100 Level Courses
History 101A & 101B. Western Civilization to 1700 (3h). TR 8-9:15 & 9:30-10:45. A102. Williams. At light speed (in one class period) we will traverse the prehistory of our species and then set about a more intensive review of the next 5200 years (3500 B.C.E to 1700 C.E). Our journey will carry us from Sumeria and the appearance of that form of culture historians call civilization to the eve of industrialization and political revolution in Western Europe. While examining the the communal structures, achievements, tribulations, and transformations of peoples who, for the most part, spoke Indo-European languages and who, from their origins somewhere north of the Caucasus, came to control not only Europe, but the Americas and the whole of northern Asia, we will try to determine what sense it makes to speak of the tangible and intangible worlds they made as a single civilization and on what bases we might distinguish this civilization from others that appeared elsewhere.
History 102A. Europe & World in Modern Era (3h). MWF 9-9:50. A103. Rupp. History 102B & 102C. Europe & World in Modern Era (3h). MWF 9-9:50 & 10-10:50. A102. White. This course will explore the social, cultural and political transformation of Europe, along with Europe’s transformation of the globe, from the 18th through the 20th centuries. From the Glorious Revolution, to the French Revolution, to the Industrial Revolution, to the Russian Revolution to the “Velvet” Revolution – this was an era of profound and often rapid change. We will closely examine how this change impacted the lives of all Europeans, from the lowliest farmer to the haughtiest king. Beyond this, we will also examine how and why Europeans came to dominate the majority of the globe during these centuries, and how this global dominance impacted the lives native peoples throughout the world. This course will also examine in greater detail the role of violence in the shaping of the modern world through close examination of such topics as war, revolt and imperialism. Special topics we will explore in greater detail include the long-term impact of the French Revolution, the impact of European colonization on the peoples of the Congo, the impact of the German “final solution to the Jewish question” and the impact of the process of decolonization in former European colonies.
History 102D & 102E. Europe & World in Modern Era (3h). TR 9:30-10:45 & 12-1:15. B117. Hughes. Europe was backward and poor, compared to China, India, and the Middle East, as late as the 17th and even 18th centuries. But in the late 19th century it dominated and strongly influenced the world. Brutal wars, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, dramatically eroded its influence, as did economic development elsewhere in the world. Yet it still remains rich and powerful. Moreover, the Untied States derived its major institutions and values from its European origins. This course will examine the ways in which Europe, in no small part through its interactions with the rest of the world, developed and exported, and other parts of the world in turn appropriated and adapted, the key ideologies and institutions that characterize the world in which we live. We will talk about intellectual movements, economic development and competition, and political institutions and cultures; about bureaucracies, markets, corporations, trade unions, political parties, and social movements. We’ll start in the 17th century and end with the collapse of communism and beginnings of our current, post-Cold War, world.
History 103A & 103B. World Civ to 1500 (3h). MWF 8-8:50 & 9-9:50. A208. Raley. This course will provide a comparative, thematic study spanning from the Paleolithic origins of humanity and the birth of world civilizations in various locations around the globe following the agricultural revolution of the Neolithic Age to the beginning of the early modern era (ca. 1500 C.E.). In the course of our historical and cultural investigations, we shall focus our attention not only upon surviving primary sources, but shall also consider the debates of modern historians over the interpretation and meaning of the surviving evidence. Examining global societies through such “lenses” as mythology, religion, philosophy, ethics, law codes, systems of governance, modes of warfare, treatment of conquered peoples, business practices, architecture, language and writing, growth of new technologies, and, of course, the everyday lives of those who were part of these societies will help us come to terms with cultures that are so far removed from our own today, both geographically and temporally. A related emphasis in this course will be the place of women in global history—in particular, women’s experiences in what typically have been patriarchal societies. Above all, “World Civilizations to 1500” offers students an opportunity to understand more clearly the origins, cultural heritages, historical responses, and degree of interaction and cross-cultural fertilization among the world’s principal civilizations, and thereby simultaneously to develop a greater awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity in our world today.
History 104A & 104C. World Civ Since 1500 (3h). TR 12-1:15 & 1:30-2:45. A103. McGraw. This course offers an introduction to major themes in world history since 1500. It explores the rise, evolution, and decline of empires as well as the emergence of a global economy. We will emphasize the interrelationship between these broad changes and the experience of everyday life. The meeting of diverse peoples and cultures under conditions of inequality has had a profound impact on how individuals came to perceive themselves and their societies. Our course readings will investigate the emergence of modern understandings of human identity – especially ethnicity, race, and nationality – as well as collective strategies of adaptation, resistance, and revolution.
History 104B, 104D & 104E. World Civ Since 1500 (3h). TR 12-1:15, 1:30-2:45 & 3-4:15. A102. Staff.
