History | Contemporary Revolutions
J400 | 0395 | Riley

Above section COAS intensive writing section and also requires
registration in COAS W33
A portion of the above section reserved for majors

Much historical change occurs in revolutions, which involve thorough,
and sometimes also sudden, change.  Revolutionary shifts in politics,
industry, consumption, population, and science and the acquisition of
knowledge have occurred in the last 300 years; some of the most
important of these revolutions are still in progress.  The pace of
change often seems to be gathering momentum, with revolutions piling
up against one another.  In this course we will study six revolutions
in progress:

technology and information
the green revolution
the health transition
the inequality of nations

Our interests lie in the historical background of these things and
their development to the present.  History provides one guide to the
future.  When predicting the future, most thinkers examine the past
and try to infer trends from it.  Thus we can look ahead, too.  The
main objective is to understand the content and implications of each
of these revolutions.

Readings—a book or a few articles—will be assigned on each
revolution.  Grades will be based on papers summarizing and
evaluating the reading, and on class discussion.