Courses

Spring 2017

AAS 366/HIS 386 African American History to 1863 This course explores African-American history from the Atlantic slave trade up to the Civil War. It is centrally concerned with the rise of and overthrow of human bondage and how they shaped the modern world. Africans were central to the largest and most profitable forced migration in world history. They shaped new identities and influenced the contours of American politics, law, economics, culture and society. The course considers the diversity of experiences in this formative period of nation-making. Race, class, gender, region, religion, labor, and resistance animate important themes in the course. Instructor(s): Tera W. Hunter
AMS 342/HIS 442 Race, Racism and Politics in Twentieth-Century America In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between race, racism and politics throughout twentieth-century America. Topics will include segregation; immigration and assimilation; the role of racial politics in World War II and the Cold War; the civil rights movement and white massive resistance; Black Power and the white backlash; and contemporary politics up to the election of Barack Obama. Instructor(s): Kevin Michael Kruse
AMS 399/HIS 399 In the Groove: Technology and Music in American History, From Edison to the iPod When Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, no one, including Edison, knew what to do with the device. Over the next century Americans would engage in an ongoing dialogue with this talking machine, defining and redefining its purpose. This course will track that trajectory, from business tool to scientific instrument to music recorder to musical instrument. By listening to the history of the phonograph, and by examining the desires and experiences of phonograph users, students will perceive more generally the complex relationships that exist between a technology and the people who produce, consume, and transform it. Instructor(s): Emily Thompson
CLA 216/HIS 216 Archaic and Classical Greece The social, political, and cultural history of ancient Greece from ca.750 B.C. through the time of the Peloponnesian War (404 B.C.). Special attention is paid to the emergence of the distinctively Greek form of political organization, the city state, and to democracy, imperialism, social practices, and cultural developments. Emphasis is placed on study of the ancient sources, methods of source analysis, and historical reasoning. Instructor(s): Marc Domingo Gygax
CLA 326/HIS 326/REL 329 Topics in Ancient History: Slavery in the Roman World This course considers the problem of slavery in the Roman world, from the early Republic to the end of the Empire. For the sake of context, there will be some coverage of the development of slavery in the earlier age of the Greek city-states. A wide range of subjects concerning slavery will be considered including the causes of the creation of the Roman slave system, the ways in which it was maintained, its main social and economic functions, and the problem of resistance to servitude. Some comparisons with other slave systems will be made. Instructor(s): Brent Donald Shaw
CLA 327/HIS 327/HLS 327/REL 307 Topics in Ancient History: Religions in the Roman Empire The course addresses a pivotal period of cultural and religious change in Mediterranean history and takes the form of an interdisciplinary journey among several religious communities living in the Roman Empire from the time of Augustus to the rise of Christianity. We will make use of the artistic, archeological and documentary record to learn about pagan sanctuaries, ancient synagogues and the earliest house churches used by Christians; and we will read ancient texts in order to understand the lives of the most influential historical players in the religious field, including the prophet Mani, Emperor Constantine and Julian 'the Apostate'. Instructor(s): Alberto Rigolio
ECO 370/HIS 378 American Economic History Modern economic theory is used to analyze growth and fluctuations in U.S. output from colonial times to the present. The course examines the role of labor markets, property rights in land and labor, financial institutions, transportation, innovation and other factors in economic growth. Before examining twentieth century fluctuations, a week is spent on business cycle theory. Then particular emphasis is placed on The Great Depression and its relationship to the recession of 2007-2009. Instructor(s): Elizabeth Chapin Bogan
ECS 331/HIS 430/COM 317 Communication and the Arts: The Battle of the Books: Culture Wars in Early Modern Europe This course will focus on a major intellectual controversy of the 17th and 18th centuries known as the <i>Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns</i>. Through close readings of seminal texts we will address issues pertaining to the historical significance of the <i>Quarrel</i>, its sociopolitical implications, and the role it played in the cultural and scientific evolution of early modern Europe. We will approach the <i>Quarrel</i> as a critical moment in the prehistory of modernity that resulted in a redefinition of concepts such as mimesis and originality, tradition and innovation, decline and progress. Instructor(s): Anthony Thomas Grafton
