100 Level Courses
101A Western Civilization to 1700. (3h). TR 3:30-4:45. Tribble A-102. O’Connell. Taking the Mediterranean Sea as its geographical center, this course investigates the development of the intersecting cultural, religious, and political systems that contributed to the development of what is generally called Western Civilization. After a brief overview of the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, we turn to the classical world, examining the Greek and Roman worlds and their interactions with their neighbors. The spread of two new monotheisms, Christianity and Islam, transformed the late antique world, and we will look at the medieval dynamics of co-existence and conflict between European and Islamic civilizations on the northern and southern shores of the sea. We will explore cultural Renaissances and religious reformations in the early modern era, concluding with a look at the emergence of a scientific worldview.
102A & 102F. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). MWF 9:00-9:50 in A-103 & MWF 11-11:50 in A-103. Thomas. Survey of modern Europe from 1700 to the present. (CD, D)
102B & 102C. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). MWF 10:00-10:50 in A-103 & MWF 12:00-12:50 in B-117. 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)
102D. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. A-208. Sinanoglou. This course offers an introduction to the history of Europe from the Old Regime to the early twenty-first century. We explore social, economic, political, cultural and intellectual history, engaging with themes such as the structures and functions of government and society, the role of international relations in shaping domestic, regional and global politics, the relationship of people to modes of production and consumption, the influence of ideas on political, economic and social life, and the position of individuals in relation to communities and states. (CD, D)
102E. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). WF 2:00-3:15. B-117. 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)
103A. World Civilizations to 1500. (3h). TR 9:30-10:45. A-103. Zhang. This course offers an introduction to the history of Europe from the Old Regime to the early twenty-first century. We explore social, economic, political, cultural and intellectual history, engaging with themes such as the structures and functions of government and society, the role of international relations in shaping domestic, regional and global politics, the relationship of people to modes of production and consumption, the influence of ideas on political, economic and social life, and the position of individuals in relation to communities and states. (CD,D)
105A & 105B. Africa in World History. (3h). MWF 1:00-1:50 & 2:00-2:50. A-102. Parent. This course examines the continent of Africa from prehistory to the present in global perspective, as experienced and understood by Africans themselves. Their traditions, religions, migrations, economies, and civilizations have all developed in relationship to other regions and peoples of the world. The pressures of the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean economies, the slave trades, and colonial domination have elicited responses of accommodation, resistance, revolt and independence. (CD, D)
105C. Africa in World History. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. a-103. 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 1:00-1:50 A208 and 2:00-2:50 A305. Perrier. 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. 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)
109A & 109B. Asia and the World. (3h). TR 11:00-12:15 & 2:00-3:15. B-117. Rahman. This course takes a thematic approach to the history of Asia and its connections with global history. Primarily focusing on South, Southeast, and East Asia, the aim of this course is to appreciate the diversity within Asia and understand the history of this continent as linked with world history. Although we cover different time periods, our focus largely remains confined to the last five centuries. What are the different societies and traditions within Asia? What have been their contributions to the world? What historical incidents have linked Asia to the rest of the world? Such questions are considered to explore the political, economic, social, and cultural history of Asia and its interactions with the outside world. Specific topics will include different religious traditions, imperialism, global trade and commerce, the Indian Ocean, cross-cultural interactions, modernization, nationalism, and decolonization movements.
111A & 111B. Ancient World Civilizations. (3h).WF 9:30-10:45 & 11:00-12:15. A-208. Lerner. This course surveys the social, political and cultural development of a variety of world civilizations from their inception to c. 1500 CE. The focus concerns a detailed analysis of those civilizations, which represent the most spectacular example of social formation: the relationship between the individual and deity as a religious expression; the relationship between society and nature as a philosophical dilemma; and the relationship between the individual and society as a cultural and political manifestation. In each case, the unifying theme we shall explore is how these peoples organized themselves politically, economically, and socially as a response to their particular geographical and environmental condition. We shall see that the legacy of these civilizations is one of cultural syncretism manifested in the diversity and complexity of their traditions and ideas.
112A & 112B. Big History: A History of the Cosmos and Humanity’s Place In it. (3). T/R 8:00-9:15 & 9:30-10:45. B-117. 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)
113A. Health, Disease and Healing in World History. (3h). MWF 10:00-10:50. A-102. Caron. This course examines political, economic, and cultural responses to sickness and disease in global historical context, paying particular attention to the intersection of religion and healing, as well as race, class, and gender, in ancient, medieval, early modern, pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial societies.
200 Level Courses
217A. France to 1774. (3h). WF 9:30-10:45. B-117. Williams. From the cave at Lascaux to the spires of Notre Dame to the splendor of Versailles, from Caesar and Charlemagne to Joan of Arc, Voltaire, and Émilie du Châtelet, one of the few Europeans mathematically competent enough to make Newton comprehensible, this course charts the efforts of men and women in what we now call France to provide for themselves and, in a world of differential advantage, to sustain communities that afforded a modicum of security, cooperation, and a world that contained, however clear or dim, the glimmer of meaning..
