Fall 2010 Course Guide


100 Level

(McLaughlin, M.)

This course examines the “deep history” of the complex world we live in today.  While it is easy to assume that our lives are entirely modern, in fact our languages, beliefs, laws, family structures, ethnic identities, economies, politics—even our technologies--are still being shaped in significant ways by developments that began hundreds, or even thousands of years ago.  A special theme of this course will be movement—of peoples (through migration and exploration), of goods (through trade, plunder, and gift-exchange), and of ideas (through information technologies as well as the other factors just listed)—around the pre-modern world.


(Rabin, D.)

History 100 traces the gradual integration of various regions of the world into an interconnected system. The course follows a chronological narrative from the 15th century to the present comparing the way different societies developed and interacted with each other. The main themes will be political systems, imperial conquest and resistance, trade and cultural exchange, and the role of women and gender. Forms of assessment include three exams and two short papers.


(Jones, R.)

Beginning with a brief overview of pre-contact Iberia, America and Africa, this course shows how the encounter and clashes between these societies created the complex world of colonial Latin America. The course will examine the social, economic, political, cultural and religious development of Latin America from contact to 1824. We will also engage issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality as tools to understanding this dynamic period. Through this course, students will understand the ongoing debates on Latin American colonial history, how colonial realities provided the foundations of modern Latin America, and the importance of the ongoing “Columbian Exchange”—the controversial exchange of ideas, peoples, genetics, life-forms, cultures, and disease—that reconnected the world’s two discrete halves in 1492.


(Brennan, J.)

        This course offers a survey of Africa's history from human origins to the present day. We will examine the development of agriculture, cities, religion, technology and trade in pre-colonial Africa. We will then examine the growing Islamic presence in Africa after ca. 700, and the effects that the growing European presence had upon much of the continent after ca. 1500 through the rise of the Atlantic slave trade, agricultural exchange, and growth of Christianity, with an emphasis on African appropriation and agency. We then turn to the commercial and religious revolutions of the 19th century that upset social orders across the continent. The course explores the origins and effects of European expansion into Africa during this period, culminating in the 'Scramble for Africa' during the late 19th century. We next examine the decades of colonial rule during the 20th century and the wide-ranging economic and social transformations that it brought. We conclude with a survey of post-colonial Africa. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and films, we will examine the continuities and changes in African culture, economy, and society.


(Toby, R. )

        Same as EALC 120.

This course introduces some of the common ideas and institutions that link China, Korea, and Japan in a broadly shared, regional civilization, as well as the distinct culture and institutions each has developed for itself. We will focus on two historical processes: First, the making of a “civiliza­tion,” a broad cultural system spanning East Asia, in which classical Chinese civilization, language, and culture were key common elements within each of the cultures of the region, and the interplay of indigenous values, social practices. And second, unique historical developments in each of these countries that have produced their distinct cultures within the broader civilization. We will examine major themes in the civilization of East Asia, that is, and in the principal cultures of which it is comprised—China, Korea and Japan —from earliest times to the modern age. 

While we will cover the broad range of political, socio-economic, and cultural developments, our main focus will be on the common values, practices, and ideas that make for a civilization, working from both mod­ern texts, and materials that contemporaries wrote (or painted) them­selves, including contemporary philosophical and historical materials, diaries and belles-lettres, religious or political tracts. Our hope is to understand not just “what happened,” but how people of various stations in life—from aristocrats and emperors, to peasants and pirates—experienced the world around them. To that end, our principal supplementary readings are literary works. The Analects of Confucius has been a central, canonical text across East Asia; The Gossamer Years is the memoir of a 10th-century aristo­cratic woman; the late 18th/early 19th-c. Memoirs of Lady Hyegyŏng, whose husband had gone mad; The Death of Woman Wang focuses on the lives of ordinary Chinese women of the Qing dynasty (1644- 1911); and Musui’s Story is the autobiography of a 19th-c. samurai whose life story may upset all your preconceptions about what it meant to be a ‘samurai.’

        Our goals for History/EALC 120 include developing both a knowledge and understanding of the major trends, processes, and value systems characterizing the cultures comprising East Asia, on the one hand, and an appreciation for the methods and practices of history as a discipline and approach to human experience, on the other.


(Symes, C.)

        Please see course description for 141AL1.


141AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660  
(Symes, C.)

Spanning over three thousand years of human endeavor, this course investigates some of the major events, ideas, developments, and crises which shaped societies from ancient Mesopotamia to early modern England.  It has two main goals:  to teach the basic elements of the historian's craft and to further students' understanding of the modern world's debt to the distant past. Interactive lectures will be supplemented by discussion sections focusing on the analysis of primary sources, encouraging a hands-on approach to working with historical artifacts. Evaluation will be based on attendance and active participation in class, two short papers, and the midterm and final examinations.


(Micale, M.)

        This is a course on history of Western and Central Europe, including Britain, from the late seventeenth century to the present with special attention to developments in politics, thought, and culture.  Topics include the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, conservatism, nationalism, British liberalism, Marxism and the socialist movement, the women's movement, cultural Modernism, the Russian Revolution, the two world wars, German and Italian fascism, the rise and fall of totalitarianism, and globalization.

        There will be a midterm and final examinations as well as two papers.


(Micale, M.)

        Please see course description for 142AL1.


(Jackman, S. & Harris, R.)

        Same as RLST 120. See RLST 120.

        Please see course description for RLST 120.


170AL1  US HIST TO 1877 - ACP    
(Espiritu, A.)

        Please see course description for 171AL1.


171AL1  US HIST TO 1877 
(Espiritu, A.)

        In this era of "globalization," the internet, human rights, environmental awareness, and multiple sites of power, the question of America's place in the world has assumed contemporary significance. This course will provide a survey of developments in American history from the period of British colonization of North America to the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s. The course will attempt to show that the processes that have been of crucial importance to the building of the American nation-state have been intertwined with the processes of American expansion and the making of an American Empire. The development of capitalism, republican institutions, nationalism, and religion in America will be examined in light of war, negotiation, and the removal of indigenous peoples, the slave trade and enslavement of Africans, territorial expansion into the Mexican nation, and U. S. ambitions in the Pacific Islands and the Asian continent. Moreover, America also expanded through conflict and negotiation with Spanish, French, and Russian empires. There will be significant attention in the course to movements for reform and social change, which sought to expand the promises of American democracy, although at times ending up limiting that very democracy. These will include the campaigns to end slavery and establish black citizenship rights, the movement for women's rights, the attempts to preserve the rights of the "Native" and to limit immigration, and various protests against territorial expansion and war. Students will be asked to examine their textbook reading in light of primary and secondary source material, including autobiographical accounts, government documents, letters, art, and film. The course will attempt to show that American history, indeed any history, must be seen not only in terms of the larger political, economic, and intellectual developments but also in conjunction with the personal, the social, and the emotional aspects of everyday life.


