Courses

Spring 2018

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, Robert A. Karl
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): Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
AMS 361/HIS 261 Slavery, Antislavery, and the U.S. Constitution An examination, first, of the place of slavery and opposition to slavery in the framing and ratification of the Constitution in 1787-88, and, second, of how the constitutional politics surrounding slavery led to the Civil War and Emancipation. Instructor(s): Robert Sean Wilentz
AMS 395/THR 395/AAS 395/HIS 296 Performing the City: Race and Protest in 1960s Trenton and Princeton Through original research and creative process, this seminar immerses students in overlapping histories of race, protest, political mobilization and violence in 1960s Trenton and Princeton. Students will contribute to an archive, conduct interviews and make maps, and then use their research to create performance walks on campus and in Trenton. By combining disciplines, the course addresses questions such as: How can we change a place by walking through it with new knowledge? How do the imprints of various, even conflicting histories, impact the built environment? After the semester, students' final project tours will be offered regularly. Instructor(s): Alison Ellen Isenberg, Aaron Landsman
CLA 217/HIS 217/HLS 217 The Greek World in the Hellenistic Age The Greek experience from Alexander the Great through Cleopatra. An exploration of the dramatic expansion of the Greek world into Egypt and the Near East brought about by the conquests and achievements of Alexander. Study of the profound political, social, and intellectual changes that stemmed from the interaction of new cultures, and the entrance of Rome into the Greek world. Readings include history, biography, and inscriptions. Instructor(s): Nino Luraghi
CLA 326/HIS 326 Topics in Ancient History: Ancient Visions: Sight, Sense, and Wonder in Greek and Roman Cultures What was it like to "see" in antiquity? What was the role of vision in philosophy, the natural sciences, mathematics, medicine, and cosmology? How did the visual arts influence ancient ideas about love, beauty, and religion? The goal of this course is to explore such questions by thinking about vision and the visual arts as stimuli of wonder and curiosity. We will think about why seeing and knowing are often two sides of the same coin, while exploring the role of the arts in ancient conceptions of culture and the cosmos. Instructor(s): Ava Shirazi
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
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 416/HIS 416 Intellectual History of China from the Ninth to the 19th Century The course centers on the changing role of the intellectual elite -- how they were recruited, their relationship to holders of powers, their attitudes toward the past and their cultural heritage. The aim of the course is to provide a clearer understanding of the burdens and privileges of intellectuals in Chinese society. Instructor(s): Willard James Peterson
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
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): Scott Gabriel Knowles
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): Janet Y. Chen, Federico Marcon
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): Jolyon Glenn Rivoir Pruszinski, George F. Rambow, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous
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 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 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, Native American Policies, 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): Kevin Michael Kruse, Dov Weinryb Grohsgal
HIS 293 Science in a Global Context: 15th to 20th Century This course considers the global history of science from the beginnings of the Ming dynasty (1392) to the present, looking at the relationship between science, power, and the state in shaping "global science" in the modern world, and taking science in East Asia as an alternate focal point for narrating the history of global science. How has science been shaped by different geographic and cultural contexts? What is the relationship between science, empire, and concepts of modernity? What other kinds of regional or local lenses could we use to narrate a global history of science? Instructor(s): Emily Margaret Kern
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 344/CLA 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 the 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 350 History of International Order This course charts the history of international order from the 1815 Congress of Vienna to today's world system. It is a saga of grand schemes for world parliaments and universal peace, as well as imperial domination and dismal violence. Can the globe be governed? Can great power politics be squared with global ethics? And how do the rights of states relate to the rights of individuals? We will investigate shifting answers to these questions in conversation with figures like Kant, Marx, Wilson, Ho Chi Minh, Arendt. As we track the struggle between power and morality from Metternich to the IMF, we uncover the origins of the world we know today. Instructor(s): Natasha G Wheatley
