Humanity and Society II (SPS 102)

2023 Summer
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Social & Political Sci.(SPS)
5/6 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Melike Ayşe Kocacık Şenol,
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Formal lecture
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This course provides an introduction to the study of the human experience in the modern world. It brings together the history of major milestones in the modern era, from the mid-18th century to the 21st century, and prominent theoretical frameworks that are employed to analyze this transformative period in the history of our species. SPS 102 is designed to be a follow-up of SPS 101 and thus compliments the content and the academic skills that were previously introduced. 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 second aim is to provide the intellectual foundations that would help our students to understand the dynamics of the contemporary world around them by historicizing its relatively recent formation in the history of humanity. 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.


Introduce the students to fundamental aspects and concepts of modernity.


  • Be able to recognize that all aspects of human life are legitimate subjects of academic inquiry, research and debate.
  • Be able to historicize: identifying pre-modern and early modern historical phenomena in temporal relation to each other, recognizing social phenomena as results of historical transformations and identifying the major dynamics of historical processes.
  • Be able to apply interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the human experience and to link perspectives drawn from expertise across disciplinary boundaries.
  • Be able to identify academic concepts/constructs and to critically approach their relationship with empirical reality.
  • Have acquired basic critical and analytical thinking skills by building evidence/ data-informed cause and effect relationships between topics covered in the course.
  • Have learned how to formulate a falsifiable hypothesis, and write an academic research paper based on that, by using appropriate research skills, paper style and format.
  • Be able to link historical processes, concepts and constructs with personal experiences through study of biographies and ego-documents.
  • Have acquired a habit of academic reading by being exposed to academic materials from various disciplines that are relevant to the study of the human experience.
  • Have acquired a habit of critical reading by categorizing, contextualizing and processing different forms of knowledge and information.
  • Have acquired a habit of active reading through note-taking while reading.


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; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 2

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 3

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. 2

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

2. Identify, define, formulate and solve complex engineering problems; choose and apply suitable analysis and modeling methods for this purpose. 1

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. 1

4. Have the 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. 1

5. Design and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret the results to investigate complex engineering problems or program-specific research areas. 1

6. Possess knowledge of business practices such as project management, risk management and change management; awareness on innovation; knowledge of sustainable development. 2

7. Possess 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; knowledge of behavior according to ethical principles, understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. 2

8. Have the ability to write effective reports and comprehend written reports, prepare design and production reports, make effective presentations, and give and receive clear and intelligible instructions. 5

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 5

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


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



* Stuart Hall and Bram Gieben, eds. Formations of Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003), pp. 1-16.
* John Coatsworth et al., Global Connections: Volume 2, Since 1500: Politics, Exchange, and Social Life in
World History (Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 165-190, 231-249.
* R. Bin Wong, China Transformed: Historical Change and the Limits of European Experience (Cornell
University Press, 1997), pp. 1-8, 73-104.
* Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User?s Guide (Penguin Books, 2014), pp. 47-79.
* [Optional] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, edited by Jeffrey C. Isaac,
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), pp. 73-92.
* [Optional] Chris Harman, ?The Rise of Capitalism,? International Socialism Journal, 102, (Spring
* Trutz von Trotha, ?Colonialism? in Berger, Stefan, ed. A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Europe
1789-1914 (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006), pp. 432-447.5
* Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, The World: A Brief History (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice
Hall, 2006), Chapter 27, pp. 790-817.
* Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O'Rourke, Power and Plenty (Princeton University Press, 2009), Chapter 8, pp. 429-443.
* Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, The World: A Brief History, (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice
Hall, 2006), Chapter 28, pp. 818-835.
* Richard Overy, The Origins of the Second World War (Routledge, 2017), pp. 3-10; 32-46.
* Edward Fawcett, Liberalism: The Life of An Idea (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), pp. 28-79.
* Philippe Schmitter and Terry Lynn Karl, ?What democracy is? and is not?, Journal of Democracy 2, No. 3 (Summer 1991), pp. 75-88.
* Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, The World: A Brief History, (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice
Hall, 2006), Chapter 28, pp. 835-845.
* R. R. Palmer, Joel Colton and Lloyd Kramer, A History of the Modern World, Vol. 2 since 1815
(New York, NY: Random House), pp. 719-762.
* Boris Shoshitaishvili, ?From Anthropocene to Noosphere: The Great Acceleration,? Earth's
Future, 6 Dec. 2020.
* Aldon Morris, "From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter," Scientific American, February 3, 2021
* Video: `Social Movements: Society and Culture? Khan Academy, 2014. (Click me) 6
* Ann Swidler, Talk of Love (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2001), pp. 111-128.
* Anne Fausto-Sterling, ?The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female are not Enough?, The Sciences
(March/April 1993): pp. 20-24.
* [Optional] Podcast: `When did Marriage Become so Hard?? The Hidden Brain, 2018. (Click me)
Week 6a ? (23 August):
* Amartya Sen, ?How to Judge Globalism?, The American Prospect 13, no. 1 (2002): pp. 1-14.
* Neil Brenner, Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore, ?After neoliberalization?,? Globalizations 7, no. 3
(2010): pp. 327-345.
* Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, ?Human Security?, in Paul D. Williams and Matt McDonald eds.,
Security Studies: An Introduction (Routledge, 2018), pp. 221-235.
* Ralf Emmers, ?Securitization,? in Allan Collins ed. Contemporary Security Studies (Oxford University
Press, 2010), p. 136-151.
* Bruce Pilbeam, ?New Wars, Globalization, and the Failed State,? in Peter Hough et al eds.,
International Security Studies: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2015), pp. 104-118.
* Stephen Mosley, The Environment in History (London & New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 1-12.