172AL1  US HIST SINCE 1877 
(Oberdeck, K.)

        This is a survey of American history from the end of the Civil War to the Present. We will study the making of the modern U.S. as a diverse society and complex culture by examining social change, cultural experience, political and civic activity, as well as economic and environmental transformation. This complex history cannot be fit into a single, seamless narrative; instead, the story of modern America must be gathered from many, often inharmonious voices. In addition to offering a survey of the experiences these voices convey, the course will offer some introduction to the different ways that historians listen to and interpret them. In lectures and discussion sections, students will have opportunities to discuss various historical interpretations and work directly with the “artifacts” of history—the primary sources that historians use to tell their stories of the past.


(Ward, A.)

        Same as AFRO 101. See AFRO 101.

        Please see course description for AFRO 101.


(Hoxie, F.)

Topic: American Indian Removal
Meets with AIS 199

An in-depth look at the era when state and federal authorities in the United States forcibly removed Native Americans from the settled areas of the nation.  The principal focus of this short course will be the Cherokee Nation of Georgia and its struggle to avoid removal.  The course will involve "playing" an elaborate and complex historical re-enactment game, "Red Clay." Students interested in the course should have a background in Native American history of American Indian Studies.


200 Level

(Ramsbottom, J.)

      Topic:  Children

Studying the lives of children is a challenge because children, by nature and circumstances, leave little direct evidence of their thoughts and actions.This course will approach the history of children through the perspective of the family and work, institutions of religion, law, and government, and, wherever possible, through records constructed from the viewpoint of children themselves. Examples will range from ancient Western societies to the twentieth-century United States.
Students should be prepared to read carefully,to participate in graded class discussionsand to undertake their own research on a subject related to the course. The main written assignment is a research paper (two required drafts, about 15 pages). There will also be a midterm exam and graded online activities.


(Brennan, J.)

        Topic: Image of Africa

        This course examines the history of the Western image of Africa from the eighteenth century to the present day. We focus on travel writings, journalism, fiction, and novels to reconstruct how the West has understood Africa, through the works of European and American writers. We will also watch a few videos and pay close attention to current events in some chosen African countries. We examine in particular how some elements of this Western image have changed over time, while other elements have remained remarkably constant. Major course themes include race, inter-cultural contact, exploration, violence, colonialism, nationalism, and diaspora. Through this approach, we will gain a grasp of African history, the history of Europe in Africa, and the history of racial thought.


(Hoxie, F.)

        Topic: Writing the History of Red Power

This course will explore the remarkable Native American political and cultural activism that surfaced in the middle of the twentieth century and was popularly labeled “Red Power.”  What was it? And more important, where did it come from?  In addition to examining these questions through the existing historical literature, the class will work collectively to create an archive of materials that might support future research on the topic.  The course will be partly traditional—books, discussions, papers—and partly experimental.  The latter aspect of the course will involve collecting information on early activists and assembling an accessible database of their words (or other expressions) and deeds.  A substantial amount of class time will be spent working in a “laboratory setting” in the library and with electronic sources and methods of data storage. In the course of the semester, will produce short works of original research and help promote the development of an Archive of Native American Political Activism. 


(Fouché, R.)

        Topic:  Engineering Change and Designing the Future

        Technology is an intriguing object of inquiry for history. Producers of technology like engineers and industrial designers are defined by their material production rather than their written output. Therefore, technology’s history is signified more by reading artifacts than written documents. This course will focus on the various idea and debates within the history of technology concerning the roles that engineers and designers have played in shaping the modern world. The central questions this course will address are: Does technology drive history, or has history shaped technology? We will explore the ways that society, culture, and identity have informed technology’s complex history and examine the ways that engineers and designers produce material objects that influence social and cultural interactions. Course requirements include participation, leadership in class discussions, as well as a research project.


(Koslofsky, C.)

      Topic: First Global Age, 1300-1804

        This course will examine the early modern world, c. 1300-1800. In this first global age trade, war, and ideas interconnected all parts of the globe as never before.


(Randolph, J.)

      Topic:  Audiohistory

        How can historians tell their stories through the spoken word, and sound?  Until quite recently, too few historians (inside or outside academia) had access to the sort of studio equipment and distribution channels that make such questions worth pondering.  But now all that is changing.  Digital audio, desktop editing suites and the rise of the Internet are combining to create new genres and audiences for historians to explore (audio-books and podcasts being among the most prominent).  But how can historians learn to work in such media?  What sort of opportunities, what sort of challenges, do they pose?  Most basically: how can sound be added to history?   Like all History 200s, this course will open with questions of method: what is good history, and how is it made?  After the first few weeks of course, however, we will shift to consider the role of sound in both the making and retelling of history.  We will consider such questions as how to write for audio; how and whether to incorporate sound, archival or otherwise; the strengths and weaknesses of audio (as compared to text) for the telling of history; and the hybrid kinds of history (textual, audio, visual) that might emerge in coming years.  We will also consider the role of sound itself in human history.  How have historians tried to imagine what the world sounded like in the past, and the role that hearing has played in shaping human history and memory?  The final part of the course will prepare students to create a final project, a short audio presentation on a topic built on a common theme: what happens on the road.  Reading recent scholarship on the history and meaning of human movement, students will use their presentation to describe and analyze a journey from the past, be it a car trip from the 1970s or a peasant’s migration to Siberia in the 17th century.  Students will be able to choose the format of their essay from among the various genres practiced in current audio history: the narrative; the interview; the opinion essay – as well as to experiment with hybrid genres, with the instructor’s permission.  Please send any questions or ideas for the course to John Randolph at jwr@illinois.edu


(Schneider, D.)

        Topic: Immigrant Communities

        This introductory seminar will introduce students to the history of immigrants, a major area in American social history.  We will explore the most pertinent topics in this field while also learning about approaches to immigrant history, sources and research techniques.  Writing a research paper on an immigrant community of the student’s choice will be the focus of student work.  Students should have survey knowledge of U.S. history since 1840 prior to taking this class.


(Fu, P.)

        Same as EALC 221

        This course will lead us to an exploration of a culture and society very important in our global age. In this exploration we try to understand the life, history and values of the Chinese and, by way of this, also of ourselves, while appreciating the complex contexts of its enormous changes to become one of the most important economies of today. This course is a general introduction to the major themes of the Chinese Revolution from the 1840 to the present, emphasizing the interplays between politics, idea and culture in shaping the tumultuous history.  The themes will include the rise of an autonomous intelligentsia, the tension between cultural integrity and Western ideologies, the conflict between democratic participation and the tradition of centralized control, and the representation of national identity in high and mass culture.


(Toby, R.)