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): Olivier Marie Burtin, 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 366 Germany since 1806 This course sets German history in a comparative context of international politics, demonstrating how nationalism and national unity emerged as responses to the European state system in the first half of the 19th century, how after 1871 German problems in turn affected the world, and finally why after 1945 Germany should be so prominent in super-power politics. It examines the origin of the German Revolution of 1989, and the place of Germany in Europe and the global order. Instructor(s): Harold James
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 375 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 Puritans 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 complement the thought of these great thinkers with attention to the institutions and social contexts in which those ideas developed. Students will leave this class understanding the inner logistics and social contexts of the major intellectual systems that have marked American life. Instructor(s): Peter Wirzbicki
HIS 385 The Role of Law in American Society This course explores selected legal and constitutional problems drawn from the period 1760 to 1880. It offers an opportunity to explore the social and cultural meanings of legal texts. The focus is on methodology: on how to locate cases, statutes, treatises, trial records, and legal lives in their historical contexts, and on the differing ways historians have used legal texts as historical artifacts. It provides students an opportunity to think broadly about the role of law in the wider American culture and to try their hand at doing legal history. Instructor(s): Hendrik Arnold Hartog
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): Olivier Marie Burtin, Keith Andrew Wailoo
HIS 394/ENV 394 History of Ecology and Environmentalism The word 'ecology' evokes the scientific discipline that studies the interactions between and among organisms and their environments, and also resonates with the environmental movement of the sixties, green politics, and conservation. This course explores the historical development of ecology as a professional science, before turning to the political and social ramifications of ecological ideas. Throughout the course, we will situate the history of ecological ideas in their cultural, political, and social context. Instructor(s): Erika Lorraine Milam
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 histories of sound and immigrants: music, interview transcripts, political speeches, environmental histories, oral histories, and government documents are just some of the large variety of primary sources that will be analyzed in class. Instructor(s): Rosina Amelia Lozano
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 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 406 Two Empires: Russia and the US from Franklin to Trump This course will explore the entangled histories of the USA and the Russian Empire/Soviet Union/Russian Federation from the American Revolution up to the present time. Starting from the late eighteenth century, many observers paid attention to striking similarities and sharp contrasts between the two countries. We will study them on three different levels: 1) foreign policy and international rivalries 2) mutual perception, stereotypes, and "cultural diplomacy" 3) recent interpretations of several common features in American and Russian trajectories of development (frontier, slavery vs serfdom, ethnic and racial conflicts, nationalism, etc.) Instructor(s): Igor Khristoforov
HIS 407/LAS 407 Commons, Enclosures and Colonization in the Early Modern Atlantic The 16th-18th centuries brought together two of the most impactful phenomena of Atlantic early modernity - the maintenance or enclosure of commons and overseas colonization. In this course we will study the interactions between these two phenomena. We will trace first how and why commons persisted or were enclosed in the Spanish, English, French and Portuguese realms in Europe. This will enable us to examine how and why the institution was transmitted during colonization in the New World, yielding a very varied landscape of possession and usufruct of lands across the continent. Readings are in English, and no background knowledge is assumed. Instructor(s): Vera Silvina Candiani
HIS 418/URB 418 Imagined Cities An undergraduate seminar about the urban experiences and representations of the modern city as society. Beginning with the premise that the "soft city" of ideas, myths, symbols, images, and psychic expressions is as important as the "hard city" of bricks and mortar, this course explores the experiences and imaginations of modern cities in different historical contexts. Among the cities we will examine are Manchester, London, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Algiers, Bombay, and Hong Kong. The course will use a variety of materials, but will focus particularly on cinema to examine different imaginative expressions of the urban experience. Instructor(s): Gyan Prakash
HIS 420/POL 490/SAS 410 Modern India: History and Political Theory "The future of Western political theory will be decided outside the West. And in deciding that future, the experience of India will loom large." The course explores that proposition, examining core ideas of political theory in relation to modern India's history. How have ideas of democracy, nation, rights, citizenship, and global order shaped India, and how has the Indian experience in turn altered them? The course does not require prior familiarity with India: only an interest in the relationship between ideas and history. It will provide an introduction to modern India, and challenge our understanding of core political ideas. Instructor(s): Sunil Khemchand Khilnani
