Spring 2006 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 15th century to the present comparing the way different societies developed and interacted with each other. The main themes will be political systems, imperial conquest and resistance, trade and cultural exchange, and the role of women and gender.


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 controlits 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 (OPECwhats 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 will draw out some threads in the dramatic and conflictive development of Latin American nations between the Wars of Independence and the present. What happened to black slaves and Indians after the overthrow of colonialism? How can we explain the many revolutions and military dictators? Did export agriculture and dependence from industrialized nations impoverish Latin America? Did “Uncle Sam” help or hinder development and democracy among his southern neighbors? What are the origins for the huge cities that dominate most Latin American nations today and how do people cope with them? Have Latin American men become less “machista” over the past two centuries, and how precisely has this affected women? What is the role of the Catholic church and popular religiosity, and will Latin America “turn protestant” any time soon?

These and other issues will be explored through lectures and discussions in this class.


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.


Same as EALC 120

This is a survey of the history of mainly Chinese and Japanese civilizations from 2000 B.C. to the present. In this survey we try to understand the life and values of two Asian countries and, by way of this, also of ourselves. We will look at how different cultural and political forces shaping Chinese civilization, which in turn, shaped many major civilizations in the region, including Japan and Korea. In modern times, with the decline of China as a dominant power in the face of imperialist, we will explore the commonality and differences between China and Japan, and to some extent Korea, in their struggle toward modernization. We will also look at the meaning of the concept Asiaitself. Reading includes novels and memoirs.


Same as SAME 133

This course will introduce you to the modern and contemporary Muslim world – the historically Muslim societies of Asia and Africa as well as the diasporic communities in Europe and North America. As an introduction to this “world” you will be exposed to literature dealing with multiple Muslim histories, patterns of state formation, and identities; literary, artistic and musical expression; and issues of economic development, family, law and gender. This course is part of the Global Studies Initiative (see http://www.globalstudies.uiuc.edu/index.htm), a program that combines integrated curricula with internationally prominent guest speakers. Only first year students may register for SAME/HIST 133 and those who do so are also required to register in LAS 102, “Global Awareness.”

140 AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660 ACP (Crowston)

Please see course description for 141

141 AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Crowston)

Spanning nearly three thousand years of human endeavor, this course surveys the major developments, crises, events, and movements that shaped societies from antiquity to the seventeenth century. Students will learn to analyze the key problems and processes that shaped the modern world and to better understand its institutions, ideologies, and cultures. In particular, we will examine how relations with "outsiders" - such as Jews, Muslims, the New World, and women - contributed essential new ideas to Western Europeans and helped them to define their own identity. In the process, students will gain a new understanding of the divisions and cultural fusions that continue to define our world. Lectures will be supplemented by in-depth consideration of primary sources materials produced by the people of this fascinating epoch. Students will be required to read carefully, to engage in class discussions and to complete all written assignments.

142 CD1 CL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Tousey)

History 142: This is the 2nd of the two course sequence in Western Civilization. Beginning in the 16th C we will develop the "modern" view of the world that culminated in the Enlightenment and has been instrumental in the Western dominance of the modern era. The French and Industrial Revolutions attract our attention as the "engines" that theoretically and practically powered the success of the West. The 20th C with it's wars, business cycles,"haves and have nots" and despots provides food for thought with respect to whether the "Western approach" is the right one. The course concludes with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and a brief examination of the concept of Postmodernism.

142 B WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Tebbe)

In this class we will examine the development of politics, society, economy, thought and culture in Europe, and how such developments have made their mark on the world at large. Political ideologies of absolutism, conservatism, liberalism, socialism, and fascism have been in conflict over the last four hundred years, a conflict marked by war, revolution, and the strivings of great masses of humanity for freedom, variously defined. The economy went from one dominated by agriculture, to one revolutionized by industry, to our current, globalized economic world where technology has moved the West into what many call a “post-industrial” moment. Western society has undergone breathtaking transformations, especially in terms of the role of women, transformations that we will attempt to understand and evaluate. Western culture produced modes of thought that have revolutionized views of the world. We will examine many of the revolutionary ideas of the past three hundred years, from the Enlightenment’s advocacy of reason, the search for spiritual fulfillment sought by Romanticism, the scientific definitions of humanity espoused by Darwin and his followers, the critique of Enlightenment values levied by Nietzsche and the radical artistic avant-garde, and the reckoning with the unsavory nature of the West’s heritage articulated by Frantz Fanon. The latter reminds us that the “West’s encounter with “the rest” has irrevocably changed both in long-lasting and fundamental ways. Whereas Europe once directly controlled a large portion of the globe, today peoples from around the world risk life and limb to seek opportunities in the West, and are changing the West in the process. While the West still interacts with the world on an unequal basis, the terms of the relationship have greatly altered, a change to be investigated in this course. Above all, we will seek to understand how the world we live in has been formed by the past upheavals in Western Civilization.

142 AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Micale)

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

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

143 AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 ACP (Micale)

Please see course description for 142 AL1


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.

171 B US History to 1877 (Hales)

American history is the cornerstone of American culture. The twenty-first century will demand that its citizens, and leaders, know and understand what social, cultural, economic, and political forces have shaped our fledgling republic. No people can envision their future without first knowing their past. History 171 will provide a solid foundation in the early history of the United States. The course will begin by exploring pre-European colonial expansion in the New World, and finish by examining two watershed events in United States History: the American Civil War and Reconstruction.

172 AL1 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.

173AL! US HISTORY SINCE 1877 - ACP (Roediger)

Please see course description for Hist. 172 AL1


Same as AFRO 101

This course uses readings, class lectures, popular media and classroom discussion to offer a broad, yet critical, introduction to major currents in African American history, specifically: (1)life in pre-colonial Africa; (2)African servitude in the "New World," and the consolidation of slavery in the British colonies that became the United States of America; (3)antebellum slavery, the Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction; (4)the overturning of Reconstruction, and the evolution of Jim Crow segregation; (5)black migration, urbanization, and community-building during and after the First World War; (6)the social and political upheaval of the Great Depression and World War II; (7)the "Second Reconstruction" generated by postwar black social movements; and (8)the legacies of the post-Civil Rights era.


For history senior honors thesis writers only

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.

