Please note that courses with a gray background are not being offered this year.

HIST 104(S)Travel Narratives and African History

In a way, all historical thinking and writing deals with travel accounts given that, as many scholars have noted, the past can be likened to a foreign country and the historian can be viewed as a traveler in foreign places. Nevertheless, actual travel narratives--narratives about the actual physical visits of writers to distant lands--call for careful and critical analysis because they can be seductive, and they can shape the ways we think about the present--and the past--of distant lands and cultures. This course discusses Arab, Indian, European, African and African American travel narratives about various regions of Africa since the 14th century. We will mine the travel accounts for descriptions of local contexts. We will also explore what travel writing says about the author's perceptions of self, home, and "other." Ultimately, we will investigate the authors' biases and how the narratives influence both our perception of Africa and the writing of African history. This course is highly interdisciplinary and draws heavily on literary, anthropological, geographical, and historical methodologies. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

HIST 111Movers and Shakers in the Middle East

Not offered this year

This course examines the careers, ideas, and impact of leading politicians, religious leaders, intellectuals, and artists in the Middle East in the twentieth century. Utilizing biographical studies and the general literature on the political and cultural history of the period, this course will analyze how these individuals achieved prominence in Middle Eastern society and how they addressed the pertinent problems of their day, such as war and peace, relations with Western powers, the role of religion in society, and the status of women. A range of significant individuals will be studied, including Gamal Abd al-Nasser, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Ayatollah Khomeini, Muhammad Mussadiq, Umm Khulthum, Sayyid Qutb, Anwar Sadat, Naghuib Mahfouz, and Huda Shaarawi. [ more ]

HIST 115(S)The World of the Mongol Empire

By the middle of the thirteenth century, Mongol armies led by Genghis Khan had conquered an enormous swath of territory, extending from China westward to Eastern Europe. Further expanded by Genghis's descendants, the Mongol Empire incorporated a vast range of different peoples and cultures, enhancing communications, trade, and exchange among them. In this course we will examine the "world order" of the Mongol Empire from its origins on the Asian steppe through its expansion, consolidation, disintegration, and legacies for later periods. From a wide range of primary and secondary sources, including travelers' accounts, chronicles, art, and literature, we will investigate the diverse experiences of the Mongol world in different places, such as China, Russia, Persia, and Central Asia. [ more ]

HIST 117(F)Bombay/Mumbai: Making of a Modern Metropolis

Bombay or Mumbai is India's foremost urban center and is well known today as a truly global city. It is the heart of India's commercial life comparable in vibrancy and multiculturalism with the world's emerging cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo. What are the historical elements that contributed to the making of India's most modern and global metropolis? What are the antecedents of the modernity, the vibrant culture, dark underbelly and economic diversity that characterize Bombay today? What does the history of Bombay tell us about modernity in India and the emerging countries of the third world in general? This seminar will help students to answer these questions through historical materials on Bombay as well a wide range of multimedia sources including cinema, photography and literature. With a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries, we will explore themes like the commercial culture of a colonial port city, the modern public sphere, theatre and film, labor migration, public health and prostitution to understand what went into the making of this modern metropolis. The primary objective of this course is to introduce students to a wide range of historical sources and ways of interpreting them. The other objective is facilitating their understanding of the history of modern India through the history of its most important city. [ more ]

HIST 119The Japanese Empire

Not offered this year

The largest non-Western empire of modern times, Japan extended its reach to Taiwan, Korea, China, Sakhalin, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. This course explores the many contentious political, economic, social, and cultural questions that arise from Japan's imperial project. We will ask what drove imperialist expansion; how the Japanese ruled; who won and lost in economic relations; what various aspects of life were like in the empire; how to understand the dynamics between Japanese settlers and the colonized; what effects empire building had at home in Japan; how to explain the nature of wartime conquests; and what legacies Japanese imperialism and empire left in their wake. Throughout the semester, we will make a point of examining these issues from various standpoints, and we will also read theoretical works that place the Japanese empire in a comparative context. Course materials will include political documents, intellectual treatises, films, memoirs, and literature. [ more ]

HIST 121 T(F)The Two Koreas

The two Koreas--North and South--were born in the aftermath of World War II, when the United States and the Soviet Union arbitrarily divided the peninsula into two zones of occupation at the 38th parallel. Today, over six decades later, the split endures as what has been called "the Cold War's last divide." This tutorial examines the history of the two Koreas from their creation in 1945 to the present. We will explore the historical and ideological origins of the division; how tensions between North and South led to the outbreak of the Korean War; why the paths of the two Koreas have differed so markedly; how each country has been shaped by its political leaders and their ideologies; and what recent developments in North Korea, including its nuclear program, have meant for relations on the peninsula and beyond. Course material will include primary and secondary sources of various kinds, including political documents, intellectual treatises, films, and short stories. [ more ]

HIST 127The Expansion of Europe

Not offered this year

This course investigates the expansion of European power and influence over much of the rest of the world from the late Middle Ages to the mid-nineteenth century--the early period of European Imperialism. Specific topics will vary, but include the development and initial expansion of medieval and Renaissance Europe, the discovery and conquest of the New World, the struggle with Islam for command of the seas, the establishment of European influence in the East and Far East, the slave trade, the invasion of North America, and the initial steps toward hegemony in the Middle East and Africa. Students will investigate the ways in which individual personality, religiosity, greed, critical first contacts, and cultural misunderstandings and prejudices combined with important aspects of the Military, Scientific, and early Industrial Revolutions to establish European hegemony on a world-wide scale during this early period of European Imperialism. [ more ]

HIST 129Blacks, Jews, and Women in the Age of the French Revolution

Not offered this year

The French Revolution was an important turning point in world history. Besides ushering in an age of liberte (liberty) and egalite (equality), it also postulated the existence of a new revolutionary fraternite (brotherhood) between peoples of all backgrounds. Would revolutionary fraternity include women, African slaves, and Jews in the new democratic polity? French men and women debated these questions in ways that have had a direct impact on our contemporary discussions of race, gender, religious freedom and ethnicity. In this course, we will explore these debates, their Enlightenment roots, and the legacy of these debates for France's minorities today. Students will be introduced to various types of historical sources (rare books, art, opera, plays), as well as to the lively historiographical debates between historians of France concerning methodology, politics, and the goal of historical research. [ more ]

HIST 130(S)The First Crusade

Between 1096 and 1099, thousands of peasants, soldiers and nobles set out to seize Jerusalem from the Turks. Their unprecedented military expedition, which ushered in a long series of religious wars and has deeply influenced modern impressions of the Middle Ages, is known to history as the First Crusade. In this seminar, we will follow the crusaders through medieval chronicles and histories as they respond to ecclesiastical demands for military intervention in the East, travel to Constantinople, lay siege to Nicaea and Antioch, and finally capture Jerusalem. Along the way we will pause frequently to study the broader social, religious and political environment that gave birth to the crusading movement. Careful reading and discussion will drive this writing-intensive course. [ more ]

HIST 135 T(F)The Great War, 1914-1918

During the nineteenth and early twentieth century Europeans and their immediate offspring created the modern world. European industry, science, trade, weapons, and culture dominated the globe. After a century of general peace the continual "progress" of Western Civilization seemed assured. Then, in August, 1914, the major European powers went to war with one another. After four years of unprecedented carnage, violence, and destruction, Europe was left exhausted and bitter, its previous optimism replaced by pessimism, its world position undermined, and its future clouded by a deeply flawed peace settlement. What were the fundamental causes of the Great War? How and why did it break out when it did and who was responsible? Why was it so long, ferocious, wasteful, and, until the very end, indecisive? Why did the Allies, rather than the Central Powers, emerge victorious? What did the peace settlement settle? How was Europe changed? What is the historical significance of the conflict? [ more ]

HIST 136Before the Deluge: Paris and Berlin in the Interwar Years

Not offered this year

Paris and Berlin were the two poles of Europe in the 1920s, rival capital cities of two historically hostile nations that had only just put an end to the carnage of World War I. Paris was the grande dame; Berlin the upstart. In the 1920s, these two pulsating metropolises became the sites of political and cultural movements that would leave a lasting imprint on European society until the present day. This course focuses on the politics, society, and culture of these two cities in their heyday in the 1920s. We will also consider their fate in the 1930s, first as depression set in, and then as the Nazis came to power. Devoting half the semester to Paris and the other half to Berlin, we will examine a range of parallel topics in both contexts, including the impact of World War I, the growing popularity of right-wing political movements and the increase in political violence, shifting gender norms and sexual mores, and new developments in the realms of art, film, theatre, cabaret, and literature. [ more ]

HIST 140 T(F)Fin-de-Siecle Russia: Cultural Splendor, Imperial Decay

Imperial Russia on the eve of the First World War presents a complex picture of political conflict, social and economic change, and cultural ferment and innovation. Newly emergent political parties sought to enlist mass support to transform or overthrow the tsarist regime, which in turn endeavored to preserve itself through a combination of repression, reform, and the refashioning of its image. Rapid urbanization and industrialization, and the spread of education and literacy, gave rise to social conflict and dislocation, demands for social reform, and the redefinition of individual identities and beliefs. These political, social, cultural, and economic developments provided a fertile context for the burst of literary creativity and the emergence of modernist literary and artistic movements that occurred in fin-de-siecle imperial Russia. Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, this course will explore the interrelationship in late imperial Russia between political, social, and cultural change and conflict on the one hand and literary and artistic creativity on the other. Our goal will be to gain an understanding of both the pressures that contributed to the Revolutions of 1917 and the reasons why this proved to be such a culturally creative period. [ more ]

HIST 143Soccer and History in Latin America: Making the Beautiful Game

Not offered this year

This course examines the rise of soccer (futbol/futebol) in modern Latin America, from a fringe game to the most popular sport in the region. Focusing especially on Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Mexico, we will analyze the central role that soccer played as these countries faced profound questions about race, masculinity, and regional and national identities. Using autobiographies, videos, and scholarly works from several disciplines, we will consider topics including: the role of race and gender constructions in the initial adoption of soccer; the transformation of this foreign game into a key marker of national identity; the relationship between soccer and political and economic "modernization"; the production of strong, at times violent identities at club, national, and regional levels; and the changes that mass consumerism and globalization have effected on the game and its meanings for Latin Americans. As an Exploring Diversity Initiative course, the class uses primary sources as well as recent scholarship to explore these issues comparatively between regions and nations. Throughout the semester, we will look at how the world of soccer reflects, produces, and at times apparently resolves cultural difference. [ more ]

HIST 152(S)The Fourteenth Amendment and the Meanings of Equality

For more than a century, the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution has served as the principal touchstone for legal debates over the meaning of equality and freedom in the United States. This course explores the origins of the 14th Amendment in the years immediately following the Civil War, and examines the evolution of that amendment's meaning in the century that followed. Central themes in this course include the contested interpretations of "due process," "privileges and immunities," "equal protection," and "life, liberty or property"; the rise, fall, and rebirth of substantive due process; and the battles over incorporating the Bill of Rights into the 14th Amendment. We will pay particular attention to how debates over the 14th Amendment have shaped and been shaped by the changing meanings of racial and gender equality, and how the 14th Amendment has transformed the promise and experience of American citizenship. [ more ]

HIST 154 TThe American Way of War: The First Three Centuries

Not offered this year

Is there an historically distinct American way of war? How have Americans experienced warfare? From the earliest days of European settlement through the final campaigns against American Indians west of the Mississippi, Americans have often been at war. Long before the United States became a world power those conflicts had determined many of the basic contours of American society, culture, and nationhood. This tutorial will investigate the nature and development of American wars over the period 1600 to 1900. Though some attention will be paid to the American Revolution and the Civil War, the tutorial will concentrate primarily on lesser known but still historically significant wars, including King Philip's War, the Seven Years War, the War of 1812, Jackson's Indian Wars, the Mexican-American War, the Plains Indians Wars, and the Spanish American War. All but the last were fought to conclusion in North America itself. How did Americans fight these wars? How did American militaries establish control over such a huge and varied continent? What role did military institutions play in the development of a distinctive American society? Did war abet social mobility, or lend itself to social control? What role did race play in the creation and sustaining of martial goals? What was the relationship between local military institutions and centralist attempts to create a national and/or professional army? What was the impact of warfare on American culture, on concepts of masculinity, and national or community images? Despite the fact that Americans have often conceived of themselves as a peace-loving people, war from the beginning has played a key role in shaping their society and nation. It is exactly the nature, meaning, and paradoxes of American wars that this tutorial will attempt to unravel. [ more ]

HIST 156(S)From Pocahontas to Crazy Horse: Representations of Native Americans in Popular Culture

In this class, we will explore a variety of media to interrogate depictions of Native peoples in the United States. By examining popular representations of iconic Native Americans (Pocahontas, Squanto, Sacagawea, and Crazy Horse, among others) in film, children's literature, websites, statuary and portraiture, etc., alongside scholarly interpretations of their lives, we can parse the creation and evolution of stereotypes about Native peoples and consider the cultural work that such imagery performs. For instance, why is it important to some people to imagine that Pocahontas lived happily ever after with John Smith, or that Squanto gave us the first Thanksgiving? Such national myths are based on kernels of historical reality, but they also elide important details and oversimplify the lives of both Native and European protagonists. By learning more about the complex Native individuals behind the stereotypes, we will face our assumptions, identify the cultural work these images perform, and question why certain portrayals of Native peoples continue to thrive. We will also interrogate other timely and recognizable images such as sports mascots and fictional characters to contemplate the ways that myths about Native pasts (and the stereotypes they engender) continue to affect real people living in this country today. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

HIST 157From Powhatan to Lincoln: Discovering Leadership in a New World

Not offered this year

The collision of cultures and peoples in colonial North America created a New World that demanded new forms of political leadership. This course explores the history of leadership from the colonial era to the Civil War through the study of consequential individuals whose actions shaped seminal moments in American history. As often as possible, the course will analyze rival leaders to understand the many different forms of leadership that existed throughout American history and how historical contexts affected individual decisions. The course opens with Powhatan, whose Native American empire spanned the East Coast of North America, and John Smith, who confronted this Indian empire as he tried to establish England's first toehold in the New World, and it ends with Abraham Lincoln, who tried to keep together a nation that Jefferson Davis aimed to destroy. In between, the course will explore colonial leaders like John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; African American leaders like Gabriel Prosser, who led a slave rebellion, and Richard Allen, a free black abolitionist; presidents like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; First ladies like Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison; advocates for women's rights like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and others. Providing a survey of early American history through the study of these individuals, students will have a deeper appreciation of how historical processes shaped leaders--and how leaders have shaped history. [ more ]

HIST 164Slavery in the United States

Not offered this year

Slavery and freedom rose as concomitant ideologies--simultaneously and interrelated--critical to the development of the American colonies and United States. Few areas of American social, political, and economic history have been more active and exciting in recent years than the study of this relationship. This seminar introduces students to the most important aspects of American slavery, beginning with an examination of the international slave trade and traces the development of the "peculiar institution" to its demise with the Civil War. [ more ]

HIST 165(F)Going Nuclear: American Culture in the Atomic Age

Ever since the Manhattan Project produced atomic weapons for Harry Truman to use against Japan at the end of World War II, atomic science has fueled Americans' fears, hopes, nightmares, and fantasies. This course will examine all aspects of American nuclear culture, from scientists' movements to abolish atomic weapons and expand peaceful atomic energy production to dystopian fiction about the nuclear apocalypse. It will investigate the role of the nuclear arms race in the cold war and the development of civil defense and bomb shelter culture in the United States. Using scholarly books and articles, primary sources, novels, and films, we will explore the interactions between science, diplomacy, and culture in the nuclear age. In this writing intensive course, we will focus on analyzing sources, writing clearly and effectively, and making persuasive arguments. Students will not only learn about history, but they will learn to think and write as historians. [ more ]

HIST 166Politics and Prose: Invisible Man in Historical Context

Not offered this year

"I am an invisible man." So begins Ralph Ellison's treatise on black life in the United States in the middle of the twentieth century. Ellison's book Invisible Man appeared in 1952, won the National Book Award, and secured a prominent place in the canons of both American and African American arts and letters. Often studied for its literary crafting and for the ways it echoes the work of classic American writers, Invisible Man iterates the black past as it affects its protagonist. This course examines the novel and its themes in historical context: debates among black ideologues and leaders; links between culture and protest; and effects of black migration and urbanization. In addition to the novel the course also includes readings in black sociology, anthropology, law, literature, political science, education, folklife, and music. [ more ]

HIST 167(S)Let Freedom Ring? African Americans and Emancipation

This course will examine African Americans' transition from slavery to freedom. In the years that encompassed the Civil War and immediately after, most African Americans changed from being legal property, able to be bought, sold, mortgaged, rented out, and leveraged into U.S. citizens, with the Constitutional right to male suffrage. This course examines this transition. How did it come about? To what extent were African Americans able to exercise their rights that the constitution guaranteed? How did Emancipation shape African American family relations, culture and demography? This is a research seminar. We will examine work of historians and discuss the contradictions and nuances of emancipation. Readings will include monographs, scholarly articles and heavy dose of primary sources, as many as possible written by African Americans themselves. Assignments include an original research paper on an aspect of Emancipation. We will devote considerable time throughout the semester to finding primary and secondary sources and on the writing process. [ more ]

HIST 168(F)1968-1969: Two Years in America

These two years were tumultuous ones worldwide. The escalation of the war in Vietnam, the Soviet invasion of Prague, the student uprisings in Paris and Japan, and the racial politics in the Summer Olympics held in Mexico City all had their counterparts that reverberated in the streets, college campuses, the halls of Congress, movie theaters, and concert halls and rock festivals in the United States. This first-year seminar will examine some of the major events of this time period in America: the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the Democratic Convention in Chicago, as well as cultural trends such as the development of the anti-war movement, the push for curricular reforms on college campuses, and the rise of the "counter culture." [ more ]

