History of Non-Western Civilization to 1900

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 139

       Course Name: History of Non-Western Civilization to 1900

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys the historical development of non-western world up to the early 20th century. Content includes social, political, and economic developments. Focus is on role of intellectual currents, literature, and art in shaping the identity of the peoples studied. Comparison and contrast of unifying themes such as early modern global networks of trade, the colonial experience, and the role of religion in experiences of various civilizations.  At least four major non-western civilizations will be studied, drawn from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. IAI S2 904N

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the essential historical figures and events of the period covered.
  2. Describe the political, social and economic diversity of the four regions covered and interpret the historical consequences.
  3. Evaluate major religious, literary, and philosophical works produced during the period.
  4. Analyze the relationship between historical events and contemporary issues in the four regions.
  5. Evaluate conflicting interpretations of the history of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
  6. Analyze primary and secondary sources pertaining to the period covered.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. The Ancient-Classical Period of Specific Non-Western Civilizations:
    1. "Geography Is Destiny" - The role of Geography in shaping History
    2. Political, Economic, and Social Structures
    3. Religion, Philosophy, and Culture
    4. Literature and Art
      1. Reading (excerpts/full text) of important literary works
      2. Art (Non-western art on the web; Visit to Chicago area museums)
  2. The Early-Modern History of Specific Non-Western Civilizations
    1. Historical Developments and Institutions
    2. Contact with Other Non-Western Civilizations
    3. The Impact of European Exploration and Trade
  3. Colonial Era: Impact and Consequences on Specific Non-Western Civilizations
    1. Empire-building in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas
    2. Colonial Institutions - Life under colonial rule
    3. Identity Crisis - Nationalism, Nativism and Liberation Movements
    4. The role of Religion
  4. Conclusion - Setting the Stage for the 20th. Century Non-Western World

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Each class will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in-class discussion, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook as well as complementary materials
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 13-15 double-spaced pages, in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Write inside of class short essays that answer specific questions related to the material studied.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in-and out-of-class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available at the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX: Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX: Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX: Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX: Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.