Courses

Fall 2018

AAS 367/HIS 387 African American History Since Emancipation Offers an introduction to the major themes, critical questions, and pivotal moments in post emancipation African American history. Traces the social, political, cultural, intellectual, and legal contours of the black experience in the United States from Reconstruction to the rise of Jim Crow, through the World Wars, Depression, and the Great Migrations, to the long civil rights era and the contemporary period of racial politics. Using a wide variety of texts, images, and creative works, the course situates African American history within broader national and international contexts. Instructor(s): Joshua B. Guild
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): Marc Domingo Gygax
CLA 326/HIS 326 Topics in Ancient History: Athenian Democracy and Its Critics This course will examine the origins, evolution and organization of the democratic system in Athens, and address some of the most controversial questions about the topic: To what extent was Athens democratic? What were the links between Athenian democracy and its aggressive imperialism? What are the similarities and differences between ancient and modern ideas of democracy? Instructor(s): Marc Domingo Gygax
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 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 211 Europe from Antiquity to 1700 This course traces an epic story: How Greeks and Romans, Jews and Christians, nobles and merchants, princesses and servants, serfs and slaves built what is now called Western Civilization. Instructor(s): Anthony Thomas Grafton
HIS 241 Faith and Power in the Indian Ocean Arena This course offers a chronological and topical overview of one of the world's most diverse and contested spaces. Sketching the deep linkages between East Africa, the Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, short focused readings and in-depth precepts will highlight such issues as the spread of Buddhism and Islam, the rise of colonialism, the importance of nationalist and third-worldist movements, the struggles for exclusive ethno-religious enclaves and the consequences for diasporic communities with ever-tightening links to the Americas, Europe and Australasia. Instructor(s): Michael F. Laffan
HIS 316 South African History, 1497 to the Present South Africa's past and present were and are closely intertwined with those of its neighbors, including Angola, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. South Africa's industrial expansion, for example, relied on thousands of migrant laborers from its neighbors. The course will highlight a variety of themes, including the rise and fall of African empires (Great Zimbabwe and the Zulu kingdom), the effects of European colonization, and the repression caused by the Apartheid system. The course will also focus on the dramatic political changes that occurred in the 1990s, including the end of the wars in the region and the rise of democracy. Instructor(s): Emmanuel H. P. M. Kreike
HIS 322/EAS 324 20th-Century Japan The course provides a general introduction to Japanese history from 1890 to the present, with emphasis on Japan's rise as the modern world's first non-Western power, imperialism, industrialization, social change, gender relations, democracy, World War II, the U. S. Occupation, state management of society, the postwar "economic miracle" and recent stagnation, and the preoccupation with national identity in a Western-dominated world. In the final weeks, we will think about post-1945 developments in terms of continuities with (and divergences from) the prewar and wartime history of Japan. Instructor(s): Sheldon Marc Garon
HIS 325/EAS 355 China, 1850 to the Present This course is an introduction to the history of modern China, from imperial dynasty to Republic, from the Red Guards to red capitalists. Through primary sources in translation, we will explore political and social revolutions, transformations in intellectual life and culture, as well as competing explanations for events such as the rise of the Communist Party and the Cultural Revolution. Major themes include: the impact of imperialism and war, tensions between governance and dissent, the emergence of nationalism, and the significance of China's history for its present and future. Instructor(s): Janet Y. Chen
HIS 343/CLA 343/HLS 343/MED 343 The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages The course studies the formation of Europe in the first millennium, from the Roman empire to the year 1000 CE. It was in this period that we observe the emergence of a Western Latin culture whose distinctive features came to characterize Europe and Western civilization for many centuries to come, even until now. In pursuing the question why and how the early medieval present became so different from the Roman past we will explore the formation of some of the foundational features of the Latin West-such as the emergence of a plurality of ethnically defined nations, a Western legal pluralism, or the formation of a distinct Western Christianity. Instructor(s): Helmut Reimitz
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 365 Europe in the 20th Century The course will explore problems of modernity in European society, culture, and politics from the First World War to the fall of communism in Russia and East Central Europe. Part I will consider: the impact of the Great War, the crisis of liberal ideas and institutions, the ascent of communism and fascism. Part II deals with: post World War II justice and reconstruction, the cultural, and political divisions of the Cold War, and the Central European revolutions of 1989. Instructor(s): Anson G. Rabinbach
HIS 376 The American Civil War and Reconstruction Why did the flourishing United States, by some measures the richest and most democratic nation of its era, fight the bloodiest civil war in the 19th century Western world? How did that war escalate into a revolutionary political struggle that transformed the nation--and then, almost as rapidly, give way to a reactionary backlash? This course will explore the causes, course, and consequences of the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, keeping in mind the ways that America's greatest conflict also represented a major event in the history of the global 19th century, and a landmark moment in the making of the modern world. Instructor(s): Matthew Jason Karp
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 388/URB 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 immigrant "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; center 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 391/STC 391 History of Contemporary Science More science has been done since 1970 than in the history of the world before that date--- combined. This course traces a series of developments in contemporary science across a broad array of disciplines, with the goal of illuminating the historical processes that have brought them about and providing students with a set of tools to understand the particular position of the sciences in today's world. Topics covered include AIDS, nuclear power, string theory, evolutionary psychology, brain drain, and genomics. Instructor(s): Michael D. Gordin
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): Michael Albert Blaakman, Olivier Marie Burtin, Linda Jane Colley, Molly Greene, Robert A. Karl, Natasha G Wheatley
