Honors | Where Do We Come From and Where Do We Go? (HON)
H304 | 25519 | Norm Furniss

TuTh 9:30-10:45am

In this seminar we will investigate the pasts and futures of human
societies from around 15,000 years ago to a hundred years or so into
the future. We will examine questions such as: If humans looked like
us at least 150,000 years ago, why did human settlements
and “civilizations” arise only relatively recently? Why did they
emerge in some parts of the world but not in others? Fast
forwarding, why did Europe, historically a backwater of human
settlement and civilization, come to dominate the world? Looking
ahead, we will discuss the following issues: Do we see environmental
threats of such magnitude that they threaten to undermine the types
of lives we live today? Can liberal, relatively diverse societies be
maintained in the face of “fundamentalist” attacks? Are there
overwhelming international and security threats to the American
centered global order?

There are challenging texts associated with these and related
issues. Our job is to frame the arguments in a way that leads to
profitable discussion and focused written work. Specific assignments
will include two examinations and the writing and presentation of a
seminar project. I would be pleased to discuss details with anyone
interested in taking the seminar.