Spring 2005 Course Guide


100 Level


History 100 traces the gradual integration of various regions of the world into an interconnected system. The course follows a chronological narrative from the 13th century to the present. The main themes will be political systems, imperial conquest and resistance, trade and cultural exchange, and the role of women and gender.


Same as ENVS 161 and NRES 161

This course explores the growing impact of globalization on the environment throughout the 20th century. The main thread it follows is petroleum-its increasing use, struggles to control its sources and distribution, and the environmental impacts of its consumption. We will follow this thread through wars and peace to try to understand:

- the rising influence of oil-producing states (OPEC­what’s that?)

- the Gulf Wars (Why are we in Iraq?),

- the worldwide impact of energy-intensive agriculture (What is the Green Revolution?)

- and of energy-intensive fisheries (Where have all the cod gone?); and

- the controversies surrounding global warming (Is it happening? Is it going to upset our way of life?).

Grades will be based on two in-class hourly exams, short papers and a final exam


This course provides a general, introductory survey of African history from earliest times to the present. No prior knowledge of the subject is required but some interest and a bit of enthusiasm. The course begins with a critical examination of 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 will explore Africa's rich pre-colonial 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. We will examine the impact of the slave trade on Africa’s historical development, and explore the commercial and religious revolutions of the 19th century and the struggles over land and labor in east and southern Africa. We will 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 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.


Same as EALC 120

This course introduces the common ideas and institutions that link China, Korea, and Japan together in a broadly shared 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 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, 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-ecomomic, 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, several of the book-length supplemental 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 Death of Woman Wang attempts to reconstruct the life and death of an ordinary woman of the Qing dynasty; and Musui’s Story is the autobiography of a 19th-century samurai whose life story may upset all your preconceptions about what it meant to be a ‘samurai.’

OUR GOALS in 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 on the other an appreciation for the methods and practices of history as a discipline and approach to human experience.

140AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660-ACP (Koslofsky)

Please see course description for 141AL1.

141AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660…(Koslofsky)

In History 140/141 we will survey western societies from ancient times to the seventeenth century. In lecture and in discussion section we will explore some of the most important economic, social, political and cultural aspects of the West, including Greek thought, the Roman Empire, Judaism and Christianity, the medieval world, the Renaissance and Reformation, and the West in contact with the wider world. This course provides an essential background for university study in almost any field.

There will be two lectures and one discussion section each week. Most of our work will be with primary sources (documents written during the period covered under study). I emphasize "doing history": students will learn how historians work with primary sources to understand the past by doing this work themselves. Requirements include exams, essays, weekly assignments, regular attendance, and class participation.

142 CL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Tousey)

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.

142AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Liebersohn)

We will be examining the development of recent Western civilization in this course -- the transition from a world of peasants, artisans, and aristocrats to the democratic, industrial world that we inhabit today. What have been the driving forces behind the birth of the modern world? How did liberty, equality, and fraternity become its watchwords, and what has been their fate? These are among the key questions that the course will address.

Although the focus is on Western Europe, we will also examine the interactions between Europe on the rest of the world. This is a course about politics: about the conflict-ridden emergence of modern democracies, their struggle against traditional authority and modern dictatorship, and their inner dilemmas as they have chosen among competing principles of liberty, equality, and community. It is a course about people: some of them highborn and famous, but also ordinary men and women -- peasants, slaves, artisans, factory workers, soldiers, and housewives. We will consider how all of them shaped our central concern, the world of modern democracy.

143 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660-ACP (Liebersohn)

Please see course description for 142AL1.


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.

172AL1 US HIST SINCE 1877 (Roediger)

Does anything ever change? In History 172 Professor David Roediger argues that change is a profound and central feature of modern U.S. history and that both popular movements and elites shape that change. How people's everyday lives and their collective activities influenced such change is a central question of the course, which examines the U.S. from the aftermath of the Civil War to the aftermath of the war in Iraq. The ways in which ordinary people, and lived their daily lives--how they worked, formed families, loved,worshipped, had fun, faced discrimination, fought racism, migrated,and learned receive emphasis. Towering leaders, profound demands for change, and hotly contested elections are seen as growing out of these everyday experiences.Evaluation is based on two 5- to 7-page papers,an in class essay, participation in sections and two brief objective tests.

173AL1 US HISTORY SINCE 1877 ACP (Roediger)

Please see course description for 172AL1


Topic: A muse of Fire: Shakespeare’s History Plays

History plays were among the most popular forms of entertainment in Elizabethan England, and William Shakespeare’s early reputation as a playwright was largely founded on his treatment of historical subjects. This seminar will explore the ways in which Shakespeare adapted history for the theatre and, conversely, the ways that theatre helps to shape collective memory and impacts the interpretation of historical and contemporary events. We will consider plays that described a distant classical past -- for example, Julius Cæsar and Troilus and Cressida -- alongside plays that strove to come to terms with the more recent past of Shakespeare’s audience, including Richard III, Richard II, and the plays devoted to the reigns of Henry IV, Henry V, and Queen Elizabeth’s own father, Henry VIII. Not only will we read the texts of these plays, we will focus on Shakespeare’s methods of working directly with his sources, the narrative histories, chronicles, and legends that provided his basic material. We will also pay particular attention to performance conditions in the theatres of Shakespeare’s London, while analyzing several modern adaptations of these plays on film.

In addition to intensive reading and informed discussion, students will be required to write two short papers and to take an active part in class exercises. Some of these will involve the staging of scenes from the plays, but no acting experience is necessary: only enthusiasm and creativity are required.


For senior honors thesis writers in history. Students must be concurrently enrolled in Hist 493. Departmental authorization is necessary to register for this class.

200 Level


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 submit 3 papers, which address one of the theoretical issues raised in class and which use photographs as primary material.