HIST 178 TMarriage and the American Nation

Not offered this year

This tutorial explores the transformation of marriage as an institution, idea, and experience from colonial times through the beginning of the twenty-first century. What is marriage? Is it a private agreement or a public contract? A legal bond or a religious sacrament? A right or a privilege? Who can enter it? Who determines when it is over, and on what grounds? Examining the long history of American debates about these questions, we will consider the complex ways that beliefs and policies regarding marriage have affected national understandings of gender roles, of racial difference, of the meaning of citizenship, and of the function and reach of government. We will explore many of the controversies associated with marriage over the last 400 years, including interracial marriage, polygamy, divorce, domestic violence, property rights, custody, cohabitation, working mothers, and same-sex marriage. [ more ]

HIST 193Black Power Abroad: Decolonization in Africa, the Caribbean and Europe

Not offered this year

Obama's recent successful bid for the Presidency has reminded Americans of the strong links between African-Americans and Africans and of the international dimensions of the struggle for racial justice. This struggle has its roots in the post-World War II transformation of the world associated with the decolonization struggles led by individuals like C.L.R. James, Aime Cesaire, Kwame Nkrumah, Franz Fanon and Nelson Mandela. This course will examine this movement, focusing on activists in the Caribbean and Africa, the new ideas and cultural movements they inspired (Pan-Africanism, Negritude, and Socialism), their organizational activities in London and Paris, and their success in breaking free of European imperialism only to be confronted with American and Russian Cold War rivalry. By comparing and contrasting different experiences of independence--in the Caribbean, in independent Ghana, and in anti-apartheid South Africa--this course will grapple with the ways in which racism, political power, and cultural difference affected relations between Blacks, mulattoes, whites, and Indians in these countries as they fought for independence. The comparative and transatlantic scope of this course, combined with its focus on race relations, power, and privilege helps it meet the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative. [ more ]

HIST 201(F)History Behind the Headlines

What is the history behind some of the major issues covered by the media? And what are some of the differing perspectives on and interpretations of how to address some of the most significant issues that face us all? This course will challenge students to think historically about the present by introducing the methods and conceptual tools historians use to understand the past and how that may lead to a better appreciation of contemporary society. Students will be encouraged to become more critical readers of the media and thus better assess when and how history is used and abused in the public sphere. Throughout the semester, members of the History Department will visit the class and address how their field is represented in the media and political discourse. Because of its commitment to explore how people in different societies respond to the pressing issues of the day and how people in various corners of the world are redefining and rethinking notions of rights, this course is part of the Exploring Diversity Initiative (EDI). [ more ]

HIST 203(F)Modern African History

This course surveys the history of 19th and 20th century Africa. The first section of the course focuses on the European conquest of Africa and the dynamics of colonial rule--especially its socio-economic and cultural consequences. The second section looks at how the rising tide of African nationalism, in the form of labor strikes and guerrilla wars, ushered out colonialism. The third section examines the postcolonial states, focusing on the politics of development, recent civil wars in countries like Rwanda and Liberia, and the growing AIDS epidemics. The last section surveys the history of Apartheid in South Africa up to 1994.Course materials include fiction, poetry, memoirs, videos, newspaper articles, and outstanding recent scholarship. The course is structured around discussions. This EDI course explores the experiences and expressions of the culturally diverse peoples of African descent in the New World (and the Old), as well as the myriad ways in which they confront, negotiate, and at times challenge dominant U.S. and/or European hierarchies of race, culture, gender and class. [ more ]

HIST 207(F)The Modern Middle East

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. [ more ]

Taught by: Stacy Fahrenthold

Catalog details

HIST 209The Origins of Islam: God, Empire and Apocalypse

Not offered this year

Both Muslim and non-Muslim historians usually see the rise of Islam in the seventh century C.E. as a total break with the past. This course will challenge that assumption by placing the rise of Islam in the context of the history of late antiquity (c. 250-700 C.E.). The first portion of the course will examine the impact of Judeo-Christian monotheism in the ancient world, the rise of confessional empires, articulation of new ideas about holiness and its relation to sexuality and the transformations undergone by Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism. We shall examine the conversation of these traditions with classical paganism and philosophy, the internal struggle within traditions to define rules of interpretation, the impact of ascetic, iconoclastic and apocalyptic ideas and, finally, polemics among the traditions. We will then examine the career of Muhammad (PBUH) in the context of Arabia, the spread of the Islamic empire into Christian and Iranian worlds, the impact of apocalyptic expectations, the fixation of religious decision making within the tradition, the process of conversion, the encounter with the Late Antique heritage and religious diversity within the commonwealth of Islam. The course will end with the end of the Abbasid Caliphate in 1258. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

HIST 212Transforming the "Middle Kingdom": China, 2000 BCE-1600

Not offered this year

China expanded from scattered Neolithic settlements to become one of the world's most complex and sophisticated civilizations. During this process, it experienced dramatic transformation as well as remarkable institutional and cultural continuities. This course will examine Chinese history from prehistoric times to the "early modern" seventeenth century. It will address topics such as the creation and transformation of dynastic authority, the reinterpretation of Confucian thought, the transmission of Buddhism, the conquest of China proper by "barbarian" peoples, the composition of elites, and change in daily life, popular culture and China's place in the East Asian and world systems. This course fulfills the Exploring Diversity Initiative requirement in that it disputes the idea of a single, stable Chinese identity throughout history, and focuses instead on the variety of cultures and cultural encounters that contributed to what we currently think of as "Chinese" history and culture. [ more ]

HIST 213Modern China, 1600-Present

Not offered this year

Observers may be struck by the apparent contradictions of contemporary China: market reforms undertaken by a nominally Communist government, extremes of urban wealth and rural poverty, increasing participation in the international community and intensifying nationalist rhetoric. This course will examine China's historical engagement with the modern world in order to gain perspective on our current views. It will cover the Qing (1644-1911) dynastic order, encounters with Western and Japanese imperialism, the rise of Chinese nationalism, Republican and Communist revolutions, the "other Chinas" of Taiwan and Hong Kong, economic liberalization, and globalization. This course is part of the Exploring Diversity Initiative in that it requires students to engage with questions of difference through studying the development of the modern Chinese nation-state from the multi-ethnic empire of the Qing and China's particular experiences of imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. [ more ]

HIST 216The Greater Game? Central Asia and its Neighbors Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Not offered this year

The collapse of the Soviet Union, the recognition of untapped mineral wealth, and Islamic resurgence have all led to an increased focus on Central Asia and its neighbors, Russia, China, the Middle East. This course will be an introduction to the Caucasus, the Central Asian Republics, Xinjiang and Mongolia and the interests of their neighbors, including now the United States in those areas. This will be a lecture course that will introduce the salient themes and issues that are necessary for understanding these areas. The course will inevitably be deeply comparative focusing on themes of "the clash of civilizations," the construction of national identities, notions of ethnicity and the treatment of ethnic minorities, resurgent religious movements, and the relation of state and civil society. This course will also function as an introduction to doing social scientific research on these areas and special attention will be devoted to the preparation of a research paper. [ more ]

HIST 217(S)Early Modern Japan

The ascension of powerful warlords in the late 1500s brought to an end a century of constant warfare and laid the foundation for the Tokugawa bakufu, the military government headed by the Tokugawa shogun that would rule Japan for almost three hundred years. This course will introduce students to the extraordinary changes of the years between the establishment of the Tokugawa bakufu in 1603 and its collapse in 1868, an era characterized by relative peace and stability, periods of economic growth as well as stagnation, the development of cities and towns, the flourishing of urban culture, and the decline of the samurai. We will focus on the political and social history of early modern Japan, including topics such as the establishment of the Tokugawa order, the nature of the political system, economic growth and urbanization, the legal order, popular culture, rural life, gender and sexuality, class and status, religion, and the fall of the Tokugawa bakufu. Assigned materials will include government documents, intellectual treatises, autobiographies, literature, and films. [ more ]

HIST 218Modern Japan

Not offered this year

A stunning revolution, the construction and collapse of an empire, the waging of wars, devastating defeat and occupation by a foreign power, and postwar economic rollercoaster have marked Japan's modern experience. This course will explore how various Japanese from politicians and intellectuals to factory workers and urban youth have understood, instigated, and lived the upheavals of the past century and a half. We will ask why a modernizing revolution emerged out of the ashes of the early modern order; how Japan's encounters with "the West" have shaped the country's political and cultural life; what democracy and its failures have wrought; how world war was experienced and what legacies it left in its wake; how national identity has been constructed and reconstructed; and how postwar Japan has struggled with the successes and costs of affluence. Materials will include anthropological studies, government documents, intellectual tracts, fiction, films, and oral histories. [ more ]

HIST 219Japanese Culture and History from Courtiers to Samurai and Beyond

Not offered this year

This course will introduce students to the history, literature, and artistic culture of premodern Japan, from the time of the first recorded histories in the 800s through the abolition of the samurai class in the late 1800s. We will focus on the politics and aesthetic culture of the ruling elites in each period, from the heyday of the imperial court through the rise and eventual decline of the samurai warrior and the growth of Edo (Tokyo), with its new mode of early modern government and new forms of literature, theater, and art. Team taught by faculty from History and Comparative Literature, the course will examine historical texts alongside works drawn from literature, visual culture, and performing arts, and will ask students to consider how these different kinds of texts can shed light on one another. What is the difference between reading history and reading literature, or is it even meaningful to distinguish the two? By critically engaging in various kinds of textual analysis, this EDI course not only considers the relationship between politics, culture, and society in premodern Japan but also explores how we can attempt to know and understand different times and places. Primary texts will include court diaries, war tales, and fiction; laws and edicts; essays and autobiographies; noh, kabuki, and puppet theater; and tea ceremony, visual art, and architecture. Students should register under the prefix specific to the Division in which they want to receive credit. [ more ]

HIST 220(F)History and Society in India and South Asia: c. 2000 to 1700s CE

This course is an introduction to the history of India and South Asia from prehistoric times to the emergence of "early modernity". During these centuries, the subcontinent emerged as one of the most diverse and complex regions of the world, as it continues to be even today. The course will cover the period between the rise of the Indus Valley civilization to the end of the Mughal Empire and will address topics such the as the "discovery of India", the coming of the "Aryans", society and culture in the great epics like the Ramayana, the beginnings of Jain and Buddhist thought, politics and patronage under Islamic polities, the formation of Mughal imperial authority through art, architecture and literature, among others. Through the study of social processes, the course will focus on the diversity and connectedness that have defined the subcontinent throughout its history. It will also consider the role of history in the region and how a number of events from the past continue to inform its present. [ more ]

HIST 221(S)The Making of Modern South Asia: 1750-1950 CE

This course focuses on the history of South Asia with the aim of providing an overview of the political and social landscape of the region from the end of the Mughal Empire through British colonial rule and the Partition of India and Pakistan. We will explore a range of themes including the rise of colonialism, nationalism, religion, caste, gender relations, and the emergence of modern social and political institutions on the subcontinent. In addition to reading key texts and historical primary sources on the specific themes, we will also work with a variety of multimedia sources including films, short stories and website content. One objective of this course is to introduce students to the different political and social processes that led to the creation of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; another is to teach students to think critically about the significance of history and history writing in the making of the subcontinent. [ more ]

HIST 222Greek History

Not offered this year

Ancient Greece has been thought to embody the origins of Western civilization in its institutions, values, and thought; it has been seen as the infancy of modern society, with the attributes of innocence, purity, and the infant's staggering capacity for exploration and learning; it has been interpreted as an essentially primitive, violent culture with a thin veneer of rationality; and it has been celebrated as the rational culture par excellence. The study of ancient Greece indeed requires an interpretive framework, yet Greek culture and history have defied most attempts to articulate one. We will make our attempt in this course by investigating ancient Greece as a set of cultures surprisingly foreign to us, as it so often was to its own intellectual elite. But we will also come to appreciate the rich and very real connections between ancient Greek and modern Western civilization. The course will begin with Bronze Age-Greece and the earliest developments in Greek culture, and will conclude with the spread of Greek influence into Asia through the conquests of Alexander the Great. We will explore topics such as the aristocratic heritage of the city-state, the effects of pervasive war on Greek society, the competitive spirit in political and religious life, the confrontations with the East, the relationship of intellectual culture to Greek culture as a whole, Greek dependence on slavery, and the diversity of political and social forms in the Greek world. The readings will concentrate on original sources, including historical writings, philosophy, poetry, and oratory. [ more ]

HIST 223(S)Roman History

The study of Roman history involves questions central to the development of Western institutions, religion, and modes of thought. Scholars have looked to Rome both for actual antecedents of European cultural development and for paradigmatic scenes illustrating what they felt were cultural universals. Yet Roman history also encompasses the most far-reaching experience of diverse cultures, beliefs, and practices known in the Western tradition until perhaps contemporary times. A close analysis of Roman history on its own terms shows the complex and fascinating results of an ambitious, self-confident nation's encounter both with unexpected events and crises at home, and with other peoples. As this course addresses the history of Rome from its mythologized beginnings through the reign of the emperor Constantine, it will place special emphasis on the impressive Roman ability to turn the unexpected into a rich source of cultural development, as well as the complex tendency later to interpret such ad hoc responses as predestined and inevitable. The Romans also provide a vivid portrait of the relationship between power and self-confidence on the one hand, and violence and ultimate disregard for dissent and difference on the other. Readings for this course will concentrate on a wide variety of original sources, and there will be a strong emphasis on the problems of historical interpretation. [ more ]

HIST 224Roman Archaeology and Material Culture

Not offered this year

This course examines the development of Roman archaeology and material culture from the early Iron Age, ca. 1000 BCE, to the end of the reign of Constantine in 337 CE. The primary goal of the course is to help students understand the social and historical context in which Roman material culture was created and used. We will consider a variety of evidence from across the empire, including monumental and domestic architecture, wall painting, mosaics, sculpture, coins and inscriptions. Special emphasis will be placed on the city of Rome; however, we will also look at other important urban centers, such as Pompeii, Aphrodisias and Lepcis Magna. Roman art and architecture were not the product of any single people or culture, but rather the hybrid synthesis of complex cultural negotiations between the Romans and their colonial subjects (i.e., Greeks, Jews, Celts, etc.). Class discussions will focus on issues related to gender, ethnicity and cultural identity in the Roman Empire. For example, we will explore what it meant to be "Roman" in terms of language, ethnicity and cultural institutions. We will also discuss how Roman elites used material culture to convey political messages and social status in the imperial hierarchy, as well as the legacy of Roman art and architecture in the modern world. [ more ]

HIST 225The Medieval World, 300-1500

Not offered this year

The European world saw dramatic changes and the creation of new cultures and societies between the ancient and modern periods. This course will survey more than a millennium of history, beginning late in classical antiquity and concluding at the dawn of the modern era. We will concentrate both on developments within Europe, and on European encounters with Islam, the Byzantine East, and pagan cultures. With an approach that is both chronological and thematic, we will place the broader narrative of medieval history alongside special consideration of Europe's neighbors, social organization, medieval women, religion and piety, and education. Lectures and class discussion will receive equal emphasis. [ more ]

HIST 226Europe From Reformation to Revolution: 1500-1815

Not offered this year

This course introduces students to the major historical developments in Western Europe during the early modern period--such pan-European phenomena as the Reformation, the Witch Craze, the Military Revolution, the rise of absolutist states, the seventeenth-century crisis in government and society, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and Napoleon, and the establishment of European influence around the world. [ more ]

HIST 227A Century of Revolutions: Europe, 1789-1917

Not offered this year

This course introduces students to the era of the European domination of the world, a time of revolutionary excitement and fervor, of war and travesty, of profound social and economic change, and of great intellectual ferment. Topics include the French and Russian Revolutions, the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848, the Industrial Revolution, German and Italian Unification, European imperialist expansion, the origins of World War I, and the environmental impact of 19th century Europeans on the world. With an eye toward exploring the origins of today's complex attitudes toward class, race, ethnicity, and gender, the course will also focus on Marxism, racism, anti-Semitism, and feminism in the nineteenth century. [ more ]

HIST 228(S)Europe in the Twentieth Century

This course will offer a survey of some of the important themes of twentieth-century European history, from the eve of World War One to the end of the century. Organized topically and thematically, the course will consider European society in the fin-de-siecle period; imperialism, racism, and mass politics; the impact of the Great War on European thought, culture and society; the Russian Revolution and Stalinist Russia; economic and political stabilization in the 1920s; the Depression; the rise of Fascism and National Socialism; World War II and the Holocaust; the establishment of postwar social democratic welfare states; decolonization; the "economic miracle" of the 1950s; the uprisings of 1968; the development of the European Union; and the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe. Through a combination of lecture and discussion, the course seeks to introduce students to the major ideologies and institutions that shaped the lives of Europeans in the twentieth century, and to reflect on the role of ordinary people who devised, adapted, embraced, and sometimes resisted the dominant ideas and practices of their time. [ more ]

HIST 229(F)European Imperialism and Decolonization

This course surveys European imperialism in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, paying special attention to important case studies such as British India, the Scramble for Africa, and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. Issues to be explored include imperialism and its relationship to Christianity, gender, racism, and economic profit. In the second half of the course, we will examine some of the most dramatic cases of decolonization, including Gandhi and Nehru's independence movement in India, Ho Chi Minh's victory at Dien Bien Phu, and the torturous struggle for independence in Lumumba's Congo. As a transatlantic and transpacific course focusing on race relations, power and privilege, this course fulfills the EDI requirement. [ more ]

HIST 230Modern European Jewish History, 1789-1948

Not offered this year

What does it mean to be a Jew? The vexed question of Jewish identity emerged at the end of the eighteenth century in Europe and has dominated Jewish history throughout the modern period. Although Jewish emancipation and citizenship followed different paths in France and the German states, in both cases Jews were confronted by unprecedented opportunities for integration into non-Jewish society and unprecedented challenges to Jewish communal life. This course will introduce students to the major social, cultural, religious, and political transformations that shaped the lives of Europe's Jews from the outbreak of the French Revolution to the aftermath of World War II. We will explore such topics as emancipation, Jewish diversity, the rise of religious denominations within Judaism, competing political ideologies, Jewish-gentile relations, the role of Jewish women, Jewish responses to Nazism, and the situation of Jews in the immediate postwar period. In addition to broad historical treatments, course materials will include memoirs and diaries. [ more ]

