Courses

Contacts

Undergraduate Program Administrator
129 Dickinson Hall
609-258-6725
Departmental Representative
G-32 Dickinson Hall
609-258-8828

Spring 2019

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 366/HIS 386 African American History to 1863 This course explores African-American history from the Atlantic slave trade up to the Civil War. It is centrally concerned with the rise of and overthrow of human bondage and how they shaped the modern world. Africans were central to the largest and most profitable forced migration in world history. They shaped new identities and influenced the contours of American politics, law, economics, culture and society. The course considers the diversity of experiences in this formative period of nation-making. Race, class, gender, region, religion, labor, and resistance animate important themes in the course. Instructor(s): Tera W. Hunter
AMS 390/HIS 382 American Legal Thought This course surveys American legal thought and the practices of American lawyers. Along the way, it questions the notion of distinctive "schools," as well as the distinctive legality and the distinctive Americanness of legal thought. It offers an intellectual history of 20th century American law, with an emphasis on core controversies and debates. Instructor(s): Hendrik Arnold Hartog
CLA 218/HIS 218 The Roman Republic We will study the contexts, causes, and consequences of one small city-state's rise to world empire, through analysis of primary sources in translation and discussion of recent archaeological findings. Emphasis is on the development of Roman society, the growth and transformation of republican government, and the Republic's afterlives in modern politics and culture. Instructor(s): Harriet Isabel Flower
CLA 326/HIS 326/ART 326/HUM 324 Topics in Ancient History: Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town The astonishing preservation of Pompeii has captured popular imagination ever since it was rediscovered beginning in the 1700s. This course will uncover the urban fabric of the city. We will look at its layout, at public and private buildings and their decoration, and at the wider cultural, geographical and historical contexts. Using physical remains alongside texts in translation, we will explore aspects of the lives of the inhabitants, including entertainment, housing, religion, economy, slavery, political organization and expression, roles played by men and women inside and outside the family, and attitudes towards death. Instructor(s): Caroline Cheung
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): Janet Amelia Vertesi
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, Sheldon Marc Garon
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): Harold James
HIS 214 British Empire in World History, 1700-2000 Until the First World War, empire was the most common form of rule and political organization. This lecture course focuses on the story of the biggest empire in world history, the British Empire, and uses it as a lens through which to examine the phenomenon of empire more broadly. How was a small set of islands briefly able to establish global predominance? What roles did war, race, religion, migration - and luck - play in the process? What was the impact on literature, art, gender, and ways of seeing? And how far do the great powers of today, the USA, China and Russia, retain some of the characteristics of empires in the past? Instructor(s): Linda Jane Colley
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: Denmark Vesey's alleged slave insurrection of 1822, U.S. Native American Policy and the Dawes Act of 1887, and the Little Rock school integration crisis of 1955-59. We will stress interpretation of documents, the framing of historical questions, and construction of historical explanations. Instructor(s): Matthew Jason Karp, Rosina Amelia Lozano
HIS 281 Approaches to European History An intensive introduction to the methods and practice of history, designed to prepare students for future independent work through the close reading of sources on three different topics in European history. This year these will be: 1) the Galileo affair; 2) the trial and execution of 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 304/LAS 304 Modern Latin America since 1810 This course explores the principal themes of Latin American history, from independence to the present. The central focus will be on the contentious development of the modern nation-state, as governments, elites, and popular forces struggled, via politics and violence, to define the bounds of what constituted the "nation." The course will also cover major international processes affecting Latin America, including the emergence of global inequality and competition between world powers, focusing on the rise of the United States. Instructor(s): Robert A. Karl
HIS 306/LAO 306/LAS 326 Latino History Covering the history of Latinos in the United States, this course explains the historical origins of debates over land ownership, assimilation expectations, discrimination, immigration regulation, intergroup differences, civil rights, and labor disputes. It ends by explaining how Latinos became an identifiable group. History 306 looks transnationally at Latin America's history to explore shifts in public opinion and domestic policies in the US. This course talks about all Latinos who have (im)migrated from across Latin America, but focuses most heavily on Mexican Americans, and then on Puerto Ricans and Cubans. 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 344/CLA 344/MED 344 The Civilization of the High Middle Ages An analysis of typical institutions, social and economic structures, and forms of thought and expression from about 1050 to about 1350. Emphasis is placed on the elements of medieval civilization that have influenced the subsequent history of European peoples. Two lectures, one preceptorial. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 and theories of colonialism, around the globe. Students are welcome to choose a topic from any region and any historical period. 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 404 The Rise of the Republican Party For the first seventy-five years of U.S. history, anti-slavery parties were confined to the radical fringe of national politics. Yet just six years after it was founded in 1854, the Republican Party became the only third party organization in U.S. history to capture the Presidency.The triumph of this new, avowedly anti-slavery was unprecedented: "the revolution of 1860," some called it. But who exactly were these Republicans? How did they rise so far, so fast, and against such mighty obstacles? And what sort of world did they want to build? Using both primary and secondary sources, this seminar will explore these and other vital questions. Instructor(s): Matthew Jason Karp
