Fall 2011 Course Guide


100 Level

100AL1 GLOBAL HISTORY (Ghamari-Tabrizi, B.)

      The main purpose of this course is to explain how the worlds we live in came about. Special attention will be given to the plurality of the ―worlds we live in by emphasizing that the present time was not the inevitable outcome of the unfolding of a presumed progressive internal logic of history. Although we will examine earlier points in the emergence of an interconnected and interdependent world during the long 12th century, the main focus of the class will be on post-17th century and the emergence of a new global world. This course will also highlight struggles and contestations of emerging world-orders in each period, giving voice to historical actors whose presence in history are often neglected


      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 and religious development of Latin America from contact t6o 1824.

110AL1 HISTORY OF AFRICA (Brennan, J.)

110AL1 HISTORY OF AFRICA (Brennan, J.)

Course description was not available at time of publication.

110AL1 History of Africa (Brennan, J.)

 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.


Same as ANTH 130
An introduction to Indian and South Asian history examining the interplay of revenge & reconciliation, "native" & "alien" religions, colonialism & nationalism, and nationalism & ethnicity, and the emergence of the modern nation-states of India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka

140AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660-ACP (Crowston, C.)

     Please see course description for 141AL1.

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

    This course will survey essential developments in Western Civilization from Antiquity through the seventeenth century. It will focus on the evolution of political institutions from the city-states of Ancient Greece, through the Roman Empire, the feudal system of Medieval Europe and, finally, the emergence of nation-states in the seventeenth century. We will also study the philosophies or religious beliefs that helped men and women understand their society and the world, as well as the social structures and conflicts that characterized different periods of history. In particular, we will examine how relations with supposed "outsiders" - such as Jews, Muslims, indigenous peoples of the New World, enslaved Africans, and women – brought essential contributions to Western Europeans and helped them define their own identity. In the process, we will gain a new understanding of the cultural fusions and conflicts that continue to define, and challenge, our world. Another key element of the course will be to understand the role that history itself – stories about the past – has played in the creation of what we think of as Western Civilization. As much as a "real" historical entity, Western Civilization consists of the traditions and identities communities have taken on and the continuities they have claimed with earlier cultures and societies.

142AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Chaplin, T.)

     This course is intended as an introduction to the major questions and concepts in modern European history from the late seventeenth century to the present. Over the course of the past three and a half centuries, European development (cultural, economic, political, and intellectual), has had an enormous impact on shaping the world we live in today. European history has also been vital to the creation of what we think of as identity: how we define and describe ourselves, and how we define and describe others. This semester, while learning how events, ideologies, and isms (nationalism, imperialism, fascism, feminism, etc.) have contributed to the evolution of European history, we will be paying particular attention to the exploration of one central concern: the construction of our own uniquely modern identities. What motivates us to act in the ways that we do? What kinds of experiences have led us to adopt particular political and religious beliefs? What types of knowledge guide our perceptions concerning others and ourselves? Our goal will be to learn what it means to think historically about the connections between the development of modern Europe and the development of the modern individual. The historical analysis of music, art and film as well as textual sources will be integral to our work.

143AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660-ACP (Chaplin, T.)

      Please see course description for 142AL1.

164A THE AUTOMOBILE (Fouché, R.)

The history of the automobile began with the technological breakthroughs that occurred in Europe during the early 1800‘s. By the early decades of the twentieth century, the mass-production car was a reality. The world economic downturn leading up to World War II led to consolidation of the fragmented automobile manufacturing market, while in the Postwar period, renewed economic growth, television advertising, and an expanding road system accelerated sales for automobile producers in many industrialized countries. Design, service, and speed became trademarks of the automobile, as evidence by the growing range of car models and the increasing popularity of racing globally. This course is an interdisciplinary examination of the automobile, its production systems, its marketing strategies, and the way automobiles reflect the changing landscapes of consumer tastes and value over time.

170AL1 US HIST TO 1877-ACP (Levine, B.)

Please see course description for 172AL1.

171AL1 US HIST TO 1877 (Levine, B.)

This course offers an introductory survey of the history of what would eventually become the United States of America, from the beginning of the seventeenth century through the end of the Civil War era (usually identified with the year 1877, when the last postwar federal occupation troops left the South). The course is designed for freshman and sophomores. Juniors and seniors -- and especially the history majors among them -- may well find it insufficiently advanced and intensive.

172AL1 US HIST SINCE 1877 (Leff, M.)

      This course begins with the aftermath of the Civil War and ends with today‘s news. Through readings, media presentations, twice-weekly lectures, and discussion sections, it surveys the major trends and events in the making and remaking of the American nation--the "re-foundings" of the United States. It tracks who has "counted" as "real Americans" and how the privileges of American citizenship have been experienced, lost, and injected with new meaning. Struggles surrounding ideals, aspirations, and applications of "liberty" and "freedom" will anchor the course.       

