History of Undercurrents of History

Starting in the spring term of 2013 I have been lecturing in an OLLI workshop titled "Undercurrents of History." I have been inspired by several books, primarily "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond, "Why the West Rules - For Now" by Ian Morris, and the classic "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbon. The material posted corresponds to the lecture notes of the workshop and some sections are more polished than others. (Latest update 8/30/2014)


Material covered in "Undercurrents of History" in the Spring of 2014

Plans for the Term
Is History a Science?
Development of Agriculture

Material covered in "Undercurrents of History" in the Fall of 2013

"The West Catches Up"
(Summary of Chapter 9 of [MORR])
Enlightenment [PNKR]
Industrial Revolution
Weber Overview
The Chinese Way
The Aftermath of 1850
Colonialism and Multiculturalism
Europe after 1850 - Unrest
Discoveries after 1850
The Biggest Challenge to Humanity
World Wars I and II
Environmental Disasters [COLL]
Flaws in Decision Making [COLL, Chap. 14]

Material covered in "Undercurrents of History" in the Spring of 2013

Is History a Science?
Government and Religion
Overview of the Work of Ian Morris
Two Centers
Renaissance I
The Pursuit of "Useless Knowledge"
Renaissance II
The World around 1600