Academic Catalog 2016-2017 
    
    Nov 28, 2020  
Academic Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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HST 431 - Seminar in European History: The Discovery of Britain and Ireland, 1450-1800

Course Units: 1
(Not offered this Academic Year) The topic of this seminar is the ‘discovery’ of early-modern Britain and Ireland by its own people.  When we think of discovery in the early modern period, what comes to mind are often images of intrepid explorers pushing the boundaries of geography and scientific knowledge, merchants eager to tap the exotic wealth of ‘the East’, or religious fanatics bent on the conquest of bodies and souls in the Americas.  Yet for the peoples of Britain and Ireland, their respective islands were undiscovered countries in 1500.  Only a tiny number of people could claim to have seen some or all of the country outside their own valley or village.  By contrast, travel and tourism were commonplace in Britain and Ireland by 1800.  What was the experience like for those British and Irish men and women who explored the undiscovered country at home in the three hundred years between?  What did they have to say about the people and places they encountered?  How did their works “construct” their fellow inhabitants?  In this seminar you will learn methods of inquiry that can be applied to answer such questions, conduct original research using early-printed books and manuscript travel narratives, and complete a research paper of your findings.



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