HIST 231(F)Medieval England

Across the entire world of the Middle Ages, no region has captured the modern pop-culture imagination as much as medieval England. From the Battle of Hastings to Magna Carta, from Braveheart to King Arthur, medieval English history and popular knowledge of the medieval past are closely linked. This course will survey the history of England from the Roman period through the reign of Richard II (AD 43--1399). We will find a great deal to detain us in these thirteen centuries, including the Anglo-Saxon settlement of England and subsequent conversion to Christianity, the Viking raids of the ninth and tenth centuries, the Norman Conquest, the growth of English common law, the murder of Thomas Beckett, Edward I's campaigns in Wales and Scotland, the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, and the beginning of the Hundred Years War. We will focus particularly on power and politics, but primary readings will add important social, cultural and religious context. Our meetings will emphasize lectures and discussion equally. No prior knowledge is expected. [ more ]

HIST 239Germany in the Twentieth Century

Not offered this year

This course is designed to introduce students to the history of the twentieth-century Germany as experienced and made by ordinary human beings through written documents, literature, film, and the writings of historians and other scholars. Topics to be considered include: the bourgeoisie and the working classes in the Kaiserreich; Germany at the outbreak of World War I; the experience of war and its aftermath; the hyper-inflation of 1923; the commitment of Germans to democracy during the Weimar Republic; the mood in Germany at the beginning of the 1930's; the coming to power of the National Socialists; the ideology of National Socialism; the "Volksgemeinschaft"; the Nazi image of the Jew; the "Final Solution"; World War II on the battlefront and on the home front; the West German "Economic Miracle"; divided Germany in the 1970s and 1980s; life in the German Democratic Republic; the "Historians' Debate"; and Germany after the Wall. [ more ]

HIST 240Muscovy and the Russian Empire

Not offered this year

Between the fourteenth and the seventeenth centuries the princes and political elite of Muscovy created an extensive multi-ethnic and multi-religious empire in Eastern Europe and Asia. Over the next 150 years their imperial heirs transformed and extended this empire, to the point that on the eve of the Crimean War (1853-1855) many believed it to be the most powerful state in Europe. But defeat in the war exposed the weakness of the imperial regime and helped to provoke a process of state-led reform that failed to avert, and may well have contributed to, the collapse of the regime in the February Revolution of 1917. Using a combination of primary and secondary sources, this course will explore the character of the Muscovite and the Russian empires and the forces, processes, and personalities that shaped their formation, expansion, and, in the latter case, collapse. [ more ]

HIST 241(S)The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union

The October Revolution of 1917 brought to power in the debris of the Russian Empire a political party committed to the socialist transformation of society, culture, the economy, and individual human consciousness. Less than seventy-five years later, the experiment appeared to end in failure, with the stunning collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Using a combination of primary and secondary sources, this course will explore the nature and historical significance of the Soviet experiment, the controversies to which it has given rise, and the forces, processes, and personalities that shaped the formation, transformation, and ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. [ more ]

HIST 242Latin America From Conquest to Independence

Not offered this year

This course will examine the processes commonly referred to as the creation of "Latin America" and will do so from numerous perspectives. Starting with the construction of indigenous societies, from small and decentralized groupings to huge imperial polities-, before 1492, to the invasion of Europeans from that date forward, we will take up the question of the Iberian "conquest," looking at the often violent encounters that made up that event and analyzing its success, limits, and results. We will then study the imposition of Iberian rule from the point of view of would-be colonizers and the peoples they treated as objects of colonization, stressing the multiple and conflicting character of European, indigenous, and African perspectives. Thus looking at the Americas from both the outside-in and inside-out, we will focus on the unequal relations of power that came to define cultural, political, and economic life in the colonies, always with an eye on the gendered and racialized nature of those relations. We will also not only compare very different regions of the Iberian Americas but also see how the grand shifts of history intervened in--and perhaps consisted of--the most normal elements of daily life in northern Mexico, the central Andes, coastal Brazil, and other parts of colonial Latin America. Visual as well as more traditional written primary materials, along with secondary texts and films, will serve as the basis for our discussions throughout the semester. [ more ]

HIST 243Modern Latin America, 1822 to the Present

Not offered this year

This course will examine salient issues in the history of the independent nations of Latin America. The first two sections of the course will focus on the turbulent formation of nation-states over the course of the "long nineteenth century," from the crises of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires in the late eighteenth century to the heyday of liberal political economies at the turn of the twentieth century. In this regard the course will analyze the social and economic changes of the period up to World War I and the possibilities they offered for both political order and disorder. Key topics addressed will include caudillismo, the role of the Church in politics, economic dependency and development, and the place of indigenous and African Latin-American peoples in new nations, and industrialization and urbanization. The latter two sections will examine the trend toward state-led national development in the twentieth century, considering the diverse forms it took and conflicts it generated in different nations and periods. Here we will take up questions the emergence of workers' and women's movements and the rise of mass politics; militarism, democracy, and authoritarian governments; the influence of the U.S. in the region; and the life and possibly death of revolutionary options. Within this chronological framework of national and regional political economy, we will consider the ways that various Latin American social actors shaped their own lives and collective histories, sometimes challenging and sometimes accommodating the ideals of national elites. General regional trends will be illustrated by selected national cases, including Mexico, Brazil, Agentina, Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. [ more ]

HIST 245(S)History of Modern Brazil

Brazil has been "the country of the future" far longer than it has been an independent nation. Soon after Europeans descended on its shores, Brazil was hailed as a land of resources so rich and diverse that they would inevitably produce great wealth and global power for its inhabitants. Although this has often lent a booster-ish quality to its descriptions of the country, it has also brought ambiguity--for if the label suggests Brazil's potential, it also underlies the country's failure to live up to that promise. Being an eternal "country of the future" must be as much a troubling as a cheering designation. This course will examine the modern history of that country of the future by taking up major themes from independence to the present. Beginning with what was by Latin American standards an easy transition from colony to independent empire, we will analyze the hierarchies that have characterized Brazilian society and their relation to the political and economic evolution of the Brazilian nation-state. The course will give particular attention to the themes of race, gender, and citizenship; national culture and modernity; and democracy and authoritarianism in social and political relations. Combining cultural, political, and social analyses, this course fulfills the Exploring Diversity Initiative requirement by examining a range of written texts and other sources to understand these and other themes in the lives of Brazilians of different social identities and political standings since Independence. [ more ]

HIST 248(F)The Caribbean: From Slavery to Independence

This course explores the history of the Caribbean from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, focusing on a comparative approach to British, French, Spanish, and American rule in the region. It will concentrate on the history of Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Topics to be covered include: comparative slave systems; plantation economies; revolution, rebellion and resistance; voodoo and slave religions; indentured labor and intra-Caribbean migration; free persons of color, mulattoes, and West Indian color hierarchies; class and color; trade unionism; communism; the independence movements; the failed West Indies Federation, CARIFTA and CARICOM; Black Power; women in the contemporary Caribbean; migration; and the legacies of slavery and colonialism. [ more ]

HIST 252(S)From Contact to Civil War: A History of North America to 1865

This course will provide a survey of North American history from Europe's first expansion into the New World to the American Civil War. Cast as a contest between competing empires and their peoples, the course begins in Europe and Native North America before contact and studies the expansion of European nations into the New World. The course will emphasize the history of British North America and the interactions between and among the many peoples of colonial America. The course will then examine the coming, course, and consequence of the American Revolution (or what many at the time considered America's first civil war). The new nation unleashed massive and far-reaching economic, social and political changes. The last third of the course will explore these changes in the antebellum era and trace how they affected the coming of America's second civil war. [ more ]

HIST 253(F, S)Modern U.S. History

This course surveys themes and issues that inform the historical landscape of the United States after the Civil War and Reconstruction, from the late 1800s to the present. With special attention to freedom and fragmentation, the course examines the dilemmas inherent to American democracy, including: westward expansion and Indian affairs; immigration and nationalism; progressivism and domestic policy; the expanding role of the United States in the world; race, gender, and rights; and the shifting terrains of liberalism and conservatism. The course also tunes into the connections between current affairs and the American past. Course materials include a range of primary sources (letters, political speeches, autobiography, film, oral histories, fiction, and photography) and historical interpretations. [ more ]

HIST 262The United States and the World, 1776 to 1914

Not offered this year

From its foundation in 1776 to the beginning of World War I in 1914, the United States developed a complex of ideas for understanding--and methods for securing--its place in the world. During this period, the nation's diplomacy went through several phases as it made the transition from a young republic struggling to conduct its diplomacy, to an expansionist power in the first half of the nineteenth century, to an emerging world power in the aftermath of the Civil War, and then to an imperialist power after the Spanish-American War. Amidst these events, U.S. statesmen and citizens constantly debated the country's proper diplomatic role and struggled to construct and propagate a unique American ideology, as well as an advantageous geo-strategic position, on the global stage. Debates about foreign relations were imbued with questions of race, nation, independence, religion, economy, law, gender, and geographic expansion; indeed, defining U.S. foreign relations was a means of defining the nation itself. Through a variety of primary sources and scholarly books and articles, this course will examine U.S. relations with external powers as well as the interactions that occurred between U.S. domestic and foreign policy during this period. [ more ]

HIST 263(S)The United States and the World, 1914 to the Present

This course explores America's engagement with the world from 1914 to the present. The First World War ushered in a new era for U.S. foreign relations. The self-identified isolationist power became a principal player on the world stage and by the end of the Second World War emerged as one of the two global superpowers, poised to compete with the Soviet Union in a protracted Cold War. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, some spoke of the United States as a "hyperpower," but how it should exercise its unrivalled power was far from clear. Through a mixture of lecture and discussion, this course introduces students to the key events of America's most powerful century and to the new wave of scholarly literature being written about the United States and the World. Readings will reflect current trends in the sub-field, which focuses not only on high-level diplomacy, but also on a range of other factors that influence foreign relations, including ideology, race, gender, culture, domestic politics, and the roles of individual personalities. [ more ]

HIST 279(F)From Cahokia to Casinos: Histories of Native North America from Precontact to the Present

This course will introduce students to the Native histories of North America, from theories about the arrival of the "first Americans" to this continent, through the possibilities of early encounters and the challenges of different colonial systems, to the creation of the United States and subsequent policies of forced removal, allotment, assimilation, and education. We will also focus on Native responses to such policies, including the Red Power movement and other efforts aimed at gaining the right to be both Native and American. Finally, we will examine the issues facing Indian Country today (such as environmental worries, health concerns, and gaming and land rights) as Native peoples continue to fight to maintain their political, cultural, and territorial sovereignty in the face of what many see as an ongoing process of imperialism. Throughout, we will assume that Native Americans were and are active producers of their own histories; by seeing Native agency, adaptability, and tenacity, we can undermine the persistent "myth of the vanishing Indian". By the end of the course, students will be able to reevaluate their understanding of North American history in general and to answer the question of why Native American histories matter to all of us. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

HIST 280African American History: An Introduction

Not offered this year

This course provides a survey of African American History from the earliest importation and migration of Africans to North American through the present day. Our readings and discussions will take up the development, expansion, and organization of slavery, the coming and meaning of freedom, and the political and cultural landscapes of African Americans over time. We will discuss slavery, freedom, civil rights, and racial ideologies. Finally, we will examine the post Civil Rights era, the changing meaning of the designation "African American" in light of global migrations, and African American political power in the 21st century. Our readings, which will include both primary and secondary sources, will help us to interrogate American history and gain an understanding and overview of African American history. The course will be primarily discussion based. Given its focus on the workings of racial ideology and the development of slavery and other forms of unfree labor in the U.S. economic system, this course fulfills the criteria of the Exploring Diversity Initiative. [ more ]

HIST 281African-American History, 1619-1865

Not offered this year

This course provides an introduction to the history of African Americans in United States during the colonial, early republic, and antebellum eras. The course demonstrates how economically, culturally, and politically, African Americans shaped and were shaped by the historical landscape of the nation. The experience of enslavement necessarily dominates this history, and it is the contours and nuances of slavery--and the development of racial classifications--that give this course its focus. But with a attention centered on African Americans, the course also explores African cultural influences, the significance of gender, the lives of free blacks, and the cultural and intellectual significance of the abolitionist movement. The course closes on the themes that emerge from the war between the states, and on the meaning of freedom and emancipation. Our readings will include primary sources and secondary literature. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Informed participation in class discussion is essential. This EDI course explores the experiences and expressions of the culturally diverse peoples of African descent in the New World (and the Old), as well as the myriad ways in which they confront, negotiate, and at times challenge dominant U.S. and/or European hierarchies of race, culture, gender and class. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

HIST 282African-American History From Reconstruction to the Present

Not offered this year

This course introduces students to the significant themes that shaped African-Americans' historical experiences from Reconstruction to the end of the twentieth century: the changing meanings of freedom, equality, and rights; the intersections of ideology and activism; the links among local, regional, and national perspectives; and the expanding diversity of black people in the United States. In addition, the course explores the political culture of black institutional and organizational life, the rise and fall of Jim Crow, migration and urbanization, resistance and protest. [ more ]

HIST 284Introduction to Asian American History

Not offered this year

This course serves as the introduction to Asian American history, roughly covering the years 1850 to the present. It examines the lives of Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Indians, and Southeast Asians in America, and the historical reasons why they came to the US and their subsequent interactions with other ethno-racial groups in the United States. Topics include the anti-Asian exclusion movements, the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans, the increase of Asian immigration after the 1965 Immigration Act and the war in Viet Nam, and the impact of the events of September 11, 2001 on Asian American communities. These themes and others will be explored through the use of historical texts, primary documents, novels, memoirs, and films. This is an EDI course because it examines how people from different Asian countries and cultures interacted with each other and those already here in the US. Theirs is a story of immigration, exclusion, resistance, accommodation, and the process of "becoming American." [ more ]

HIST 286(S)Latina/o History, 1848 to the Present

From 1848 to the present, Latina/o communities have taken shape in the United States through conquest and migration. Why and when have distinct Latina/o groups come to have sizeable communities in different regions of the United States? U.S. imperialism and foreign policies, as well military, political and economic ties between the United States and the various countries of origin define the political and economic contexts in which people leave their homes to come to the United States. In their search for low-wage labor, U.S. employers have recruited workers from Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean. Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, and Salvadorans, as well as others, have responded to labor recruitment and have also relied on networks of family and friends to seek a better life in the United States. What do the histories of these distinct Latina/o groups share and where do their experiences diverge? This EDI course examines the racial dynamics at play in the formation of Latina/o communities, as well as the impact of U.S. hierarchies of race, ethnicity, gender and class on the labor histories of Latinas and Latinos. [ more ]

HIST 293History of Medicine

Not offered this year

A study of the growth and development of medical thought and practice, together with consideration of its interaction with science and social forces and institutions. The course aims at an appreciation of the socio-historical construction of Western medicine, from prehistory to the twentieth century. The course begins with paleomedical reconstructions, and moves to Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek [not only Hippocratic] medicine, Greek and Roman anatomy and physiology, Arabic medical thought, Renaissance medicine, and the gradual professionalization and specialization of medicine from the sixteenth century. Attention is paid to theories of health and disease, ideas about anatomy and physiology, in addition to achievements such as anesthesia and internal surgery, and advances in instruments such as obstetrical forceps and the stethoscope. [ more ]

HIST 294(S)Scientific Revolutions: 1543-1927

How much does science create the sensibilities and values of the modern world? How much, if any, technical detail is it necessary to know in order to understand the difference between propaganda and fact? This course investigates four major changes of world view, associated with Copernicus (1543); Newton (1687); Darwin (1859); and Planck (1900) and Einstein (1905). It also treats briefly the emergence of modern cosmogony, geology, and chemistry as additional reorganizations of belief about our origins, our past, and our material structure. We first acquire a basic familiarity with the scientific use and meaning of the new paradigms, as they emerged in historical context. We then ask how those ideas fit together to form a new framework, and ask what their trans-scientific legacy has been, that is, how they have affected ideas and values in other sciences, other fields of thought, and in society. Knowledge of high-school algebra is presupposed. [ more ]

HIST 295(F)Technology and Science in American Culture

Although technologically dependent, the American colonies slowly built a network of native scientists and inventors whose skills helped shape the United States' response to the Industrial Revolution. The interaction of science, technology, and society in the nineteenth century did much to form American identity: the machine in the garden, through the "American System of Manufactures" helped America rise to technological prominence; the professionalization and specialization of science and engineering led to their becoming vital national resources. Understanding these developments, as well as the heroic age of American invention (1865-1914), forms the focus of this course: how science and technology have helped shape modern American life. [ more ]

HIST 301(S)Approaching the Past: Modern National, Transnational, and Postcolonial Histories

This course examines the practice of history from the nineteenth century to the present. We will examine the sources, methods, and theoretical assumptions that have shaped the historical craft in this period, as well as the deeper questions that all historians must confront, implicitly or explicitly: What is "history"? Who makes it and how? To address these issues, we will discuss the work of canonical and non-canonical historians from across the world, and from outside as well as inside the academy. The particular focus will be on the production of history from the rise of the nation-state through the spread of new imperialisms in the late nineteenth century and on to the emergence of the "Third World," decolonization, and the "new globalization" over the course of the twentieth century. In weekly seminar meetings we will analyze texts and how their authors define historical subjects/actors and processes, as well as the meanings of history for different audiences and eras. [ more ]

HIST 301Approaching the Past: Writing the Past

Not offered this year

"History" refers to the aggregate of past events as well as to the branch of knowledge that seeks to understand those past events. Whereas history courses often take as their content the first of these two meanings of history, focusing on the politics, society, and culture of a particular place in a particular historical era, this course will examine history's often concealed "other" meaning: the practices of historians, their methods and assumptions. In so doing, this course aims to unsettle history majors' own assumptions about what history "is" and what historians "do". How do historians reconstruct the past, and how and why have their approaches to sources, theories, and narrative strategies changed over time? And on a deeper level, how have historians' suppositions changed--if they have changed--about the nature of historical truth, knowledge, and the value of history to the societies in which they wrote? Taking history-writing itself as our object of study, over the course of the semester we will read the work of twelve, quite different historians from the classical to the modern era. Each week in our seminar meetings, we will subject these texts to a careful reading in order to understand and assess these historians' theories and practices. [ more ]