        Same as EALC 226

        Introduction to the history of Japan from earliest times to ca. 1600. Since antiquity, the people(s) of Japan have constructed their political, religious, artistic, and cultural life in a recurring dialog between domestic society and institutions, and ideas and cultural possibilities brought home from abroad—first, Korea and China; later, from all parts of the globe. But this has always been an active process, with Japanese selectively and creatively adapting new ideas to fit domestic social, cultural, and political preferences, blending the foreign with existing cultural practice, and producing new forms of Japanese culture in the process. When Europeans first made their way to Japan in the16th century, they found a society they rightly regarded as complex and sophisticated, as advanced as what they had left at home. We will keep this interplay of home-grown and imported elements in mind as we study the development of Japanese society and culture in Japan, from prehistoric times, through the classical age of the imperial state, and the era of feudal institutions and samurai rule, to the dawn of Japan's involvement in the global encounter of the sixteenth century.

        History/EALC is an introductory course in Japanese history: it assumes no prior study of Japanese history or culture, and no knowledge of the Japanese language.


(McLaughlin, M.)

        Same As GWS 245, MDVL 245

An introduction to some major issues in the history of women and gender from the fifth to the seventeenth century.  Among the subjects to be discussed are the impact of class on gender roles, women's work and access to property, the relationship between the public and private spheres of life, women's roles in the conversion of Europe to Christianity and in The Reformation, and the connection between the misogynist tradition and pre-modern women's sense of self.


(Fritzsche, P.)

        Topic: The Holocaust in the Modern World

        This course will examine how twentieth-century intellectuals, writers, and historians have tried to make sense of Nazism, the Third Reich, and the Holocaust in the last seventy-five years.  We will look at the nature of support National Socialism garnered in German society, the role of anti-Semitism in Germany and in Europe generally, and roles of perpetrator, bystander, and victim in the Holocaust and in other genocides.  The class will also explore how the Holocaust has changed the way we look at the contemporary world.  Current and historical events look different in the light of the Holocaust and the Holocaust looks different in light of these reexamined histories.  Along the way, students will gain primary knowledge about the rise of Nazism and the origins of the Holocaust, become more alert to problems of the interpretation of extreme events and varying angles of perspective, and they will gain a fluency in assessing genocide in wider contexts.  The course is both about events in the past and about how those past events change the way we as global citizens assess ideology, perpetratorship, and victimhood and our ability to represent, compare, and contrast.  Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, to write three short papers (4-5pp each) spread out over the course of the semester, and to prepare a modest “capstone” research paper (10pp).  Please have read Guenter Grass novel, “Crabwalk,” for the first day of class.


255A    BRITISH ISLES TO 1688  
(Ramsbottom, J.)

        Same as MDVL 255.                                                                 

Survey of the political, social and economic, religious, and cultural history of the British people from the "prehistoric" era through the revolution of 1688. 


(Prochaska, D.)

        In this course we shall examine the major historical forces--political, intellectual, economic, social and cultural--which have shaped the world in approximately the first half of the 20th century.  In other words, the aim of the course is to move behind today's headlines and to offer a series of longer-range, in-depth perspectives on the world we live in.  As such, we shall range rather widely over the intellectual landscape drawing on the insights and contributions of other disciplines wherever helpful in addition to history.  Moreover, considerable use will be made of films to convey a sense of the present and recent past. Topics include among others industrialization, political liberalism, Marxism, gender, imperialism, world war, Russian Revolution, Mussolini and fascism, Hitler and nazism, Stalin and  communism, and Spanish Civil War.


(Reagan, L.)

        Same as GWS 263.

        This course examines the history of medicine and public health in nineteenth and twentieth-century America.  Topics include the history of the medical profession, nursing, and midwifery; the rise of the hospital; disease definition and control; and the patient experience.  We will discuss public policy issues concerning health care that have generated conflict in the past (and present), such as quarantine, vaccination, social vs. individual responsibility for health and disease, the control of venereal disease, racial segregation in medical education and health care, birth control.  Throughout the course, we will analyze the relationships among medicine, politics, and economics as well as the ways that race, sex, and class have shaped the history of medicine in America. 

        The class will include both lectures and in-class discussion of assigned texts and original documents--such as diary excerpts, cartoons, and medical journal literature. 


(Melhado, E.)

        A broad exploration of the emergence and development of modern science and the modern scientific world view in the period from Copernicus to Lavoisier. Course treats the role of intellectual, cultural, and social factors in the rise of modern science, as well as of extra-scientific trends, including magic, religion, and technological change. Topics include ancient and medieval precedents; the work of major figures such as Galileo, Kepler, Harvey, Newton, and Lavoisier; the philosophies of Bacon and Descartes; the magic of Paracelsus; as well as patterns of professionalization and institutionalization from the 17th century.  Requirements include two hour-exams, short paper, and final exam. Regular attendance is required.


(Avrutin, E.)

        Same as RLST 269

        The nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed a profound transformation of Jewish life, culture, and religion.  Jews emerged out of their “ghettos” and enjoyed unprecedented economic and professional success throughout the “long” nineteenth century.  These transformations included changes in every facet of life – from occupations and residence, family life and marriage, as well as religious behavior and social integration.  Yet Jewish modernization differed from region to region and was imbued with profound contradictions and tensions.  What did it mean to be a Jew in the modern world?  How were Jewish identities redefined in response to the social and political opportunities, as well as the hostilities and hatreds, of the modern age?  How did the Holocaust realign the political and cultural geographies of Jewish life?


(Schneider, D.)

       Twentieth Century U.S. History will examine the past century chronologically and thematically from 1900 to the Clinton presidency. Themes that will guide lectures and discussions will focus on the rise of the United States from a largely regional to a global power, and on the continual internal diversity of the nation. The class will emphasize topics in social, economic, political and cultural history. Readings will include textbook chapters, original documents, web-based materials and memoirs. Two mid-terms and a final as well as a number of quizzes are required. Attendance is mandatory.


274AL1  US & WORLD SINCE 1917  
(Hoganson, K.)

        This class provides an introduction to the study of U.S. foreign relations from roughly 1917 through the end of the Cold War.  These are years in which the United States ascended to superpower status, with significant ramifications for world events and for U.S. politics, society, and culture.  Over the course of the semester we will consider both U.S. engagement with the world and the connections between foreign and domestic affairs.

        Lectures will touch on some, but not all of the readings, and vice versa. So to do well in this course, you need to keep up with the readings and pay attention in lecture.  You also need to participate intelligently in section, for these small group discussions are a central component of the course.


(Hoxie, F.)

        Same as AIS 277

        A survey of the Native American experience in North America from the arrival of Europeans to 1850.  Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group presentations, the course will explore the impact of European expansion on Native American communities, the ways in which Indian people adapted to the growing European presence, and the continuities and inventions that punctuated the indigenous world during this era. Readings will include primary documents, Native American commentaries, historical fiction and secondary works. The course will also use films and visual material. The course will focus primarily on those parts of North America that became part of the United States.


(Burgos, A.)

