New Course in History



Spring 2014

HIST 3559 (3)

New Course in History

"The Entrepreneur in History"

W. Bernard Carlson

This course examines the role that entrepreneurs have played in history from ancient times to the 21st century.  Along with examining traditional entrepreneurs who combine land, labor, and capital to create new enterprises, we will pay special attention to the ways in which entrepreneurs across history have leveraged inventions in order to disrupt the business landscape and everyday life.  Among the cases we will study will be James Watt and Matthew Boulton (steam engine), Nikola Tesla (alternating current), and Steve Jobs (personal computer).  Supplementing the lectures, the course will include exercises whereby students will develop and practice creativity and entrepreneurship.

Examples of course texts include David S. Landes, ed. The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times (2012); Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (2011); W. Bernard Carlson, Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age (2013); Harold Evans, They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators (2004).  The average weekly reading load is about 150 pages.  The course will require 2-3 writing assignments and it will fulfill the second writing requirement in the College.

 Engineering students may wish to take STS 2500 which will be offered at the same time and location.



Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904



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