Department of History
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
Adjunct Information Manual
The purpose of this manual is to aid adjunct faculty preparing to teach courses in the Brooklyn College Department of History.
Core Four, The Shaping of the Modern World
Core Four is an introduction to the discipline of history. The class focuses on the history of Europe and the US in global perspective from approximately 1700 to the present. While we permit some flexibility in course design, it is expected that this class will cover or discuss most or all of the following topics: the Enlightenment, the French and American revolutions, industrialization and urbanization, colonialism and imperialism, romanticism and realism, modern political ideologies, World War I, Fascism, Communism, World War II, the Holocaust, and the Cold War, modernism and postmodernism.
It is expected that all instructors teaching the Core will expose students to the fundamentals of historical study. This will include the analysis of both primary and secondary sources, critical thinking, argumentation and the presentation of evidence. We hope too that you will share with the students some of the passion that brought you into the discipline in the first place. This can be a very fun course to both take and teach.
The Department strongly recommends that new faculty submit a copy of their syllabus to Prof. Napoli for review in advance of ordering books.
Many people in the department use the department's Core 4 reader, The Shaping the Modern World (3rd edition, 1993). The book is a collection of primary source documents edited to illustrate a number of significant themes in western history, including the history of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the industrial revolution, the emergence of Marxism, liberalism, conservatism, and more. It is still available for use, if it suits your needs.
Faculty have also been adopting the Internet as a teaching tool. As a result professors have found useful documents available for free which can be assigned to the students. For example, the Internet Modern History Source Book is a very useful resource.
Most Core Four sections use both a textbook and some kind of documents reader, such as the departmental book. An alternative strategy would be to produce a series of Xeroxed articles or chapters, and make them available to the students at the photo copy center such as Far Better Copy. Be careful. If you elect to do this, please keep in mind the problems of copyright and fair use as you make your selections. Unfortunately, the Department cannot help you obtain copyright clearance for the materials you wish to use. You are on your own.
The choice of textbooks is at the faculty member's discretion. In fact, most teachers gravitate to a few textbooks, for which descriptions are given below. Most choose Western, while some choose a World history book.
Popular books include:
Duiker, William J. & Jackson Spielvogel, World History, 3rd ed.,
Belmont CA: West/Wadsworth, 2000.
Based on Spielvogel, Western Civilization; but with the European material on politics, culture, art in 17th-18th centuries, industrialization, nation-building and culture in the 19th century greatly condensed (the French Revolution shrinks from 20 pages to 8), and the World wars and interwar era in the 20th; in exchange several new chapters are added on discovery and trade, the Islamic world, Asia. The post-1945 period is greatly expanded.
McKay, John P., Bennett D. Hill & John Buckler, A History of Western
Society, 6th ed., Boston-New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
A popular textbook nationally, with notable concentration on society and culture, with excellent chapters on the agricultural revolution and its social impact (#17), women and family in the 18th and 19th centuries (##20, 24), and ideas in the twentieth century (#28). The same authors' History of World Societies consists of the Western book plus additional chapters on the US and non-Western regions, which makes it more global but, according to one faculty user, "exceedingly long."
Stavrianos, L. S. The World Since 1500: A Global History, 8th ed., Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999 (vol. 2 of A Global History: From Prehistory
to the 21st Century).
A true global history, beginning with the expansion of Iberia and North Atlantic Europe into the Americas, and of Russia into Asia as a gateway to global unity, after which two chapters on western European culture and politics are followed by several on other regions. The final part, dealing with 1914 to the present, stresses world wars, economics, and decolonization.
Sullivan, Richard E., Dennis Sherman, & John B. Harrison, A Short History
of Western Civilization, vol. 2: since 1600, 8th ed., New York: McGraw Hill,
Brief overview of western history, from 1600-present in about 360 pages (compared to the more usual 450-500). Adequate illustrations/maps in B/W. Gives full, separate chapters to American and French Revolutions, and a further chapter to US history in the period 1800-1920; deals with political history of period 1815-1914 in four brief, distinct chapters of 11-12 pages each, and devotes two separate chapters to nineteenth century ideas (one on religion and science, one on thought and culture generally). With this dutiful attention to political narrative and intellectual history, there is a corresponding deemphasis of social and economic matters, especially in the twentieth century,where the coverage is political except for brief sections on ideas in one whole chapter and a few pages of another.