Topic: Poverty

What does it mean to be poor? This course will introduce students to the discipline of history through the study of something whose definition varies although we think we can identify it on sight: poverty. We will begin with a global perspective in order to understand the conditions of poverty, using examples from the modern "underdeveloped" world, and we will examine the problem in various societies of the past, ranging from early modern Europe to 20th-century America. Where possible, we will explore the differing experiences of women, minority groups, and children. Along the way, we will also try to discover how historians study a subject, as compared with, for instance, economists, sociologists, and journalists, who have also had much to say about poverty. Requirements include library visits, two short papers, and a substantial essay based on original research.


Topic: Introduction to Historical Interpretation: The Enlightenment

Few periods in modern history are credited with as many achievements—and faults—as the Enlightenment. It is regularly praised or blamed for establishing the supremacy of reason in modern life; inciting democratic revolutions; creating modern public culture; justifying European expansion and imperialism; degrading faith; defending the individual; and unleashing modern consumer culture, and materialism. But what is, or was, the Enlightenment? What methods have historians used in writing its history; what have been their chief debates about it; and how has the nature of our understanding of the Enlightenment changed over time? Through primary and secondary source readings, students will gain both an introductory survey of the Enlightenment, and a sense of how historians have tried to describe its history in the past 200 years. In this, the course aims to fulfill the primary purpose of History 200: to introduce students to the methodological decisions historians make when researching and writing history. By regarding a single historical phenomenon (in this case, the Enlightenment) from different historical perspectives, it is hoped, students will develop their own understanding of what history is, and what sort of history they themselves would like to write. This class is therefore intended for majors who are ready to think critically about history. It will be taught in a discussion-based format, with a heavy emphasis on student participation. Assignments will include presentations, short reaction papers, and an end of the semester project.


Topic:Race and Ethnicity in Modern Latin America

Race and ethnicity share ambiguous boundaries with culture. They are socially constructed identities which implies that they are historically contingent. This course will examine these concepts in terms of relations of power and how historical forces shape and change the meaning of them over time and space. Categories of race have been contested and negotiated throughout Modern Latin American history, a period marked by political and economic struggles against the backdrop of forging postcolonial societies in a world of imperialism imperatives. Indeed, the determination of racial identity was a critical part of the process of national formation. How did Latin American elites create racial discourses to deal with their mixed-race and indigenous populations? What role did the racial/cultural mestizaje among Afro-Latin Americans, European and Asian immigrants, and indigenous groups play in the political and economic processes of the nineteenth and twentieth century? How have Latin American film, art, and cultural expressions dealt with issues of race? This course will be a combination of lecture and discussion based on weekly reading assignments.


Same as EALC 220

It is common knowledge that China has a history of several thousand years. This historical longevity of China, however, is often invoked to perpetuate images of the purported stagnation of Chinese society or to present as evidence for the traditionalist attitude of the Chinese in rejecting change and contact with foreign cultures. This course challenges you to find out for yourself what historical forces have allowed, as it were, this “living dinosaur” that is China, to defy the law of survival. Or is it in fact that the image of an unchanging China itself is an imaginary dinosaur, an obsession of ours that has continued to bring us back to the land of fantasy? This is a historical survey of Chinese civilization from earliest times to the mid seventeenth century. We will focus on those aspects of history and culture that illustrate the diversity and powerful intellectual, social, and institutional forces that had shaped Chinese civilization. You will learn about Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism and other important intellectual and religious systems. 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. We will also examine major change in demographic, social, economic, and political patterns leading up to the early modern period. These changes will be examined in the context of global connections, highlighting the prominence of Chinese export trade in Eurasia and China's long history of intercultural exchange with foreign peoples. We will take on stereotypes about a stagnant, traditionalist, and monovocal China. 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.

251 WAR, MILIT INSTS SOC SINCE 1815 (M. Hughes)

Same as GLBL251

History 251 picks up where History 250 left off, although 251 is not a prerequisite. History 251 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.

256A GREAT BRITAIN SINCE 1688 (Ramsbottom)

In this survey course we will be concerned with major events and trends in British history since the Glorious Revolution. Particular attention will be given to the Industrial Revolution, the Irish potato famine, and the impact of the First World War. We will also seek answers to broader questions: What factors shaped the development of the British constitution? Was the British Empire created and maintained by military force alone? How do social class and cultural diversity affect the people’s sense of a shared British identity? Tests will be based mostly but not exclusively on chapters in the textbook, four other paperbacks, and relevant primary sources. In addition to a midterm and a final exam, there will be occasional quizzes and two assigned papers (totaling about 15 pages).


This course will examine the fundamental periods, questions, and debates in the history of Russia and its empire, 800-2000. Its big picture will be the development of the vast multi-national Russian empire and Soviet Union, exploring the changing relationship between the central state and a fractious multiethnic society spread across eleven times zones. Together we will consider interesting texts: historical epics, novels by Tolstoy and Gladkov, memoirs, art works, and films, and students will write a series of short essays on some of these works. There are no exams.


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.


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.


Same as Afro 276

This course will examine the African-American experience from the end of Reconstruction (1877) through the post-civil rights dispensation to the present period of the biotech century. Particular attention will be placed on analyzing the material circumstances that gave rise to the social and structural constraints that impeded African-American struggles for first class citizenship, dignity, and political power. How African-Americans resisted and created alternatives that challenged and endured the changing character of racial oppression and economic exploitation across time and space will be a key feature of the course. In addition to exploring how and why African-Americans worked to create community, a sense of collective identity, and establish networks of solidarity in local, national, and global context, the course will pay particular attention to difference and diversity within African-American communities along gender, class, and regional distinctions.


