Spring 2003 Course Guide


100 Level


Please see course description for 111LEC.


A survey of western societies from prehistoric times to the seventeenth century.  We will discuss the most important economic, social, political and cultural developments, emphasizing both the unique character of each society studied, and the role it has played in shaping the modern west.

There will be two lectures and one discussion section each week.  Most readings are from primary sources (documents written during the times covered in the course) and from articles and books written by modern scholars.  Requirements include three exams, ten "microthemes" and class participation.


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.


The history of modern Western civilization demonstrates the power of ideology both to unite and to divide, to liberate and to enslave.  During the period from the scientific revolution of the 17th century to the Cold War of the 20th, ideas and systems first developed in Europe spread outward to affect the lives of individuals around the world.  Colonialism and capitalism undermined native societies from the New World to Asia, and Western imperialism came to dominate much of the globe. Western nations themselves were unsettled by political rivalry and economic conflict, culminating in the most destructive warfare ever seen. Through a textbook, an autobiography, and two historically based novels, we will study the complex interaction of events and personalities in the past.


This course examines the extraordinary political, economic, and social changes that occurred over the last 3 1/2 centuries, and their relationships to accompanying intellectual and cultural fermentation.  The focus is on Europe and Western civilization but in recognition of increasing globalization we will occasionally stray from our home turf.  Throughout the course we will have occasion to consider the issues of why nations have gone to war and what (if anything) constitutes appropriate justification.

Historians seek to explain why events take place and their impact, as well as why changes in government and society arise.  Students will have the opportunity in this course to examine evidence, think critically and draw conclusions in the manner of professional historians.


Please see course description for 112LEC


Same as RELST 120

The course covers the development of Judaism from its biblical origins until the modern era.  The course focuses on developments in Jewish thought and religion and the historical and social contexts within which these developments occurred.  The course uses two books: Robert M. Seltzer, Jewish People, Jewish Thought and Judith Baskin, Jewish Women in Historical Perspective.  This is also a course reader.  The course requires three short papers, a book review, a student diary, and worksheets on each chapter in Seltzer.  The course is taught in a lecture-discussion format.


Please see course description for 151LC2.


Please see course description for 151LEC.


This course serves as an introduction to U.S. history through Reconstruction.  The main themes that it will highlight are cross-cultural contact and conflict; the significance of race, class, gender, religion, and region in shaping social experience and political order; revolution, reform, expansion, and civil war.  All of these themes contribute to a larger, encompassing theme: nation building.  In pursuit of this theme, we will touch on topics ranging from disease and witchcraft to slavery and capitalism, with some pirates and portraiture thrown in for good measure.  As these topics suggest, the lectures and readings will expose you to a variety of historical approaches.  In the discussion sections and assignments, you will work with primary sources, the raw materials historians use to forge their narratives of the past.  This course should help you understand how we got to where we are today and, beyond that, the craft of history.


History 151LC2 is an introductory survey of American History from the first European encounters through Reconstruction.  By means of lectures, discussion meetings, and reading, students explore the full range of themes -- political, social, economic, cultural--that comprised the American experience. The instructor has selected readings and structured lectures around the idea of "community."  On exams and in an essay students will explore what "community" meant for various groups of people in different regions and how "community" changed over time.  Race Relations will be a major emphasis of the course.  The course leads toward an understanding of the shape and meaning of the past along with a knowledge of its details.  In addition to a textbook, the instructor assigns several paperbacks that vary in topic and approach.  Students attend two lectures and one discussion section weekly, the latter conducted by graduate teaching assistants.  In addition to traditional topics and practices, we also will use multimedia applications from the University of Illinois' RiverWeb project while exploring the History of the American Bottom region of the Mississippi River.


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 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.


Although the official title of this class is 1877 to present, it actually will deal with U.S. history from 1877 to 1998.  The course seeks to provide a college-educated U.S. citizen with the background needed to become an effective participant in American democracy.  You will not learn about who shot JFK or Martin Luther King but you will learn about the Battle of Midway and the civil rights movement.  The course will concentrate on the following themes: social groups and movements that expand the concept of democracy in the U.S.; national politics; major and some minor wars and the homefronts during those wars; and the rise of the U.S. as a global power and now Superpower.  Readings will include novels, documentary reporting, and original historical documents.  Lecturing at 8 A.M. will not be a hardship for the professor because she is a morning person.  Readings will include novels, documentary reporting, and original historical documents.


Please see course description for 152LC1.


Please see course description for 152LC2.


Same As EALC 170

This course introduces the shared ideas and institutions that link China, Korea, and Japan together in a broadly shared civilization, within which each has developed its own distinct culture.  We will focus on two historical processes: the making of a cultural system spanning East Asia, in which classical Chinese civilization, language, and culture was a key common element within each of the cultures of the region.  We will discuss the interplay of indigenous values and social practices, and unique historical developments in each of these countries produced distinct cultures within the broader civilization.  We will then examine the ways these cultures coped with the challenges of the modern world-challenges that they posed to each other, as well as the larger challenges of the emerging global community-and their development into modern nation-states.  Readings will include works of autobiography and literature produced in the cultures we are studying.


The Middle East for beginners, a/k/a "Muhammad to Mubarak": an introduction to the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to modern times.  This course covers the beginnings of Islam and the Caliphal empires, the medieval Islamic world, the rise and heyday of the Ottoman Empire, and the modern transformations of the last two centuries.  It will help you to understand the modern Middle East in terms of its history, especially the long-term development of religious, social, and political institutions, which have undergone considerable change in the modern era.  The reading includes original works in translation from all periods.  Your grade will be based on attendance and participation in the discussion sections; a map quiz; two 4-5 page essays on assigned topics; and midterm and final exams.


This course deals with general issues in modern Latin American history, such as economic dependency and development, social conflict, political instability, and militarism. It is divided into three periods: independence and neo-colonialism, 1820s-1880s; export-oriented progress, 1880s-1920s; and contemporary crises of underdevelopment and mass politics, 1930s-present. Emphasis is given to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Mexico.  Attention will be given to women's roles, including an examination of the career of Evita Peron.


This course provides a general, introductory survey of African history from earliest times to the present.  It assumes no prior knowledge of the subject, just some interest and a bit of enthusiasm. The course begins with a critical examination of how we view Africa and its past and the ways in which scholars -- African, European and American -- have contested the very meaning of "Africa."  Through lectures, discussions, films and a varied list of readings, we start with an exploration of Africa's rich precolonial past, paying particular attention to material and social change and the ways in which both rulers and ruled, farmers and traders, women and men made their worlds. After examining the impact of the slave trade on Africa's historical development, we turn to the commercial and religious revolutions of the 19th century and the struggles over land and labor in east and southern Africa.  We then explore the reasons for European expansion into Africa, the means by which the various colonial powers sought to control the continent and the resistance which they met.  How ordinary women and men confronted the social, cultural and economic violence of colonial rule is explored through primary documents, fiction and secondary historical accounts.  In the last two sections of the course we examine the struggles for liberation after the Second World War and the problems of independent Africa at the close of the century.  This is primarily a lecture course, although discussion is encouraged and portions of several lectures are set aside for discussion of specific topics.