200 C Intro Hist Interpretation (T. Matheson)

Topic: Text, Image, Radio, Television, Film:

Popular Culture in Modern European History

Popular culture, from television and movies to comic books, rock music and even graffiti, is often either praised as an expression of democracy, or criticized as an enemy of traditional “highbrow” cultural forms. While popular culture is frequently considered to be a twentieth century phenomenon, its historical roots run deep. This class examines the rise of popular culture in Modern European history. Our class will function on three levels. First, we will begin by defining terms. What is popular culture? How is it related to the mass media? How is cultural “taste” defined? Why is culture an important index of political and social history? Second, we will investigate the history of a variety of cultural forms—from newspapers, photographs and posters to comic books, TV, movies and rap. Third, through our weekly readings we will acquire fluency with the ways in which various historians have addressed popular culture as a topic of historical and sociological inquiry. We will discuss the ideological functions of the mass media, debate how cultural objects can both reproduce and resist social stereotypes, and learn to analyze our own consumption of cultural objects. Throughout, our attention will be focused on how historians of Modern Europe interpret cultural change as well as how they work with and analyze these unique sources. Our course will require engagement with a variety of cultural genres, which may include television, film, theatre, dance, music and art. Assignments will include an image analysis, a film analysis, an in- class presentation and a short paper.


Topic: 20th-Century Germany: Coercion, Consent, and Dissent

For more than half of the last century, Germany, in whole or in part, was ruled by dictatorial regimes. Both the communist German Democratic Republic and Nazi Germany, however, proved to be regimes characterized by their stability- in the case of Nazism, indeed, wide popularity. Historians of the last twenty years or so have employed the conceptual categories of coercion, consent, and dissent to elucidate the variegated and complex motivations that led ordinary Germans to sustain both regimes. Focusing on and interrogating these three categories, this class will critically examine the existing historiography in order to analyze negotiations of power under dictatorships at the grass-roots level


In this seminar we will examine the history of American colleges and universities in relation to the broader history of American society.  Today the “academy” is sometimes perceived as an inaccessible “ivory tower” – Americans often are familiar with the sports teams, mascots, and stadiums of their universities, but feel removed from the knowledge and ideas that scholars produce within those very institutions.  In this course we will examine American colleges and universities during the “long” nineteenth century (c.1789 to c. 1917) in order to inquire whether there was a time before the ivory tower.  Was the university in nineteenth century America a space for the production of esoteric knowledge, or a space for social and cultural innovation?  Themes that inform the course readings will include Darwinism, religion, abolitionism, women’s rights, Pragmatism, and college football.


Topic: Interpreting the Modern City: London, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg

The city has long been viewed as one of the key sites and symbols of what humans create, which is to say of civilization. Cities have therefore naturally preoccupied interpreters of all sorts, from poets and painters to historians and cultural theorists. As such, the city serves ideally as a terrain to think about how historians work, how texts and other evidence are interpreted, how history is recorded and written. Modern cities, in particular, have fascinated interpreters trying to map the meanings of the human experience. This course looks at writing about (but also images of) London, Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg, primarily in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These cities were famous for what one historian has called the “dreadful delight” of the modern metropolis. We will immerse ourselves in this history while continually thinking together about the practices and philosophies of historical interpretation. We will examine work on these (and occasionally other) cities by historians but also by interpreters in other disciplines, including literature and art history. We will also explore the use of different types of primary sources, ranging from city newspapers to urban poetry and painting. The course will be run in a seminar format, with a strong emphasis on class discussion. Assignments will include student presentations, short papers, and an end of the semester project (which may focus on a city other than these four).


Topic: Picturing/Mapping the Past

A picture may or map be “worth a thousand words,” but it’s never self-evident which thousand words they are. Pictures and their cousins, maps, that is, are representations that must be “read” with the same critical care given to written, verbal texts: Who is the “author” (“artist”; ; “cartographer”; “producer”)? What was the context of production and reception? What conventions of representation are built into the work? What are the limits of empirical and interpretive reading of visual texts? Initial examples will be taken from the rich archive of visual production in early-modern Japan, but students are encouraged to pursue the historical reading of the visual in their own areas of interest.

Picturing the Past” is a seminar focused on the theory, problematics, and practice of interrogating visual artifacts (paintings, prints, photographs) as historical document or source. We begin with some theoretical and methodological readings from history, art history, and criticism, etc., and a brief review of the history of early modern Japanese art, before proceeding to implement those insights 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 paintings, prints, maps, and book illustrations, some of which will be presented in class; materials will be drawn from many other cultures as well.

Students will research and write original papers exploring the possibilities of reading the visual as historical text. They will keep course journals, and make class presentations of their research-in-progress.


Topic: “So Strange and Wonderful”A History of Polar Exploration

Europeans have been fascinated by the poles since early times--especially the ideas that a Northwest Passage existed that could take travelers and trades west to reach the east and of Antarctica as an inhabitable place. This course will start with ideas about the poles in the Middle Ages and then look at the explorers of both the Arctic and the Antarctic from the sixteenth into the twentieth centuries through their own words as well as through the lenses of various historians. This is a discussion with an emphasis on how to analyze primary source materials and how to evaluate conflicting historical ideas. Actual films of early 20th century exploration by Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton will also be analyzed.

History 200 is meant to prepare students to write a research paper for the capstone Undergraduate Research and Writing Seminar. Therefore the course will concentrate on the historiography of the topic (historical arguments through time) as well as on the research and methodological skills needed for writing a research paper. There will be a variety of writing assignments instead of exams.

200 Human and Nature in Japan (Konishi)

This course will introduce ways to interpret human experience through the history of human relations to nature.  It historicizes changing concepts of and relations to nature from early modern to contemporary Japan, while providing transnational and comparative perspectives on the topic at hand.  Readings on the place of nature in shaping human society and human subjectivity, as well as nature's relationship to political ideologies, are combined with readings specific to historical time and space.  We will look at various primary sources for our practice of interpretation, such as a philosophical essay by Japan's foremost primatologist, a cookbook, and popular anime like Princess Mononoke, among other forms of texts, and relate them to specific historical contexts.  We will also attempt to interpret our own relations to nature.  How do our relations to nature help us to understand ourselves in our given historical time and space?  How and why do we practice historical interpretation?  You will give presentations, write short review and response essays, and produce a final paper.