Same As AAS 281, AFRO 281, LLS 281

Modern notions of "race" and "racism" have existed at least since the seventeenth century, yet the contours of both have proved changing and elusive. 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 helped to constitute, structure and influence social relations based in class, gender and sexuality? Similarly, is racism merely attitudes and beliefs, or it more fundamentally a set of behaviors, practices and institutions that materially affect people's quality of life? Is there a difference between racism and "prejudice" -- that is, can anyone be racist, or is it something possible only by a dominant racial group? Finally, are race and racism "natural" categories, or social constructed phenomena? Moreover, do these questions have implications for the possibility of building a truly just and muliticultural society? This course investigates the historical origins of race and racism, and their evolution over time -- primarily in the U.S. nation-state, yet within a transnational framework. This course also explores historical and contemporary interpretations of "race" as an analytic category, and its rootedness, and relationship to, socio-historical identities of gender, class, sexuality and nation. This course will be interdisciplinary, built around the presentations of professional scholars at the University of Illinois whose areas of study range from history to education, sociology, literature, counseling psychology and public policy. Further, this course utilizes readings and film selected for their suggestiveness in expanding these concepts of race and racism.


Same As AAS 283

“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.


Same as AFRO 287, GWS 287

This course introduces students to the significant themes and events that shaped the experiences of African American women from slavery to the present. We will be particularly focused on the development Black Women’s History as a field of inquiry. The topics we will explore include: the black woman’s experience in slavery, anti-lynching campaigns, religion, politics and suffrage, urbanization, the Civil Rights Movement, the development of black feminist theory, welfare reform and contemporary media representations of black women.


Topic: History of Travel

Just about everyone likes to travel - but why? What motivates us, and what do we learn by leaving home? In this course we will try to answer these questions and to understand how our multi-cultural, globalized society is the outcome of centuries of travel. Well look at famous explorers, but also at the beachcombers, missionaries, non-Europeans, and other men and women who have circulated around the world since Columbus; well use novels, non-fiction, movies, and original historical documents to bring their experiences to life.

Our library is rich in travel accounts and we will make at least one special trip to the library and its rare books room to familiarize class members with its resources.

300 Level


Same as CINE 300

Topic: The Western Film.

Have you ever squared off against the bad guys at the O.K. Corral, or faced down a gun fighter with a black hat. If not, take topics in Film and History taught by Stephen Shafer and Fred Jaher. This semester’s topic is “The Western Film”.


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.


Topic: The Fourth Century and Alexander the Great

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.


Same As MDVL 345, RELST 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 RELST 347

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were perhaps the most crucial period of transition in European history. The loose medieval theological and political consensus collapsed dramatically, leading to more than a century of intense religious conflict, and rapid social and economic change. The impact of printing transformed communication and culture, while the arrival of Europeans in the Americas unleashed new possibilities and new uncertainties.

This course will cover the period from the end of the Renaissance to the beginning of the Scientific Revolution. We will cover themes in economic, social, political, intellectual and religious history. Key topics include Luther, Calvin and the rise of Protestantism; the Catholic Counter-Reformation; popular culture, magic and witchcraft; and warfare and the rise of the modern state. As much as possible, course participants will be encouraged to study the primary evidence of the images and writings of the period.

352A EUROPE IN THE WORLD SINCE 1750 (Prochaska)

In this course we focus on the colonial encounter between European colonizers and nonwestern colonized. The aim of the course is not to study the history of European imperialism in terms of European diplomacy, doctrine, and policy, but rather to elucidate the actual experience of both colonizers and colonized, comparing and contrasting the perspectives of both. Our focus will be the dialectics of culture and power. Thus, we shall tack back and forth between what anthropologists Jean and John Comaroff term "the colonization of consciousness and the consciousness of colonization." Always keeping in mind the basis of colonialism in preponderant European power, we shall nonetheless endeavor to understand the culture of colonialism created together by both protagonists in what literary critic Mary Louise Pratt calls the "contact zone," the realm of colonial encounters. One theme of the course will be the contrasting experiences of colonial India, the foremost British colony, and colonial Algeria, the foremost French colony. The course will emphasize colonial visual representations.

Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions. Course requirements include substantial written work and relatively difficult required reading assignments.


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, term paper, final exam.


As men and women in colonial America witnessed violent encounters between cultures, participated in rapidly changing societies, and struggled to make sense of life and death in a “new world,” they recorded their experiences in writing.

This course explores the history of early North America and the Caribbean (ca. 1607-1776) through extended primary readings, first-hand accounts by those who lived in Britain’s American colonies. It is a workshop in the historian’s craft designed to teach students how to read and interpret primary sources as well as a survey of the major events, issues, and actors that define the place and the era. Our readings present a diverse range of voices and perspectives. They include the adventures of Henry Pitman (an English political prisoner transported to Barbados), the gallows confession of Patience Boston (a Native American woman executed for murdering a child in Massachusetts), and the dire warnings of “The Stranger,” who urged South Carolina colonists to take seriously the threat of slave rebellion. Other topics include the origins of racial slavery in the sugar islands, the life of Pocahontas, the journeys of European immigrants, nature exploration on the Indian frontier, the rise of evangelical Christianity, and the military defense of the empire. We conclude with the important publication of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1776). Class meetings feature small group work and student presentations and stress discussion over lecture. Writing assignments emphasize document analysis and interpretation.


The Civil War and Reconstruction- A study of the political, cultural and economic, factors that led to war: an analysis of the war with special interest in who, on each side ,opposed the war and why, and a search for answers to the question, who won or lost the peace?


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


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


Topic: History of Terrorism

Terrorism is one of the great challenges of our times. This lecture/discussion course will explore the phenomenon through the ages. Although most Americans see Terrorism as a new form of violence, it has a long history. We will examine different varieties of Terrorism, from strategies of terror used by states as part of warfare to suicide bombing perpetrated by Islamic extremists today. Students will be expected to be active participants in this learning experience. Every Friday will be devoted to a discussion of war and terrorism reported in the New York Times, as the class uses the past to interpret the present.


