Director of Undergraduate Studies
229 Dickinson Hall
Undergraduate Program Administrator
129 Dickinson Hall

Fall 2019

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): 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
CLA 217/HIS 217/HLS 217 The Greek World in the Hellenistic Age The Greek experience from Alexander the Great through Cleopatra. An exploration of the dramatic expansion of the Greek world into Egypt and the Near East brought about by the conquests and achievements of Alexander. Study of the profound political, social, and intellectual changes that stemmed from the interaction of new cultures, and the entrance of Rome into the Greek world. Readings include history, biography, and inscriptions. Instructor(s): Marc Domingo Gygax
CLA 326/HIS 326/HUM 324 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 317/HIS 335 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, the 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. The goals of this course are to examine the role of warriors in Japanese history, to introduce of historical debates concerning this topic, and to explore the use of primary sources in translation. Instructor(s): Thomas Donald Conlan
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 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 267/NES 267 The Modern Middle East An introduction to the history of the Middle East from the late eighteenth century through the turn of the twenty-first, with an emphasis on the Arab East, Iran, Israel, and Turkey. Instructor(s): Max David Weiss
HIS 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, William John Schultz
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 283 War in the Modern Western World A survey of the history of war in the Western world since the late middle ages. Will cover both "operational" military history (strategy, tactics, logistics, mobilization, etc.), and also the relationship of war to broad changes in politics, society and culture. Instructor(s): David A. Bell, Randall Todd Pippenger
HIS 293 Science in a Global Context: 15th to 20th Century Science and technology have literally changed the world. This course examines how, with an emphasis on understanding the place of scientific knowledge in the history of European exploration and expanding global power. How did the sciences go out into the world? How did certain disciplines and practices take shape in global interactions since 1400? How does knowledge become universal? What instruments, institutions, and activities made this possible? Instructor(s): D. Graham Burnett
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 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 324/EAS 354 Early Modern China This course surveys the history of China between 1400 and 1800, tracing the foundation and decline of the Ming dynasty, the consolidation of Manchu rule till the end of the High Qing era. The main aims are 1) to understand the tremendous changes in Chinese society during this period 2) to see the continued relevance of China's recent imperial past in its contemporary existence. Topics discussed include governance, morality, family life, religion, and ethnicity. Instructor(s): He Bian
HIS 332 India before Europe: Politics, Religion, and Culture in South Asia, 1000-1857 A.D. What was social, cultural, economic, and political life in South Asia like before colonial modernity? This class will explore the medieval and early modern periods in the history of the Indian sub-continent, spanning the years 750 to 1750 CE and traversing through such chapters as the establishment of the first Muslim polities in India, the growing integration of South Asia into global networks of circulation and exchange, and the birth and death of cultural practices in this dynamic environment. It will examine the changing relationship between India and the rest of the world, concluding with the British conquest of the region. Instructor(s): Divya Cherian
HIS 343/CLA 343/HLS 343/MED 343 The Formation of Europe in the First Millennium A broad survey of the formation of medieval Europe in the first millennium CE, from the British Isles in the fifth century to the new Slavic states towards the end of the first millennium. We will talk about Romans and barbarians, Christians and pagans, Charlemagne, the Vikings and the emergence of new nations and states whose names are still on the map today (such as the English, French, Normans, Poles or Russians). We will observe how these societies came to be part of a Western Christendom defined by a Christianity that is much closer to 'our' Christianity today than to the Christianities of earlier times or those of the East. Instructor(s): Helmut Reimitz
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 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 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 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, Sarah Copenhaver Matherly, William John Schultz
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 Copenhaver Matherly, Randall Todd Pippenger
HIS 388/URB 388/AMS 380 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 395 History of Medicine and the Body This course covers key concepts and developments in the history of medicine from Ancient times to the present. We will explore ideas of health and disease in Antiquity, the rise of anatomy and dissection in the Renaissance, the fight against germs in the nineteenth century, and modern practices of health, life and death. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which changing medical views and practices were sustained by contemporary experience of the body. What did it mean to fall ill and get better? How did people understand their relationship to the environment? How could one prevent sickness by living a healthy life? Instructor(s): Katja Guenther