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.


Same as ANTH 286 & ASST 286. See ANTH 286

This is essentially an institutional history of the lowland civilizations of Mainland and Island Southeast Asia, with a strong anthropological orientation as its analytical/explanatory basis. It deals chiefly with the histories of the Indianized and Sinicized States in the context of the Indian Ocean-China Sea trade, the institutional history of Buddhism and Hinduism in the region, and the development of regional systems of monarchy and their local variations. It deals at length with the rise and development of regional and national cultures in these states, and the effects of Western colonialism and the rise of new nations.

TEXT: The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, Vol. I.

There are mid-term and final examinations, and 2 short essay assignments. Meets general education requirement in Non-Western Cultures.


Same as EALC 226

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

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


This course traces the rise of Western Civilization, beginning with the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Egypt. The entry of the Hittites, an Indo-European people, into the much older and more sophisticated Eastern cultures is examined. The Bronze Age and the origins of the Greek Civilization, along with the development of Greek political and social institutions, are also treated. The course ends with the Greek victory over the Persian menace, the clash between Athens and Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, and the destruction of the classical scheme of things. Textbook: J. P. McKay, A History of Western Society, vol. A.; A. R. Burn, The Penguin History of Greece (Penguin Books), plus other individual assignments. One mid-term, and one final exam.


Same As GWS 245, MDVL 245

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

255 A BRITISH ISLES TO 1688 (Hibbard)

Same as MDVL 255

The British Isles to 1700.


This course is about all the islands of the "Atlantic Archipelago" through the medieval and early modern periods. It will use literature and other primary sources as well as a standard text. The course will examine the material culture, art and artifacts, music, and technologies; we will see how religious and political culture got thoroughly mixed up with each other and stayed that way; and we will watch the slow movement of the common people into historical visibility and political agency by the end of the period. Regular attendance, class presentation, midterm, a portfolio, and final exam will be required.


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


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.


Topic: Imperial in Racial Rule: The United States and the World

Recently both critics and supporters of the United States have begun to use the word "empire" to describe what the U.S is and does. In this course we will explore the meaning of empire to historic understandings of the development of what we now call the United States of America. We will consider the relationship of ideas, geography, borders, culture, economies and the military to the expansion of power. White supremacy - which describes historic attempts to exclude people deemed non-white from full political and social equality in the U.S. - will be a central concern in our examination of how the U.S. has related to the people of the world over time: as it came into being, acquired more territory and continuously increased its political and economic dominance around the globe. We will pay particular attention to the role of racial classification in organizing relationships between people both within and beyond the official borders of the United States. Non-history majors, women and people of color are strongly encouraged to register for this course.

274 U.S. AND WORLD SINCE 1917 (Hoganson)

This class provides an introduction to the study of U.S. foreign relations from roughly 1917 to the present. These are years in which the United States ascended to superpower status, something that affected not only the course of world events but also U.S. politics, society, and culture. Over the course of the semester we will consider both the U.S. exercise of power and the impact of foreign relations on domestic affairs. Taking a topical approach, we will investigate some of the pivotal developments of the past century -- including World War I, U.S. cultural and economic expansion, World War II, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, globalization, and 9/11 and its aftermath. Taking a thematic approach, we will consider these developments in light of two seemingly oppositional terms that have been used to characterize U.S. foreign relations: freedom and empire. To what extent have U.S. policies served to extend freedom? To advance empire? Lectures will touch on some, but not all of the readings. In many cases, they will present materials not covered in the readings. So to do well in this challenging course, you need to keep up with the readings and pay attention in lecture. You also need to participate intelligently in section, for these small group discussions are a central component of the course.


Same as Afro 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

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 AIS 278

An overview of the Native American experience in the United States from 1850 to the present. Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group projects, the course will explore the major events that altered the environment American Indians inhabited following the establishment of the United States as a continental power. The course will also examine the ways in which native peoples experienced, adapted to, and survived the economic, political and social forces that were unleashed by the country’s evolution into a modern nation state. Readings will include primary documents, Native American commentaries, historical fiction and secondary works.


Same as LLS 279

Examination of the history of Mexican Americans living within the United States from the Spanish Conquest to the twentieth century. Explores the process of migration, settlement, assimilation, and discrimination with emphasis on continuity and change in Mexican cultural development..


Same As AAS 281, AFRO 281, LLS 281

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 GWS 286

The central premise of this course is that gender matters in history and that to understand women's history, one must appreciate the differences among women's historical experiences. The course will introduce students to the history of women's work, sexual definitions, and political lives in industrializing and modern America. Readings in primary sources and those written by women's historians will emphasize changes in women's life experiences in relation to larger historical changes in the U.S., such as economic change, race relations, and social movements. A major goal of the course is to show that women's history is a central part of American social history and a unique subject of historical investigation. Although the title of this course refers to women and men, most of the lecture and reading will concern the history of women.


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: Memory & the Construction of Identity & Culture

Memory is fundamental to the construction of identity, indeed of culture itself. Without memory, knowledge cannot extend over generations, even minutes. In a time when scholars are pursuing links between collective and individual trauma, or the relationship between post-traumatic stress and the so-called recovered memories in studying events such as the holocaust or September 11th, memory issues often take center stage. The subject has long been an active concern in different disciplines, including history, cognitive and neuro-psychology, medicine, computer science, literature, and a number of the arts. Only recently have a handful of scholars begun to offer interdisciplinary consideration to such topics as external memory (e.g., archives, museums, and monuments), computer memory, collective memory, nostalgia, the role of narrative in memory, memory distortions, extraordinary memory, forgetting, trauma, repressed memory, autobiographical memory, memory and the self, motor and performance memory, and the biology of human memory.

This course is designed as a participation-intensive seminar that offers undergraduates the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary study and research involving memory. Most of the early classes will be devoted to discussing a particular memory theme based on assigned readings. Later classes will focus on student research, presented initially to classmates and later to the attendees of an informal student memory conference open to the public. Class visits are planned from other faculty who work on memory in different disciplines.

