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Magic, Reason, New Worlds, 1450-1750 (HPSC30034)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeHPSC30034
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject is a history of the intellectual, social, political and economic processes that produced the 'modern world' of the late eighteenth century. With a focus that is global rather than local, the subject deals with the European encounter with other parts of the world and the way encounters, conflicts, and colonisation related to the rise of modern science. It explores the many ways in which different peoples in different worlds interacted and asks how important these encounters were in shaping the making of the modern world, from immediately before Columbus went to the Americas in 1492 to the height of the Enlightenment and the beginning of the Age of Revolutions. It puts special emphasis on looking at both “magic” and “reason” and seeing whether the rise of science means that magic was replaced or not by the advent of knowledge regimes based on reason.

Note: This subject is jointly taught by the History and History and Philosophy of Science disciplines and is an elective in both majors.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the major intellectual, social and political developments of the period from the fifteenth through to the eighteenth centuries;
  • be able to reflect critically on the complexities of periodization in History;
  • be able to examine intellectual positions and their historical development;
  • understand the complex interaction between different forms of experience that contributed to the emergence of modern science;
  • put their own position in an historical perspective;
  • have developed effective written communication and presentation skills (written and oral), and the ability to collaborate constructively within the classroom;
  • be able to conduct independent research including the appropriate use of primary and secondary sources in mounting an historical argument;
  • demonstrate ethical integrity in written work and classroom activities.

Last updated: 18 July 2019