First Year Seminars
FYS 100. The Great War and the Shaping of the Modern World. (3h). MWF 9:00-9:50. A-102. Thomas.
FYS 100. Power and Dissent in the Arab World. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. A-305. Wilkins. This interdisciplinary course examines in historical perspective various hierarchies of power in the twentieth and twenty-first century Arab world and considers how these hierarchies were both mirrored and critiqued by Arabic prose literature. Making use of the genres of novel and short story, the course explores three power struggles waged by the Arab middle classes, from which the authors came: the campaign against European colonialism, the subsequent dissent against the abuse of power by post-colonial independent Arab states, and, at the social level, the recurring critique of patriarchy, in the family and in the public sphere. A wave of translation, especially in the last decade, has made accessible to English-speakers a wide variety of Arabic prose literature that projects the political and social conscience of one Middle Eastern society and the passionate debates among Arabs about their common future.
FYS 100. Selves and Societies. (3h). WF 9:30-10:45. A-104. Williams.
FYS 100. Thomas Jefferson and His World. M 6:00-8:30. A-104. Gillespie. Explores Thomas Jefferson in all his complexity as political thinker, public figure, slaveholder and private man in the context of the Age of Revolution.
100 Level Courses
102A. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). TR 9:30-10:45. 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)
102B. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). WF 9:30-10:45. A-103. 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)
102C. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). MWF 11:00-11:50. A-102. Thomas. Survey of modern Europe from 1700 to the present. (CD, D)
102E. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). TR 3:30-4:45. A-103. 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)
102 D & 102F. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). TR 10:00-11:15 and 12:30-1:45. A305 & A208. Holmgren.
102 G. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h). WF 9:30-10:45. B117. Holmgrem.
103A & 103B. World Civilizations to 1500. (3h). TR 9:30-10:45 and 11:00-12:15. A-305. 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 & 105B. Africa in World History. (3h). MWF 12:00-12:50 and 1:00-1:50. A-103. 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)
108A & 108C. The Americas and the World. (3h). TR 9:30-10:45 and 11:00-12:15. A-102. Coates. This course explores the history of the Western hemisphere in global perspective since 1500. This includes the story of U.S. domination and Latin American resistance, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will also focus even more on how global forces have shaped the development of North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean. How have political, economic, and cultural developments enhanced or inhibited the ability of individuals and groups to shape their own lives? Topics covered include the “first globalization” of goods, germs, and peoples; slavery, resistance, and emancipation; colonialism and independence; the industrial, market, and transportation revolutions; international migration; and war (revolutionary, civil, “Cold” and otherwise). We will also think about how the very terms that people use to describe the region (e.g., the “New World,” the “Americas,” “Latin” or “Hispanic” America, etc.) reflect and make possible particular national goals and political projects. (CD, D)
108B & 108D. The Americas and the World. (3h). WF 9:30-10:45 and 11:00-12:15. A-208. 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. (CD, D)
108E. The Americas and the World. (3h). WF 11:00-12:15. B-117. 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)
108F & 108H. The Americas and the World. (3h). WF 12:30-1:45 and 2:00-3:15. A-305. 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)
109A. Asia and the World. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. A-103. 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)
109B. Asia and the World. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. A-305. 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)
112A & 112B. Big History: A History of the Cosmos and Humanity’s Place In it. (3h). TR 8:00-9:15 & 9:30-10:45. A-208. 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. (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 12:30-1:45. A-208. Koscak. Examines the major themes and events in the history of the British Isles between 1485 and the mid-1750s, during which time England grew from a politically divided and provincial European state into a major imperial power. Includes the establishment of the Tudors and Stuarts; the Protestant Reformation and the beginnings of religious toleration; the Civil War and a “modern” political revolution; the spread of constitutionalism; the growth of trade, urbanization, and empire; the expansion of the state and unification; new patterns of familial and gender organization; and the spread of print and learning. 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.
240A. African-American History. (3h). WF 2:00-3:15. A-103. 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. (CD)
242A. The Middle East before 1500. (3h). TR 3:30-4:45. A-208. Wilkins. This course surveys Middle Eastern history from the rise of Islam to the emergence of the last great Muslim empires. The class provides an overview of political history with more in-depth emphasis on the development of Islamic culture and society in the pre-modern era. (CD)
247A. Japan Since 1600. (3h). TR 9:30-10:45. A-103. Hellyer. This course surveys Japan in the modern world. Topics include political and cultural revolution, state and empire-building, economic “miracles,” social transformations, military conflicts, and intellectual dilemmas. (CD)
250A. Premodern South Asia. (3h). TR 11:00-12:15. A-103. 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 12:00-12:50. 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
311W. Special topics in History (Wider World): Economy and Society in Post-Mao China. (3h). WF 12:30-1:45. B-117. Zhang. The turn from Mao to the Market in 1978 has resulted in a Chinese miracle that at once excites and baffles the world. The unfolding of a series of reforms that began that year has produced unprecedented economic growth and radical social transformation. Just exactly what this growth and transformation entail for the people of the People’s Republic, both men and women, across different geographical regions, ethnic groups, and social classes? In this course we will delve into this question by juxtaposing a close reading of official pronouncements and scholarly studies of post-Mao China with a perusal of oral histories, personal memoirs, documentary films, music, art, blog posts, and other forms of social media. All required readings are in English.