200 Level


        Topic: Melville and U.S. Social History
This course builds skills in learning how historians reason and write, especially regarding their uses of primary sources. It puts the fiction of Herman Melville in dialogue with major works of social history. The course seeks to demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary scholarship in the study of history, drawing from philosophy, political theory, feminist studies, psychology and other areas to put big historical dramas into still larger contexts. It asks that we see race, gender and class not merely a important separate dimensions of U.S. history but as experiences that unfold in what some Black feminist theorists have called "their simultaneity." A series of short writing exercises culminates in a formal paper of five pages and another of twelve pages.



        Topic: Visual History

A picture may or may be "worth a thousand words," but it‘s never self-evident which thousand words they are. Pictures and their cousins, maps, that is, are representations that must be "read" with the same critical care given to written, verbal texts: Who is the "author" ("artist"; "cartographer"; "producer")? What was the context of production and reception? What conventions of representation are built into the work? What are the limits of empirical and interpretive reading of visual texts? Initial examples will be taken from the rich archive of visual production in early-modern Japan, but students are encouraged to pursue the historical reading of the visual in their own areas of interest.
"Visual History" is a seminar focused on the theory, problematics, and practice of interrogating visual artifacts (paintings, prints, photographs) as historical documents or source. We begin with some theoretical and methodological readings from history, art history, and criticism, etc., and examine some instances in which historians have pursued the interpretation of visual as historical 'source,' before proceeding to implement those insights in individual research projects employing visual, pictorial or cartographic "evidence" in historical interpretation. The instructor has focused in his own research on the "reading" or "textualizing" of Japanese paintings, prints, maps, and book illustrations, some of which will be presented in class; materials will be drawn from many other cultures as well.
Students will research and write original papers exploring the possibilities of reading the visual as historical text, and will make class presentations of their research-in-progress.


Topic: Music in Modern History: Music, Nations, and States in a Globalized World
This course will examine the changing political uses of music in the modern era. Since the late eighteenth century nationalists have used music to define national communities, while globalization has furthered a counter-movement of musical cultures that overlap, borrow and learn from each other. This course will survey both the nationalist and the cosmopolitan currents in the modern politics of music. It will also consider how technical and political factors such as the phonograph, the two World Wars, the end of colonialism and the internet have changed the role of music in public life. We will work with music from many different times and places including Western classical, jazz, Hawaiian Indian, klezmer, and contemporary music.


        Topic: Women and Gender in East Asia
While the rise of women‘s history and feminist theory in the 1960s and 1970s fostered more general reevaluations of social and cultural history in the West, such progressions have been comparatively modest in East Asian Studies. To introduce one of the larger challenges in current East Asian historiography, this course investigates the roles of Chinese, Japanese and Korean women within (pre)modern societies, and aims to gauge the ways in which gender roles were influenced-or not-by modernization. These three countries share the tradition of Confucianism which, though varying in degree, largely affected the way women‘s lives were shaped in the past. Historical studies of women and gender in East Asia will be analyzed in conjunction with theories of Western women‘s history to encourage new methods of rethinking "patriarchy" within the East Asian context. By tracing the lives of women from various socio-legal aspects and examining the multiple interactions between the state, local community, family and individual, women‘s places in the family and in society, their relationships with one another and men, and the evolution of ideas about gender and sexuality throughout East Asia‘s complicated past will be reexamined through concrete topics with historical specificity and as many primary sources as possible.

(Prochaska, D.)

Topic: History of the Present
This course uses the history of the present, including film, to introduce students to the stakes involved in historical interpretation. Using the present and recent past, we will endeavor to step behind today‘s headlines and to construct together a historical genealogy of the present. In addition, critically viewing films allows visual sources to be combined in the mix with written materials that students will use to hone their interpretive skills. The course is organized thematically around key issues with the aim of students developing their own structured historical interpretations of the present in a series of written work. Weekly topics include global warming; Vietnam and Iraq wars; Islamic, Hindu and Christian fundamentalisms; the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Great Arab Revolt of 2011; 9/11 and terrorism; Katrina; the 2008 Great Recession; neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism; mainstream media and social media, plus WikiLeaks.

(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 the class.

(Chow, K.)

Same as EALC 220
Course description was not available at time of publication.

Hist 221A MODERN CHINA (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. Through films and readings, this exploration will help us understand the everyday life, rich history and cultural values of the Chinese in their struggle to be modern and global. 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.


      The course will examine the political, social, economic, religious, and cultural development of Rome and the Romans from the founding of Rome, ca.753 BC, until the fall of the western Roman Empire, ca.AD 480.


Same as GWS 245 and 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 premodern women's sense of self.


This course is a lecture survey of the leading movements in thought, culture, and style in Europe, inclusive of Britain, from the mid-seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century. Topics include the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Marxism, Darwinian evolution, Modernism, Nietzsche, Freud, Einstein, World War One and intellectual life, and French and German Existentialism.


This is a comprehensive survey of modern Britain from the Glorious Revolution to the Thatcher years. The emergence of liberal democracy, the role of the British empire at home and on the global stage, the impact of Ireland on domestic and foreign policy, the political and social consequences of industrial modernity, and the contribution of women and colonial peoples to concepts of citizenship are among the topics covered. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. The readings will focus on primary sources and allow students an opportunity to debate the key issues of modern British history.