History of Rome.  This course will examine the history of Rome from pre-Roman Italy of the sixth century B.C. to the "fall" of the western Roman Empire in the fifth century A.D.  Included in the course will be the rise of the Roman Republic, "Republican" values, the Republic's expansion through Italy and the Mediterranean world, the crisis of the Republic in the first and second centuries B.C., and the transformation of Republic into Empire.  The course will also study the pax romana of Imperial Rome, the crises of the third and fourth centuries A.D. as well as the transformation of the western Empire and Europe of late antiquity with the localization of Roman authority under Germanic kings and the acculturation of Roman and Germanic peoples.  Included in our study will be the Christianization of the Empire, the consequences of Christianization, and the legacy of Rome.  The course will not only examine political, but also social, economic, and cultural aspects of Rome as well.  The course will emphasize critical reading of primary documents and the use of historical methodology.  Two midterm examinations, a final, and several microtheme papers (2-3 pages) will be required for the course.


For Honors Thesis Writers Onl

200 Level


Same As CINE 200

Topic:  Hollywood Musicals as Social Commentary, 1929 to 1945.


Same As CINE 200

Topic: Pan-Chinese Cinemas: In Search of Modernity and Globalization

This course deals with the varied and interconnected histories of Chinese cinemas in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and diasporic Chinese communities in Southeast Asia and North America from the 1920s to today.  It approaches Chinese cinemas as both a social practice and a part of the modern urban popular cultural experiences in a period marked by wars, revolutions, and economic transformation.  The rise of cinemas in China were embedded in a historical context of imperialism and nationalism, and their developments have been interwoven with a vision for cultural modernity and a global audience.  These contexts and visions define the themes for this course. Course requirements include research paper, film reviews, and class presentations.


Topic:  The Era of the Photograph:  A Global History 1860s-1950s

Photography is central to how we "see" the century, which began in the 1860s.  Photographs raise important methodological and theoretical issues for the study of history: How do we "see" the past?  How does the photograph shape our perception?  For what are photographs primary documents-for the "reality," which they purport to represent, or the values of the photographer?  Is it possible that pictures "tell lies"?  Starting with Matthew Brady and the US Civil War we will explore the extent to which photographs can be used to construct a "global" history.  Euro-American photographers documented the peoples which Euro-American imperialism was subjugating; but Africans, Asians and Latin Americans themselves soon began taking photographs.  In what ways do these photographic traditions differ?  Photographs are the principal material for this course.  Students will be expected to complete a term project, which addresses one of the theoretical issues raised in class and which uses photographs as primary material.


Topic: Representing Difference in History

"Difference" or "alterity" has been broadly defined as discourse on the otherness of people.  In the past two decades this has become one of the most hotly discussed, not to say fashionable, topics.  This interest has been triggered by a host of social and political developments but also by a paradigmatic shift in emphasis in scholarship generally.  As part of the "Introduction to historical interpretation" this undergraduate seminar aims to assist students in developing core skills such as analyzing primary and secondary sources, and critically examining historiography.  It will focus on theoretical and methodological issues by discussing different aspects of alterity: analyzing the concept of "the Other," the historical and geographical perspectives on otherness, the variety of signifiers of alterity (time, race, class, gender).  Key categories will be analyzed, with the help of R. Williams's "Keywords."  At the same time, the course aims at historical and geographical concreteness, with readings focusing on historical representations in different parts of the world: F. Fanon, I. Clendinnen, E. Said, A. Blunt, M. Todorova.


Topic: Histories of Race Theories

This course examines the development of race in theories of science and the role of science in theories of race, focusing particularly on the histories of biology, anthropology and American sociopolitics.  Arranged around specific themes (i.e., craniology, ethnology, eugenics, mind sciences and genetics) and discussing many racial groups, our main goal in this seminar is to trace the historical development of the race concept since the eighteenth century.


Topic: Power, Imagination, and the Everyday

This course explores Russian history from the beginning to today through historical documents, literature, art, and scholarly readings that focus on questions of culture and experience. This survey course is not just about "what happened."  Three themes stand at the center of our tour of the Russian past: Power and resistance: rulers and their ideals as well as dissent and rebellion. Vision and imagination: ways of thinking, feeling, seeing, and dreaming expressed in art, music, literature, ideas, religion, and spirituality.  The experience of everyday life.


Same as EALC 222

A survey of Chinese civilization from earliest times to the mid-seventeenth century.  The course will open your eyes to the complex process of the development of traditional China.  We will take on stereotypes about a stagnant, traditionalist, and monovocal China.  While you will be introduced to major enduring institutions such as the imperial bureaucracy, the family system, and the civil service examination system, special attention will be given to recovering the disruptive forces and contesting voices that were suppressed in the memory of traditional historiography.  You will be introduced to the teachings of Confucius, Lao Tzu and Buddha and other major thinkers.  We will also examine major change in demographic, social, economic, and political patterns.  You will be introduced to the world of traditional Chinese women and listen to stories about their experience with men, their family, and society.  Finally, we will stop at the historical juncture where the Chinese had to confront the growing presence and power of European civilizations in East Asia.  No prior knowledge of Chinese history is required.  There will be a mid-term, a term paper and a final.

231 BRITISH ISLES TO 1688 (Hibbard)

THE BRITISH ISLES FROM STONEHENGE TO THE GLORIOUS REVOLUTION.  An introduction to the study of history through the study of the British Isles in the Medieval and Early Modern period.  Students are encouraged not just to "learn the facts," but also to consider the types of information available to students of history--archeology, art, literature, as well as more traditional documents.  We examine questions of historical bias and interpretation.  The reading includes short general texts, several works of literature (Beowulf, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales), a special study of Thomas Becket and his conflict with Henry II, and a biography of an important figure (e.g., Queen Elizabeth I, or Oliver Cromwell) from the 16th or 17th century.  This course will have one hour exam, a final exam, and short writing assignments, totalling 20 pp.


History is a story, and important stories have been told about the islands known as Great Britain.  In this survey course, we will be concerned with major events and remarkable personalities in British history since the late 1600s: King George III, the so-called "Industrial Revolution," Charles Dickens, the Irish potato famine, Winston Churchill, World War II, and Margaret Thatcher, to name just a few.  But we will also seek answers to larger questions raised by these events.  Is there one "British" culture, or several?  Was the British Empire doomed to decline?  Does constitutional government represent the interests of everyone, or only the upper classes?  Finally, we will investigate how historical facts are interpreted and portrayed, not only in literature and film but also in your own short works of history.  Requirements include a midterm, a final exam, and a combination of writing assignments totaling about 20 pages.


This course surveys selectively the social and conceptual development of science from 1800 to the present.  Topics include: the emergence of science as a profession in Western Europe; the creation of the laboratory; conceptual developments in the physical, life, and earth sciences in the 19th century; the coming of age of science in America; the linking of science and technology; science in wartime (e.g., the Manhattan project and the development of the atomic bomb); the characteristics of post-war, "Big Science"; and the science and politics of modern biotechnology.