224A. Great Britain since 1750. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. A-208. Sinanoglou. This course addresses topics in British history from the Industrial Revolution to New Labour, with attention to how politics and citizenship were linked to imperial power. We will address industrialization, liberalism, and their discontents; colonization, decolonization, and immigration; social and urban riot and reform; world war; and the creation of the welfare state and its dismantling. The course will also consider Britain’s relationship with Ireland, and European integration.
254A. American West to 1848. (3h). TR 11:00-12:15. A-103. Blee. The first half of a two-semester survey course of the North American West, from roughly 1400 to 1850. Topics include indigenous trade and lifeways, contact, conflict, and cooperation between natives and newcomers, exploration and migration, imperial geopolitical rivalries, and various experiences with western landscapes.
256A. The U.S. and the World, 1763-1914. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. A-102. Coates. The first half of a two-semester survey on U.S. foreign relations. Major topics explore the economic, political, cultural, and social currents linking the U.S. to Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia between 1763 and 1914. Particular attention is given to the influence of the world system—ranging from empire, war, and migration to industrial competition and economic interdependence—on U.S. diplomacy, commerce, and domestic politics and culture.
258A. Colonial America. (3h). TR 11:00-12:15. A-102. Ruddiman. The first half of a two-semester survey on U.S. foreign relations. Major topics explore the economic, political, cultural, and social currents linking the U.S. to Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia between 1763 and 1914. Particular attention is given to the influence of the world system—ranging from empire, war, and migration to industrial competition and economic interdependence—on U.S. diplomacy, commerce, and domestic politics and culture.
263A. U.S. Civil War & Reconstruction. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. A-102. Escott. This course examines the political and military events of the war and the economic, social, and political readjustments that followed.
268A. African History to 1870. (3h). TR 3:30-4:45. A-103. Plageman. This course is an overview of African history until c.1870. Because it covers a large geographical entity as well as an expansive temporal period, it is organized around a number of themes. Focusing largely on sub-Saharan Africa, we will examine Africa’s diverse geography and environments, agricultural and technological innovations, the operation of states and stateless societies, social and gendered formations, the creation and expansion of trading systems, slavery and the slave trades, religious change and revolutions, and European contacts prior to colonial rule. To facilitate our appreciation of these themes, we will examine case studies from various regions and time-periods. We will also analyze a number of source materials, including a range of primary sources, to increase our understanding of the diversity and range of pre-colonial African historical experience. (CD)
275A. Modern Latin AMerica. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. A-103. Yarfitz. This course surveys the social, political and economic history of postcolonial Latin America, a region that includes Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Our focus will be the formation of independent nation states and political regimes, and the quest for sovereignty and its challenges in the shadow of the United States. We begin with the struggles for independence from colonial rule and the emergence of Latin American nation‑states in the nineteenth century and continue through the present, including the NAFTA free trade regime, the rise of new social movements such as the Zapatistas and the emergence of new populist figures such as Hugo Chávez. We will consider the challenges facing Latin American political regimes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the meaning of national autonomy under the influence of the US, the causes and consequences of state terror, and the experience of revolution from the perspective of everyday life. We will learn to differentiate key structural and stylistic features of Latin American political formations such as order and progress dictatorships, populism, military regimes, and revolutionary movements. A key focus will be U.S. policy towards Latin America, from the Monroe Doctrine through the wars in Central America and neoliberalism, as well as popular resistance. (CD)
300 Level Courses
307A. The Italian Renaissance. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. A-104. 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.
311W. Special Topics in History: The Silk Roads –Global Exchange before the Modern Era. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. A-104. Zhang. In this course, we will study the history of global trade and exchange from high antiquity to 1700 focusing on the “Silk Roads,” the overland and maritime networks that connected the civilizations of Asia, Europe and Africa. Major themes we will explore include: (1) how ecological constraints and human agency – through merchants, explorers, missionaries, warriors, colonizers, and pirates, among others – contributed to the formation of these trading networks; (2) how empires of China, Indian subcontinent and the Mediterranean world developed in a global context, through borrowing from and competing with each other; (3) how the various peoples of the continental and maritime frontiers – the Mongols and other pastorals of the Eurasian steppe and the “boat peoples” of the Pacific and Indian Ocean – played a central role in shaping human history; and (4) how Western Europeans’ maritime explorations in an effort to gain direct access to the spice trade, and the subsequent “discovery” of the New World, led to a fundamental transformation of the networks and patterns of global exchange in the early modern era. All required readings are in English.
313A. The History of European Jewery from the Middle Ages to the Present. (3h). WF 12:30-1:45. Staff. Examines the Jewish historical experience in Europe from the medieval period to the Holocaust and its aftermath. Includes a consideration of social, cultural, economic and political history, and places the particular experience of Jews within the context of changes occurring in Europe from the medieval to the modern period.
