100 Level Courses
102A. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). MWF 9:00-9:50. A-102. 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)
102C and 102-D. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). T/R 2:00-3:15 and 3:30-4:45. A-102. 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. Using both a textbook, which looks back from a distance and pulls together a coherent narrative, and primary sources, which are produced in particular historical moments, we track, analyze and debate that central concern of historical scholarship: change over time. (CD, D)
102E. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). WF 11:00-12:15. 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)
102F. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). MWF 11:00-11:50. A-305. Thomas. Survey of modern Europe from 1700 to the present. Focus varies with instructor. (CD, D)
103A. World Civilizations to 1500. (3h). T/R 9:30-10:45. A-103. Zhang. This course surveys the evolution of world civilizations from around 3500 BCE to 1500 CE. Within a roughly chronological framework, it seeks to highlight the broad patterns of development among major human communities, especially those on the Eurasian continent and in Africa, with respect to their political and social institutions, economic life, values, intellectual traditions and religious beliefs. (CD, D)
105A. Africa in World History. (3h). T/R 12:30-1:45. 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)
105B and 105C. Africa in World History. (3h). MWF 1:00-1:50 and 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)
107A and 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 and 108B. Americas and the World. (3h). T/R 9:30-10:45 and 11:00-12:15. 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)
108C and 108D. Americas and the World. (3h). T/R 2:00-3:15 and 11:00-12:15. 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 and 109B. Asia and the World since 1500. (3h). MWF 10:00-10:50 and 12:00-12:50. B-117 and 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)
109C and 109D. Asia and the World since 1500. (3h). T/R 11:00-12:15 and 9:30-10:45. B-117 and A-208. 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. (CD, D)
110A. The Atlantic World since 1500. (3h). MWF 9:00-9:50. A-103. Gillespie. This course looks at the complex relationships between slavery and freedom in the making of the modern world. It traces the interactions of peoples and societies on the four continents surrounding the Atlantic Ocean from 1500 to the present, beginning with the deadly mixture of people and pathogens at the outset of contact; the resources, commerce and construction of labor systems that fueled Atlantic world trade and the new capitalist order; and the nations, empires, and subjects that fought, collaborated and accommodated each other over five centuries of time. It looks at the dismantling of European empires during the age of revolution, the transnational movement for emancipation and liberty, and the impact of nationalism, decolonization, the Cold War, neoliberalism, and globalization. (CD, D)
111A and 111B. Ancient World Civilizations. (3h). WF 9:30-10:45 and 11:00-12:15. A-208. Lerner. Explores ancient civilizations from the perspective that each civilization is a reflection of local circumstances and the distinctive worldview that shaped its institutions to become a complex, state-organized society. (CD, D)
112A and 112B. A History of the Cosmos: From Quark Soup to Chinese Takeout. . (3). T/R 8:00-9:15 and 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)
200 Level Courses
206A. The Early Middle Ages: The Birth of Europe, 400-1100. (3h). MWF 11:00-11:50. A-103. 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.
223A. The British Isles to 1750. (3h). WF 2:00-3:15. B-117. Koscak. This course discusses religious reformations in the sixteenth century; political and scientific experiments in the seventeenth century; and the commercial revolutions of the eigteenth century. We will examine their effect on the way Englishmen and women conceived of their state, their communities, and themselves, exploring social relationships and the changing experience of authority. The course will also consider England’s relationship to its neighbors, Scotland and Ireland, and these British Isles within the context of early modern Europe.
