Director of Undergraduate Studies
206 Dickinson Hall
Undergraduate Program Administrator
129 Dickinson Hall

Fall 2020

AAS 313/HIS 213/LAS 377 Modern Caribbean History This course will explore the major issues that have shaped the Caribbean since 1791, including: colonialism and revolution, slavery and abolition, migration and diaspora, economic inequality, and racial hierarchy. We will examine the Caribbean through a comparative approach--thinking across national and linguistic boundaries--with a focus on Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. While our readings and discussions will foreground the islands of the Greater Antilles, we will also consider relevant examples from the circum-Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora as points of comparison. Instructor(s): Reena N. Goldthree
AAS 367/HIS 387 African American History Since Emancipation This lecture offers an introduction to the major themes, critical questions, and pivotal moments in post-emancipation African American history. It traces the social, political, cultural, intellectual, and legal contours of the black experience in the United States from Reconstruction to the rise of Jim Crow, through the World Wars, Depression, and the Great Migrations, to the long civil rights era and the contemporary period of racial politics. Using a wide variety of texts, images, and creative works, the course situates African American history within broader national and international contexts. Instructor(s): Joshua B. Guild, Naomi Murakawa, Max David Weiss
ART 478/HIS 476/HUM 476/MED 476 The Vikings: History and Archaeology Who were the Vikings, at home or abroad? How did their raiding and settlement change the history of the British Isles and western Europe? This course will study the political, cultural, and economic impact that Norse expansion and raiding had on early medieval Europe. It will also look at the changes in Scandinavia that inspired and resulted from this expansion. Sources will include contemporary texts, sagas and epic poetry, material culture, and archaeological excavations. Instructor(s): Janet Elizabeth Kay
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
HIS 207/EAS 207/MED 207 History of East Asia to 1800 A general introduction to the history of the political cultures in China and Japan, with some heed to comparisons with developments in Korea. Instructor(s): Thomas Donald Conlan, Xin Wen
HIS 211 Europe from Antiquity to 1700 This course traces an epic story: How Greeks and Romans, Jews and Christians, nobles and merchants, princesses and servants, serfs and slaves built what is now called Western Civilization. Instructor(s): Anthony Thomas Grafton
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) Luther in Worms, 1521; 2) the trial and execution of Marie Antoinette; and 3) the Eichmann trial. 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 295 Making America: Technology and History in the United States This course will introduce students to technology in U.S. history, from the Colonial Era through the Twentieth Century. Throughout, we will consider how people designed, made, and used technologies in order to accomplish work, to organize society, and to make sense of their world. Warfare and agriculture; transportation and communication networks; plantations and factories; media, money, and information systems; engineers and other kinds of technologists: all will be explored, examined, and analyzed in order to understand the role of technology in making the nation.
HIS 303/LAS 305 Colonial Latin America to 1810 What is colonization? How does it work? What kind of societies does it create? Come find out through the lens of the Latin America. First we study how the Aztec and Inca empires subdued other peoples, and how Muslim Iberia fell to the Christians. Then, we learn about Spanish and Portuguese conquests and how indigenous resistance, adaptation, and racial mixing shaped the continent. You will see gods clash and meld, cities rise and decline, and insurrections fail or win. Silver mines will boom and bust, slaves will toil and rebel; peasants will fight capitalist encroachments. This is a comprehensive view of how Latin America became what it is. Instructor(s): Vera Silvina Candiani
HIS 322/EAS 324 20th-Century Japan Covering 1868 to the present, this course emphasizes Japan's dramatic rise as the modern world's first non-Western power, imperialism, industrialization, social change, gender relations, democracy, World War II, the U. S. Occupation, the postwar "economic miracle" followed by slow growth, and the preoccupation with national identity in a Western-dominated world. We will think about post-1945 developments in terms of continuities with prewar Japan. We will also hold Japan up as a "mirror" for America, comparing how the two capitalist societies have dealt with inequality, urbanization, health and welfare, and intervention in the economy. Instructor(s): Sheldon Marc Garon
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 344/CLA 344/MED 344 The Civilization of the High Middle Ages In lectures, to provide my interpretation (and a conspectus of differing interpretations) of the civilization of Western Europe, 11th-14th century; by readings, to introduce students to the variety of surviving sources; through the paper, to give students a taste of doing medieval history. Instructor(s): William Chester Jordan