Students will write a short essay on one of the readings and a longer paper on their research project. Their research project, on some question of memory that interests them (e.g., the formation of a “flashbulb memory” by an event such as September 11, or “repressed” memories of early trauma, perhaps created artificially through interview questions) will be the most time-consuming part of the student's course work. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their research project, presented in written and oral form, their shorter essay, and their engagement in class discussions.

300 Level


Same as CINE 300

Topic :Hollywood and the Great Depression: American Film as Social Commentary, 1929-1939

With the arrival of sound, the movies from Hollywood in the 1930s learned not only to talk, but also to address the emerging social and economic crises in the United States during a very troubled decade. At the high point of the motion picture industry’s studio system, some productions with a distinctly serious intent directly addressed specific problems in American society. Other motion pictures served as escapism, enabling movie-goers to cope with the problems they experienced on a daily basis simply by leaving them behind for several hours in the luxury of the movie palace. While some films centered specifically on the various national and international crises about which the public learned in newspapers and in other forms of mass media, other films created a fantasy world, where the problems, if considered at all, could be approached symbolically or metaphorically.

With the realization that the public attended the cinema in record numbers during this period, the question for historians and film scholars is whether or not these feature films were merely examples of entertainment and escapism, or, alternatively, did they address in an implicit rather than overt fashion contemporary social, political, and economic issues? Do these films tell us anything about how Americans thought and acted in the 1930s, and to what extent are they useful primary source documents, revealing various perspectives in one of America’s most critical periods. Did they provide insight about such matters as gender, race, and propaganda practices, and did they reveal the political and ethical values of a society in distress?

This course will examine these questions by doing an in-depth study of some of the most memorable motion pictures of this period, representing a variety of film genres from the beginning of the sound era through 1939. Various historical, theoretical, and critical approaches will be considered in the assigned readings for the course and in the weekly lecture-discussions. Students will be asked to write three short papers based on questions from weekly study guides. Also a term paper and prospectus utilizing primary source materials will be required, as will a final exam paper. The prerequisite is either a course in history or a course in cinema studies, and students will be expected to have completed the Composition I requirement.

350 A EUROPEAN HISTORY 1815 TO 1871 (Liebersohn)

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

352 A 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 their interactions, minglings and overlaps. Our focus will be the dialectics of culture and power, and we shall tack back and forth between 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 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.


Topic: Women and War in Europe 1914-1945

This course couples the study of war—probably the most traditional topic of historical research—with the study of gender relations and the history of women—among the newest fields of historical inquiry—in an in-depth exploration of Europe during the era of the two World Wars. In many respects, this course is a social history of the first half of the twentieth century, looking at a variety of ways in which women—as groups and as individuals—participated in and were influenced by the momentous changes taking place during this era. We will read and discuss texts that examine such topics as women’s efforts to keep family and country together on the home front, their struggles in battle and in occupied territories, their roles in social movements that led to war, their experiences as perpetrators of violence and as victims of it, and their place within the ideologies of the regimes that ruled over them.

354 A EUROPEAN HISTORY SINCE 1939 (Matheson)

Topic: Contemporary France

For centuries, France has symbolized the height of European culture. Stereotypes about France and the French abound; it is the country of rude waiters, of beautiful women, of magnificent châteaux. France is renowned for its wine, cheese and haute couture, for its intellectuals and films, and for its crowning glory, Paris— the "City of Lights." With its revolutionary, intellectual and cultural traditions, France has long influenced and fascinated both America and the world. However, over the course of the twentieth century, French dominance waned. How do we explain the changing status of this once invincible nation? From World War II and the Vichy regime, through occupation, collaboration and resistance, from marxism and intellectual "mandarins" through the politically fragile Fourth Republic, from decolonization and Gaullism through student revolutions and sexual revolutions, and from the theoretical battles over feminism, structuralism and poststructuralism, to the geographic battles over immigration and race, from modernization and technological change to globalization, we will study the history of modern France with an aim towards understanding France’s shifting identity in the postwar world. Does France continue to influence the course of world events? If so, how? To what extent are the stereotypes that we hold about France and the French grounded in reality? What makes the French "French"? By examining the events, ideas, people and institutions that have shaped the French nation over the course of the last sixty years, we will formulate responses to these and other questions. The historical analysis of film, music and television as well text-based sources shall constitute an integral aspect of our work.


This course explores technology as a transforming force in modern society. We will examine a number of technologies -- including the stirrup, heavy plow, iron stove, telephone, bomber plane, telephone, radio, television, transistor, computer, and atomic bomb -- that opened new realms of human possibility, while closing others. We will analyze how such innovations, as part of technological systems, affected society and culture, restructuring economic and political life and realigning values. The later part of the course will focus on America’s transformation from wilderness to metropolis and take a critical look at the popular myth of “technological progress” in the age of nuclear power and electronic information.

Besides mid-term and final exams, students will write a short paper and a somewhat longer paper on particular technologies of interest to them.


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. Grades will be determined by three 50-minute short-answer exams spaced equally through the semester.


Same as GWS 367

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

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


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 most 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?


This course studies the social impact of urbanization and industrialization in the modern United States, with specific emphasis on the African American experience in the Midwest. It focuses on black migration; the construction and development of black urban communities, institutions and culture; the interplay of political, economic and social structures, and forms of African American self-activity; and the effects of deindustrialization on black urban communities, as well as their responses.


Examines the complex relations between Christians and Jews in Europe from the high Middle Ages through the Enlightenment. Among our topics are the religious and social roots of medieval persecutions of Jews; the history of Jewish banishments; construction of myths to foment hostilities; Renaissance humanism (especially the Christian absorption of Jewish scholarship); the impact of the Christian reform movements.both Protestant and Catholic.on the status of Jews; mercantilism and the re-admission of Jews; and the emergence of a discourse of religious tolerance in the Enlightenment.

396 A Black Art, Culture & Politics (Wilkins)

Same as Afro398F

This course will examine the critical linkages between black artistic expression and movements for social and political transformation in the United States and beyond.  Thematically, students will explore the rise of black dance social formations, the penetrating social commentary of blues musicians, the modernist exploration of black visual artists, and thee global dimensions of contemporary hip-hop music.  Over the course of the semester students will seek to understand the role(s) black artists have played in movements for social and political change.  Conversely, we will determine how black artists and their art have been shaped by these very same movements.  From the irreverence of Bessie Smith to the stinging punch of Muhammad Ali, we will learn that art always matters in struggles for freedom and self-determination.


