Courses

Fall 2017

AAS 367/HIS 387 African American History Since Emancipation An analysis of the social, political, legal, and cultural dimensions of the African American experience in the United States throughout critical historical moments such as Reconstruction, suffrage, the Great Migration, war, the Great Depression, the New Deal, the Civil Rights era, the black power movement, and contemporary racial politics. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Instructor(s): Joshua B. Guild
AMS 353/HIS 445 Sugar: A Commodity History of the United States Moving from the colonial era to the present, and from the Caribbean to the Midwest and the Pacific, we will place sugar in the history of European colonialism, trans-Atlantic slavery, capitalism, American Empire, and global immigration restrictions. During this period, the United States built a sugar empire that relied upon differentially racialized laborers, who worked under a variety of coercive labor systems. We will explore how the production and consumption of sugar connected diverse people and places in unequal ways, focusing on themes such as labor, migration, race, gender, citizenship, identity, power, resistance, and the land.
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
AMS 399/HIS 399 In the Groove: Technology and Music in American History, From Edison to the iPod When Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, no one, including Edison, knew what to do with the device. Over the next century Americans would engage in an ongoing dialogue with this talking machine, defining and redefining its purpose. This course will track that trajectory, from business tool to scientific instrument to music recorder to musical instrument. By listening to the history of the phonograph, and by examining the desires and experiences of phonograph users, students will perceive more generally the complex relationships that exist between a technology and the people who produce, consume, and transform it. Instructor(s): Emily Thompson
CLA 219/HIS 219 The Roman Empire, 31 B.C. to A.D. 337 To study the Roman Empire at its height; to trace the transformation of government from a republican oligarchy to monarchy; to study the changes wrought by multiculturalism on the old unitary society; to trace the rise of Christianity from persecution to dominance; and to assess Rome's contributions in historical context. Instructor(s): Harriet Isabel Flower
EAS 415/HIS 415 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. All assignments are available on reserve. Instructor(s): Willard James Peterson
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 270/AMS 370 Asian American History This course introduces students to the multiple and varied experiences of people of Asian heritage in the United States from the 19th century to the present day. It focuses on three major questions: (1) What brought Asians to the United States? (2) How did Asian Americans come to be viewed as a race? (3) How does Asian American experience transform our understanding of U.S. history? Using newspapers, novels, government reports, and films, this course will cover major topics in Asian American history, including Chinese Exclusion, Japanese internment, transnational adoption, and the model minority stereotype. Instructor(s): Beth Lew-Williams
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 303/LAS 305 Colonial Latin America to 1810 This course begins with the origins and consolidation of the Aztec, Inca and Iberian polities and ends with the severance of colonial ties. It combines an overview of the political economy of the region over three centuries with a study of how social groups interacted among themselves and with imperial rule over time through accommodation and conflict. We pay special attention to comparisons and contrasts -- centers and frontiers of settlement, urban and rural life, indigenous and African populations, religion and transgression, Portuguese and Spanish models of rule -- and to long-term processes and implications of environmental change. Instructor(s): Vera Silvina Candiani
HIS 314/AFS 313 Precolonial Africa The course explores the rich history of the African continent before colonial occupation during the 19th century. It concentrates on people and civilizations indigenous to Africa, focusing on ancient civilizations as well as on the expanse of Islam and the Atlantic slave trade. Travelers' accounts, epics, and archaeological evidence reveal diversity of African culture. Instructor(s): Emmanuel H. P. M. Kreike
HIS 343/CLA 343/HLS 343 The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages This course will survey the "Dark Ages" from the end of the Roman Empire to the end of the first millennium (ca. 400-1000 AD), often seen as a time of cultural and political decline, recently even labelled as the "end of civilization". The complex political and social landscape of the Roman Empire, however, had more to offer than just to end. This course will outline how early medieval people(s) in the successor states of the Roman Empire used its resources to form new communities and will suggest to understand the "Dark Ages" as a time of lively social and cultural experimentation, that created the social and political frameworks of Europe. Instructor(s): Helmut Reimitz