HIS 345/HLS 345/MED 345 The Crusades The Crusades were a central phenomenon of the Middle Ages. This course examines the origins and development of the Crusades and the Crusader States in the Islamic East. It explores dramatic events, such as the great Siege of Jerusalem, and introduces vivid personalities, including Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. We will consider aspects of institutional, economic, social and cultural history and compare medieval Christian (Western and Byzantine), Muslim and Jewish perceptions of the crusading movement. Finally, we will critically examine the resonance the movement continues to have in current political and ideological debates Instructor(s): Teresa Shawcross
HIS 360 The Russian Empire: From Peter the Great to Nicholas II This course is a survey of Russian history from the late 1600s to the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917. During this period Russia emerged as one of the greatest powers in Europe and Asia. In 1917, it collapsed, and the first socialist state grew up on the debris of the former Empire. In this course we'll analyze the causes of Russia's enormous territorial growth and the reasons for its backwardness; explore why the Russian monarchy outlived other European monarchies and escaped the turmoil of the 19th century revolutions; and pay attention to the development of Russian art, culture, and intellectual life. Instructor(s): Ekaterina Pravilova
HIS 373 Democracy and Slavery in the New Nation At the heart of the nation's history there is always a question: with what combination of outrage and honor should we define our feelings about America's past? This course approaches that question in an interpretive history of the early United States, emphasizing the contradictory expansion of racial slavery and political democracy. Topics include the place of slavery in the Federal Constitution and the founding the nation, the spread of the cotton kingdom, Jacksonian democracy and the growth of political parties, the rise of antislavery and proslavery politics, and the growing social and political divisions between North and South. Instructor(s): Sean Wilentz
HIS 375/AMS 371 US Intellectual History: Development of American Thought This course examines the history of the United States through its intellectuals and major ideas. Starting with the American Revolution and progressing through to the contemporary intellectual scene, it hopes to introduce students to major debates, themes, and intellectual movements in the history of American ideas. We will read a number of famous thinkers and actors in their own words: Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. Students will leave this class with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the ideas and the thinkers who have shaped the nation's politics and culture. Instructor(s): Dylan S Gottlieb, Matthew Jason Karp, Peter Wirzbicki
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, Sarah Copenhaver Matherly
HIS 383 The United States, 1920-1974 The history of modern America, with particular focus on domestic political and social changes. Topics include the Roaring 20s; the Great Depression and the New Deal; the homefront of World War II and the Cold War; the civil rights movement and the Great Society; the Vietnam War; the sexual revolution; the Silent Majority, the Nixon administration, and Watergate. Instructor(s): Dylan S Gottlieb, Kevin Michael Kruse, Sarah Copenhaver Matherly, Randall Todd Pippenger
HIS 397 Medicine and the Mind: A History of Psychiatry from the Asylum to Zoloft A survey of mental illness through the ages: how people have diagnosed, treated, and experienced mental illness. The course touches on psychiatric institutions, phrenology and neo-phrenology, Freud and psychoanalysis, the psychopharmacological revolution, global psychiatry, anti-psychiatry, and neuro-enhancement, amongst others. Instructor(s): Katja Guenther
HIS 400 Junior Seminars The Junior Seminar serves to introduce departmental majors to the tools, methods, and interpretations employed in historical research and writing. This course is compulsory for departmental majors and is taken in the fall of the junior year. Students may choose from a range of topics. Seminar topics will tend to be cross-national and comparative. Instructor(s): Margot Canaday, Linda Jane Colley, Jacob S. Dlamini, Molly Greene, Isadora Moura Mota, Randall Todd Pippenger, Natasha G. Wheatley
HIS 401/GSS 409 American Women's History This seminar covers (some of) the history of women in North America, from the 1600s until the 1960s. It has two central goals: to emphasize the variety of women's experiences that have occurred over four centuries of North American history; and to highlight the centrality of women's history to North American history as a whole. Along the way, we will complicate the category of "women," and come to understand how that category has changed during the period. Understanding the complex history of women in North America is crucial to any larger understanding of the formation and history of the United States - this course will seek to explain why. Instructor(s): Wendy Warren
HIS 412/POL 482/ENV 434 Marx and the Marxist Method of Analysis: A Primer for All Disciplines What do you know about Marxism? Public discourse and academia in the U.S. often dismiss Marx and the Marxist method: economic determinism at its worst; simplistically teleological; Marxists ignore race, gender, culture, and the environment; the Communist Manifesto sums it all up; Soviet totalitarianism proved its utopian failure. Is all this true? Let's test it. Let's take Marxism seriously. This course begins with fundamental works by Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Trotsky, and Lenin and then expands to study how social and natural sciences have used the method to explain key processes in their domains. Instructor(s): Vera Silvina Candiani
