Welcome to History 308, a transnational course in the international history of the Western Hemisphere. This is a web-enhanced course; if you are not comfortable using the internet, you should not enroll. Regular access to a computer at home or work is helpful, but not required. We have at BC over 100 internet-accessible computer terminals located at the Field Library, Roosevelt Library, the atrium in Plaza, and, most conveniently, in the Library Cafe, in the basement of this building.

This course has three basic requirements:

  • Midterm and final exams: 50% of grade

  • Participation, both informal and formal, 30% of grade

  • Document-based paper, 20% of grade.


Participation is absolutely vital to the success of this course. Obviously, you won't be incredibly well-prepared for every class (although if you are, your participation grade will surely be an A). But you should, at the very least, be prepared to:
  • come to class regularly and participate productively
  • complete all reading assignments--including the documents--before class
  • post frequently--at least once per week, and preferably more often--on the course caucus site
  • and, make at least two posts for the four virtual sessions, in which class won't meet and we'll carry out the discussion entirely online

So much for the participation requirement.


There will be a midterm exam on October 18 and a final exam in mid-December. All exams will take place in our classroom, Whitehead 518. The midterm exam will consist of IDs and one essay; the final exam will consist of IDs and two essays. Possible exam questions will be posted one week before the test; the IDs will be updated regularly throughout the course of the term. The two tests, collectively, will count for 50% of the overall grade.

If your grade on the final is HIGHER than your grade on the midterm, only the final exam grade will count. If the REVERSE is true, the midterm will count for 15% of the overall grade, and the final exam will count for 25% of the overall grade.


The paper assignments will be posted approximately two weeks before their due dates (which, as those of you who have had me before know) are strictly formalities. Papers should be your own work; you do not need me to tell you that plagiarism is unethical and against college policy. Plagiarism can consist of outright copying; submitting a paper that you yourself did not write; or copying large portions of another person's work while changing only a few words. It's not worth the risk--an F for the course--to plagiarize. If you have any questions on this topic, please see me.


As you might have gathered by this point, this course is not a particularly easy one. If you don't think you'll have the time or the interest to finish at least most of the work, you probably shouldn't enroll. But the nature of the course also carries with it a bonus: because of its internet component, a large portion of the work can be completed on your own schedule, giving you the maximum amount of flexibility. We'll also be dealing with some incredibly interesting events that rarely get covered in broader history classes.

Map: South America in 1892