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HISTORY 203: Premodern Economic Cultures (HISTORY 303)

Modern economists have made a science of studying the aggregate effects of individual choices. This science is based on the realities of personal freedom and individual choice. Prior to the modern era, however, different realities comprised very different economic cultures: moral economies in which greed was evil and generosity benefitted the patron¿s soul; familial collectives operating within historical conditioned diasporas; economies of obligation that threatened to collapse under their own weight as economic structures shifted. In this course we will be reading cross-culturally to develop an understanding of the shared and distinct elements of premodern economic cultures.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Stokes, L. (PI)

HISTORY 203C: History of Ignorance

Scholars pay a lot of attention to knowledge--how it arises and impacts society--but much less attention has been given to ignorance, even though its impacts are equally profound. Here we explore the political history of ignorance, through case studies including: corporate denials of harms from particular products (tobacco, asbestos), climate change denialism, and creationist rejections of Darwinian evolution. Students will be expected to produce a research paper tracing the origins and impact of a particular form of ignorance.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Proctor, R. (PI)
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