EGR 277/SOC 277/HIS 277 Technology and Society Technology and society are unthinkable without each other, each provides the means and framework in which the other develops. To explore this dynamic, this course investigates a wide array of questions on the interaction between technology, society, politics, and economics, emphasizing the themes such as innovation and regulation, risk and failure, ethics and expertise. Specific topics covered include nuclear power and disasters, green energy, the development and regulation of the Internet, medical expertise and controversy, intellectual property, the financial crisis, and the electric power grid. Instructor(s): Lauren G. Senesac
HIS 210/HLS 210/CLA 202 The World of Late Antiquity This course will focus on the history of the later Roman Empire, a period which historians often refer to as "Late Antiquity." We will begin our class in pagan Rome at the start of the third century and end it in Baghdad in the ninth century: in between these two points, the Mediterranean world experienced a series of cultural and political revolutions whose reverberations can still be felt today. We will witness civil wars, barbarian invasions, the triumph of Christianity over paganism, the fall of the Western Empire, the rise of Islam, the Greco-Arabic translation movement and much more. Instructor(s): Jack Boulos Victor Tannous
HIS 212 Europe in the World: Monarchies, Nations, and Empires from 1776 to the Present Day This course offers a global history from an unusual perspective: that of the nations and empires ruled by monarchs and emperors (and sometimes empresses) across the years since the American and French revolutions, which are often seen as the events which ushered in the modern world of republicanism and democracy. To be sure, many thrones have crashed and crowns have passed away since then; but monarchies are still with us today, from Japan to Britain, Swaziland to Sweden. This course will explore both the anti-monarchical trends that have thrived since 1776 and 1789, but also the surprising extent of royal resilience. Instructor(s): David Nicholas Cannadine
HIS 267/NES 267 The Modern Middle East An introduction to the history of the Middle East from the late eighteenth century through the turn of the twenty-first, with an emphasis on the Arab East, Iran, Israel, and Turkey. Instructor(s): Max David Weiss
HIS 280 Approaches to American History A useful introduction for potential history concentrators, particularly those interested in a course focused on the methodology and practice of writing history. Students will immerse themselves in documents from three critical historical events: the Salem witch trials, the Denmark Vesey slave insurrection conspiracy, and the Little Rock school integration crisis. We will stress interpretation of documents, the framing of historical questions, and construction of historical explanations. Instructor(s): James Alexander Dun, Ronny Regev
HIS 281 Approaches to European History An intensive introduction to the methods and practice of history, designed to prepare students for future independent work through the close reading of sources on three different topics in European history. This year these will be: 1) the Galileo affair; 2) the trial and execution of Louis XVI; and 3) the trials of Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. The class combines lecture with discussion, to introduce students to the basic vocabulary of European historiography and to develop their skills in the interpretation and analysis of documents, the framing of historical questions, and the construction of effective arguments. Instructor(s): Yair Mintzker
HIS 306/LAO 306 Latino History The course follows the major themes surrounding the history of Latinos in the United States, enabling an understanding of how Latinos became a group. It seeks to explain the historical origins of the continuing debates over land ownership, assimilation expectations, discrimination, immigration regulation, intergroup differences, and labor disputes. The course looks transnationally at Latin America's history to explain shifts in public opinion and domestic policies in the US. While the course examines the impact of Latinos in many regions of the country, it will particularly focus on those in the Southwest -- largely Mexican Americans. Instructor(s): Rosina Amelia Lozano