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

259A  20TH C WORLD FROM MIDCENTURY (Prochaska, D.)

    In this course we shall examine the major historical forces--political, intellectual, economic, social and cultural--which have shaped the world in the second half of the twentieth and first years of the twenty-first centuries. 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. We will also use films to convey a sense of the present and last half century.
In the first part of the course, we shall survey the background leading up to the Second World War, including Stalin‘s Russia, Hitler‘s Germany, and the rise of Japan, and then turn to the Second World War considering the impact of total war, the Nazi extermination of the Jews, and the beginnings of the Cold War. Next we shall examine extensively the demise of European colonialism and national independence in the Third World, including China, Algeria, and Vietnam. Then we will discuss the 1960s in Czechoslovakia, France and the United States, followed by a survey of the collapse of Soviet power in eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union during 1989-1991. We will conclude by examining the world after 9/11, the Iraq war, the 2008 recession, and the Great Arab Revolt of 2011.


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 responsibilitiy 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.

269A JEWISH HISTORY SINCE 1700 (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?


This class will cover the entire nineteenth century, from the election of Thomas Jefferson to the early Progressive Era. The lectures and readings will outline U.S. history from its national origins as a sparsely settled agrarian country to an industrial powerhouse with aspiration to world power. The class will emphasize various topics in political and social history of the nineteenth century, including the development of the U.S. West, African American lives in slavery and freedom, industrialization, the struggle for women‘s rights and immigration from Europe and Asia.


This is an overview of Illinois and Chicago history with the time about equally divided between the city and the state. It emphasizes social history over narrative political history. In practice, this means a broad view of the processes that formed the population, economy, culture, and social relations of Illinois and Chicago over the past two hundred years or so. The approach focuses in particular on the experiences and contributions of common people over political and economic elites. The course begins with a consideration of the state‘s Native American roots and goes on to analyze the creation of a multi-ethnic and multi-racial society through the processes of immigration and internal migration. The resulting class, ethnic, and racial conflict helps to explain the character of the state as we find it today. The course ends with some consideration of Illinois as an important site of big science and high technology. Illinois is a particularly vibrant case study of the sorts of historical processes that have transformed life in the US and this broader context is stressed throughout; the peculiar history of the state is less important than what it seems to represent in the broader development of the US as a society.
Readings will likely consist of essays and documents on e-reserve, a couple of texts, and a novel. Assessment will be based on mid-term and final exams and a short paper, though smaller exercises are also possible.

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.


Same as AFRO 275
This course surveys the African slave trade; slavery in the European colonies of the Americas; and slavery in the early U.S. republic. This course also gives attention to African Americans in the sectional crisis, the Civil War, and the triumph and demise of Reconstruction.


Same as AIS 278
Overview of the Native American experience in the United States from 1850 to the present. Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group projects, the course will explore the major events that altered the environment Native Americans inhabited following the establishment of the United States as a continental power. Course will also examine the ways in which native peoples survived amidst the economic, political, and social forces that were unleashed by the country‘s evolution into a modern nation state. Readings will include primarydocuments, Native American commentaries, historical fiction, and secondary works.


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.


295A  HONORS COLLOQUIUM  (Hoddeson, L.)

Topic: Scientific Creativity and Invention in Historical Perspective

Exemplified by figures such as Dr. Frankenstein, the creative scientist or inventor is a well-known stereotype. Typically male, he is born with superhuman abilities and therefore needs no training. His insights come magically from a place beyond normal experience. His personal relationships are troubled, and he works alone. It is not surprising that the profiles of real scientists and inventors differ dramatically from the popular myth. This new course examines both the stereotypical and real profiles of highly creative scientists and inventors. Students will read chapters and articles in common during the first half of the course and then turn to their own research projects focused either on a selected individual or on some issue relating to creativity (e.g., the role of analogy, patronage, or place). They will present their findings in one or more oral presentations and in a written paper due after the last class. There are no prerequisites for this course. There will be several visitors (to be arranged), e.g., Stanford Ovshinsky, inventor of the nickel metal hydride battery, rewritable CDs, and thin-film amorphous silicon solar energy panels.

300 Level


This course explores the many ways American culture intersects with scientific and technological artifacts, practices, and knowledge.  Rather than provide a chronological survey of science and technology, our purpose is to examine how culture and social structure play inextricable roles in the creation of technologies as well as in their impacts.  Themes include innovation and invention, medical research and ethics, urbanization, US western expansion, empire building, war and destruction, American’s relationship to nature and the environment, and the ways science and technology can both privilege and marginalize communities, races, genders, and economic classes.  The class will explore historical methodologies, work with primary as well as secondary sources, analyze images and film as well as text, and engage multiple historical analyses and interpretations.  Evaluation will include leadership in class discussions, active participation in discussions both in-class and online, various written assignments, exams, and a final multimedia research project.


