Blogs > Cliopatria > Additionally Noted Things

May 30, 2006 3:29 pm


Additionally Noted Things



Alun Salt,"Bosnian Pyramids: Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Atlantis," Revise and Dissent, 29 March, takes a close look at what's been said about the Bosnian pyramids and finds the claims unlikely.

Andrew Israel Ross at Air Pollution and Nathanael Robinson at Rhine River are reading and discussing Honoré de Balzac's Père Goriot, with an eye to understanding the novelist's effectiveness as a social historian.

ACTA replies to Tim Burke and Burke continues his critique of ACTA's report.

In an exercise that does not hold them up to scorn, though frankly I think some of them are much better than others, Dan Cohen's"Ten Most Popular History Syllabi,"* 10 January 2006, listed these:

#1 – Eric Mayer's U. S. History to 1870 at Victor Valley College;
#2 – Robert Bannister's America in the Progressive Era at Swarthmore College;
#3 – Bruce Dorsey's The American Colonies at Swarthmore College;
#4 – Sheila Culbert's The American Civil War at Dartmouth College;
#5 – Andrew Plaa's Early Modern Europe at Columbia University;
#6 – Robert Griffith's The United States Since 1945 at American University;
#7 – Robert Dykstra's American Political and Social History II at SUNY, Albany;
#8 – Sarah Watts' The World Since 1500 at Wake Forest University;
#9 – Nicholas Pappas' The Military and War in America at Sam Houston State University;
#10 – Jim Jones' World Civilization I at West Chester State University.

More recently, 21 May, Cohen offers the"10 Most Popular Philosophy Syllabi."
*See Cohen's post for explanations of how he derived his findings of relative popularity. For more sophisticated use of his Syllabus Finder, see: Cohen,"By the Book: Assessing the Place of Textbooks in U. S. Survey Courses," Journal of American History, 2005. The title of the article is a little misleading because it also discusses the most commonly used collateral readings.

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Ralph E. Luker - 5/30/2006

No. Sorry you don't find Cohen's data helpful, but his claim is a simple one: these are the syllabi that have been most commonly accessed by users of Syllabus Finder on the net. That privileges particular syllabi that have had greater longevity on the net, etc., as he says. It makes no claims about quality, diversity, etc.


David Lion Salmanson - 5/30/2006

Two Swarthmore courses in the top 10. Just sayin'.


Kevin M. Levin - 5/30/2006

Sorry about that. Guess I need to read more closely.


Jonathan Dresner - 5/30/2006

...the fact that these are the most frequently taught courses. I'd rather see a breakdown by course topic: ten most popular early US, Recent World, Asia, European History...


Ralph E. Luker - 5/30/2006

I don't think there's a claim that these syllabi are "so special." Rather, Cohen is simply making an empirical claim that, for good or ill, these were the syllabi most commonly accessed when people on the web used Syllabus Finder.


Kevin M. Levin - 5/30/2006

Maybe it's just me, but I went through about half of these websites and I don't see what is so special. When did putting the semester schedule and links to online documents become such a breakthrough?

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