HIS 452/MED 452 Magic, Matter, Medicine: Science in the Medieval World This course explores the medieval understanding of nature, the heavens, bodies, and minds. In medieval Islam and the Latin West, science was shaped by debates over important questions - the extent of divine and human power, the existence of other worlds, the generation of life, the legitimacy of magic and astrology. We will ask how medieval people sought to put this knowledge into practice, from healing sickness and prolonging life, to making automata, transmuting metals, or predicting the future. The course draws on a wide range of sources, including books, images, material objects, and our own attempts to reconstruct experiments in class. Instructor(s): Jennifer M. Rampling
HIS 456/AAS 456/URB 456/HUM 456 New Orleans at 300: Invention & Reinvention in an American City As it commemorates its tercentennial, this course explores the history of what has been described as an "impossible but inevitable city" over three centuries. Settled on perpetually shifting swampland at the foot of one of the world's great waterways, this port city served as an outpost of three empires and a gateway linking the N. American heartland with the Gulf Coast, Caribbean, and Atlantic World. From European and African settlement through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we will consider how race, culture, and the environment have defined the history of the city and its people. Instructor(s): Joshua B. Guild
HIS 468/LAS 467 Populism in Global History Since the global recession of 2009, populism has surged back into public consciousness. For many, no other concept seems to explain the forces driving the contemporary political world as well as does populism. Yet, as with most political keywords, it is the subject of considerable confusion, disagreement, and argument. This course is meant to offer a historical understanding of a contradictory and complicated political form that has come to define our times. Instructor(s): Joseph M. Fronczak
HIS 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
HIS 487/ECS 487 The Age of Democratic Revolutions In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a wave of revolutions swept across the Atlantic world. They shook the empires that had controlled this area of the globe, launched bold new experiments in democratic politics, challenged or overthrew existing social, cultural and religious hierarchies, and were accompanied by considerable violence. This course will examine this remarkable period in world history, concentrating on the American, French and Haitian revolutions, and devoting significant attention to issues of gender and violence, the overall global context, and theories of revolution. Instructor(s): David A. Bell, Andrew David Edwards
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 981 Junior Independent Work No Description Available
HUM 470/HIS 230/ENG 428 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: Witness: History, Memory, and Culture Witness is a key word for our time, but what does it mean to witness? This course explores how the multiple forms of witness are shaped by--and can in turn shape--history, culture, and policy. We will focus on the holocaust, American slavery, and truth and reconciliation projects in the late 20th century, drawing on the disciplines of religion, history, law, politics, literature, journalism and visual culture. The course includes a trip to the new museum of African-American History and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. to explore how personal and material witness create public conversations about historical events. Instructor(s): Martha A. Sandweiss, Esther Helen Schor
NES 316/HIS 299/AAS 324/JDS 316 Muslims, Jews and Christians in North Africa: Interactions, Conflicts and Memory This has been as one of the main events of the modern times in North Africa: from the 1950s onwards, the Jewish local communities and the European settlers started to leave Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. We will study the various interactions between Muslims, Jews and Christians in this part of the Islamic world. How did Europeans transform North African Islam and local societies? We will as well explore the reasons why the local Jews and Europeans left en masse after the colonial period and how North African Muslims, Jews and former European settlers developed either a strong memory of a shared past or a mutual distrust even today. Instructor(s): M'hamed Oualdi
NES 390/HIS 221 Medieval Cairo: A Survival Guide How does one write a history of quotidian life in a premodern society? This course takes history to the micro-level, with rigor. Sometimes the simplest questions (food, clothing, shelter, patterns of marriage and reproduction) can be the most challenging - and exciting - to answer. Our laboratory will be the medieval twin cities of Fustat-Cairo, a burgeoning metropolis astride the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and trans-Saharan trade routes and an excellent place for take-out food. You will have the opportunity to contribute to an evolving state of knowledge via primary sources and hands-on experiments. Instructor(s): Marina Rustow

Contacts

Departmental Representative
229 Dickinson Hall
609-258-6406
Undergraduate Program Administrator
128 Dickinson Hall
609-258-6725