Same as MDVL 345 and RLST 345
Economy, society and culture in Europe during the High Middle ages (11th through 14th centuries): this course focuses on the relationship between medieval social and economic structures, and such cultural manifestations as epic and romantic literature, gothic and romanesque architecture, scholastic theology and monasticism.


Same as MDVL 346 and RLST 346
This is an introduction to the cultural history of Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. We will begin with some background study of the political and cultural meanings of the term "Renaissance." This will involve an assessment of how learning, science, technology, and new cultural ideals changed art.
From that basis, we will begin an examination of the social and political contexts for Renaissance culture. We will consider the nature and the purposes of the arts in three different types of settings: at the imperial court (Charles V), at papal courts (emphasis on Julius II, Leo X, and Clement VII), and in independent cities (Florence and Nuremberg). Our goal is to learn about the major sources of patronage as well as the social and political functions of art. The focus on specific settings will also help us appreciate cultural diversity and distinctiveness.

Material on electronic reserve.
Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince. Second edition. Translated and edited by Robert M. Adams. New York: Norton.More, St. Thomas.

Utopia. Second edition. Translated and edited by Robert M. Adams. New York: Norton.

Najemy, John M. 2006. A History of Florence, 1200-1575. Oxford: Blackwell.

Rice, Eugene F., Jr., and Anthony Grafton. The Foundations of Early Modern Europe, 1460-1559. Second Edition. New York: Norton, 1994.


Burke, Peter. The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy. Second Edition. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1999.

Paoletti, John T., and Gary M. Radke. Art in Renaissance Italy. Second edition. Upper SaddleRiver, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 2002.

349A AGE OF REVOLUTION, 1775-1815 (Crowston, C.)

The late eighteenth century witnessed a series of revolutions in the Atlantic world that transformed modern history and left an ongoing legacy of ideals and conflicts for today‘s world. This course will cover the social, economic, cultural and political background to revolution as well as the major events and outcomes of revolutionary movements in British North America, France and Saint-Domingue (the modern-nation of Haiti). Among our questions will be: What was the impact of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment on the outbreak of revolution? How did empire and imperial competition among European nations contribute to revolutionary movements? Also, how did ordinary people – such as peasants, sailors, women, native Americans and enslaved Africans – help make revolutions? This course should be of interest to students of European and the Americas as well as those seeking to understand popular mobilization and protest in the modern era.


  Intellectual and social history of medicine in the West from antiquity to the present. Emphasis on theories of disease and therapy; on professionalization and institution building; and on relations of medicine with society and government. Two hour-exams, short written assignments, final exam.

369A SPAIN AND PORTUGAL FROM 1808 (Jacobsen, N.)

This is the second part of the two-semester sequence on the history of Spain and Portugal. Its topic is the development of nation-states since the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian peninsula in 1808 and the collapse of the two absolutist monarchies and empires. Themes include geography and the issue of "national character"; multiculturalism and exclusion; nationhood and world powers; French Revolution and loss of empires; liberalism and a century of constitutional monarchies; Spanish Republic and civil war; Franco‘s dictatorship; contemporary "European" Spain: from affluence to depression; republic, Estado Novo, the final crisis of Portuguese colonialism in Africa and the democratic revolution in Portugal. The course will stress economic, social, and political structures, cycles, and events. There will be several class meetings dedicated to religious issues and the vibrant world-class artistic movements. The histories of the modern Iberian nations present an exciting counterpoint to standard stories about European civilization and progress based on northwestern Europe.

376A SOC HISTORY INDUS AM FROM 1918 (Schneider, D.)

American society has often been described as open and flexible by outside observers. On the other hand, Americans themselves have often experienced U.S. society as rigidly divided by class and race. How can the two views be reconciled? How cohesive can a society be if its people are a diverse lot, driven by highly individualist motives? This class will try to provide some historians' answers to these questions. We will examine how various social divisions and cohesions developed during the twentieth century by studying some of the most important developments of the last century in the United States: the 1920s, the Great Depression, World War Two, the Civil Rights Movement, the 1960s and the transition to a post-industrial consumer society. The class will use extensive readings from scholarly texts in history, economics and sociology to popular non-fiction, internet resources, music and visual materials. Activeparticipation, a mid-term and two take home essays are required. Alternatively students can write a research paper (instead of essays) on a related topic of their choice.

380A US IN AN AGE OF EMPIRE (Hoganson, K.)

This course speaks to recent debates about the imperial nature of the United States by going back to a time generally accepted as an age of U.S. empire building: the years around 1898. Not only did the United States intervene in Cuba in this period, but it also fought a war in the Philippines, landed troops in China, annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and took control of what became the Panama Canal Zone. In addition to considering government policies, we will investigate commercial endeavors, cultural productions, and the experiences of a variety of people joined by imperial webs. Readings will emphasize primary sources from the time period under consideration.

381A URBAN HISTORY (Burgos, A.)