Two hour exams, a paper, and a final are required.


Same as Afro 254

History 254 surveys the African American experience from 1877 to the present or from the Nadir into the post-civil rights era.  This course examines the interaction between African American's community-building efforts and post-slavery systems of racial oppression.  It provides a structural framework for understanding the dialectical relationship between changing U.S. capitalist political economies, an evolving federal government, the institutions and ideologies of racial oppression, and the self-emancipatory practices of African American people.  It surveys transformations of African Americans from sharecropping and Jim Crow segregation in the South, through migration, urbanization, and proletarianization in the North and West, to contemporary deindustrialization.  This course explores the processes by which African Americans created and maintained independent institutions and a distinct culture.  History 254 chronicles several phases of the Black freedom movement, including the New Negro, civil rights, and Black power movements.  History 254 explores unification and fragmentation among African American people.  Consequently, much attention is given to Black workers and issues of class, Black women and questions of gender, and the problems of African American youth and generational conflict.


Same As AAS 258, AFRO 258, LLS 258

Today, in the context of 9/11, "racial profiling" is back with a vengeance, snaring newer groups into its conceptual net, especially those of "strange" religious fates and appearances.  Indeed, the consequences of the past decade of racial division in America have been enormous, from issues such as affirmative action and immigration to social welfare and international relations.  Yet, today, we remain as confused as ever about the meanings of race.  Is race the same as ethnicity?  How is race related to culture?  How has it influenced relations between rich and poor, men and women, gay and straight, people of urban and rural areas?  How have race and racism developed over time and place?  How have they been "constructed," destroyed, and re-made?  What are the realities and possibilities of "multiculturalism"?  In this course, we will attempt to grapple with these difficult questions by engaging various historical sources on race.  The course will be "interdisciplinary," based upon the presentations of professional scholars here at the University of Illinois whose disciplines range from history to education, to sociology, literature, and public policy.  But we will also utilize various books and films that have been selected for their suggestiveness in expanding our concepts of race.


Same As AAS 259

"Asian Americans" today are a dizzyingly diverse group. Most "Asian Americans" do not even see or label themselves as such.  How then do we study and write "Asian American history"?  What issues arise in trying to incorporate this heterogeneity into one historical narrative, one story?  In this course, we will attempt to grapple with these problems.  We will relate them to the larger paradoxes of capitalism and democracy, unity and difference that have plagued American history writ large.  We will use as the basis of our investigation the acclaimed history, Strangers from a Different Shore, by the respected Asian American scholar, Ronald Takaki.  Takaki will help us survey the reasons why men and women of the Asian continent migrated to what is today the United States, the ways they established communities and related across generational divides, the challenges they faced, and the ways they responded to their new conditions.  We will then explore alternative views of Asian American history that go beyond these themes using autobiography and film as our windows into larger historical events.  One of the important themes of the course is how international developments, such as capitalism and the nation-state, have played an integral role in the lives, the discourses, and the consciousness of Asian Americans, and how in turn they have influenced these larger structures to create their own destinies.


As a survey, this course aims to provide an overview of the major dimensions of twentieth century U.S. History - social, political, economic, cultural, and diplomatic.  The emphasis, however, will be on social and economic history.  In practice, this means relatively less attention paid to individuals and institutions and more to broad trends and critical events - economic growth and crisis; migration and immigration; changing gender, racial, and social class relations.  The readings, lectures, and assignments try to integrate such broad changes in the social and economic structure with the ways in which they were experienced by common people.  Readings will consist of about six paperbacks including at least one novel or autobiography.  There are two hourly exams, a final, and a paper based on readings (not outside research).


For Unit One students, only.

Twentieth Century U.S. History will examine the past century chronologically and thematically.  Themes that will guide lectures, discussions and student papers will focus on 1. The rise of the United States from a largely regional to a global power, 2. The continual internal diversity of the nation and 3. The struggle to reconcile a strong ethos of individualism with the perceived need to demonstrate collective strength and unity as a nation.

The semester begins with a discussion of the debate between scholars and politicians about the role of history in the classroom.  Twentieth Century U.S. History then proceeds chronologically from the Spanish-American War to The End of Century under the Bush Presidency.

The class will incorporate both lecture and discussions in almost every session.


History 282 picks up where history 281 left off, although 281 is not a prerequisite.  History 282 discusses military technology, theory, organization, and practice in the industrial age.  Topics to be covered include the following: 19th century weapons development, the influence of Clausewitz, the American Civil War, the creation of the general staff, the rise of Japan as a modern military power, the battleship era, World War I, the emergence of armor and air power, World War II, the impact of nuclear weapons, the Korean War, insurgency and counter-insurgency, the Vietnam conflict, the Arab-Israeli wars, and Terrorism.  Who can doubt that war has shaped the last century, from World Wars to Terrorism?  Learn more about this inescapable, though regrettable, side of human experience.  In addition to two hourly examinations and a final, students will write a paper on a subject of their choosing.


How should a student prepare to write an honors thesis?  Answering this question requires a look "behind the scenes" of historical research.  In this seminar we will examine the basic three components of historical research: topics and questions, primary sources, and secondary literature.  How do these three components work together when scholars write history today?  Discussions and assignments will combine practical questions (i.e. how does one find book reviews?) with abstract issues: how have historians structured their dialogue with the past?  When we ask questions about the past, what makes some answers better than others?  We will discuss these (and many other) questions, based on case studies of historical research.  In History 292 students will learn how to move from being consumers of history to become producers of their own historical scholarship.


Topic: Chicago:  A Social History

The University of Chicago's pioneering sociologists had the idea first in the early years of this century:  The city might become a laboratory in which to observe and study the process of urbanization and related problems.  Nowhere else did urbanization and the other broad processes of change which have transformed life in the United States -- industrialization, social class formation, mass migration -- occur more swiftly 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 these and other key problems in the field of social history.

The course has been designed with the aim of integrating a number of media -- maps, slides, videos, and music with lectures and discussion to probe several theories of urban development and change in relation to Chicago's own growth from the mid-nineteenth century to recent years.  (Classes will normally be divided between an informal lecture and seminar style discussion.)  In each of the units on race, ethnicity, class, and politics, we will look at a particularly important event or institution and at the general context:  the formation of an urban African-American community through mass migration and the 1919 race riot; the rise and decline of working-class radicalism and the Haymarket Tragedy of 1886; the creation of ethnic neighborhoods and their relationship with the model social settlement of Hull House; the development of the urban political machine and Chicago's social and political crisis in the summer of 1968.

In addition to two short papers based on readings and discussions, course requirements include a research paper based on original sources and an oral presentation to the class based on this research.

The course will probably include a field trip in the spring to some of Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods, Hull House, Haymarket, and the model industrial town of Pullman.



Topic:  History of Travel

Scientific travel expeditions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries made it possible for Europeans to explore, map, and conquer most of the non-European world; they also provide fascinating glimpses of contact between European and non-European peoples.  In this course we will look at the expeditions of Captain Cook, Charles Darwin and other travelers.