244A. Pre-Modern China to 1850. (3h). T/R 12:30-1:45. A-103. Zhang. This course surveys Chinese history from high antiquity to 1850. It covers such basic themes as the evolution of political, legal and social institutions, the development of major philosophical and religious traditions, and the achievements in science, technology, literature and the arts. Students are invited to explore these themes by engaging a variety of primary sources, ranging from archeological artifacts, historical documents, philosophical texts, poems and novels to art works. (CD)
260A. Premodern South Asia. (3h). T/R 2:00-3:15. B-117. Rahman. An overview of the people and cultures of ancient and medieval India, this course delves into the rich history and traditions of one of the earliest human civilizations. We seek to learn about religions, scientific developments, literature, arts, empires, dynasties, cross-cultural interactions, and conquests and defeats in India’s premodern history. This class endeavors to understand the background of South Asia’s present by considering topics such as the Indus Valley Civilization, the Vedic Age, Hinduism, Mauryan Empire, Gupta Era, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagar Empire, and the Mughal Empire. We use a variety of sources including Sanskrit dramas, religious scriptures, political treatises, autobiographical narratives, royal edicts, monuments, and paintings to explore the diverse cultures and traditions of India. (CD)
264A. Bitter Contests: Industrialization, Urbanization, and Conflict, 1877-1933. (3h). MWF 10:00-10:50. A-102. Caron. This course examines the post-reconstructed nation with special attention to the politics of equilibrium; the economic impact of industrialization and agricultural revolutions; the positive and negative aspects of rapid urbanization; immigration and the class, ethnic, and religious clashes that ensued; Jim Crow and civil rights; the growth of Big Business and labor’s response; Populism; the acquisition of an empire; Progressive reforms at city, state and federal levels; World War I at home and abroad; and the changing notions of femininity and masculinity. The course ends with the onset of the Depression and Hoover’s response to it.
300 Level Courses
309A. European International Relations since World War One. (3h). T/R 11:00-12:15. A-305. Sinanoglou. This course covers European international relations, broadly construed, from the lead-up to the First World War through to the fallout from the Euro crisis. The course takes seriously the notion that international relations are more than just diplomatic relations; course readings and class discussions cover the roles of state and non-state actors, ideologies, economies, and socio-cultural forces in international relations. Although the course is arranged chronologically, it also seeks to make thematic connections, focusing in particular on the role played in international relations by the collapse of empires (ranging from the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Soviet empires to the British and French colonial ones); domestic politics; popular mobilization on both the right and left; challenges to the nation-state in the form of transnational ideologies; sovereignty in both new and old forms; and currency, trade, investment, and financial settlements.
310A. Twentieth Century Eastern Europe. (3h). MWF 11:00-11:50. A-102. Rupp. Examination of the history of 20th-century Eastern Europe, including the creation of nation-states, World War II, and the nature of Communist regimes established in the postwar period. Course includes a discussion of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the challenges of European integration.
312A. Jews, Greeks, and Romans. (3h). WF 2:00-3:15. A-208. Lerner. Largely from a Jewish context, the course explores the political, religious, social, and philosophical values shaped by the collision between Jews, Greeks, and Romans, from the Hellenistic Period to the Middle Ages.
337A. Women and Gender in Early America. (3h). MW 12:30-1:45. A-104. Gillespie. This course examines foundational theories and texts for studying women’s and gender history in American history from the seventeenth century to the Civil War. It looks at the history of women, family and work; the roles of masculinity and femininity in shaping the political and cultural identities of the new nation; the women’s movement; the gendered history of slavery, race, and ethnicities; and the history of sexuality in colonial, revolutionary and antebellum America. (CD)
340A. Social and Cultural Change in Urban Africa. (3h). T/R 3:30-4:45. A-305. Plageman. While popular imagination suggests that the African past is largely a rural one, many of the continent’s most explosive social and cultural transformations have taken place in its cities. This course examines how urban residents have worked to creatively shape to some of sub-Saharan Africa’s major transformations. Major topics for the course include the social and cultural fabric of pre-colonial African cities, the impact of colonialism on African towns, cities as sites of revolution and independence, and the contemporary conditions and challenges facing contemporary urban residents. (CD)
348A. Samurai and Geisha: Fact, Film, and Fiction. (3h). WF 2:00-3:15. A-103. Hellyer. This course focuses on two well-known groups in Japanese history, the samurai (warriors) and geisha (entertainers). By analyzing historical studies and primary sources, as well as works of fiction and films about samurai and geisha, the course considers how Japanese and Western historians, novelists, and filmmakers have portrayed the two groups and by implication Japan and its history in the modern period. (CD)
353A. War and Society In Early America. (3h). T/R 2:00-3:15. A-103. Ruddiman. This course examines the evolution of warfare among the indigenous and colonial societies of North America between 1500 and 1800 and considers the roles of economics, class, gender, race, religion, and ideology in cultures of violence. The course begins with the transformation of “mourning wars” in Iroquoia, moves to consider exterminatory violence practiced by French, Dutch, and English colonists along the seaboard, then addresses how Spanish, French, and British empires competed for control of Indian allies and possession of the Continent. It concludes with the American War for Independence and the dueling ideologies of American exceptionalism and pan-Indianism.