        Same as LLS 280

        Evidence of the Latino presence in U.S. popular culture is everywhere: on the radio, movies, and its sporting fields. The growing Latino population has sparked marketing strategies by major corporations like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and countless others. Interest in capturing the Latino market or fascination with Latino/a contributions to “American” culture has been accompanied with popular images that present Latino/as primarily as recent arrivals, crossovers, or exotic foreigners, regardless of national origins or citizenship status.

        This course is geared toward developing a more historical understanding about the place of Caribbean Latinos in U.S. society.  Through course materials, class discussions, and lectures we will explore the political and cultural relationships established between the U.S. and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, the process of community building for these groups both in the US mainland and transnationally, and the struggles that Caribbean Latinos have had in seeking to establish their place in the United States while reconciling with their own historical pasts. A variety of individual and group exercises in addition to written assignments will be used to accomplish the major goals of this course: further developing our ability to think critically, write analytically, and to understand the past in a historically nuanced manner. Graded assignments will consist of response papers, a 5-7 page critical essay, and two exams.


(Barkley, J.)

        Same as LA 242, NRES 242, RST 242. See RST 242.

        Please see course description for RST 242.


(Pleck, E.)

        Same as GWS 285

        This course aims to introduce students to changing ideals and life experiences of American women from the period just prior to the arrival of European explorers to the Civil War.  The readings draw on primary sources and historian's interpretations to emphasize the work, family, and political activities of American women, within the context of larger changes in colonial America and the United States.  These larger changes include colonialism and European settlement, the role of Enlightenment ideas, the growth of an industrial economy, the expansion of slavery, and the rise of nineteenth century reform movements.  Students will learn to think critically about historical arguments and the use of evidence.


(Ebel, J.)

        Same as RLST 235. See RLST 235.

        Please see course description for RLST 235.


(Schneider, D.)

        Topic: Immigrant History and Biography

        Immigration has been one of the hot topics in public policy in the past two decades and this class will provide an introduction to the politics, history and sociology of immigration, past and present. The syllabus will have three major parts: The "classic" immigrant story with its emphasis on abandoning one's culture of origin and re-making oneself into a citizen of the New World will be examined first. The "rags to riches" theme of upward mobility, so prominent in autobiographical and scholarly texts during the past eighty years, will be analyzed next. Immigrants and racial segregation in the mid-twentieth century and the emergence of an anti-immigrant movement in the United States today will be important themes in the second half of the semester. The class is designed for Campus Honors students of any level and all majors are welcome.

        Students must research and write a biography paper which they will present to the class. Plenty of help and guidance will be offered on the research for this project.



300 Level

(Jacobsen, N.)

        The course introduces major themes of Central American history since the Spanish conquest:  The splendor and complexity of the pre-hispanic civilizations (Mayas and others), the colonial regime, ethnic diversity, the independence movement, fragmentation in the nineteenth century, export economies and imperialism, 1880-1932, social movements and populism, revolution and intervention in the twentieth century.  We will end with a discussion of Peace-Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu and the troubling controversy surrounding her most well-known book.  By discussing these issues, perhaps we can come closer to understanding the riddle of Central America:  Why is it that this region -- more than any other in Latin America -- has been so divided?  Why has foreign domination been so overwhelming here?  Where is "the power in the isthmus"?

        The course will consist of a combination of lectures and discussions.


335A  MIDDLE EAST 1566-1914     
(Cuno, K.)

        Did the Middle East really decline, and how did it become modern?  During the four centuries before the First World War the Middle East witnessed the transformation of the classical Ottoman order, the re-ordering of government and society, and, after 1800, the steady growth of European influence in the economic, political, and cultural spheres, culminating in the establishment of colonial rule over much of the area.  Toward the end of this era, a debate arose among Middle Eastern intellectuals over the causes of their backwardness and its possible remedies, contributing to the rise of new religious, social, and political movements which have continued to the present.  We will be examining these developments in the context of ongoing social and economic changes, in the region consisting of Egypt, Arabia, the Fertile Crescent, Iran, and Turkey.  Grades are assessed mainly on the basis of written work, plus attendance and participation in discussion. Readings include textbooks, scholarly articles, and translations of original works.




(Koslofsky, C.)

        Same as RLST 347

        In 1517, the birth-year of the Protestant Reformation, the great humanist Desiderius Erasmus wrote that "as if on a given signal, splendid talents are stirring." In 1536, the year of his death, this same Erasmus wrote: "This is the worst age of history." In both cases, Erasmus was right. The age of Reformations combined a powerful sense of promise with bitter human misery. It combined dreams of freedom with brutal subjugation. This age of astonishing beauty, penetrating faith, and fervent piety also saw so much waste and needless suffering: witch-burnings and religious war, forced conversions, famine, and enslavement.

        In this course we will examine the many faces of this age by reading and discussing firsthand accounts of this time of creativity and destruction, hope and fear. In each class we will discuss the primary sources of the age of Reformations, focusing on the relationship between text and context.



(Crowston, C.)

        From 1648 to 1789 crucial changes took place in Europe, culminating in the outbreak of the French Revolution and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, two watersheds in the creation of the modern world. At the same time as Europe experienced rapid change, many aspects of traditional life remained the same, particularly in the countryside where the vast majority of people still lived.

        This course will examine continuities and change from 1648 to 1789, with attention to Europe’s growing interaction with the wider world. We will consider the rise of "absolute monarchy" and the alternatives to absolutism that arose in countries like England and the Netherlands. Throughout the course, we will view politics in the context of the broader economy, society, and culture. One of our main goals will be to assess the evolving relationship between politics and ideas, starting with religious justifications of power and ending with the Enlightenment attack on “despotism.” We will also examine aspects of ordinary people’s daily lives, including popular culture, family, gender, sexuality and work.


350A  EUROPEAN HISTORY 1815 TO 1871 
(Liebersohn, H.)

       Europe after 1815 was a period when old and new ways of life jostled, when Europeans yearned for the comforts of a vanished, traditional past and at the same time explored new freedoms. In this course we will focus on liberalism and Romanticism as cultural movements that defined the new freedoms of the nineteenth century.  We will also study  industry at home, global forces of trade and travel, and nation-building that organized Europeans into new, modern communities.


(Hartman, I.)

        In 1783, with the signatures still wet that formalized and secured United States’ independence through the Treaty of Paris, internal divisions were already deepening. Over the next generations, these divisions put the success of  independence and the promise of the new nation – built upon notions of freedom and liberty – on trial. On the eve of the Civil War, two societies had wholly emerged: one slave, one free.  This course introduces students to the cultural, political, social and economic arrangements that culminated in the nation’s most bloody and momentous conflict. The focus moves beyond the storied tales of the battlefield and emphasizes the sectional conflict between an industrializing North, typified by free labor and an agriculturally bound South, dependent upon slave labor.


(Leff, M.)

