Courses

Fall 2022

AAS 331/HIS 382 Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History This course will explore the history of human subjects research as a scientific practice and how practitioners interpreted the use of living and dead bodies for producing scientific knowledge. It examines how and why certain bodies become eligible for research and experimentation. This course will show how race, class, gender, and disability shape the history of human subjects research, and show how human subjects were also deliberately selected from vulnerable populations. It will focus on the experiences of African Americans as research subjects, and consider other vulnerable populations such as children, the disabled, and the incarcerated. Instructor(s): Ayah Nuriddin
CLA 218/HIS 218 The Roman Republic Which affected Roman history more: Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 BCE, or the massive eruption of Alaska's Okmok volcano the following year? This course will study the local and global contexts and consequences of a small republican city-state's rise to imperial domination, through analysis of primary sources in translation and recent archaeological findings. Our emphasis will be on the development of Roman society, the rise and fall of republican government, and the Republic's many afterlives. Instructor(s): Dan-El Padilla Peralta
CLA 326/HIS 326/HLS 373/HUM 324 Topics in Ancient History: Athenian Democracy and Its Critics This course will examine the origins, evolution and organization of the democratic system in Athens, and address some of the most controversial questions about the topic: To what extent was Athens democratic? What were the links between Athenian democracy and its aggressive imperialism? What are the similarities and differences between ancient and modern ideas of democracy? Instructor(s): Marc Domingo Gygax
COM 376/HLS 376/HIS 320/NES 360 On the Edge of Authoritarianism: Literature and Politics in the Modern Mediterranean This course examines how political repression has shaped the literature and culture of the modern Mediterranean. Each week we focus on a national space (Albania, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria), approaching work from that space in terms of its aesthetic, political, and cultural significance. Through close, historicized, and comparative readings of these texts, we explore the relationship between literature and politics; translation and identity; and representations of state power, authoritarian rule, and struggles for liberation. Instructor(s): Karen Renee Emmerich, Max David Weiss
EAS 280/HIS 279 Nomadic Empires: From the Scythian Confederation to the Mongol Conquest In telling histories of East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, various groups of nomadic people often loomed large in the background and served as the foil to the travail of their sedentary neighbors. In this course we put the nomadic peoples of Inner Asia front and center, and ask how the nomadic way of life and mode of state building served as agents of change in pre-modern Eurasia. Instructor(s): Xin Wen
EAS 415/HIS 444 Intellectual History of China to the Fifth Century Critical consideration of a selection of monumental contributions to early Chinese thought, and the uses to which they were put by later Chinese thinkers. Readings will be from English translations such as: [Analects],[ Lao-tzu], [Chuang-tzu], [Mencius],[ I-ching] and secondary works. Instructor(s): Trenton Wayne Wilson
HIS 201 A History of the World An introduction to the history of the modern world, this course traces the global processes that connected regions with each other from the time of Genghis Khan to the present. The major themes of the course include the environmental impact of human development, the role of wars and empires in shaping world power, and the transformations of global trade, finance, and migration. Instructor(s): Jeremy Ian Adelman
HIS 205/MED 205/HUM 204/HLS 209 The Byzantine Empire Ruled from Constantinople (ancient Byzantium and present-day Istanbul), the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire survived the collapse of the Western Roman Empire by over a millennium. This state on the crossroads of Europe and Asia was Roman in law, civil administration, and military tradition, but predominantly Greek in language, and Eastern Christian in religion. The course explores one of the greatest civilisations the world has known, tracing the experiences of its majority and minority groups through the dramatic centuries of the Islamic conquests, Iconoclasm, and the Crusades, until its final fall to the Ottoman Turks. Instructor(s): Teresa Shawcross
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 301/RES 302/HLS 309 Modern Eastern Europe, 19th to 20th Centuries History of Eastern Europe from 1800 to the present. In this course, we analyze the concept of and historical trajectories of Eastern Europe during the modern era. The focus is upon political history, but we will also discuss how modern politics affected culture and the arts. Themes and topics include (but not limited to): empire, statehood and nationalism in East-European history; Marxism, radicalism, fascism, communism; the revolutions of 1848, 1917, 1989, and 2014. The class ends with discussion of the wars on the Balkans during the 1990s, the crisis in today's Ukraine, and the historical roots for both. Instructor(s): Iryna Vushko