Margaret King, Western
Civilization: A Social and Cultural History, 2nd edition, 2003
From the back cover:
"These Western Civilization, Second Edition books explain why western civilization is worth knowing about. Taking a topical approach, they stress social and cultural themes, they ask, What is the West?, and incorporate significant discussion of peoples and civilizations outside the boundaries of the West. Provides a more coherent introduction to global issues than a world history presentation. Western Civilization, 2/e is accompanied by rich visual images, numerous textual excerpts, provocative special features, and timelines, charts and maps that make the narrative even more accessible. Each chapter now includes Internet resources for research. Examines the French Revolution and 19th-century social and political movements in depth. Discussion of religion now occurs at key junctures in each chapter. Updated first chapter reflects the latest findings in paleoanthropology. Epilogue includes recent events such as global terrorism. Covers Social/economic historye.g., gender roles, family and children, elite groups, urban/rural contrasts, cities and associations,commerce and manufacturing, and technological innovation. Non-Western (including North and South American) issues are discussed."
You are free to select the textbook that most suits your needs. ORDER YOUR BOOKS QUICKLY. If you don't, you may not have books by the time class begins.
The use of the Internet is not required in Core Four classes, though many of the faculty here use it. If you wish to have an Internet site for your class, you will have to design and produce it, but the College will provide you web space. Contact: Nick Irons, Academic Computing Facilities, (718) 951-4634, and see the Information Technology Services page.
Let me know your contact info, and I'll make sure you are listed on the History Department's web directory.
Students will expect you to use email. Include your email address in your syllabus.
Your syllabus should include the following:
Other faculty add additional items as appropriate, such as information on whether or not an instructor permits extra credit work or is willing to read drafts of papers in advance of the due date.
Please understand the syllabus is considered a contract both in law and by the College. While it is permissible to make deviations from the syllabus on a small-scale, major changes, such as alterations in the grading scale and the course demands are to be avoided.
A copy of your syllabus, including a course description must be placed in file in the Departmental Office.
Cheating and academic integrity
Please develop a policy on cheating and make it explicit to your students.
The Brooklyn College policy on academic integrity is as follows:
Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism, is unacceptable at Brooklyn College. Cheating is any misrepresentation in academic work. Plagiarism is the representation of another person's work, words, or ideas as your own. Students should consult the Brooklyn College Student Handbook for a fuller, more specific discussion of related academic integrity standards. Faculty members are encouraged to discuss with students the application of these standards to work in each course. Academic dishonesty is punishable by failure of the "test, examination, term paper, or other assignment on which cheating occurred" (Faculty Council, May 18, 1954). In addition, disciplinary proceedings in cases of academic dishonesty may result in penalties of admonition, warning, censure, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, complaint to civil authorities, or ejection. (Adopted by Policy Council, May 8, 1991.)
Faculty are free to create writing assignments as they see fit. It is not uncommon in Core 4 for faculty to assign two brief essays (3-7 pages).
Most writing assignments are source-based essays; but some are life and/or oral history projects; collaborative projects; or book reports. Some call for personal views (on a historical personality, on recent events) more than or in addition to source analysis. In those courses where essays or papers are assigned, the total of those assignments generally constitutes 10 to 50% of grade, most often 20-30%.
Exams and Grades
Only one test is required, the final exam, given in the final exam period after the end of classes. Brooklyn College will assign a common time for all Core Four sections. They will also assign you a room, which may or may not be the room in which you teach. This final exam MUST be placed on file in the Departmental Office.
However, it is not unreasonable to ask students to take at least one and perhaps more tests during the course of the term. This will provide students a sense of their own progress in the course. An alternative strategy would be to give a number of short quizzes throughout the semester, leaving only the final as a test taking the entire allotted time.
Exam format is, once again, up to you. However, because the course emphasizes writing and the ability to express oneself on paper, some type of essay component to the exams is not unreasonable.
Although "objective" questions on exams can be useful, the exclusive reliance on true/false or multiple choice questions is discouraged, as more discursive short and longer essays can elicit more of the kind of analytical and integrative thinking we hope for from our students.