We will discuss such topics as the ambitions of statesmen at home, the drama of life at sea, the impact of encounters on hosts abroad, and the challenges to travelers' preconceived beliefs.


This survey of period 1200-1600 will examine some crucial moments and trends in the transition from medieval to modern, with particular reference to the conceptualization history.  Where do "the Middle Ages" end?  Where does "the Renaissance" or "Early Modern Period" begin?  The use of these latter terms calls the other into being, but do such labels conform to any real or perceived developments in the world as it was experienced by the people of the time?  In answer to these questions, we will analyze a number of different phenomena, problems, and events: the growth of the nation-state; family life and the changing social order; the effects of the Black Death; literacy, numeracy, and the shift from a manuscript culture to that of the printed book; the English peasants' rising of 1381; the Gothic vision of the Middle Ages vs. the one-point perspective the Renaissance; the Reformation and Counter-Reformation; the clash of the Old World and the New.  Readings will juxtapose primary sources (works of Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Christine de Pisan, Froissart, Rabelais, Shakespeare) with influential scholarship (Burckhardt, Huizinga, LeRoy Ladurie, Bakhtin, Foucault, Ginzberg, Delumeau, Kantorowicz, Davis).

296FF W.E.B. DUBOIS (Edwards)

Meets with Afro 298, Sec FF

No figure in Black history wields more influence than W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the most noted American intellectuals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Among his many roles as a political commentator/activist and a literary figure, Du Bois was at first a "scientist" who tackled the biological conception of race.  While much attention is always given to his most famous statement, "The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line," not enough critical focus has been given to the research that led Du Bois to this assessment.  In this course, we will focus on the formative years of Du Bois's "intellectual" history, focusing on how his ideas about the color line were formulated.


Meets with AFRO 298 II

This course focuses on primary sources (slave songs, slave narratives, tales, laws, plantation records, newspappers, etc.) on U.S. slavery from the Revolution to emancipation.  It asks students to think carefully about what those documents tell us about life under slavery from the slave's point-of-view.  Some reading of historians of slavery is assigned and brief lectures will help to impart basic facts about the slave system.  However, the main emphasis will be on your ability to read sources, reason and communicate, orally and in writing several short papers.


Topic: Plutarch, Biography, and Great Figures of Antiquity

The aim of this course is to understand the greatest biographer of antiquity, Plutarch of Chaironeia, and the figures about whom he wrote.  The course will explore not only the lives and times of famous leaders, but also how Plutarch, whose work influenced Shakespeare, fashioned his biographies.  In addition to biographies of Plutarch, various outside readings will be assigned and a paper required.

298B CIVIL RIGHTS (Burton, V.)

The Civil Rights Movement is often called the Second Reconstruction, one that was made successful through the efforts of southern black men and women.  These efforts transformed the outlook of an entire nation, and in the process enlisted the support and participation of people from every region, ethnic group, and class.  Broadly speaking, the Civil Rights Movement was an educational movement; its success in altering the attitudes and behavior of a significant segment of the American populace was largely dependent upon the role of such informal influences as mass media, church sermons, "freedom schools," marches, and rallies.  Since World War II, the Civil Rights Movement has been the leading domestic influence on American society, and the domestic history of the United States when the movement was in full swing, in the 1950s until 1969, is basically the history of North-South relations.  The course also will examine the links between the demand for civil rights by African Americans and other social concerns such as the rise of feminism, respect for the rights of the elderly, the activism of Native Americans, Latina/os, the emergence of gay rights, and a new concern for the handicapped.  One of the significant contributions that C. Vann Woodward made in The Strange Career of Jim Crow was to define American race relations as a field of historical inquiry.  Before Woodward's book, the origins and causes of segregation, and its influence on the South and on the nation, had not been an area of historical discussion, let alone an area of historiographical debate.  And yet, nearly fifty years after the first publication of Strange Career, the impact of American segregation remains little understood.  This course will move beyond a monolithic picture of the age, one that sees no regional differences and no change over time until the system inexplicably and abruptly terminated itself.  Students will read extensively about segregation and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.  Although the focus of the course will be on the American Civil Rights Movement, the course will place U.S. segregation and the struggle against it in a comparative framework, looking specifically at South Africa and Latin America


Historically, there have been many different ideologies, social movements, and political and cultural formations that have come to be labeled as "conservatism".  The shared project of this seminar is to critically consider the role that these "conservatisms" have played in the history of America in the twentieth-century.  We will inquire into the historical roots of a number of these strands of conservatism, including Southern, traditionalist, religious, racial, social, cultural, anticommunist, populist, anti-statist, and free-market conservatism.  We will ask we ask what the concept of "conservatism" means, given the diverse nature of what has historically been defined as such.  We will look for similarities, differences, and contradictions between these various "conservatisms," and the ways in which their adherents and philosophies have either diverged or converged throughout the twentieth-century.  To these ends, we will ask ourselves what conservatism has meant and what kinds of people have embraced conservative worldviews or political beliefs in a number of different historical contexts.  We will consider both continuities and historical changes in the ways those various strands of conservatism have been defined, functioned, and drawn adherents throughout the course of the twentieth century.  Further, we will consider the impact of conservative thought and social movements on the social, political, cultural, and economic development of the United States.  Throughout this process we will pay close attention to how and in what contexts the development of these "conservatisms" have revolved around and impacted issues of race, religion, class, gender, and sexuality. 

Given the recent conservative turn in American society and politics the class will provide valuable analytical tools for understanding our contemporary world.  The seminar will also provide a group of students with wide-ranging interests a chance to do projects in a variety of different kinds of history, including, cultural, social, political, economic, military, legal, gender, and intellectual history.  Conservatives, Libertarians, Liberals, Moderates, Socialists, Communists are all welcome.


The current war on terrorism inescapably directs our attention to American collective memories of wartime home fronts and the scholarly interpretive debates that have challenged but by no means displaced those memories.  Wartime imperatives reopen essential assumptions that underlie American society and that give meaning to citizenship itself.  What do Americans owe the state, their communities, their families, and the war dead?

This seminar investigates the home front experience in the U.S.'s major 20th century wars-the misleadingly-labeled "total wars" of World War I and World War II and the so called "limited" involvements in Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars.  The impact of those conflicts on society, culture, and politics has been significant enough to generate any number of historical debates over the integrative and disintegrative effects of war on racial, class, age, and gender divisions; relationships among peace movements, public opinion, and restrictions upon civil liberties; the propaganda functions of movies and advertising; and the effects of economic mobilization on relations among government, business, labor, universities, and the culture of consumption.  The seminar culminates in each student's article-length study focusing on some aspect of wartime change.


History 298F will examine the phenomenon of Terrorism in history.  After considering how to define Terrorism, militarily, politically, and morally, the class will deal with case studies.  Each student will choose an example and write a paper and make a class presentation on it.