HIS 315 Colonial and Postcolonial Africa This course is an examination of the major political and economic trends in twentieth-century African history. It offers an interpretation of modern African history and the sources of its present predicament. In particular, we study the foundations of the colonial state, the legacy of the late colonial state (the period before independence), the rise and problems of resistance and nationalism, the immediate challenges of the independent states (such as bureaucracy and democracy), the more recent crises (such as debt and civil wars) on the continent, and the latest attempts to address these challenges from within the continent. Instructor(s): Jacob S. Dlamini
HIS 325/EAS 355 China, 1850 to the Present This course is an introduction to the history of modern China, from imperial dynasty to Republic, from the Red Guards to red capitalists. Through primary sources in translation, we will explore political and social revolutions, transformations in intellectual life and culture, as well as competing explanations for events such as the rise of the Communist Party and the Cultural Revolution. Major themes include: the impact of imperialism and war, tensions between governance and dissent, the emergence of nationalism, and the significance of China's history for its present and future. Instructor(s): Janet Y. Chen
HIS 341 Between Resistance and Collaboration: The Second World War in Europe In the broader context of conflict between fascism, communism, and liberal democracy, we shall examine various patterns and methods of occupation, collaboration, and resistance during World War II in Western and Eastern Europe. The Holocaust of European Jewry and the technology of terror will be discussed. We will try to ascertain how elites and different social strata were affected by the impact of war and occupation. Students will be asked to read historical studies as well as personal narratives by eyewitnesses and participants. Instructor(s): Jan T. Gross
HIS 342/EAS 342/NES 343 Southeast Asia's Global History This course aims to provide an introduction to Southeast Asia and its prominent place in global history through a series of encounters in time; from Marco Polo in Sumatra to the latest events in such buzzing cities as Bangkok, Jakarta and Hanoi. For the early modern period we will read various primary sources, before turning to consider a series of diverse colonial impacts across the region (European, American and Asian), and then the mechanisms underpinning the formation of some of the most vibrant, and sometimes turbulent, countries on the world stage. Instructor(s): Michael F. Laffan
HIS 351 France, 1815 to the Present The history of France in the 19th and 20th centuries appears a rapid and perplexing turnover of regimes and administrations. This course has two interrelated aims: (1) to account for France's peculiar political instability in terms of social struggles which were played out in one form or another in all European states, and thereby, (2) to set France's unique pattern of development in its European context. Topics will include: the Restoration and the legacy of the French Revolution; 1848 and Bonapartism; popular revolt in the fin de siecle and the triumph of the Third Republic, etc. Instructor(s): Philip Galland Nord
HIS 361 The United States Since 1974 The history of contemporary America, with particular attention to political, social and technological changes. Topics will include the rise of a new conservative movement and the reconstitution of liberalism, the end of the divisive Cold War era and the rise of an interconnected global economy, revolutionary technological innovation coupled with growing economic inequality, a massive influx of immigrants coupled with a revival of isolationism and nativism, a revolution in homosexual rights and gender equality coupled with the rise of a new ethos of "family values." Instructor(s): Julian E. Zelizer
HIS 363 The Napoleonic Wars Napoleon's contemporaries uttered his name with a mixture of admiration, awe, and horror. What were the reasons for these extreme reactions? In this course of lectures we will follow Napoleon and his armies step by step as they intrude and change the world around them during the tumultuous years of the Napoleonic wars (1798-1815): From the Battle of the Pyramids in Egypt, through the battle of Trafalgar and the campaigns in Germany, Spain, and Russia, and all the way to Napoleon's unexpected return from exile and the battle of Waterloo. Instructor(s): Yair Mintzker
HIS 367 English Constitutional History To explore the development of institutions and theories of government in England from the Norman Conquest to about 1700. Instructor(s): William Chester Jordan
HIS 368 England from the Wars of the Roses to the Glorious Revolution The two centuries between the Wars of the Roses and the Glorious Revolution saw the end of the feudal order, astonishing revolutions in church and state, a literary renaissance, two ruling queens and one executed king in a deeply patriarchal and hierarchical society, civil wars, the beginnings of the British empire, and the emergence of a recognizably modern society of newspapers, scientific experiments, and political parties. These extraordinary developments were, however, far from being natural or predetermined. This course will explore how such dramatic transformations took place in a society seemingly resistant to change. Instructor(s): Eleanor Kathryn Hubbard