316A. Rome: Republic and Empire. (3h). WF 2:00-3:15. A-208. Lerner. Survey of Roman history and civilization from its beginning to about 500 CE, with emphasis on the conquest of the Mediterranean world, the evolution of the Republican state, the growth of autocracy, the administration of the empire, and the interaction between Romans and non-Romans.
324A. Fashion in the Age of Atlantic Revolution. (3h). WF 11:00-12:15. A-102. Koscak. What does fashion and consumer culture have to do with politics? This course explores this question by focusing on the role of dress and display at one particular historical moment—the age of revolution on both sides of the Atlantic during the second half of the eighteenth century. This period, which saw the establishment of constitutionalist states and republics in former absolutist monarchies and imperial colonies, also witnessed the beginnings of unprecedented commercial expansion that transformed society and culture, including fashion. This class adopts a broad definition of fashion to include not only dress, but costumes, styles of personal adornment, manners and social etiquette, consumer objects, decorative possessions, and so on. As we will see, fashion served as a flash point for debating the political, social, and cultural conflicts wrought by commercialization, democratic politics, and imperialism, including ideas about proper gender order, social organization, and political representation. Themes we will examine include the relationship between democracy, political resistance, and distinctions in dress; the construction of political allegiance through symbolic clothing and objects; and the ways in which fashion mediates ideas about morality and gender relations. One of the main goals of this course is to consider continuities and differences in the meanings of fashion across these distinct but related revolutionary crises in order to question how broader political movements had far-reaching consequences for individual self-presentation. How do politics, an arena traditionally defined as public, consequential, rational, and masculine, impact the realm of fashion, often seen as private, inconsequential, irrational, and feminine? And conversely, does fashion affect politics?
338A. Gender, Race and Class since 1850. (3h). MW 12:30-1:45. A-103. Caron. This course examines gender roles and relations from the early nineteenth century to the present. We will analyze how political, economic and cultural changes impact the definitions of femininity and masculinity, the changing notions of sexuality, and the continuity and diversity of gender roles. We will pay particular attention to race, class and ethnicity.
358A. Race and the Courts. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. B-117. Hopkins. This course examines the impact of state and federal court cases upon the evolution of race relations in the United States. Beginning with Dred Scott, the historical context of each case is placed in juxtaposition to the social and political realities for the given time periods. The subjects addressed are voting rights, school desegregation, employment issues, race and sports, and race and the military. Case law, scholarly articles, as well as the Supreme Court Digest provide a foundation for analyzing government intervention, inaction, and creative interpretation. (CD)
362A. American Constitutional History. (3h). TR 3:30-4:45. B-117. Zick. Origins of the Constitution, the controversies involving the nature of the Union, and constitutional readjustments to meet the new American industrialism.
372A. Queer Public Histories. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. A-305. Mazaris. Explores how public history projects (oral histories, museums, archives, documentaries) document gay, lesbian, and queer communities in the United States. Discusses how historical and contemporary LGBTQ stories have been collected and examines the various queer identities that emerge through this process.
388A. Nation, Faith, and Gender in the Middle East. (3h). TR 3:30-4:45. A-208. Perrier. Traces the development of nationalism and its interaction with religious, transnational, and gender identities in the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics include Zionism, Arabism, Turkish nationalism, and Islamic revivalism.
390A. Research Seminar: The Second World War. (4h). T 3:30-6:00.A-305. Rupp. The course begins with a consideration of the history of the Second World War and the various approaches historians have taken in understanding the war and its consequences. In consultation with the instructor, students will select a subject of research, culminating in the writing of a twenty-five to thirty page paper which will be shared with the other members of the class.
390B. Research Seminar: History of Modern India. (4h). W 2:00-4:30. A-103. Rahman. Covering topics from saris to software and the caste system to call centers, this research seminar provides a comprehensive understanding of modern India and allows you an opportunity to explore any aspect related to its history and culture. We will acquaint ourselves with the larger trends of the emergence of modern India from the period of the British Empire to our own times. The course will examine economic, social, political, religious, and cultural history of modern India and capture themes such as gender and sexuality, diversity and religious pluralism, conflicts and coexistence, India’s place in the global economy, dress codes and cuisine, and democracy and authoritarianism. Students may choose specific areas to explore as research papers such as Indo-US diplomacy, MLK and Gandhi, outsourcing, Bollywood dance, comparative aspects of diversity between India and the United States, India’s Muslims and electoral politics, questions of social equity, and women’s place as both goddesses and victims, among many others to be worked out to accommodate individual interests. No prior knowledge or coursework in Indian history required.
390C. Research Seminar: Writing Captivity and Slavery. (4h). W 3:30-6:00. A-104. Parent.
391A Honors Seminar. (3h). W 3:30-6:00. O’Connell. Required for majors in History who are seeking departmental honors, this particular seminar examines the philosophy of history and the development of different methods of practicing history. We will also seek to understand history’s relationship with other academic disciplines and its role in a liberal arts curriculum.
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.