History 107 The Middle East and the World (3h). MWF 1-1:50. Tribble A102. Wilkins. Examines in its global context the history of the Middle East and Islamic civilization from the seventh century to the twentieth century. We will consider in turn the struggle of the early Muslim community to define itself against the older monotheistic religions; the phenomenal spread of Muslim institutions and customs across Afro-Eurasia; the complex and multi-sided interactions of religious communities during the European Crusades and Turco-Mongol migrations; the resurgence of Middle Eastern geo-political power under the last Muslim empires (1500-1800); and finally, after 1800 the economic and political ascendancy of Europe and the varied political, social, and intellectual responses of Middle Eastern peoples to that challenge. Key themes include orientalism and the Western representation of other cultures ; the variety and evolution of social and political compacts or constitutions; and the cross-cultural reception of ideas, commodities, and technologies.
History 108A. The Americas and the World (3h). MWF 9-9:50. B117. Ruddiman.
History 108B & 108C. The Americas and the World (3h). MWF 10-10:50 & 11-11:50. A208. Hayes. This course explores major developments in the history of the Americas, with consistent attention to the changing global context. Through memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, monographs, and films, we will seek to put a human face on such familiar abstractions as colonialism, slavery, republics, industrialization, and globalization. Class sessions will mix lecture, discussion, film, debate, and source interpretation to uncover the human aspirations, ideals, and struggles of the past five centuries.
History 109A. Asia and the World (3h). MWF 1-1:50. A103. Hellyer. This course explores how East Asia, chiefly China, Japan and Korea, have interacted with the outside world from 1500 to the present. It considers East Asian views of Europe and the US, the nature of early modern commercial and diplomatic relations, the adoption of new technologies and Christianity in East Asia, East Asian “modernization” in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, WWII in East Asia, communism and socialism, and rapid economic development in the region since WWII.
Credit cannot be received for both 101 and 103 or 102 and 104.
All classes held in Tribble Hall unless otherwise noted.
200 Level Courses
History 252. The United States After 1865 (3h). TR 9:30-10:45. A103. McGraw. This course offers an introduction to major trends and conflicts in the history of the United States since 1865. The ongoing contests to define the nation as a post-emancipation society provide a central theme that will be examined throughout the course. Lectures and readings will also trace connections between the maturation of the U.S. industrial economy, the establishment of an overseas empire, and the rise of the welfare state. Throughout the semester, our exploration will center the diverse experiences of ordinary women and men, especially those who struggled to achieve social and economic justice.
History 269. African History since 1850 (3h). MWF 12-12:50, A103. Plageman. This course is an overview of African history from 1850 to the present. Focusing largely on sub-Saharan Africa, we will examine the diversity of African societies, the gradual European conquest of Africa, the development and operation of colonial rule, the impact of the Second World War and promise of political independence, the economic and political challenges of newly independent nations, the South African struggle against Apartheid, and contemporary historical events. To facilitate our appreciation of these themes, we will examine case studies from various regions and time periods.
History 284. Latin America’s Colonial Past (3h). TR 3-4:15. A103. Fitzgibbon. Instead of simply assuming that Latin America was conquered and dominated by Spain and Portugal, we will explore colonialism as a contested process. We will examine the institutions used by the Spanish and the Portuguese states to control and exploit indigenous peoples, women, people of mixed race, and African slaves, but we will also investigate the ways in which these supposed subjects of colonial rule evaded or subverted systems of social control. Our investigation will lead naturally into an examination of the Independence movements and the often intractable political and social conflicts Latin American leaders faced as they sought to establish stable independent states. Special topics will include the resilience of Mayan culture, the complex origins of Afro-Brazilian culture, the economic role of convents, sorcery, and popular uprisings. We will make extensive use of ethnographic and legal sources.
300 Level Courses
History 307. The Italian Renaissance (3h). MWF 11-11:30. A102. O’Connell. This course examines the economic, political, intellectual, and social developments in the Italian world from ca. 1350 to 1615, a period that marked a profound transition between the medieval and modern worlds. Many examinations of the “Renaissance era” end on or around the year 1500, leaving the impact of the discovery of the Americas, the religious reformations, and the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution to the period often labeled as “early modern.” It is the purpose of this course to investigate to what degree these major transformations in western and world culture were rooted in and influenced by the social, cultural, political, and economic developments on the Italian peninsula beginning in the fourteenth century. During this period, intellectuals, politicians, artists, and urban elites struggled to combine the humanist recovery of the Greco-Roman classical tradition with the deeply entrenched religiosity of the medieval period. The result was a culture that celebrated human ability to create the best possible world on earth, but this faith in human potential was frequently shaken by warfare, civic strife, and economic instability.