HIS 438/NES 448 History of Palestine/Israel This seminar explores the history of modern Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict, from the late nineteenth century through the early 2000s. Our focus will be on reading a range of primary sources as well as engaging with scholarly debates. Topics covered include: the origins of Zionism and early Zionist colonization; the rise of Palestinian nationalism; the British Mandate; the war of 1948; regional aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict; the 1967 war and the occupation; Israeli and Palestinian politics, literature and popular culture; the involvement of the United States; and, strategies for reconciliation and peacemaking. Instructor(s): Max David Weiss
HIS 444/AMS 444 Commodity Histories: From Sugar to Cocaine What is a commodity? What does it do? Can it shape history? This course will introduce students to a recently popular genre of historical writing which concentrates on single commodities like cotton, sugar, bananas, and oil. We will consider how commodity histories offer a unique approach to rethinking the boundaries of history. Our readings will cross conceptual and geographic borders, raising questions about the relationship between the global and the local. Course themes will include: environmental change, imperialism/colonialism, capitalism, slavery, race, identity, consumerism, and the relationship between nation-states and corporations. Instructor(s): Bernadette Jeanne Perez
HIS 448 History: An Introduction to the Discipline This course, designed for seniors and juniors in the History Department but open to others, will offer an introduction to the discipline of history. Through a series of case studies, students will learn how historians frame problems, ranging in scale from the history of the world to the lives of individuals, and in time from millennia to single years; examine the kinds of evidence and argument that historians employ; study the intellectual and literary problems involved in constructing a substantial piece of historical writing; and investigate the relations between history and memory in the late twentieth century. Instructor(s): Anthony Thomas Grafton
HIS 472/EAS 472 Medicine and Society in China: Past and Present This seminar offers focused reading and discussion over several key issues in the history of China as seen through the lens of medicine and healing. Using China as a complex case study, we also aim to cultivate a pluralistic understanding of medicine as evolving science, cultural systems, and socioeconomic enterprise. Research papers will explore the historical nature of tradition and modernity. Students from all disciplinary backgrounds re welcome to attend. Instructor(s): He Bian
HIS 485/AAS 409 History of African American Families This course covers the history of African-American families. It traces the development of family life, meanings, values, and institutions from the period of slavery up to recent times. The course engages long-standing and current debates about black families in the scholarship across disciplines and in the society at large. The course will look at the diversity of black family arrangements and the way these have changed over time and adapted to internal and external challenges and demands. It will also situate the history of black families within a broader cross-cultural context. Instructor(s): Tera W. Hunter
HIS 490 The Attention Economy: Historical Perspectives Attention lies at the nexus of perception and action, aesthetics and ethics, wealth and power. Whose eyes (and minds) are where? And for how long? These are central questions driving the evolution of "surveillance capitalism" (not to mention social life itself). New technologies, and new practices, are reshaping our understanding of the attentional subject -- with consequences for learning, politics, and collective existence. This course will take up these problems, delving the history of changing ideas about attention in the modern period. Instructor(s): D. Graham Burnett
HIS 492/AFS 492/AAS 492 Utopias of Yesteryear: Socialist Experiments in Africa This seminar explores the contours of Africa's embrace and engagement with the most influential ideology of the twentieth-century. Why, and through which channels, were Africans attracted to socialism? Did particular forms of colonialism and decolonization push African political actors in that direction? Is it legitimate, as some scholars have suggested, to speak of genuinely African socialisms? We will discuss the contexts in which specific countries adopted and implemented socialism. Our goal is to place Africa in the mainstream of conversations about socialism.
HIS 981 Junior Independent Work No Description Available
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/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 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
NES 395/AFS 412/AAS 412/HIS 457 Human Trafficking and its Demise: African and European Slaves in Modern Islam (16th-21st century) What did slavery represent for Islamic societies, and what does human trafficking mean in the Middle East and North Africa after Salafist groups such as ISIS restored practices of enslavement in Syria and Iraq? After a presentation of the issues related to slavery in Muslim societies today, we will ask ourselves if there was even such thing as Islamic slavery: Did Muslim societies organize a specific type of slave trade? To what extent was slavery a pivotal institution? We will see that various experiences of slavery shaped discourses about race and gender, and we will assess the main legacies of slavery in current Muslim societies. Instructor(s): M'hamed Oualdi
NES 433/HIS 433 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): Mehmed Sükrü Hanioglu
REL 350/CLA 352/ENG 442/HIS 353 God, Satan, Goddesses, and Monsters: How Their Stories Play in Art, Culture, and Politics Each week we'll take up a major theme--creation, the problem of evil; what's human/inhuman/ divine; apocalypse--and explore how their stories, embedded in western culture, have been interpreted for thousands of years--so far! Starting with creation stories from Babylon, Israel, Egypt and Greece, we'll consider how some such stories still shape an amazing range of cultural attitudes toward controversial issues that include sexuality, "the nature of nature," politics, and questions of meaning. Instructor(s): Elaine Hiesey Pagels
STC 297/HIS 297/MOL 297/HUM 297 Transformative Questions in Biology The course will teach core principles of the life sciences through a set of key questions that biologists have sought to answer over the past 200 years. We will read historic scientific publications, discussing the basic biology at stake as well as what enabled each scientist to see something new. In addition, we will schedule several hands-on sessions with relevant materials. By situating key findings in their place and time we show how science is an inquiry-based, concrete, and ongoing activity, rather than codified and unchanging knowledge. Topics include cell theory, evolution, experimental embryology, genetics, and molecular development. Instructor(s): Angela N. H. Creager, Paul Alexander Pinette Durst, Michael Steven Levine
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

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