Courses

Contacts

Director of Undergraduate Studies
229 Dickinson Hall
609-258-6406
Undergraduate Program Administrator
129 Dickinson Hall
609-258-6725

Spring 2020

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
CLA 219/HIS 219 The Roman Empire, 31 B.C. to A.D. 337 At its peak, the Roman Empire ranged from the shores of the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf. We will study the rise and fall of this multicultural empire, from its emergence out of a fractious republican oligarchy and its multi-century run of stability to its eventual disintegration. We will listen to the Empire's many voices: the emperor grumbling that the people of Rome did not have one neck; the young woman memorializing her dreams of triumph on the eve of her martyrdom; the centurion boasting of slaughtered Dacians and naked water goddesses. Finally, we will assess the Empire's relevance to early modern and modern societies across the globe. Instructor(s): Dan-El Padilla Peralta
CLA 231/HLS 231/GHP 331/HIS 231 Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine: Bodies, Physicians, and Patients This course looks at the formation of a techne ("art" or "science") of medicine in fifth-century BCE Greece and debates about the theory and practice of healthcare in Greco-Roman antiquity. We look at early Greek medicine in relationship to established medical traditions in Egypt and Mesopotamia; medical discourses of human nature, gender, race, and the body; debates about the ethics of medical research; the relationship of the body to the mind; and the nature of "Greek" medicine as it travels to Alexandria, Rome and beyond. Readings drawn from primary sources as well as contemporary texts in medical humanities and bioethics. Instructor(s): Brooke A. Holmes, Xiaoxi Zhang
EAS 218/HIS 209 The Origins of Japanese Culture and Civilization: A History of Japan until 1600 This course is designed to introduce the culture and history of Japan, and to examine how one understands and interprets the past. In addition to considering how a culture, a society, and a state develop, we will try to reconstruct the tenor of life in "ancient" and "medieval" Japan and chart how patterns of Japanese civilization shifted through time. Instructor(s): Thomas Donald Conlan
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): David M Reinecke
HIS 208/EAS 208 East Asia since 1800 This course is an introduction to the history of modern East Asia. We will examine the inter-related histories of China, Japan, and Korea since 1800 and their relationships with the wider world. Major topics include: trade and cultural exchanges, reform and revolutions, war, colonialism, imperialism, and Cold War geopolitics. Instructor(s): He Bian, Federico Marcon
HIS 210/HLS 210/CLA 202/MED 210 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: From 1776 to the Present Day An overview of European history since the French Revolution, taking as its major theme the changing role of Europe in the world. It looks at the global legacies of the French and Russian revolutions, and how the Industrial Revolution augmented the power of European states, sometimes through formal and sometimes informal imperialism. How did ideologies like nationalism, liberalism, communism and fascism emerge from European origins and how were they transformed? How differently did Europeans experience the two phases of globalization in the 19th and 20th centuries? Biographies are used as a way of approaching the problem of structural change. Instructor(s): David A. Bell
HIS 278 Digital, Spatial, Visual, and Oral Histories The course focuses on digital history as a way to integrate different unconventional and conventional sources and approaches especially oral, spatial (maps), images (photos) and netbased data. Digital history allows for the combination of, for example, spatial history (through the use of Geographic Information Systems or GIS) with oral history in a single multi-dimensional, multimedia, and interactive platform (a blog or webpage). Oral history can be used to recapture the history of individuals, groups, and phenomena that conventional written sources (written by the elite) have erased. Instructor(s): Emmanuel H. P. M. Kreike
HIS 280 Approaches to American History An intensive introduction for history concentrators, particularly those who wish to be well-prepared for their independent work. Students will immerse themselves in documents of three critical historical events: the Little Rock school integration crisis (1955-59), U.S. policy toward Native Americans and the Dawes Act (1877), and the conflict over Stamp Act taxes and imperial authority (17565-66). Students will learn to interpret documents, frame historical questions, and construct historical explanations. Instructor(s): Beth Lew-Williams, Daniel T. Rodgers
HIS 294 What is the Scientific Revolution? Something "happened" to science between 1450-1750. The sun replaced the earth at the center of the cosmos, Europeans encountered new worlds and new peoples, and heaven and earth shook to the impact of new technologies like telescopes and heavy artillery. Yet how much was really new? Did all these changes merge into one phenomenon that we can call "the scientific revolution"? And were there many such revolutions or could the very idea be a modern invention? From optics and anatomy to alchemy and magic, this course will ask exactly how natural knowledge was shaped, challenged and exploited between the late Middle Ages and the Enlightenment. Instructor(s): Jennifer M. Rampling
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. Instructor(s): Emily Thompson
HIS 306/LAO 306/LAS 326 Becoming Latino in the U.S. History 306 studies all Latinos in the US, from those who have (im)migrated from across Latin America to those who lived in what became US lands. The course covers the historical origins of debates over land ownership, the border, assimilation expectations, discrimination, immigration regulation, intergroup differences, civil rights activism, and labor disputes. History 306 looks transnationally at Latin America's history by exploring shifts in US public opinion and domestic policies. By the end of the course, students will have a greater understanding and appreciation of how Latinos became an identifiable group in the US. Instructor(s): Rosina Amelia Lozano