As the reports and debates about reproductive practices, ethics, and policy that appear in contemporary news reports and political discourse underscore, human reproduction is neither simply a personal nor biological event.  This course not only historicizes contemporary concerns, it is designed to introduce students to important themes in the history of medicine and women as well as to a range of historical theories and methods.  Topics include midwifery, obstetrics, birth control, abortion, mother and fatherhood, adoption, birth defects, infant mortality, and more.

Although often treated as a "private" family issue, in fact, pregnancy and reproductive topics have long been of great interest to the nation, militaries, and medicine, and subject to state control and political debate.  As such, reproduction deserves critical attention.  The social status of women has been defined by their reproductive capacity, which has raised important questions about the relationship between biology and society, about what is "natural" and what socially constructed. A number of theorists argue that reproduction is as important to as a society's mode of production and political structure.

The study of reproduction also sheds new light on the history of medicine and health.  We will examine the nature of medical practice, the relationship between physicians and patients, professionalization and competition in medical care, public policy, and the impact of changing technology on medicine and society.

The course is designed around both readings and research.  Students will analyze and become familiar with a variety of historical sources in class.  Each student will also do their own research in primary sources and write a lengthy, analytical paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the professor.  The course will also include one or more documentaries and field trip(s) to the library.


This course will allow students to learn about how Native Americans have been portrayed in American culture from the colonial era to the present.  In addition to completing a research paper on a topic of their choice, class members will discuss the process through which actual Native American people are reconstructed as "Indians" in media ranging from dime novels and history books to films to memorials, museums, and commemorative sites.


Topic: State and Society in the Fifteenth Century

The purpose of History 298 is to transform history majors from consumers of history into producers of history by practicing the methods used by professional historians-reading, writing, discussion, debate, and the formal presentation of research- in order to create a historical product. However, the intent is far from a sterile exercise.  The research, critical thinking, communication (written and spoken) and analytical skills honed in this course are useful for students, whether they continue on to graduate school, professional programs, or into the job market.

The fifteenth century, poised between the medieval and early modern eras, was one of remarkable change throughout Europe.  Contact with other cultures, which had begun much earlier in the medieval period, accelerated.  Trade, war, and religion all caused conflict within the European setting and between Europeans, Africans, and various peoples of the Ottoman Empire.  This course will explore the opportunities and tensions, continuities and changes that are the hallmark of this turbulent century and how the events of the fifteenth century set the stage for the early modern world.  The fall of Constantinople, the end of the Hundred Years' War, and the Italian Wars will highlight not only military conflict but political aims and religious issues.  Increasing fluidity in class structure through the creation of a mercantile society and the depredations of plague will highlight social tensions.  Racial issues, always present in the conflict between Muslims and Christians, become even more prominent as Europeans gain a foothold in Africa.  Through the eyes of Nicholas Fleury and his family, friends, and enemies, the rich cultures of the world come together in a way that makes the complicated history of a diverse geography more comprehensible.  Nicholas is not a historical person, but most of the people he encounters are real, even if in many cases we know little about them.  The course will range in area from the Burgundian and French courts to Africa, Italy, Cyprus, Scotland, Poland, and Russia.  The geographical and thematic depth will allow students to range widely in terms of paper topics.

While most of the required readings for this course will be fiction, students will be expected to use the novels as a jumping-off point for exploring the primary and secondary sources that help illuminate the history of the fifteenth century.

300 Level


Same As MDVL 303, RELST 304

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 RELST 306

In many aspects of their lives, the women and men of Western Europe entered a bewildering new era in the years from 1500 to 1648.  The measured development and evolution of the Middle Ages gave way to revolutions in art, religion, science, warfare, exploration and trade.  Were these sudden and sweeping changes for better or for worse?  The great humanist Erasmus wrote in 1517 (the birth-year of the Protestant Reformation) 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 the Reformation combined an electrifying sense of promise with immense human misery.  It combined dreams of human freedom with brutal subjugation.  This age of astonishing creativity (Michelangelo), intense faith (Luther) and fervent piety (Loyola), also saw so much waste and needless suffering: witch-burnings and religious war, forced conversions, famine and slavery.

In this course we will examine the many faces of the age of Protestant and Catholic Reformations by reading and discussing primary sources: firsthand accounts of this time of creativity and destruction, hope and fear. (With thanks to Jonathan Zophy.)

311 EUROPEAN HISTORY FROM 1815 TO 1871 (Liebersohn)

Europe after 1815 is 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.

313 EUROPEAN HISTORY FROM 1918-1939 (Fritzsche)

This course will explore the birth of the twentieth century in the crucible of war and revolution.  We will look at the new regimes of fascist Italy, Soviet Russia, and Nazi Germany, the idea of the modern in the arts and technology, and the impact of war and depression on ordinary lives.  Sexual mores, week-end entertainments, and popular culture will concern us as well. 

Readings will include novels and contemporary essays and will be supplemented by period films.  Students will be expected to read carefully and to write analytically.


New Course to be cross-listed with Latin American Studies 301

Interdisciplinary course open to advanced undergraduates and to graduate students, and cross-listed with anthropology, Latin American Studies, and environmental studies.  It provides background on the major issues involving plant sciences, culture, and history, focused on indigenous knowledges and practices in Latin America.  Course format is both lecture and discussion with important opportunities for student research.  Field trip planned as a summer course with separate registration and academic credit. Student evaluations will be based on weekly reading quizzes, two hourly exams, and the directed research project.


Why can't the Palestinians and Israelis settle their conflict?  What difference has oil made in the modern history and politics of the Persian Gulf region?  What is behind Islamic fundamentalism?  And how did the U.S. get involved in all of this anyway?  This course will help you answer these questions and more.  We will examine the post-WWI history of Egypt, Arabia, the Fertile Crescent (including Israel), Iran, and Turkey, a group of countries representing a diversity of societies, political systems, and histories, and which have experienced colonization and decolonization, the rise of nationalist movements and other secular "isms," plus religious-reformist and militant religio-political movements.  We will explore these issues against the background of the region's modern social and economic transformation.  Grades will be based on written work, including a term paper.  You have to read to understand this stuff, and so a fair amount of reading is assigned, including some fiction


In the early 1720s, flush with a victory over Sweden that established Russia as a major power in Europe, the Senate in St. Petersburg insisted that the country's impressive ruler, Peter I, take on the titles "Great," "Father of the Fatherland," and "Emperor."  What did Empire and Fatherland mean for Russia, its vast territories, and diverse peoples?  This course explores the world of Imperial Russia, from Peter's time to the revolutions of 1917, and seeks to understand the fundamental transformations of society, politics, and culture that followed upon Russia's attempt to participate in, and surpass, contemporary European civilization.  Readings will include specialist articles on select topics, major works of Russian fiction, music, art, and social criticism, and personal documents such as letters and diaries.


