolla (9th Ed.)
Assignments and Grading
As we saw above, this class is designed to provide you with essential skills and core knowledge for
success in the university setting. Therefore, your grade will not be based primarily on how much
history you know!
Instead, your grade will mostly be based on how seriously you have taken this class. Did you
challenge yourself to improve? Did you come in every day ready to think, learn and grow? Did you
make a real effort to complete all your homework on time? Did you do your best on your projects?
Then you will do very well, indeed.
You will be graded on the following items. 0 in any category will result in an automatic failing grade.
Participation Point Activities (PPA’s) (100 pts): I expect you to come to each class prepared and
engaged. This means: bring your reading materials and completed homework. Be ready to discuss,
engage in note-taking during class lectures, and respond to in-class activities. Maintain honesty and
respect for different opinions, and be willing to explore your own assumptions.
Participation will be assessed based on attendance and timely submission of the PPA’s. If you are
not in class, you will not be able to make up these assignments.
Reflective Writing: (100 pts): Periodically, I will ask you to do informal, reflective writing exercises
to complete and submit during class or as homework. Sometimes an exercise will consist of a series
of reflective questions, and sometimes it will be based on primary or secondary source texts.
Sometimes you might work alone, sometimes in groups.
Reflective Writing is an important skill to practice because it helps you think. You will have the
opportunity to express your own thoughts, ideas, and opinions about course material, to compare
your ideas with those of your peers, and to identify your own personal strategies for confronting the
challenges of research, writing and historical inquiry. You cannot make these up if you are not in class.
Issue Papers: (200 pts): For Units 2, 3, and 4 I will ask you to write 2-3 page essays in which you
must answer a question about the origins, causes, or potential consequences of a contemporary issue
using class materials and credible newspaper articles.
Essays must: include a concise answer to the central question, utilize and properly cite assigned
readings and lectures, and reflect an understanding of change over time and across space regarding
the historical issue under consideration. Each essay is worth 100 pts, and you must complete 2 out
of 3. If you wish, you may submit all three and I will drop the lowest grade.
Research Paper (500 pts) The final research paper (7-8 pp) represents a combination of everything
you have learned and discovered over the semester. In it, you will choose a contemporary conflict in
the world, and answer these questions: what are the historical causes and consequences of this
conflict? How have different historical factors such as the environment, colonialism, capitalism,
inequality, and diverse ways of thinking impacted this issue? Based on the lessons of history, what
can be done to resolve this conflict?
This project will be broken down into four Library Research Assignments (LRAs) and one Final
Essay. By completing these assignments, you will enhance your information literacy, and
demonstrate your skills in posing historical questions, distinguishing between academic, nonacademic, primary and secondary sources, writing strong thesis statements, and understanding the
relationship between evidence, analysis, and opinion.
LRA 1 (75 pts) Asking Questions and Choosing a Topic
LRA 2 (75 pts) Identifying Sources
LRA 3 (75 pts) Proposal
LRA 4 (75 pts) Introduction, Context and Outline
LRA 5 (200 pts) Essay Final Draft
Progress Portfolio (100 pts) You must submit a final portfolio containing all of your LRAs and your
final essay. It must have a cover letter. Missing items will carry a penalty of 10 points each. Bonus: If
you print out and include your reflective writing exercises, you will get .5 pt for each one (up to 3 pts)
towards your grade. When you submit your portfolio, you will give a short 3 minute presentation
about your topic.
Final Grade Scale:93-100 A 90-92 A- 88-89 B+ 83-87 B
77 C 70-72 C- 68-69 D+ 60-67 D 0-59 F
Why Is This Class Required?
The purpose of a university education is to learn broadly and deeply about the world around you, to
experience how different fields of study are both connected and unique, and to gain mastery of
important knowledge and skills for success. This course helps fulfill all three purposes, so it is a key
part of your university education. In particular, this class has five learning goals that meet Washington
State University’s UCORE requirements, which are designed to ensure that all WSU graduates achieve
foundational skills for success, regardless of major or background.
1. Develop Critical and Creative Thinking: You will use reason, evidence, and context to increase
knowledge, to reason ethically, and to innovate in imaginative ways. You will learn to interpret and
synthesize non-fictional documents, and to compare different kinds of writing, speaking and thinking.
You will accomplish this goal through your participation in daily in-class discussions, close reading of
primary and secondary texts, examination of opposing viewpoints, formulation of arguments and
regular use of supporting evidence.
2. Increase Information Literacy: You will learn to solve problems effectively by identifying, locating,
evaluating, and responsibly using information. You will become acquainted with the wide range of
primary and secondary sources which are available through the library and technology resources of
Washington State University. We will accomplish this by critically analyzing primary and secondary
sources, by gathering the appropriate sources for digital history projects, and regularly using ethical
3. Develop Communication skills: You will gain practice in formal and informal non-fiction writing,
speaking and listening skills, in order to increase meaning and understanding among all participants.
