HIST 207 – THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST
Tue/Fri – 1:10 pm to 2:25 pm
Professor Stacy Fahrenthold
This survey course addresses the main economic, religious, political and cultural trends in the modern Middle East. Topics to be covered include the cultural diversity of the Middle East, relations with Great Powers, the impact of imperialism, the challenge of modernity, the creation of nation states and nationalist ideologies, the discovery of oil, radical religious groups, and war and peace. Throughout the course these significant changes will be evaluated in light of their impact on the lives of a variety of individuals in the region and especially how they have grappled differently with increasing Western political and economic domination. This course is part of the Exploring Diversity Initiative because it compares the differences and similarities between different cultures and societies in the Middle East and the various ways they have responded to one another in the past.
This course explores the construction, articulation, and politics of queer sexual desire in Europe from the later nineteenth century to the present. By placing queer sexualities in their broader social and political context the course examines the ways in which sexuality has become central to questions of identity, personal and national, in modern European society. Topics include: the role of the new science of sexology in specifying various “sexual perversions”; the rise of sexual undergrounds in the context of European urbanization; the birth of campaigns for “homosexual emancipation”; attempts to regulate and suppress “deviant” sexualities, especially under the fascist regimes in the 1930s; the effects of the postwar consumer revolution on the practices of sexual selfhood; the postwar “sex change” debates; the politics of 1950s homophile organizing and the 1970s Gay Liberation Movement; and the recent politics of gay marriage. The course will focus primarily on Britain, France, and Germany, but also on Italy and Russia. Readings will be drawn from sexological texts, political tracts, memoirs, and the writings of recent historians. Several films will also be discussed. “Queering Europe” meets the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative insofar as it explores how sexual difference has been constituted, contested, and experienced and how what we assume to be the “sexual norm” has a profoundly political history.
This reading and discussion centered seminar focuses on the history of citizenship in the United States from the Revolutionary Era to the present. Questions we will consider include: How did the meaning of and rights associated with citizenship change over the course of U. S. history? How did race, gender, marital status, birthplace, sexuality, religion, disability, poverty shape access to or enjoyment of citizenship? What was the relationship between state and national citizenship? What was the relationship among citizenship, territorial expansion, and sovereignty? Where and how do refugees and guest workers fit into a nation in which rights rest largely on citizenship? And what was the relationship between legal personhood and citizenship and how did the two shape borders of belonging in U. S. history? Throughout, law and the state will be central to our discussions. The reading load will be substantial, including a book or multiple articles and related primary sources each week. Assignments will include submitting weekly discussion questions on readings, two short papers (4-5 pages) related to course readings, and an original research paper (15-20 pages) on a topic chosen by each student in consultation with the instructor.
This course explores how the law in America has defined and regulated gender and sexuality. We will evaluate how the law has dictated different roles for men and women, how sexual acts have been designated as legal or illegal, and the ways that race, class, and nationality have complicated the definition and regulation of gender and sexuality. We will examine how assumptions about gender and sexuality have informed the creation and development of American law, contested interpretations of the Constitution, and the changing meanings of citizenship; We will consider how seemingly gender neutral laws have yielded varied effects for men and women across race and class divides, challenging some differences while naturalizing others. Finally, we will examine the power and shortcomings of appeals to formal legal equality waged by diverse groups and individuals. Throughout the course, we will consider the various methodologies and approaches of the interdisciplinary field of legal history. Topics to be covered will include the Constitution, slavery, marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance, immigration, sexual violence, reproduction, abortion, privacy, suffrage, jury duty, work, and military service.
The second half of the twentieth century came to be defined by two distinct, yet overlapping and intertwined phenomena: the Cold War and decolonization. In the two decades that followed the end of WWII, forty new nation-states were born amidst the bipolar struggle for global supremacy between the Soviet Union and the United States. Those new nations were swept up in the Cold War competition in ways that profoundly influenced their paths to independence and their postcolonial orders, but they often had transformative effects on the Soviet-American rivalry as well. In this course, students will focus on two related questions: How did decolonization influence the Cold War and the international behavior and priorities of the two superpowers? And what impact did the Cold War exert on the developing states and societies of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America? Course materials will consist of scholarly texts, primary sources, memoirs, films, and fiction.
What happened to the Western Roman Empire? Did barbarians destroy it, did internal weakness undermine it, or did its participants voluntarily set it aside in favor of new cultural, social and political ideas? How did the evaporation of imperial political and military structures change the cultural and religious fabric of Europe? And above all, what is it that divides the ancient from the medieval world? Few questions in European history have occupied historians as insistently as these, and yet for all the lengthy books, ponderous documentaries, and political polemics, we are no closer to a consensus view. This tutorial will approach these timeless questions, first, through a comparative survey of the post-Roman Mediterranean, considering North Africa, Spain, Italy, Gaul, and the Byzantine East in turn. We will consult key primary sources for each region, including tax records, laws, narrative histories, letters, religious texts and archeological finds, as they are variously available. This first-hand experience with the problems of post-Roman history will prepare us to engage with secondary scholarship on the late imperial and early medieval worlds. Alongside the classic catastrophist readings of post-Roman history, which see the centuries after 476 CE as a period of severe economic and social dislocation, we will explore more recent arguments that seek to circumvent the problem of Rome’s fall by positing an era of economic, cultural and intellectual continuity from the fifth through the eighth centuries.