HIS 315/AFS 316 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 317/SAS 317 The Making of Modern India and Pakistan An exploration of three major themes in the history of India's and Pakistan's emergence as nation-states: colonial socio-economic and cultural transformations, the growth of modern collective identities and conflicts, and nationalism. Topics covered include: trade, empire, and capitalism; class, gender and religion; Gandhi, national independence, and partition; and post-colonial state and society. Instructor(s): Gyan Prakash
HIS 333/LAS 373/AAS 335 Modern Brazilian History This course examines the history of modern Brazil from its independence in the 1820s to the present day. The lectures, readings, and discussions chart conflict, change, and continuity within Brazilian society, highlighting the role played by disenfranchised social actors in shaping the country's history. Topics include the meanings of political citizenship; slavery and abolition; race relations; indigenous populations; uneven economic development as well as Brazil's experiences with authoritarianism and globalization. Instructor(s): Isadora Moura Mota
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 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): Randall Todd Pippenger
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 359/JDS 359 Modern Jewish History: 1750-Present This course surveys the breadth of Jewish experience from the era of the Enlightenment to the contemporary period. Tracing the development of Jewish cultures and communities in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States against the background of general history, the lectures focus on themes such as the transformation of Jewish identity, the creation of modern Jewish politics, the impact of anti-semitism, and the founding of the State of Israel. Instructor(s): Yaacob Dweck
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 362 The Soviet Empire An examination of the transformation of the Russian Empire into the Soviet Empire. Topics include: the invention and unfolding of single-party revolutionary politics, the expansion of the machinery of state, the onset and development of Stalin's personal despotism, the violent attempt to create a noncapitalist society, the experiences and consequences of the monumental war with Nazi Germany, and the various postwar reforms. Special attention paid to the dynamics of the new socialist society, the connection between the power of the state and everyday life, global communism, and the 1991 collapse. Instructor(s): Stephen Kotkin
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 372 Revolutionary America Why was there an American Revolution? How revolutionary was it, and for whom? Why did it end with the creation of a fractious independent republic, an "empire of liberty" rooted in slavery? This class explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Revolution, from the Seven Years War through the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Lectures, readings, and precepts will trace the ideas and experiences of the many peoples whose lives intersected with the United States' struggle for independence: female and male, black and white and Native American, free and enslaved, American and British, Loyalist and Patriot. Instructor(s): Michael Albert Blaakman
HIS 374 History of the American West This course examines the history of the place we now call the American West, from pre-contact to the present. Our primary focus will be on the struggles between and among peoples to control resources and political power, and to shape the ways in which western history is told. We will pay particular attention to the role of visual and popular culture in shaping the national imagination of the region. Instructor(s): Martha A. Sandweiss
HIS 384/GSS 384 Gender and Sexuality in Modern America This course examines the history of gender and sexuality across the 20th century, with emphasis on both regulation and resistance. Topics include early homosexual subcultures; the commercialization of sex; reproduction and its limitation; sex, gender, and war; cold war sexual containment; the feminist movement; conservative backlash; AIDS politics; same-sex marriage; Hillary; and many others. Instructor(s): Margot Canaday
HIS 389 American Cultural History Rise of popular entertainment, values, ideas, cultural expression, and the culture industries in modern American history. Two lectures, one precept. Instructor(s): Rhae Lynn Barnes
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 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. Seminar topics will tend to be cross-national and comparative. Instructor(s): Igor Khristoforov
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 410/COM 439/NES 440 Culture and Revolution in the Modern Middle East This seminar will explore the relationship between revolution and culture in the modern Middle East, with specific reference to the literature and history of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Iran. Readings will consist primarily of novels and memoirs written in the midst of revolution or revolutionary movements in the twentieth and early-twenty-first century in addition to secondary sources on history, social change, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. All readings are in English, though students who wish to read work in Arabic or Persian may do so through consultation with the instructor. Instructor(s): Max David Weiss
HIS 414/AMS 414 Life-Writing: Diaries, Memoirs, Autobiographies and History This seminar will explore how historians can read, interpret and use individual testimonies of different kinds: memoirs, diaries and autobiographies. We will focus on writings of this sort by men and women in Britain and the American Colonies/United States from c.1650 to the First World War. Why did these sorts of texts become increasingly popular on both sides of the Atlantic during that period, and what kinds of challenges and opportunities do they present to historians now? Instructor(s): Linda Jane Colley
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 429 Fascism and Antifacism in Global History This course aims to explain the historical roles of fascism and antifascism in the making of our political world. Instructor(s): Joseph M. Fronczak