HIS 405 Native American History This course offers an overview of Native American history, from the first arrival of humans in North America until the Red Power Movement of the 1960s. It has two central goals: to emphasize the variety of Native American societies and cultures that existed and exist in North America, and to highlight the centrality of Native American history to North American history as a whole. Readings will cover topics including King Philip's War, Pocahontas and Powhatan, Sacagawea, Indian Removal, Wounded Knee, Termination, boarding schools, and the Occupation of Alcatraz. Instructor(s): Wendy Warren
HIS 417 Gandhi: The Making of the Mahatma The seminar examines Gandhi's political life extending from his campaign for the rights of Indians in South Africa to his leading role in the struggle for Indian independence from British rule. In doing so, it focuses on those historical processes that turned M. K. Gandhi into a major 20th-century figure -- the Mahatma. Issues relating to imperialism and nationalism form the context in which the seminar looks at Gandhi's life and seeks to understand Gandhi's thoughts on the modern nation, community, religious state, and sexuality. Instructor(s): Gyan Prakash
HIS 419/NES 419/COM 438/VIS 420 Topics in the History of Modern Syria: Ba`thist Syria - Film, Literature, Power This seminar explores cultural production in Ba`thist Syria (1963 - present) - its conditions of creation, circulation, and reception - within a broad historical and theoretical framework. The course aims to contextualize and comment upon ongoing discussions surrounding modern and contemporary Syria through an introduction to historical debates in the scholarly literature on politics, aesthetics, and culture. All readings (and most films) are in English, although those with interests and abilities in other related languages (French, Arabic, Russian, German, Hebrew, etc.) will be encouraged to indulge them. Instructor(s): Max David Weiss
HIS 427 From Alexander to Genghis Khan: Conquerors, Builders, and Empires This course is an introduction to antique, late antique, and medieval history of the Middle East (Central and West Asia) through a concentration on the phenomenon of conquest. By studying conquerors such as Alexander, Mithridates II, Calipha Umar, or Genghis Khan and their empires, the course studies the phenomenon of empire building and the power that is created by the conquerors and their successors. Through a deeper reading of primary sources and use of material culture, the class will also introduce the students to different narratives of history and challenges their understanding and image of ancient and mediaeval history. Instructor(s): Khodadad Rezakhani
HIS 429/ECS 429 History of European Fascism This seminar will survey interwar fascist movements and regimes with a special emphasis on Nazi Germany. Topics will include the genesis of fascism as a response to political and cultural crisis, the role of ideology and culture, and Nazi society in peace and war. The seminar will focus on past and present historical perspectives. Instructor(s): Anson G. Rabinbach
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 435/HLS 435 Relics, Ruins and Robots: The Life of Things in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean From Antiquity to the late Renaissance, objects moved and were moved in the Mediterranean world. Trade goods crossed the ocean. Obelisks, statues and relics traveled great distances to be incorporated into new sacred sites. Automata amazed visitors to courts and awed worshipers in churches. In this course we will map the premodern Mediterranean's trade networks to try to understand how premodern men and women viewed and understood these objects in motion. Instructor(s): Anthony Thomas Grafton, Teresa Shawcross
HIS 445 Remembering Deportation and Genocide in France since the Second World War 160,000 persons were deported from France to camps in Central and Eastern Europe during the Second World War. A rough half were Jews; a rough half were résistants. How was the experience of deportation remembered in literature and film? How do the two kinds of experience, Jewish and résistant, compare and contrast? Instructor(s): Philip Galland Nord
HIS 446 Political Prisons: Crime, Persecution and Incarceration in 19th Century Europe In this course, we analyze the history and evolution of prison, persecution and incarceration in Europe during the nineteenth century. The focus of the class is Eastern Europe and Russia: in particular, we analyze the history of the political prison in the Russian and the Austrian Empires. This course is inspired by the debates on the nature of prisons in the late eighteenth century and today, and we cover some of the classical works on political persecution and political prison in Europe, academic studies, memoirs, and fiction. Instructor(s): Iryna Vushko
HIS 447/CLA 322/HUM 322/HLS 447 Ethnicity and History We live in the age of ethnicity. The surge of ethnic conflicts after the collapse of the Soviet Union has brought dramatically to the fore the importance of ethnicity as a motive for social action, often violent. Ethnic difference is a key factor employed to explain social inequality in the Global North. In the United States, ethnicity and race are official categories applied by governmental agencies in dealing with discrimination and poverty. In this course, students will look at ethnicity as a historical phenomenon that happens in different times and places, and become familiar with theories and methods as well as case-studies. Instructor(s): Helmut Reimitz
HIS 451/URB 451/AMS 413 Writing about Cities How do cities remember the past? From street names to Confederate statutes to urban redevelopment, questions of place and public memory are intertwined and frequently contested. In this seminar, "Writing about Cities: Place and Memory," you'll learn to read cities as cultural texts by engaging in cultural analysis, archival research, and geographic fieldwork. You'll also contribute to discussions about place and memory by proposing a new memorial or monument for Princeton's campus. Field trips within Princeton and to New York City augment our discussions, as do visits from guest speakers. Instructor(s): Sean Patrick Fraga