Topic: Race and Revolutions

Meets with AFRO 398AM

This course investigates the relationship between race and slavery during the revolutions in America and Haiti, respectively. Topics to be addressed include: resistance and accommodation, gender and status in slavery, as well as religion, spirituality and revolutionary consciousness. We will be particularly focused on the factors motivating free blacks and slaves to participate in each of these political upheavals. Students will develop critical and analytical skills by doing oral and written assignments, some of which will be comparative in nature. To this end, we will read first person accounts, political pamphlets and personal letters of former slaves, Revolutionaries and everyday men and women. This class is designed for students who have taken other African American Studies or History courses as well as those who have a general interest in the course.


Topic: Picturing the Past: Maps & Images in Japanese History

Meets with EALC 398A

“A picture” may be “worth a thousand words,” but it is never self-evident which thousand words those might be. Pictures, that is, are representations that must be “read” with the same critical care given to “written” texts: Who is the “author” (“artist”; “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 “semiotic” reading of the visual? Initial examples will be taken from the rich archive of visual production in early-modern Japan, but students will be encouraged to pursue the historical reading of the visual in their own areas of geographic, chronological, and thematic interest.

“Picturing the Past” will focus on the theory, problematics, and practice of using visual artifacts (paintings, prints, photographs & maps) as “historical” documents or sources. We will combine theoretical and methodological readings from history, art history, and criticism, with an introduction to a variety of visual artifacts, and attempt to implement the insights we have gained in individual research projects employing visual or pictorial evidence in historical interpretation.

The instructor has focused in his own research on the “reading” or “textualizing” of Japanese painting, prints, maps, and book illustrations.

Students will research and write original papers in their respective areas of specialization in which they explore the possibilities of reading the visual as historical text. All joint readings will be in English; no knowledge of Japanese is required or assumed.

400 Level


Same As EALC 420

This course addresses several fundamental questions in modern Chinese history concerning political and ethnic identities, women, tradition, and modernity. What was the impact of the Manchu dynasty on the course of Chinese history in the late imperial period? How did the Manchu rule change the social, economic, political, and intellectual landscapes of China after a period of more than half a century of exciting economic, intellectual, and cultural developments in the late Ming? Why did the Manchus, a small ethnic group, succeed in conquering the vast Chinese empire, and how did they maintain their control for over two and a half centuries? Were the Manchus engulfed by the powerful cultural tradition of China (sinicization)? What was this cultural tradition? How important was it in creating a sense of "Chineseness" and a "Chinese" life style for several hundred millions of people living in different dialectal and ethnic communities?

Was the Manchu state just another imperial regime in the "dynastic cycle"? Or when the Ch'ing attempted to change its bureaucratic practice in order to cope with a host of problems created by population explosion, it was knocking at the door of modernity? How successful was the Manchu government in its attempt to deal with the problems of food supply, depletion of natural resources, peasant rebellions, and its senile Manchu warriors? Were women subjected to even more oppression under the Ch'ing? Why and how did the Manchu regime fail to meet the challenges from within the Chinese society and from the intrusion of Western imperialist powers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? Finally, why did the Chinese abandon the imperial system they had embraced for over two thousand years? To answer these questions, we will investigate broad trends of change in politics, population, the economy, thought, culture, social structure, and the relationship between the state and national and local elites. Class participation is crucial and students need to have some background in Chinese history.


Same as RELST 442


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 secularisms, 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.


Same as MDVL 444

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 in essay format.


Germany ended the twentieth century much as it began it: united, economically powerful, and increasingly anxious to play a more robust role in the world. In the intervening decades, Germany has twice wrecked the peace of Europe, imposed a horrifying racial regime, and served as the justification for the forty-year division of Europe. At the same time, Germany has always been one of the most "modern" European nation-states; it had the largest socialist movement at the turn of the century, hosted some of the most avant-garde artists, and produced a distinctive metropolitan sensibility. Focusing on the Wilhelmine period, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, and the postwar period to reunification, this course will explore the complex and unmistakable impression of Germany on the twentieth century. We will study culture as well as politics, probe nationalism and its discontents, and examine literature productions and utopian designs. Readings will include period novels as well as historical texts.


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. It will be taught in a lecture and discussion format, with strong emphasis on student participation. The 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. Assignments will include short reaction papers on the readings, in-class student presentations and debates, and an end of the semester term project to be submitted in lieu of a final. No background in Russian history is required, though supplemental textbook reading may be necessary to ‘catch up.’

462 SOVIET UNION SINCE 1917 (Kolonitskii)

The world’s first socialist society emerged out of the chaos of war and revolution and continued to astound the world until its collapse in 1991. This course is constructed to encourage students to understand the legacy of 75 years of socialist experimentation, what happened in Russia and why, and to evaluate the impact of the USSR on the lives of its citizens and the world.

The course examines the experience of building socialism and living through its demise by focusing on the key moments of Soviet history: the revolutionary process of 1917 and civil war; the role of political parties and social groups; the attempt to create a new socialist culture, society, and state; Stalin's revolution from above based on industrialization, collectivization, repression, and Russian nationalism; relations with the outside world, including the Great Fatherland War and the Cold War; efforts to reform socialism after Stalin's death; the rise of the USSR as a world power; the hidden contradictions of nationality; the implosion of all these contradictions during the turbulent regime of Gorbachev. Readings include personal narratives, novels, selected documents, and a textbook. Requirements include 3 short papers on the readings, a take-home midterm essay, and an extended essay comparing a personal narrative with works of current historical scholarship.

467 EASTERN EUROPE (Hitchins)

The region between Western Europe and the Soviet Union/Russia in the twentieth century was (and is) a world of contradictions. We see them in political experiments ranging from liberalism and peasantism to fascism and communism; in the creation of democratic institutions and the failure of democracy; in nationalism before, during, and after Communism; in cultural integration into urban Europe and the persistence of the folk spirit of the village; in strivings to industrialize and the persistence of agriculture; and in the advance of materialism and the deepening of traditional spirituality. Within this broad context we shall examine society and politics and national identity in the 1920s and 1930s, the nature of the post-World War II Communist regimes, and the transition to democracy and integration into Europe after 1989. We shall also have to decide how and to what extent Eastern Europe differed from the West and whether in the twentieth century the gap between them was closed. The countries to be studied are Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Albania. There is much reading and a research paper of 25 pages will be based on sources.


