100 Level Courses
102A. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). MWF 9:00-9:50. A-103. Rupp. This course provides a survey of European history in the modern era. Broad themes addressed in the course include the following: differing forms of government and the principles upon which they have been based; the role of ideas in influencing historical change; the impact of social structures and struggles on forms of political power; and the rights and powers of the individual and how these have been defined relative to the community and the state. (CD, D)
102B & 102E. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). TR 9:30-10:45 & 12:30-1:45. B-117. 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. (CD, D)
102C. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). WF 9:30-10:45. A-208. Koscak. This course explores the history of modern Europe, beginning with the crisis of the seventeenth century through the collapse of communism and the shift toward European political integration in the twenty-first century. Emphasis is placed on cross-cultural interactions and exchanges that were and continue to be essential to European development. We will explore the global connections that enabled technological, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural change—resulting in, for example, the creation of worldwide trade networks, the development of industry, and the spread of ideas about natural rights and democratic revolution. We will also question how these changes coexisted with exploitative systems like slavery, imperialism, class-based inequality, and authoritarianism that resulted in conflict and continue to impact European society. This survey will help you develop the tools of the historian, and students will participate in the process of history writing through the critical analysis of primary and secondary sources. (CD, D)
102D. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). MWF 11:00-11:50. A-208. Thomas. Survey of modern Europe from 1700 to the present. (CD, D)
105A & 105B. Africa in World History. (3h). MWF 11:00-11:50 & 12:00-12:50. A-103 & A-102. Plageman. While popular imagination suggests that the African continent has been isolated from history and historical events, this course examines Africa and Africans as central to the development of the wider world. Throughout the duration of the semester, we will analyze how Africans have influenced and were influenced by global events, particularly in the regions of the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and expanding Atlantic World. Major themes include the emergence and interrelations of early civilizations, the spread of Christianity and Islam, expanding networks of economic exchange, and migration. The course places major emphasis on slavery, the Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean slave trades, and the creation of the African Diaspora. After establishing Africa’s centrality to the emergence of the modern world, the class examines how Africans and peoples of African descent experienced and shaped major historical events and periods of the recent past. (CD, D)
107A & 107B. The Middle East and the World. (3h). MWF 10:00-10:50 and 12:00-12:50. A-103. 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. (CD, D)
108A. Americas and the World. (3h). T/R 9:30-10:45. A-102. Ruddiman. The nickname of a nation-state, the label for two continents, an idea, and a space where human history careened in a new direction –the history of the Americas, from the last ice age to the present, is one of the movement of people and the creation of new communities, cultures, and identities. This course examines roughly a thousand years of historical change: the rise of American civilizations, the Columbian exchange, colonization and the first globalization, slavery and abolition, revolutions, the rise of new empires, and the contested ideas of citizenship and liberty. (CD, D)
108B & 108C. Americas and the World. (3h). T/R 11:00-12:15 & 2:00-3:15. A-208. Yarfitz. The historical narratives you learned in high school and at the movies are not the only true stories about the past. This course explores the history of North, South, and Central America with an emphasis on debunking historical myths. We will consider how and why multiple versions of past events get created, why some persist longer than others, and which we each find most convincing. Our myth-busting includes: Conquest; the French, British, and Spanish colonial empires; indigenous resistance; slavery and freedom; piracy; neo-imperialism; immigration; Revolutions; the Cold War; dictatorship; the Drug War. (CD, D)
108D. Americas and the World. (3h). WF 3:30-4:45. A-102. Blee. Thematically this course focuses on both the macrohistories of economies and societies, and the microhistories of materials and individuals. Course readings – a combination of scholarly texts, historical documents, autobiographies, and shorter first-person accounts – follow the social, cultural, economic, and political evolutions in North America, South America, and the Caribbean. Overall, the course content explores the tensions between broad historical trends and individuals’ stories; such an approach leads us to understand the diverse ways in which people viewed their world, their singular and collective power to change it, and the larger structures of power that limited or supported their actions.