HIS 370 Britain from the American Revolution to World War II Despite defeat in America, by 1820 Britain's empire contained a fifth of the world's population, and--on paper--reached its widest extent in 1945. This course explores how the UK became a prime global power, and looks too at its competitors and at those resisting it. It traces Britain's social, cultural and political workings, its relations with Ireland, and the impact of two world wars. We will consider too both the meanings of world power status and the meanings of decline. Instructor(s): Linda Jane Colley
HIS 371 The Colonization of North America In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, North America saw the convergence of Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans. This course explores the effects of that historic meeting, telling a story that encompasses both well-known events and people (Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims, Benjamin Franklin), and lesser known stories (the Yamassee War, King Philip's War, the lives of Olaudah Equiano and Mary Rowlandson). Colonization is a bloody, frightening, and fraught endeavor; by the end of this class, you will understand what was won and what was lost, and by whom, in the struggle to control North America. Instructor(s): Wendy Warren
HIS 376 The American Civil War and Reconstruction Why did the flourishing United States, by some measures the richest and most democratic nation of its era, fight the bloodiest civil war in the 19th century Western world? How did that war escalate into a revolutionary political struggle that transformed the nation--and then, almost as rapidly, give way to a reactionary backlash? This course will explore the causes, course, and consequences of the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, keeping in mind the ways that America's greatest conflict also represented a major event in the history of the global 19th century, and a landmark moment in the making of the modern world. Instructor(s): Matthew Jason Karp
HIS 392 History of Evolution By interweaving intellectual and cultural threads, this course covers the history of evolutionary theory from Charles Darwin, and the scholars on whom he drew, to the late 20th century. We explore how biologists invested in evolutionary theory the capacity to explain our all too human nature and perhaps, therefore, to help us solve some of the world's most pressing problems. We also discuss how and why critics have attacked evolution as amoral and socially dangerous. In doing so, we investigate how scientists have negotiated the dynamic relationship between professional and public science. Instructor(s): Erika Lorraine Milam
HIS 393/AAS 393/WWS 389 Race, Drugs, and Drug Policy in America From "Chinese opium" to Oxycontin, and from cocaine and "crack" to BiDil, drug controversies reflect enduring debates about the role of medicine, the law, the policing of ethnic identity, and racial difference. This course explores the history of controversial substances (prescription medicines, over-the-counter products, black market substances, psychoactive drugs), and how, from cigarettes to alcohol and opium, they become vehicles for heated debates over immigration, identity, cultural and biological difference, criminal character, the line between legality and illegality, and the boundaries of the normal and the pathological. Instructor(s): Keith Andrew Wailoo
HIS 400 Junior Seminars A special section of HIS 400 for sophomores intending to major in History and who intend to spend Junior year fall term or the year abroad. Normally required of all juniors in the fall term, the seminar serves to introduce majors to the tools, methods and interpretations employed in historical research and writing. This seminar concentrates on the history of property: cultures, practices and institutions of ownership in Europe, United States and Asia, from Early Modern times to the 1990s. Instructor(s): Ekaterina Pravilova
HIS 403 The History of Free Speech Drawing on a mixture of historical sources and modern readings, this seminar examines the history of free speech as a western ideal and practice, and explores some of the major questions--philosophical, legal, and political--that its evolution raises for the present. The first six weeks trace its origins and development chronologically, from the 16th to the 19th century. Thereafter, we'll look thematically at key approaches and controversies in the past and present. From blasphemy to pornography, sedition, hate speech, and beyond, how has freedom of speech been defined and experienced in different times and places? Instructor(s): Fara Dabhoiwala