Same As AFRO 474

This seminar explores the historiography of slavery in North America and the Caribbean, ca. 1600-1830, by focusing on the problem of slavery and modernity. This focus gives us an opportunity to read some influential “classics” in the field as well as recent scholarship that has taken up the issue for reexamination. We will discuss transatlantic surveys of slavery’s origins and development in the New World as well as detailed studies of Britain’s three American plantation regions (the Caribbean, Chesapeake, and Lower South). We will pay particular attention to four debates that have made slavery’s place in a modernizing world an especially vital subject. Provocative arguments about slavery’s contribution to European industrialization, the economics of slave versus free labor, the interpretation of slave insurrection conspiracies, and the ideological origins of the anti-slavery movement have generated the best kind of acrimony. We will read the controversial works that instigated these debates along with the critical reactions that have sustained them. Did American slavery pose a contradiction to American freedom? Was slavery a vestige of the past, perpetually at odds with “progress,” or did it serve as a prerequisite for it? How can we characterize the relationship between Enlightenment and enslavement? By the end of the seminar, students should be able to find their own answers to these questions as they prepare for exams in Colonial North America and Early US to 1830, Afro-American History, Britain and Empire, Colonialism and Post-Colonialism, Race and Ethnicity, and other fields of study. History graduate students may take this course as a research seminar if they have a viable topic and preliminary bibliography by the first day of class and obtain the prior consent of the instructor. Graduate students in other departments are welcome to register.


This course is intended to prepare honors students to write both historiographical essays and research theses. There will be common readings and discussion on historiography and historical methods, along with introductions to the use of the library. Students will also have opportunities to discuss trends, methods, and resources in various fields with members of the history faculty who are able to schedule visits to class. Written assignments will include an historiographical essay and the preparation of a hypothetical prospectus for an honors thesis, both of which will be prepared in several stages with opportunities for instructor and peer review and revision.


Topic:Plutarch: Historian and Biographer

A very learned man, Plutarch combined historical sources with a singular eye to biography. He selected a number of Greeks and Romans whose careers seemed parallel to describe similar personal responses to public events. From his own day to this his observations and understanding of his figures have wielded great influence in history, literature, and politics.

Requirements: one oral presentation of a life that you have selected and a final paper on that subject. Readings: Plutarch’s Lives; A. Wardman, Plutarch’s Lives (London 1974; P.A. Stadter, ed., Plutarch and the Historical Tradition (London 1992)


Topic: American Empire: The Other View

There seems little debate today that America is an empire, although of a very different order than the empires of old, which depended upon slavery, tribute, colonial military occupation, or actual possession of territory. Rather, America is regarded as an informal empire that depends upon its enormous resources to direct the world towards its self-interests open markets, liberal democracy, and human rights. The question that is rarely ever posed is how America has become an empire. In what sense, especially, does empire constitute not only the perspectives of the victors but also the views of the vanquished and those of the others who have evaded, resisted, or found themselves caught up in the American Juggernaut? How have they viewed American Empire? What new perspectives, patterns, and possibilities might we learn about American Empire in examining these submerged voices of history? These are the questions that we will attempt to answer in this course through an examination of critical works, autobiographical writings, novels, and primary documents. We will also explore several classic representations of empire, race, and gender in film. We shall learn how to critique such sources in depth. Most importantly, students will have the opportunity to contribute new knowledge to this emerging field through research papers that we will develop throughout the semester.


Topic: Religion, Culture and Conflict in Reformation England

This course will look at the Christian church in England before and after the "Reformation." How unified was the church before 1530? In what different ways did it divide afterwards, and with what consequences? How far was there a culture of conflict, and to what extent a culture of social harmony? How did the clandestine presence of Jews in 16th century England evolve into their official readmission in the 17th century?

The course will lead the students through the preparation of a 15-20 page research paper, based in part on primary sources. Students will also be responsible for periodic written responses to the readings; a short midterm paper; in-class discussion; and an oral presentation of their research findings. Some college background in early modern English or European history is desirable, but not required.


Topic: Christians, Muslims, and Jews In Medieval Europe

This course will explore the complex relationships between three different religious communities in medieval Europe. These relationships were often violent, as witness the crusades and the growth of anti-semitism in this period. Yet at other times, Christians, Muslims, and Jews traded ideas, worked together, fought together, and even intermarried. How can we understand and explain these apparently contradictory tendencies? And what does the study of medieval religious communities teach us about religious tolerance and intolerance today?


Topic: Ottoman Empire in Europe, 1350-1700

The focus is on the place of the non-Muslim population (primarily Orthodox Christians and Jews) of Southeastern Europe in an Islamic state following the conquest of the region by the Ottoman Turks. An examination of the institutions of the Ottoman state and if its policies toward its non-Muslim subjects, including toleration and Islamization, will provide the background for the study of non-Muslim societies: population trends, the economy, social structure, mentalities and sensibilities, religion, high culture, and the folk tradition, and cultural and intellectual contacts with Western Europe. An attempt will be made to answer fundamental questions about how ethnicity and indigenous cultures in Southeastern Europe were able to survive; what the nature and causes of underdevelopment in Southeastern Europe were; and whether Southeastern Europe belongs to Europe or to the periphery. There will be ample readings, including contemporary histories, memoirs, and travel accounts, and a research paper of 35 pages based on sources.


