Courses

Fall 2021

AAS 331/HIS 382 Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History This course will explore the history of human subjects research as a scientific practice and how practitioners interpreted the use of living and dead bodies for producing scientific knowledge. It examines how and why certain bodies become eligible for research and experimentation. This course will show how race, class, gender, and disability shape the history of human subjects research, and show how human subjects were also deliberately selected from vulnerable populations. It will focus on the experiences of African Americans as research subjects, and consider other vulnerable populations such as children, the disabled, and the incarcerated. Instructor(s): Ayah Nuriddin
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): Mia Brett, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
AAS 426/HIS 426 Memory, History and the Archive Why are some events from the past widely recalled, memorialized, and taught in school, while others are consigned to obscurity? What role do acts of historical erasure play in processes of exclusion? How have acts of remembering figured in struggles for justice? Using historical scholarship, memoirs, visual art, and music, this course examines the relationship between "history" and "memory", focusing on the different ways that race and social power have shaped the relationship in the U.S. and across the African diaspora. We will link representations of the past to debate about issues such as public monuments, legal redress, and reparations. Instructor(s): Joshua B. Guild
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
ART 439/HIS 453/ECS 439 The Invisible Renaissance: Science, Art, and Magic in Early Modern Europe How did early modern people depict phenomena they could not see? This course traces attempts to represent the invisible: from angels and the influence of stars and magnets, to microscopic creatures and magical effects. Philosophers, painters and magi puzzled over these unseen forces, beings and structures, seeking to describe them in writings and artworks. We will unpack their arguments and try to reconstruct their practices, including optical tricks and alchemical experiments. The course culminates in a virtual exhibition, curated by students, as we follow in the steps of Renaissance thinkers and artists, and put the invisible on display. Instructor(s): Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Jennifer M. Rampling
CLA 216/HIS 216 Archaic and Classical Greece The social, political, and cultural history of ancient Greece from ca.750 B.C. through the time of the Peloponnesian War (404 B.C.). Special attention is paid to the emergence of the distinctively Greek form of political organization, the city state, and to democracy, imperialism, social practices, and cultural developments. Emphasis is placed on study of the ancient sources, methods of source analysis, and historical reasoning. Instructor(s): Michael A. Flower
CLA 326/HIS 326/HUM 324 Topics in Ancient History: Town and Country By the first century BCE, the city of Rome had over one million inhabitants, and was the largest and most densely populated city in the Mediterranean, if not the world. In fact, no other city surpassed ancient Rome in population until the 19th century. Yet scholars have estimated that as much as 80% of the population engaged in agriculture. The urban-rural divide was an important concept in antiquity. In this seminar, we will look at a wide range of evidence -- literary, material, visual, etc. -- to examine the cultural concepts associated with 'town' and 'country' for the ancient Romans. Instructor(s): Caroline Cheung, Denis Feeney
EAS 206/HIS 206/MED 206 Medieval Asian Worlds: Korea, Japan, China, Inner and South Asia 300 CE-1700 CE This course explores the Middle Ages (300-1700) of the East Asian world (China, Japan, and Korea) as well as the varying links between these polities and Inner and South Asia. Particular focus will be devoted to the rise of Buddhist notions of kingship in South Asia and their transmission to the major states of Inner and East Asia, as well as the rise of notions of ethnicity, and the creation of distinct states and cultures of China, Korea and Japan. Topics will be chronological, emphasizing the movements of ideas and peoples, with a framework centered on influential figures who propagated the spread of goods and ideas across borders. Instructor(s): Thomas Donald Conlan
EAS 409/HIS 309 The Warrior Culture of Japan This course explores the 'rise' of the warrior culture of Japan. In addition to providing a better understanding of the judicial and military underpinnings of Japan's military 'rule' and the nature of medieval warfare, this course shows how warriors have been perceived as a dominant force in Japanese history, and will explore how the samurai myth was created in more recent times. This course culminates in an extended research paper. The goals of this course are to examine the role of warriors in Japanese history, to introduce historical debates concerning this topic, and to explore the use of primary sources in translation. Instructor(s): Thomas Donald Conlan
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/ASA 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 281/ECS 304 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) Luther in Worms, 1521; 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 301 Modern Eastern Europe, 19th to 20th Centuries History of Eastern Europe from 1800 to the present. In this course, we analyze the concept of and historical trajectories of Eastern Europe during the modern era. The focus is upon political history, but we will also discuss how modern politics affected culture and the arts. Themes and topics include (but not limited to): empire, statehood and nationalism in East-European history; Marxism, radicalism, fascism, communism; the revolutions of 1848, 1917, 1989, and 2014. The class ends with discussion of the wars on the Balkans during the 1990s, the crisis in today's Ukraine, and the historical roots for both. Instructor(s): Iryna Vushko