We will accomplish this goal through daily in-class discussions of readings and historical processes,
as well as through team projects, regular note taking, historical op-eds, and digital history project
4. Foster Diversity: You will gain practice in understanding, respecting, and interacting constructively
with others of similar and diverse cultures, values, and perspectives. We will accomplish this goal by
analyzing primary and secondary sources showing a wide variety of world views over time and across
space, by completing exercises that help us critically assess our own values and assumptions, and by
scrutinizing our own society through historical evidence.
5. Enhance Depth, Breadth, and Integration of Learning: You will have the opportunity to enhance
the depth and breadth of your knowledge, and to integrate what you are learning for the benefit of
yourself, your community, your future employers, and for society. Depth will be achieved through
attention to a long chronology, breadth will be achieved through attention to a global arena, and
integration will be achieved through attention to the importance of interdisciplinary studies of history.
We will accomplish this goal by exploring historical processes before 1800, by studying the impacts of
these processes on diverse geographies including all seven continents and the Earth’s oceans, and by
approaching history as a discipline that can provide a strong foundation for future study in a wide
range of fields: the biological and applied sciences, law, sociology, journalism and communications,
politics, media studies, literary studies, economics, business, and area studies.
Each unit will follow the same format: We will begin by asking critical questions about a current issue
in the world around us, based on information drawn from common sources such as print and social
media, things we’ve learned in other classes, and our own experiences. We will ask: What were the
causes of this issue, and what are the consequences for people in the world today? How is this issue
connected to my own life, and the lives of my fellow community members? How is this issue similar
to other issues, and how is it unique? Why are there so many different opinions about this issue, and
which one is right? What can I do to have a positive impact on the outcome of this issue?Then we will
try to find answers to these questions by exploring the past, in order to understand the origins, the
roots, of this contemporary issue.
How do we explore the past? Well its tougher than you might think, at least if you want to do it
right. It requires all the investigatory skills of a top detective, and all the objectivity and rigor of a
scientist. It also requires a fair amount of open mindedness and curiosity. That’s why our class time
will be divided between discovering how the past connects to the present, and practicing key research
skills that will help you be successful in all your future classes, not just history classes.
During each unit, I will ask you to read, to write, and to participate. If you do these three things on a
regular basis, you will do very well in this class. The only way to fail is to stop trying.
Unit 1: Humans and the Environment
Issue: Resource Revolutions
Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions
LRA 1 Due
Unit 2: Globalization
Issue: Colonialism and Capitalism
Early Modern Empires
Issue Paper 1 Due
LRA 2 Due
Unit 3: Roots of Inequality
Issue Essay 2 Due
LRA 3 Due
Unit 4: Diverse Ways of Thinking
Issue: Islam and the West
LRA 4 Due: One copy to me, one copy to your peer group
Unit 5: Roots of Contemporary Conflicts
Issue: Decolonization and Revolution
The Boy Who Started the Syrian War
Issue Essay 3 Due
The King Who Took Flight
Final Essays Due
LRA 1: Choosing a Topic and Asking Questions
1. Go back to the syllabus, and reread the Course Description and peruse the course textbooks. In
2-3 sentences, please explain which of the 4 first themes (Humans and the Environment,
Globalization, Inequality, Diverse Ways of Thinking) you find most interesting, and why. Note: You
may choose more than 1 theme.
2. Ask 2 big “How” and “Why” questions about this theme, which you would be interested in
exploring through your research this semester. Hint: Not all questions have question marks. Try
identifying a major contradiction, tension, apparent paradox, or unsolved problem, and asking
about its origins, causes or potential consequences.
Identify a specific ‘site of conflict’ in the world today. A ‘site of conflict’ is a specific case study, or
single example, of a global problem. It can be any significant set of events occurring between
specific groups of people, in a specific place and time within the past 25 years. It does not need
to be a military conflict. It can be social, political, ideological, cultural, etc. If it is environmental it
must focus on people. It should not be based in America. 1-2 thoughtful paragraphs: Describe this
conflict: Who’s involved? What is the conflict about? Where is it happening? When did it start?
Why does it matter?
4. Please list the title, source, and publication date of at least 3 credible articles about this conflict
from internationally recognized investigative journalism sources.
5. Going back at least 100 years, use Wikipedia, the CIA World Factbook, and the BBC Country
profiles to provide a brief summary of the general history of the place or people involved in your
contemporary conflict. 2-3 paragraphs.
6. Write 5-6 key words to use in library searches.
7. Write 2-3 follow up questions that focus on any interesting part of the history of this people or
place. Remember, historians ask how and why human societies change. We ask about the causes,
consequences, continuities, and connections that tie events together across time and space. We
ask questions about the diversity of human experiences, and about the evolution of human
cultures. We also ask about the political, social and economic structures that shape our lives, even
when we are not aware of them
Example: How did the British industrial revolution impact the economy and social structures of India in the 19th
century? You can also ask comparative questions – for example, if you wrote about Algeria above, you might
ask how the case of French colonial Algeria compares with the case of French colonial Ghana, or British
colonial Nigeria, for instance.
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