        This course follows American responses to domestic and foreign challenges, from capitalism's seeming economic collapse in the 1930s and post-WWII visions of an American Century to post-9/11 traumas over an economy (widening economic inequalities, financial meltdown) and "new world order" run amuck.  A course covering the past three-quarters of a century amply illustrates James Baldwin's claim that "the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do." This course therefore confronts such subjects as the social movements (with special emphasis on Black Freedom struggles) that sought to bring change; the presidential leadership strategies (from Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt through the newly-elected administration) that sought to direct and/or control it; the evolving manifestations and distributions of power in American society; the effects of anti-communist crusades at home (McCarthyism) and abroad (origins, evolution, and transformation of the Cold War); the long-term impact of the New Deal welfare state and cultures of consumption; and engagements with American dilemmas of race, ethnicity, feminism, and the culture war legacies of the 1960s. Assessment will be based primarily on a midterm, a final, participation in class discussion and a website discussion board, and a 10-page argumentative research paper, each asking students to stake out their own positions on the historical issues threaded through the course.


(Liu, J.)

        Topic: Bioethics: Historical, Contemporary and International Contexts

        In this course we will examine various histories of the development of bioethics as a field. After becoming familiar with dominant perspectives from within the field we will consider critiques especially from the social sciences that challenge their authority, assumptions, and approaches. What counts, for instance, as a bioethical question? What happens when bioethics travels? Whose ethics, why “ethics,” whose history, and what now?

        This course seeks to formulate a critical history of the field of bioethics, holding in tension the contingency of contemporary bioethical forms and norms. Through readings of primary sources and their critiques, and by considering bioethical cases and contemporary bioethical dilemmas, together we will address how it is that bioethics has come to take its contemporary forms and meanings, what bioethics does, whose interests it serves, and how it might be improved both theoretically and in practice.

        Student participation is a crucial component of this discussion-based course.


(Fouché, R.)

        Topic: Technology and Sport

        Traditionally sport has been a competition between humans or humans and nature. Recent technological developments have altered this arrangement.  Now technology is a constitutive component of sport and has changed modes of play.  This course will historically examine the evolving relationships between contemporary sport, emerging technology, and cultural experience.  The fundamental question this course will address is: how has technology, in its multiple forms, reshaped sport?  Course requirements include participation, leadership in class discussions, as well as a research project.


(Seidelman, R.)

        Topic: A History of Israel

        This course will offer an introduction to modern Israeli history.  We will use as our starting point the first Zionist waves of immigration to Palestine in the late 19th Century, and we will carry on into the early decades of the State of Israel.   We will explore such themes as:  government, politics, migration, the experiences and influences of various population groups, social and cultural institutions, and the Israeli-Arab conflict.  Emphasis will be placed on class discussion, critical thought, and rigorous readings of historiographical material.   The principal aim of the course is for the student to come away with a familiarity with - and critical understanding of  - central dates, terms, events, and debates that form the basis of modern Israeli history. 


(Treat, J.)

Meets with RLST 494        
Topic: Ecological Criticism

This is an interdisciplinary seminar in the environmental humanities, focusing especially on the fields of philosophy of ecology, environmental justice, literary ecocriticism, and environmental history. Assigned readings are drawn from representative texts and cover key theories and methods in these fields. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials, guest speakers, campus events, and web-based assignments. Students have the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of ecological criticism; to conduct research on a relevant topic or issue; and to develop their skills for use in educational, professional, and personal settings. 



400 Level

(Jacobsen, N.)

        Same as AFRO 407

        For five centuries, Latin America has developed unique multiethnic racial orders that differ greatly from those in the United States. While racism has been a serious problem, Latin Americans have often celebrated inter-racial unions and their off-spring  (mestizage) and acknowledge them in their taxonomies of race. Yet if “racial democracy” had really existed, as many Latin American elites used to claim, why have Indians, Blacks and other people of color consistently been poorer, less educated and less powerful than Latin Americans of European origin?

        This course will introduce the major issues about race, ethnicity and slavery in Latin America from the colonial period to the present. We will look at the impact of colonialism and nation-state formation on the social, economic, cultural and political conditions of Afro-Latin Americans, Indians, and other immigrant groups. We will discuss racial ideologies in different countries and how they were impacted by the Iberian crowns, liberalism, abolitionism, nationalism and labor movements. We will study the connection between race, class and gender, and discuss resistance movements organized around racial or cultural identity. The course will deal with examples from Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Andean region.



        Same as CWL 478, EALC 476. See EALC 476.

        Please see course description for EALC 476.


(Todorova, M.)

This course introduces the history of one of the great imperial formations of the early modern and modern period, which had long-standing repercussions on the development of Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.  It covers the whole span of Ottoman history, and will pay special attention to some of the following problems: the political rise of the Ottoman state since the thirteenth century and how it became an empire, its social and   administrative structure, the classical Ottoman economic system, Ottoman impact on the societies, politics, economies and cultures of Byzantium and the medieval Balkan states, the spread of Islam in Europe, the transformations of the Ottoman polity and society and aspects of what has been conventionally named as Ottoman decline, the Eastern question in international relations, the modernizing reforms of the nineteenth century, and the spread of nationalism as a prelude to the final demise of the supranational empire in the twentieth century.


(Mathisen, R.)

The course will examine the political, social, economic, institutional, religious, and cultural development of the Roman Empire from the reign of Augustus until the fall of the Empire in the West, ca. AD 480. Particular emphasis will be given to how the empire responded to stress.


446G4/U3  ENGLAND UNDER TUDORS 1485-1603  
(Ramsbottom, J.)

        An introduction to and examination of one of the most dynamic periods in British history.  The sixteenth century was a time when dynastic politics still made a profound difference, but it also saw the emergence of broader social forces whose impact we can measure.  Students will master the chronology of the period 1485-1603 and investigate in depth such topics as religious reform, economic policy, diplomacy and court culture.  Several short interpretive essays, primary readings for class discussion, occasional online assignments, and a final exam.


455G2/G4/U3  FRANCE 1815-1920  
(Micale, M.)

        This is an upper-level undergraduate course about the political, social, and cultural history of France during the exceptionally rich years of 1870-1914. Topics include: the growth of French parliamentary democracy; the Franco-German rivalry; workers and strikes; the Dreyfus Affair; socialism, anarchism, and feminism; the world of the cafes; crime and disease; and the advent of World War One, as well as such purely cultural topics as the building of modern Paris; Impressionism in music and painting; the decadent movement in literature; the struggles of the artistic avant garde; and the beginnings of French cinema.


(Fritzsche, P.)

