Core 102History and the Modern World
Challenges of Democracy
Roger Williams University  GHH 108
Section 02 LLC T, TH   12:30 PM-1:50 PM
Spring Semester, 2017
Michael R. H. Swanson, Ph. D.
Office: GHH 215
Hours:  M, 12:00-1:00
T, Th,  9:30 - 10:20  Or By Appointment
Phone:  ext 3230
Challenges of Democracy
For Tuesday, January 31
Annotate, and upload into your Drop Box
For Thursday, February 2
No new documents today.  We will watch as much of the Farewell Address and the Inaugural Address as we have time for in class.  I still want you to read them and watch them before class if you can find the time.  I will ask you to watch (and read) Former President Obama's Farewell Address delivered January 10, and President Trump's Inaugural Address Delivered Friday the 20th of January.  I'd like to have you write your thoughts on both (a page will do, but if you want to write more, that will be fine) and then drop those in your drop box.  We will use your thoughts as the basis for class discussion.
For the text of President Obama's Farewell Address Click Here
For the text of President Trump's Inaugural Address Click Here
Annotate, and upload into your Drop Box
If you've already taken a look at the class website, you will have noticed that I've made some changes. As I wrote on the home page, The course description gives an insight into the content of Core 102. But it is more opaque concerning the rationale for a Core Curriculum in the first place.I changed my mind about having the class mark up the Universal Agreement, and the Rede Lecture There was a time when the idea of a Core Curriculum would have made no sense: not because the idea seemed ridiculous, but because there was within the western world, at least, a universal agreement concerning what constituted a fit education.   Throughout most of the periods we're studying, this was the case.  The link will take you to a brief (30 p.) history of higher education curriculum in the United States.  Imagine yourself entering Harvard or Yale (women you’ll have to imagine yourselves as men) and think what your four years would have been like.  Would those have been the “good old days,” from your educational perspective?
C.P. Snow, (born Oct. 15, 1905, Leicester, Leicestershire, Eng.—died July 1, 1980, London), was both a novelist a molecular physicist.  He worried about the growing divide between academics on both sides of a cultural divide and delivered a famous lecture on the subject in 1959.  In it he said,
The Literary intellectuals at one pole-at the other scientists, and as the most representative, the physical scientists.  Between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension–sometimes (particularly among the young) hostility and dislike, but most of all lack of understanding.  They have a curious distorted image of each other.  Their attitudes are so different that, even on the level of emotion, they can’t find much common ground.  Non-scientists tend to think of scientists as brash and boastful. . . .

The non-scientists have a rooted impression that the scientists are shallowly optimistic, unaware of man’s condition.  On the other hand, the scientists believe that the literary intellectuals are totally lacking in foresight, peculiarly unconcerned with their brother men, and in a deep sense anti-intellectual, anxious to restrict both art and thought to the existential moment.  And so on.  Anyone with a mild talent for invective could produce plenty of this kind of subterranean back-chat.  On each side there is some of it which is not entirely baseless.  It is all destructive.  Much of it rests on misinterpretations which are dangerous. 

Click on his picture to the left or the link to the right to read the Rede Lecture Essay, The Two Cultures