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 450 Remaking the World, 1820-2020: Territories, People, and Global Orders This course explores the currents and counter-currents of thinking about global integration and conflict. It is a voyage into the history of ideas, conceptions, and narratives in action - how they shaped policy, molded public opinion, and defined research agendas and the history of the modern social sciences. This course covers a long arc. It begins with debates in the mid-nineteenth century about free trade and empire, slavery and freedom and ends with the challenge of climate change and the meaning of the Anthropocene. Instructor(s): Jeremy Ian Adelman
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 470 Abraham Lincoln and America, 1809-1865 No political figure in American history has attracted more scholarly or popular attention than Abraham Lincoln. This course explores the tumultuous middle decades of the American nineteenth century through the life and career of this one man, at once so exceptional and so representative. While tracing Lincoln's biography from the Illinois frontier to the White House, we will explore how his own life was shaped by, and in turn shaped, great national questions of expansion and empire, enterprise and society, slavery and emancipation, and Civil War and Reconstruction. Instructor(s): Matthew Jason Karp
HIS 480 Property: How, Why, and What We Own Who owns human remains? Is the right to privacy grounded in ownership? How does religion affect the development of property rights? This class will look at key moments in the history of property - from the development of copyright in early modern England to the very modern communist project of building a society without private property. Other episodes will include the emergence of patent rights and the protection of innovations, the role of notaries and mapmakers in the development of property, the rise of new forms of property, such as ownership of genetic capitals, identity, or airspace. Instructor(s): Ekaterina Pravilova
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 491/GSS 491 Fertile Bodies: A Cultural History of Reproduction from Antiquity to the Enlightenment The ancient Greeks imagined a woman's body ruled by her uterus. Medieval Christians believed in a womb touched by God. Renaissance doctors uncovered the 'secrets' of women through dissection, while early modern states punished unmarried mothers. This course will ask how women's reproductive bodies were sites for the production of medical knowledge, the articulation of state power, and the development of concepts of purity and difference from ancient Greece to 18th-c. Europe. The course will incorporate sources as varied as medieval sculptures of the Madonna, Renaissance medical illustrations, and early modern midwifery licenses. Instructor(s): Melissa Buckner Reynolds
HIS 492/AFS 492/AAS 492 Utopias of Yesteryear: Socialist Experiments in Africa This seminar explores the contours of Africa's embrace and engagement with the most influential ideology of the twentieth-century. Why, and through which channels, were Africans attracted to socialism? Did particular forms of colonialism and decolonization push African political actors in that direction? Is it legitimate, as some scholars have suggested, to speak of genuinely African socialisms? We will discuss the contexts in which specific countries adopted and implemented socialism. Our goal is to place Africa in the mainstream of conversations about socialism. Instructor(s): Benedito Luis Machava
HIS 497 Eating, Growing, Catching, Knowing: Historical Perspectives on Food, Science, and the Environment The sourcing, preparation, and consumption of food (and drink) represent essential aspects of human culture, even as these activities have long had massive implications for the planet. Science and technology are deeply implicated in the history of changing diets, and industrialized agriculture has profoundly shaped both human populations and global environmental conditions. This course aims to introduce students to a range of recent writings that take up these problems, with an emphasis on scholarship in history and history of science. Instructor(s): D. Graham Burnett
HUM 320/HIS 346/MED 322/ENG 233 Making Medieval Worlds: Methods and Materials This course engages the core disciplines of history, literary analysis, and archaeology to examine how people in medieval Britain and northwest Europe understood and created the physical, imaginative, and sociocultural landscapes in which they lived. Through texts, structures, and objects, we will recover what individuals in these cultures believed, how they ate, and what they longed for. We're interested in arcs of trade and political contacts, as well as in creative exchanges worked out in brilliant metalwork and unforgettable poetry. Instructor(s): Sarah M. Anderson, Janet Elizabeth Kay
NES 390/HIS 221 Medieval Cairo: A Survival Guide How can we reconstruct quotidian life in premodern society? This course takes history to the micro-level, with rigor. Sometimes simple questions (what did people eat, wear, do for a living? whom did they marry?) can be most challenging to answer. Our laboratory will be medieval Cairo, a burgeoning metropolis astride the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean trade routes and an excellent place for take-out food. You will contribute to an evolving state of knowledge by handling artifacts, reading letters written by the men and women of medieval Cairo, and through hands-on experiments, including paper-making, cooking and staging a medieval shadow play. Instructor(s): Marina Rustow
REL 350/CLA 352/ENG 442/HIS 353 God, Satan, Goddesses, and Monsters: How Their Stories Play in Art, Culture, and Politics Each week we'll take up a major theme--creation, the problem of evil; what's human/inhuman/ divine; apocalypse--and explore how their stories, embedded in western culture, have been interpreted for thousands of years--so far! Starting with creation stories from Babylon, Israel, Egypt and Greece, we'll consider how some such stories still shape an amazing range of cultural attitudes toward controversial issues that include sexuality, "the nature of nature," politics, and questions of meaning. Instructor(s): Elaine Hiesey Pagels