        The emphasis of this class is on what some observers refer to as the "German Century," the period between 1890 and 1990 when Germany emerged as the most modern, the most revolutionary, and the most belligerent nation-state in Europe.  Germany was the site of extraordinary cultural innovation and often lethal political experimentation, it was the major protagonist in two world wars, and left its imprint as an important economic powerhouse both before 1914 and after 1945.  This course will track the political, social, and cultural developments from the empire of Wilhelm II to the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, the division of Germany in the Cold War, and finally to the reunification of the “Berlin Republic.”   Class discussions and films will break up the lectures; students will read contemporary texts and novels including Heinrich Mann, Ernst Jünger, Hans Fallada, and Victor Klemperer and will write short essays on four of them.


458A3/A4  CHRISTIANS AND JEWS 1099-1789
(Price, D.)

        Same as RLST 458. See RLST 458.

        Please see course description for RLST 458.


(Randolph, J.)

   How did a state called Russia come into being? Who lived there, and what kinds of ties (economic, social, political and cultural) existed between them?  How did this place change over time, through the medieval and early modern periods?  How did Russia come to occupy its current place in world geography, culture and politics?  These are some of the basic, global questions about Russian history we will attempt to answer in the course of this upper-division survey.  Topics to be covered include the political and cultural legacy of Kievan Rus, the Rus principalities within the Mongol Empire, origins and expansion of the Muscovite state, Ivan the Terrible and the Time of Troubles, the making of Russia’s steppe empire in the 17th century, and finally the origins and execution of political and cultural reform under Peter the Great.   This course will be conducted in a lecture and discussion format, with an emphasis on the latter.  Each student will be expected to lead one discussion this semester, in consultation with the instructor.  The most fundamental goal of the course is to allow students to develop more advanced historical skills by considering key problems in early Russian history in depth.  You will learn how to formulate a good historical question; how to survey historical opinion on that question; and how to use primary source material to extend the inquiry still further.  In sum, this is a workshop in historical thinking, in addition to being an introduction to Russian history.


(Hitchins, K.)

        Topic: 1700-1918

        A study of political and economic development and of changes in social structure and intellectual and cultural life as the region moved from medieval to modern forms and made the transition from Ottoman Turkish domination to independent statehood. Among the subjects to be investigated are Ottoman institutions and the effects of Ottoman political and economic predominance south of the Danube (the Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks, and Albanians) and to the north (the Romanian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia; Transylvania) in the eighteenth century; the rise of national consciousness, the emergence of modern elites, and the struggles for independence and the processes of nation-building in the nineteenth century; the role of the great powers (the Habsburg Monarchy, Russia, France, Great Britain, and Germany) in the region; and ideologies of development (liberalism, conservatism, agrarianism, and socialism) and the acceptance and rejection of Europe as a model. All of this leads to a consideration of fundamental questions: Why did Southeastern Europe follow a course of development different from that of Western Europe? Are we justified in treating the region as distinct from the rest of Europe; and, if it is distinct, what were the qualities that defined it Readings, discussions, and a research paper.


(Loughran, P.)

        Meets with ENGL 461.

How do we remember and forget parts of our collective past, and what role does literature play in witnessing such events for readers living in subsequent decades and centuries?  This course will explore the intersection of historical memory and literary form through the lens of psychoanalytic theory, with special emphasis on the historical and collective experiences of colonization and slavery in the nineteenth century and their ongoing effects across time. We will be especially interested in thinking about how certain literary forms—like the Freudian “case study,” autobiography, and certain special kinds of narrative emplotment—help to memorialize the experience of  “cultural subjects” that might otherwise be forgotten or historically illegible. Primary literary texts will include texts like Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, Herman Melville’s Typee and Benito Cereno, John Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks, Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, in addition to theory by thinkers like Freud, Anne Cheng, and Wendy Brown. 


(Pleck, E.)

        Same as HDFS 421

        We are living in a period of enormous changes in family life around the world. How did we get to this point? The class presents a historical perspective on the contemporary family, emphasizing changes in marriage and childhood in American history over the past four centuries. Readings, discussion, and film will pay special attention to the diversity of the American people and their family experiences.  Students will also write about a topic in their own family history. Students who prefer not to write a family history can chose an alternate assignment.


(Reagan, L.)

        Today, reproductive issues–from breast-feeding in public to gay men having babies to the lack of prenatal care for all to abortion–are in the news and important matters of political debate, public health, and public policy.  Reproduction is also–as feminist theorists, women’s movements, and women of color scholars and activists have argued–a crucial arena for defining power, for struggles over equality, and for state intervention.  Through an investigation of reproductive histories, this course complicates current understandings about the past and the present.  We will discuss a wide range of topics and in each case, we will analyze reproduction and public health in terms of gender, race, class, and other factors.  The history of prenatal care and childbirth cannot be understood without learning about welfare, for example–and its changing racial associations.  Topics likely to be covered include childbirth, midwifery and obstetrics, eugenics, contraception, abortion, adoption, maternal and infant health, amniocentesis, sterilization, disabilities, reproductive justice, and reproductive technologies.  This is a small class with upper-division undergraduates and graduate students.  We will be reading major books in this area, discussing documentary films and representations, and conducting our own research.  We will read several major works in this area.  Readings may include: Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale; Roberts, Killing the Black Body; Rapp, Testing Women, Testing the Fetus; Gordon, Woman’s Body Woman’s Right; Ross, Love and Toil; Reagan, Dangerous Pregnancies; Marks, Sexual Chemistries and more.  Active reading and engagement with the course and other students are expected.  Graduate students will have additional reading and separate paper assignments.


(Barrett, J.)

        Same as LER 480.

        The course analyzes the social history of working-class men and women and their families. Main themes will include: working-class culture, industrial organization, and politics; work and community life; labor-management relations; changing patterns of working-class protest and accommodation; and a special emphasis on race, ethnicity, and gender in the process of working-class formation and fragmentation. Readings will consist of 4 or 5 books, including a novel or personal narrative, and a selection of articles and essays. Assessment will be made on the basis of a midterm exam, a final, and a short reading paper or other project. Lectures and discussions integrate texts, visual images, music, and other sources to represent the character of workers thought and culture. Graduate students will meet a few times separately to discuss additional readings and will write a more ambitious historiographical paper. Students from various majors are welcome, but the course may be of special interest to those in history, economics, sociology, industrial relations, and political science. The course assumes some background in American history.


(Hamilton, D.)

        Same as LAW 688. See LAW 688.

        Please see course description for LAW 688.


(Prochaska, D.)

        Meets with 498A.

        Please see course description for 498A.


(Barrett, J.)

        Meets with 498B.

        Please see course description for 498B.


(Burgos, A.)

        Meets with 498C.

        Please see course description for 498C.


(Avrutin, E.)

        Meets with 498D.

        Please see course description for 498D.


(Hitchins, K.)

        Meets with 498E.

        Please see course description for 498E.



(Smith, M.)

        Meets with 498H.

        Please see course description for 498H.


(Todorova, M.)

        Meets with 498K.

        Please see course description for 498K.


(Prochaska, D.)