History 311AA. Special Topics: Religion in the American South (3h). MWF 2-2:50. B117. Hayes. The “Bible Belt”; “Christ-Haunted”; “Jesusland.” These evocative phrases—from journalist H.L. Mencken in the 1920s, writer Flannery O’Connor in 1960, and a political cartoonist in 2004—suggest something about the power and place of religion in the U.S. South. Indeed, the public religiousness of the region is often noted, and many feel it to be “more religious” than the rest of the nation. This course investigates the context behind such associations, telling a historical narrative of changing religious forms in this distinct American region. It explores not just the specific Protestantism suggested above, but also a variety of less-familiar, less-visible types of religion, to gain precision and clarity for talking about religion in the South. We will approach religion as a cultural entity in its own right, not just a tool or expression for something else (a political agenda, class frustration, etc). At the same time, we will constantly relate the varieties of regional religion to some of the basic issues in Southern history, like race relations and economic transformation, showing how analysis of religion sheds new light on familiar themes. Class days will mix lecture, primary source interpretation, and discussion of major monographs (both durable old classics and creative new works).
History 311AB. Special Topics: Religious Utopias and the American Experience (3h). TR 1:30-2:45. A208. Frank. Religious groups of many different origins have found in North America an open space for creating settlements that would embody their ideals. This course surveys a range of such 18th and 19th-century communities, from the nearby Moravians at Old Salem, North Carolina, to the Rappites in New Harmony, Indiana, to Shaker colonies from Maine to Kentucky, to Amana Inspirationists in Iowa, to the Koreshan Unity in Florida, to communal settlements of African Americans after the Civil War. These communities raise provocative questions about the nature of community in America, the organization of a free society, and the role of religion in shaping human lives. The course examines the plan of daily life in these settlements – land use, building types, gender relations, children, labor, education, the arts, religious ritual and symbol, leadership and polity. We will put their practices into critical conversation with the emerging dominant culture of America that has often dismissed them as merely “utopian” and thus overlooked what may be learned from their experience.
History 311EA. Special Topics (European): Twentieth Century Eastern Europe(3h). MWF 11-11:50. A103. Rupp.
History 311WA. Special Topics (wider world): Human Rights in Global and Historical Context: Past, Present and Future (3h). MWF 12-12:50. A208. Raley. This course will survey the theoretical bases and historical and cultural contexts that have accompanied the evolution of thinking about human rights. We shall begin with the religious thought and natural law arguments of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and then progress to our own day. Central to the framework of the course will be the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and other formative legal documents. We shall frame our readings and discussions around contemporary debates surrounding the basic human rights found in this historic declaration, and trace their roots from the past to the present day and their implications for the future. These themes include the rights to life, liberty, and security of one’s person; ownership and enjoyment of property; freedom of religion and thought; gender and racial equality; freedom from forced migrations and racial genocide; and freedom of association and assembly, as well as the freedom not to associate. We will consider whether, as some have argued, human rights inevitably assumes a religious aspect grounded in godly natural law or emphasizing the sanctity of human life, or whether instead human rights can be conceived entirely apart from a religious context, and if so, on what grounds. We shall also examine the state of crisis in which many argue human rights have existed since the 1990s. Fundamental to such discussions is a consideration of what constitute human rights, both more broadly speaking, and in terms of the difficulty of defining specific examples, morally as well as from a legal perspective. Of particular significance will be discussions of whether such rights are in fact cultural constructs, or instead constitute universal norms that transcend systems of positive law. We shall also consider what courses of action are available to political governments, NGOs, and individuals seeking to promote human rights in an increasingly hostile global environment.
History 311WB. Special Topics (wider world): Science and Religions in Early Modern History. TR 3-4:15. A208. Zakai.
History 329. British Empire (3h). MWF 12-12:50. A102. White.
History 350. World Economic History: Globalization, Wealth and Poverty, 1500-Present (3h). MWF 10-10:50. A103. Hellyer. This course explores the growth of globalization and its role in the creation of wealth and poverty in both developed and underdeveloped nations since 1500. It focuses on the place of consumers throughout the world within key forces behind globalization: economic growth, trade, and in the process of industrialization. The concluding weeks examine how the ideal of consumer-driven economic growth shaped the world economy since 1945.
History 354. Revolutionary and Early National America, 1763-1815 (3h). MWF 12-12:50. B117. Ruddiman.
History 367. Issues in Public History (3h). W 2-4:30. A103. Blee. This course provides an introduction to the issues involved in the practice, interpretation, and display of history for non-academic audiences in public settings. The course will acquaint students new to public history work to the theoretical issues and contemporary debates in the field. Through readings, discussion, and visits from professionals in the field, students will learn about diverse forms of public history, including exhibitions, preservation, oral history, film, and web sites. The course includes numerous site visits to museums, historical markers, and research sites, and includes hands-on work with community organizations.