Topic: Gender and Warfare in Latin American History

This course examines the intersection of gender and warfare in Latin America. We will use the analytical concept of gender to study both women’s participation in warfare in the broad sense and the gendering of armed conflicts in various Latin American regions and across different time periods. This approach seeks to highlight what roles women played during military conflicts as well as how these roles have been interpreted. The course will proceed in chronological fashion, beginning with the Inca conquest in the Andes (1450-1532), and end with the 1994 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas.


Topic: Art, Race and Nation: Citizenship and Identity in the United States

In this course we will examine the construction of American identity and citizenship through a study of sculpture, painting, photography and emblematic imagery in social, cultural, political, and scientific contexts, from the early Republic to the 1990s. The Statue of Liberty, Civil War memorials, depictions of the American west, Native Americans and cowboys, Depression era photographs, and a variety of other art and imagery will provide evidence about what it has meant to be "American." Our terms of analysis will include not only American ideals of freedom, equality and opportunity, but also race, gender and power. The course will combine lecture and discussion.

Possible Readings: W.E.B. Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk; Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War and Monument in 19th Century America; Edward Steichen, The Family of Man; Jane Kramer, Whose Art Is It? Reading packet of secondary articles and images.


Topic: The Eastern European Jewish Experience

In 1939, on the eve of the Holocaust, east European Jewry constituted the most important and influential Jewish community in the world. This course will survey the establishment, flourishing and destruction of this once vital community by examining its social, economic, political, religious and cultural history from its foundation to the Holocaust. Topics to be covered include: Jewish autonomy, the relationship between the Jews and the surrounding society, sectarian heresies, Hasidism, Jewish life in the Russian and Habsburg Empires, the rise of mass politics and new forms of Jewish self-expression (nationalism, socialism, Zionism, Yiddishism), the changing role of women in Jewish society, Jewish life in Poland and Russia in the inter-war years and the virtual destruction of East European Jewry during the Holocaust. Course requirements include a wide variety of readings, two short (5-6 page) analytic papers and a final exam.

400 Level

407: Slavery and Race in Latin America (Dominguez)

The course focuses on a critical reading of recent literature on colonial Latin American racial orders, ethnic identity formation, and gender roles' construction. The multi-racial societies of contemporary Latin America have their origin in the three centuries of colonial Iberian domination. Formally segregated, Indians and Spaniards, the latter served by African slaves, formed a dynamic mixing of cultures and bodies. However, the sort of colonial "melting pot" perpetuated social and gender inequalities, and was organized around contested notions of racial domination. The complexities of ethnic self-identification and racial and gender ordering in colonial Latin America have been a topic long sparking important research and publications among historians, anthropologists, and ethnohistorians. Its fascinating developments in the last two decades have changed our understanding of Latin American identities.

Required Books: Andrien, Kenneth J. Andean Worlds: Indigenous History, Culture, and Consciousness Under Spanish Rule, 1532-1825. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2001. ISBN: 0826323588

Klein, Herbert S. The Atlantic Slave Trade. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN: 0521465885

Knight, Alan. Mexico: The Colonial Era. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN: 0521891965

Metcalf, Alida C. Family and Frontier in Colonial Brazil: Santana de Parnaíba, 1580-1822. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005. ISBN: 0292706529

Restall, Matthew, ed. Beyond Black and Red: African-Native Relations in Colonial Latin America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005. ISBN: 0826324037

Socolow, Susan Migden. The Women of Colonial Latin America. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN: 0521476429

Recommended Books:

Andrien, Kenneth J., ed. The Human Tradition in Colonial Latin America.

Wilmington, Del.: SR Books, 2002. ISBN: 0842028889

Boyer, Richard and Geoffrey Spurling, eds. Colonial Lives: Documents on Latin American History, 1550-1850. New York; Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN: 0195125126

Kinsbruner, Jay. The Colonial Spanish-American City: Urban Life in the Age of Atlantic Capitalism. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005. ISBN: 0292706685

Mills, Kenneth; William Taylor, and Sandra L. Graham, eds. Colonial Latin America: A Documentary History. Wilmington, Del.: SR Books, 2002. ISBN: 0842029974

Note: All editions are paperbacks.



Same As CWL 478, EALC 476

If the intellectual cultures of the Greeks, the Romans, and the Christian religion have given shape to what is known as the European civilization, the various classical traditions of ancient China played a similar role in laying the cultural foundations of China. This course will examine in depth the major intellectual and religious traditions of ancient China from the twelfth century B.C. (the Shang dynasty) through the third century when the Han dynasty collapsed. We will study the major thinkers of Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism, etc. In addition to the study of the peculiar and common issues, and the shared concerns of the major thinkers, we will examine issues that concern us today. For example, we will analyze texts for issues that bear upon gender relations, cultural identities, and the relationships between self, family, and society. We will also address specific questions regarding difference factor in Chinese culture. For example, did ancient Chinese develop logical methods of thinking? What is the impact of the characteristics of the peculiar writing system on Chinese thinking? This is a lecture course. Students are required to read translations of the original texts. Participation in discussion sections is essential. Students who have taken a 100 or 200 level course in Chinese culture or history are eligible to enroll. There will be a mid-term, one 5-6 page paper, one 15 page term-paper, and a final.


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 religion-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.


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

462 G2/G4/U3 SOVIET UNION SINCE 1917 (Koenker)

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.


Topic: The Modern Balkans through literature and film(19th-20th centuries)

This course covers the history of the creation and development of the independent Balkan states (Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and later Yugoslavia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and partly 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 on contemporary developments in the Balkans, especially the Yugoslav crisis. By reading and discussing fictional work and showing several films by Balkan authors, the course will provide a look also at the intellectual production of the region. Books for discussion are assigned on a weekly basis. Additional texts, maps and other materials will be provided by the professor.

467 G4/U3 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 HDFS 421

This course will provide an overview of family life in the United States, beginning before the forming of the U.S. in colonial history and extending up to the present. Topics emphasized will be the history of childhood and adolescence, dating and courtship, sex and reproduction, husband-wife relations, female-headed households, and aging. The course will also examine major transformation in family structure and authority patterns, and consequences of those transformations. Among the assignments will be an analysis of family photos and a possible research paper on history of the student’s family.


