HIS 135
History of the Contemporary World

Professor Charles Evans

Nassau in the Bahamas
Nassau in the Bahamas; the modern world!

PS.  I am always looking for photographs, images, slides, artifacts, etc. that I can use in my courses.  If you have anything that you think might be of use or interesting to me, please let me know.  I will credit all images/materials used in the course.

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Contact information for your specific course section instructor will be in Canvas.

Contact information for Professor Evans, course author
Email: charles.t.evans@gmail.com
Web page: www.ctevans.net

This is the HIS 135 course syllabus (home page) where you will find important information about the course and the links to the course assignment schedule.

Required books

The course has no required books. There are so many books that have been written about the Cold War and also about decolonization in the world. If you are interested in something short, and to the point, I can recommend these two books: Robert J. McMahon, The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction and Raymond F. Betts, Decolonization. These are inexpensive books and each focuses on a specific historical process of the post 1945 era. See my comments on the books. Each is really well done.

In unit 11, I have an optional assignment based on the book by Lawrence Scott Sheets, 8 Pieces of Empire (Crown Publishers, ISBN 978-0-307-39582-5; any edition is acceptable).

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General course purpose

Surveys the history and culture of the contemporary world since 1945. Students will learn about some of the important political, economic, social, intellectual, cultural and religious changes that have shaped the development of recent world civilization.

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Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to::

  1. Establish a chronology of historical events in the world since 1945.
  2. Explain the changing geopolitical structures of world civilization since 1945.
  3. Define the importance of key individuals and developments in the world since 1945.
  4. Identify the social, economic and political forces at work in the evolution of the contemporary world.
  5. Recognize and describe the significance of some of the cultural achievements in the contemporary world since 1945.
  6. Analyze complex historical sources and materials and reach conclusions based on interpretations of those materials.
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Course prerequisites

Although there are no formal prerequisites for this course, please consider:

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Course drop, withdrawal and incomplete policies

Course grading

Course grades are based on the following point scale:

Make sure that you check the very IMPORTANT Explanation of Assignments and Grading, which has information about grading in the course. There are Special Course Grading Requirements that you must meet to successfully pass the course.

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Links to course assignment schedules

A typical eight-week schedule

A typical seven-week schedule

Each week of your schedule will list the course units and assignments that you are required to complete that week. Each course unit will list what you are required to read and submit for that unit. Each unit will also usually have some extra material that you may look at and some possible extra credit work that you can complete. Please make sure that you check out all the linked information for each course unit.

You are expected to make regular and steady course progress by completing your assignments and exams on time.  Please check your Canvas gradebook for your grades and feedback.  You can always finish faster than your course schedule. Once you begin this course, it is your responsibility to withdraw.  If you do not withdraw and if you do not finish your course assignments, then you will receive an "F."

Be sure to check out the list of available course aids.

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Submitting assignments

You must submit all of your assignments and extra credit through Canvas. See the Submitting Assignments in Your NOVA Online History Course instructions.  (No more than one item per calendar day will be accepted.) Feedback on your work will be posted to the Canvas gradebook, usually within 24-48 hours. You should follow the same directions if you are resubmitting an assignment.

When you have any questions about the course or your assignments or when you want to send a draft of an assignment for informal feedback, please contact your instructor by email using your student email account.

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Using Canvas

Canvas is used to support the course.

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Contacting your instructor

Find your instructor's name and contact information at the top of this page and also when you log into your course on Canvas. If you have any communication problems, please contact Professor Charles Evans, cevans@nvcc.edu, professor of history at the Loudoun campus.

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Plagiarism, cheating and student conduct

NOVA does not tolerate academic dishonesty. See the information on the Canvas course syllabus (also known as the college's Academic Integrity Policy).

Please make sure that you read the course policy on plagiarism and cheating. You are expected to abide by the student conduct provisions of the college's student handbook, and it is expected that you will be courteous in all conversations and assignments in this course.

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Writing in the course

Proper grammar, spelling and style are an inherent part of each assignment in this course, and please check Charlie's History Writing Center for more information about specific writing style expectations. (You can also watch the short YouTube video about the center.)