358A. Race and the Courts. (3h). T/R 11:00-12:15. A-104. Hopkins. This course examines the impact of state and federal court cases upon the evolution of race relations in the U.S. 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. 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). T/R 3:30-4:45. B-117. Zick. This course studies the origins of the Constitution, the controversies involving the nature of the Union, and constitutional readjustments to meet the new American industrialism.
367A. Issues in Public History. (3h). R 12:30-3:00. A-104. Blee. This course introduces students to the major issues involved in the practice, interpretation, and display of history for nonacademic audiences in public settings. Central themes include controversial historical interpretations, the role of history in popular culture, issues and aims in exhibiting history, and the politics of historical memory. Explores some of the many ways people create, convey, and contest history, major themes in community and local history, and the problems and possibilities of working as historians in public settings.
387A. Islamic Empires Compared: The Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals. (3h). T/R 11:00-12:15. A-103. Wilkins. This course examines, in a comparative way, central themes in the history of the three great Islamic empires of the early modern period (1400-1800). Considers the problem of political legitimacy faced by Muslim rulers, transformations in Islamic religious practices, and the relationship between war and other aspects of Islamic society and culture.
390B. Research Seminar: The Long Decade of the Sixties, 1956-1974. (4h). T 2:00-4:30. A-104. Caron. This seminar explores changes in American society from the Eisenhower years of domesticity and cold war tensions through the Nixon years of protests and Watergate. Students will choose their own topic with assistance from the professor. Possible topics include electoral politics, civil rights, women’s rights, student movements, antiwar protest, the counter culture, poverty and welfare, the environment, conservation, gender roles, religion, the arts, medical advancements, and scientific/technological advancements (space exploration, etc.). As a research seminar, all students will be required to complete a twenty-five to thirty page research paper based on primary and relevant secondary sources. The first six weeks of the class will entail intensive reading and discussion of secondary materials to familiarize students with the background necessary to write the research paper.
390C. Research Seminar: War, Revolution, and Individual Experience. (4h). W 3:00-5:30. A-104. Williams. This seminar is meant to give students an opportunity to think carefully about the extent to which those tumultuous events we call “war” and “revolution” might transform a specific life. Since it is at the level of the individual that we experience the world—feel, understand, and find meaning—discussions of war or revolution that confine themselves to political, social, or economic changes are incomplete. To redress this deficiency students in this seminar will choose a particular individual who lived through (or during) a war or revolution of they care and know something about; but it must be someone who has left behind a primary source (or sources) that make it possible to get at how this event altered his or her experience. An important preliminary to this work will be to think analytically about what we mean by the term “experience,” and this is something we will begin together. We will also spend some time talking about the kinds of sources historians use and how they go about locating and using these sources. Before you embark on your own project, we will read one book-length document together and treat it as an example of how such a source might be used.
390D. Research Seminar: Memory and Reconciliation in American History. (4h). W 3:00-5:30. B-116. Blee. This seminar will explore the ways in which Americans reflected on their family, community, or national past and gave events meaning in their own time. We will also consider and assess how individuals, communities, and the nation endeavored to address painful memories to foster reconciliation and healing in the past and near-present. Class readings will emphasize memories of slavery and the Civil War, the Black Freedom Movement, labor conflict, and settler-Indian war. Students may choose a case study within these topics or any related case from the mid-nineteenth century through the twentieth century. Students will employ scholarly research methods and interpretive approaches to craft a twenty-five to thirty research paper on their chosen topic within the theme.
391A. Honors Seminar. (3h). R 3:30-6:00. B-104. O’Connell. in part an introduction to sources and methods: this course explores problems of historical method, synthesis, theory and interpretation. We will look at how historians have imagined their object of study, how they have used primary sources as evidence for their accounts, how they structure the narrative and analytic discussions in their work, and the advantages and drawbacks of these different approaches. We will begin with an overview of the different schools of history developed in the 19th and 20th centuries: empiricism, Marxism, Freud and psychohistory, the Annales school, historical sociology, and quantitative history.We will also look at histories of gender, race, and class, environmental histories, and microhistories. In the second part of the course, we will examine some recent approaches to historical study, and students will be able to bring in insights from particular area of interest: European, wider world, or American 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. Honors students must take HST 391. 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.