Topic: American Conceptions of Citizenship Beyond the Constitution

The word “citizen” appears less than two dozen times in the United States Constitution, and most of these references pertain to voting or holding political office. Yet our conception of citizenship generally, and what it means to be an American citizen specifically, is much broader than can be found in the Constitution. This class will explore specific moments of U.S. history in order to consider the ways in which citizenship was politically, culturally, and socially constructed. This construction reveals that citizenship has ethnic, religious, class, racial, and gendered dimensions, and that the category of “citizen” often governed whether people’s rights and obligations were granted or denied. We will examine the result (not the process of the law making itself) of legal codification of societal norms, and how people accepted and resisted these definitions of citizenship. For example, we will look at how immigration law impacted immigrant communities and the ways immigrants responded to the law, but we will not delve deeply into U.S. code on immigration. Familiarity with U.S. legal history is therefore a help, but not a requirement.


Topic: History and Memory in the Twentieth Century

William Faulkner once wrote, "The past is never gone, it isn't even past." This remark reflects the way memories of the past intrude on and complicate the present. In this course we will examine how collective memory operated in the twentieth century in a variety of societies, from the United States to colonial India to the Soviet Union, and with a special focus on Western Europe.

498K Research and Writing Seminar (Michalove)

Topic: Cities and Culture 1100-1700

The purpose of History 498 is to transform history majors from consumers of history into producers of history by practicing the methods used by professional historiansreading, 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 structure of the course is a seminar style, which means that much of the discussion is student led and reading the assigned materials is crucial to having productive discussions.

Urban areas have always been repositories for culture. In the medieval and early modern world, cities were a place where different cultures could meet, clash, assimilate, and fuse. Trade and travel brought new ideas, economic prosperity, educational opportunity, and linguistic change as well as new religious ideas and the remaking of cultural identities.

This class will look at cities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia as they existed in the high Middle Ages and flourished as cultural and economic centers into the early modern period. We will see how globalization and transnationalism were functional ideas long before twentieth-century theorists made them fashionable.

Each week, a team of students will function as the class discussion leaders for the various readings. The temptation will be to work on your papers and not bother with the assigned readings. Of course the readings are necessary in order to have discussion, which is a vital part of the course. Just as important, however, is the historical context that is needed to write a successful research paper. In order to put your specific research into its wider context, the readings are essential. Also, depending on your research project, you may be able to use some of the readings as source material for your paper.

While there will be quite a bit of reading in secondary sources, your research should flow from primary source material. We will explore how to find documents that spark research questions and ideas and how to make primary sources the core of your research project. The readings in the course will give you general background information so you will be able to generate feasible research projects. Some of the readings will focus on particular cities to give you models of research to help you in shaping your own work.


Topic: Russian Revolution, 1917

Focusing on the Russian revolutions of 1917, the course will be structured around discussions based on common readings and a research paper. Students will write a paper devoted to one political actor of the Russian Revolution. This might be a political party, or a social group, or some personality. In addition to the paper, students will represent "their" political actor in a "political congress of 1917," characterizing different problems and actors according to their point of view.


Topic: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Constructions of Taste in 19th and 20th Century Britain & the U.S.

Taste is a notion that circulates with varying force in relation to issues of class, gender, race, religion, moral probity, national identity, sexuality, ‘coolness’, and more. The question of difference is central to the concept of taste and there is an inherent tension built into the very idea of taste. At the heart of the notion is the belief that the world would be better if everyone had good taste. Yet, if everyone had good taste, then it would cease to function as a mark of distinction. This tension will be explored throughout the course.

This course examines the complicated notion of taste, primarily in 19th and 20th century Britain and America. It does not attempt a systematic, chronological survey of the construction of the nebulous ideas of taste and tastefulness. Rather, it considers particular objects, practices, discourses and sites as examples of the shifting meanings of taste over time. These case studies then allow us to unpack the concept of taste and probelmatize theories of taste. Within an interdisciplinary framework, we will explore the production and consumption of objects, food, and ideas, often in an international context, along with their local identities and meanings. What is revealed, I hope, is that taste is a central organizing concept in the complex societies in which we live, where we believe simultaneously in democracy and the power of elites.

The weekly readings combine primary sources and objects with historiographical and theoretical scholarship.

500 Level


Topic: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Constructions of Taste in 19th and 20th Century Britain & the U.S.

See course description for HIST 498M

Meets with HIST. 498M


TopicTheory and Practice of Transnational Histories

This course aims to explore the various methodological, historical, political and conceptual concerns that impact writing and research projects that seek to be transnational. Conflict, contradiction and power will be central themes. We will be concerned less with the emergence of transnationalism as an accepted framework for academic exploration and more with the possibilities and the limits of working outside the bounds of the nation state. Because the national remains fully embedded in the transnational we will consider the dialectical relationship between each in practical and theoretical dimensions. This course understands border crossing, border fortification and challenges to each as material realities that shape and are shaped by political, economic, ideological and cultural conditions. We will consider how the policing of work, race, gender, and sexuality in subnational contexts is connected to transnational, i.e. colonial and imperial, relations.


Topic: Gender and Colonialism

Same as GWS 501

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. The first half of the semester is devoted to exploring the multiple and conflicting sources through which historians have sought to reconstruct gendered colonial pasts. In the second half of the course, we examine a series of recent historical works which address conceptual problems entailed by attempts to historicize the relationship between gender and colonialism as analytical categories. Among the specific subjects under consideration are the civilizing mission; the subaltern subject; domesticities; sexuality and intimate colonialisms; racialized pathologies; gender, citizenship and nation. This is a participation-intensive seminar which meets once per week. Seminar sessions are devoted to discussions of our readings and the broader issues, theoretical and comparative, raised by those sources.


Same as SOC 570A

This seminar offers students the opportunity to examine and discuss a range of research themes and problems of current interest in the four core areas of the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Science, Technology, Information, and Medicine (STIM). Core faculty from the program will contribute on a regular basis to ensure a strong interdisciplinary approach to the material.