Topic: The Modern Balkans

This course covers the history of the creation and development of the independent Balkan states (Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and party Turkey) during the 19th and 20th centuries.  This process, whose obverse side was the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, can be approached as a case study of the larger and general process of dissolution of multinational empires into nation states that dominated much of Europe's experience in this period.  Special attention is given to Balkan nationalism, its roots, evolution and various manifestations.  The modernization of the rural societies of the Balkans, their state and nation building are major problems of comparative analysis.  Other topics cover ethnic conflict and/or accommodation, inter-Balkan relations, and the role of the great powers in the region.  Finally, a close look will be taken at contemporary developments in the Balkans, especially the Yugoslav crisis.  Readings include St. Pavlowitch, P. Sugar, J. Lampe and R. Crampton, as well as two works of fiction: Kazantzakis's "Zorba the Greek" and Ivo Andric's "The Bridge on the Drina."


Same as MDVL 332

England was the first European country to be united in pretty much its modern outline; but despite this precocity, its relations with neighboring Wales, Scotland and Ireland were often troubled, and it was not able to dominate all these areas.  Why this was the case is one of the questions we will consider in this course, which covers the social and cultural as well as the political history of England from the fifth through the fifteenth century.  We will also look at England's relations with the rest of Europe, and with the Mediterranean in the age of Crusades.  Students will learn how historians use various sources to create a picture of English medieval life: art, architecture, literary and documentary evidence. In addition to the textbook, we will read and discuss some primary sources, including a medieval life of Alfred the Great, and several historians' works on both the nobility and the common people.  Student participation in class debate and discussion is welcomed, and indeed expected.  Grading is based on participation, a comparative book review, a midterm exam and a final exam; all exams are primarily essay format.


Same as PHIL 318

This course is a survey of science and philosophy of science from the death of Newton to the 20th century.  We will read examples of scientific work from this period in chemistry (Black on lime), biology (Darwin on the origin of species), and physics (Einstein on relativity).  On the philosophical side we will consider the justification of induction (Hume, Popper, Carnap), causation and causal inference (Hume, Mill), probability and its use for understanding scientific inference (Laplace, Keynes, Carnap), an attempt to make science deductive (Popper), and an argument that scientific reasoning cannot be rationally compelling (Kuhn).  Throughout the course we will compare philosophical theories of scientific reasoning with the arguments used by scientists.  All readings are from primary sources and will be in a course pack available from the Illini Union Bookstore.

Grades will be determined by three 50-minute exams spaced equally through the semester.  These will be short answer exams and the questions will be taken from a list of questions distributed in advance and discussed in lectures.  Students taking the course for graduate credit also write an essay.

The prerequisite for this course is Scientific Thought I (Hist. 339/Phil. 317), and it really is required.


This discussion class investigates the character of  American political tolerance and freedom in times of crisis, through a series of case studies: images of the American "enemy"; the Red Scare after World War I; the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II; McCarthyism (the anchor for the course); and the resentments generated by protest movements in the late 1960s.  The post-9/11 "war on terrorism" brings into urgent focus issues of citizenship, subversion, civil liberties, and the imperatives of imposed political orthodoxy and unity raised by these case studies.  Analyses of contemporary events will therefore be used to help frame historians' opposing interpretations and a range of primary sources: propaganda posters, several feature films of the times, and a photocopies documents collection of public opinion polls, internal government memoranda, Congressional hearings and speeches, and magazine articles.  In addition to exploring these sources, students will complete an in-class exam, two 7-10 page analytic essays, and additional assignments staking out their positions on major issues of the course.


"This course focuses on the search for answers to some of the important questions about the history of the American republic from its founding through its early developmental period.  Among the questions posed are how, having rejected the authority of government, could governmental authority be re-asserted after the Revolution?  Could people accept a nationalist concept of America when for so long they defined themselves by their locality?  Why did the American republic become a democracy and how did democracy change the republic?  Could republican principles survive in a market-driven society?  How did Americans live with the paradox of believing their society was the best ever devised and, at the same time, worried that it would destroy itself?

In our search for answers to these and other questions we will examine among other things: the conflict over whether to ratify the Constitution; the development of American politics; the role of war in shaping an American identity; the American pre-occupation with the moral right and wrong of their new society; and the relationship between religion and politics in a society founded on the principle of separation of church and state."


All you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about class, money, sex, work and death in 20th Century America.


Same as RELST 382

This lecture/discussion course surveys the development of modern American culture since the mid-nineteenth century.  It focuses on the construction of a national culture out of class, ethnic, gender and regional diversity; the impact of Darwinian ideas on Protestant religious traditions; the texture of popular and mass culture and the rise of cultural "experts"; the influence of social and political reform movements; and the meaning of "modernism" and "postmodernism".  Course materials include primary written documents from American intellectual and cultural life as well as videos from American film and TV history and images from the popular and fine arts.  There will be two papers, one in-class midterm and an in-class final exam.  Class attendance and participation are required and encouraged.


Same as AFRO 374

HISTORY OF THE BLACK FREEDOM MOVEMENT is an interdisciplinary exploration of the experiences of African American people interpreted through the prism of Black Studies' central concepts, theories, and paradigms.  Nevertheless, many of the concepts and paradigms utilized in this course come from social movement theories developed in the disciplines of sociology and political science.  Yet, in the sense that is structured around the historical process and is organized chronologically, it is a history course.  The purpose of this course is three-fold: (1) to explore how and to what extent the Black Freedom Movement changed the role, position, and place of African Americans in the United States' political economy, policy, and civil society; (2) to explore the extent to which racial oppression continued to plaque African Americans after the civil rights and Black power movements; and (3) to access whether and if so, in what ways and to what degree African Americans were transformed by Black Freedom Movement.

HISTORY OF THE BLACK FREEDOM MOVEMENT covers the years 1955 to the present, but primarily explores the turbulent 1960s (1955-1975).  During the "high tide" of the Black Freedom Movement (BFM) social activists in its civil rights and Black power stages heroically confronted the United States system of racial oppression, challenging structural oppression and racist representations.  This course focuses on the activities of Civil rights and Black power movement activists.  HISTORY OF THE BLACK FREEDOM MOVEMENT explores the strategies, tactics, and discourses used by different factions of the BFM, particularly the differences between the organizing and mobilizing traditions.  A major part of this course explores, unites, and fractures across class, generational, color, gender, and ideological lines among African American activists and between them their allies as they challenged corporate and local, state, and federal governmental policies and practices.  BFM activists succeeded in dismantling the constitutional scaffolding supporting segregation, transforming blackness from a pejorative into a positive identity, and in partially incorporating middle class African Americans into the political and economic mainstream.  They also built alternative autonomous institutions, revived nationalist and radical Black politics and culture, and constructed multiracial, pan-African, and international coalitions.  Nevertheless, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements' victories were incomplete.  Although the prevailing racial formation, the Plantation Economy, and its segregationist system of racial oppression was abolished by movement activists, the system of black racial oppression was destroyed, but transmuted into a new racial formation and perhaps more insidious system of racial oppression.


