Everyday Life in Europe, 1500 - 1950

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2010
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times
TTH 9:30 - 10:50 am
Dr. Sharon L. Arnoult (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Ancestors: The Loving Family in Old Europe
Inside the Victorian Home
A Revolution in Taste: The Rise of French Cuisine
Madness: A Brief History

Course Objectives

This course covers the social history of Europe from about 1500 to 1950. Its goal is to allow upper-division students to examine how the "great events" of Western civilization - the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, etc. - affected the lives of ordinary European men and women. This course, therefore, does assume that students have taken Western Civilization II.

Course Expectations

Course Requirements:

3 exams, worth 25% each.

Research paper, worth 25%.


The course is divided into three parts. At the end of each section there will be an exam, primarily an essay exam. Each exam will cover only the readings and lectures in that section of the course, although the third exam - the final - may contain a broad question inclusive of the entire course.

Research Paper

The objective of this paper is for you to develop advanced research skills. The paper will be on an "everyday life" topic, dealing with social history, popular culture, etc. Ideally the paper topic will arise out of something youve always wondered about, or have an interest in. You must focus on Europe (although you will probably focus on just one country) and be within the time frame of the course, although for some topics you may extend past 1950 to the present. You will probably want to begin with a broad area of interest (i.e., clothing, hunting, music) and then narrow it down (i.e., hats or shoes or cleaning clothes; hunting laws or rifles; popular songs or professional singers.) In your paper, be sure to relate changes in your specific topic to the wider historical context.

BE WARNED! A research paper like this is NOT the kind where you can check out a bunch of books the week before it is due and write an acceptable paper. You will have to dig; much of what you will be looking for will be in parts of books (learn to work a books index if you havent already), or in articles in scholarly journals. Several journals which are good are: The Journal of Popular Culture, The Journal of the History of Ideas, History Today, Sixteenth-Century Studies, Renaissance Quarterly, The Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Victorian Studies, Journal of British Studies, Victorian Studies, Past & Present. Make use of the reference librarians! They can help you conduct computer searches of journals and find more specialized journals. You will probably need to track down the footnotes in one book or article to find more information on your topic.

This paper counts for 25% of your final grade, and the quality of your research is a very important component in the grade you receive. You should have a minimum of 7 sources, of which at least one must be a primary source and no more than one may be an Internet source. (Obviously, you may use more than one Internet source if you have more than seven sources.) In order to be counted, a source must not only be listed in your bibliography, but cited in your paper. Examples of primary sources for the topics mentioned above (clothing, hunting, music) would be: a 19th century fashion magazine or a 16th-century law on clothing; hunting laws or an account of poaching in a newspaper; actual lyrics of a 17th-century ballad or an 18th-century sermon against "lewd tunes." Legal statutes, newspapers & magazines, novels, autobiographies, prescriptive books (i.e., "how to" books) are all good primary sources for social history which are fairly easily accessible.

Because this paper is so important - and will take some effort and planning on your part - I would like for each of you to think about a topic, preferably in the form of a question, and hand it in no later than Tuesday, October 5. This is both to let me assist you in finding materials, and to make sure that you have found a topic and that the resources are there for you to research it.

The paper is due Tuesday, November 30.

Final Exam

12/07/2010 8 - 10 am

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late papers will be penalized 5 points off for each weekday (not class day) late and ABSOLUTELY NO PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Other Policies

Academic Policies: Students should refer to the current MSU Student Handbook and Activities Calendar and the MSU Undergraduate Bulletin for university policies on academic dishonesty, class attendance, student rights and activities. Students with disability must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided. Please inform the instructor if you are a student with a disability and need accommodations for this class.

THIS CLASS IS A NO CELL PHONE ZONE! (This includes texting and browsing, too.)

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

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