HIS 419/NES 419/COM 438 Topics in the History of Modern Syria: The Making and Unmaking of Modern Syria The seminar explores the making of modern Syria from late 19th century through early 21st, and then turns to investigate the country's unraveling during the 2011 uprising and its aftermath. Topics include: the nature of Ottoman rule; the transition from imperial territory to Syrian nation-state; the French colonial Mandate; postcolonial state-building; minorities, ethnicity and the politics of sectarianism; ideologies of nationalism, Communism, Ba`thism and political Islam; literature and cultural politics; state secularism and authoritarian rule; the Syrian revolution of 2011, the subsequent civil war, and the ongoing struggle for democracy. Instructor(s): Max David Weiss
HIS 425 The History of Political Propaganda from the French Revolution This course will explore the history of political propaganda in the context of mass politics, international rivalries, colonialism, the rise of totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century. We will discuss the use (and abuse) of visual images and verbal messages, channels of delivering them to audiences, and their reactions. The topics for comparative and cross-cultural study of mass persuasion will include avant-garde art and propaganda, the cult of political leaders in totalitarian regimes, propaganda of hate and genocide, new media and terrorism, "weaponization" of information in international politics, and more. Instructor(s): Igor Khristoforov
HIS 432/ENV 432 Environment and War Studies of war and society rarely address environmental factors and agency. The relationship between war and environment is often either reduced to a simple environmental determinism or it is depicted as a war against nature and ecosystems, playing down societal dynamics. The seminar explores the different approaches to the war-environment-society nexus and highlights how and why the three spheres should be studied in conjunction. The objective is to assess how and why environmental and societal factors and forces caused and shaped the conflicts and how in turn mass violence shaped societies and how they used and perceived their environments. Instructor(s): Emmanuel H. P. M. Kreike
HIS 436/SAS 436 Working Class Lives on the Indian Subcontinent Focusing on working class histories on the Indian subcontinent - especially in cities and towns - this course studies the organization of labor from medieval towns to modern megacities. Students will analyze overarching shifts in the structural relationships between classes, as well as the diversity of working class experiences. We will also ask how laborers shaped the evolution of cities and towns across South Asia. Along the way, students will examine the rise of labor rights movements; the relationship between caste and class; the gendering of labor; and processes of urbanization, industrialization, and labor migration. Instructor(s): Amanda Marie Lanzillo
HIS 440 History of the National Security State This course asks you to examine the history of those aspects of United States government that have been called the national security state. This is a history course; it is also intended as something of an old-fashioned civics course, asking you to take part in an exercise of citizenship: to consider fundamental questions about the form of government under which you live and under which you wish to live. Instructor(s): Joseph M. Fronczak
HIS 443/AAS 443 Black Worldmaking: Freedom Movements Then and Now This course explores the continuities and ruptures, the striking similarities and the radical differences between Black freedom struggles from the 1960s to the present. Putting #BlackLivesMatter and the Movement for Black Lives in historical context, the course considers the history and legacy of the civil rights, Black Power, and anti-apartheid movements. In thinking about freedom movements past and present, we will pay particular attention to questions of philosophy, strategy, leadership, organization, and coalition building. Instructor(s): Joshua B. Guild
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 have three parts: a 50-minute meeting in small groups with the instructor focused on analyzing selected passages from the assigned texts; a 50-minute general discussion with all course participants; and a prerecorded 50-minute background lecture on the subsequent week's readings. Instructor(s): David A. Bell
HIS 482/AMS 482 Arab America: Culture, Activism, and Resistance This course explores the history of Arabs and Arab Americans in the United States beginning from the 1850s to the present and analyzes the political, cultural, and economic conditions that have influenced Arab American communities. In doing so, the course covers a wide range of topics including: issues of citizenship, racial discrimination and exclusion; racial formation; labor, activism, and resistance; transnational networks; and cultural productions and representations of Arab Americans. Alongside academic publications, we will be reading a variety of sources including legal documents, newsletters, court rulings, poetry, and films. Instructor(s): Neama Alamri