History 369. Modern Military History (3h). MWF 10-10:50. B117. Hughes. After the Vietnam War, where the US won all the battles but lost the war, the Department of Defense and others began asking how that could have happened. This course is designed to help Americans answer that question by putting military experience in a broader political, economic, cultural, and social context. We will talk about military technology, tactics, and strategy and about battles and wars, but we will always place them within the larger historical context. We can’t understand how the narrowly military elements developed and how and why they were successfully—or unsuccessfully—deployed unless we recognize the complex range of factors that influence both military choices and ultimate outcomes.
History 380 & 680. America at Work (3h). TR 9-10:45. A208. Gillespie.The history of Americans at work is one of the most unique histories in the world. The U.S. boasts some of the most successful and innovative entrepreneurial and industrial leaders in modern history, along with some of the bloodiest and most divisive and exploitative of labor relations. This course looks at the history of business and labor, management and leadership from multiple perspectives from 1700 to 2000.
History 388. Nation, Faith, and Gender in the Middle East (3h). MWF 11-11:50. B117. Wilkins. This course surveys the development of national, religious, transnational, and individual identities in the Middle East during the 19th and 20th centuries. We will start by exploring forms of identity prevalent in the Ottoman Empire and move on to study European imperialism, theories of nationalism, and post-independence state formation. Among the major topics we will consider are Zionism, Arabism, and Turkish and Palestinian nationalisms, and we will assess how successful each of these nationalist movements was in realizing its political goals. From a gender perspective, we will also consider how men and women played differing roles in these movements. The course concludes by analyzing the decline of nationalism and the reassertion of religious identity, especially Islamic revivalism, in the final decades of the twentieth century.
History 390A. Research Seminar: US 1870-1920 (3h). M 2-4:30. A104. Watts. Using the historical milieu of the U.S. in the years variously called the Gilded Age, the Progressive era, or Victorian America, students choose a research topic based on an identifiable corpus of readily available primary sources and produce a bibliographic literature review of secondary sources as well as book/article/website reviews pertinent to the research topic . By the end of the semester, each student will present a coherent, well-crafted and well-argued research paper based on primary sources and grounded effectively in the relevant secondary literature. Researchers will also demonstrate proficiency in evaluating and using history websites.
History 390B. Research Seminar: Italy and the Mediterranean in the Renaissance (3h). W 3-5:30. A104. O’Connell.This research seminar is devoted to two intersecting themes: the cultural, political, and economic developments of the Renaissance (c. 1350-1600), and the intense cross-cultural engagement that characterized the Mediterranean world in the same period. Our readings and discussions will focus on the ways Renaissance culture developed across the Mediterranean, asking how and why the particularities of the region affected society. The course’s geographical focus will be Italian, although students’ research projects can look to Iberian or Islamic worlds as well.
History 390C. Research Seminar: The Colonial Encounter in Africa (3h). W 2-4:30. A102. Plageman. This course allows students to critically engage with Africa’s colonial period (1880s-1960s), a period of great interaction and exchange between Africans, Europeans and Africans, and Africans with the rest of the world. It asks students to examine how diverse groups approached the colonial period as a time of both opportunity and constraint, particularly in regards to economic mobility, social relations, and cultural transformations. By the semester’s end, each student will present a cohesive research paper based on primary sources and existing secondary literature.
History 390D. Research Seminar: Memory, Culture and the Making of the South (3h). R 2-4:30. A104. Gillespie. Examines history, culture and the construction of public memory in the American South since the Civil War. Students will research and write original papers that address how and why different groups have put together collective representations of southern pasts as evidenced in media, museums, monuments, historic sites, civic events, commemorations, and other venues for culture.
History 391 & 691. Honors Seminar (3h). W 3-5:30. B116. Williams.
History 392 & 692. Individual Research (3h).
History 397 & 697. Historical Writing Tutorial (1.5h). History 398 & 698. Individual Study (1-3h). History 399 & 699. Directed Reading (1-3h).
First Year Seminars
FYS 100. FYS: Global Capitalisms (3h). T 2-4:30. A104. Watts. This course conceptualizes the historical origin and development over the last 500 years of modern capitalism in a world-historical context, its novelty and dynamics, the global structural transformations that produced it, and the interests and institutions that drove it. The emphasis is on comparing European and East-Asian capitalisms.
FYS 100. The West in Popular Culture (3h). TR 12-1:15. A104. Blee. Since early explorations, Americans have expressed their identities, hopes, and anxieties through the West. This course will explore the ways in which the West acted as a mirror for American culture, even as Westerners’ experiences in the region challenged long-standing myths. We will collectively analyze advertisements, songs, artwork, and films to consider why specific events, figures, and idioms held such appeal to American audiences. We will garner a greater understanding of the ways in which popular culture reflected both the dreams of the masses and the goals of the most powerful in different historical contexts.
FYS 100. Power and Dissent in Modern Arabic Literature (3h). MW 3-4:15. A208. Wilkins.