This course asks you to consider how people in different societies interacted with each other across time and space, and the role that “culture” played in shaping those interactions. This assignment requires you to choose one cross-cultural interaction to evaluate. While you need to pick a specific topic, we encourage you to think expansively when it comes to interpreting the interaction you have chosen. You do not need to limit yourself to traditional ways of recounting events nor to conventional actors. Remember that race, ethnic identity, gender and class are all important when evaluating cross-cultural encounters and helping us to understand why people make particular choices in specific circumstances.
Method: Your paper must make an argument – a defensible claim – based on careful analysis of at least one primary source, supported by the use of at least one secondary source. The challenge is to develop a question that is answerable (i.e. not too broad and general) and that sheds lights on one of the big themes that animates this class (i.e. not too narrow). You may not use primary sources assigned in this class as the basis of this paper; however, you may refer to them if relevant and include them in your bibliography. You may not use sources found on the Internet, including but not limited to Wikipedia.
REQUIREMENTS: 7-10 pages, 12-point font, double-spaced, standard 1-inch margins, and printed on one side – do not double-side your papers! Use Chicago Manual of Style citations. If you need additional guidance, use William Kelleher Storey’s Writing History: A Manual for Students.
Topics: You must choose from the following themes and chronological periods (broad examples follow).
* Encounters in the Age of Exploration, 15th-17th centuries
Spain and Portugal in the Americas and Africa, The Spread of Christianity, Slavery, Global Exchanges After 1492, * European Missions in Asia
* Industry and Empire, mid 18th to mid-19th centuries
Market relations, industrial “revolution,” the rise of labor, globalized markets
*The Age of Modern Empires: Imperial Expansion in Africa and Asia, 19th century
The Opium Wars, The Meiji Restoration, The Scramble for Africa, India and Southeast Asia
* Decolonization and the World Wars: First, Second and “Cold” in the 20th century
The Russian Revolution, Revolutions in Asia and Latin America, The Emergence of the “First, Second and Third” Worlds.