Which History to Take?1 min read
As I narrow down my class selection for the fall, I am taking this time to receive input from you guys. I need one more slot filled and the only class requirement is that the class must be “not of United States or European history”. Be warned, whichever class I take, could possibly and will probably contribute to some of the articles published on this site. That being said, let me know what you would like to hear about by selecting a class listed in the poll below.
If you have any particular reason as to why you selected what you did, let me know about it in the comments below! I would love to hear what I could stand to learn from each of these classes.
Thanks for your input!
12 thoughts on “Which History to Take?”
Few folks have much knowledge about Africa, yet it is very intertwined with Europe because of colonialism, so that’s why I voted for it.
There’s really only one that’s worthwhile. The history of Africa (other than Egypt) is a complete cypher. A few moldy fragments of bone and guesswork. Latin American pre 1500 means pre-european south-american indian. There’s no “latin” in it. The Japanese are so subsumed with ancestor worship that I doubt you’ll find out anything except how awesome and virile and wise everyone was. Modern Russia will be nothing but a thick book full of lies and a thoroughgoing whitewash of the evil empire called the USSR. That leaves you with Egypt. And let’s face it, we know this one is the most exciting and the most interesting. After all, which one would Indian Jones be most likely to take?
Well—I likely would have picked Africa had it not been pre-1500. Maybe because I’m in the middle of reading a book about malaria and its impact in Africa. It’s impact on Africa is astonishing. Jack–the Latin American choice did not say pre-1500. I just finished two other books (!), one about exploration of the Amazon and another about Che Guevara who was killed in Bolivia. I picked Latin American Nations. They all sound good.
Egypt because U of M has an Egyptology museum, so it’s a strong point of theirs. And so you can give me info to use in mythology class.
Other than the African option I agree with Jack, and yes Egypt is likely to be the most interesting.
But if it’s a good course Africa pre 1500 should give you valuable insight into early Christianity (the Copts go back very far in Christianity) as well as the Islamic takeover, without the overveneer of Mongols and such. It may also open your eyes on the origin of the slave trade. Timbuktu was a major learning center in this period as was Alexandria.
Of course it could also be a major disappointment consisting of nothing but pap.
As some people might know the definition of pap, I am impressed that you used it in not only in proper context, BUT managed to make an African connection to it as well. Kudos… very clever.
You’re right, of course. But honesty compels me to admit that I got lucky, never crossed my mind.
They all sound good to me. Personally I would probably choose the Russian course, with Japan in close second. I studied Russian history in both my bachelor’s and Master’s. It is just fascinating. Japan’s history through World War II and into its being an American ally so soon after WWII is also really interesting, and something I would like to know more about. Latin America and Africa are both fairly interesting, though I would say that I would put Russia and Japan above those two. Egypt would be my last choice, but that’s a personal preference.
Russian history, both before and after 1917 is fascinating. Personally, I can’t think of many places that would have been worse for the average person to have been born and lived in during the 20th century than Russia, particularly after 1914, given the wars it was involved in and its embrace of communism. That’s a big part of what makes it so interesting.
My least favorite history professor used to bellow at us, almost on a daily basis, “You can NOT understand United States history unless you understand Spanish history.” Reluctantly, I admit that he was correct. I voted for Latin American Nations.
Interesting. Any particular history I should know about? (For independent study….)