The 1880s marked the moment when demographic profile of the U.S. population shifted from predominantly rural to urban. Cities also were the location where immigrants received their introduction to the workings of U.S. society. This course will examine the formation and evolution of urban communities by various racial and ethnic groups; how cities as both a physical places and as an imagined spaces were where immigrant and native-born residents, who were in some cases also recently arrived, sought to make community, pursued work, and strove to make the city "home."
Assigned materials will explore the various social, economic, and political forces that shaped the formation of these communities and what that says about these groups specifically and about the "city" as a particular space within American life and cultural imagination. This class will be taught in a discussion-based format, with a heavy emphasis on student participation; written assignments will consist of a series of response papers (3-4 pages), and a final paper assignment (12-15 pages).

396A SPECIAL TOPICS (Micale, M.)

       Topic: Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution
This is a new undergraduate lecture and discussion course concerning the intellectual origins, scientific content, and social and cultural impact of Darwinian evolutionary theory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics include: Enlightenment ideas of evolution; Darwin‘s sea voyage on The Beagle; theory, evidence, and method in Darwin‘s book On the Origin of Species; the religious controversies provoked by Darwin in Victorian Britain; "Social Darwinism;" Darwin's reception in America, evolution and eugenics; the Scopes Trial of 1925; sociobiology; creationist science; and evolutionary science today.
The course studies one of the most important and controversial episodes in the history of modern Western thought and one of the most successful and influential theories of modern science. Although taught through the Department of History, students with any educational background--in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences--are welcome.

HIST 396C Special Topics ( 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 Israel-Arab conflict. Emphasis will be placed on class discussion, critical thought and rigorous readings of historiographical material. The principle 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 a basis of modern Israeli history.

400 Level


Course description was not available at time of publication.


Over the course of the long 20th century, struggles for dignity, nationhood and humanity defined the goals of African intellectuals across the continent who sought to define new languages of legitimacy for their own changing cultures and societies. This course will examine the contested trajectories of the series of Pan African conferences, and the lives and works of activist intellectuals such as Cabral, Mqhayi, Senghor, Diop, Machel, Nkrumah and Nyerere. We will also look at the ways that African women‘s activism and peasant political discourses have continued to challenge paradigms of inequality.


Same as EALC 420
Course description was not available at time of publication.


Same as AFST 437
The Revolution of January 2011 will be the starting point of our excursion into Egyptian history since the First World War. The results of this event will still be unfolding during the fall semester: history in the making! This is the most recent of a vast number of social, economic, political, cultural, and ideological changes that Egyptians have experienced a during the past century. The political system has gone from colonial rule to constitutional monarchy, to a single party state under Nasser, and ended under Mubarak in a stalled transition to a multi-party system. There were parallel changes in the economic system, from a market economy to "Arab Socialism" and then Sadat‘s "Open Door" and neo-liberalism, which contributed to the discontent fueling the January Revolution. Throughout, Egyptians have debated what kind of society they wish to live in as well as what their identity as a nation is, and the options raised have run from religious reform and revivalism to secular Egyptian and pan-Arab nationalism. We will also approach social life through literature representing successive generations of writers.

443G4/U3 BYZANTINE EMPIRE AD 284-717 (Mathisen, R.)

Same as MDVL 443
The course will examine the political, social, economic, military, institutional, religious and cultural development of the Early Byzantine Empire focusing on the reigns of Diocletian (AD 284-305) through the Heraclian Dynasty (AD 610-717).

448G2/G4/U3 MODERN BRITAIN (Burton, A.)

Topic: The Victorian Era, 1829-1905
This course combines a discussion of the social and political developments of the Victorian era with an examination of Britain‘s role as a global imperial power over the course of the long nineteenth century. The constitutional reforms of 1832, 1867 and 1884 are just a few among the high political events shaped by officials who had one eye on metropolitan concerns and the other on colonial economic interests. More specifically, we will be tracking the ways in which imperial expansion, Irish nationalism and the rhetoric of the civilizing mission all helped to shape the terms of parliamentary debate, as well as to re-confirm the white male character of democracy in Britain. English women‘s attempts to participate in political reform, to vote and to run as members of parliament and to participate in Britain‘s imperial reform projects will be dealt with throughout, as will the presence of colonial people in the metropole itself in this period. Special attention will also be paid to the impact of empire on the daily life, cultural attitudes and consumption practices of Britons in this, Britain's so-called "imperial" Century.

455G2/G4/U3 MODERN FRANCE (Chaplin, T.)