HIS 453/LAS 453/URB 453 Digital Histories of Crime in the Americas This research seminar explores, through use of various digital methodologies, the discursive and spatial aspects of crime in the 20th-century South and North American city. Departing from an expansive definition of "the criminal," students will study historical and historiographical understandings of a variety of "deviant" behaviors, including political mobilizations, student protests, certain social configurations, market transactions, and sexual practices. By examining the ways these topics relate to urban space, the seminar will engage with larger issues of law, citizenship, the public sphere, social control, and state and private power. Instructor(s): Robert A. Karl
HIS 463/ART 476 Rivals and Reactionaries in the Early Modern World Knowledge is produced by people in conflict. In this course we will read across the seventeenth century's broad intellectual currents to consider artistic, philosophic, and historical knowledge as products of opposition and rivalry. What does it mean to stake out a radical or a conservative position in the seventeenth century? Can one be a reactionary without a concept of progress? Does the concept of progress exist in Europe before the Enlightenment? What role does representation play in these issues? We will investigate major figures including Hobbes, Spinoza, Descartes, Perrault, Rubens, and Velazquez. Instructor(s): Yaacob Dweck, Carolyn Yerkes
HIS 471 The Political History of Civil Rights This seminar will examine the origins, evolution and accomplishments of the civil rights movement, with special attention to the political context and consequences at every stage of its development. Instructor(s): Kevin Michael Kruse
HIS 476/MED 476/HUM 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 479/AMS 479 Society, Politics, and Ideas in 1980s America This seminar will introduce students to the methods and challenges of contemporary history. Drawing on a variety of sources, we will try to understand what made the 1980s a distinct era in American life. We will examine the decade's key events and trends, including: the election of Ronald Reagan and the rightward shift in American politics; the swift and sudden end of the Cold War; the spread of computers ; the deepening gulf between rich and poor; and the "culture wars" over topics like abortion and pornography. We will try to answer the question: How do we make sense of a past that is hardly even past? Instructor(s): William John Schultz
HIS 486 Mass Internment and Concentration Camps: A Global History Mass internment of people has been part of the human odyssey since immemorial times. But the age of Imperialism - as Eric Hobsbawm termed the 19th century - produced a new kind of internment regime that reached its apex in the 20th century: the concentration camp. Moving beyond statistics - which are staggering and analytically compelling in their own right - this course charts the social world of internment, the cultures of mass carcerality, and the ultimate nature of the human condition in spaces of mass confinement and beyond. Instructor(s): Benedito Luis Machava
HIS 493 '1, 2, 3, Testing'... in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Testing is critical to modern technological and decision-making systems, from college admissions to nuclear weapons. Tests may include many different things: detection devices, assays, simulations, diagnostics, and rehearsals. Standardized tests play a major role in education, professional licensing, clinical medicine, and environmental regulation, even when their predictive value is acknowledged to be limited. Is testing a single coherent activity, albeit with variants, or a disparate collection of practices and tools lumped together under the same name? Why do we test? We will explore the histories of testing to answer these questions. Instructor(s): Angela N. H. Creager
NES 327/FRE 349/HIS 339 Muslims in France and Europe Before and After the Terror Attacks Since the attack against a Jewish school in March 2012, France has experienced, as have other countries, traumatic terror attacks. Most of these acts have been perpetrated by French and Belgian citizens of North African descent claiming to be acting in the name of jihadi groups such as ISIS. This course aims at understanding this terrible violence by relocating its authors in a French and European context since the 1970s. Above all, beyond the enigma of the terrorists, this course will explore a broader issue: the very diverse situation of the Muslims in France in an era of uncertainty, racial divide, and political contentions. Instructor(s): M'hamed Oualdi
NES 338/JDS 338/HIS 349 The Arab-Israeli Conflict This course 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 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 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 the 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 through letters and other documents written by the men and women of medieval Cairo, and through hands-on experiments, including paper-making, cooking and eating. Instructor(s): Marina Rustow
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): M'hamed Oualdi
NES 437/HIS 337/HLS 337 The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800 This course surveys the history of the world's most enduring Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire, from its beginnings in the fourteenth century to the advent of reform in the early 19th century. At its height, the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Middle East, the Balkans, modern day Turkey, Central Europe and much of the Mediterranean. The history of the Ottoman Empire is essential in understanding the modern Middle East and the Balkans. Instructor(s): Molly Greene
REL 357/HIS 310 Religion in Colonial America and the New Nation This class covers the history of religion in America from European contact through the 1840s or so. Emphasis will be on primary readings, organized chronologically around a few recurrent themes: contact and exchange; authority and dissent; the relationship between theological reasoning and everyday life. We'll pay particular attention to changing conceptions of religion's role in social organization and competing religious views of human nature over time. Instructor(s): Seth A. Perry