College of Arts and Sciences 
Department of History, Geography, and Political Science

Dr. Theron Corse

Course Description 
Outline & Readings 

COURSE SYLLABUS HIST 1000, Global Cultures in History

Voyages and Encounters 

Semester/Year: Spring 2016 Office Location: Crouch Hall, 406
Semester Hours of Credit: 3 Office Phone: 963-7457
Instructor: Dr. Theron Corse Alternate Phone: 963-5471
Class Meeting Location: Crouch (GRD) 107 E-Mail: tcorse@tnstate.edu
Day and Time:  MW 12:45-2:10 Office Hours: MWF: 9:30-11;  TR: 9:30-11:00, 1-2:00

Assignments:  1. Map Quiz (Feb 3) 2. Reading Comprehension Quizzes (see e-learn) 3. Writing Assignment 1 4. Writing Assignment 2 5. Writing Assignment 3 


In “HIST 1000: Voyages and Encounters,” we will use the concepts of voyages and encounters to examine how humans think about their past, how we tell stories about the past, and how historians create the narratives that are taught to students world-wide. Through readings, films, and other sources related to the ideas of voyages and encounters, the course aims to bolster your reading skills and develop your ability to analyze sources in writing.

Course Audience

HIST 1000 is a freshman-level course and should normally be taken during the student’s first year. A grade of D or higher in the course will fulfill 3 hours of your General Education Humanities requirement. The course is open to undergraduate students in all major programs. No prior courses in history are required.

Course Questions

How do people experience encountering the strange, the unknown, the foreign?

How are people and cultures changed by the encounter with the unknown?

How do people represent their historical experience and the experience of others?

How do we know what we think we know about the past?


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Course Goals

The goals of HIST 1000 align with the TSU/Tennessee Board of Regents General Education Humanities Goals, which are:


Analyze significant primary texts and works of art, ancient, pre-modern, and modern, as forms of cultural and creative expression.


Explain the ways in which humanistic and/or artistic expression throughout the ages expresses the culture and values of its time and place.


Explore global/cultural diversity.


Frame a comparative context through which they can critically assess the ideas, forces, and values that have created the modern world.


Recognize the ways in which both change and continuity have affected human history.


Practice the critical and analytical methodologies of the Humanities and/or Fine Arts.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing HIST 1000 should:


have developed their reading skills and become more comfortable reading college-level material;


have improved their writing skills, including the ability to craft and defend an argument in coherent paragraph and essay form;


be able to critically assess different styles of depicting history and discuss history’s intersection with fiction;


be able to critically analyze primary and secondary sources; and


develop their appreciation of global/cultural diversity and history.


Learning Resources

  • There is no text to buy. All readings will be made available as websites, in e-learn, and (in some occasions) as handouts. Readings will include (this list may be revised later):
    • Excerpts from Plutarch's Life of Alexander and Arrian's Anabases of Alexander
    • Excerpts from Coe and Coe, The History of Chocolate
    • Second letter of Hernan Cortes
    • Excerpts from Bernal Diaz, The Conquest of New Spain
    • Excerpts from Miguel Leon-Portilla, The Broken Spears
  • Films and online videos will also be used. Those marked with "*" will be available on reserve at the library after they are shown in class. They can also be rented on Amazon video. In the Footsteps is available on YouTube. Other films may be added later.
    • Cave of Forgotten Dreams*
    • A Map for Saturday*
    • Hit the Road: India*
    • In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, Part I

Lectures will be recorded and made available in e-learn and as a podcast  

Instruction Methods

(1) Guided Reading:

Readings are taken from various sources. Students are responsible for preparing for class by doing the assigned thoroughly and attentively, and bringing that reading to class for analysis.

(2) Group and Partner work/Class Discussion/Debate:

All students are expected to participate regularly in class activities, including group work, partner work, discussions, and debate. Class discussion is a vital part of learning in HIST 1000.

(3) Document Analysis:

HIST 1000 provides a basic introduction to the analysis of primary and secondary sources. By reading and analyzing these sources, students learn some of the basic methods used by historians in considering evidence.

(4) Essay Writing:

Students in HIST 1000 develop writing skills through essay writing both in and outside of class. Instruction in grammar, organization, clarity, and effectiveness is provided by written feedback on these essays and, if requested, conferences outside of class.