109A and 109B. Asia and the World since 1500. (3h). TR 11:0-12:15 &2:00-3:15. A-102. Hellyer. The 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. (CD, D)
112A. A History of the Cosmos: From Quark Soup to Chinese Takeout. (3). T/R 9:30-10:45. A-103. Williams. This is not Mom’s or Dad’s history course. If you want to know what you are and where you came from, come along on a 13.8 billion year journey that draws on the sciences, social sciences, and history to learn why Carl Sagan called us “stardust contemplating the stars.” In this course we will learn how the physical, social, and mental worlds we inhabit came to be and how we might integrate disciplines that usually remain unconnected; this course will appeal to students interested in history but also the sciences and social sciences, and especially to any students who want to see how the pieces of their education fit together. (CD, D)
200 Level Courses
207A. High Middle Ages and Renaissance: Reform, Revival, and Renewal in Europe, 1150-1550. (3h). MWF 11:00-11:50. A-102. O’Connell. The central question of this course is one of identity: at what point can we speak of a distinctively “European” identity? In order to answer this question, we will investigate the political, cultural, religious, and material history of Europe from the later Roman Empire to the end of the Viking invasions around the turn of the millennium. Once dismissed as the “Dark Ages,” scholars now point to this as an era when some of the key cultural, political, and artistic foundations of later European history were forged. Indeed, these centuries saw the “birth” of a distinctive Western European civilization that arose from the ashes of ancient Greece and Rome.
232A. Introduction to Russian and East European Studies. (3h). MWF 11:00-12:15. B-117. Rupp. Introduction to Russian and East European Studies. This course provides students with an interdisciplinary survey of Russian and Soviet history over the past millenium, with an examination of polity, society, economy and culture.
240A. African American History. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. A-102. Parent. In this course we will study the struggle of African Americans for freedom, citizenship, and identity in an oppressive racial system. This 400-year history includes an analysis of oppression, race relations, cultural and religious expressions, political activities for civil rights, autonomy, and free territory, and connections to the African diaspora. The intersection of family history, race, class, gender, and sexuality reveal a distinctive American experience.
245A. Modern China since 1850. (3h). MW 2:00-3:15. A-103. Zhang. This course studies modern China from 1600 to the present, focusing on the major political, economic, and cultural transformations occurring in China during this period within the context of modernization, imperialism, and (semi) colonialism, world wars and civil wars, revolution and reform, and the ongoing processes of globalization.
255A. U.S. West from 1848 to the Present. (3h). WF 11:00-12:15. A-305. Blee. This course is the second half of a two-semester survey course of the U.S. West, from 1848 to the present. Topics include industrial expansion and urbanization, conflicts with Native Americans, national and ethnic identity formations, contests over natural resources, representations and myths of the West, and religious, cultural, and social diversity.
261A. Modern South Asia. (3h). WF 2:00-3:15. B-117. Rahman. This course provides an overview of history, culture, and politics of modern South Asia beginning with the political ascendancy of the British in India in 1750s till date. The British started gaining political foothold since the mid-eighteenth century. It is a landmark in the history of the Indian subcontinent since a gradual defeat of the Mughal Empire gave way to the British starting a journey of conquest and expansion and the eventual formation of the British Empire. This course maps out a general history of various events and incidents of historical importance in a chronological as well as thematic manner. Topics include South Asian society and culture, British conquest and economic subordination, Indian responses to British intervention, socio-religious reform movements among Hindus and Muslims, role of women in the making of modern South Asia, the revolt of 1857, Indian independence struggle, Gandhi, Muslim League and the demand for Pakistan, partition of British India, role of Jawaharlal Nehru in the formation of independent India, post-independence Pakistan, and occasional and brief introductions to the South Asian states of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
263A. U.S. Civil War & Reconstruction. (3h). MWF 9:00-9:50. A-102. Escott. This course examines the political and military events of the war and the economic, social, and political readjustments that followed.
265A. U.S. since the New Deal. (3h). MWF 10:00-10:50. A-102. Caron. This course examines the institution of the New Deal as FDR’s response to the Depression; wars at home and abroad, including World War II, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq I & II, and Afghanistan; the rise and fall of unionism; various movements from civil rights, women’s rights, welfare rights, Native American rights, to student rights; countercultures from the 1950s through the 1980s; government regulation of the environment; science and technology; the growth of the Imperial Presidency; Watergate and beyond; and liberalism and conservatism.