Topic: 1939-Present
For centuries, France has symbolized the height of European culture. Stereotypes about France and the French abound; it is the country of rude waiters, of beautiful women, of magnificent châteaux. France is renowned for its wine, cheese and haute couture, for its intellectuals and films, and for its crowning glory, Paris, often called the "city of lights." With its revolutionary, intellectual and cultural traditions, France has long influenced and fascinated both America and the world. However, as the twentieth century progressed French dominance waned. How do we explain the changing status of this once invincible nation? From World War II and the Vichy regime, through occupation, collaboration and resistance, from Marxism and intellectual "mandarins" through the politically fragile Fourth Republic, from decolonisation and Gaullism through student revolutions and sexual revolutions, from the theoretical battles over feminism, structuralism and post-structuralism, to the geographic battles over immigration and race, from modernization and technological change to globalization, we will study the history of modern France with an aim towards understanding France‘s shifting identity in the postwar world. Does France continue to wield influence on the world's stage? If so, how? To what extent are the stereotypes that we hold about France and the French grounded in reality? By examining the events, ideas, people and institutions that have shaped the French nation over the course of the last sixty years, we will formulate responses to these and other questions. In addition to fiction, historical monographs and other texts, the critical analysis of film, music and television will be integral to our work.


Russian politics, society, and culture from Peter the Great‘s "revolutionary" efforts to transform Russia into a modern society to the political and social revolutions of 1917. Above all, the course focuses on history as it was lived, made, and experienced by contemporaries and on our own efforts to understand it. Themes include the exercise and justifications of power; the motivations and values of rebels and dissidents of all sorts; artistic expressions; the life and culture of ordinary Russians; and competing ideas about the state, the individual, community, nation, religion, and morality. Most of the readings are primary texts, written by participants and witnesses. Weekly discussions of readings comprise an important part of the course. Requirements also include two take-home examination essays and an in-class final exam

479G2/G4/U3 19TH C US INTEL & CULTR HIST (Oberdeck, K.)

Same as RLST 478
Examines diverse strains of cultural and intellectual life in the US from the early Republic through the 1890s. Emphasizes popular culture, religious revivalism, educational institutions, reform movements, art, science, and literature and the roles of cultural elites, women, working-classes, African Americans, Native Americans and immigrants in shaping national, regional and local cultures. It will focus on both the ideas and beliefs of various groups inhabiting the region that became the United States and the ways such groups shared and debated their ideas--that is, on the dissemination and exchange of "culture" as well as its content. Readings will be in primary sources from the period as well as secondary sources interpreting the significance of particular practices of religion, social thought, literature, art, performance, as well as the material culture of daily life.
Participation in class discussion, a midterm, two papers, and a final exam required.


       Topic: Politics and Inequality

       Meets with 498A.

See Course Description for Hist 498A.


        Topic: Microhistory

        Meets with Hist 498B.

See Course Description for Hist 498B.


        Topic: 20th C. Women's History

        Meets with Hist 498C.

See Course Description for Hist 498C.


     Topic: The Foreign Gaze: Latin America in the Eyes of Travelers, Missionaries, Scientists, Engineers, Businessmen, and Diplomats, 1750-1950  

Meets with 498D.

See Course Description for Hist 498D.  


Topic: Mongols, Mughals, and Ottoman Turks
Meets with Hist 498E
See Course Description for Hist 498E.

495HH  Research and Writing Sem (Hayton, J.)

        Topic: History & Rock 'n' Roll

        Meets with 498H.

See Course Description of Hist 498H

495KH  Research and Writing Sem (Rabin, D.)

Topic: Jewish Atlantic World

Meets with 498K

See Course Description for Hist 498K


The twentieth century was a great age of historical writing, and we will be reading some of its most innovative and engaging books by historians such as Marc Bloch, Eric Foner, E. J. Hobsbawm, Fernand Braudel, Natalie Z. Davis, Christine Stansell, Peter Brown, and William Cronon. Students will have an opportunity to read great books in fields they already know, but also to learn about brilliant writing in unfamiliar fields; they will have a chance to appreciate Foner‘s robust biography of Tom Paine, Hobsbawm‘s Marxian epic of a revolutionary age, Braudel‘s evocation of the Mediterranean, and Cronon‘s stark portrait of the ecology of New England before and after European settlement, to name only a few of the selections. This will, then, be a semester-long exposure to some of the most exciting works that recent historical writing has to offer. The class will also work to improve writing skills through writing assignments and discussions of writing style.


Topic: U.S. Inequalities

Meets with Hist 495AH

Inequality matters, and it has a history—one that‘s critical to the trajectory of everything from prisons to college classrooms to malls, from stagnating minimum wages for the "have nots" to salary bonuses and tax cuts for the "haves," from bitter political divides to periodic calls for "shared sacrifice," from declining neighborhoods to gated communities. How, in the period from the late 19th century‘s Gilded Age to our current "new Gilded Age," have Americans grappled with economic, racial, gender, and other divides that have shifted who counts and who is left behind? How has that shaped the "social contract" between American society and individual citizens? The seminar‘s work will begin with in-class discussion of common readings on competing historical perspectives on U.S. inequalities between the two Gilded Ages, building toward each student‘s article-length research paper developed in continuing consultation with the instructor (from topic statement and bibliography to drafts, peer reviews, and oral presentations).