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.

478 G4/U3 BLACK FREED MOVE, 1955-PRESENT (McDuffie)

Same as AFRO 474

History of the Black Freedom Movement, 1955-Present is an interdisciplinary exploration of the experiences of African American people interpreted through the prism of Black Studies’ central concepts, theories, and paradigms. 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 the class 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, polity, and civil society; (2) to explore the extent to which racial oppression continued to plague 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. A premium will be placed on critically understanding how gender and sexuality structured Black social movements and in interpreting the Civil Rights-Black Power movement through a transnational, diasporic lens. Students will be expected to write a 10-12 page research paper using primary and secondary sources for their final project.

480 G2/G4/U3 US WORK CLASS HIST SINCE 1780 (Barrett)

Same as LIR 480

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

484 American Legal History (Ross)

Same as Law 688

This course explores American legal history in the period between the post-Revolutionary constitutional settlement and the rise of the regulatory state in the early twentieth century (roughly, 1790-1914).  The course focuses on a number of crucial themes: the creation of a constitutional order and its transformation during Reconstruction; the legal system's intellectual and institutional adjustments in the aftermath of Independence; the social role and self-image of lawyers; and the legal regulation of the economy, labor, slavery, race relations, the family, gender roles, and crime.  By investigating these themes, we can illuminate the role of law in distributing power, wealth, and status; constraining and encouraging social behavior; and shaping the formation of identity.  The course focuses on the political, social, and intellectual history of law and deals only incidentally with changes in doctrine over the years. 

485 Rule of Law in Historical Prospective (Ross)

Same as Law 792

This course examines the idea of the rule of law from the perspectives of history, law, and political theory.  After developing the variety of different and contrasting meanings of the idea of a "rule of law," the course explores how this ideal has been used and refashioned by partisans in a number of conflicts--including the American Revolution; debates over slavery, crime control, and labor relations; and the Civil Rights movement.  We discuss the rationales for defying unjust laws, and for obeying them.  The course then turns from history to theory and examines prominent critiques and defenses of the value and coherence of the rule of law ideal.  In particular, we explore whether, as critics claim, the rule of law impedes political and social reforms, saps the vigor of democracy, and obscures women's differing interests and values.


This course is intended to provide honors students with an overview of the key traditions, debates and techniques of the historical discipline. What is the purpose of writing about history? What are "good" and "bad" history? What are the most significant problems historians address in investigating the past? What research strategies do they use in doing so? This course will introduce students to a variety of historians' responses to these questions and help them develop answers of their own. Readings will highlight contrasting theoretical standpoints and methodological approaches to the writing of history. The course will also help students develop practical research and writing skills; the core assignment will be the writing of an honors’ thesis research proposal, due at the end of the semester. Students’ proposals will draw on our exploration of the library’s resources, including electronic research tools and primary source materials. Students are encouraged to explore the historiography of their chosen field as widely as possible, and to consider the relevance to their own research interests of the topics we will be covering.


Topic: Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Race, and Nation

Baseball has enjoyed a unique status in American culture due to the sociological and historical roles attributed to the game. Since the formation of the National League in 1876, professional baseball has operated symbolically within the U.S. national imagination as a space where hard work, desire, and discipline are rewarded. The significance attached to baseball in the U.S. and abroad historically underscores how it has often been deliberately employed as an allegory of America. This research seminar engages readings that illuminate the manner that action on the field serve as a window into what was transpiring in wider society. Readings will examine the codification of race, class, gender, and nation in the national pastime. Requirements include regular attendance and participation in seminar sessions, several response papers (3-5 pages) and a final research paper (20-25 pages). In order to achieve this task, we will become more familiar with analytical tools such as hegemony, agency, social construction, discourse, identity formation, transnationalism, and the production of history, among others. Participants will apply these analytical tools in original research dealing with primary sources in a topic that examines issues of race, culture, gender and labor (or any intersection thereof) chosen in consultation with the professor.


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: Europe in the Seventeenth Century

A generation of war more brutal than anything Europeans had seen before. An anointed king tried and executed by his people. New worlds in the heavens. Atheism and faith. Hope and despair. The decades between the Reformation and the Enlightenment have long been seen as a time of crisis in Europe. In this course we will read some central texts of the era, including works by John of the Cross, Shakespeare, Pascal, Milton, Descartes, Spinoza, and Newton. Students will research and write a paper of about 5000 words on a seventeenth-century topic of their choice.


Topic:War on the Home Front in 20th Century America

From the post-9/11 "war on terrorism" to the vigil of Cindy Sheehan, Americans struggle with collective wartime memories and home front conflicts. 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 is anchored in the home front experience in World War II, the most intensively-studied home front, but also considers the misleadingly-labeled "total war" of World War I and the so-called "limited" U.S. involvements in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. 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, 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, corporations, labor, universities, and cultures of consumption. This seminar will critique and engage these debates, and students will be expected to help each other--through class participation, oral reports, and other assignments--to clarify, refine, and deepen understanding both of weekly readings and of their individual article-length research projects on wartime domestic life.