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 324/EAS 354 Early Modern China This course surveys the history of China between 1400 and 1800, tracing the foundation and decline of the Ming dynasty, the consolidation of Manchu rule till the end of the High Qing era. The main aims are 1) to understand the tremendous changes in Chinese society during this period 2) to see the continued relevance of China's recent imperial past in its contemporary existence. Topics discussed include governance, morality, family life, religion, and ethnicity. Instructor(s): He Bian
HIS 332/SAS 352 Pre-Colonial India: Politics, Religion, and Culture in South Asia, 1000-1800 CE. What was social, cultural, economic, and political life in South Asia like before colonial modernity? This class will explore the medieval and early modern periods in the history of the Indian sub-continent, spanning the years 1000-1800 CE and traversing through such chapters as the establishment of the first Muslim polities in India, the growing integration of South Asia into global networks of circulation and exchange, and the birth and death of cultural practices in this dynamic environment. It will examine the changing relationship between India and the rest of the world, concluding with the British conquest of the region. Instructor(s): Divya Cherian
HIS 333/LAS 373/AAS 335 Modern Brazilian History This course examines the history of modern Brazil from the late colonial period to the present. Lectures, readings, and discussions challenge prevailing narratives about modernity to highlight instead the role played by indigenous and African descendants in shaping Brazilian society. Topics include the meanings of political citizenship; slavery and abolition; race relations; indigenous rights; uneven economic development and Brazil's experiences with authoritarianism and globalization. Instructor(s): Isadora Moura Mota
HIS 352/EPS 352/POL 361 Democracy in Europe since 1945: The Contested History This course will explore how democracy has evolved as a concept, a practice, and an ideology, in Europe from the end of the Second World War to the present day. It will study the different models of democracy that emerged in east and west, which had different ideologies and structures, but also shared the ambition to build a viable relationship between rulers and ruled and create new regimes of freedom and social justice. Democracy was never a fixed reality, but an evolving system, that responded to social and ideological challenges, as well as external events. Instructor(s): Martin Herbert Conway
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 379/SPI 362/AMS 420 U.S. Legal History This class views legal history broadly as the relationship between formal law, popular legal culture, state governance, and social change in the U.S., from the colonial period to the present. We will examine changing conceptions of rights, equality, justice, the public interest. We also will consider questions about the operation of law in U.S. history: How is law made? What do people expect from law? Who controls law? How did that change over time? These questions open up a rich, layered past in which the law was a source of authority that mediated social and political conflicts, even as those conflicts ultimately changed the law. Instructor(s): Laura F. Edwards
HIS 380 U.S. Foreign Relations This course covers the history of US foreign relations from the American revolution to the present day. Lectures take up questions of diplomacy, foreign policy, ideology and culture, empire and anti-imperialism, and revolution and counterrevolution. Precepts emphasize primary sources, from the writings of Tom Paine, George Washington, William Jennings Bryan, Ho Chi Minh, Phyllis Schlafly, Elaine Scarry, and more. Instructor(s): Joseph M. Fronczak
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): Kevin Michael Kruse
HIS 388/URB 388/AMS 380/AAS 388 Unrest and Renewal in Urban America This course surveys the history of cities in the United States from colonial settlement to the present. Over centuries, cities have symbolized democratic ideals of "melting pots" and cutting-edge innovation, as well as urban crises of disorder, decline, crime, and poverty. Urban life has concentrated extremes like rich and poor; racial and ethnic divides; philanthropy and greed; skyscrapers and parks; violence and hope; downtown and suburb. The course examines how cities in U.S. history have brokered revolution, transformation and renewal, focusing on class, race, gender, immigration, capitalism, and the built environment. Instructor(s): Alison Ellen Isenberg
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): Linda Jane Colley, Yaacob Dweck, Elizabeth Ellis, Joseph M. Fronczak, Michael F. Laffan, Corinna Zeltsman
HIS 411 World After Empire This seminar will examine this global history of anticolonial, anti-racial, and postcolonial thought during the twentieth century. We will read the works by key 20th century anticolonial thinkers and activists - Mahatma Gandhi, WEB Du Bois, Aimé Césaire, Amilcar Cabral, Albert Memmi, Frantz Fanon, Angela Davis, Edward Said, and others. Will read these historical texts critically and ask: How do they understand colonialism and its relationship between colonial domination and race, culture, and economy? How do they understand colonialism as a global system? How do they think of liberation and world transformation? Instructor(s): Gyan Prakash
HIS 423/AFS 424/REL 423 The History of Christianity in Africa: From St. Mark to Desmond Tutu This course will trace the history of Christianity in Africa from the first to twentieth centuries. We will focus on issues as diverse as the importance of Christians from Africa in the development of central Christian doctrines and institutions, the medieval Christian-Muslim encounter, the modern missionary movement, colonization and decolonization, the role of the church in freedom struggles, and more. We will ask the questions:how does studying the history of Christianity in Africa de-center Europe and the European experience in the history of Christianity? And:What would a global history of Christianity, pre-modern and modern, look like? Instructor(s): Jacob S. Dlamini, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous
HIS 448 History: An Introduction to the Discipline This course, designed for seniors and juniors in the History Department but open to others, will offer an introduction to the discipline of history. Through a series of case studies, students will learn how historians frame problems, ranging in scale from the history of the world to the lives of individuals, and in time from millennia to single years; examine the kinds of evidence and argument that historians employ; study the intellectual and literary problems involved in constructing a substantial piece of historical writing; and investigate the relations between history and memory in the late twentieth century. Instructor(s): Anthony Thomas Grafton
HIS 484/LAS 484/LAO 484/AMS 484 Borderlands, Border Lives The international border looms large over current national and international political debates. While this course will consider borders across the world, it will focus on the U.S.-Mexico border, and then on the Guatemala-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border. This course examines the history of the formation of the U.S. border from the colonial period to the present. Borders represent much more than just political boundaries between nation states. The borderlands represents the people who live between two cultures and two nations. This course will also study those individuals who have lived in areas surrounding borders or crossed them. Instructor(s): Rosina Amelia Lozano
HIS 488 The Soviet Atomic, Space, and Information Ages World War II was the crucible of much of the world we now know, not just in geopolitics and economics but also in science and technology. This course focuses three key military technologies that emerged to prominence then: nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and digital computers. Each would define its own "Age" - Atomic, Space, and Information - in the popular imagination. That popular vision is often highly Americanized, located paradigmatically at Norad, Cape Canaveral, and Silicon Valley. As an exercise in interrogating that teleology, we will examine the USSR's own distinctive "Ages" from the end of the war to the post-Soviet era. Instructor(s): Michael D. Gordin
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
HIS 981 Junior Independent Work No Description Available
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): Helmut Reimitz, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous
NES 201/HIS 223 Introduction to the Middle East A sweep through Middle Eastern history, globally contextualized. Weeks 1-6 treat the rise of Islam, the Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, 19th-century reforms, European imperialism, and incipient globalization in the region. Weeks 7-12 focus on state-society relations, political ideologies, and foreign actors in the 20th and 21st centuries. You will come away with a basic grasp of the region's past and present and its mix of idiosyncrasies and global links. Instructor(s): Michael Allan Cook
NES 369/HIS 251/JDS 351 The World of the Cairo Geniza The Cairo Geniza is a cache of texts from an Egyptian synagogue including letters, lists and legal deeds from before 1500, when most Jews lived in the Islamic world. These are some of the best-documented people in pre-modern history and among the most mobile, crossing the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean to trade, study, apprentice and marry. Data science, neural network-based handwritten text recognition and other computational methods are now helping make sense of the texts on a large scale. Students will contribute to an evolving state of knowledge and gain an insider's view of what we can and can't know in premodern history. Instructor(s): Marina Rustow
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
NES 437/HIS 337/HLS 337 The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800 In this course you will learn the history of one of the world's most enduring Empires, the Ottoman Empire, from its beginnings in the fourteenth century to the advent of reform in the early nineteenth century. At its height, the Ottomans ruled over the Middle East, Southeastern Europe and much of the Mediterranean. About twenty five countries today were at one time part of the Empire. In addition, empire has been the world's most common form of political organization for the last 2500 years. In this course you will also learn the essentials of this enduring political arrangement in governing the world. Instructor(s): Molly Greene
SPI 364/HIS 368 Making Post-Pandemic Worlds: Epidemic History and the Future This undergraduate lecture course examines the effects, response to, and legacies of pandemics in the past -- their short term and lasting impacts on government, civil liberties, trust in experts, ethnic and racial tensions, social inequalities, and global and local economies. The course uses insights from these past cases of world-changing pandemics (from the plague through influenza, polio, AIDS, and COVID) to inform our understanding of current social, political, and economic challenges. Analysis of the past is also used to inform policy discussions about planning for the future. Instructor(s): Keith Andrew Wailoo
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

Contacts

Director of Undergraduate Studies
302 Dickinson Hall
609-258-9775
Undergraduate Program Administrator
129 Dickinson Hall
609-258-6725