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, Michael Albert Blaakman, Linda Jane Colley, Joseph M. Fronczak, Molly Greene, Isadora Moura Mota, Gyan Prakash
HIS 423/AAS 423/AFS 423 Africa: Revolutionary Movements and Liberation Struggles At the tip of every political activist's tongue in the twentieth century was a word: Revolution. African activists did not lag behind in this age of revolution. These African activists saw their political projects as part of a global revolutionary wave to uproot the old world and bring about a new socio-political dispensation- chief among them: the liberation of their countries from colonial domination. This course explores the social roots of Africa's revolutionary movements and the liberation struggles that were carried out between the 1950s and 1970s. Instructor(s): Benedito Luis Machava
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, 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 437/HUM 437 Law After Rome This class examines the relationship between law and society in the Roman and post-Roman worlds. We begin with the Roman Jurists of the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD and end with the rediscovery of Roman law in the West in the 11th and 12th centuries. Over the course of the intervening millennium, we will focus on pivotal moments and key texts in the development of the legal cultures in Europe and the Middle East. We will trace how legal thought and practice evolved across these areas and think about how law and law-like norms both shape and are shaped by society and social practices. Instructor(s): Helmut Reimitz, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous
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 452/MED 452 Magic, Matter, Medicine: Science in the Medieval World This course explores the medieval understanding of nature, the heavens, bodies, and minds. In medieval Islam and the Latin West, science was shaped by debates over important questions - the extent of divine and human power, the existence of other worlds, the generation of life, the legitimacy of magic and astrology. We will ask how medieval people sought to put this knowledge into practice, from healing sickness and prolonging life, to making automata, transmuting metals, or predicting the future. The course draws on a wide range of sources, including books, images, material objects, and our own attempts to reconstruct experiments in class. Instructor(s): Jennifer M. Rampling
HIS 464/ARC 464/ENV 464/URB 464 History with Objects and Landscapes How did the built and unbuilt environments we live with today come about? Why do our everyday objects look the way they do? Who shaped our mundane physical realities and for what? This multidisciplinary course teaches the tools to answer such questions through studying rural and urban geographies and ecologies, material culture, and human behavior in history. A sustainable future depends on us understanding the intimate historical and social logic of environmental destruction and plumbing the full archive of human actions on matter, and through energy and time for solutions. Undergrad and graduate students of all disciplines are welcome. Instructor(s): Vera Silvina Candiani
HIS 483/AAS 483/AMS 483 Race in the American Empire This seminar takes a comparative, relational, and intersectional approach to the history of race in the American Empire. We will begin with two structuring contexts: European colonialism and transatlantic slavery. Over the semester, we will travel from the Atlantic Coast to Puerto Rico, the Lumbee Nation in North Carolina, Hawaii, and the Philippines. We will end in Ferguson, Missouri; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and at the U.S. - Mexico border. Course readings draw from a range of fields and engage diverse histories to examine the pervasiveness of race in the United States. Themes include labor, migration, violence, science, law, and resistance. Instructor(s): Bernadette Jeanne Perez
HIS 488/GHP 488/AAS 488/GSS 488 Law, Social Difference, and the Sustenance of Health The tumult of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, or "Obamacare," revealed anew the uncertainty of the healthcare social safety net. Efforts like Obamacare, however, emblematize the U.S. welfare state's incremental expansion. While high-technology and pharmaceuticals mark a celebratory facet of U.S. healthcare, another side is riven by social differences rooted in racism. The politics of citizenship, class, (dis)ability, gender, illness, sexuality, and taxation also form social difference's edifice. This course asks how social difference in statutory and case law codified inequality and stratified the means to preserve health. Instructor(s): George Junior Aumoithe
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 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 316/HIS 299/AAS 324/JDS 316 Muslims, Jews and Christians in North Africa: Interactions, Conflicts and Memory This has been as one of the main events of the modern times in North Africa: from the 1950s onwards, the Jewish local communities and the European settlers started to leave Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. We will study the various interactions between Muslims, Jews and Christians in this part of the Islamic world. How did Europeans transform North African Islam and local societies? We will as well explore the reasons why the local Jews and Europeans left en masse after the colonial period and how North African Muslims, Jews and former European settlers developed either a strong memory of a shared past or a mutual distrust even today. Instructor(s): M'hamed Oualdi
NES 369/HIS 251/JDS 351 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 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
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
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