Topic: Jewish Atlantic World

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


Topic: The Cold War

The Cold War, a term which referred to the period between roughly 1947 and 1990, is about the conflict in international relations that was arguably more global than the preceding Second World War, of which it was a quasi-continuation. It dominated much of European history in the second half of the 20th century but was principally the by-product of the rivalry of the two world powers after the Second World War: the United States and the USSR. Based on an acute ideological antagonism, it was essentially a geostrategic struggle for bases of power. It soon spilled out of its European context and acquired “hot war” facets in Asia and Africa. While it has been traditionally approached as primarily a problem of international relations and diplomacy, the Cold War’s other aspects include the playground of ideology and politics, especially the attractions and limits of communism and liberalism, issues of propaganda, science and the nuclear race, as well as arms control. Theoretically, the course touches upon questions dealing with the system of international relations and their primary categories, such as balance of power, great powers, international organizations, etc.; colonialism, decolonization and post-colonialism; nationalism, state sovereignty, human rights, social justice, etc. Given the enormous amount of published primary and secondary materials on the Cold War, this is a theme particularly favorable for students to research and write a paper on a topic of their choosing. This can touch upon any of the different sub-periods and diverse aspects of the Cold War: it can explore the specific policies of any of the great and lesser powers of the period (the USA, the USSR, China, Japan, Great Britain, France, Germany, etc.); it can deal with any of the great real and potential conflagrations of the Cold war period (the Korean War, the Cuban missile crises, Israel, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc.), as well as the several longer or shorter periods of detente; stepping on the rich amount of biographies, autobiographies and memoirs, it can approach the mindset of the leading statesmen of the epoch; it can analyze the policies of representation and historiographical issues of the Cold War; it can finally use the immense information in the contemporary press as well as literary production to reconstruct the everyday atmosphere of this period. The first two thirds of the course will consist of weekly discussions based on common readings. Questions for discussion will be passed in advance, and there will be oral presentations. Students will be also introduced to the library and will begin their bibliographic research. The major activity of the course consists in writing a 20-page research paper on a specific problem of the subject area as outlined above. The choice of topic as well as the ongoing research will be supervised closely by the instructor. The last third of the course will consist in research/writing and presentation of the final papers.


Topic: Histories of childhood, A Global Perspective

“Histories of Childhood, A Global Perspective” explores how cultures and societies attributed different meanings and expectations to childhood. We will examine what it has meant to be a child and how children experienced their youth in a variety of geographical and historical settings. The course asks where we can find children’s voices in the historical record by looking at a broad range of sources, including magazines, films, autobiographies, clothing, toys, court cases, photographs, and children’s literature. The goal here is to produce an original research paper based on such historical documents and building on themes from the course like the child and the state, children of empire, gender and sexuality, parenthood, education, and health. We will be challenged to think creatively and critically about the uses of history and place of children in our world.


Topic: Local Conflicts and Global Modernity: Revolutions and Counter-Insurgency in World History

Today, popular images of resistance—the lone student opposing the tank in Tianaanmen Square, the stylized image of Che Guevara in his beret, Gandhi’s hunger strikes, and even the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”—suffuse popular culture and modern memory. However, they do so in a tense relationship with contemporary government and media portrayals of “unpopular” resistance: Muslim fundamentalism; anti-globalization protests; and terrorism. Navigating these images is increasingly important in the contemporary world. This course will focus on revolutionary episodes since the late-18th century in order to investigate the connections between revolution, modernity, and globalization. We will explore how nation states—as one signifier of modernity—emerged from periods of conflict and social upheaval. We will study how some of the great social formations and political movements of the 19th and 20th centuries—nationalism, empire, colonialism, civil rights, democracy, communism, anti-globalization—were all imbricated in revolutionary movements. We will investigate how states have responded to challenges and how nation-states serve particular interests in order to silence the same sorts of revolutionary impulses from which they were born. In all of these strands, we will move between the local and the global: local resistance to conditions that emerge as a result of global economic systems; localized resistance to “globalization”; the global dimensions of resistance; and global efforts at counter-insurgency. This course will combine historical, theoretical, and literary readings with discussion to develop a multi-dimensional appreciation of the causes, experiences, and impacts of revolutions whose effects shape our world today.

500 Level


Topic: Gender and Slavery

This course introduces graduate students to the historiography of African chattel slavery in the New World. With a critical eye to studies on women and gender, we will draw from readings on slavery in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. We will focus on both classic and more recent trends in the study of slavery. Topics to be explored include: accommodation and resistance, cultural retention and adaptability, health and healing, the slave market, slavery and the law, sexual exploitation and violence, as well as the formation of family and kinship networks. Students with a research interest in African American history, the American South and Gender and Women’s studies are encouraged to enroll.


This course will consider some transnational themes since the nineteenth century, including imperialism, nternationalism, multinational enterprises, non-governmental organizations, environmentalism, human rights, global culture, and terrorism.


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. 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.


Topic: Science, Medicine and Gender in Europe and America

In the old and new worlds alike, scientific and medical intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were massively preoccupied with the nature of masculinity and femininity. Their richlyvaried attempts to describe, classify, and theorize gender took place in one area of disciplinary inquiry after another, including sociology, clinical psychiatry, evolutionary biology, crowd psychology, criminology anthropology, sexology, forensic medicine, reproductive physiology, and psychoanalysis.

This course investigates a series of the "new sciences" of gender from the fin-de-siecle and aube-de-siecle generations. Authors include Darwin, Ellis, Freud, Krafft-Ebing, Lombroso, Nordau, LeBon, Steinach, and Weininger, as well as a selection of the best historical scholarship on science, medicine, and gender


Topic: Recent Historiography of Brazil

The course will treat new and recent books on Brazilian history, with an eye toward prelims. Students will write short critical papers on the works examined.


Same As AFRST 510

Topic: Debating the African Past: Foundational Problems in the History of Africa

Over the past half century and despite its “newcomer” status, African history has, in many ways, revolutionized the practice of history throughout the academy, largely because of its innovative methodological approaches, its consistently transnational field of vision, and its insistence on interdisciplinarity. ,At the same time, the development of African history has been inextricably linked to and profoundly shaped by social and political realities on the African continent since 1945. This course explores the development of African historiography by focusing on significant foundational problems in the development of the field and how those problems have been addressed and debated over the past fifty years by scholars in the US, Europe and Africa. The six areas upon which we will focus are: 1) long distance trade, Islam and the nature of the precolonial state; 2) the impact of slavery and the slave trade on the continent’s development; 3) imperialism and African resistance/collaboration; 4) women and gender and rewriting African pasts; 5) religion and the missionary encounter; 5) nationalism, Pan Africanism and the post-colonial state. We will be as interested to hear what Walter Rodney, the Guyanese revolutionary, had to say about slavery in Africa in 1966, as we will be to consider Joseph Inikori’s recent 2002 discussion of Africa’s role in England’s industrial revolution. We will read through and around these foundational problems not simply for substance and shifting argument, but for developments in method and for critical reflections on positionality, audience and theory. Course requirements include participation in seminar discussion, two long essays, a book review and short weekly reaction papers.


