Highlighted Courses

Fall 2020

Please note: First-year students are encouraged to try either 200- or 300-level courses in History, according to their own interests. In general, the difference between 200- and 300-level courses is a matter of the topic’s breadth (200-level courses covering longer periods of time and/or larger areas of space than 300-level courses), rather than indicating any degree of difficulty, pre-assumed knowledge, etc. (NOTE: This distinction will not necessarily apply where History is cross-listed, e.g. AAS 313/HIS 213.)

While a 200-level course is necessary for entry into the Department, students need not “start” their History careers with one. First-year students are welcome and encouraged to take 300-level courses regardless of their previous experience.


HIS 345 / HLS 345 / MED 345: The Crusades

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. View more course details.

Instructors: Teresa Shawcross
M W 10:00 - 10:50am


HIS 436 / SAS 436: Working Class Lives on the Indian Subcontinent

How did colonial laws shape the labor of dock workers in colonial Bengal? How have Nepali migrants found work in North Indian cities? And how did caste and occupational associations shape settlement patterns in colonial-era Bombay? In this course, we analyze these questions by examining the formation of labor and class identities in colonial and post-colonial South Asia.

We will study shifting labor practices and working class cultures under British colonialism, as well as the role of workers movements in the modern history of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Along the way, we will consider the relationships between caste and class, the rise of labor movements, the gendering of work, and the influence of migration and urbanization on working class cultures. View more course details.

Instructor: Amanda Lanzillo
Th 1:30 - 4:30pm


HIS 482 / AMS 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 wide range of sources including legal documents, newsletters, court rulings, poetry, and films. View more course details.

Instructor: Neama Alamri
M W 8:30am - 9:50am


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. View more course details.

Instructor: Katja Guenther
Tu 1:30 - 4:20pm