Course Exam: AU Courses, Up Close – HUMN/HIST 202

Western Culture: Since the Reformation (HUMN/HIST 202)

After AU’s foundation history course HIST 201 (Western Culture I) was enthusiastically received by AU students, the AU history team, headed by Dr David Gregory, decided to launch a new AU course, Western Culture II: Since the Reformation (HIST 202), continuing the popular topic. According to Dr Gregory, this new course, when combined with HIST 201, “provides an overview of the development of Western thought and culture from the earliest Mediterranean civilizations to the late 20th century.”

Western Culture II: Since the Reformation (HIST 202) will provide you with an accurate, informed position on world history from the Reformation in the 1500s to the near-present day. Despite the broadness of the topic, Dr Gregory indicates that HIST 202 “covers great ground” but “cannot go into great depth” as a result. The course, which is cross-listed as HUMN 202, consists of 12 units and opens with the stirring tale of Martin Luther nailing his thesis to the church door in Wittenburg, an action that sparked the Protestant Reformation. The next unit plunges you into the music of the time, enabling you to examine the composers, musicians, and music characteristic of the famous Baroque Era. This diversity in unit topics fulfills the course goals of “illustrating a goodly number of famous thinkers, artists, musicians…,” thus familiarizing you with these.

As you progress through HIST 202, you will learn how movements like the Scientific Revolution of the 17th and 18th century have influenced themes in our modern world. Your study of the Enlightenment controversies and world revolutions, like the French Revolution, will further emphasize this, showing “parallels between the thought, music, and art of different periods,” according to Dr. Gregory. As you wend your way through Western Culture II: Since the Reformation (HIST 202), you will be introduced to Liberalism and Nationalism, and discover how the advent of the two World Wars affected the temper of society worldwide. On a final note, HIST 202 brings history to the near-present day by examining the Post-Industrial Era and current topics.

HIST 202’s course materials are enhanced by the use of several key videotapes, which provide additional information on specific units of the course. Dr. Gregory indicates that the videotapes have a bi-fold use: first, they “provide more background information on the social and political history of the periods studied” and second, they also provide an “intelligent and cultivated…perspective” on “the various eras and intellectual/cultural movements surveyed.”

Dr. David Gregory has contributed to Athabasca University’s history department since 1979. He received his M.A. in History from Sussex in England, and completed his Ph.D in Modern French History at Queen’s University in Ontario. Dr Gregory currently acts as course professor for over 25 AU courses, ranging from history and humanities courses to introductory music. In addition to his work at AU, Dr. Gregory is also actively involved in planning a continuation of the TransCanada Trail.

Your course grade in HIST 202 is evaluated through two essays, worth 25% and 35%, respectively, and one final exam (worth 40%). Dr Gregory indicates that these essays “have several functions,” possibly the most important of which is that the essays “give…the student an opportunity to pursue, in more depth” several different topics discussed in the course. Dr Gregory lists some interesting examples: “the religious thought of the Reformation, the controversial ideas of the Enlightenment ‘philosophes’, Romantic painting, [and] feminism.” Additionally, the course essays provide students with excellent grounding in research, organizational, writing, and citation skills–which will definitely prove invaluable in later courses! For more information on Western Culture II: Since the Reformation (HIST 202), you can visit the course syllabus at: Don’t forget to check out the interesting AU history faculty webpage at:

Remember”?it’s not too late to enroll for a March start date!