Topic: Microhistory

Meets with Hist 495BH

How did ordinary people make sense of the world around them? Before the end of the nineteenth century most people around the world were illiterate and left no written records of their values, attitudes, emotions, and worldviews. What sources and methods can historians use to penetrate the social universe of ordinary people, to analyze otherwise opaque realms of human experience? This research seminar uses the analytical techniques of microhistory – a historical genre that seeks to zero in on a specific event using sources such as court records and police reports or revealing documents such as letters and diaries – to reconstruct the cosmology of the ordinary person. In the first half of the seminar, we will read some of the most influential practitioners of the microhistorical genre. In the second half, students will research and write an original research paper in consultation with the instructor.


Topic: 20th C. Women’s History

Meets with Hist 495CH

Course description was not available at time of publication.       


 Topic: The Foreign Gaze: Latin America in the Eyes of Travelers, Missionaries, Scientists, Engineers, Businessmen, and Diplomats, 1750-1950

Meets with Hist 495DH

This course pursues two goals: To study how foreigners (mostly Europeans and Northamericans) have portrayed Latin American societies, cultures and politics; and to systematically work on substantial research papers, from bibliography to polished final papers. Foreigners have had a love-hate relationship with Latin America, and the majority of travelers have given us a rather warped, unrealistic image of the continent. They have portrayed it is a place of perfect, exuberant nature and depraved society, of Indian victims and corrupt elite, or as the opposite: as a continent of enervating tropics, racially inferior indigenous and African descent populations and heroic European struggles of ―civilizing‖ barbarians. In most cases Latin America has served as a seemingly empty canvass to project the desires, visions and interests of foreign writers, from the erudite Alexander von Humboldt to the caustic Aldous Huxley and moralistic Graham Greene. Along with regular work on the research projects we will read some exciting travel reports and modern scholarship on travel writing.


Topic: Mongols, Mughals, and Ottoman Turks

Meets with Hist 495EH
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.         


Topic: History & Rock ‘n’ Roll

Meets with Hist 495HH
From radio alarm clocks to IPods to the individualized Ring-tones on our cell phones, music is ever-present in our lives. But how do these aural texts reflect the social conditions of our society? How can popular music help us understand history? As an expressive genre that both documents and constitutes the past, popular music is a rich source for studying the past. The purpose of History & Rock ‘n’ Roll is to explore the relationship between music and history. Reading a wide variety of texts, we will examine the development of popular music from its rise to prominence in the late 19th Century to the present day. Moving across a range of historical and cultural contexts, this course will introduce students to various popular music genres"blues, rock 'n‘ roll, punk"as we explore relationships between the production and consumption of popular music and how these traditions work to express given societies and particular historical contexts. Throughout the course we will explore the relationship between politics and culture, how power relations are constituted in popular music culture, the transmission of music across national boundaries and importantly, how rock 'n‘ roll can give us a better understanding of our collective past.


 Topic: Jewish Atlantic World

Meets with Hist 495KH
This seminar will examine the role that Jews played in the expansion of Europe in the early modern period (1450-1800) and assess their participation in the economic, social, and religious life of the Atlantic world. Using a comparative approach we will consider Jewish communities in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America. The course will introduce students to the variety of Jewish experiences in the Atlantic world between 1450 and 1800 and allow each student to pursue research on a related topic. Each student will write a 15-20 page research paper based on original research in primary sources. To that end we will discuss methods of historical research including the identification of sources, their analysis, and historical writing.


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 in the fall semester and will become a weekly writing workshop in the spring. Throughout the year, it 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

502A Prob in Comparative History (McLaughlin, M.)

Topic:Gender and Religion: The Case of Christianity

The history of religion has been transformed within the last thirty years by the integration of feminist perspectives into the study of many traditional religious topics, as well as by the introduction of new research questions and agendas by feminist historians of religion. Scholars are now examining such topics as the role of gender and sexuality in the construction of religious symbols, the impact of sex segregation on religious institutions, and the relationship between embodiment and religious practice. This course is designed to provide students with a foundation for comparative work on these and similar subjects, by examining theoretical work from a variety of disciplines on gender and religion, as well as historical studies of gender in early (1st through 5th century) later medieval (11th through 15th century) and modern (20th century) American Christianity.



 Topic: Family and Colonial Modernity in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa

The history of "the family" has emerged as an important field of investigation in studies of colonial and post-colonial South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa (SAMENA). The premises of this course are, first, that contemporary debates in the three regions on human rights, family law, gender, and sexuality can be understood better in light of the re-imagining of "family" in modern times and the efforts of states, through legislation, to realize a modern family ideal. The second premise is that we can multiply our insights into this history through a comparative approach to SAMENA that will enable us to identify transnational patterns of change that may also be applicable to other regions. Modern social constructions of the family in SAMENA have been entangled with constructions (or reconstructions) of the nation and gender. Legal systems were reformed to bring them into conformity with European norms, literally resulting in the creation of "family law," which has become an arena in which conflicts over the roles of woman and the family are fought. We will begin with big-picture comparative and foundational works, and work our way through a series of topics. Chronologically, we will range from the pre-modern era to recent developments in family laws in selected SAMENA countries. Area content will be at least 25% African, 25% Middle Eastern, and 25% South Asian. 

