Map of Europe

Modern Western Civilization

Fall of the Roman Empire to Present

Instructor: John G. Stockmyer

Office Hours

My office is in the Computing/Business Building (room 209). My office hours are:   M/W/F   7:00 - 8:00 A.M.


I give three exams and a two-hour final -- the final to be more or less comprehensive. When determining your semester grade, I will throw out a low exam, provided it's one of the first three. If the final -- while always counting toward your semester grade -- is against you, I weight it the same as one of the hour exams. If you raise your grade on the final, however, I will give it the same weight as two hour exams.

This is a lecture class, which means there is not really time for discussion during the class hour. (I do like to have conversations with you in the hall, office etc., just not in class.)

About 90% of test questions come from lecture, the other 10% from material assigned in the syllabus. (The words I write on the board every day figure heavily in the questions I will ask you on exams.)

Course rules

The first rule is not to talk while I'm lecturing -- and I lecture all the time.

The second rule is, please come on time. If the door is shut when you arrive, you're too late to enter the room. The exception is, if you are only a little late. In that case, stand outside the door and, after I notice you there, I will wave you in. Do not knock on the door. Do not scratch on the door. Do not whine. (You may make faces through the glass, however, to attract my attention.)


There are two novels that figure into your course grade. For instance, you must read the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front (by Erich Maria Remarque) for the third exam. (It's probably a good idea to wait until you have taken the second exam before starting to read All Quiet. While I'll ask simple questions about the novel on the third exam, it will help you to answer them if you have just read the book.)

The second novel -- The Fatherland (by Robert Harris)-- is to be read by those who will make an "A" in the course. Here's how that works. If you are making an A, read The Fatherland sometime during the semester. When you have read the book, tell me and I'll ask you several questions about the book -- easy questions asked only to assure me you've read the novel. (Don't memorize facts from the book, character's names etc. The book is a work of fiction, after all.) You're reading the book to get a "feel" of what the world would have been like had our side not won WW II!)


The Fatherland is a requirement for an A in the course. In other words, if you make straight A's and do not read and report on The Fatherland, you will receive a B for your semester grade.


You must see the German submarine film, Das Boot (1981 movie directed by Wolfgang Petersen–dubbed or subtitled from German into English), just before you take the final exam, the final having a couple of questions about Das Boot.

To make it easy for you to see the movie, you may check it out in our library, the library having this movie in multiple copies.

So -- that's about it, except to say I'm glad to have you. And that I think you will like this course!

Foundations of West. CivModern West Civ.Extras