HIS 303/LAS 305 Colonial Latin America to 1810 What is colonization? How does it work? What kind of societies does it create? Come find out through the lens of the Latin America. First we study how the Aztec and Inca empires subdued other peoples, and how Muslim Iberia fell to the Christians. Then, we learn about Spanish and Portuguese conquests and how indigenous resistance, adaptation, and racial mixing shaped the continent. You will see gods clash and meld, cities rise and decline, and insurrections fail or win. Silver mines will boom and bust, slaves will toil and rebel; peasants will fight capitalist encroachments. This is a comprehensive view of how Latin America became what it is. Instructor(s): Vera Silvina Candiani
HIS 344/CLA 344/MED 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 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 360/RES 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 371 The Colonization of North America In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, North America saw the convergence of Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans. This course explores the effects of that historic meeting, telling a story that encompasses both well-known events and people (Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims, Benjamin Franklin), and lesser known stories (the Yamassee War, King Philip's War, the lives of Olaudah Equiano and Mary Rowlandson). Colonization is a bloody, frightening, and fraught endeavor; by the end of this class, you will understand what was won and what was lost, and by whom, in the struggle to control North America. Instructor(s): Wendy Warren
HIS 373 Democracy and Slavery in the New Nation How did the United States emerge as a revolutionary republic built on the principle of human equality at the same time that it produced the wealthiest and mightiest slave society on earth? This course approaches that question in an interpretive history emphasizing the contradictory expansion of racial slavery and political democracy. Topics include the place of slavery in the Federal Constitution and the founding the nation, the spread of the cotton kingdom, Jacksonian democracy and the growth of political parties, the rise of antislavery and proslavery politics, and the growing social and political divisions between North and South. Instructor(s): Sean Wilentz
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 American Revolution 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 read a number of famous thinkers and actors in their own words: Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. Students will leave this class with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the ideas and the thinkers who have shaped the nation's politics and culture. Instructor(s): Peter Wirzbicki
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, Sarah Matherly
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, Sarah Matherly
HIS 388/URB 388/AMS 380/AAS 388 Unrest and Renewal in Urban America This course surveys the history of cities in the United States from colonial settlement to the present. Over centuries, cities have symbolized democratic ideals of "melting pots" and cutting-edge innovation, as well as urban crises of disorder, decline, crime, and poverty. Urban life has concentrated extremes like rich and poor; racial and ethnic divides; philanthropy and greed; skyscrapers and parks; violence and hope; downtown and suburb. The course examines how cities in U.S. history have brokered revolution, transformation and renewal, focusing on class, race, gender, immigration, capitalism, and the built environment. Instructor(s): Alison Ellen Isenberg
HIS 396 History of Biology What is life? This course looks at how scientists have answered that question since 1750, while considering the cultural context and social impact of the biological knowledge they generated. We will pay particular attention to how specific organisms, materials, and instruments have altered the course of research into and conceptions of life. Topics include natural history, cell theory, eugenics and its relationship to genetics, evolution and Darwin's contribution of natural selection, the changing understanding of race in life science, ecology, molecular biology, biotechnology, and genomics/proteomics. Instructor(s): Angela N. H. Creager
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): Rhae Lynn Barnes, Jacob S. Dlamini, Yaacob Dweck, Joseph M. Fronczak, Michael D. Gordin, Igor Khristoforov, Natasha G. Wheatley
HIS 423/AFS 424/REL 423 The History of Christianity in Africa: From St. Mark to Desmond Tutu This course will trace the history of Christianity in Africa from the first to twentieth centuries. We will focus on issues as diverse as the importance of Christians from Africa in the development of central Christian doctrines and institutions, the medieval Christian-Muslim encounter, the modern missionary movement, colonization and decolonization, the role of the church in freedom struggles, and more. We will ask the questions:how does studying the history of Christianity in Africa de-center Europe and the European experience in the history of Christianity? And:What would a global history of Christianity, pre-modern and modern, look like? Instructor(s): Jacob S. Dlamini, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous
HIS 425 The History of Political Propaganda from the French Revolution This course will explore the history of political propaganda in the context of mass politics, international rivalries, colonialism, 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 427/CHV 427 Being Human: A Political History Few political gestures are as ubiquitous or powerful as the appeal to our common "humanity." But a politics based on the human self (or, as it once was, "man") has often been accused of harboring limitations or prejudices that undercut its claim to be universal. More recently, the priority accorded to humans has been brought into question by studies into the cognitive and emotive capabilities of other animals, and developments in computing. In this course, we will examine the emergence of the human self as a master concept of politics, and we will also track the criticisms made by feminists, anti-colonial writers, and animal rights activists. Instructor(s): Edward George Baring