HIST 301Approaching the Past: Remembering American History

Not offered this year

Much of what we know and understand about American history is rooted in the received narrative of our national history, a history that is constructed of individual, collective, and a national memory of the past and its meanings. This course will examine some forms through which American historical memory is presented and (re)presented, such as monuments, museums, novels, film, photographs, and scholarly historical writing, by considering a number of pivotal events, institutions, or eras in American history. Potential topics are slavery, race, and the Civil War; westward expansion; the Great Depression; World War II; the Sixties; the war in Viet Nam; and the events and aftermath of September 11, 2001. [ more ]

HIST 301Approaching the Past: Practices of Modern History

Not offered this year

What is history? What is it that historians do? In this course, students will explore questions of how and why we historians practice our craft. The first section of the course will examine how historians come to know, think about, and understand the past. Issues of the nature of historical "truth," objectivity and bias, types of sources, and uses of theory will be discussed. Next, we will address the ways in which historians write about the past, considering the influence of postmodernism on historical narratives, and historical film. Finally, we will examine the uses of history, including public history, history education, and the construction of historical memory. The class will meet once a week, and each session will focus on some theoretical material as well as readings that concretely illustrate the methodological issues at stake. These readings will be drawn from a broad range of topics, such as the Great Depression, the Nanking Massacre, and the assassination of JFK. [ more ]

HIST 301(F)Approaching the Past: History, Theory, Practice

This course will explore how the discipline of 'History' has come to assume its present form and how a number of historians since the 1820s have understood their craft. We will begin by discussing the work of three great nineteenth-century historians (Macaulay, Marx, and Ranke) who believed that historical "truth" existed and could, with skill, be deciphered. Next we will explore the philosophy and practice of the cultural and social historians of the 1960s/1970s, comparing and contrasting it with that of their nineteenth-century predecessors. We will then consider the work of those recent theorists who have tried to refute historians' claims to be able to capture the "truth" of the past, focusing on the state of the field in the wake of challenges posed to its epistemological foundations by "post-modernism." We will conclude with an assessment of the state of the discipline today. In general, we will be less concerned with "the past" than with what historians do with "the past." Consequently, we will focus primarily on those abstract, philosophical assumptions that have informed the practice of history. [ more ]

HIST 301(F)Approaching the Past: Westward Expansion in American History

How does historical knowledge evolve? How do historians build on but also repudiate the work of historians that came before them? In this course, we will explore the historiography that has developed over the last 150 years about the Anglo-American settlement of the West, using it as a lens to explore larger questions about shifting perspectives of the historian's craft. This historiography will also illuminate critical conflicts about the meaning of American history. Did the frontier build American character, as Frederick Jackson Turner argued in 1893? Did it establish patterns of conquest that have shaped American policy toward other parts of the world, as later historians would argue? Has the West been an "exceptional" place or representative of the nation at large? The class will meet twice a week, and the discussions will focus intensively on one book, examining the theoretical and historical assumptions of the author; how these assumptions shaped the historian's search for evidence and his or her claims; and the impact they have had on our understanding of the American West. [ more ]

HIST 301Approaching the Past: Varieties of Historical Thinking

Not offered this year

This course is designed to acquaint students with some of the ways historians have thought about the past. Beginning with Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War, the work of eleven historians will be studied closely and critically over the course of the semester. In the process, students not only will become familiar with various important historical approaches but will also be encouraged to examine their own assumptions about the past and about how and why--or even if--we know it. We will meet weekly to define, understand, and assess the different ways historians considered in the course have thought about the past. [ more ]

HIST 301Approaching the Past: Is History Eurocentric?

Not offered this year

The modern historical profession is very much a European creation, originating in the Age of Enlightenment. Championing reason and challenging religious views of the past, the Philosophes linked the new secular study of man and his society to a view of historical progress. Some have argued that the very nature of the historical discipline is Eurocentric, based as it is on Western concepts of reason, science, and historical evolution which privilege European history at the expense of its non-Western counterparts. In this course, we will study some of the important spokesmen for historical progress (Voltaire, Condorcet, Marx, von Ranke) as well as some of their important critics. The first half of the course will survey the history of the historical profession from the Enlightenment to the present. In the second half of the course, we will read some of the great works of history which have attempted to explain the rise of the west, grappling with how and to what extent these interpretations are Eurocentric. [ more ]

HIST 301(S)Approaching the Past: Documentary Studies and African American History

Comprised of non-traditional sources--photographs, oral history, narratives, folklore, films, fiction, music, poetry, art and other forms--documentary served historically to engender a progressive agenda by projecting the voices of the voiceless in order to illuminate the need for social change. Some examples include Jacob Riis' photographs of the Lower East Side, Louis Lomax's efforts to record folk music, Stud Terkel's interviews with ordinary Americans. But what documentarians have produced also provides a way to access information about the past, especially the stories of people whose lives have not been preserved through archival materials. This course examines the historical development of documentary forms and reviews the work of specific documentarians. It will focus in particular on the uses of various types of documentary as primary sources for research in African American history. Familiar formats, from Frederick Douglass' autobiographies to Henry Hampton's "Eyes on the Prize" series, recorded AND told histories that still remain mostly veiled. But in its unprocessed or raw form--collected work songs, sermons, tall tales, blues lyrics, family snapshots, oral history, and the like--documentary provides a store of rich primary sources that access the voices less often heard. This course will explore that material and what historians do with it. [ more ]

HIST 304(F)South Africa and Apartheid

This course introduces students to the spatial, legal, economic, social and political structures that created Apartheid in South Africa, and to the factors that led to the collapse of the racist order. We will examine the many forms of black oppression and, also, the various forms of resistance to Apartheid. Some of the themes we will explore include industrialization and the formation of the black working classes, the constructions of race, ethnicities and sexualities, land alienation and rural struggles, township poverty and violence, Black education, and the Black Consciousness Movement. This EDI course explores the experiences and expressions of the culturally diverse peoples of African descent in the New World (and the Old), as well as the myriad ways in which they confront, negotiate, and at times challenge dominant U.S. and/or European hierarchies of race, culture, gender and class. [ more ]

HIST 305Nation Building: The Making of the Modern Middle East

Not offered this year

In 1932, or twelve years into his rule and twelve years after the establishment of Iraq, King Faysal I lamented that there were "no Iraqi people but only unimaginable masses of human beings, devoid of any patriotic idea, imbued with religious traditions and absurdities, connected by no common tie." This course will consider how true the King's statement still holds by evaluating the various attempts at state and nation building in the modern Middle East and the challenges of statecraft. After assessing some of the more influential theories of nationalism, we will explore the historical experience of nationalism and national identity in Iraq, Israel, Turkey, Palestine, Iran, and Egypt. What has been at the basis of nationhood? How did European concepts of nation translate into the Middle Eastern context? What was the role of religion in these modern societies? How did traditional notions of gender effect concepts of citizenship? We will also explore some of the unresolved issues facing the various nations of the Middle East, such as unfulfilled nationalist aspirations, disputes over land and borders, and challenges to sovereignty. Finally, we will evaluate the role of foreign powers in nation building in the Middle East and consider whether the modern concept of the nation has any validity in the Middle Eastern context. Because this course is comparative in nature that utilizes theoretical frameworks to better understand cross-cultural interaction and because it focuses on the ways in which governments in the Middle East have used their power to legitimate their actions in the name of nationalism, this course fulfills the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative (EDI). [ more ]

HIST 306(S)On the Move: Migration, Displacement, and Dispossession in the Middle East

This course explores how patterns of human migration impacted the states and societies of the Middle East from the nineteenth century to the present. The course retrieves nomads, labor migrants, travelers, and refugees from the margins of social history and focuses on how post-Ottoman Arab states thought about migration, how they categorized migrants, managed human mobility, and even compelled forced migrations. We will take special interest in how modern Arab nation-states shaped their populations through migration policy: how did the construction of new national boundaries influence ethnic, religious, and political identities? Students will analyze how legal paraphernalia like passports, the census, visas, and international law made the state a stakeholder in regulating human migration. This course incorporates discussions of major migrations in the region, including the Armenian Genocide, the Greek-Turkish population transfer, Palestinian dispossession, and Arab emigration to the Americas. Contemporary issues like statelessness, "brain drain," and sectarian politics will be contextualized within the region's experience with migration. Course readings will include historical case studies, participant interviews, memoirs, diasporic literature/arts, and international legal documents. Students will additionally apply recent theories of migration in the Middle Eastern context. [ more ]

Taught by: Stacy Fahrenthold

Catalog details

HIST 308(S)Gender and Society in Modern Africa

This course explores the constructions of feminine and masculine categories in modern Africa. We will concentrate on the particular history of women's experiences during the colonial and postcolonial periods. In addition, we will examine how the study of history and gender offers perspectives on contemporary women's issues such as female-circumcision, teen pregnancy, wife-beating, and "AIDS." [ more ]

HIST 309(F)Arab Women Memoirs: Writing Feminist History

This course reviews selected autobiographical writings by Arab women writers from the wave of independence in the 20th century to the contemporary Arab uprisings, passing through all the transformations that globalization and the technosphere have instigated. We will examine the role that first-voice narrative plays in shaping literature, history and thought, while providing a space to reclaim cultural, social and political agency. Focusing on the different articulations of self-representation, our discussion will address how these women reflect on the shifting discourses of identities, gender, nationalism, religion, feminism, sexuality, politics, borders and their histories. Questions we will address include: How did these memoirs contribute to the development of Arab feminist consciousness? In addition to the memoirs, we will look at women's blogs and watch films that focus on first-person narrative to discuss related topics, such as, visual testimonies, virtual political participation and feminist resistance in the technosphere. Required texts may include: Fadwa Tuqan (A Mountainous Journey: An Autobiography), Fatima Mernissi (Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood), Leila Ahmed (A Border Passage: From Cairo to America--a Woman's Journey), Fadia Faqir and Shirley Eber (In the House of Silence: Autobiographical Essays by Arab Women Writers), and Jumanah Haddad (I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman), as well as critical essays and selections from autobiographical writings that reflect the diversity of Arab women in the Middle East and the diaspora. [ more ]

HIST 310Iraq and Iran in the Twentieth Century

Not offered this year

Despite being neighbors, the historical experience of Iran and Iraq has been drastically different. In this course we will begin by exploring the creation of Iraq in 1921 and the Pahlavi government in Iran. We will evaluate the revolutions of 1958 and 1978-9 and compare the lives and careers of Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeini. The tragic Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88 will also be discussed. Finally, the political future of these countries will be assessed. [ more ]

HIST 311The United States and the Middle East

Not offered this year

At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States was considered a benign superpower in the Middle East. Americans were known as "innocents abroad" for their educational and philanthropic work. From a distance, American society was admired for its affluence and freedom, and Middle Eastern politicians eagerly sought American advice and assistance. Today, however, the situation could hardly be more different. This course will examine the remarkable transformation of American involvement in the Middle East. Significant cultural and political encounters of the latter half of the twentieth century will be assessed in order to identify how the United States has approached the region and consider the multifaceted and sometimes ambivalent reactions of people in the Middle East to increasing U.S. presence. It will also explore the difficulty the United States has experienced in balancing diverse, and sometimes conflicting, foreign policy interests, and will evaluate what may account for the increasing level of antagonism and mistrust on both sides. [ more ]

HIST 313The People's Republic: China since 1949

Not offered this year

This course provides a close examination of the six decades of the history of the People's Republic of China, from the 1949 Revolution to the present day. Through readings and discussion, we will explore the multiple political, economic, social, and cultural factors that contributed to the idealism of the "golden age" of Communist Party leadership (1949-65), the political violence of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), the profound transformation of the Reform Era (1978-present) as well as the motors of change in China today. Course materials will include films, novels, and ethnographies, as well as secondary analyses. Please note that this is a discussion seminar and not a survey course. [ more ]

HIST 318Nationalism in East Asia

Not offered this year

Nationalism is a major political issue in contemporary East Asia. From anti-Japanese demonstrations in China, to tensions on the Korea peninsula, to competitive elections in Taiwan, to debates in Japan about the possibility of a woman ascending the Chrysanthemum Throne, national identity is hotly debated and politically mobilized all across the region. This course begins with an examination of the general phenomena of nationalism and national identity. It then considers how nationalism is manifest in the contemporary politics and foreign relations of China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea and Taiwan. [ more ]

HIST 319Gender and the Family in Chinese History

Not offered this year

Although sometimes claimed as part of a set of immutable "Asian values," the Chinese family has not remained fixed or stable over time. In this course, we will use the framework of "family" to gain insight into gender, generational, and sexual roles in different historical periods. Beginning in the late imperial period (16th-18th Centuries), we will examine the religious, marital, sexual, and childrearing practices associated with the "orthodox" Confucian family. We will then explore the wide variety of "heterodox" practices in imperial China, debates over and critiques of the family system in the twentieth century, and configurations of gender and family in contemporary China. As an EDI course, this class makes use of anthropological and gender studies methods to analyze both the specificities of Chinese ideas and practices regarding family, gender and sexuality as well as the considerable variety among these ideas and practices at different points in time. [ more ]

HIST 321History of U.S.-Japan Relations

Not offered this year

An unabating tension between conflict and cooperation has been an undercurrent of U.S.-Japan relations in the past 150 years, at times erupting into clashes reaching the scale of world war and at times allowing for measured collaboration. We will explore the U.S.-Japan relationship from the perspectives of both countries with a focus on how culture, domestic concerns, economic and political aims, international contexts, and race have helped shape its course and nature. This course will fulfill the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative by examining not just the diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and Japan, but also how various types of interactions have influenced the dynamics of power between these two countries and have shaped the ways in which each country has understood and portrayed the other. Topics will include early U.S.-Japan encounters; the rise of both countries as imperial powers; the road to, and experience of, World War II; the politics and social history of the postwar American occupation of Japan; the U.S.-Japan security alliance; trade relations; and popular culture. Contemporary topics will also be discussed. [ more ]

HIST 323Leadership, Government, and the Governed in Ancient Greece

Not offered this year

Visionary, opportunist, reformer, tyrant, demagogue, popular champion: concise characterization of influential leaders is often irresistible. But placing leaders in their much less easily encapsulated political, social, and religious contexts reveals them to be far more complicated and challenging subjects. Among the questions that will guide our study of Greek leadership: Was the transformative leader in a Greek city always an unexpected one, arising outside of the prevailing political and/or social systems? To what extent did the prevailing systems determine the nature of transformative as well as of normative leadership? How did various political and social norms contribute to legitimating particular kinds of leader? After studying such leaders as the "tyrants" who prevailed in many Greek cities of both the archaic and classical eras, then Athenian leaders like Solon, Cleisthenes, Cimon, Pericles, Cleon, and Demosthenes, and Spartans like Cleomenes, Leonidas, Brasidas, and Lysander, we will focus on Alexander the Great, whose unique accomplishments transformed every aspect of Greek belief about leadership, national boundaries, effective government, the role of the governed, and the legitimacy of power. Readings will include accounts of leadership and government by ancient Greek authors (e.g. Homer, Solon, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, all in translation) and contemporary historians and political theorists. [ more ]

HIST 324The Development of Christianity: 30-600 C.E.

Not offered this year

This class will introduce you to the history, writings, practices, and structures of early Christians between 30-600 CE. Who were "Christians" and how did they understand and define themselves in this time period? What historical and cultural factors influenced the ways in which Christians were perceived, could imagine themselves, and lived? While this class addresses the basic flow of events and major figures in early Christian history, it will also require you to develop a critical framework for the study of history in general. In addition, you will gain significant experience in the critical analysis of primary source materials. Special attention will be paid to the incredible diversity of early Christian thought and practice. [ more ]

HIST 325(S)The Great Library of Alexandria: Collecting and Connoisseurship in the Ancient World

During the early third century BCE, the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt built the Great Library of Alexandria to serve as a repository for all human knowledge. Such an audacious project of collection has rarely been attempted either before or since. At its height, the Great Library was reputed to house over 700,000 books from across the Greek world, as well as many translations of texts originally written in Latin, Hebrew, Egyptian, and even Sanskrit. Attracted by the vast stores of knowledge, scholars, artists, and poets flocked to the Great Library to create one of the most vibrant intellectual communities the world has ever known. In this course, we will examine the development and influence of the Great Library and its sister institution, the Mouseion (or "Museum") from a variety of cultural and historical perspectives. We will begin by exploring the political motives of the Ptolemaic kings and their reception of earlier traditions of collecting in the Greek and Near Eastern worlds. We will then turn to the intellectual and artistic activity at the Library itself, with special attention to the development of notions of connoisseurship and canon across various disciplines. Although implicated in the Ptolemies' political agenda, the scholars living and working in the Great Library were granted extraordinary freedom to pursue new ideas that transformed literature, science, and the arts forever. Readings will include selections from Theocritus' Idylls, Apollonius' Argonautica and Eratothenes' Geography. Finally, we will examine the legacy of the Great Library from the Roman empire to the present day, focusing particularly on how the concept of a universal archive has shaped the collecting practices of everything from modern art museums and Google Books to such governmental entities as the NSA. All readings are in translation. [ more ]

HIST 326(F)War in European History

From the ancient world to the twentieth century, war has always played an important part in European history. Europeans have not only constantly been at war with other Europeans, but also with neighboring cultures and, indeed, most peoples around the globe. This course will introduce students to the history of European warfare from its origins in the classical and medieval periods to its maturation in the early modern period (1450-1815), and its disastrous culmination in the nationalist struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Has there been a distinctively "European Way of War" from the beginning? How do we explain failure and success in European wars? What exactly happened at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war? And what caused changes in the organization and waging of European war from one period to the next? [ more ]

