The Age of Discovery
Interdisciplinary Forum, during Rhetoric lecture, 1:25-2:15, using the Soc Sci Zoom
In your classes for Team D you have recently studied the period of time that saw the transition from the Medieval Period within Europe to what we can consider the Modern Era. This transition, which roughly dates to the 1500s, led European colonists, entrepreneurs, missionaries, mercenaries, and others to travel across the seas to explore, trade and ultimately conquer the New World as well as various parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In many ways, the shift to the Modern Era focused on the accumulation of knowledge and culture, including the “rediscovery” during the Renaissance of the wisdom of the ancients. But the process also saw the violent exchange of people and natural resources. Centuries later, the legacy of those exchanges continues to shape individual lives, internal politics, and international relations.
Today, the global crisis presented by the COVID-19 pandemic suggests that we could be poised at an analogous inflection point in human history. At some point, the current crisis will be a thing of the past, but the post-pandemic world could be quite different from the one to which we were accustomed. Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens, has speculated on “The World After Coronavirus.” In preparation for our third Team Forum, examine Harari’s article (linked above) in light of your class readings and reflect on the future beyond the current COVID-19 crises. Then post either:
- An informed conjecture of what a post-pandemic world may look like. (You might focus on a particular part of the world, your home community, or perhaps even a university such as the one you currently attend).
- An idea of how a post-pandemic world could be a fairer and more equitable world than the one we left behind.
- A brief discussion of how a 15th or 16th century writer that you read in one of your classes might respond to the current crisis.
We will be reading your responses on the morning of the Team Forum, so aim to post your response in the comments below by 7:00 am on Friday, Apr 2.