HISTORY 197 - First-Year Seminar in the Humanities
Fall 2021, Section 002 - Literature and Capitalism
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course aims, through a series of pertinent literary texts, to introduce students to popular controversies surrounding early capitalism in England (and then, after 1707, Great Britain). We will be reading texts drawn from the following list: William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice; Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders; Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees; Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal; Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano.and Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent. We will think about how to make historical arguments and how to use written sources as evidence. In gesturing toward the history of capitalism between 1600 and 1800, We will look at such unfamiliar issues as the fear of "paper money." We will tease out both changing attitudes towards trade, commerce, usury and social structure and we will also consider geopolitical exploitation – that is colonialism and slavery.

Course Requirements:

Digital Platforms: Canvas, Zoom

Class Format:

Instruction is remote and synchronous. Enrolled students are expected to be available remotely during scheduled class times. Course is open to remote-only students.


HISTORY 197 - First-Year Seminar in the Humanities
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
 In Person
9Enrollment Management
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
003 (SEM)
 In Person
9Enrollment Management
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
005 (SEM)
 In Person

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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