HIST 327Law in the Middle Ages

Not offered this year

Medieval laws form the foundation for much of our modern legal system. They also constitute crucial but problematic sources for our understanding of medieval society. This course will cover law from the sixth through the fourteenth centuries, with special emphasis on the law of the Roman empire and the law of the Christian church. Through smaller units on Law in Antiquity, Law in the Early Middle Ages, The High Medieval Legal Tradition, and Marriage in Canon Law, we will gain some exposure to the depth and complexity of the medieval legal tradition. We will spend most of our time with the legal sources themselves, concentrating specifically on legislation dealing with marriage, the settlement of disputes, and crime of all kinds. Along the way, we will also study the early history of lawyers and the legal profession. No prior experience with the Middle Ages is expected. [ more ]

HIST 328(S)Witchcraft

A wide variety of human cultures have accepted the existence of the supernatural, the reality of magic, and the possibility of magical transgression. Among the most common supernatural crimes is witchcraft, which societies can invoke to explain natural disasters and disease, and to blame these occurrences on specific individuals, often social outcasts. Witchcraft became a particular focus of fear and fascination in Early Modern Europe, when inquisitors, theologians and many ordinary people came to believe that Western Christendom was threatened by a vast, covert conspiracy of witches in league with the devil. Countless "witches"--most of them women--were accordingly tried, tortured and sometimes even executed. Our course will examine these bizarre events and consider what religious, cultural and intellectual factors might help explain them. We will begin by investigating the medieval legal and theological developments that enabled and encouraged the persecution of witches, and go on to study some of the most important and sensational witch trials of the later medieval and early modern periods. Throughout, we will encounter many strange and intriguing documents produced by the inquisitors who persecuted witches, the scholars who imagined their activities, and the laws that defined their crimes. No prior experience with European history is required for this seminar, which will emphasize thoughtful writing and discussion. [ more ]

HIST 330The Reformations in Early Modern Europe

Not offered this year

This course tracks the major developments in Christian thought from the Reformations to the nineteenth century. We will begin by examining the background to the Reformations across Europe and across denominations of Christianity, showing how the Reformations along with their precursors indirectly helped to usher in a world that placed greater emphasis on the value of selfhood and moral autonomy, encouraged the emergence of the Enlightenment and scientific rationality, and helped to lead to the cultural and political re-alignment of nation-states. [ more ]

HIST 332(F)Queering Europe: Sexualities and Politics since 1850

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. [ more ]

HIST 333Postwar Britain: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Change, 1945-1990

Not offered this year

A major theme in British historiography is the enormous social change that has taken place in Britain since the end of the Second World War. In the 1950s, sociologists argued about the extent to which postwar affluence was leading to the "embourgeoisement" of the working class; in the 1960s, the advent of the so-called "Permissive Society" witnessed the flourishing of a new culture of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll; in the 1970s, the feminist and gay movements challenged gender roles that earlier had seemed so secure; in the 1980s, Thatcherism sought to halt the nation's apparent terminal decline, repudiating much of the progressive legislation of earlier decades; finally, throughout this period successive ways of immigration challenged the cultural homogeneity of white Britain. This course will explore these themes, addressing the question of what it meant to be "postwar" in Britain, charting the gradual emergence of a new politics of class, gender, race, and sexuality in Britain that the made the nation in 1990, at the end of the postwar period, a radically different place from what it had been in 1945. In attempting to make sense of these complex changes, we will consider a variety of documents and works by recent historians, along with a dozen films, which students will be required to view outside of class. [ more ]

HIST 334(S)From Habsburg to Hitler

This course comprises intertwined German, Czech, and Jewish case studies in the rich and tragic history of nationalist politics in Central and Eastern Europe. We will start in 1848, with the "Springtime of Nations," and end in the late 1940s, with the imposition of Stalinist rule on a region recently purged of Jews through the Holocaust, then stripped of Germans through mass expulsion. The territorial focus is Bohemia and Moravia, historic lands that belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy until 1918, to the Czechoslovak Republic until 1938 or 1939, and to the Third Reich until 1945. Through peace and war, we will study the contrasting philosophies and tactics of German and Czech nationalist movements which grew as they competed for power. We will trace the responses of the small but significant Jewish minority, and explore the quite different attempts by national or nonnational states--a liberal monarchy, a democratic republic, a fascist dictatorship, and its postwar, anti-fascist successor--to manage national or "racial" conflict. Readings include a variety of primary sources: eyewitness accounts, inspired analysis, radical rants, law, secret documents, poetry, memoir, fiction, and more. [ more ]

Taught by: Jeremy King

Catalog details

HIST 335Weimar Germany

Not offered this year

The Weimar Republic has been examined and re-examined, not only in an effort to account for the failure of democracy and the rise of Hitler in Germany but also for its remarkable artistic achievements. Using a variety of primary documents, including movies, works of art and literature, as well as more traditional historical sources and the writings of historians, this course will consider the social, political, and cultural history of the Weimar Republic. At issue in the course will be the relationship between the political and social instability and the cultural blossoming that characterized in Germany during the 1920s. We will also consider whether the Weimar Republic in general, and Weimar culture, in particular are better understood as the product of Germany's past or as harbingers of its future. [ more ]

HIST 336National-Socialist Germany

Not offered this year

This course is a history of National-Socialist Germany based to a considerable extent on primary documents. Students will use the documents to reconstruct the history of the Third Reich and to articulate and assess some of the principal historiographical debates relating to National-Socialist Germany. The course will consider the following topics: the failure of the Weimar Republic and the rise of National Socialism; the consolidation of Nazi rule; the experiential reality of the Volksgemeinschaft; the popularity of National Socialism; youth and women in the Third Reich; Nazi culture; Nazi racism and image of the Jew; Gestapo terror; the pre-war persecution of Jews; popular German anti-Semitism; the regime's euthanasia program; the Nazi Empire; the experience of war in Russia; the implementation of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem"; German knowledge of and complicity in the "Final Solution"; the experience of "total war" on the home front; resistance to National Socialism; and the collapse of the Third Reich. The course will focus especially on how ordinary Germans experienced and participated in the history through which they lived. We will take an empathic approach to National-Socialist Germany and to the Germans who lived through this period, attempting to understand why they felt, thought, and acted as they did. We will also consider the epistemological and ethical problems involved in attempting to empathize with Nazis. [ more ]

HIST 338The History of the Holocaust

Not offered this year

In twenty-first century United States, the murder of approximately six million European Jews by Nazi Germany remains a central event in our political, moral, and cultural universe. Nevertheless, the Holocaust still confounds historians' efforts to understand both the motivations of the perpetrators and the suffering of the victims. In this course, we will study the origins and unfolding of Nazi Germany's genocidal policies, taking into consideration the perspectives of those who carried out mass murder as well as the experiences and responses of Jews and other victim groups to persecution. We will also examine the Holocaust within the larger context of the history of World War II in Europe and historians' debates about Germany's exterminatory war aims. Course materials will include diaries, speeches, bureaucratic documents, memoirs, films, and historical scholarship. [ more ]

HIST 339(S)Marx and His Times

Growing economic inequality--at home and in the world-- is fuelling powerful new protest movements reminiscent of the times of revolution in which Karl Marx played such an important role. Not surprisingly, activists, journalists, and academics have revived interest in studying Marx -- the man, the activist, the theoretician-- to discover his continuing relevance today. In this class, we will study Marx by reading his major political writings-- The Communist Manifesto, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, The Civil War in France -- in the context of the revolutions he was engaged in (the 1848 revolutions, the Paris Commune of 1871); we will study his activism, particularly the organization of the First International (1864-1876), Marx's disputes with anarchists and social democrats (Critique of the Gotha Programme), and his attitude towards the non-white world, through reading his correspondence and newspaper articles, as well as recent biographies; and we will read excerpts from his major theoretical and philosophical works, e.g., On the Jewish Question, The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts and Capital, with an eye towards understanding how he changed and developed his ideas over time. [ more ]

HIST 340Roman Cities in the Near East

Not offered this year

The Near East under Roman rule was a zone of intense cultural contact and exchange. Major urban centers, like Ephesus and Alexandria, were home to a diverse array of Greeks, Romans, Jews, Egyptians and other Semitic peoples. Out of this cultural crucible emerged new movements in religion, science, and the arts which changed the face of the Roman Empire. This course examines the history and material culture of Roman cities in the Near East, from Pompey's annexation of Syria in 64 BCE to the Arab conquest in the 7th century CE. We will consider a variety of evidence, including sculpture, architecture and epigraphy, as well as textual sources, such as Josephus' Jewish War, Acts of the Apostles and Tacitus' Histories. Class discussion will focus on issues related to ethnicity and identity formation in the eastern Roman provinces. Possible topics include the Romanization of the Near East, the First Jewish Revolt, the formation of early Christianity, and the Roman wars with Sassanian Persia. This course fulfills the EDI requirement because it explores the interaction between peoples and cultures in the ancient Near East and their diverse responses to Roman imperialism. [ more ]

HIST 341(F)Envisioning Empire: Geography in the Graeco-Roman World

During the first century BCE, successive civil wars divided the Roman Empire along ethnic, geographical and partisan lines. Octavian's victory at battle of Actium in 31 BCE officially brought an end to the Roman civil wars, but it did not in itself unify the empire. Out of this matrix of social fragmentation and uncertainty arose the geographical texts of the Augustan age. The genre of universal geography provided a convenient means to reconfigure identity boundaries in post-Actium world. By delineating stable borders between the peoples and provinces, geographical texts (whether written, sculptural or pictorial) literally mapped out identity boundaries and power relationships to create a new, unified image of the Roman Empire. This course examines the political and cosmological of implications geographical sources produced under the Roman Empire, including the Res Gestae of Augustus, Strabo's Geography and Tacitus' Germania. We will also look at maps and other visual representations of the Roman world, such as the personification groups depicted on the Roman imperial cult temples at Aphrodisias and Pisidian Antioch. Discussion will focus on such issues as the relationship between geography and ethnography and the differences between modern cartography and the geographical mapping techniques used in the ancient world. [ more ]

HIST 343Conquistadors in the New World

Not offered this year

The Spanish conquest of the Americas happened with astonishing rapidity: Christopher Columbus entered the Caribbean in 1492; Hernando Cortes completed the conquest of the Aztecs of central Mexico in 1521; Francisco Pizarro triumphantly entered the Inca capital Cuzco, in Peru, in 1533. Other conquistadors pushed north to the Carolinas and California, south to the Tierra del Fuego and the River Plate, and across the Amazon basin to the Atlantic. "We came," wrote the conquistador Bernal Dias del Castillo, "to serve God, and our King, and to get rich." Their deeds were legendary, the courage, daring, and endurance remarkable. They were also notoriously quarrelsome, greedy, and cruel. Before their onslaught the major civilizations of the New World crumbled--destroyed or changed beyond recognition. Rarely in history have so few conquered so many so quickly. The conquest of the New World has both excited and appalled the human imagination for more than five centuries. Many questions remain to be answered or are still capable of provoking controversy. Who exactly were the conquistadors? What motivated them? What meaning did they themselves assign to their actions? How could they justify their many misdeeds? How did they develop their sense of the Other? Why did resistance by indigenous peoples and regimes ultimately fail? Was the conquest somehow preordained? What mixture of human agency, culture, technology, religion, nature, and biology can best explain the results of this encounter between the conquistadors and the Amerindian worlds? [ more ]

HIST 347Democracy and Dictatorship in Latin America

Not offered this year

The inability--or failure--of Latin American countries to establish stable and democratic governments has frustrated observers across the region and beyond for almost 200 years. This course will examine the historical creation of both democratic and anti-democratic regimes in different national cases, seeking to identify the conditions that have fostered the apparent persistence of dictatorial tendencies in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and the countries of Central America. In this regard we will look at the social and economic forces as well as the political actors and ideologies that have contributed to distinct, if often parallel, outcomes. At the same time, we will also question the criteria we use to label regimes "democratic" or "dictatorial"--and the implications of our choice of criteria. [ more ]

HIST 352(F, S)America and the Sea, 1600-Present

This course focuses on the history of America's relationship to the sea from the age of discovery through the heyday of merchant sail to the triumph of steam and the challenges of the twentieth century. Readings in primary sources and secondary works on the social, economic, and diplomatic implications of maritime activities culminate in a research paper. Topics such as shipbuilding, whaling, and fisheries are studied through museum exhibits and artifacts in the material culture component of the course. [ more ]

HIST 353Before Independence: British North America, 1607-1763

Not offered this year

This course will explore the political, social, and cultural history of British North America from its first colonization to the coming of the American Revolution. The course will mix case studies of the specific colonies with broader explorations of imperial rivalries for control of North America, the various forms of cross-cultural interaction between colonists and Native Americans, and the place of colonial America within the broader world (or what historians now call "the Atlantic World"). [ more ]

HIST 354(S)The Revolutionary Generation: Galaxy of Leaders

The American Revolution produced a galaxy of brilliant politicians and statesmen of extraordinary courage, intellect, creativity, and character. They succeeded in drafting an unparalleled Constitution and establishing enduring democratic political institutions while nevertheless failing to grapple with the wrenching issue of slavery and the rights of women. In this course, we will explore the lives, ideas, and political leadership of these men, most of whom belonged to the social elite of their day: Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Adams,and Hamilton. We will study in depth their superb writings, such as the correspondence between Madison and Jefferson and between Adams and Jefferson, and Madison's and Hamilton's Federalist essays. We will also read recent interpretations of the founding generation by Gordon Wood, Joseph Ellis, Bernard Bailyn, and others. [ more ]

HIST 355Perspectives on the American Revolution

Not offered this year

The American Revolution remains one of the most-studied events in American history. Yet, agreement about its main causes, significance, and purpose remains as distant as ever. Some historians argue that political ideas and principles brought about calls for Independence. Others emphasize the economic motives behind revolutionary fervor. Still others argue that British political institutions failed to adapt to the needs of a growing empire, leading colonists to replace British imperial rule with a form of government suited to their local exigencies. Some have told the story through the eyes of the Founding Fathers, while others have explored what the American Revolution meant for the lived experience of average citizens, of women, of free and enslaved African Americans, of Native Americans, and of peoples living beyond North America. Collectively, such a range of studies speaks to the significance of the American Revolution. Individually, however, these varying perspectives provide a fragmented picture of the era and its people. Through readings, lectures, and primary sources, this class will explore these different views of the Revolution and try to create some synthetic unity out of this historical kaleidoscope. [ more ]

HIST 356The Rise of the North in Nineteenth Century America

Not offered this year

This course will study the diverse and vibrant economic, social, political, and cultural life of the northern states from the late-eighteenth century to the Civil War. Assignments will focus on specific civic, literary, business, and political leaders as a way to understand this era of rapid transformation. Topics covered will include industrialization, expansion, transcendentalism, regionalism, and political activism. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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HIST 357(F)Leadership at the American Founding

No definition of "leadership" will ever prove adequate, though we know it when we see it. We obviously see it in George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, all of whom are safely enshrined on the National Mall. Do we see it, collectively, in the revolutionary generation? What did they achieve, what did they fail to achieve, and how should we assess their legacy? These are the core questions we will address in this course. Special attention will focus on Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. Each student will be required to write a research paper rooted in primary sources on their favorite, or least favorite, Founding Father. [ more ]

Taught by: Joseph Ellis

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HIST 358The Roosevelt Style of Leadership

Not offered this year

In this course we will study the lives, ideas, visions and, above all, the political and moral leadership of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. The three Roosevelts transformed the role of government in American society, bringing about fundamental and lasting change. What were their leadership strategies and styles? Did they mobilize followers or did their followers mobilize them? How did they balance political compromise with bold, principled leadership? How did their personalities affect their visions and their goals? To what extent did they offer ethical and moral leadership? In addition to studying histories and biographies, we will do extensive research in primary source material. [ more ]

HIST 359The Politics of Presidential Leadership, 1776-1860

Not offered this year

This course will trace the development of the presidency from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln. By focusing on the most consequential presidents of the period, the class will explore presidential successes and failures during times of peace and prosperity and during times of war and depression. As often as possible, the class will also examine the tactics of these presidents' political rivals to understand how competing politicians tried to navigate the social and political terrain of their day. Through the study of biography and primary sources, students will offer critical appraisals of presidents and leave the course with a historical understanding of the types of challenges that those who have held the office have often faced. The course will also provide an in-depth survey of United States political history during the tumultuous early years of the nation. [ more ]

HIST 360(F)Leadership and Historical Memory

In this course we will examine how Americans have used the concept of leadership as a lens for viewing our past, and, conversely, how our assessments of particular leaders have changed as new ideas and events have reshaped how we understand our history. To address these questions, we will study portrayals of four of the most famous leaders in American history---Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. As we explore how portrayals of these leaders have changed over time, we will ask: How have our conceptions of leadership, and the qualities effective leaders possess, evolved? In what ways do leaders serve as symbols in historical memory for the times in which they lived and acted? Might assessments of these leaders reveal as much about the times in which they were produced as about the leaders' own historical moments? In what ways is the concept of "leadership" itself a historical construction? Our sources will include literature, film, and journalism as well as biography and history. For their term paper assignment, students will write a 10-12 page paper examining questions of historical memory for a leader of their own choosing. [ more ]

Taught by: Mason Williams

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HIST 361(S)U.S. Settler Colonialism and Empire

Colonialism in American history is too often regarded as a finite period ending with independence or the "closing of the frontier," but as Patrick Wolfe argues, "settler colonialism is a structure, not an event." This seminar debunks the myth of the US as an "empire of liberty," and delves into a new generation of scholarship that frames settler colonialism and imperialism as deep-seated organizing principles that have characterized the United States since its founding. We approach settler colonialism as an enduring set of power relations and governmental practices that uphold Euro-American domination and seek to eliminate Indigenous power. The course covers topics such as: ideas of Manifest Destiny, military conquests of Native peoples, the shifting role of the US throughout the world during the twentieth century, mass incarceration as a means of social control, the post-9/11 Global War on Terrorism, the colonial present in Indian Country, and Indigenous decolonization movements and their global parallels. [ more ]

