Course Introduction – HIST 209: A History of the World in The 20th Century: I

How would you like to embark on a time machine journey back to the turn of the 19th century, and wend your way up through the 1900’s, watching and experiencing life at those times? (I would). Although time machine travel hasn’t yet been invented, Athabasca University’s new history course, A History of the World in The 20th Century (HIST 209), is an excellent substitute.

This new course, which recently opened in this fall, will take you on a virtual tour of the 1900’s, enabling you to experience 20th century life in all aspects: socially, scientifically, technologically, politically, and economically. In the first unit, you’ll use your history magnifying glass to zoom into life at the beginning of the century–for instance, the social life of pioneering peoples and the state of politics in European and North American countries. You’ll take a peek at the medical practices of the time, and follow the creeping advance of technology. Over the next few units, you’ll be transported to the battlegrounds of World War I, looking at the political and social state of the world just prior to and during the war, also discussing the causes of the war. You’ll spend some time in the trenches, and watch for the dawn of the war’s end. After World War I, you’ll take a brief respite from wars and enjoy the peace that lasted before World War II. Your time machine will allow you to visit the 1930’s Olympics, and notice the first rumblings of the push for the Aryan, or “Master” Race in Germany. Next you will become acquainted with Adolf Hitler, and his charismatic reign. Next you’ll plunge into the second World War and follow Germany as it begins its invasions of Holland and surrounding countries. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, you’ll be there; you’ll also be there watching the American women, left behind from the war, who begin to enter the workforce to help their country. In 1945, you’ll breathe a sigh with the close of the war, and study in detail how the war has changed the scope of life in social, economic, political, and scientific dimensions. Lastly, your time machine will peek ahead to the “baby boomer” era of the late 1940’s, after the war, and once again assess the state of the world at that time. Then with a click, your history time machine will revert back to the present, ending your tour–and at the same time, you will have finished the 14 videos accompanying the course.

Your evaluation for HIST 209 consists of 2 essay assignments, each worth 30%, and one final exam, which is worth 40% of your final grade.

The course professor, Alvin Finkel, is famous at Athabasca University for designing AU’s first history courses starting in 1978. He has developed over 10 history courses, including HIST 224 (History of Canada to 1867) and its partner HIST 225 (Canadian History: 1867 to Present), HIT 336 (History of Canadian Labour), HIST 380 (Twentieth-Century United States), and Native Studies 368 (History of Canada’s First Nations to 1830). A member of the Canadian Who’s Who and editor of several history publications, Dr Finkel received his B.A. and M.A from the University of Manitoba, and completed his PhD from Ontario’s University of Toronto. Dr Finkel is well acquainted with many aspects of history; he has authored publications and articles extensively, and is currently writing 3 books that deal with the history of the Canadian Peoples, and the history of Canadian social policies.

Embark on your time machine today for a history adventure–enroll in HIST 209 right away for a February start-date!

For more information, you can visit the course syllabus at:
http://www.athabascau.ca/html/syllabi/hist/hist209.htm

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