The singular ecological environment of Andean South America has given rise to distinct civilizations and national societies.  The course will interweave common and diverse Andean patterns of culture, society, economy and politics from prehispanic times until today in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru.  Themes will include adaptation to the environment by the prehispanic cultures and colonial and national societies, the oppression, resistance and creative adpatations by the Andeans and other ethnic groups since the European invasion of the Inca Empire, colonial and post-colonial "racial orders," nation-state formation and issues of political inclusion or exclusion, the shifting orientations of the region's economy and the rise of mass politics in the twentieth century.


Ten topics are covered: General interpretations of Brazilian history; the colony and the origins of neo-colonial society; the neo-colonial nation-state; slavery as a system; immigration, banditry and messianism; industrialization; populism, military dictatorship, and redemocratization; current race relations; private life; and environmental history (focused on tropical forests).  Requirements: hour exam (30 percent); paper (10 to 12 pp., 30 percent); final exam (40 percent).  (Paper requirement is approx. 25 pp. for graduate students, who are not required to take the hour exam.) Grad students may earn 1/2 Unit credit either by writing the paper or by taking the final exam.


This course examines the age of Alexander the Great.  It starts with the world that shaped Alexander, and it follows him across the map of the Near East to India.  Both Alexander the man and Alexander the myth are treated.  The course also deals with the world that Alexander created.  Topics covered include the spread of Hellenism, the meeting of the East and the West, the way in which philosophy and political theory coped with new and very different circumstances, and with new trends in literature.

Course requirements include one paper (approximately 10 pages) and a final exam.  Readings include L.A. Tritle, ed., The Greek World in the Fourth Century; A.B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire; and P. Harding, From the End of the Peloponnesian War to the Battle of Ipsus.


Ethiopia has one of the longest national traditions in the world, a tradition which has been continually re-shaped.  It is located in mountainous territory within a larger region known as the Horn of Africa.  The earliest states in the Horn were city states and they date to the first millennium BC.  The Empire of Aksum succeeded them and dominated from the White Nile to South Arabia until the rise of Islam.  It then refocused its attention on the rich agricultural lands which lay to its south.  In 1270 a new dynasty claiming descent from Salomon and Sheba seized the Ethiopian throne, created a large indigenous empire, and patronized a remarkable flowering of the arts.  This dynasty and empire survived many changes into the late nineteenth century when today's Ethiopia took definitive shape.  The course will examine the main stages of Ethiopian history, setting developments within a regional perspective.  It will pay particular attention to developments in the later twentieth century when revolution abolished the monarchy, famine called in question inherited modes of livelihood, and a variety of forms of nationalism challenged the boundaries of the state and its internal composition.  Course requirements include two hourly exams, a research paper, and a final.


Same As EALC 390

It is impossible fully to understand China during the 20th Century--with its several revolutions and the rise of Communism--without comprehending the history of the Ch'ing Dynasty.  Established in 1644, the first 150 years of the dynasty saw the traditional institutions and civilization of China brought to full florescence.  Beginning in the 19th Century, however, the Ch'ing Dynasty was thrust into contact with the Western powers.  During this period, the dynasty decayed, and Chinese felt the humiliations of imperialist domination.


Same as EALC 391

Japan, reunified in 1600, after more than a century of civil war and overseas adventurism, and began an era of unprecedented internal and external peace, of cultural and economic development.  In the first century of the "Great Peace," population doubled, creating an advanced urban society, with five of the world's largest cities: Edo (now Tokyo) was the world's only city of over 1,000,000 inhabitants.

Peace, urbanization, and population growth, brought commercialization-an early form of capitalism, some would say-and a remarkable outburst of cultural production, in literature, drama, and the arts, that for the first time joined all regions and social classes in a common national culture.  Indeed, it is in the early-modern age that Japan began to become a nation in the modern sense.

Yet 250 years of peace came at a price, and it was not shared equally across society: Restricted social mobility, rural and urban oppression, and new forms of economic exploitation.  Internationally, foreign military adventurism, and European Christian evangelism at home, were ended with new restrictions on international intercourse.  But was this a "world within walls," as it has been called, a "closed country" nation with its head in the sand for 200 years, until "opened" by Commodore M.C. Perry?  Or had Japan found new ways to control foreign threats, establishing a "new world order" of its own, a sort of "controlled openness," as recent scholarship seems to suggest?  Japanese intellectuals, and the people at large, were intensely conscious of, and interested in, the world around them.

This was also an age of great cultural ferment in Japan, as Buddhist paradigms were largely set aside for Confucian ones (both originally foreign ideas) only to discover through Confucianism new, nativist visions, and a new sense of national identity.  It was also an age in which philosophers were what we might today call "popular culture" heroes: A 1685 tour-guide to Kyoto offered something like a Mansions-of-the-Stars guide to philosophers' houses, and the grave of one scholar appeared on every tourist map of Edo, like Elvis's Graceland.

This course examines the evolution of that unified national cultural and socioeconomic Japan, from the end of the civil wars in the late 16th century, to the demise of the early-modern order in the 19th.  We will combine lectures and discussions with readings of materials written by contemporary Japanese, and pay particular attention to the rich and varied visual record of the age.

Course requirements include lectures, class discussions and readings.  All readings are in English.  There will be a midterm, a term paper, and a final examination.


History 399 this spring semester will be a seminar for grad students and advanced undergraduates on new historical studies concerning the U.S. Civil War.  It will be taught by Professor Mark Grimsley of The Ohio State University via videoconferencing.  Grimsley is a first-rate young historian of the Civil War, two of his books are The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 and And Keep Moving on: The Virginia Campaign, May-June 1864. Admission by permission only. Contact Prof. John Lynn, j-lynn@uiuc.edu.

400 Level

417CC SEMINAR IN EUROPEAN HISTORY, 1350-1648 (Crowston)

Meets with Hist 477CC

Please see course description for 477CC.


Topic: Urban History

Twentieth Century African American Urban History examines the formation and development of African American urban communities in the U.S. during the 20th Century.  This course focuses on the institutional infrastructure and internal (class, gender, color, and generational) social relationships, and cultural expressions of urban Black communities, but it also situates these communities within the city's evolving capitalist political economy.  Consequently, it explores the particular articulations of racism, sexism, and capitalism that established the context and contours of African American resistance, self-transformation, and self-development in specific urban areas.  This course also focuses the methods and skills necessary for researching and writing urban/community history.


Topic: Cultures of Nature and the Nature of Culture

Graduate research seminar focused on the conceptual and methodological interfaces of environmental and cultural history.  Common readings will include recent publications on theories of knowledge, of culture, and on the contested meanings of nature.  Readings will be focused primarily, but not exclusively on Latin America, and students will be expected to report on major journals that are pertinent to the theme.  Readings and discussions will cover exemplary works in both the colonial and recent periods of history, allowing for students' divergent research interests, and point to interdisciplinary approaches to history.


Topic: Science and Human Difference from the Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century

Hybrids, monsters, the diverse human races, domesticated creatures and their wild counterparts, civilized peoples and "savages," the upstanding citizen and the "born criminal," men and women, children and adults, the sane and the insane, all came, at one time or another, under the purview of theorists or practitioners who sought to make sense of human differences in biological terms.  This course, which takes questions of biological and racial "hybridity" as one of its main themes, will itself be hybrid in structure.  Students will be able to take it either as a seminar course (writing a research paper) or as a readings course (writing historiographic assessments of selected literature).