Taught by: Doug Kiel

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HIST 362The 1980s

Not offered this year

This course will consider whether and how the 1980s are coming into view as history. Conventional wisdom views the 1980s as being defined by selfishness, greed, and materialism, but that decade also saw society engaged in serious debates about individual and social responsibility, the relationship between the state and society, and about America's role in the world. Understanding this era involves tackling broader questions about liberalism, conservatism, the welfare state, the cold war, globalization, the presidency, social movements, identity politics, popular culture, religion, and the media in modern U.S. history. This course will address some of these questions, examine the varieties of ways in which individuals and social groups conceived and reconceived their personal and political identities, and explore various methods used to assess contemporary history. [ more ]

HIST 363(S)Cold War Technocultures

With the Soviet Union?s collapse at the end of the twentieth century and the emergence of the United States as an unchallenged victor and "new world" hegemon, have we lost a sense of the drama, fear, and unbridled terror that permeated American life during the Cold War? In this course we will set out to understand Cold War American culture(s) by examining the intersection of politics, aesthetics, and a range of major technoscientific developments during this period. The course will take shape in three parts. Part I will explore the emergence and role of the computer in shaping the distinctly American style of thought aimed at Soviet "containment". We will furthermore trace historical treads connecting MIT's legendary Whirlwind computer, the SAGE continental air defense system, nuclear wargaming at the RAND Corporation, artificial intelligence, and the advanced technologies, management strategies, and atrocities of the Vietnam War. Part II takes up the symbolic potency of the space race, which we will use as a conduit through which to explore the following events and developments: Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight, the Apollo moon landing, and American civil defense; the postwar science of cybernetics and the emergence of the now iconic cyborg; the Club of Rome's {Limits to Growth}report and the Gaia hypothesis; plans backed by NASA for the industrialization, humanization, and colonization of outer space; and Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, '"Star Wars". Finally, case studies considered in Part III will focus on moments of conflict and resistance, appropriation, and unintended consequences of the preceding and other Cold War technological developments, among them antipsychiatry and environmentalism; Project Cybersyn, an infrastructural causality of the US/CIA-backed Chilean coup of 1973; the American counterculture and the countercultural roots of neoliberalism(s). [ more ]

HIST 364(F)History of the Old South

During the course of the semester, we shall investigate two broad, interrelated topics: slavery in the antebellum South, and the impact of slavery on Southern civilization. Our approach will be primarily topical. In the first half of the course, we shall look at subjects like the foreign and domestic slave trade, patterns of work and treatment, the nature of the master-slave relationship, resistance and rebellion, and slave cultural, social, and family life. The second half of the course will concentrate on the influence of the institution of slavery on the mind, social structure, and economy of the Old South, and slavery's impact on Southern politics and the decision for secession in 1860-61. [ more ]

HIST 365(S)History of the New South

A study of the history of the American South from 1877 to the present. Social, political and economic trends will be examined in some detail: the rule of the "Redeemers" following the end of Reconstruction; tenancy, sharecropping, and the rise of agrarian radicalism; Southern Progressivism; the coming of racial segregation and the destruction of the Jim Crow system during the years of the Civil Rights movement; Southern politics during the depression and post-World War II years. [ more ]

HIST 366(S)What They Saw in America

This course traces the travels and writings of four important observers of the United States: Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weber, G.K. Chesterton, and Sayyid Qutb. The course will consider their respective journeys: Where did they go? Who did they talk to? What did they see? The historical scope and varying national origins of the observers provide a unique and useful outsider's view of America--one that sheds light on persisting qualities of American national character and gives insight into the nature and substance of international attitudes toward the United States over time. The course will analyze the common themes found in the visitors' respective writings about America and will pay particular attention to their insights on religion, democracy, agrarianism, capitalism, and race. [ more ]

HIST 367Frontiers in Early American History, 1607-1846

Not offered this year

This course will tackle one of the most hotly debated topics in American history: the significance of the frontier to the development of North America. The course will have two core themes: the history and historiography of the early American frontier and the various conceptions of the frontier in popular culture and works of fiction. It will explore the changing nature of the frontier (and scholarly interpretations of it) in early American history, tracing expansion, development, and conflict from its earliest occurrences in Virginia and New England to the Mexican-American War of 1846. The course will be interdisciplinary in nature with readings and assignments ranging from scholarly writings to fictional works and from contemporary movies to primary sources. This approach will help address questions that historians and the public alike have struggled to answer: What was life really like on a frontier? How do popular conceptions comport with historical realities of frontier life? What exactly did the frontier mean to American history? [ more ]

HIST 368(S)Development of American Indian Law & Policy

In this course, we will conceptualize Native peoples as nations, not merely racial/ethnic minorities. Students will learn about the unique legal landscape in Indian Country by charting the historical development of tribal governments and the ever-changing body of U.S. law and policy that regulates Indian affairs. We begin by studying Indigenous legal traditions, the European doctrine of discovery, and diplomatic relations between Native nations and European empires. We then shift our focus to treaty-making, the constitutional foundations of federal Indian law, 19th century U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and the growth of the federal bureaucracy in Indian Country. The course devotes considerable attention to the expansion of tribal governmental authority during the 20th century, the contemporary relationship between Indian tribes and the federal/state governments, and the role of federal Indian law as both a tool of U.S. colonial domination and a mechanism for protecting the interests of Indigenous communities. No prior background in law or Native American history is required. [ more ]

Taught by: Doug Kiel

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HIST 369(S)American History in Film

Film can tell a story in ways that words alone cannot; films about history can "re-enact" the past for the purposes of entertainment. But like words, they can inform or dis-inform. Because the narrative arc requires resolution, movies may gloss over complexities. And yet, filmmakers also can deploy tools and methods that delve deeply into the intimacies of a singular life, the intricacies of a singular experience, or the nuances of a singular interaction. This course uses popular films about 19th and 20th century American history explore the following questions: What do movies about America history (generally and specifically) convey about American culture? How have depictions of ideas, events, and people in American history changed over time? What historical depictions were or are controversial, when, and why? Why have certain films about American history sustained popularity? Films include Birth of a Nation; Gone with the Wind; Casablanca; Tora! Tora! Tora!; Malcolm X; Apocalypse Now; and others. [ more ]

HIST 371The History of U.S. Environmental Politics

Not offered this year

The politics surrounding the environment today are a super-heated source of conflict, at the same time that most opinion polls show that Americans widely embrace many environmental protections. While environmental concerns have long been a part of local politics in America, this course will largely explore the emergence and prominence of environmental issues in national politics from the first organized conservation efforts in the late nineteenth century to the present-day concerns with the global environment. Throughout the course, we will investigate both how changes in the environment have shaped American politics and how political decisions have altered the American, as well as the global environment, with particular attention to which groups of people have had, or have not had, access to political processes and institutions. [ more ]

HIST 372(S)The North American West: Histories and Meanings

This course will explore the various and contested histories of the geographical region in North America that Americans often call "the West". With porous boundaries; changing empires and national borders; an extraordinarily diverse mix of peoples; and most importantly, continuous indigenous presence to the present day, this region both has a remarkably rich history and poses central questions to how we view American history. What if, from the vantage point of the 1780s, we look not at the founding of the United States in the East but at the elaboration of the Spanish mission system in California and other parts of the Southwest? Or what if, instead of understanding "the West" as a place that people migrated "to" from "the East", we think about "the West" as a place diversely inhabited for hundreds, even thousands, of years that experienced both very sudden and violent forms of military conquest and settler colonialism, as well as waves of migration from many different compass points around the globe? And where do Americans' stories of western individualism fit into the histories of massive federal interventions in "the West"? We will take up these and many other questions as we examine topics from the era before Europeans arrived in North America to the present day. [ more ]

HIST 373(F)Citizenship: An American 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. [ more ]

Taught by: Barbara Young Welke

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HIST 374(S)American Medical History

This course will cover major themes in American medical history and historiography from the colonial period through the twentieth century. Every aspect of American "medicine" underwent tremendous transition during the period we will study. Medical education, the medical profession, and notions about cures and care changed fundamentally, as did ideas about the nature of illness itself. Our course of study, in addition to charting ways in which the practice of medicine in America has developed, will make an equal effort to understand how medicine has changed and affected American society. Topics that we will investigate include cholera, TB, and childbirth in American society, as well as other medical phenomena. [ more ]

HIST 375(F)History of American Childhood

Over the course of American history both the experience of childhood and our understandings of childhood have changed radically. Children have been bought and sold as slaves, hanged as convicted witches, and purchased slaves themselves. A century ago many children were sent "out to work" at ages that our society now defines as too young even to be left alone in the house. Common experiences of modern middle-class American childhood--summer camp, secondary school, and organized youth sports teams--are recent additions to American life. Through reading works of history and autobiography we will explore American childhood and what attitudes toward specific groups of children reveals about American society. This course is an EDI course; as such, we will consistently study groups of children that differ by race and class. In addition, we will interrogate the category of childhood and debate its universality and usefulness. Does the experience of childhood help to "unify" diverse groups of people? [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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HIST 376(F)Sex, Gender, and the Law in U.S. History

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. [ more ]

HIST 377(F, S)Democracy in America: From the Founding to Facebook

We all know that we live in a democracy. But what it has meant to be citizens in a democratic republic has changed dramatically over the course of American history---as have the bounds of who has been allowed to exercise the full rights of citizens. In this course, we will look at how new ideas, social movements, and technological changes have reshaped American democracy. We will examine how founders such as Benjamin Franklin and James Madison envisioned the relation between the people and the government; how workers, African Americans, and women fought to participate in American politics; and the ways in which new technologies such as Facebook and Twitter are reshaping democratic participation in the 21st century. We will ask: Who, exactly, has been permitted to participate in American politics, and on what terms? How has the relation between the governors and the governed changed over time, and what factors and events have shaped those relations? How have those in power been "connected" to the people, and vice versa? How has America's democratic experiment compared with (and interacted with) democracy elsewhere in the world? Finally, we will use our understanding of democratic politics and citizenship to deepen our understanding of leadership/followership, as both historical phenomena and durable features of the American political system. How have relations between leaders and followers changed as the practices of citizenship have changed? Have some periods of American democratic politics been more amenable to particular kinds of leadership than others? If so, why? Has American political leadership been distinctive in international comparison, and if so, what does this reveal about the distinctive characteristics of American democratic politics and citizenship? [ more ]

Taught by: Mason Williams

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HIST 378The History of Sexuality in America

Not offered this year

Sex is often thought of as an unchanging need, behavior, or instinct--a form of experience without history. And yet even in the recent past, sexual desires, acts, identities, attitudes, and technologies have undergone profound transformations. This course explores those transformations, tracing the shifting and contested meanings and experiences of sex and sexuality from the pre-colonial period to the present, and examining how and why sexuality has become so central to identities, culture, politics, and history. To understand how sexuality has been regulated by the state and what sexuality has meant to ordinary Americans in the past, we will use a wide range of primary sources, including as private letters, law cases, photographs, films, and music. Many of the topics are relevant to contemporary public debates, including controversies over censorship, sexual violence, gay and lesbian sexualities, transgender identities and politics, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases. [ more ]

HIST 379Black Women in the United States

Not offered this year

As slaves and free women, activists, domestics, artists and writers, African Americans have played exciting and often unexpected roles in U.S. political, social, and cultural history. In this course we will examine black women's lives from the earliest importation of slaves from Africa and the Caribbean through to the expansion of slavery, the Civil War, freedom, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movements, and up to the present day. Consistent themes we will explore are the significance of gender in African American history and the changing roles and public perceptions of black women both inside and outside the black community. We will read and discuss a combination of primary and secondary sources; we will also consider music, art, and literature, as well as more standard "historical" texts. This course meets the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative in that it focuses on empathetic understanding, power and privilege, especially in relation to class, gender, and race within a U.S. context. [ more ]

HIST 380Comparative American Immigration History

Not offered this year

This course examines the underlying tension between the notion of American pluralism and the desire for homogeneity through the study of the history of immigration to the United States from Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Special attention will be paid to the condition in the sending countries and the historical ties of those countries to the United States, immigration and labor recruitment, anti-immigrant sentiments, and the development of American immigration policy. This is an EDI course because it examines how people from different countries and cultures interacted with each other and those already in the United States. Theirs is a story of immigration, exclusion, resistance, accommodation, labor and the creation of an American image of pluralism, coupled with the desire for assimilated immigrants. [ more ]

HIST 381(F)From Civil Rights to Black Power

Focusing on African Americans' demands for the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and placing their perspectives at the center, this course explores the themes of the black freedom movement as it transpired in the second half of the twentieth century in the United States. The course follows a chronological format that is grounded in post-World War II internationalism and domestic Jim Crow, covers the civil rights and the black power movements of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and then moves toward current issues in black politics. The topics examined include the strategies and organizing principles of legal challenges, direct action protest, black power activism, coalition building, and public intellectual engagement. The class also assesses the intersection between ideology/activism, culture/politics, and local/regional/national perspectives. Finally, the course uses the black freedom movement as a window onto other political initiatives of the era. [ more ]

HIST 383Whiteness and Race in the History of the United States

Not offered this year

If race is socially and historically constructed, then the study of race relations in the U.S. extends to the topic of whiteness. And if we are never without the past, then "whiteness" must be a part of current discussions about politics, citizenship, and social issues. Focusing on how historians have written about whiteness in American history, this course uses the prism of race to explore social, political, and economic development in U.S. history. The class follows the development of "whiteness" through a chronology that begins in colonial Virginia, travels through immigration in the nineteenth century, examines racial politics and popular culture in the twentieth century, and ends with a look at the current election season. This course is framed by several questions: What is whiteness, and what has it meant in the history of the United States? Who is (and is not) white? What about other analytical categories, like gender and class (or region or ethnicity or sexuality): how have these experiences shaped and been shaped by the racial category of whiteness? Because historically whiteness has carried overtones of power, privilege, and wealth in the United States, the course necessarily critiques the roots of racial disparities. This class is not for the faint-hearted. Informed participation is necessary to its success. The course fulfills the requirements for the Exploring Diversity Initiative because it examines the differences and similarities between white Americans and other American cultures, and because it explores whiteness as a prism for understanding the operations of power and privilege in American society. [ more ]

HIST 384(S)Selected Topics in Asian American Studies

Assuming some previous knowledge of Asian American history, this course will examine a number of specific topics in Asian American Studies. Using historical sources, monographs, graphic memoirs, novels, and films, potential topics include Asians of mixed race, Orientalism, adoption, food culture, the "model minority," legal studies, Asian Americans and the environment, and the impact of war on Asian American history. This is an EDI course because it examines the comparative history of a number of Asian immigrant groups and their relationship with each other and other racialized peoples in American culture. [ more ]

HIST 385(S)Leadership in Hard Times: Governance and Activism in America's Urban Crisis

Politics, the philosopher Hannah Arendt tells us, is a means of intervening in otherwise "automatic" processes. It follows that political leadership---whether exercised by elected officials or community activists---represents a vital instrument by which people may attempt to shape the social processes that structure their communities and their everyday lives. Seldom have American communities had greater need for creative and effective leadership than did American cities following the Second World War---yet seldom has this kind of leadership proven more difficult to realize. In the postwar years, cities, the drivers of the nation's phenomenal economic growth for nearly a century, confronted a host of new challenges: declining private investment; the out-migration of their middle and upper classes and, consequently, a new position as sites of concentrated poverty; persistent fiscal crises; seemingly endless ethno-racial conflict; and the rise of new epidemics---drug use, AIDS, and mass incarceration. By the mid-1960s, these challenges had come together in the public discourse to signify a general "urban crisis." This course will introduce students to the processes that have shaped American urban life since the Second World War (some of which, we will see, were in fact far from "automatic"). We will also examine how public officials and community leaders tried to intervene to shape those processes, what resources they could muster for doing so, and what came of their efforts---so as better to understand the possibilities and the limits of leadership in hard times. What kinds of leadership are possible when a zero-sum logic obtains, when social "problems" prove "insoluble," when "positive" action appears impossible? Must urban leaders operating in such conditions necessarily privilege the interests of a particular class? What happens when government and community leaders act upon incompatible visions of social justice and the public good? [ more ]

Taught by: Mason Williams

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HIST 386(F)Latinas in the Global Economy: Work, Migration, and Households

An increasingly global economy, from 1945 to the present, has affected Latinas in their home countries and in the United States. The garment industry, one of the first industries to go global, has relied extensively on Latina workers in their home countries and in the United States. Domestic work, a traditional field of women's work, also crosses borders. Challenging the myth that labor migration is a male phenomenon and that women simply follow the men, this course explores how the global economy makes Latinas labor migrants. What impact has the global economy and economic development had on Latinas' work and their households in their home countries? How have economic changes and government policies shaped Latinas' migrations and their incorporation in the changing U.S. economy? How have Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, Dominican, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan women confronted the challenges created by a globalizing economy and balanced demands to meet their households' needs? This EDI course explores the impact of U.S. hierarchies of race, ethnicity, gender and class on Latinas' labor migrations and economic incorporation in the United States, as well as the myriad ways in which they confront, negotiate, and at times challenge those dominant U.S. hierarchies. [ more ]

HIST 388(F)Decolonization and the Cold War

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. [ more ]

HIST 389The Vietnam Wars

Not offered this year

This course explores Vietnam's twentieth century wars, including an anti-colonial war against France (1946-1954), a massive Cold War conflict involving the United States (1965-1973), and postcolonial confrontations with China and Cambodia in the late-1970s. Course materials will focus primarily on Vietnam's domestic politics and its relations with other countries. Lectures, readings, films, and discussions will explore the process by which Vietnam's anti-colonial struggle became one of the central conflicts of the Cold War, and examine the ramifications of that fact for all parties involved. The impact of these wars can hardly be overstated, as they affected the trajectory of French decolonization, altered America's domestic politics and foreign policy, invigorated anti-colonial movements across the Third World, and left Vietnam isolated in the international community. Students will read a number of scholarly texts, primary sources, memoirs, and novels to explore everything from high-level international diplomacy to personal experiences of conflict and dramatic social change wrought by decolonization and decades of warfare. [ more ]