        Topic:  History and Film

        In this course students will utilize films as primary historical sources, secondary sources, and as supplements to written historical sources in order to prepare research papers on topics at the intersection of film and history. In the first part of the course we will develop a framework for evaluating historical films, which students will then apply to a set of historical films. Working with the instructor, students will conduct extensive, in-depth research on the historical contexts relevant to their individual topics. Students will be encouraged to conduct research on world cinemas outside Hollywood, and on films pertaining to global history and the history of colonialism.



(Barrett, J.)

        Topic:  Chicago: A Racial and Ethnic History

The University of Chicago's pioneering sociologists had the idea first in the early years of the twentieth century: The city might become a laboratory in which to observe and study the process of urbanization and related social problems.  Nowhere did urbanization and the other broad forces of change that have transformed life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries -- industrialization, social class formation, migration and immigration -- occur more rapidly than in Chicago and nowhere did they unfold with more dramatic results.  This course employs the history of Chicago as a particularly appropriate case study of key problems in the field of U.S. Social history:  the theory and process of urbanization; formation of classes and the evolution of class conflict; immigration, mass migration and ethnic diversity; racial formation and conflict.  Readings will include four or five books, plus a course reader with about a dozen articles and documents.  Student performance in the course is judged on three criteria:  in-class discussion; an oral presentation; and a major research paper on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor.  We will visit the library and the research paper will be developed in a series of stages -- topic, proposal, bibliography, rough draft, final draft. Please note that classes will involve extensive discussion and participation will constitute an important element in the grading for the course.  Lack of participation will result in a lower grade.


(Burgos, A.)

        Topic: Baseball and Integration

        The integration of U.S. professional baseball has been hailed a watershed moment in the quest for Civil Rights and social justice in US society. Scholars and public intellectuals have also debated the impact that integration had on Black communities, specifically on the race institutions formed during Jim Crow segregation. This course examines integration as a process that was neither a guaranteed success nor inevitable, and will revisit debates about baseball integration as a microcosm of broader societal issues about integration in American everyday life. It will also consider integration’s impact beyond black and white, specifically what inclusion in professional baseball represents to other groups. In order to gain a more nuanced understanding of this history, we will engage analytical concepts such as hegemony, social construction, and racialization, among others. Course readings will include secondary source readings and primary source materials to discuss the different actors and communities that campaigned for or against racial integration. Requirements include regular attendance and active participation in seminar sessions, several response papers (3-5 pages) and a final paper (20-25 pages) where seminar participants will apply the analytical tools and material learned in the production of original research paper based on primary sources on a topic that examines issues of race, culture, gender and labor (or any intersection thereof) chosen in consultation with the professor.


(Avrutin, E.)

        Topic: Ritual Murder

        This seminar examines the myth of ritual murder in comparative perspective. We begin with an examination of the origins of the ritual murder myth, paying particular attention to the religious, social, and economic factors that contributed to the rise and decline of the myth. We also consider the causes and consequences of ritual murder trials that disrupted small town life in the medieval, early modern, and modern periods in Europe and beyond. Special topics to be examined include: popular belief in magic and superstition, the symbolic value of blood, small town life and neighborly interactions, the nature and function of sacrifice, and the role of law. Students are expected to lead two class discussions, write two short response papers, and produce a longer research paper of approximately 15-20 pages at the end of term. 


(Hitchins, K.)

        Topic: Empires: Mongols, Mughals, Turks

        An examination of the nature of empires through a comparative study of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan and his immediate successors, the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire in India, and the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia and Southeastern Europe. The formation of empires, armies and methods of warfare, conquests and the treatment of conquered peoples, religious and legal institutions, especially Islamic, and relations with Europe will be compared. Besides surveys of each empire, sources such as The Secret History of the Mongols, The Baburnama, The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, and contemporary chronicles and histories will be read. Readings and discussions and a research paper.



(Smith, M.)

        Topic: Bodies of War: Rethinking Vietnam From All Sides

        The meaning and significance of the Vietnam Wars continues to be fought not only in the political realm but also as an historical problem that draws vigorous scholarly debate.  By considering the human body as an historical source and method, this course will develop original questions related to the Indochinese and American/Vietnam Wars.  We will debate and discuss how the body allows us to consider categories of analysis, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability, and their relation to the Vietnam Wars.  We will examine a variety of themes related to the course title, “Bodies of War,” including, but not limited to, the body as propaganda; body counts, war crimes and genocide; the body as signifier of counterculture and dissent; disability and the soldier; and re-membering: myths, memorialization, and monument building.  In addition, this course aims to rethink the Vietnam Wars from all sides.  We will explore the body in relation to particular French and U.S. ambitions and goals, but we will also consider how the Vietnamese, the Antiwar Movement, and the memory of the Wars have marked, and were signified by, the body.   


(Todorova, M.)

        Topic: The Eastern Question

        The historical "Eastern Question" dominated much of European power relations from the 18th century until the 1920s.  Centered around the problem of the growing weakness and pending disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, it was the dominant issue of European diplomacy during close to two centuries.  Indeed, the struggles between the great European powers for political and economic predominance in the Balkans and the Near or Middle East is one of the principle aspects of the Eastern Question. Much of the issues troubling the Balkan region until World War II, as well as today's issues in the region of the Middle East can be explained by the solutions sought and imposed during the attempts to resolve this historical problem.  While it has been traditionally approached as primarily a problem of international relations and diplomacy, the Eastern Question's other aspects include the crisis and decline of the Ottoman Empire, and the internal efforts at reforming its social and political structure, as well as the growth of the national question and the struggles for secession.  Given the enormous amount of primary and secondary materials on the Eastern Question, this is a theme particularly favorable for students to research and write a paper on a topic of their choice.


(Symes, C.)

This seminar is required of all seniors in the Honors Program, and is designed to be taken concurrently with History 493 (Honors Senior Thesis).  It will meet bi-weekly throughout the year and will supplement individual students' meetings with their primary advisors. Its purpose is to provide an intellectually supportive environment in which students work together on common methodological problems, share the results of their research, and critique developing projects.



500 Level

(Rabin, D.)

      Topic: Britain and the Global 18th Century

        In the eighteenth century Britain's national identity was intertwined with an "imperial destiny" as was its economic and daily life. This course interrogates the formation of those national and global identities in the eighteenth century. The readings, cultural studies of geography, race, sex, gender, religion, and law, will explore the global eighteenth century and the formation of the British empire. Our geographical range will include the British Isles, India, North America, and the Caribbean. We will also read major theoretical works that inform studies of race, gender, and culture in and beyond eighteenth-century Britain. The readings will draw from history, anthropology, and English literary studies. The interdisciplinary approach will allow us to engage various theoretical and methodological perspectives as we explore this topic. In addition to leading weekly discussions, assignments will include two 5-page critical reviews and a longer historiographic essay (15-20) pages.


(Barnes, T.)

