Syllabus (M/W in person)

History 1103: The Modern World: 1900 to the Present



New York College of Technology

The City University of New York

History 1103

Namm 618

M/W 11:30-12:45

Fall 2017

Professor Stephanie Boyle

Office Hours: M/W 1-2 or by appt

Pearl 410

Course website:


Course Description:

This course is a chronological and thematic introduction to the history of Western interactions with the wider world from the late 1800s to the present, emphasizing the following events: the rise of nationalism in Europe and the race for empire in the late 19th century, the First World War, the interwar years, the Second World War, the Cold War, the post-Cold War world and the effects of globalization.  It explores how the United State engaged with the Soviet Union via proxy wars and spheres of influence via third parties in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. It shows students the cultural, social and political background and implications of this important period in history.


Required Texts:

*there are no required texts- all materials can be found online at the course website



Content Learning Outcomes and Assessment Measures

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: For the successful completion of this course, students should be able to: ASSESSMENT METHOD: Instructional activity and evaluation methods. Students will:
Distinguish between different approaches to world history. Read and discuss a variety of historical texts. Students will use these texts to complete written assignments and presentations.
Understand how historians utilize sources and critical analysis to draw historical conclusions. Use primary and secondary sources to create their own historical conclusions. Students will discuss their conclusions in written quizzes and exams, as well as in oral in-class presentations.
Explain how the impact of western and non-western peoples shaped the foundation of the modern world. Read from a variety of primary and secondary sources in history, philosophy, sociology, and economics. Students’ content knowledge and critical thinking ability will be tested through in class quizzes and exams, as well as through in-class discussion.

*assessment rubrics can be found on blackboard and classroom website on openlab.



General Education Objectives and Assessment Methods

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: For the successful completion of this course, students should be able to: ASSESSMENT METHOD: Instructional Activity, Evaluation Methods and Criteria.
KNOWLEDGE: Engage in historical inquiry, research, and analysis. Students will demonstrate the ability to evaluate a variety of historical sources for their credibility, position, and perspective, as well as contextualize materials from the past with appropriate precision and detail.

·        assignments that examine competency are primary source analysis and primary source worksheets

Skills: Understand the complex nature of the historical record and generate significant, open-ended questions about the past and devise research strategies to answer them. Students will demonstrate the ability to 1) Distinguish between primary and secondary source materials and decide when to use each, 2) Choose among multiple tools, methods, and perspectives to investigate and interpret materials from the past,  and 3) Recognize the value of conflicting narratives and evidence, 4) Generate significant, open-ended questions about the past and devise research strategies to answer them, 5) Seek a variety of sources that provide evidence to support an argument about the past, 6) Develop a methodological practice of gathering, sifting, analyzing, ordering, synthesizing, and interpreting evidence, and 7) Identify and summarize other scholars’ historical arguments. Students will demonstrate this competency complete written exams, quizzes, assignments, in-class discussion and presentations.

·        all written assignments in this course will build these skills

Integration: Craft historical narrative and argument. Students will demonstrate the ability to 1) Generate a historical argument that is reasoned and based on historical evidence selected, arranged, and analyzed, 2) Write effective narrative that describes and analyzes the past for its use in the present, 3) Understand that the ethics and practice of history mean recognizing and building on other scholars’ work, peer review, and citation, and 4) Defend a position publicly and revise this position when new evidence requires it. Students will demonstrate this competency complete written exams, quizzes, assignments, in-class discussion and presentations.

·        Peer to peer, quizzes, novel and film summary essays will develop these skills

Values, Ethics, and Relationships: Practice historical thinking as central to engaged citizenship. Students will demonstrate the ability to 1) Engage a diversity of viewpoints in a civil and constructive fashion, 2) Work cooperatively with others to develop positions that reflect deliberation and differing perspectives, and 3) Apply historical knowledge and analysis to contribute to contemporary social dialogue.

·        Peer to peer, quizzes, novel and film summary essays will develop these skills



Course Requirements:

Regular attendance is mandatory and all unexcused absences will count against the student’s final participation grade.

Assignments- Except for Exams, all work must be typed

Two Exams 30 %

Oral History Project 20 %

Short papers 30%

(film analysis 15%)

(secondary source analysis 15%)

Primary Source essays 15%

Attendance/Participation 5%




There will be two quizzes, one at mid-term and one final.  I will provide an essay question about a week or two in advance of the quiz. The questions will focus on the material from the website/lectures. Answers should provide historical evidence from those sources to support an argument-driven essay.



Primary Sources- based on “Sources from the Past.”

You will write THREE primary source papers. Each of these papers will be no longer than 450 words, but no shorter than 300.  Please write three single spaced paragraphs and use Times New Roman 12pt font or something comparable.

Primary Source Paper: From the textbook and posted on blackboard

P1- Should provide the title of the source, a very brief summary of the text and say what students hope to critique-argue in P2.  Students need to provide an argument-thesis driven statement. A summary alone is neither desirable nor enough to thoroughly complete the assignment.