551A PROB EUROPEAN HIST SINCE 1789 (Hitchins, K.)

Topic: Eastern

Europe, 1919-2010
Selected aspects of a revolutionary century touching Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria: the beginnings and evolution of Communism and Communist regimes, the nature and varied expressions of Fascism, the persistence of nationalism, the survival of liberalism, and the spirit and mind of the century in religion and literature. We shall also consider the origins and nature of the Cold War and trace the long-standing sense of difference between West and East going back to the eighteenth century. Members of the class may devote part of their study of these matters by fitting them to their own special interests. Besides the approaches used by historians, those taken by political scientists, anthropologists, and students of literature are welcome, as they will enrich our understanding of the character of our region and its course of development. Readings, discussions, and a paper.       


  Topic: Problems and Controversies of Soviet History, 1917-1991

This readings seminar will examine key historical and historiographical issues of the 70-year history of the Soviet Union. Weekly discussions will be based on extensive common and supplemental readings, including both new work and ―classics‖. We will consider substantive, methodological, and theoretical aspects of the field. Topics to be addressed may include: the 1917 revolution, Civil War, NEP, Soviet subjectivity, identity-formation, the Communist party, Stalinism, gender, collectivization and peasants, industrialization and labor, the terror, ethnicity and nationalism, war and Cold war, cultural revolution and popular culture, destalinization, and the everyday life of developed socialism. Four papers will be required, including a survey of one of the weekly discussion themes, one scholarly introduction to a particular primary source for Soviet history (novel, memoirs, reportage), one review essay of 2-3 novels or memoirs on a particular topic, and one brief scholarly book review. Ability to read in Russian is expected for those specializing in Russian history, but not necessary for others.


An advanced research seminar exploring questions of research theory, methodology, and interpretation in modern Russian history. Students will research, write, and present for critical discussion papers on topics of their choice using primary sources and appropriate scholarly literatures.

570A PROB IN AMERICAN HIST TO 1830 (Morrissey, R.)

Topic: Readings in Early American History

This readings seminar explores many classic and some new works of historical interpretation in early American history. The course has a dual purpose. On one hand, we will explore major themes in the colonial and early history of North America, such as settler society and frontiers, social life, economy and labor, migration, race and slavery, cultural development and change, empire and revolution. But the more important goal of this course is to provide a historiographical survey of the field. We will study some of the major lines of interpretation advanced by key historians working in the field of early America, and we will explore the questions, approaches, methods, and conclusions that have defined major schools of thought and approach within the field over the last few generations of scholarship. While our project cannot be comprehensive, the goal is for students to leave this course with a firm command of several key themes and interpretive debates within the scholarship on early America.
The major assignment in the course will be a historiographical essay examining one particular subject in early American history with an eye towards possible future research, comprehensive exams, or the student‘s thematic interests. Students will also write three 500-word book reviews, and work to master this peculiar literary form.

572A PROB IN US HIST SINCE 1815 (Barrett, J.)

 Topic: Core Readings in U.S. History

This course is designed to introduce students to core questions and debates in United States History. One object is provide some preparation for the written preliminary examination in Modern US history (though, of course, much more reading will be required). Another goal is to create a critical and stimulating discussion of American historical scholarship. In this course, we will be engaging with problems that have driven generations of historians of the U.S. as well as more recent topics that have sparked new insights. Readings will range from the Civil War period through the end of the twentieth century. Gaining knowledge of the content of American history is only part of the point of the class. We will also gain a sense of how historians‘ interpretations of the past have changed over time by reading and comparing a selection of older texts as well as current historical work. Throughout the course we will be analyzing how historians have done their work, what questions they have asked -- or ignored, the historical methods and sources used, how historians construct historical arguments, and the theoretical underpinnings of historical research.
The course will also include an introduction to the major references for secondary literature and archival materials in American history and probably a library field trip.
Ships, love, work, Communism, children, gender, war, death, the vote, and much more will be part of this conversation.


This course surveys social theories from the mid-nineteenth century through the late twentieth that have important bearing on the way historians conceive of society and culture in their work. Beginning with "classic" Western social theorists who addressed the characteristics of modern, capitalist societies, the course moves on to examine twentieth-century theorists who have addressed how individual and collective meanings contribute to the social distinctions and relations of power at stake in the social relations of a range of societies and, finally, to theorists who have questioned classic and Eurocentric accounts of these distinctions and relations from perspectives of new accounts of power and social difference associated with race, gender, sexuality, the postmodern and the postcolonial, space, and place.


This course is the first semester of a two-term sequence designed to introduce you to the basics of history and history-writing in theory and practice. Our main purpose this term is to learn how to read critically, to write analytically and above all to appreciate more fully what it means to be trained as a historian. Through a series of focused assignments, which aim to expose you to variety of reading and writing and thinking skills, we will grapple with 3 challenges that face all practitioners of the discipline: identifying the historical problem we want to tackle, deciding what methodologies are best suited to that problem, and locating and then making use of the primary sources necessary for analyzing the subject at hand