HIS 422 Hindu, Muslim, Untouchable: Society and Politics in Pre-Modern South Asia, c. 1100-1800 Who is a Hindu? Or, for that matter, who is a Muslim or an untouchable? Like today, these were vexed questions in pre-modern South Asia. This seminar will think through the history of social inequality and cultural difference in India from the earliest Muslim presence in South Asia until the region's conquest by the English East India Company in the eighteenth century. By juxtaposing modern-day scholarly writing on these subjects with primary-source material that circulated in a popular milieu, the seminar will encourage students to explore pre-modern responses to hierarchy, conflict, discrimination, and persecution. Instructor(s): Divya Cherian
HIS 424/ECS 424 Intellectual History of Europe since 1880 This course is an introduction to Modern Intellectual History. It will examine the period from 1870-1960 focusing on several main trends and key figures. Late nineteenth century authors like Nietzsche, Weber, and Freud will be examined against the backdrop of the classical social theories of Marx and Mill. The era of totalitarianism after World War I will be examined with particular attention to Communism, Nazism (Carl Schmitt), and the debates over humanism and existentialism. The course will conclude with discussions of thinkers during the Cold War including, Raphael Lemkin, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Hannah Arendt. Instructor(s): Anson G. Rabinbach
HIS 441 Founders: The Early American Republic in American History This seminar offers students the opportunity to dig into readings treating American history during the early national period, roughly 1783-1820, when the ideals of the Revolution met the realities of statecraft, when the social institutions of British America were strained through a new national idiom, and when many important issues that would prove vital to subsequent American history were first raised. We will read and talk about Washington, Jefferson, and the like, but also people and groups who are less familiar. An excellent course for those contemplating independent work in this period. Instructor(s): James Alexander Dun
HIS 449/FRE 449/ECS 449 The French Enlightenment The French Enlightenment was one of the most intensely creative and significant episodes in the history of Western thought. This course will provide an introduction to its major works. Each class meeting will consist of a two-hour discussion, followed by a 45-minute background lecture for the subsequent week's readings. Instructor(s): David A. Bell
HIS 459/GSS 459/AMS 459 The History of Incarceration in the U.S. The prison is a growth industry in the U.S.; it is also a central institution in U.S. political and social life, shaping our experience of race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and political possibility. This course explores the history of incarceration over the course of more than two centuries. It tracks the emergence of the penitentiary in the early national period and investigates mass incarceration of the late 20th century. Topics include the relationship between the penitentiary and slavery; the prisoners' rights movement; Japanese internment; immigration detention; and the privatization and globalization of prisons. Instructor(s): Regina Kunzel
HIS 462/LAS 462 Building Mestizo Worlds: Early Colonial Mexican History in a Global Perspective Mestizaje--that is, mixing societies and cultures--is an historical process which is crucial to understanding the past of the Western World and the making today of a globalized world. 16th century Colonial Mexico is a perfect laboratory to observe the birth of this process in Modern Times, as well as to define notions as Westernization and Globalization. Mestizaje has to be studied on a global scale (as part of imperial and transcontinental dynamics) as well on a local scale (its impact on peculiar places and individuals). Instructor(s): Serge Michel Gruzinski
HIS 472/EAS 472 Medicine and Society in China: Past and Present This seminar uses the history of medicine in China over two millennia to explore a set of essential questions faced by all societies: What kind of persons with special skills and quality should we entrust with the care of the sick, and how to raise and allocate resources to foster the growth of medicine as an intellectual and social enterprise? In this class, we explore the health-related issues and challenges still facing governments and the general public today by looking back in time, and also discover how the history of medicine can illuminate aspects of social life and human experiences marginalized in conventional historiography. Instructor(s): He Bian
HIS 473/AFS 472/ENV 473 White Hunters, Black Poachers: Africa and the Science of Conservation This course examines the role of Africa in the advent of the science of conservation. The course looks at the complex ways in which the origins of conservation were shaped by racialized ideas about humans and the relationship between culture and nature, as well by asymmetrical power relations. Readings include autobiographies and government reports. Students will consider the potentially taboo question of whether Africa needs conservation. Instructor(s): Jacob S. Dlamini
