Humanity and Society I (SPS 101)

2020 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Social & Political Sci.(SPS)
5.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Emre Erol,
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Formal lecture,Recitation
Interactive,Communicative,Discussion based learning
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This course provides an introduction to the study of the human experience in the pre-modern world (from early humans to mid 18th century). It brings together various disciplinary approaches and major topics of the pre-modern world in a roughly chronological order. There are three central aims of this course. The first aim is to present our students the challenges and potential in the scientific study of human experience through the introduction of various analytical tools from disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology and economics. The idea is to show to our students that the human experience is as much the realm of scientific inquiry and critical thinking as it is the case with the natural world. The second aim is to introduce the basic dynamics of the pre-modern world before the 18th century so that students would be adequately equipped to follow our consecutive course SPS 102 about the modern era and the concept of modernity. Finally, this course also aims to emphasize the structured use of language, in this case English, for the purposes of knowledge production and critical analysis. It accepts the role of language in humanities and social sciences as important as calculus is for physics. To that end, it pays special attention to critical reading and writing as evident from the course structure.


The objective of SPS 101, Humanity and Society I is to familiarize the freshmen class with the past human experience from the Neolithic Period down to the beginnings of Early Modernity.


After successful completion of the semester, student is expected to

1. Identify similarities & differences between the discipline of history, social sciences & natural sciences
2. Identify differences between modernist, civilizational and world systems perspectives on world history
3. Describe the concept of technological thresholds & their relationship with hunting-gathering, agrarian and industrial modes of subsistence
4. Describe the social, political, economic and cultural differences between hunting-gathering and agrarian societies, and as a prelude to SPS 102, have a basic understanding of the differences between the former and industrial societies
5. Describe the interconnectedness of social institutions in the context of pre-modern societies and be prepared to apply this understanding to industrial societies later in SPS 102, and to his/her own society
6. Discuss II.a-c in the context of one or more of the following where relevant: Early Civilizations, 'Classical Age' Mediterranean, 'Classical Age' China, Medieval Europe, Islamic World, Byzantine Empire, and China
7. Describe European early modernity and discuss its consequences in world perspective
8. Identify the Renaissance, Reformation, European explorations and the Scientific Revolution and describe their contribution to the development of modernity


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects. 5

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 5

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 3

1. Possess sufficient knowledge of mathematics, science and program-specific engineering topics; use theoretical and applied knowledge of these areas in complex engineering problems.

2. Identify, define, formulate and solve complex engineering problems; choose and apply suitable analysis and modeling methods for this purpose.

3. Develop, choose and use modern techniques and tools that are needed for analysis and solution of complex problems faced in engineering applications; possess knowledge of standards used in engineering applications; use information technologies effectively.

4. Ability to design a complex system, process, instrument or a product under realistic constraints and conditions, with the goal of fulfilling specified needs; apply modern design techniques for this purpose.

5. Design and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret the results to investigate complex engineering problems or program-specific research areas.

6. Knowledge of business practices such as project management, risk management and change management; awareness on innovation; knowledge of sustainable development.

7. Knowledge of impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, health and societal context; knowledge of contemporary issues; awareness on legal outcomes of engineering solutions; understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 3

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 5

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 5

1. Demonstrate an understanding of economics, and main functional areas of management. 2

2. Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 5


  Percentage (%)
Final 30
Midterm 25
Assignment 20
Participation 20
Presentation 5



Kishlansky, M (, Civilization in the West, 6th edition, Pearson-Longman, New York
A specially prepared reader