Category Archives: West-Eastern Civilisation: conflicted and hybrid histories

West-Eastern Civilization: conflicted and hybrid histories

Dear Students,

welcome to this introductory course on the history of civilization.

This year, We’re going to look at the concept of Western civilization, and critique it (note, to critique something doesn’t mean to simply reject it, but to engage with it critically).

Semester one: The Eurocentric history of Western civilization

This semester we’re going to look at the way that history differs depending on who tells the tale (history belongs to the victors, as the saying goes).

With that in mind, we’ll look at the standard Western account of the history Western civilization, and the way that kind of history includes the ‘east’.

Semester two: The Eastern origins of Western civilization

Then, in semester two we’ll look at revisionist histories that complicate that kind of history by more fully including an eastern perspective. We’ll look at some of the Eastern roots of civilization, and some of the Eastern routes taken to get there.

Finally we’ll get to the point where we can reconsider the concept. We can ask the question: Does it make sense to talk about Civilization as something Western or Eastern?

Lecture 1. The Eurocentric (hi)story of Western Civilization

Dear students,

we’re on our way to ancient Greece, to the home of democracy and the origin of Western Civilization.

We’ll go there next week.

First let’s talk about Western Civilization as a history, or collation of histories. Let’s ask some questions.

Western Civilization is?

What kind of a history is it?

Who does it belong to?

What does it consist of?

And, what does it do (what is its function)?