CIS 150 is an interdisciplinary course designed to fit into both the First Year Collaboratory and Davidson’s year-long initiative marking the centennial of the Russian Revolution. The course examines two important theoretical concepts – revolution and invented tradition – through a comparative study of the Russian Revolution’s radical cultural and political upheaval and Japan’s more conservative Meiji Restoration. These two transformative events in modern history represent two very different pathways to modernization; they also raise fundamental questions about continuity and change, tradition and revolution.
We will explore these topics and questions in a revolutionary way, too. Students and faculty will work together to research source materials drawn from literature, visual art, history, and politics in order to assemble their own digital narratives, timelines, and other visualizations of these pivotal moments in modern history. By using digital tools to reflect on revolutions of the past, students will have the opportunity to reflect on the way digital mediums and virtual spaces shape revolutionary movements today.