History

Ruth Marris-Macaulay, Department Head

The History Department is committed to helping students develop a set of higher-level skills that are important both in and out of the history classroom. Globalism has fundamentally altered the way we look at history. We are no longer able to study nations in isolation or understand history from a Western perspective. Global history has emerged as a discipline in which the connectedness of the world is its jumping off point. Yearlong courses explore broad themes in American and global history, and six new semester-length elective courses are also offered. Students are expected to develop expository writing ability, intellectual curiosity through critical reading and thinking, and discussion and debate skills. Geography, current events, and how to be a responsible citizen in a democracy are also integrated into history courses.

History 9—Early World Societies

Yearlong—Required in Grade 9

This course will look at topics that fall within the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Enlightenment. Students will encounter various cultures and understand how connections and networks develop interaction and change in politics, economics, societies and belief systems. A strong emphasis on the meaning of global history will be central to the course and it will go hand in hand with developing a sophisticated understanding of the impact of geography on history. Students will work individually on the Grade 9 research project developing their skills with primary and secondary sources, evaluating and synthesizing information, determining reliability of sources, and self-reflecting their process.

History 10—Modern World Issues

Yearlong—Open to Grade 10

This course will cover the period from the Enlightenment to the present using the paradigm outlined above. Units will cover topics that fall within the period including war and peace, resistance and revolution, capitalism and communism, freedom and oppression, philosophy and religion, communications and commerce, arts and culture, and global challenges for the future. Students will work on reading, writing, and critical thinking while developing skills in analyzing primary sources, researching reliable information, visual literacy, and making oral presentations. The year culminates with the Challenges for the 21st Century Symposium in which students address current global concerns through presentations using technology.

History 11—The American Experience: History

Yearlong—Required in Grade 11

Through thematic units and exercises to develop critical thinking, reading, and writing, this course will trace the history of the United States from the colonial period through the present, as well as examine current events. The themes will work hand in hand with the English department’s The American Experience: Literature course allowing students to make cross-curricular connections, examine cultural mythology, and identify patterns and trends over time. Interdisciplinary summative assessments and other collaborative activities will connect both English and History courses. Examining the trends and particular moments in American history will be done specifically through the eyes of those for whom unity has been elusive. Their struggles to become “American” will help tackle essential questions such as: “What defines the American Dream and does everyone participate in it?” And “Who is American and who decides?”

African Studies

Fall Semester—Open to Grades 11 and 12

Africa has a long history spanning more than 5,000 years and is often misunderstood, over-generalized, and neglected in study. Characterized as the “dark” continent, this course will examine some of the troubled historiography of Africa, common misconceptions and stereotypes, as well as the lack of sources for studying its early history. Students will delve into topics from the precolonial, colonial, and post-colonial periods and analyze Africa through the lens of world history to better understand its influence on the world and the influence of the world on it. Students will use geography and employ cross-disciplinary approaches to various topics, as well as advance their skills with primary sources and explore current events to further their understanding of this diverse continent.

The Art of Asia

Fall Semester—Open to Grades 11 and 12

The art of Japan, China, Korea, and South and Southeast Asia (with a focus on India) covers the creative achievements of more than half the world’s population since 4000 BCE. The course is designed to enrich student understanding of the values and artistic achievements of the non-Western world and particularly to support students participating in Lincoln’s India program. Students will learn the vocabulary of art history, develop visual literacy, and craft critical writing, and be able to discuss and present art through making connections, recognizing developments and innovations, and situating it all in a historical and cultural context.

Peace & Conflict Studies

Fall Semester—Open to Grades 11 and 12

Peace and conflict studies is an interdisciplinary course which will allow students to examine the sources of war and armed conflict. In addressing this area students will develop practical skills in conflict resolution, mediation, and intercultural understanding. Students will have the opportunity to challenge their perspectives while formulating a more thorough understanding of social, cultural, and structural conditions both domestically and globally. The purpose of this course is to form conscientiousness, action orientated, global citizens. Topics over the course of the year will include the nature of peace and conflict, international politics, and the United Nations role in conflict resolution. Students will look at particular case studies (e.g. the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Northern Ireland, South Africa and others) through the lenses of gender, race, and ethnicity, and see how terrorism, religion, feminism, dialogue, and mediation impact these situations.

Latin American Studies

Spring Semester—Open to Grades 11 and 12

Before Europeans arrived Latin America was inhabited by different indigenous peoples, many of whom like the Aztec, Inca, and Maya developed sophisticated civilizations. Conquered mostly by Spain the area became Spanish speaking and Roman Catholic. Most countries gained their independence in the early 19th century and became republics. Although they maintained their sovereignty their economies were often controlled by United States and European investment. Although some republics were conservative and authoritarian, others developed democracies in the and several Communist insurgencies broke out in the 20th century, notably in Cuba. This course will trace the rich cultural heritage of Latin America but will focus on the political, economic, and social upheavals of more recent times. A focus on Cuba will help prepare those students who wish to participate in Lincoln’s Cuba program.

Tracing Democracy

Spring Semester—Open to Grades 11 and 12

Democracy has evolved over time and witnessed a tumultuous history. Traditionally Ancient Greece has been considered its birthplace and democracy has been seen as a desirable legacy of Western civilization. However, its roots can be traced through the lens of world history. Although few democracies have survived for a significant amount of time, the idea of democracy lives on and continues to be sought. What does the term “democracy” mean in theory and what does it look like in practice? Fundamental concepts such as the social contract, popular sovereignty, direct democracy, representative democracy, secret ballot, citizenship, minority rights, and universal suffrage, will be examined together with current events and comparative case studies (which may include Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the Iroquois, the United States, England, India, and Japan).

Gender Studies

Spring Semester—Open to Grades 11 and 12

Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to examining the complexity of difference. The ways in which difference is produced, culturally, politically, structurally, and philosophically will be explored through the study of sexuality, masculinity and gender systems, which are critical to understanding race, ethnicity, nationality, and class. A critical analysis of social movements and theoretical lenses relating to feminism, patriarchy, power, and queer studies will provide students with the opportunity to challenge the gendered structure of the world and the gendered stereotypes that have emerged as a result. Emphasis will be placed on independent research projects and collaboration with local organizations and movements.


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