All students at CCA are required to complete Cultural History as a part of their Humanities & Sciences requirement. A menu of courses will be offered each year and students may choose from these courses to fulfill the Cultural History requirement. The courses offered to complete the requirement will be historical in nature, will have a substantial non-Western component, and will introduce students to an historical awareness of cultural diversity. Objectives include an introduction to historical and critical thinking, to research methods and uses of evidence and primary sources, and to provide historical context for contemporary citizenship.
The course of modern world cultures (from 1500 to the present) in large part has been influenced profoundly by the rise and development of modern European ways of thinking which have led to an expansionism that has spread these ideas throughout the world in the encounters with other cultures. This course first of all examines what constitutes the modern Western outlook: the modern scientific revolution and the rise of capitalism. Then we examine how these elements converged in an unprecedented expansionism that brought the West into direct contact with world cultures. We then consider briefly the history of some of these cultures including India, China, and the Muslim world before their encounter with the West in order to understand the subsequent impact of the West and, in particular, colonization, on these cultures. We will also discuss current issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as they become relevant.