For the sake of our students and your future convenience, we ask that you turn in all of your final exam booklets (the "bluebooks") to Arline Neftleberg once the term ends. It happens not infrequently that students come back to appeal a grade or to see their final exam--which they have a right to see. If we do not have these in the department, Arline will have to trouble you to provide them, an avoidable nuisance if you are at that time teaching elsewhere.
The same holds with regard to your grades / gradebook. Please provide Arline with a copy of all the grades on which your final class grade is based. If there should be a grade appeal, the committee will have to know all a student's grades in order to determine if the final grade was appropriate.
If you are assigned to teach other electives for the Department, please discuss your teaching plan with the Chair, Prof. Gallagher, or our Deputy Chair, Prof. SenGupta, and follow the syllabus guidelines outlined above for Core Four.
First: See Arline Neftleberg
As soon as you are hired, see or call Arline (781-951-5303). She is our Departmental Administrator, and she will get you on payroll and walk you through the necessary paperwork.
What, you ask, is an "overtally"? Students will begin to ask about this mysterious term on your very first day of class.
An "overtally" is permission to enter your class even though it is closed and there are no more seats officially available.
You may say yes or no to an overtally request. Core Four classes are capped at 40 students. Under no circumstances can you allow your class to grow beyond 45 students.
Keep in mind that each room can legally accommodate a limited number of students. Passing that limit can get us in trouble with the Fire Marshall.
Further, 40 students is a lot anyway, and having more than that number in your class can jeopardize the pedagogical goals of the course.
There are two stages to overtallying. In the first, which lasts for roughly the first week of class, all you need to do is get an overtally form from Arline, fill it out, and give it to the student to bring back to Arline, who will enter the overtally in the computer. THIS IS NOT REGISTRATION. Students take care of that themselves, but they will likely know that.
NEVER SEND STUDENTS TO THE OFFICE OF REGISTRAR.
NEVER GIVE OUT BLANK OVERTALLY FORMS.
In the second stage you need the Late Add Form. Arline has that, too.
Other Registration Matters
- For important dates, including the last day to add/drop courses, see the Registrar's Academic Calendar.
- Attendance reports are required by the Registrar.
Religious Holidays and other Red-Letter Days on the Calendar
- Please pay special attention to religious holidays and other important dates when creating your course calendar. You should not schedule quizzes or exams, nor should you require that papers be turned in on those dates.
Evaluation of Faculty
For the first 10 semesters of employment an adjunct instructor must be observed by a full-time faculty member once per term.
The observer will give you at least 24 hours notice before arriving in your class. The observer will then write up an observation report, and schedule an observation conference with you. You will have the opportunity to react in writing to the report.
The report is then signed and placed on file in the department office.
Faculty are also evaluated by students every fall (or spring, if they have not been evaluated in the fall.)
Offices and Office Hours
We presently have one office set aside for use by adjunct instructors. See
Arline for more information.
Under the current contract, adjunct faculty teaching 6 or more class hours (2 or more classes) are compensated for an additional office hour each week. So, if you are teaching 2 or more courses, you must arrange an office hour. Arline will assign you space. If you are teaching only a single course, then no office hour is required.
You may order your books either from Shakespeare or the BC Bookstore. The BC Book Store allows you to order on line.
Materials to be handed out in class should be prepared a 3-5 days ahead of time and given to Arline for reproduction at PrintWorks.
Those copies designated for Core Four classes are charged to a special budget, and do not burden the department's funds.
Please refrain from using the office copy machine for classroom materials except for emergencies.
Travel to Campus and Parking
For directions to campus, click here.
Parking is tough. But, parking is available at the Municipal Parking lot, Flatbush Avenue and Avenue H, and there is metered parking on Bedford Avenue, Campus Road, and Nostrand Ave.
The Payroll Office is located at:
Room 1156 Boylan Hall
Phone: (718) 951 5091
Fax: (718) 951-4836
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8am to 5:30pm
The department will provide you with keys to your office at a cost of $1 a key, which you will return when you no longer work here.
Link to the History Department Home Page
Link to Prof. Napoli's Home Page
Prepared by Prof. Philip Napoli
June 6, 2003