Same as EALC 520

This is an interdisciplinary course exploring (1) the politics of urban cultural production (2) the understanding of modern China from the perspectives of the marginal areas and groups, and (3) popular discourses surrounding issues of vernacular modernity and nationhood in twentieth-century China. In our context, China means not only the bounded territory of China, but also Hong Kong, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities around the globe. Combining film, literature, and cultural history, we discuss the extent of exploring marginal areas, groups, and cultures can deepen our understanding of the development of Chinese nationalism and modernity in the twentieth century.


Same As MDVL 547

Taught together with Problems course, Hist. 548: see description of that course. Students who wish to enroll for seminar credit should consult with the instructor in advance of the course; graduate-level background in early modern history is required. Reading and discussion, and preparation of a research paper.

548 A PROB ENGLISH HIST TO 1688 (Hibbard)

Topic: Selected Themes in Tudor-Stuart History

Same as MDVL 548

Readings and discussions on selected topics of current historiographical interest and abiding historical importance in 16th and 17th England; will definitely include a section on religious changes, other topics will be shaped in part by student interests. Contact instructor to discuss this. Students from allied disciplines (English, Musicology, Art History, etc.) are very welcome.

551 A PROB EUROPEAN HIST SINCE 1789 (Hitchons)

Topic: Southeastern Europe in the Twentieth Century

Readings and discussions devoted to four significant issues: 1) The interwar period and the questions of national identity and paths of development; 2) The nature of “classical” Communist regimes, roughly 1948 to 1960; 3) Communism and nationalism; and 4) Post-Communism and the return to Europe. Emphasis will be on Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia and its successors, and, if desired, Albania. There will be a paper.

551 C PROB EUROPEAN HIST SINCE 1789 (Liebersohn)

Topic: Cosmopolitan Europe

This course seeks to challenge the nationalist narrative of modern European history. Instead of viewing the era since the late eighteenth century solely as a setting for the formation of nation-states, it will examine the surprising number of cosmopolitan counter-currents. Travel routes, cities, and islands all fostered cosmopolitan identities or furthered cultures defined by their internal diversity. Possible themes include theories of cosmopolitanism, nationalism, and transnationalism; exiles, travelers, and tourists; anthropology as cosmopolitan science; multi-cultural cities; islands as sites of cultural encounter; Caribbean crossings; Pacific identities; and cosmopolitanism in high and popular culture.


Topic: Early Modern Russian History

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 .


Topic: U.S. Cultural and Intellectual History

This course is designed to introduce students to conceptual problems that have shaped the historiography of American cultural and intellectual life; key monographic and article-length secondary sources addressing these issues as they inform our understanding of U.S. history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and important primary documents in the intellectual history of American understandings of “culture”. This tall order will be addressed in two units. The first unit addresses definitional, theoretical and methodological issues in American cultural and intellectual history, including problems of how to define and study popular culture, how to locate and interpret the role of intellectuals in U.S. history; how changing constructions of “the public” shape and connect these definitions. The readings in the second unit survey in loosely chronological fashion key arenas where historians have made sense of these questions empirically, applying in the process a range of important methodological approaches to the problem of studying culture. This unit will also feature some readings on the history of “culture” itself as a changing concept in American intellectual life. Key topics will likely include evolutionary thought and constructions of race and ethnicity; popular religion; consumption; cultural constructions of class identity; changing forms of print culture and commercial entertainment; gender; constructions of space, place and empire.


Same as AFRO 501

African American Communities and the Black Freedom Movement explores the relationship between place and the Black Freedom movement. It examines the formation and development of African American rural and urban communities in the U.S. during the long 20th Century with particular emphasis on the Civil Rights and Black Power phases of the Black Freedom movement. This course explores the theories and paradigms, past and present, by which scholars have interpreted community in the African American experience. It also explores the Black Freedom movement in via the lens of new social movement theory. It focuses on the methods and skills necessary for researching and writing community studies, and the history of the African American Freedom movement. This course examines the institutional infrastructure and internal (class, gender, color, and generational) social relationships, and cultural expressions of urban and rural Black communities, but it also situates these communities within the city’s and region’s evolving capitalist political economy. Consequently, it explores the particular articulations of racism, sexism, and capitalism that establish the context and contours of African American resistance, self-transformation, and self-development in specific urban and rural areas.


This seminar examines changing conceptions of history and the Historian’s craft from antiquity to the present. Its goal is to familiarize future historians with the many different ways of writing history, while at the same time exposing them to some of the great achievements of historical interpretation. Emphasis will fall on the role of the historian in society, as a commentator on contemporary events or as a teller of stories about the past; the problems of objectivity, motive, and evidence; the powerful influences of religion and chauvinism; and the impact of methodologies borrowed from philosophy, anthropology, and literary theory. Readings will be drawn from the works of Herodotus and Thucydides,the historians of ancient Rome and China, the chroniclers of the Middle Ages, Machiavelli and Vico, the European historians of the nineteenth century, W.E.B. DuBois, and a number of contemporary scholars.

Please note that this course was originally designed to fulfill the graduate historiography requirement, since superceded by the new first-year sequence. Therefore, advanced graduate students (in their second year and beyond) who have not fulfilled this requirement are advised to do so now, since this course may not be offered again in the near future.


Any good work of history arguably raises the question of what history is all about: what is it that historians do when they “do” history? We can agree that after reading and researching, historians write up their results, they present their results in a narrative format, that is, they construct a narrative. But where do these narrative constructs come from? In this course we will plot a cognitive map of history and interpretive communities; together we will construct a genealogy of historical studies today by successively inquiring into the intellectual and political fields in which historians practice their craft. Topics include Marxism in theory and practice, Weber in theory and practice, the now old ‘new’ social history and the French Annales school, Geertz and interpretive anthropology, the now middle-aged ‘new’ cultural history, Foucault and poststructuralism, women and gender, history after the ‘linguistic turn,’ postcolonial studies, and history and postmodernism.


This seminar for first year graduate students is the second half of the introductory graduate sequence. This course focuses on the process of writing an original piece of historical scholarship. Topics to be discussed include: developing an argument, exploring sources, arriving at a research strategy, planning and structuring an article, presenting complex data, and producing scholarship that is a coherent representation of an author's perspective on the past. Over the course of the semester, each seminar participant will develop and write an original, article-length research paper. Students will work with the assistance of the instructors and an advisor from her or his own research field.