300 Level Courses
327A. Power & Profit in Britain. (3h). WF 12:30-1:45. B-117. Koscak. The course considers the people, ideas, and practices behind Britain’s years of global economic and imperial dominance between the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the beginning of world war in 1914. We will explore how commercialization was defended against criticism, how modern labor relations developed, how imperialism was both censured and championed, and how free trade became central to British politics and national self-conceptions. Thus emphasis is placed on the political and economic ideas that underpinned this period, which we will examine through course readings that include both canonical and lesser-known historical works of political economy. Topics addressed include the expansion of the marketplace and the creation of worldwide trade networks; the relationship between consumption, morality, and politics; the various forms of free and unfree labor that sustained the imperial economy; Victorian cities and urban poverty; gender and the domestic economy; and the social, political, and environmental consequences of industrial imperialism.
328A. History of English Common Law. (3h) TR 3:30-4:45. B-117. Zick. This course studies the origins and development of the English common law and its legacy to modern legal processes and principles.
336A. Gender & Power in African History. (3h). MW 2:00-3:15. A-208. Plageman. Examines the close relationship between understandings of gender and power in African societies, with particular focus on the last several hundred years. After addressing the sources and methods scholars have used to address these topics, the course examines conceptions of gender and power in pre-colonial African societies, the impact of the colonial period on men and women, the gendered nature of nationalism and independence, and the importance of gender and power to many of Africa’s post-colonial challenges.
354A. The Early American Republic. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. B-117. Ruddiman. This course examines the transformation of politics, society, and culture in between the 1780s and 1820s. After the Revolution, Americans embarked on a purposeful and anxious journey of self-creation. The challenges of new republican constitutions and governments loomed large, but this process also touched religious beliefs, gender and the family, race and slavery, and their economies and international affairs.
360A. Jewish Migrations to the Americas. (3h). MW 12:30-1:45. A-208. Yarfitz. This course explores Jewish migrations across the Atlantic to the US and Latin America in order to address broader questions about mobility and identity for immigrants and ethnic groups more generally. The class begins with the early migration of Sephardic Jews and crypto-Jews; compares settlement patterns in the British and Spanish colonies; situates mass migrations in the context of modernization in Eastern Europe; compares a series of case studies across the continent in the 1880s-1920s (the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, the Dominican Republic); considers race, gender, anti-Semitism, class, respectability, and institutional development; and explores the effect of the Holocaust on Jews across the Americas. Each week’s reading will include primary as well as secondary sources, such as fiction, memoir, poetry, film, cartoons, and photography. Student projects will compare the immigration experience in a particular location of Jews with another group, such as Jewish and Japanese migrants to Brazil in the early 20th century. No background is necessary to take this class. Students may receive credit for LALS and the Jewish Studies Minor.
366A. Historic Preservation. (3h). W 2:00-4:30. B-116. Frank. Explores the history of the preservation and
conservation movements organized to save historic buildings and landscapes in the U.S. and other nations. Examines the laws, international charters, national, statewide, and local agencies, practices, collaborations, and emerging challenges of historic preservation and conservation.
369A. Modern Military History. (3h). MWF 10:00-10:50. B-117. 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. Similarly, Germany is widely held to have had the most competent military force in the world during the first half of the 20th century, yet managed to lose both world wars. This course is designed to help Americans understand how countries actually win wars—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.
376A. Civil Rights and Black Consciousness Movements. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. A-103. Parent. The purpose of this class is to grapple with the struggle of African Americans for liberation from 1941-1975. During this period African Americans organized mass movements for equality, cultural reclamation, political power, and community control that had national and international ramifications. Activists struggled for the national conscience. Nonviolent direct action mobilized communities demanding full participation in American society; violent revolutionist rallied city dwellers fighting for a separate nation. These alternative movements reflect the ambivalent identity of Africans in America struggling for liberation. The themes include the impact of mass demonstration and urban riot in modern society, sports heroes and societal change, communities organizing for change, social stratification of race, social implications for religious and political institutions, the sociology of violence and nonviolence in social movements, the relationship between media and movement, public policy and social conflict, gendered and class relations in organizational structure and leadership, the social implications of childhood and youth in mass movements, war and societal change, and prisons and redemption.
388A. Nation, Faith and Gender in the Middle East. (3h). TR 11:00-12:15. A-103. Wilkins. This course traces the development of nationalism and its interaction with religious, transnational, and gender identities in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include Zionism, Arabism, Turkish nationalism, and Islamic revivalism.