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 360 The Russian Empire: From Peter the Great to Nicholas II This course is a survey of Russian history from the late 1600s to the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917. During this period Russia emerged as one of the greatest powers in Europe and Asia. In 1917, it collapsed, and the first socialist state grew up on the debris of the former Empire. In this course we'll analyze the causes of Russia's enormous territorial growth and the reasons for its backwardness; explore why the Russian monarchy outlived other European monarchies and escaped the turmoil of the 19th century revolutions; and pay attention to the development of Russian art, culture, and intellectual life. Instructor(s): Ekaterina Pravilova
HIS 364/FRE 374/ECS 364 France and its Empire from the Renaissance to Napoleon, 1500-1815 A survey of France and its colonial empire during centuries in which this country dominated the Western world. Major topics include the sixteenth-century Wars of Religion, the absolute monarchy, colonization and slavery in North America and the Caribbean, the Enlightenment, eighteenth-century social and cultural change, the French Revolution and the Terror, the Haitian Revolution, and the Napoleonic Empire. Instructor(s): David A. Bell
HIS 373 Democracy and Slavery in the New Nation An interpretive history of the United States from the ratification of the Constitution to the coming of the Civil War. The course will cover politics and social development, while emphasizing focused reading of primary documents. Topics will include the debate over the Federal Constitution, the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, the rise of cotton slavery, Jacksonian democracy and the growth of political parties, antislavery and reform, westward expansion, and the growing social and political divisions between North and South. Instructor(s): Robert Sean Wilentz
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 385 The Role of Law in American Society This course 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. In the course of this course, students will be exposed to a number of differing and contending perspectives on American legal history. It should offer students an opportunity to think broadly about the role of law in the wider culture and to try their hand at doing legal history. Instructor(s): Hendrik Arnold Hartog
HIS 388/URB 388 Unrest and Renewal in Urban America For centuries cities have embodied U.S. hopes and fears, symbolizing ideals of democratic melting pots and cultural innovation, as well as urban "problems" and crisis. Urban life distilled extremes like rich and poor; parks and skyscrapers; philanthropy and greed; racial and ethnic divides; violence and hope; center and suburb. By producing contrasts and conflicts, cities brokered transformation, rebellion and renewal. Course covers social life, politics, economy, revolutionary ideologies, culture, race, gender, and the built environment--from the colonial era to the present. 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): Margot Canaday, Joseph M. Fronczak, Molly Greene, Katja Guenther, Robert A. Karl
HIS 402/AAS 402/AMS 412 Princeton and Slavery Research seminar focused on Princeton University's historical connections to the institution of slavery. The class will contribute to a website that details this history and assist with the scholarly events related to the public launch of the Princeton and Slavery Project. Class will meet in Mudd Library. Instructor(s): Martha A. Sandweiss
HIS 413 Medieval Democracy: Italian City States of the Middle Ages In the Middle Ages, dozens of city-states in Italy were governed by citizens elected by the populace (limited to men of property, as was the American republic in its early years). These communes grew out of the anarchy following the dissolution of the Roman Empire in the West and flourished by playing off the German emperors to the north against the papacy. In the course of the later Middle Ages, many of these cities became autocracies, but some remained republics well into the modern era. Each student will follow the history of a single city, using documents, coins, and art works from Princeton collections. Instructor(s): Alan M. Stahl
HIS 419/NES 419 Topics in the History of Modern Syria: Intellectual History and Arabic Literature A reading course that focuses on how Syrian intellectuals and literary writers have engaged with problems of ideology, aesthetics, and politics, among other topics. We will consider a wide range of sources including works of philosophy, political essays, cultural criticism, and novels.The course is open to both undergraduates and graduate students, and the course material may be adapted to suit student interest and ability. Instructor(s): Max David Weiss
HIS 425 The History of Political Propaganda from the French Revolution to Vladimir Putin This course will explore the history of political propaganda in the context of mass politics, international rivalries, colonialism, and the rise of totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century. We will discuss the use (and abuse) of visual images and verbal messages, channels of delivering them to audiences, and their reactions. The topics for comparative and cross-cultural study of mass persuasion will include avant-garde art and propaganda, the cult of political leaders in totalitarian regimes, propaganda of hate and genocide, new media and terrorism, "weaponization" of information in international politics, and more. Instructor(s): Igor Khristoforov