HIS 474/AMS 474 Violence in America This course considers the history of collective violence in America. We will define "collective violence" broadly to encompass people acting on behalf of the U.S. government (i.e., police, soldiers, militiamen, and immigration officers) and people acting as civilians (i.e., slaveholders, vigilantes, terrorists, and protestors). A series of case studies (drawn primarily from the 19th and 20th centuries) will introduce disparate forms of violence, including vigilantism, slavery, massacre, imperialism, riot, segregation, and terrorism. Instructor(s): Beth Lew-Williams
HIS 478 The Vietnam Wars This course takes up the twentieth-century Vietnam wars as a subject of international history, with a cast of actors ranging from Vietnam and the United States to France, China, and the Soviet Union. It is a subject that sheds light on some of the most significant dynamics of political, economic, and social change at work in the twentieth-century world. Themes include self-determination and imperialism, colonialism and counterinsurgency, social revolution and state control, liberalism and communism, policymaking and diplomacy, memory and legacy, and literature and history. Instructor(s): Joseph M. Fronczak
HIS 496 History of Neuroscience The neurosciences have adopted a leading position among the natural sciences. They have also emerged as a dominant viewpoint for examining all aspects of human life, from social relations, to economics, even religion. But while the truths the neurosciences teach seem to be eternal, the disciplines themselves are of a very recent vintage. In this course we will focus on their history, showing how they participated in larger scientific developments after WWII in order to understand their immense cultural authority. We'll pay careful attention to leading primary sources from the field and draw on relevant secondary texts from science studies. Instructor(s): Katja Guenther
HIS 499 Things A review of recent thinking/writing about objects; an effort to experiment with activations of this work. Our course will explore approaches to material culture from the early modern period to the present, with particular attention to new philosophical and anthropological perspectives. Historical questions will be paramount, but aesthetic and epistemological problems will also be engaged. Guided by diverse readings, we will endeavor to heed Wordsworth's bold injunction--to "see into the life of things." Instructor(s): D. Graham Burnett
NES 327/FRE 349/HIS 339 France, Muslims and Islam before and after the terror attacks Since the attack against a Jewish school in March 2012, France has experienced, as have other countries, traumatic terror attacks. Most of these acts have been perpetrated by French and Belgian citizens of North African descent claiming to be acting in the name of jihadi groups such as ISIS. This course aims at understanding this terrible violence by relocating its authors in a French and European context since the 1970s. Above all, beyond the enigma of the terrorists, this course will explore a broader issue: the very diverse situation of the Muslims in France in an era of uncertainty, racial divide, and political contentions. Instructor(s): M'hamed Oualdi
NES 338/JDS 338/HIS 349 The Arab-Israeli Conflict This course will examine the history of the encounter and conflict between Jews and Arabs in and around Palestine/Israel from the late 19th through the late 20th centuries. The story is at once fascinating and tragic, the meeting of ancient peoples and cultures in a wholly new political and ideological environment. The course follows the history of the modern conflict over the Holy Land from its inception in the Late Ottoman period through the present with an eye to the evolving causes of the tensions, the numerous attempts to resolve them, and the various forces and factors that have thus far precluded a comprehensive peace. Instructor(s): Jonathan Marc Gribetz
NES 394/HIS 409/AFS 394 Colonialism, Post-Colonialism and Islam: North Africa (1830-2011) This course explores the history of North Africa, an area undergoing radical political turmoil since the beginning of the Arab spring in January 2011. It analyzes the colonial and postcolonial transformations of the Maghrib from the 19th to the first decade of the 21st century. Through a range of secondary and primary sources, the purpose of the course is to give an overview of the colonial effects and legacies on and in North African societies, but also to start questioning the colonial period as a framework of analysis. Instructor(s): M'hamed Oualdi

Contacts

Departmental Representative
102 Dickinson Hall
609-258-3394
Undergraduate Program Administrator
128 Dickinson Hall
609-258-6725