Modules will center on readings from the scholarly literature representing a range of historical periods.Typically case studies, these readings will exemplify research methodologies, interpretive approaches, and problems of professional interest at the forefronts of research in the four areas. Potential themes include: the nature and construction of scientific knowledge; the changing relationships between science and technology; the restructuring of society by medicine and by information networks; industrial research; war and science; changing perceptions of scientific "revolutions" (e.g., the scientific revolution of the 17th century, the Darwinian revolution of the 19th century), the emergence of modern scientific disciplines; history and structure of the U.S. health care system; legal and ethical issues in medicine; cultural construction of health and disease.

Students will be expected to write a brief historiographic essay and a research paper.



Prof. Hilda Sabato, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Senior Distinguished Mellon Fellow, University of Illinois

Tuesdays and Fridays, 3-5 pm, April 5 – May 3, 2005, Room TBA, 2 credits

In the last decades, citizenship has become a crucial term in political and academic debates. Not least in Latin America. While in the turbulent decades of the 1960s and 1970s, that term was absent from the mainstream political and ideological discourses of most Latin American countries, since the 1980s it has become a key word in the language of the transition to democracy and a major topic of public debate. The problematic of citizenship has also informed studies of the past. In the case of Latin America, scholars are using this lens to revisit the history of nation building triggered after independence, and they have produced new and challenging interpretations of that process.

The purpose of this course is to reflect upon the main issues posed by the history of political citizenship in Latin America on the basis of the recent literature on the subject and with a comparative perspective. This literature has adopted a multilayered view of citizenship that includes both the classical interest for representation and the suffrage, albeit with an innovative approach, and a strong concern for new, previously unnoticed or neglected dimensions, such as the study of the construction of public opinion and the development of public spheres, the debates on education, ethnicity and taxation, and the figure of the “citizen in arms” and the role of the militias in the polity. Comparisons shall be made with other areas of the world that also experienced the passage from colonial rule to independent government, the constitution of nation-states, or the formation of polities based on the principles of popular sovereignty.

Professor Sabato is one of the most distinguished Argentine historians of her generation. After earning her Ph.D. at the University of London in the early 1980s, she was one of the two or three persons who contributed most to a revitalization of Argentine history scholarship and teaching during the post-1983 re-democratization. Her work has dealt with agrarian capitalism, labor history, history of elections and citizenship. She is currently working on political violence in nineteenth century Argentina.


Same as AFST 510A and meets with HIST 511 which is the same as AFST 511A

This course will focus on "The Islamic heritage of 20th century Africa" which is purposely cast large to incorporate the interests of students needing a 'problems'- type introduction to main themes and literatures as well as students committed to a major research project dealing with Islamic Africa in recent times. We will begin by collectively reading a recently-published, undergraduate survey text and from there examine thematic treatments of Muslim societies in West, East and southern Africa. This problems/seminar course will take advantage of several visitors being brought to campus in connection with the trial offering of a new 'World of Islam' course who will be asked to join us and discuss the intersection of their particular specialties (from elsewhere in the Muslim world) with the part of the Islamic world that is Africa-based. Written work in this course will consist of bibliographic essays for 'problems' students and a major research seminar paper for 'seminar' students (who will also present their papers to the class).


Same as AFST 511A and meets with HIST 510A which is same as AFST 510A


Same as EALC 520A

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.


Same as EALC 526

Meets with History 527A

Topic:"Inventing Edo: Making the Early Modern Metropolis"

Edo, the early-modern political capital of Japan, was the world's largest city in 1700, with over a million people. Barely a century earlier Edo, when in 1590 Tokugawa Ieyasu chose it as his headquarters, was little more than the ruins of a medieval frontier fortification, midway between the modest port of Shinagawa, and the ancient pilgrimage center at Asakusa. Ieyasu's emergence after 1600 as de facto secular monarch (shogun) made Edo the political center of Japan, but it was still a cultural and commercial backwater. By 1700, Edo had begun to displace Osaka and Kyoto as cultural forces, and its economic power as the largest center of consumption was transforming the rest of the country. What were the roots of Edo's meteoric rise? What were the politics of space and culture? How did the repeated disasters and human conflicts--it was said that "fires and fights are the flowers of Edo"--and the consequently near-constant remaking of the city, affect rhythms of daily life, allocation of space, gender relations?

We will read both modern scholarship and contemporary sources (Japanese materials as well as observations of contemporary foreign visitors), including both visual and textual material, such as maps, paintings, prints, diaries, fiction, and guide books, in order to approach the life of early modern Edo through the eyes and ears of the people who experienced it first-hand. At the methodological level, we will pay significant attention to the interpretation of non-verbal texts (maps, artwork, artifacts) as historical source materials, and to issues of the reading of urban space as it maps social, cultural, political, economic, and ecological relations.

Seminar participants will write original research papers based on primary sources (527) or historiographical essays on the state of the field based on modern scholarship (526). A reading knowledge of Japanese is recommended, but not required.


Same as EALC 527and meets with HIST 526 and EALC526

See Course Description for HIST 526


Meets with HIST 550A

Problems in Early Modern European History will meet with a Seminar in Early Modern European History, 1500-1815. We will read very recent work in early modern studies, including scholarship on daily life, the family, religion, ritual, political thought, and court culture. We will use our reading to discover and develop dissertation topics in all periods and fields. Students of all research fields are welcome.


Meets with HIST 545A

See Course Description for HIST. 545A


Topic: Varieties of Cultural History

Meets with HIST 552B

An examination of the leading approaches to and genres of cultural history writing with special attention to the range of subjects and methods found in present-day scholarship. Examples include: the history of cultural politics; the history of mentalities; the history of the book and reading; the history of cultural institutions; the history of culture and class identity; psychocultural history; the history of the emotions; and cross-cultural history. Weekly readings will be drawn widely from British, French, German, Austrian, Italian, Russian, and North American history from the Renaissance to the twentieth century.