353A. War and Society in Early America. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. B-117. 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). TR 11:00-12:15. B-117. 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)
359A. Prostitutes, Machos and Travestis: Sexuality and Gender in Modern Latin American History. (3h). MW 2:00-3:15. A-208. Yarfitz. Beyond machismo, exoticism, and the virgin-whore dichotomy, this class links contemporary and historical investigation of sexuality and gender in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Prostitution, masculinity, and the transgender continuum will be the core subjects, which we will examine across time and space and from a range of perspectives. Cross-cutting topics will include women’s agency, violence, slavery, revolution, migration, multiple masculinities, queer and indigenous gender alternatives, public health, narcos, and media scapegoating. No particular background is required. (CD)
362A. American Constitutional History. (3h). TH 3:30-4:45. B-116. Zick. Origins of the Constitution, the controversies involving the nature of the Union, and constitutional readjustments to meet the new American industrialism.
371A. Transgender History, Identity, and Politics in the U.S. (3h). TR 12:30-1:45. A-104. Mazaris. This course explores the experiences of, and responses to transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGI) people in 19th and 20th century America. We will examine how scientific/medical authorities, legal authorities, and everyday people have understood and responded to various kinds of gender non-conformity. Course texts include social histories, medical and legal perspectives, popular culture, and the work of contemporary TGI activists. Crosslisted as WGS 377. (CD)
384A. Global Outlaws in History since 1500. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. A-102. Coates. This course examines the motivations, ideologies, goals, and behavior of those who have been deemed “outlaws” to international society since 1500, including pirates, terrorists, smugglers, and war criminals. It also analyzes the role of power in creating the global regimes that define and target such activities.
389A. The British Empire in the Middle East. (3h). TR 2:00-3:15. A-103. Sinanoglou. This course covers the eighteenth- to twentieth-century history of the British Empire in the diverse area commonly referred to as the Middle East: the Arabian peninsula, Egypt, Sudan (the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium) and portions of the former Ottoman Empire that fell under British mandate after World War One, namely Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan. It also places British interest in the Middle East in a broader global context, paying particular attention to intra-European imperial rivalries as well as to Britain’s presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, Persia and India. Themes include scholarly theories of imperialism; techniques of imperial rule; local collaboration and resistance; social and cultural facets of imperialism; economic, environmental, and legal foundations and impacts of British rule in the Middle East; decolonization; memories of imperialism; and the historical roots of contemporary relations between the Middle East, Britain, and its most significant post-war ally, the US. (CD)
390A. Research Seminar: Representation and Memory in US History. (4h). W 2:00-4:30. A-104. Blee. This course centers on trends in cultural history and public memory in America’s past. As such, this seminar offers an opportunity to think about the intended and unintended impacts of representations of different events, social groups, and identities in 19th – and 20th-century U.S. history. In terms of public memory, we will think about both event and process; how have historians and regular people determined which events or group histories were significant enough to remember, and what should be forgotten. How did different groups record and pass on their perspectives? How do some perspectives come to dominate others, and what are the consequences? Class readings will emphasize representations of race and gender, and focus on the topics of slavery, settler-Indian conflicts, and Jim Crow. Students may choose a case study within these topics or any related case from the nineteenth century through the late twentieth century.
390B. Research Seminar: European Political and Social History, 1848-1989. (4h). T 3:00-5:30. A-104. Hughes. Students in this course will develop in consultation with the professor a research project in a topic of interest to them in recent European history. They will do several assignments culminating in the writing of a 25- to 30-page paper on that topic. Because of the need to use mostly primary sources for the paper, most papers will be on British or Irish history, though numerous students who have written (in English) papers on Spanish, French, German, or Italian history have used their foreign-language skills in those countries’ languages.
390C. Research Seminar: Colonial Africa, 1884-1994. (4h). T 3:30-6:00. A-102. Plageman. This course, a History Department research seminar, centers its attention on Africa’s colonial period (c.1884-1994), a long-century that had a significant impact on the political, economic, social, and cultural realities of African peoples. Throughout the first third of the semester, we will think about Africa’s colonial period from various angles, around numerous topics, and in ways that accentuate our understanding the world in which we live. Over the rest of the semester we will conduct original research on topics and themes of our choosing—an exciting opportunity that allows us to pursue individual interests, consult a range of primary and secondary sources, and share our findings.
391A Making History: The Theory and Practice of History. (3h). W 3:30-6:00. B-116. O’Connell. In this course, we look at the way historians “make” history– the way they imagine their object of study, how they choose and use primary sources as evidence for their accounts, how they structure their narratives and analytic discussions, and how they communicate the results of their work to the public. We approach these questions through an investigation of how the academic discipline of history has developed over the course of the last centuries and the formal theories that have been applied to historical study. Looking beyond the walls of the university, we will also consider how journalists, museum curators, politicians, and advocacy groups use history for their own purposes, and we will reflect on the moral and social value of historical study.
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
The complete schedule is available here for download.