Fall 2019 - HIST 135 D100

STT - Capitalism & the Making of the Modern World (Inactive) (3)

Class Number: 9678

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Thu, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Aaron Windel
    1 778 782-9605
    Office: AQ 6239
  • Instructor:

    Emily O'Brien
    1 778 782-3150
    Office: AQ 6240
  • Instructor:

    Jennifer Spear
    1 778 782-8435
    Office: AQ 6018
  • Instructor:

    Mark Leier
    1 778 782-5827
    Office: AQ 6010



An introductory survey of the dynamic history of capitalism.


Throughout our history, humanity has produced and distributed goods and services in many different ways. Today, one particular economic system is dominant around the globe. It goes by different names: the market economy, industrialization, modernization, free enterprise, or, as we’ll call it in this course, capitalism.    

Because we live and work in it, we rarely define capitalism precisely or examine it carefully. More often we assume it is just the way the world works, that it is eternal and natural. In fact, there is nothing “natural” about it: it is the result of decisions and actions of people. It has developed and evolved over time, and continues to change today.    

In this course, we’ll look at how this particular economic system developed and the transformative impacts it had on peoples’ lives, societies, and cultures. We’ll look at ways we organized economies in the past and look at some of the alternatives that we may want to explore in the future. We’ll consider the successes and failures of capitalism, its supporters and critics, the winners and the losers in this way of organizing an economy.


  • Portfolios (a collection of brief weekly responses to readings, lectures, and other course materials, to be graded 2 times during the semester) 50%
  • Film Analysis (due during the final exam period) 15%
  • Capitalism in the News (twice during the semester you will post and briefly discuss a news story, journal or magazine article, podcast/video, etc., that illustrates capitalism at work today) 10%
  • Class Participation 20%
  • Attendance 5%
  • Please note: this is a preliminary syllabus: assignments are subject to change.



All readings will be distributed via Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html