(5) Lectures:

As this course will discuss topics from various times and places in history, lectures will be necessary to explain the background of topics like the Columbian Exchange, the World Wars, the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Alexander the Great, and the Cuban Revolution.



EVALUATION Grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Assignments will be weighted as follows:  
Grade Distribution

Map Quiz


3 Reading Comprehension Tests


First and Second Writing Assignment


Final Writing Assignment


Student Participation, Preparation, Punctuality, Attendance


Grades and their numerical equivalents are as follows:
Grading Scale
90 or above A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
59 or below F


Office Hours: Students who seek help with instructors during office hours get better grades. Do not wait until you have major problems! Students should speak to me any time they find themselves confused about material, directions, or grades. I am always ready to help any student who needs help with any of the material or any assignment. That's my job.

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Reading and other work due

Unit 1: Discovering the Past


Jan 20, 25, 27, Feb 1

What is history? Discussion of sources and story telling

Cave of Forgotten Dreams. We will watch and discuss this film in class.


Map quiz February 3. A handout will be provided.

Unit 2: Alexander the Great

Feb 3, 8, 10, 15

How do we know the past? How do we turn sources into stories

The Perisan Empire and Alexander

Sources on Alexander

In the Footsteps of Alexander, Part I. We will watch and discuss this film in class.


Required: Excerpts from Plutarch's Life of Alexander and Arrian's Anabases of Alexander. In e-learn and on the website. We will discuss these in class.

Alexander Mosaic at House of the Faun, Pompeii (Khan Academy video (We watched this on Feb 10)

Unit 3: The Colombian Exchange

Feb 17,  22, 24, Feb 29, Mar 2

The exchange of plants, animals and people between the Western and Eastern hemispheres after 1492.

Required: Excerpts from Coe and Coe, The History of Chocolate (on e-learn)

Required: Sources on the history of the tomato (also on e-learn)

Unit 4: War Diaries

Mar 21, 23

How does war shape the way we tell stories?

Links to stories available on e-learn and website

Unit 5: Travel Films

Mar 28, 30; Apr 4, 6

The modern tourist and the echo of fallen empires.

A Map for Saturdays and Hit the Road: India. Both these films will be watched and discussed in class.

Unit 6: From Behind Enemy Lines

Apr 11, 13

How do politics and religion shape the stories we tell? American missionaries report on Communist Cuba.

Missionary trip reports (on e-learn and the website)

Unit 7: Cortes meets Montezuma

Apr 18, 20, 25, 27

How do we describe things we have never seen? Understanding aliens.

Second letter of HernanCortes

Excerpts from Bernal Diaz, The Conquest of New Spain

Excerpts from Miguel Leon-Portilla, The Broken Spears

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REQUIREMENTS Assignments Assignments for this class will include reading, writing, and special projects. Readings maybe assigned not only from the text, but also from photocopied materials, library books, and Internet sources. Students are responsible for all work assigned in this class, whether or not they are present. Assignments must be completed on time. Late work will be penalized unless you have a good excuse, and no assignments will be accepted more than one week late. All students are expected to participate regularly in class discussions.  

WRITE Program

In order to improve your writing, you will need to utilize all the resources TSU puts at your disposal, including the WRITE Program. The WRITE Studio is located in 220 Jackson Hall Industrial Arts Building open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., M-F. The Studio is equipped with computers, printers, wifi, style guides, etc. The Studio is also staffed with trained WRITE Associates to assist the students with strengthening their writing skills. A student can use the Studio any time during regular hours, but it is best to make an appointment to work with a WRITE Associate: Call 963-2131 or e-mail write@tnstate.edu. To use the Studio, students must have their current student I. D. cards and adhere to basic Studio rules of conduct. Students looking for reliable online sources can visit the WRITE page at http://www.tnstate.edu/write/student/links.aspx.


Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and Punctuality: Attendance and punctuality are expected of all students. Students are responsible for all material, tests and assignments, regardless of attendance or punctuality. The professor is under no obligation to give make-ups or accept late work caused by unexcused absence or tardiness. The professor reserves the right to deduct from the student's participation grade for more than three unexcused absences and to deduct up to a letter grade from the final grade for excessive unexcused absences (10% of class hours). The professor reserves the right to fail students who miss more that 20% of class hours. Thos students who know that they will have a consistent problem due to scheduling conflicts should discuss this with the professor at the beginning of the semester.