552A SEMINAR IN EUROPEAN HISTORY SINCE 1789 (Rabin and Randolph)

Topic: The Craft of Historical Research

What makes a good research question? How do you find the sources to answer it, and use them to create a compelling scholarly article? The goal of this course is to help you design, research, and complete an original historical essay in your field of European history. The seminar takes a workshop format, and focuses on the theoretical and methodological choices contemporary historians make in writing history. Students should be thinking about their topics in advance. The instructors are happy to meet with you before the semester to discuss the course, or your potential research, in more detail. Students in fields outside of European history are likewise welcome to contact the instructors, to see if the course may be right for them.


Topic: Varieties of Cultural History

Meets with HIST 551A

See course description for HIST 551A

570A PROB IN AMERICAN HIST TO 1830 (Edelson)

Topic: Slavery and Modernity

Meets with Hist. 571

This seminar explores the historiography of slavery in North America and the Caribbean, ca. 1600-1830, by focusing on the problem of slavery and modernity. This focus gives us an opportunity to read some influential “classics” in the field as well as recent scholarship that has taken up the issue for reexamination. We will discuss transatlantic surveys of slavery’s origins and development in the New World as well as detailed studies of Britain’s three American plantation regions (the Caribbean, Chesapeake, and Lower South). We will pay particular attention to four debates that have made slavery’s place in a modernizing world an especiallyvital subject. Provocative arguments about slavery’s contribution to European industrialization, the economics of slave versus free labor, the interpretation of slave insurrection conspiracies, and the ideological origins of the anti-slavery movement have generated the best kind of acrimony. We will read the controversial works that instigated these debates along with the critical reactions that have sustained them. Did American slavery pose a contradiction to American freedom? Was slavery a vestige of the past, perpetually at odds with “progress,” or did it serve as a prerequisite for it? How can we characterize the relationship between Enlightenment and enslavement? By the end of the seminar, students should be able to find their own answers to these questions as they prepare for exams in Colonial North America and Early US to 1830, Afro-American History, Britain and Empire, Colonialism and Post-Colonialism, Race and Ethnicity, and other fields of study. History graduate students may take this course as a research seminar if they have a viable topic and preliminary bibliography by the first day of class and obtain the prior consent of the instructor. Graduate students in other departments are welcome to register.


Topic: Slavery and Modernity

Meets with Hist. 570 See course description for Hist. 570

572A PROB IN US HIST SINCE 1815 (Leff)

Topic: War and Society

The current "war on terrorism" inescapably directs our attention to American collective memories of wartime home fronts and the scholarly interpretative debates that have complicated, challenged, but by no means displaced those memories. Wartime imperatives reopen essential assumptions that underlie American society, that define American conceptions of civic nationalism, and that give meaning to citizenship itself. What do Americans owe the state, their communities, their families, and the war dead? What standards of equity are required to exact payment of these debts? This Racereadings course employs a comparative framework (through domestic comparisons of U.S. 20th Century wars--the misleadingly labeled "total wars of WWI and WWII, the so-called "limited" involvements in Korea and Vietnam, and the post-Cold War campaigns against Iraq and Afghanistan, and through efforts to place U.S. wartime experiences in a transnational context of other belligerents) and a topical approach. We will interrogate the integrative and disintegrative effects of war on the construction of race, class, and gender; the relationship between anti-war movements, public opinion, and the suppression of civil liberties; the functions of propaganda, advertising, media, and film in shaping American war aims, political loyalties and self-fashioning; and the effects of economic mobilization on state-building and the relations among government, business, labor, universities, and the culture of consumption.


Same as AFRO 501A

Topic: Black Art, Culture, and Politics in the 20th Century

This course will examine the critical linkages between black artistic expression and movements for social and political transformation in the United States and beyond. Though historically anchored in the United States, this course will pay considerable attention to the transnational and transcontinental circuits of black artistic expression as it informed cultural production in the United States, Africa, and the larger African Diaspora. Thematically and somewhat chronologically, students will explore the rise of black dance social formations; engage the penetrating social commentary of early blues musicians; decipher the modernist explorations of black visual artists; and grapple with the complex social commentary of contemporary hip-hop music and culture. In addition to examining the role(s) that specific black artists and cultural workers have played in movements for social and political change, we will explore how these very same artists were shaped by the social and political context of their day. Furthermore, through the prism of art and culture we expect to develop new and refreshing definitions of politics that elide standard preoccupations with great individuals and organized movements at the expense of cultural expression from below. From the irreverence and proto-feminists moans of early blues musicians to the stinging wit and punch of modern prizefighters, we will learn that art and cultural production always matters in struggles for freedom and self-determination.


Topic: Theorizing History, Historicizing Theory

This course investigates the relationship between the theories which historians employ either explicitly or implicitly in the daily practice of their craft. Every attempt has been made to link abstruse theoretical statements with concrete examples of praxis. After introducing ourselves to Hayden White, we will devote several weeks to two canonical social thinkers, Marx and Weber, in which we combine readings of their work with examples of how their theories have been applied by historians and other toilers in the fields of the sciences humaines (E. P. Thompson, Eric Wolf). We look next at the now old "new social history," in general (E. J. Hobsbawm, J. H. Hexter), and the French Annales school, in particular (Marc Bloch, Fernand Braudel). We then consider the efflorescence of recent work on women's history and gender studies (Sherry Ortner, Michelle Rosaldo, Joan Scott, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg); feminism is a theme we will encounter throughout the course.

Where sociology influenced social history, first anthropology and now literary criticism are the main disciplines influencing the "new cultural history." The second half of the course begins by considering Clifford Geertz's brand of cultural anthropology -- engaging him in deep play, wading through thick description, blurring genres all along the way -- and Geertz's anthropological effect on historians like Robert "The Great Cat Massacre" Darnton. We shall then scrutinize that all-purpose poststructuralist subversive, Michel Foucault, bracketing him with Thomas Kuhn and Edward Said. Finally, we will consider the "new cultural history" as a local chapter of the interdisciplinary "cultural studies" movement, and, if there is time, postmodernism.