HIS 494 Broken Brains, Shattered Minds In this upper-level undergraduate seminar, we will explore the making of the medicine of mind and brain, paying particular attention to the complex relationship between biological investigations of the brain and subjective experience of mental and neurological illness. We will look at patient memoirs; therapeutic regimes (including drugs and somatic treatments); psychiatric classification; neurology and literature; trauma; mind-body medicine; the neuroscientific identification of brainhood with personhood; and anti-psychiatry, amongst others. Instructor(s): Katja Guenther
HIS 495 Alchemy: Art and Science Alchemy provides a core theme in medieval and early modern European culture, and a key to understanding early science and medicine. From transmuting base metals into gold and silver, to prolonging human life, alchemy offered fabulous rewards. Alchemical books were studied by princes, physicians, priests, and noblewomen, who sought experimental instructions, medical remedies, and political influence. Yet alchemical ideas also challenge modern perceptions of the relationship between art and nature, science and religion, and learned and craft knowledge. We will explore these contrasts using texts, images, objects, and laboratory reconstructions. Instructor(s): Jennifer M. Rampling
HIS 981 Junior Independent Work No Description Available
HUM 335/EAS 376/HIS 334 A Global History of Monsters This class analyzes how different cultures imagine monsters and how these representations changed over time to perform different social functions. As negative objectifications of fundamental social structures and conceptions, monsters help us understand the culture that engendered them and the ways in which a society constructs the Other, the deviant, the enemy, the minorities, and the repressed. This course has three goals: it familiarizes students with the semiotics of monsters worldwide; it teaches analytical techniques exportable to other topics and fields; it proposes interpretive strategies of reading culture comparatively. Instructor(s): Federico Marcon
MED 227/HUM 227/HIS 227/HLS 227 The Worlds of the Middle Ages We will begin in 476 with the fall of Rome and will end in 1453, with the fall of New Rome (Constantinople). In between, we will trace the different trajectories that the area stretching from Iceland to Iran traveled along over the course of this fateful millennium. We will meet Northern barbarians, Arab armies, Vikings, Crusaders, Mongols, and the Ottomans; we will witness the birth of Islam and medieval Islamic civilization; Charlemagne's creation of the Western Roman empire; will see clashes between Popes and rulers and Caliphs and Muslim religious authorities. We will do all this and more, all the while asking: what were the Middle Ages? Instructor(s): Andras Kraft, Vicky Manolopoulou, Helmut Reimitz, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous, Panagiotis Theodoropoulos
NES 338/JDS 338/HIS 349 The Arab-Israeli Conflict This course examines the fascinating and tragic history of the encounter and conflict between Jews and Arabs in and around Palestine/Israel beginning in the late 19th century. We will try to understand the evolution of the conflict from the distinct perspectives of the different parties engaged in it, aiming to comprehend their motivations, their ethical commitments, and the obstacles that have stood in the way of a peaceful resolution. The course is structured around questions, inviting students to partake in the challenging task of exploring one of the world's most complex, ever-developing and enduring political conflicts. Instructor(s): Jonathan Marc Gribetz
NES 394/HIS 409/AFS 394 Colonialism, Post-Colonialism and Islam: North Africa (1830-2019) 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): Elizabeth M. Perego
NES 433/HIS 433/HLS 434 Imperialism and Reform in the Middle East and the Balkans The major Near Eastern diplomatic crises and the main developments in internal Near Eastern history. The focus will be upon the possible connections between diplomatic crises and the process of modernization. Oral reports and a short paper. Instructor(s): M. Sükrü Hanioglu
SPI 466/HIS 467 Financial History The course examines the history of financial innovation and its consequences. It examines the evolution of trading practices, bills of exchange, government bonds, equities, banking activity, derivatives markets, and securitization. How do these evolve in particular state or national settings, how are the practices regulated, how do they relate to broader development? What happens as financial instruments are traded across state boundaries, and how does an international financial order evolve? What are the effects of international capital mobility? How is resulting conflict and instability managed, on both a national and international level? Instructor(s): Harold James
STC 297/HIS 297/MOL 297/HUM 297 Transformative Questions in Biology The course will teach core principles of the life sciences through a set of key questions that biologists have sought to answer over the past 200 years. We will read historic scientific publications, discussing the basic biology at stake as well as what enabled each scientist to see something new. In addition, we will schedule several hands-on sessions with relevant materials. By situating key findings in their place and time we show how science is an inquiry-based, concrete, and ongoing activity, rather than codified and unchanging knowledge. Topics include cell theory, evolution, experimental embryology, genetics, and molecular development. Instructor(s): Paul Alexander Pinette Durst