HIST 390The 1930s in Comparative Perspective: Germany, Italy, and Japan

Not offered this year

How did Germany, Italy, and Japan deal with the economic, political, and social crises of the 1930s? In what ways did each of these three countries navigate the economic depression, challenges to democracy, and ascendance of totalitarianism that marked this pivotal and transformative decade? This course will take a transnational approach to such questions, examining various aspects of the politics, economy, society, and culture of the 1930s in Germany, Italy, and Japan. It will explore the origins and rise of Italian fascism, German National Socialism, and Japanese militarism; the political cultures of charisma, violence, terror, collaboration, and resistance; racism and anti-Semitism; and fascist aesthetics. We will also consider how these phenomena shaped, and were shaped by, the nature of everyday life in this decade with particular attention to issues of religion, family, and gender. To conclude the semester, we will discuss how the 1930s have been remembered, and whether we can speak of fascisms at work in the present day. This course will fulfill the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative by comparing how global frustrations and challenges played out both similarly and differently in Germany, Italy, and Japan; and how these countries that would become the axis powers negotiated their particular encounters with fascism. [ more ]

HIST 391When India was the World: Trade, Travel and History in the Indian Ocean

Not offered this year

Can historians study oceans rather than lands? Is it possible to think about an aquatic space as an integrated cultural region rather than simply focusing on terra-centric empires and societies? What can we learn about human interactions in the past through the study of oceanic histories? This course seeks to answer these questions by focusing on the oldest maritime highway in history: the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean connected diverse regions, cultures and communities for millennia, thus making it a vital element in the birth of globalization. South Asian ports and port cities remained the fulcrum of the Indian Ocean world throughout its history; traders, travellers, nobles, scholars, pilgrims and pirates from all over the world travelled to the Indian coast in search of adventure, spices, knowledge and wealth. Thus we will primarily focus on India's role in the Indian Ocean roughly from the rise of Islam in the seventh century CE through the intrusion of various European communities in the region and the subsequent rise of the global economy and colonialism in the nineteenth century. Rather than following a strict temporal chronology we will concentrate on themes such a travel and adventure; trade and exchange; trust and friendship; religion and society; pilgrimage; piracy; the culture of port cities; and food across time. [ more ]

HIST 392(F)History of the Book

From ancient clay tablets, bamboo strips, and papyrus rolls to modern hardbacks, paperbacks, and e-readers, no object has so broadly and deeply represented the capacity for humans to create, preserve, and transmit knowledge, information, and ideas as the book. Books have been worshiped and condemned, circulated and censored, collected and destroyed. From works of art to ephemeral trash, they have been public and private, sacred and profane, magical and commonplace. Likewise, notions of the book have influenced every subsequent form of communication and transmission, whether we are browsing film and song "libraries" or "scrolling" down "pages" on the web. This course will explore aspects of the material, social, cultural, and intellectual history of the book, from the invention of the earliest writing systems through the modern development of digital media. Our inquiry will span the globe and the millennia, but we will pay special attention to the ancient and medieval Chinese, Greek, and Latin traditions and their enduring influence in the modern world. Topics will include orality and literacy, manuscript production, the invention and spread of printing, typography, reading culture, notions of authorship, libraries and collections, censorship, and the digital book. Through a variety of readings, hands-on exercises, and interactions with our abundant library resources, we will investigate how the changing form and function of the book interact across its long and diverse history. All readings are in translation. [ more ]

HIST 393Sister Revolutions in France and America

Not offered this year

In the late-eighteenth century, two revolutions burst forth-they were the most striking and consequential events in modern history, decisive turning-points that transformed society and politics. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the overarching ideas and visions of the sister revolutions. Through correspondence, political essays and speeches, we will seek to understand the fundamental theories, goals and accomplishments of both revolutions. Who were their leaders and according to what principles did they govern? Did revolutionaries in France find a model in America for their Revolution? What is the meaning of the "Terror" in France and what light does it shed on modern revolutionary movements? Why was the American Revolution followed by decades of stability while the French Revolution bequeathed a turbulent succession of failed governments? Have America and France continued to conceive of themselves as revolutionary nations? We will read works by Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Adams, Rousseau, Robespierre, Saint-Just, Tocqueville, Burke and others. [ more ]

HIST 394(F)Divine Kingship in the Ancient Mediterranean

What is the relationship between politics and religion? How do kings legitimate their rule? Why did the ancient Greeks and Romans worship their emperors as gods? This course examines the origins and development of divine kingship in the ancient Mediterranean from its earliest beginnings in Pharaonic Egypt to the reign of the Christian Roman Emperors in the fourth century CE. We will address the various symbolic strategies employed by ancient kings to project their own divinity. These include portraiture, panegyric poetry, ritual processions, royal autobiography and monumental architecture, e.g., the Great Pyramids in Egypt and the Pantheon in Rome. We will also study the reception of royal art and ideology among the king's subjects. Special attention will be paid to the role of the Roman emperor-cult in shaping social, political and religious identity in the Roman Empire. [ more ]

HIST 395(F)Signs of History

A seminar on key texts from the history of reflections on history. Through readings of works of philosophy, poetry, history, prose fiction, film, photography, and cultural criticism from the Enlightenment to the present, we will weigh how writers have attempted to answer such questions as: What is an historical event, and how do such events differ from other occurrences? How are historical changes reflected in or produced by literature, art and other cultural forms? Who or what makes history and what is the nature of historical agency? Is history always "written by the victors," as one says, or are there ways of challenging dominant accounts of the past? Though answers to these questions will be multiple, course reading and discussion will in general strive to determine the consequences of understanding history as a site in which reading and writing, experience and narration, and action and interpretation interpenetrate. Readings may include works by Burke, Hegel, Charlotte Smith, Hazlitt, de Tocqueville, Marx & Engels, Dickens, Nietzsche, Conrad, Benjamin, Eliot, Warhol, Richter, Lanzmann, and Celan. [ more ]

HIST 396Muslims and Europe: From the Conquest of Algeria to the Present

Not offered this year

This course will explore Europe's tumultuous relationship with North Africa, focusing on French and British colonialism and its aftermath in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics to be covered include Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Anglo-French rivalry over the Canal and the Suez crisis of 1956, the Algerian Revolution and the anti-Islamic coup in 1991-2, and the migration of North Africans and Indian/Pakistani Muslims to Europe in the post 1945 period. Racial tensions, battles over headscarves, French hip-hop music, and Jewish-Muslim relations in contemporary France are among the topics to be explored with an eye to examining how Europe is coming to terms with its new multicultural identity. By comparing and contrasting Muslim and European societies, and by showing the ways in which colonial power and racial privilege affected these cultures, this course meets the Exploring Diversity Initiative requirement as it seeks to develop an empathetic understanding of the position of Muslims in Europe today. [ more ]

HIST 399(S)Representing History

Moments of political turmoil expose the highly charged ways in which a culture structures itself around a narrative past. In this course, we will read literary and cinematic works that invoke such moments of upheaval--the French and Russian Revolutions as well as those of 1848, the rise of fascism and the Great Depression of the 1930s, the battle for Algerian independence, the AIDS crisis, among others--in order to explore those fraught narratives of the past. We will consider such issues as the rise of the historical novel, the aesthetics of fascism and of democracy under pressure, fantasies of decolonization, representational clashes of culture, forms of affective and sexual disorientation, and the uses of melancholy in representing historical loss. Readings will be drawn from literary works by Edgeworth, Scott, Shelley, Balzac, Eliot, Conrad, Kafka, Babel, Mann, Borges, Stoppard, Kushner, Morrison, Pahmuk, Bolano, and Philip, and theoretical essays by Kant, Burke, Carlyle, Marx, Benjamin, Lukacs, Adorno, Foucault, de Certeau, Jameson, Lefort and Ahmed. Films will include such works as Eisenstein's October, Reifenstahl's The Blue Light, Wellman's Nothing Sacred and Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers. [ more ]

HIST 403Making it in Africa: Business in African History

Not offered this year

Although Africa has come to be known as a continent that relies heavily on foreign aid, that aid rarely reaches ordinary people. In fact, recent studies have suggested that foreign aid has not helped develop Africa. In spite of the staggering problems that ordinary Africans face, many see Africa--now more than ever before--as a place bursting with promise and opportunity, even if that opportunity may require challenges to conventional economic and political thinking. Increasingly, an innovative class of entrepreneurs is emerging in Africa that is hustling in the formal and informal economy in order to accumulate capital. This seminar will trace the social and cultural history of entrepreneurship in Africa from the 19th century to the present. We will explore the individual journeys of several entrepreneurs, the values and objectives they nurtured, the changes in the strategy and structure of the businesses they created, and the dynamic environments in which they each lived and worked. The course will also examine the long-term impact of entrepreneurial innovation and market evolution on African communities and governments. Readings will include histories, biographies, autobiographies, ethnographies, and novels. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

HIST 409Crescent, Cross, and Star. Religion and Politics in the Middle East

Not offered this year

Is religion the most powerful force in the Middle East? Is religion becoming more prominent in the political sphere and what impact will that have on religious minorities and the status of women in the Middle East? Using a case study and historical approach, this course will consider the development of religiously inspired political ideologies in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th century. We will explore the experience of Iran, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan and evaluate role of religious actors, institutions, and ideologies in constructing national identities, policymaking, state-building, regime change, conflict, and war. [ more ]

HIST 410Kings, Heroes, Gods, & Monsters: Historical Texts and Modern Identities in the Middle East

Not offered this year

What role does ancient history play in modern societies? What is the role of myths and fables in the creation of national identities? This course will address the use and abuse of ancient history and archaeology in the modern Middle East. The first part will focus on some of the primary ancient texts, with special focus on Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh (Book of Kings); we will compare its themes and world view with those of the Icelandic sagas that share many similarities with the Iranian canon. In the second part of the course we will explore how ancient history, archaeology, and epic texts helped forge national identities in the modern Middle East. Our primary attention will be Iran and its relationship with the Shahnameh. But we will also consider the relationship of Biblical history to the establishment of modern Israel and Israeli nationalism, how contemporary Egypt relates to its Pharaonic past, the obsession with pre-Islamic history in modern Turkey, and the relationship between archaeological artifacts and ancient Mesopotamian history and 20th century Iraqi politics. Because of its comparative focus, this course is part of the Exploring Diversity Initiative. [ more ]

HIST 414(S)Merchant Cultures and Capitalist Classes in China and India

As the expression "Chindia" in the title of a recent book suggests, contemporary commentators find it difficult to resist conflating the rise of China and India as economic powers in the early 21st century. There are, however, both significant parallels between the two national histories and important distinctions that shape their contemporary viewpoints and futures. This seminar will examine various historical dimensions of entrepreneurial activity in China and India from the early modern period through the twentieth century. It will focus on topics such as indigenous forms of merchant organization, the impact of nineteenth-century imperialism, the adoption of Western business forms and methods, and the relationship of entrepreneurial elites to the modern state. [ more ]

HIST 424The Dark Ages: Gaul after the Fall of Rome

Not offered this year

What made Antiquity different from the Middle Ages? What changed after the Roman Empire ceased to exist in the West? This seminar will approach these classic problems through an intense focus on Gaul during the so-called "Dark Ages," from the fifth to the eighth centuries. During these years, Frankish kings of the Merovingian dynasty dominated Western Europe. Our sources for these transitional centuries are some of the most colorful and fascinating texts to emerge from the ancient world. We will begin with a look at life and politics under the later Roman empire, and then make ourselves experts in Merovingian history by studying nearly all the surviving written evidence. Narrative histories, chronicles and law codes will claim the bulk of our time and attention, but we will also sample documents, literature, and archeological finds. This comprehensive exposure will prepare us to confront the many scholarly debates that have surrounded the Merovingian age. [ more ]

HIST 433The Justice of Violence? Histories of Terrorism in Europe

Not offered this year

The word "terrorism" entered the English language in 1795, an import from France that referred to the use of violence and intimidation by the ruling party during one phase of the French Revolution. Over the ensuing two centuries, terrorism has come to refer to the employment of violence, not only as a means of governing, but also and more often as a means of undermining the authority of those in power. This seminar examines a series of episodes of terrorism in Europe from the "Terror" of the French Revolution to the late twentieth century. It also explores various interpretations of the legitimacy and ethics of political violence and the phenomenon of terrorism in different historical contexts. In addition to common readings, students will conduct independent research on some aspect of the history of terrorism that will culminate in a 20-page paper. [ more ]

HIST 434The Meaning of Diaspora and the Jews of Europe

Not offered this year

Dispersion, exile, migration, statelessness are all aspects of diaspora. And in the study of diasporic peoples and cultures, the Jews have long figured as the archetype. Indeed, prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the diasporic condition both defined and, in a meaningful way, was defined by the Jewish experience. As a result, Jewish political figures, intellectuals, and scholars have played a central role in discussions of the meaning of diaspora, including debates about its political and social implications, economic value, and cultural significance. This seminar examines various interpretations of Jews' diasporic existence from the nineteenth century to the present, both as a cultural practice and a form of group identity from which political claims have been made. Ultimately, this seminar will test the proposition that "The Modern Age is the Jewish Age," that is, that the meaning of diaspora in modern Jewish history has direct relevance to students of human identity, not just of Jewishness. In addition to common readings, students will conduct independent research on some aspect of the history of diaspora that will culminate in a 20-page paper. [ more ]

HIST 444The Black Republic--Haiti in History and Imagination

Not offered this year

This senior Africana capstone course/History seminar explores the central role of Haiti in the American and the transnational pan-African imaginations. As home to the world's only successful slave rebellion, Haiti has been a role model of tremendous importance, stimulating slave rebellions in America and throughout the Caribbean, playing an instrumental role in the liberation of South America from the Spaniards, and inspiring decolonization movements in Africa and the Caribbean in the 20th century. Not surprisingly, it has had tumultuous relations with both its colonial occupier, France, and its most powerful neighbor, the United States. From isolation and sanctions, to occupation and U.S. supported dictatorship, this seminar traces the historical silencing suffered by Haiti at the hands of western historians, the vivid images Haitians evoke in the American imagination--from boat people and carriers of Aids, to practitioners of voodoo and creators of a uniquely African-Caribbean art--and the role of the French and American governments in the recent coup against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Film, dance, literature, music, history, anthropology and religion will be explored in this interdisciplinary course, with an eye towards helping students produce an original work of their own as the final project. By examining Haiti's fraught racial relations--particularly between Haitian blacks and mulattoes--and her early and unique black power movement--noirisme--this class fulfills the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative. [ more ]

HIST 452Women in America, 1620-1865

Not offered this year

This course will explore the diversity of American women's experiences from the colonial era through the Civil War. We will pay particular attention to the roles women filled--as slaves, nuns, housewives, mothers, and workers, as well as depictions of women as witches, paragons of virtue, and urban consumers. In our reading of historiography and primary texts we will analyze the ways in which literacy and artistic culture as well as geopolitical events shaped women's lives. As we study works of history, we will also read modern works of feminist and race theory to further our understanding of connections between ideology and practice, between narrative and argument. [ more ]

HIST 453Researching Early America

Not offered this year

This research seminar will survey the rich history of early America (1607-1850) by focusing on the most momentous events and consequential individuals from the era. The course will also explore some of the most pressing historiographical questions and some of the research methods historians of the era deploy. Students will then select a topic that interests them and produce a substantive research paper. The course will also serve as a capstone course for Leadership Studies concentrators. [ more ]

HIST 456(F)Civil War and Reconstruction

An examination of one of the most turbulent periods in American history, with special emphasis on the changing status of Afro-Americans during the era. During the war years, we shall study both the war itself and homefront conditions: military, naval, political, economic, and especially social aspects will be examined in some detail. Our study of Reconstruction will concentrate on the evolution of federal policy toward the Southern states and the workings out of that policy in the South, particularly as it relates to the freedmen. [ more ]

HIST 457Gender, Law, and Politics in U.S. History

Not offered this year

This seminar explores the legal history of the United States as a gendered system. It examines how women have shaped the meanings of American citizenship through pursuit of political rights and obligations such as suffrage, jury duty, and military service; how those political struggles have varied across race, religion, and class; and how the legal system has shaped gender relations for both women and men through regulation of such issues as marriage, divorce, work, reproduction, and the family. While we will read some court cases, the focus of the seminar is on the broader relationship between law and society. Readings will address not only the history of statutory law, and of the lawsuits and trials testing those laws, but also the social history of the impact of the law and the political history of efforts to change laws. [ more ]

HIST 459Jim Crow: American Apartheid

Not offered this year

Between 1865 and 1965 white Americans developed and deployed a set of practices that sanctioned racial discrimination. Jim Crow--as this American system of apartheid was called--is one of the least studied aspects of U. S. History. This course explores the law, cultural, economics, and politics of Jim Crow; the dynamics of racialized power; and the roles of media and history in sustaining racial inequality. Informed by how segregation operated to construct and sustain differences, it qualifies as an Exploring Diversity Initiative course by linking the issue of diversity to the issue of power relations, investigating how American institutions enabled and maintained racial disparities despite constitutional guarantees, and considering how the legacy of racial discrimination affects current domestic issues like public education, affirmative action, and the persistence of poverty. In addition to covering race theory in historical context, the course suggests that current scientific ideas about race--that there are no consequential biological differences among humans--is a recent discovery. Finally, the course examines the discrete development of black communities, institutions, politics, and racial destiny. [ more ]

HIST 464The United States and the Vietnam War

Not offered this year

U.S. involvement in Vietnam affected nearly every aspect of American life, including the country's overall foreign policy, its military strategy, the relationship between various branches of government, the nation's political trajectory, the role of media in society, youth culture, race relations, and more. This seminar explores America's war in Vietnam and its dramatic ramifications at home and abroad. We will evaluate the Vietnam War era as a turning point in U.S. history--and in the role of the U.S. in the world--by reading and discussing a number of scholarly works on domestic and international aspects of the conflict. Students will develop an original research topic and research and write a 20- to 25- page paper, based in primary sources, on one aspect of America's Vietnam War. [ more ]

