AHIS 1218: Intoxicating Encounters: Images of Global Exchange, 1492–1900

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Course Format Lecture 3.0 h + Seminar 0.0 h + Lab. 0.0 h
Credits 3.0

Course Description

The final years of the 15th century heralded a new imagining of the world. Direct contact between Europe, Asia and the Americas ushered in a period of commercial, cultural, and technological exchange. But its result was far greater than the mere exchange of commodities and currencies. The encounters between Asia, America and Europe signaled not only the beginnings of a global market but also a global consciousness that transformed the everyday experiences of millions of people. This course will focus on images that represent the conflict and convergence of cultures in the fervor for scientific and geographical knowledge that coexisted with the expansion of eastern and western empires from 1492 into the early 19th century.

While the course will generally follow a historic chronology, the material content will be thematic including such topics as the impact of intoxicants and stimulants such as opium, tobacco, tea, coffee and cacao on local economies and foreign sociability; the devastation of populations in Europe and the Americas as a result of the transfer of disease; European bourgeois clothing and its tie to the fur trade in Canada; origin myths; and maps as evidence of claim to contested territories, to name but a few.

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