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 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 454/SAS 454 Afghanistan in World History: Between and Beyond Empires From the consolidation of European imperial control in South and Central Asia through the present day, Afghanistan has featured in the global imagination of empire. Imperial writers have termed it a "buffer state," "the graveyard of empires," and the land of the "great game". But how have Afghans experienced imperialism? We will trace the history of imperial engagement with Afghanistan alongside Afghan articulations of history, society, and culture. We ask how empires imagined Afghanistan and established regional authority. Equally, we study how Afghans responded to imperial geopolitical claims and developed their own historical narratives. Instructor(s): Amanda Marie Lanzillo
HIS 472/EAS 472 Medicine and Society in China: Past and Present This seminar provides a unique angle of studying Chinese history from antiquity to our present moment through the lens of medicine. Using China as method, it also aims at cultivating a pluralistic and historically informed understanding of medicine as evolving science, cultural system, socio-economic enterprises, and increasingly in the modern world a vital component of domestic and global governance. Through thematically and chronologically organized readings, students hone skills in historical analysis and engage in critical understanding of cultural differences as seen through medicine and health. Instructor(s): He Bian
HIS 482/AMS 482/ASA 482 Arab America: Culture, Activism, and Resistance This course explores the history of Arabs and Arab Americans in the United States beginning from the 1850s to the present and analyzes the political, cultural, and economic conditions that have influenced Arab American communities. In doing so, the course covers a wide range of topics including: issues of citizenship, racial discrimination and exclusion; racial formation; labor, activism, and resistance; transnational networks; and cultural productions and representations of Arab Americans. Alongside academic publications, we will be reading a variety of sources including legal documents, newsletters, court rulings, poetry, and films. Instructor(s): Neama Alamri
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 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, Michael Albert Blaakman
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 335/EAS 376/HIS 334 A Global History of Monsters This class analyzes how different cultures imagine monsters and how these representations changed over time to perform different social functions. As negative objectifications of fundamental social structures and conceptions, monsters help us understand the culture that engendered them and the ways in which a society constructs the Other, the deviant, the enemy, the minorities, and the repressed. This course has three goals: it familiarizes students with the semiotics of monsters worldwide; it teaches analytical techniques exportable to other topics and fields; it proposes interpretive strategies of reading culture comparatively. Instructor(s): Federico Marcon
LAS 312/HIS 313 Revolution in Twentieth-Century Latin America Over the course of the twentieth century Latin America was transformed by a cascade of revolutions. We will use these upheavals as a red thread for understanding the region's history, from the dismantling of slavery in Cuba to the tumult of Mexico in the 1910s, and from Cold War coups in Guatemala and Chile to guerrilla insurgency in 1980s Peru. Using primary sources alongside a range of secondary literature, we will explore the varied causes and consequences of revolution as well as the social dynamics and motivating ideas they had in common. We will also analyze the new political systems and cultural developments that emerged in their wake. Instructor(s): Tony Wood
NES 201/HIS 223 Introduction to the Middle East A sweep through Middle Eastern history, globally contextualized. Weeks 1-6 treat the rise of Islam, the Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, 19th-century reforms, European imperialism, and incipient globalization in the region. Weeks 7-12 focus on state-society relations, political ideologies, and foreign actors in the 20th and 21st centuries. You will come away with a basic grasp of the region's past and present and its mix of idiosyncrasies and global links. Instructor(s): Michael Allan Cook
NES 369/HIS 251/JDS 351 The World of the Cairo Geniza The Cairo Geniza is a cache of texts from an Egyptian synagogue that include letters, lists and legal deeds from before 1500, when most Jews lived in the Islamic world. These are some of the best-documented people in pre-modern history and among the most mobile, crossing the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean to trade, study, apprentice and marry. Data science, neural network-based handwritten text recognition and other computational methods are now helping make sense of the texts on a large scale. Students will contribute to an evolving state of knowledge and gain an insider's view of what we can and can't know in premodern history. Instructor(s): Eve Krakowski, Marina Rustow
NES 433/HIS 433/HLS 434 Imperialism and Reform in the Middle East and the Balkans The major Near Eastern diplomatic crises and the main developments in internal Near Eastern history. The focus will be upon the possible connections between diplomatic crises and the process of modernization. Oral reports and a short paper. Instructor(s): M. Sükrü Hanioglu
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
SPI 466/HIS 467 Financial History The course examines the history of financial innovation and its consequences. It examines the evolution of trading practices, bills of exchange, government bonds, equities, banking activity, derivatives markets, and securitization. How do these evolve in particular state or national settings, how are the practices regulated, how do they relate to broader development? What happens as financial instruments are traded across state boundaries, and how does an international financial order evolve? What are the effects of international capital mobility? How is resulting conflict and instability managed, on both a national and international level? Instructor(s): Harold James

Contacts

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Undergraduate Program Administrator
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