HIST 465(S)War and Remembrance in Vietnam

This seminar, which includes a required spring break field trip to Vietnam, examines how that country's twentieth century wars for independence have been remembered, memorialized, and represented by the Vietnamese state, by citizens and scholars, and by the ever-growing number of international tourists who visit Vietnam each year. All class members are eligible to participate in the spring break field trip at no cost. In the weeks leading up to the trip, students will read a number of scholarly works on war and memory that will prepare them to think critically and knowledgeably about the representations of Vietnam's recent past that they encounter inside the country's borders. Students will consider the following questions: What factors influence representations of war in Vietnam? What cultural assumptions underlie them? What political, social, or economic purposes might they serve? How do official memorials in state-run museums and monuments differ from other perspectives? How do Vietnamese memories and representations of the Vietnam Wars differ from American memories and representations, and for what reasons? These questions will serve as the basis for a research paper or final project on one aspect of war and remembrance in Vietnam that students will complete during the second half of the semester, based in part on observations recorded during the trip. [ more ]

HIST 469(F)Notions of Race and Ethnicity in American Culture

While "race" and "ethnicity" have always played fundamental roles in shaping the course of American culture and the definition of who is or who can be an "American," our understanding of these concepts of race and ethnicity has often been less than clear. The purpose of this seminar is to examine how Americans have defined and articulated the concepts of race and ethnicity at various points in our history and how these ideas have been expressed in art, policy, practice, and theory. This course fulfills the Exploring Diversity Initiative because it examines various dynamics of power structures based on race and ethnic politics, as well as class and gender relations. [ more ]

HIST 471(S)Comparative Latina/o Migrations

Since the 1970s, policymakers, scholars, the media, and popular discourses have used the umbrella terms "Hispanic" and "Latina/o" to refer to Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans and more recent immigrants from Central and South American countries. As a form of racial/ethnic categorization, however, these umbrella terms can mask widely divergent migration histories and experiences in the United States. In this course, we develop theoretical perspectives and comparative analyses to untangle a complicated web of similarities and differences among Latino groups. How important were their time of arrival and region of settlement? How do we explain differences in socioeconomic status? How fruitful and appropriate are comparative analyses with other racial/ethnic groups, such as African Americans or European immigrants? Along the way, we explore the emergence of Latina/o Studies as an interdisciplinary and comparative field of study, as well as methods used in Latino and Latina history, specifically oral histories, government documents, newspapers, and interdisciplinary approaches. In this EDI course, we ask whether the history and processes of racialization in the United States has created similarities and/or differences in each group's experiences, and to what extent the field of Latina/o Studies offers an alternative to racial biases embedded in the dominant academic discourses. [ more ]

HIST 475Modern Warfare and Military Leadership

Not offered this year

From the early nineteenth to the twenty-first century, modern history has been marked by numerous wars fought by nation states. Some of these wars were enormously destructive. Some changed history decisively on a continental or global scale. This modern period of warfare witnessed rapid and dramatic changes in the manner military forces were organized, armed, and led, and in their scale and lethalness. From the smoothbore musket to the machine gun, sailing warships to dreadnaught battleships, horse-pulled artillery to the atomic bomb, submarines under the seas and warplanes in the skies, to rockets and smart weapons, war rapidly evolved and continues to evolve today. This course will study these developments, concentrating on conflicts like the Napoleonic wars, the American Civil War, World War I and World War II, with special emphasis upon the evolution of military leaders like Napoleon, Grant and Lee, Moltke, Churchill and Roosevelt, Stalin and Hitler, Nelson and Doenitz, Eisenhower and MacArthur. Is it leadership that provides the key to our understanding of modern warfare? Or is it technology? Or certain "timeless" military principles that transcend local historical contexts? Can history help us foresee the future of warfare? [ more ]

HIST 476(S)Black Radicalism

"Amandla! Black Power! Venceremos! A Luta Continua!" Ever since the end of slavery--occurring, in part, due to the efforts of Black radicals from Haiti to South Carolina to the Quilombos of Brazil--transatlantic people of African descent have demanded radical change in the organization of modern societies. Their struggles and ideas have changed the ways we think and study--through the formation of Africana/African-American/Black-Studies--and the ways in which we express ideas--through the creation of rich traditions of music, dance, theater, poetry, carnivals, sculpture, and art that have acted as global conduits of cultures of resistance. In this Senior Seminar, we will study the interdisciplinary history of Black radicalism--in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa--from W.E.B. Dubois to the present, paying special attention to Black working class and feminist challenges to capitalism and sexism, (e.g. A. Philip Randolph, Angela Davis), to the uses of Black Power to challenge Black societies (Walter Rodney), to African socialism (Nyerere, Nkrumah), to musicians and poets, like Bob Marley and Aime Cesaire, whose rhythms and example continue to inspire us to fight for social justice and equality. [ more ]

HIST 478(S)Cold War Landscapes

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union set in motion dramatic changes to the natural and built environments of many nations between 1945 and 1991. Nuclear test and missile launch sites, naval installations, military production operations, and border securitizations are just a few of the most obvious ways in which the stand-off between the two countries altered rural and urban landscapes around the world. But one can also see the Cold War as setting in motion less immediately direct but nonetheless profound changes to the way that many people saw and planned for the environments around them, as evidenced, for instance, by the rise of the American suburb, the reconstruction of postwar Europe, and agricultural and industrial initiatives in many developing nations. We will begin this seminar by exploring several distinct "Cold War landscapes" in the United States, then move on to examining others in Europe and the Soviet Union. We will spend the final weeks of the semester discussing examples from other parts of the world. Our approach to our topics will be interdisciplinary throughout the semester, and students are welcome to write their research papers on any geographical area of the world. [ more ]

HIST 480 TDangerous Narratives: Interpretations of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Not offered this year

This tutorial addresses the powerful, competing, and bitterly contested historical narratives that underpin the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both Israelis and Palestinians appeal to history to legitimize their territorial claims and to justify contemporary action. Special attention will be paid to the interpretations of key historical moments , especially the 1948 and 1967 wars, and on the contrasting views of some of the core issues of the conflict (Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, terrorism). [ more ]

HIST 481 T(S)America in the 1970s

The first general history of the 1970s was titled It Seemed Like Nothing Happened. During the last decade, however, a wave of new scholarship has reinterpreted the 1970s, and has redefined it as the "pivotal decade" when the forces that have shaped U.S. history for the past forty years took shape. This course will introduce students to that new scholarship, and will identify and study those forces. Examining a range of topics related to the political, economic, cultural, social and intellectual history of the 1970s, we will pay special attention to the evolving status and meanings of liberalism and conservatism in that decade. This course will also consider the two methodological assumptions embedded in its title--what are the limits and benefits of using a decade as a category of analysis? And what are the limits and benefits of studying that decade through a national lens as opposed to a transnational one? [ more ]

HIST 482 T(F)Fictions of African-American History

This course examines the form and function of African-American narratives with particular attention to written texts pertaining to the enslavement and freedom of African Americans during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. We will explore the role of books, writing, and reading in the African American South, where the acts of reading and writing had been illegal throughout the Colonial and Antebellum Era. In the course, we will read both historical and fictional narratives that raise explicitly the problems of writing African-American history. In the first part of the course, we will discuss selected texts (fiction, narrative, and historiography) from the antebellum era in order to schematize the literature of slavery. In the second half of the course, we will take up the discourse of freedom that followed the Emancipation Proclamation. Readings will include works by Booker T. Washington, James Weldon Johnson, Charles Chesnutt, Harriet Wilson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sutton Griggs. In addition, we will read historiography on African American slavery, freedom, and urbanization. [ more ]

HIST 483 TAfrican Political Thought

Not offered this year

This course examines the ideas of major figures in the progressive tradition of African political thought. This emancipatory tradition emerged in societies shaped by racial, cultural, and economic exploitation, forcing both African men and women to address questions of identity and political action. Most members of this tradition also considered the ways in which uneven power relations within African communities shaped the personal and political landscapes. The Africans we will examine in this course drew on resources as varied as Pan-Africanism, Nationalism, Classical Liberalism, Social Democracy, Marxism, Black Consciousness, Negritude and Gender theory, yet each participated, at least implicitly, in a common African intellectual project: the meaning of Africa and of being African. [ more ]

HIST 484 TVictorian Psychology

Not offered this year

Although the Victorian era has traditionally been considered a psycho-social model of emotional inhibition and sexual prudery, recent studies have demonstrated that this characterization grossly oversimplifies the attitudes toward emotional and sexual life held by Europeans and Americans in the second half of the nineteenth century. This tutorial will investigate professional and popular ideas about human psychology during the Victorian era. We will attempt to define and understand what people thought and felt about insanity, the unconscious, dreams, sexuality, the relationship between natural impulses and civilized society, child development, the psychological differences between men and women, and the relationship between the physical and the psychical. The course will concentrate on the close reading and analysis of primary documents from the era. [ more ]

HIST 485 T(F)After Rome

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. [ more ]

HIST 486 TThe Pacific War in Japanese Historical Memory

Not offered this year

Almost seven decades after Japan's surrender, the enduring question of how to remember the Pacific War continues to provoke controversy both within Japan and between Japan, South Korea, and China. This tutorial will explore how this difficult past has been remembered in postwar Japan, and how and why these memories have changed from 1945 to the present. Our focus will be on certain sites of memory--museums, shrines, literature, textbooks, and films--and how they have expressed and shaped memories of various aspects of the war from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to military comfort women and the Nanking massacre. Key issues include how various Japanese have tried to make sense of death and personal sacrifice in the name of a lost war; the implications of Japan's unique position as both perpetrator of wartime atrocities and victim of atomic bombings; the relationship between memory and nationalism; and what it means to come to terms with pasts contested both within and between countries. [ more ]

HIST 487 TThe Second World War: Origins, Course, Outcomes, and Meaning

Not offered this year

1991 marked the fiftieth anniversaries of the Nazi invasion of Russia and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Though war had come to Europe as early as 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, after 1941 the war became a truly global conflict of unprecedented extent, ferocity, and destructiveness. As late as 1943 it still appeared that the Axis powers might win the war. But, by the end of the 1945, the bombed-out ruins of Germany and Japan were occupied by the Allies, who were preparing to put the surviving Axis leaders and generals on trial for war crimes. This tutorial will concentrate on a number of important questions and issues which arise from a study of World War II. What were the origins of this central event of the twentieth century? How and why did the war begin? Why did the war take the course it did? What were the most crucial or decisive episodes or events? How did the Allies win? Why did the Axis lose? Could the outcome have been different? Many of the topics examined will also have to deal with important questions of human responsibility and with the moral or ethical dimensions of the war. Why did France, Britain, and the Soviet Union not stop Hitler earlier? Who was to blame for the fall of France and the Pearl Harbor fiasco? Why did the Allies adopt a policy of extensive firebombing of civilian targets? How could the Holocaust have happened? Could it have been stopped? Did the Atomic bomb have to be dropped? Were the war crime trials justified? By the end of the tutorial, students will have become thoroughly familiar with the general course the war followed as well as acquiring in-depth knowledge of the most decisive and important aspects of the conflict. Students will also have grappled with the task of systematically assessing what combinations of material and human factors can best explain the outcomes of the major turning points of the war. Students will also have dealt with the problem of assessing the moral and ethical responsibility of those persons, organizations, and institutions involved in the war. [ more ]

HIST 488 TReligion and Secularism in Modern Europe and Russia

Not offered this year

The influence and fate of religion in modern Europe present a complex and contradictory pattern. Increased religious tolerance and pluralism have coexisted with intense anti-clericalism, militant secularism, virulent anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia; religious revival and reform have coexisted with skepticism, secularization, and dechristianization; both religion and irreligion have served as bases for political mobilization and powerfully shaped personal, national, and transnational identities. According to some scholars, Europe demonstrates a long-term trajectory toward secularity that reflects the inexorable process of modernization; other scholars reject this claim, contending both that the interrelationship between religion, secularity, and modernity in Europe is more complex and that its experience is unique in a global context. As evidence, some point to the vitality of religion in imperial Russia and the revival of religious profession and identity in Russia since the collapse of communism. This course will explore these differing perspectives on the relationship between religion, secularity, and modernity in Europe and Russia through an examination of selected topics from the Enlightenment to the present, including the interrelationship between religion on the one hand and politics, revolution, the formation of imperial and national polities and identities, social and economic change, gender, science, and the rise of consumerism on the other. [ more ]

HIST 488 T(S)Gandhi: Nationalism, Philosophy, and Legacy

This course studies the work and ideas of M.K. Gandhi, one of the most influential thinkers of the non-western world. Gandhi is well known today for his philosophy of non-violence and its application in India's freedom struggle as well as his influence on the work of leaders like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Hailed as the `father of the Indian nation', however, Gandhi is not only known for his political ideas but also for his deep engagement with aspect of everyday human behavior and morality: truth, vegetarianism, sex and celibacy, to name just a few of his obsessive concerns which contributed to making his broader philosophy. It is this commitment to a morally pure life that earned him the title of `Mahatma' or Great Soul in India. The tutorial will focus on three key aspects of Gandhi: his ideas of nationalism, his contemplations on moral philosophy and on his legacy in modern India. The materials will include a combination of Gandhi's own writings as well as journal articles, monographs and films. The course will probe questions such as: What was the nature of Gandhian nationalism? Did it help to integrate the Indian nation? How, if at all, was shaped by Gandhi's engagements with moral philosophy and human behavior? Was Gandhi truly a Great Soul, a saint or a shrewd politician? In what ways is Gandhi received and remembered by the Indian nation today? How does understanding a figure like Gandhi facilitate our understanding of modern nationalism, citizenship and political action? [ more ]

HIST 489 TIdeology, Culture, and Identity: The "New Diplomatic History"

Not offered this year

This course explores a recent wave of historical scholarship on the roles of ideology, culture, and identity in American foreign relations. The proliferation of such studies has contributed to the revival of the once moribund subfield of diplomatic history and restored it to the mainstream of the historical profession. Yet this "cultural turn" has not come without controversy, as some traditional diplomatic historians insist that it dilutes the subfield and discourages young scholars from engaging in necessary research on high-level diplomacy. Students will read several important "state of the field" essays alongside some of the most exciting contributions to this new trend and consider the following questions: What do these new works add to our understanding of U.S. history and the history of the United States in the World? What roles do ideology, culture, and identity play in the policymaking process? In what ways do these studies complement traditional diplomatic histories that privilege the study of power in the international arena and to what extent are they a separate venture all together? What can "the new diplomatic history" contribute to other historical subfields and vice versa? [ more ]

HIST 490 TMemory, History, and the Extermination of the Jews of Europe: Dangerous History

Not offered this year

The atrocities committed by Nazi Germany during the Second World War continue to trouble historians in their attempts to understand and represent them in all their magnitude and horror. Beyond historians, the complicity of segments of European societies in perpetrating those atrocities continues to raise thorny questions for postwar European nations about what their responsibilities are toward that past. This tutorial will focus on a series of questions relating to the historicization and memorialization of the extermination of European Jews. They include: Is the Holocaust unique? Is it a Jewish story or universal story? Does the Holocaust raise different issues for the historian than other historical events? How should the Holocaust be represented and what are the implications of different means of representing it? What role, if any, did European Jews play in their own destruction? Has Germany faced up to its past? Were Germans also victims of World War II? Who were the "bystanders" as compared to the "perpetrators"? Were the postwar trials of perpetrators a travesty of justice? How appropriate are the different uses that Israel and the United States have made of the Holocaust? By the end of the course, students will have grappled with the ongoing controversies that have arisen among scholars, governments, and lay people about the meaning (and meaninglessness) of the Holocaust for the postwar world. In a world in which extraordinary acts of violence continue to be perpetrated and more and more nations' pasts are marked by episodes of extreme criminality and/or trauma, exploring the manner by which one such episode has been remembered, avenged, and adjudicated should prove relevant for future consideration of other societies' efforts to confront their own traumatic pasts. [ more ]

HIST 492 TRevolutionary Thought in Latin America

Not offered this year

For much of Latin America's postcolonial history, political and business elites in the United States have viewed the region as a source of revolutionary threats. Too often histories of actual revolutionary movements and the ideas they promulgated have followed either the self-serving narratives that the revolutionaries have laid out or the similarly limited stories composed by their opponents. This tutorial, by contrast, will delve into the complex, contingent, and at times counterintuitive history of revolutionary thought in modern Latin America. Our readings and discussions will carry us from the nineteenth century to the rise of the "New Left" in the last few years. Throughout the course our principle goal will be to examine the internal logic of the most influential programs of revolutionary thought as well as their relationship to circumstances external to them, both in their home regions and globally. At the same time, we will consider the human or moral promise and price of revolutionary options: did the proposed or alleged aims of revolutionary ideals justify the costs they would impose? This course will fulfill the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative by comparing and analyzing divergent theorizations of history and society, as well as the contexts in which such theories emerged and to which we might or might not choose to apply them. A central aim of the course will be to compare the formation of revolutionary initiatives across national and chronological boundaries. [ more ]

HIST 493(F)Senior Thesis: Research Seminar

This seminar is intended solely for writers of senior theses. Although each student's major work for the year will be the writing of a thesis in consultation with an individual advisor, students will gather for occasional meetings in order to present and critique each other's proposals and drafts and to discuss common problems in research and the design of a long analytical essay. For students proceeding to W31 and HIST 494, performance in the fall semester will figure into the thesis grade calculated at the end of the year. The quality of a student's performance in the seminar segment of History 493, as well as his or her performance in all aspects of the May colloquium at which theses are presented and critiqued, will be figured into the overall grade the student is given for History 493-494 and the departmental decision to award Honors or Highest Honors at Commencement. [ more ]

HIST 494(S)Senior Thesis: Writing Seminar

This seminar is a continuation of HIST 493 and is required of all senior thesis writers. Students will meet to discuss draft thesis chapters and prepare for the Thesis Colloquium in May at which theses will be presented and assessed. For students proceeding to W31 and HIST 494, performance in fall semester will figure into the thesis grade calculated at the end of the year. The quality of a student's performance in the colloquium segment of History 493, as well as his or her performance in all aspects of the May colloquium at which theses are presented and critiqued, will be figured into the overall grade the student is given for History 493-494 and the departmental decision to award Honors or Highest Honors at Commencement. [ more ]