TSU is committed to creating inclusive learning environments and providing all students with opportunities to learn and excel in their course of study. Any student with a disability or condition which might interfere with his/her class performance or attendance may arrange for reasonable accommodations by visiting the Office of Disability Services (ODS). ODS is located in Kean Hall, room 131 and can be reached at 963-7400 or www.tnstate.edu/disabilityservices .  You will be required to speak with ODS staff and provide documentation of the need for an accommodation.  If you qualify for an accommodation you will be provided with a document stating what type of classroom accommodations are to be made by the instructor.  It is your responsibility to give a copy of this document to the instructor as soon as you receive it.  Accommodations will only be provided AFTER the instructor receives the accommodation instructions from ODS; accommodations are not retroactive.  You must follow this process for each semester that you require accommodations.


TSU recognizes the importance of providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. If you (or someone you know) has experienced or is experiencing any of these incidents, there are resources to assist you in the areas of accessing health and counseling services, providing academic and housing accommodations, and making referrals for assistance with legal protective orders and more. Please be aware that most TSU employees, including faculty and instructors, are “responsible employees”, meaning that they are required to report incidents of sexual violence, domestic/dating violence or stalking. This means that if you tell me about a situation involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, I must report the information to the Title IX Coordinator. Although I have to report the situation, you will still have options about how your situation will be handled, including whether or not you wish to pursue a formal complaint. Our goal is to make sure you are aware of the range of options available to you and have access to the resources you need. You are encouraged to contact TSU’s Title IX Coordinator to report any incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic/dating violence or stalking. The Title IX coordinator is located in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, McWherter Administration Building, Ste. 260 and can be reached at 963-7494 or 963-7438. For more information about Title IX and TSU’s SART or policies and procedures regarding sexual, domestic/dating violence and stalking please visit:  www.tnstate.edu/equity.


If you wish to speak to someone confidentially, who is not required to report, you can contact the TSU Counseling Center, located in the basement of Wilson Hall, at 963-5611 or TSU Student Health Services, located in the Floyd Payne Campus Center room 304, at 963-5084.  You may also contact the following off campus resources:  Sexual Assault Center of Nashville at 1-800-879-1999 or www.sacenter.org or the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence at 615-386-9406 or www.tncoalition.org.


Tennessee State University is firmly committed to compliance with all federal, state and local laws that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, religion, retaliation, veteran status and other protected categories.  TSU will not subject any student to discrimination or harassment and no student shall be excluded from participation in nor denied the benefits of any educational program based on their protected class.  If a student believes they have been discriminated against or harassed because of a protected class, they are encouraged to contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion at McWherter Administration Building, Ste. 260, 615-963-7494 or 963-7438, www.tnstate.edu/equity.



Academic Honesty

Except in cases of group projects, all assignments submitted in the course must be the original work of the student.

 Students in HIST 1000 are warned particularly against the following forms of academic dishonesty:


copying the work of other students on tests or assignments;


any copying without quotation marks and appropriate citation from books, newspapers, journals, internet sources, etc.;


any use of facts or ideas paraphrased from another author without appropriate citation;


consultation of notes or books during in-class examinations;


attempting to discover unpublished examination questions in advance.

 Professor’s note: The most common form of plagiarism I have seen at TSU is the copying and pasting of writing from the internet, usually combined with an attempt to mask this by changing a couple words. You cannot do this. This is plagiarism even if you cite the author/website. Your writing will be checked by turnitin.com and you will get caught if you do this. You must write everything in this class yourself so that you improve your writing skills. No exceptions.


In cases of plagiarism or cheating, the instructor may assign an F on the assignment or an F in the course and is also advised to report such cases immediately to both the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Class Participation

Class Participation: Preparation: since students are expected to participate in class discussion, it is important to complete all the assigned readings before coming to class. Students are expected to understand the material, or to have identified what they do not yet understand in order to ask questions in class. All students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

Students are expected to observe normal courtesy in class. They are expected to pay attention to the instructor, to take detailed notes, to refrain from personal conversation, and to avoid any other behavior that disturbs others. A student who does not observe these courtesies maybe asked to leave the room. 

What to bring to class every day

Notebook, readings due on that particular day, something to write with, other materials as needed.

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