390A. Popular Culture in the Making of America. (4h). T 2:00-4:30. A-104. Gillespie. What is popular culture anyway? If culture deals with ideas, processes, and objects produced by human effort, than popular culture deals with those aspects of culture (such as music, art, literature, fashion, dance, film, television, sports, and radio) that are consumed primarily by the non-elite majority. Although some scholars have argued that popular culture has been used primarily by elites to control mass media and thereby the social classes below them, others insist that popular culture in American history has been a vehicle for rebellion against the dominant culture and its leadership. This research seminar explores these conflicting perspectives by looking at the history of mass media and popular culture in American life in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly through popular culture’s powerful role in forging identity, historical memory, and relationships among consumers, producers, citizens, and the state. Because popular culture is the ground on which cultural and social transformations are worked, gender, race, class and nationalism will be at the center of class readings and discussions. Students will use their understanding of the history of popular culture achieved during the first half of the course to research popular culture documents (plays, novels, newspapers, magazines, art, comics, movies, etc.) to produce an original research paper based on primary sources and secondary scholarship.
390B. World War II, War Crimes & U.S. Law. (4h). W 2:00-4:30. A-104. Hellyer. After World War II, the United States and its allies tried and punished German and Japanese for war crimes, thereby establishing new precedents for international and American law. This seminar will explore the war crimes trials for prominent German and Japanese leaders—in Nuremberg and Tokyo—as well as those held for lower ranking political and military officials. It will then examine several specific legal cases which involved Japanese defendants seeking redress in US courts and the US laws passed in response to the use of military tribunals to prosecute some war criminals. The course will conclude with an examination of how in the prosecution of accused terrorism suspects since 2001, the US government has revised and/or reaffirmed the laws and precedents established after WW II. Students will be invited to research in detail a topic related to the course theme and prepare an extended essay. Students interested in law school or a legal career may find the course particularly valuable.
390C. Global Cities in Chinese History. (4h). W 3:30-6:00. A-208. Zhang. In this research seminar, we will explore China’s dynamic interactions with the outside world in its long history and the resultant multiplicity of Chinese culture through a series of case studies in Chinese urban history. In the first seven weeks of the semester, we will meet in class to examine the primary sources and secondary literature pertaining to the following six historical and modern global cities in China: Chang’an, an administrative capital of the Chinese empire from the Han (206 BCE to 220 CE) to the Tang Dynasty (618-907); Dunhuang, a garrison town on the northwestern frontier in pre-modern China that grew into a thriving commercial and cultural center owing to its location on the eastern end of the “Silk Road”; Canton (Guangzhou), the southern gate of the Chinese empire and a major center of Chinese maritime trade with southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Arab world since the Tang dynasty; and Macao, Hong Kong and Shanghai, three modern Chinese cities which owe much of their existence and current prosperity to varied degrees of Western colonial influences in Chinese history, especially during the Treaty Century from 1842 to 1943. From the eighth week on, the students will carry out their independent research projects on any global city in mainland China and Taiwan during any historical period. They will engage various related primary sources, including those written in English or translated into English, and secondary literature in their work and produce a ubstantial research paper of 25 pages or longer at the end of the semester. Prior knowledge of Chinese history or culture desirable but not required.
391A. Honors Seminar. (3h). R 2:00-4:30. A-104. Gillespie. Required for majors in History who are seeking departmental honors, this particular seminar will examine various theories and philosophies of history, as well as their application, to show that historiography is itself historical, valuable only in so much as it reflects and informs the practice of writing history.This is not formally connected to the revision of an honors paper, but it might be helpful for thinking about research projects in a broader context. P—POI
392. Individual Research. (3h). Writing of a major research paper. May be taken in lieu of HST 390. P—POI.
395. Internship In History. (1-3h). Internship in the community that involves both hands-on experience and academic study. Juniors and seniors only. P—POI.
397. Historical Writing Tutorial. (1.5h). Individual supervision of historical writing to improve a project initiated in History 390 or History 392. Does not count toward major or minor requirements. P—POI.
398. Individual Study. (1h-3h). Project for a qualified student in an area of study not otherwise available in the department; subject to approval. Work must be equivalent to an upper-level course. P—POI.
399. Directed Reading. (1h-3h). Concentrated reading in an area of study not otherwise available. P—POI.