History 260 is offered as an on-line course through the History Department of Michigan State University. The lectures / presentations and readings are delivered to students via the internet, making it possible for participants to follow the sequence of assignments on their own schedules (within established limits). Each lecture / presentation lasts approximately 45 minutes and is divided into two sections of roughly twenty-two minutes each. There are also a series of films lasting roughly an hour each, which students are encouraged to watch.
This course has readings for each week. You are requested to obtain the following editions of the texts mentioned below. The first four texts listed here are required for our weekly readings; the last (Pettegree) is a textbook. Be aware that it is possible to encounter copies of the first three of these books on-line. If you choose to read those versions, be aware that translations vary and that the modern editions used here offer greater ease of reading than the older editions of the texts found on Googlebooks. The textbook is offered here as a backup to the lectures. You are not required to read it, but it may provide a useful complement to the other assigned readings.
1. Anon., Lazarillo de Tormes and the Swindler, Michael Alpert, trans. (Penguin Classics, 2003, ISBN-13: 978-0140449006)
2. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. Peter Constantine (New York: Modern Library, 2008), ISBN: 978-0812978056)
3. Erasmus, Ten Colloquies, C.R. Thompson, trans. (Prentice Hall / MacMillan Library of Liberal Arts, 1957, ISBN-13: 978-0024206206)
4. Natalie Z. Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre, Harvard University Press, 1984, ISBN-13: 978-0674766914)
5. Andrew Pettegree, Europe in the Sixteenth Century (Wiley-Blackwell, 2002, ISBN-13: 978-0631207047)
There are also readings for this course in .pdf format. The list of readings and their links can be found on the individual unit pages.
For each of the first six units, students will write short (two-page) response papers, all of which will be related to the assigned readings. There will also be a final essay assignment which will require a written response of 3-4 pages. Final grades will be decided according to a combination of the following elements:
70 % Six Two-Page Response Papers
30 % Final Essay Paper
Overview of Requirements
In sum, the time commitment for this course will be approximately five hours per week (including lectures, readings, and writing assignments). This would be typical for a course taken on MSU’s East Lansing campus, and as such constitutes the reason for the number of credit hours that students will receive.