Making the Modern World: 1300-1750

Subject 131-121 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment: x
Prerequisites: x
Corequisites: x
Recommended Background Knowledge: x
Non Allowed Subjects: x
Core Participation Requirements: x


Prof Charles Zika & Dr Catherine Kovesi
Subject Overview:

This subject is a history of the communications, encounters, conflict and colonisation that produced the 'modern world' of the late eighteenth century, when the fifth continent was colonised by Europeans, and, together with the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Americas, became part of a globalised world. With a focus that is global rather than local, and lectures that emphasize transnational similarities as well as regional singularities, the subject begins in the early fourteenth century. It then traces the development of urban cultures and courts within Renaissance Europe, Ming-Qing China, and the Ottoman Empire, the material cultures of consumption that they produced, and the contribution of technology and guns to their success. It examines travel and exploration as a key to the development of maritime trade through such figures as Ibn Battuta, Zheng He, Vasco da Gama and Columbus; and explores the significance of religious ideology and technology in the conflict between European states and the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and in the violent encounters between Europeans and great Amerindian empires as the Aztecs and Incas. It also examines the role of the great Atlantic slave trade and early European colonialism in the development of an increasingly world-wide system of knowledge, consumption, communication and exchange in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Assessment: Document analysis, 1000 words 20% (due mid semester); tutorial journal, 500 words 15% (due end of semester); Essay, 2500 words 65% (due in the examination period)
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available from the Bookroom at the beginning of semester
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Biomedicine
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Environments
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Engineering

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;

  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;

  • demonstrate understanding of social, ethical and cultural contexts through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Diploma in Arts (History)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Ancient and Medieval Studies)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (History)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Medieval and Renaissance Studies)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Renaissance and Early Modern Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (History)

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