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Julian Nelson
Julian Nelson

Modern Tales: Age Of Invention WORK


Who is behind the kidnapping of the scientists? Will Emily find her father? Embark on a fantastic adventure in the era of modern inventions, unravel the sinister plot and save the world from a scheming madman!




Modern Tales: Age of Invention


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Every thing must have a beginning, to speak in Sanchean phrase; and that beginning must be linked to something that went before. The Hindoos give the world an elephant to support it, but they make the elephant stand upon a tortoise. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give form to dark, shapeless substances, but cannot bring into being the substance itself. In all matters of discovery and invention, even of those that appertain to the imagination, we are continually reminded of the story of Columbus and his egg. Invention consists in the capacity of seizing on the capabilities of a subject, and in the power of moulding and fashioning ideas suggested to it.


Spanning over three thousand years of human endeavor, this course investigates some of the major events, ideas, developments, and crises which shaped societies from ancient Mesopotamia to early modern England. It has two main goals: to teach the basic elements of the historian's craft and to further students' understanding of the modern world's debt to the distant past. Interactive lectures will be supplemented by discussion sections focusing on the analysis of primary sources, encouraging a hands-on approach to working with historical artifacts. Evaluation will be based on attendance and active participation in class, two short papers, and the midterm and final examinations.


An introduction to some major issues in the history of women and gender from the fifth to the seventeenth century. Among the subjects to be discussed are the impact of class on gender roles, women's work and access to property, the relationship between the public and private spheres of life, women's roles in the conversion of Europe to Christianity and in The Reformation, and the connection between the misogynist tradition and pre-modern women's sense of self.


A broad exploration of the emergence and development of modern science and the modern scientific world view in the period from Copernicus to Lavoisier. Course treats the role of intellectual, cultural, and social factors in the rise of modern science, as well as of extra-scientific trends, including magic, religion, and technological change. Topics include ancient and medieval precedents; the work of major figures such as Galileo, Kepler, Harvey, Newton, and Lavoisier; the philosophies of Bacon and Descartes; the magic of Paracelsus; as well as patterns of professionalization and institutionalization from the 17th century. Requirements include two hour-exams, short paper, and final exam. Regular attendance is required.


A survey of the Native American experience in North America from the arrival of Europeans to 1850. Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group presentations, the course will explore the impact of European expansion on Native American communities, the ways in which Indian people adapted to the growing European presence, and the continuities and inventions that punctuated the indigenous world during this era. Readings will include primary documents, Native American commentaries, historical fiction and secondary works. The course will also use films and visual material. The course will focus primarily on those parts of North America that became part of the United States.


Did the Middle East really decline, and how did it become modern? During the four centuries before the First World War the Middle East witnessed the transformation of the classical Ottoman order, the re-ordering of government and society, and, after 1800, the steady growth of European influence in the economic, political, and cultural spheres, culminating in the establishment of colonial rule over much of the area. Toward the end of this era, a debate arose among Middle Eastern intellectuals over the causes of their backwardness and its possible remedies, contributing to the rise of new religious, social, and political movements which have continued to the present. We will be examining these developments in the context of ongoing social and economic changes, in the region consisting of Egypt, Arabia, the Fertile Crescent, Iran, and Turkey. Grades are assessed mainly on the basis of written work, plus attendance and participation in discussion. Readings include textbooks, scholarly articles, and translations of original works.


From 1648 to 1789 crucial changes took place in Europe, culminating in the outbreak of the French Revolution and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, two watersheds in the creation of the modern world. At the same time as Europe experienced rapid change, many aspects of traditional life remained the same, particularly in the countryside where the vast majority of people still lived.


Europe after 1815 was a period when old and new ways of life jostled, when Europeans yearned for the comforts of a vanished, traditional past and at the same time explored new freedoms. In this course we will focus on liberalism and Romanticism as cultural movements that defined the new freedoms of the nineteenth century. We will also study industry at home, global forces of trade and travel, and nation-building that organized Europeans into new, modern communities.


This course will offer an introduction to modern Israeli history. We will use as our starting point the first Zionist waves of immigration to Palestine in the late 19th Century, and we will carry on into the early decades of the State of Israel. We will explore such themes as: government, politics, migration, the experiences and influences of various population groups, social and cultural institutions, and the Israeli-Arab conflict. Emphasis will be placed on class discussion, critical thought, and rigorous readings of historiographical material. The principal aim of the course is for the student to come away with a familiarity with - and critical understanding of - central dates, terms, events, and debates that form the basis of modern Israeli history.


This course introduces the history of one of the great imperial formations of the early modern and modern period, which had long-standing repercussions on the development of Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. It covers the whole span of Ottoman history, and will pay special attention to some of the following problems: the political rise of the Ottoman state since the thirteenth century and how it became an empire, its social and administrative structure, the classical Ottoman economic system, Ottoman impact on the societies, politics, economies and cultures of Byzantium and the medieval Balkan states, the spread of Islam in Europe, the transformations of the Ottoman polity and society and aspects of what has been conventionally named as Ottoman decline, the Eastern question in international relations, the modernizing reforms of the nineteenth century, and the spread of nationalism as a prelude to the final demise of the supranational empire in the twentieth century.


This is an upper-level undergraduate course about the political, social, and cultural history of France during the exceptionally rich years of 1870-1914. Topics include: the growth of French parliamentary democracy; the Franco-German rivalry; workers and strikes; the Dreyfus Affair; socialism, anarchism, and feminism; the world of the cafes; crime and disease; and the advent of World War One, as well as such purely cultural topics as the building of modern Paris; Impressionism in music and painting; the decadent movement in literature; the struggles of the artistic avant garde; and the beginnings of French cinema.


A study of political and economic development and of changes in social structure and intellectual and cultural life as the region moved from medieval to modern forms and made the transition from Ottoman Turkish domination to independent statehood. Among the subjects to be investigated are Ottoman institutions and the effects of Ottoman political and economic predominance south of the Danube (the Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks, and Albanians) and to the north (the Romanian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia; Transylvania) in the eighteenth century; the rise of national consciousness, the emergence of modern elites, and the struggles for independence and the processes of nation-building in the nineteenth century; the role of the great powers (the Habsburg Monarchy, Russia, France, Great Britain, and Germany) in the region; and ideologies of development (liberalism, conservatism, agrarianism, and socialism) and the acceptance and rejection of Europe as a model. All of this leads to a consideration of fundamental questions: Why did Southeastern Europe follow a course of development different from that of Western Europe? Are we justified in treating the region as distinct from the rest of Europe; and, if it is distinct, what were the qualities that defined it Readings, discussions, and a research paper.


This seminar examines the myth of ritual murder in comparative perspective. We begin with an examination of the origins of the ritual murder myth, paying particular attention to the religious, social, and economic factors that contributed to the rise and decline of the myth. We also consider the causes and consequences of ritual murder trials that disrupted small town life in the medieval, early modern, and modern periods in Europe and beyond. Special topics to be examined include: popular belief in magic and superstition, the symbolic value of blood, small town life and neighborly interactions, the nature and function of sacrifice, and the role of law. Students are expected to lead two class discussions, write two short response papers, and produce a longer research paper of approximately 15-20 pages at the end of term.


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