HIS 428/HLS 428/MED 428 Empire and Catastrophe Catastrophe reveals the fragility of human society. This course examines a series of phenomena--plague, famine, war, revolution, economic depression etc.--in order to reach an understanding of humanity's imaginings of but also resilience to collective crises. We shall look in particular at how political forces such as empire have historically both generated and resisted global disasters. Material dealing with the especially fraught centuries at the transition between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period will be set alongside examples drawn from antiquity as well as our own contemporary era. Instructor(s): Teresa Shawcross
HIS 439/EAS 439 China's Frontiers This seminar will examine how the territorial footprint of the People's Republic of China was created, by exploring the history of its frontier regions. Through units on Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, Manchuria, and the Southwest, we will interrogate concepts of ethnic identity, nationalism, culture, and religion, as well as contested historical claims over territory and sovereignty. Some basic knowledge of modern Chinese history is helpful but not required. Instructor(s): Janet Y. Chen
HIS 498 History of Pseudoscience The history of the border between what counts as science and what does not tracks the complex tensions in different times and places among science, religion, politics, and culture. This course explores the boundaries science has staked for itself -- or has had staked out for it -- by focusing on the elusive category of "pseudoscience." What have people considered the character of natural knowledge, and how to attain it? What is at stake in appearing scientific? Why exclude certain things from this designation? Each week this course moves backward in time to highlight the diversity of phenomena at the margins of science. Instructor(s): Michael D. Gordin
HUM 470/CLA 470/EAS 470/HIS 301 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: How the Past Became History - East Asia and the Ancient Mediterranean This course explores the emergence of history as a field of knowledge in the ancient Mediterranean and in East Asia. It will guide students to investigate the cultural presuppositions for historiography, comparing two cultures that created their own indigenous tradition, China and Greece, and two that borrowed and adapted foreign traditions, Japan and Rome. We will discuss the specific nature of historiography, comparing it with other ways of transmitting and/or constructing memories of past events, and reflect on the respective historical and cultural implications of these different ways of dealing with the past. Instructor(s): Nino Luraghi, Federico Marcon
LAS 374/HIS 486 Politics and Social Change in Latin America, 1968-Present How did Latin American civilians organize publicly to protest democratic and authoritarian rulers? This course will look at the ways in which citizens responded to social, political, and economic policies in a turbulent time to create new understandings of human rights and social identities. Our case studies will focus especially on Buenos Aires, Santiago, Mexico City, and Caracas. To tackle the theme of popular politics, we will use a special collection of posters, leaflets, broadsheets, cartoons, and placards. We will use them to learn about the voices of protest, the strategies of organizing, and the search for narratives. Instructor(s): Fernando E. Acosta-Rodriguez, Jeremy Ian Adelman
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 globalization in the region. Weeks 7-12 focus on state-society relations, ideologies and cultures, and foreign actors in the 20th/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 251/HIS 251/JDS 251 The World of the Cairo Geniza The importance of the Cairo Geniza, a cache of texts discovered in the attic of a medieval Egyptian synagogue, goes beyond Jewish history, crossing the breadth of the medieval world and offering an intimate view of commerce, slavery, heresy and seafaring; of what people wore, ate, rode, believed and did all day; of who married whom and why; of a Shi'ite state ruling over Sunnis, Christians and Jews; and of a society that remains the best documented of its period. Students in the course will read unpublished primary sources to gain an insider's glimpse of what we can know and can't know in premodern history. Instructor(s): Marina Rustow
URB 202/HIS 202/HUM 202/VIS 200 Documentary Film and the City This urban studies seminar in history and documentary filmmaking focuses on Trenton's unrest of April 1968, when a black college student, Harlan Joseph, was shot and killed by a white police officer. The course works outward from these events to examine the 1960s, race, region, economy, memory, and media representation. Students work with archival sources and produce their own films, culminating in research papers and a related documentary short. Collaborative assignments will contribute to works of scholarship and documentary produced by the professors. Includes public screening of student work. See www.thetrentonproject.com. Instructor(s): Purcell Carson, Alison Ellen Isenberg
WWS 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

Departmental Representative
102 Dickinson Hall
609-258-3394
Undergraduate Program Administrator
128 Dickinson Hall
609-258-6725