P2- Should be an analytical paragraph that provides (at least) one example from the text to support the author’s claim…ie. The slave’s story provides insight into the cruelty of the system, “insert quotation from text here.”  Using direct quotations provides clarity and helps to support the author’s claims.

P3- Should summarize briefly what was covered in P1 and P2 and also say something about the significance of this document for the study of world history and how it shows global interconnectivity.  Do not throw this paragraph away, put as much effort into it as P1 and P2.

Secondary source assignment

You are to write ONE response paper that offers a clear understanding of the argument of the scholar for your oral history project.

P1- Summarize the article/source-

Who is the scholar?

What is their argument?

Is it compelling?


P2- What is your evidence for your critique? What is your critique? Use quotations when appropriate.

P3- Offer a conclusion

Short Papers

*12 point-Times New Roman-Double Spaced- 1 inch margins

Film Summary

La Haine: What are the universal themes present in this film? How does it show the impact of global interconnectivity?



(Rubric for Short Papers)

P1-Should briefly introduce the novel and introduce the argument at the end of the paragraph by providing a thesis that answers the research question posed above.  This paragraph should be no more than 200 words.

P2-P3- P4- Should provide evidence to support the author’s argument, but also provide analysis and observances that will support the author’s claim about the novel.  All of your paragraphs must provide quotations from the text to support any claims that you make. Paraphrasing is not an acceptable alternative to direct quotations.

P5- Should provide a conclusion that recaps the argument and reflects on what was discusses in the paper.  Again do not throw this paragraph away.  It’s the last chance to make a good impression!

Oral History Project

Halfway through the semester you will submit an oral history of two people from your life and ask them about a specific event and their experience with that event. I will provide readings about how to take an Oral History and we will discuss what you need to do to craft questions and provide your final 4 page write-up.  You will present your findings and we will discuss how oral histories support understanding contemporary history.

You can select professors, former teachers, mentors, parents, friends or anyone in your life that his lived through a significant historical event.

Grade Breakdown

93-100 A (exceptional)

92-90 A- (superior)

87-89 B+ (very good)

83-86 B (good)

80-82 B- (above average)

77-79 C+ (slightly above average)

70-76 C (average)

60-69D (poor)

Below 59 F (fail)


Please note that there are no plus or minus grades below C so be mindful that if you fall below 70 there is no cushion. Keep on top of your grades and come see me during office hours if you feel like you are lagging behind.


Also note that missing one or more assignments nearly guarantees that you will not get a score above a D.  If you cannot do an assignment or attend a test, you must inform the professor in advance and ask for an extension. THERE IS NO LATE WORK




Course and Classroom Policies:

In order to provide an atmosphere of mutual respect that fostered intellectual cooperation and free thinking the following criteria for the classroom are not negotiable.  These policies are based on my experience as a professor and do not necessarily reflect you as individuals or students.

  1. No phones in class. They are to be placed on the instructor’s desk at the start of class. You can have them back during the break and as you leave class.
  2. Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia or verbal abuse of another student or the professor is unacceptable.  The classroom is a space to encourage intellectual exchange and must always be treated as such.  If there are differences of opinions, they will be discussed in intellectual enriching ways.  Shouting matches are not acceptable. Shame is not allowed either.
  3. All students and professor recognize that this classroom is a learning environment. Shouting out during class, dominating discussions or question and answer periods silence students who are less comfortable with talking in class. Please be courteous to your colleagues and recognize that while they may not share your perspective-it is everyone’s classroom. Learning is uncomfortable in many ways. Students and the professor may offer perspectives that you may not agree with, may find offensive and may wholeheartedly believe are wrong. However, it is everyone’s classroom and being confronted with ideas that upset our worldview is a healthy and necessary process in a globalized world.
  4. If you have any concerns or health related issues that you would like to share, in order to offer a perspective on who you are as a student, please bring them forward via email or in person at the beginning of the semester. We all have struggles and difficulties that may affect how we learn and understand material and the classroom experience. For me to be a better teacher, mediator and mentor-this information helps.
  5. All reading and writing assignments are mandatory and must be turned in via blackboard.  There is a self-destruct and the link will disappear after the start of class. If a student requires an extension this must be discussed prior to the due date of the assignment.
  6.  I give extensions, but there are NO late papers.
  7. Tardiness is disruptive.  Please arrive at the scheduled meeting time. If you are 20 minutes or less late, I will mark you absent. If you are 30 minutes or more late, I will not allow you to enter the class. Three late arrivals are equal to one absence.
  8. Don’t do homework from other classes. I will mark you absent. Stay home and do your homework in your room.
  9. Attendance is mandatory; all absences are unexcused unless the instructor is notified in advance. Unexcused absences will affect the student’s final grade. Six unexcused absences equal an F in this course.
  10. No sleeping. If you are too tired to attend the class then send the instructor an email and do not attend.   You will be marked absent if you sleep.
  11. Chatting with other classmates during a lecture is unacceptable. It will be noted and affect participation grade.
  12. Plagiarism of any kind will result in an F in the course.  (Plagiarism and forms of plagiarism are defined below)
  13. You must complete the plagiarism exam at this link
  14. Cheating on an exam will also result in an F.
  15. All interactions between students and instructor are to be respectful.  All emails and conversations will be one of mutual respect in which neither party ridicules, insults or is disrespectful to the other. If there are any disagreements about perspectives between professor and student, the student recognizes that the professor’s perspective comes from years of reading, learning and lecturing. The professor expects that the student comes directly to her to discuss any differences in a calm respectful manner.
  16. The instructor will provide well prepared lectures, assist students at any length and answer all questions and concern with respect and courtesy.
  17. I respond to emails between 9-5pm M-F- If you send me an email late at night or over the weekend, it will take me longer to get back to you then when I am at school during the week.
  18. I give lots of feedback- It is meant to help you improve for your next assignment.  It is never meant to hurt or insult you.
  19. If you have a question about an assignment, grades or anything related to this course, please refer to this syllabus first. Most answers can be found here.
  20. The syllabus is the law regarding grades, policies and assignment deadlines.  However, it is a guide regarding pace and content.  The culture of the class affects the pace.
  21. This syllabus will serve as a contract between student and instructor and if at any time there is any question with regard to the policies of the classroom, this syllabus will serve as the foundation.