The specific topics treated in the seminar will be shaped in part by the special interests of individual participants.  In general outline, the seminar will encompass the period from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century, and will address questions arising in European and American contexts.  Before the 20th century, ideas of race, blood, sex, gender, reproduction, etc. readily served as vehicles for assumptions about the social order.  In the mid-19th century, the new anthropological societies of London and Paris debated such issues as the viability of crosses between different races, the place of women in nature and society, and the prospects of acclimatizing different races to parts of the globe where the climates (and diseases) were different from those of their native lands.  Even in the 20th century, when the new science of "genetics" came into being and provided new insights into matters of heredity, ideas about the social order readily found themselves expressed in biological terms (and this still takes place at the present).  Scholars have paid attention to the interpenetration of social and biological ideas in the cases of "Social Darwinism" and "eugenics," but for many other areas there is much that remains to be explored.


This graduate seminar is intended primarily for those preparing fields in modern European and American history, and will be devoted to fostering an understanding of why and how the study of the Middle Ages matters in the modern world.  Participants will read some of the most influential works of historical scholarship produced in recent years (by Natalie Zemon Davis, Caroline Walker Bynum, R.I. Moore, John Boswell, Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie) alongside classics of European historiography (by Edward Gibbon, Jacob Burckhardt, Johan Huizinga, Henri Pirenne, Marc Bloch), and with constant reference to the controversial medieval sources that inspired the development of new methods of historical interpretation during the twentieth century (notably those associated with the journal Annales, with the New Historicism, and with new trends in social, cultural, and material history).  Topics will include:  the formation of the nation state; the persecution of "the Other" through the construction of racial and ethnic difference, notions of sexual deviancy, and gender politics; the making and exploitation of archives; the relationships between history, memory, literacy, and authority; changes in historiography and the historical method.  An advance copy of the proposed reading list is available; contact Professor Symes for more information.


Meets with Hist 417CC

Topic: Approaching Early Modern Europe: Economy and Material Culture

The economy and material culture of Europe in the eighteenth century manifested paradoxical characteristics.  In many ways, this was a period of revolutionary change, with a rise in population and living standards, the beginnings of industrialization, new financial markets, and notions of political economy.  These fundamental changes were accompanied by the emergence of the first "consumer" economy, in which broad sections of the population could now afford to develop individual identities by acquiring and displaying non-essential goods.  At the same time, however, most artisans continued to work in traditional spheres using techniques passed down from previous generations. Craft and guild-based identities persisted, often in defiance of "objective" class positions.  This seminar will examine historical literature on the economy and material culture of Europe from 1650 to 1850.  We will investigate the use of economic theory to understand early modern European history; debates over industrialization and the creation of class society; recent studies of work and the laboring classes; and the literature on the emergence of consumer culture.  Throughout the course, we will think about the ways in which categories like gender, the body, sexuality, fashion, and empire figure (or do not) in the historiography.  The course is intended for students in early modern European history and as background for those majoring in modern Europe.  It will also cover important readings for students doing fields in comparative labor history or women's/gender history.  Students interested in taking the course should consult with me in advance as I will consider tailoring it to accommodate student interest.  The course may be taken as a seminar or a problems course.


Topic: Early Russian History in Comparative Early Modern Historiographical Perspective

The period 1500 to 1800 saw profound changes in European polity, society, and culture, and Russia was no exception.  If historians turn to these centuries to explore and test assumptions about European modernity in general, it is also precisely to this era that they turn to uncover the origins of modern Russian existence, and in particular the making of the political, social, and cultural structures of the Russian Empire, as it emerged to become one of the world's great powers in the 18th and early 19th centuries.  Very rarely, however, do historians of Russia or Early Modern Europe attempt to read these two historiographical traditions side by side, examining points of origin, interests, chief questions, sources, and hypotheses.  This course will attempt to do so.  It will provide both a survey of the major topics in Early Russian history, 1500 to 1815, and a sustained attempt to establish a dialog between Russian historiography and that of Early Modern Europe on such issues as the nature of political power, transformations of the social structure, the development of notions of individuality, sexuality, and gender, the relationship between modernity and religious belief, and the evolution of sociability and publicity.  The main readings will be drawn from classic and recent works on Early Russian history, alongside a selection of primary sources in the field of Russian history; however, we will draw on historiographical and theoretical works from a variety of Early Modern traditions (notably those of continental Europe) for our comparative historiographical perspective.  It is hoped that the course will serve at least two distinct audiences: Early Modernists seeking a comparative perspective on their own field, as well as a clear 'translation' of Russian scholarship into terms relevant to their own future research and teaching interests; and graduate students seeking to specialize in Russian history or culture.  Students interested in the course and how it might fit into their academic program are urged to contact the instructor at jwr@uiuc.edu .


Same as EALC 483

This is an interdisciplinary course exploring the politics of cultural production, everyday culture and urban cultural formation, discourses surrounding modernity and nationalism, and the history of transnationality in twentieth-century China.  China here means not only the bounded territory of China, but also Hong Kong, Taiwan , and overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia and North America.  Focusing on cinema and popular fiction, we discuss the modern Chinese urban experiences in a cultural-historical framework as well as the interweaving of gender, representational politics, colonialism, diasporic history in the formation of modern Chinese popular culture.


Topic: The United States in the World

This course, inspired by the internationalizing U.S. history movement, considers the United States in world context.  Readings cover such topics as the Atlantic world, extraterritoriality, borderlands, immigration, domestic history as international history, empire, transnational social movements, national belonging, and cross-cultural contact, conflict, and exchange.  We will discuss recent critiques of the nation-centered historiographical tradition, the merits, costs, and challenges of mixing the local and the global, and new ways to frame historical narratives in our self-consciously global age.  The course will be run as a problems class; students wishing to take it as a research class should consult with the instructor before registration.


This course will discuss selected texts in classic and contemporary social and cultural theory that are crucial for situating the historian's work in ongoing debates about societies, cultures, polities and economies.  Will include readings of classic "modern" theorists of social structure and process (Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel), twentieth century approaches to culture, politics and society (Gramsci, Habermas, structuralism, Geertz, neo-institutional economics) and recent theories of social construction and fragmentation (postmodernism; Foucault; post-colonialism; theories of gender, etnicity and race, and transnationality/globalization).  Class participation and two 15-18 page papers are required: one an intellectual biography of one of the authors we discuss in class, the other a historiographical essay on a discrete issue bringing to bear at least two of the theoretical approaches discussed in class.


This course provides a thematic overview of the intellectual questions, methodological challenges and historiographical innovations that arise when gender as a category of historical analysis is brought to bear on colonialism as a world-historical phenomenon.  Among the subjects under consideration are the civilizing mission; the subaltern subject; conjugality; the materialities of culture; newly imagined geographies of sex and race; the fate of the nation/state; and the limits of the discipline of History itself.