While I have a degree in English with a minor in history, I’m severely disappointed in my lack of knowledge of literature, language/linguistics, history, philosophy, religion, geography, astronomy… and basically everything else. I also have OCD tendencies and very ambitious educational goals (hint: these things are horrible together). So basically, I’m setting out to learn all the fucking things.

Why am I doing this? — Well, to understand the modern horror genre, you have to understand Gothic fiction. To understand many works of gothic fiction, you have to have a thorough understanding of greek mythology, the Bible, and Shakespeare. To understand Shakespeare, you need the Bible and history. To understand the Bible, you need history, geography, mythology, astronomy, and language. Etc, etc, etc. Most people would be satisfied with looking up references they don’t understand, but uh… OCD+ambition.

So basically, I’m going through a historical and cultural journey through time. To that end, I’ve created a Moodle site with courses that take a chronological & regional approach to humanities. It’s a curriculum that I adapt all the time as I go through it, so the Moodle course isn’t available right now… but if you’d be interested in that kind of thing, “like” this article so that I know you’re out there!

Here’s the basic curriculum syllabus, subject to change often:

Primary Texts

  • New Penguin History of the World
  • National Geographic’s Visual History of the World
  • World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization
  • Charles Freeman: Egypt, Greece and Rome
  • The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade
  • The Early Germans
  • S.E. Frost, The Basic Teachings of the Great Philosophers
  • Malcom Bradbury, The Atlas of Literature
  • The Norton Shakespeare

Video Resources

  • Bill Wurtz, “history of the entire world i guess” and “history of japan”
  • BBC Howard Goodall’s Story of Music
  • National Geographic’s Amazing Planet
  • BBC’s Planet Earth
  • NOVA, Great Human Odyssey

Course Overview

Each section / region is scattered with primary texts from Arabian Nights to Faulkner.

  • Physical and Political Geography
  •  Prehistory
    • Political Geography: North Africa and Southwest Asia
  • The First Civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, and others)
  • Basic Political and Economic Theory and Systems
  • Classical History
    • Political Geography: Europe
    • Ancient Greece, Rome, and Germanic peoples
    • Political Geography: Russia
  • Philosophy
  • Astrology, Astronomy, and Classical Mythology
  • Judaic Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • Formation and Diverging of the Eastern and Western Worlds (incl. Arab Empires and the formation of Europe)
  • Language Families / Linguistics
  • Shakespeare
  • Asian History
    • Political Geography: South Asia
    • Political Geography: East Asia
    • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • European Domination in the Early Modern Era
    • Political Geography: Australia and New Zealand
    • Political Geography: The Pacific and Antarctica
  • The Americas
    • Political Geography: North America
    • Political Geography: Middle America
    • Political Geography: South America
  • Modernism and the World Wars
    • Political Geography: Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Genre Fiction
  • Theatre, Film, TV, and Animation

Have any feedback, suggestions, or questions about this curriculum as I’ve planned it? Feel free to comment below. I’ll have updates and details on this curriculum as it updates, so check back often!