        Same as AFST 511

        Topic: Truth and Reconciliation in Comparative Perspective

        Following revolutions and periods of social upheaval, societies must deal with the painful legacies of destruction and violence. Many countries in the 20th century chose to institute bodies - commonly known as "truth commissions" - to deliberate and decide questions of culpability and justice outside the formal judicial institutions. This course will examine prominent examples of such commissions in Europe, Latin America and Africa. The major themes of the course will include peace-making, social and individual memory, gendered activism and contested versions of "truth."


(Mathisen, R.)

        Same as MDVL 543.

        Topic: The “Dark Ages”

        This seminar will attempt to answer many questions about the period of history often known as the “Dark Ages,” that is, western Europe during the period roughly 500-800 CE. Just what made the Dark Ages “dark”? Were the Dark Ages truly dark? What role did the western barbarians play in the creation of the image of the “Dark Ages”? What effect did the Dark Ages play in the survival of classical literature and culture? What is the significance in the modern day of the literary and cultural image of the “Dark Ages”? Attention will be given to ecclesiastical, literary, political, social, and economic institutions, and to both textual and material evidence.


(Crowston, C.)

        Course description not available at time of publication.


  (Fritzsche, P.)

        Topic: Modern Germany: Political Innovation and Cultural Politics in an Era of National Identity, Genocide, and Memory

        In the last ten years, German historiography has seen dramatic challenges.  “New” orthodoxies seem suddenly very old.  Novel perspectives have been offered by gender history, the history of the everyday, and poststructuralism.  Certainties about modernism and antimodernism have been widely questioned.  New continuities and discontinuities have been put into view by sustained research on bio-politics, the Holocaust, and the memory of the disaster of war and mass murder. This course will examine ongoing debates about the nature of society and politics, the quality of modernism, the constitution of violence, the rise of fascism, the "continuity" of history in the Third Reich, the Holocaust, postwar patterns of commemoration, and more. The course may be taken either as a problems course or as a research seminar.  If you plan to take the course as a research seminar you must see me during pre-registration.


(Steinberg, M.)

        Topic: Russian 1801-1917

        Major themes in the history and historiography of Russia from the early nineteenth century through the revolution of 1917. The course focuses on the exercise and justifications of authority, intellectual and cultural trends, and social life.  Central to the course are questions of historical methodology and theory as well as of the interpretation of the Russian past. The emphasis is on examining new work in the field. Themes to be explored include the imperial autocracy, empire and nation, self and collectivity, political ideology, reform and revolution, rural society, industrialization and urban life, cultural innovation, popular cultures, religion, social conflict and cohesion, and family and gender.


(Espiritu, A.)

        Topic:  Transnationalism

        Transnationalism, alongside of “global” discourses, has emerged in the last two decades as an important problem of contemporary knowledge production, and has increasingly become a concern of historians. In this course, with a critical though not exclusive focus upon the history of the United States, we will grapple with the complex questions raised by transnationalism. Did transnationalism come after the constitution of nations or was it one of the nation’s essential preconditions?  How has transnationalism shaped the construction of national, race, gender, and sexual ideologies in the USA and other empires? Is transnationalism, as pilgrimage, tourism, exile, or diaspora, a necessarily liberating predicament, or does it in fact reinforce neo-imperial and neo-colonial structures?  How has the act of claiming America obscured transnational, transborder, & transoceanic processes? And finally, how have transnationalism and empire raised fundamental questions about sovereignty and modernity in the twenty-first century?


572D  PROB IN US HIST SINCE 1815     
(Leff, M.)

        Topic:  The Fear Factor and Hunts for "Un-Americans"

        Confronts issues of “security versus freedom” in the post-9/11 world by contextualizing understandings of national identity and "us"/"them" binaries, and by exploring the dilemmas posed by conflicting fears, aspirations, loyalties, and visions of "liberty," "subversion," and citizenship.  Students will be encouraged to take on topics extending beyond the United States, though common readings will focus on past U.S. campaigns against "un-Americans," including immigration and race panics in the late 19th century; World War I and images of the "enemy"; the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and other actions at odds with World War II’s reputation as “The Freedom War”; the red (and nativist, and lavender...) scares of 1919-20 and the "McCarthy Era"; and resentments generated by the protest movements of the late 1960s.  Written work will include a research prospectus and an article-length research paper.


(Loughran, P.)

        Meets with ENGL 547.

        Topic:  American Enlightenment and the Material Culture of Nation-Building

This will be a methods course in both archival research and cultural history in which students will be asked to assemble and theorize an archive from which they might narrate at the end of the course some larger story about the American Enlightenment--from its novels, newspapers, pamphlets, and magazines to less obviously literary sites like houses, streets, museums, and maps. For the first two-thirds of the course, we will anchor these archival investigations in cultural theory (reading seminal material on nation formation, the public sphere, and class formation) and on close readings of primary texts (autobiographies, novels, and pamphlets by authors like Benjamin Franklin, John Fitch, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Brockden Brown). In the last third of the course, seminar participants will work together in groups to assemble and narrate for the seminar a distinctive archival bibliography that will help form the basis of each student's longer seminar paper. Our last few weeks will be entirely devoted to exchanging and discussing student writing. In this way, the course is meant to serve both as a practical site for learning basic approaches to archival research and as a place to theorize the methodological problems that arise when working with and in cultural history. Secondary readings will be drawn from many disciplines, including literary studies, history, archeology, American studies, geography, history of technology, sociology, and art history—including work by scholars such as Carolyn Steedman, Jay Fliegelman, Michael Warner, Jurgen Habermas, Benedict Anderson, T.H. Breen, David Harvey, Richard Bushman, Laura Rigal, John Kasson, Brooke Hindle, Tony Bennet, and William Kelso (among others).



(Liebersohn, H.)

        This course will have two goals.  One is to make students familiar with some of the theories and concepts like class, status, and the public sphere that are a basic part of historians' vocabulary.   The second is to discuss current theories of such topics as gender, transnationalism, the subaltern, global history, race, nation, empire.  Readings may include Marx, Weber, Mauss, Habermas, Geertz, Foucault, Dening, and recent journal articles.


(Oberdeck, K.)

        The first semester of a two-term sequence to introduce key issues concerning the theory and practice of history and history-writing. We will discuss topics such topics as what history is and has been, historical modes of thinking, what is "interpretation," what is the role of "theory" in our work, and what different genres of historical writing exist. You will apply all this to a plan for research and writing if an article-length study of your own design for the following semester, to be pursued in the second-semester, research component of the course. Through a series of focused assignments, we will grapple together with some of the specific challenges that face all practitioners of the discipline: identifying the historical problem in what we read and in what we research and write, identifying the methodologies scholars are using and that we wish to use, and understanding the uses, interpretations, and limitations of different sorts of primary sources. The range of specific topics, methods, regions, and times is quite wide.