Plagiarism: What is it?

There are many forms of plagiarism, some intentional and others that are accidental.  As Most often, the form of plagiarism that pervades is unintentional and is based on the student’s lack of understanding on proper methods to cite sources.

Intentional Plagiarism

The most egregious form of plagiarism is the “cutting” and “pasting” of sentences or paragraphs of work that is not your own.  Turning in work that is not your own or has been used in another class is plagiarism.  Using an idea that is not your own and representing it as such is also plagiarism.

Unintentional Plagiarism

Any idea that is not common knowledge must be footnoted.  Any information: dates, information, ideas, names and statistical data that is retrieved from another source must be footnoted.  Any idea that did not originate from the author’s mind must be footnoted.  Quoting other sources and using other sources is the backbone of research paper writing.  At no time should the student feel ashamed or afraid to footnote because of the over use of other source materials, in fact the footnote serves as a way to let the professor know that you have taken time and effort in the writing of your paper.

If at any time the student feels concerned or afraid that they may not be citing their papers properly, please come to the instructor before the due date of the assignment.

Purchasing papers online falls under plagiarism and will be held to the same standards as a plagiarized paper.

Paraphrased ideas from your textbook or any other book must be cited.


Cheating on an exam will also result in an F in the course. Cheating, very simply means to take ideas that are not your own and representing them as such. Cheat sheets, screenshots of notes, looking at others exams and memorized data (verbatim) from the internet are only a few examples of cheating. Students who use anything other than the bluebook provided and studied information paraphrased from textbooks run the risk of cheating.

If you have any questions about citations, the potential of plagiarism or cheating, please come and see me. Below you will find the NYCCT academic integrity statement:

Academic Integrity at City Tech
Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the
College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of
Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.  The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.
— NYCCT statement on academic integrity

Course Schedule

Date                                                                                              Assignments Due

Week 1: 19th century Imperialism and China

August 28-30

Monday: Syllabus and Course Introduction

Wednesday: Discussion of Opium War primary source

Wednesday: Plagiarism test
Week 2: 19th century Imperialism and Race

Sept 4-6


Monday: No School

Wednesday: PS 1 Due

Week 3: Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire

Sept 11-13

Week 4: The Great War (WWI)


Sept 18

Wednesday: No School


Week 5: The Age of Anxiety 

Sept 25-27

 Monday: PS 2 Due

(optional, skip one)

Week 6: Nationalism in Asia, Africa, Latin America


Oct 2-4

Wednesday: PS 3 Due

(optional, skip one)

Week 7: WWII

October 11

 Monday: No School                 
Week 8: The Cold War 1940s-1960s

Oct 16-18

  Monday: Exam 1
Week 9: The Cold War in the Middle East

Oct 23-25

 Wednesday: PS 4

 (optional, skip one)

Week 10: The End of Empire and the Cold War in South Asia and Vietnam

Oct 30-Nov 1

Week 11: The Cold War in Latin America

Nov 6-8


Wednesday: Secondary Source Due


Week 12: 1968 & (Global Civil and Gender Rights Movements)

Nov 13-15


Week 13: 1970s and 1980s

Capitalism in China, the End of Vietnam and Reagan

Nov 20-22

Wednesday:  Oral History Project Due
 Week 14: The End of the Cold War/ Soviet Perspectives

Nov 27-29


Week 15: The End of the Cold War/ US Perspectives

Dec 11-13




Monday: Film Paper Due
Dec 18 Monday Final Exam