Spring 2007 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. Forms of assessment include three exams and two short papers.


An introductory survey dealing with the period during which the modern Latin American nations were constituted as such. Although there will be some discussion of the colonial period by way of background, this course deals essentially with the 19th and 20th centuries. Instead of attempting a country-by-country survey, we will emphasize key trends in Latin American society, politics, culture, and economics. Special attention will be given to changing concepts of nationhood and national identity, and to the development of relations among different racial and cultural groups of indigenous, African, European, or mixed ancestry.


This survey of African history traces the major political, economic, and cultural developments on the continent from human origins to the present.  The balance of the course will emphasize the achievements of independent Africa, although the middle quarter of the course will deal with the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on Africa, and with the creation of European colonial empires on the continent.  The last quarter of the course will discuss African developments since 1960, with special attention to apartheid in South Africa. Requirements: 3 section exams, a term paper and in-class writing assignments.


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 Asia itself. Reading includes novels and memoirs.

140 AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660-ACP (Lynn)

Please see course description for Hist. 141.

141 AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660 (Lynn)

This survey of Western civilization from Ancient Greece through seventeenth-century Europe provides essential background for the university student in virtually any field of study. Lectures and readings cover subjects ranging from fine arts to philosophy to physics, and discuss Western attitudes and approaches toward them. Most importantly, the course should help the student understand the origins of the institutions and ideas that define him or her today in the modern West. We, like Rome, were not made in a day. To this extent, History 140 and 141 is an exploration of personal identity, a journey of self-discovery through time.

142 B WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Esbenshade)

The West presents itself as the source of all progress and culture, a model for the rest of the world to follow.  At the same time, in the last century it has produced two world wars and the Holocaust, while its wealth coexists with the  poverty and misery of the Third World. What is the nature of this Western civilization, and how has it become what it is?  As the West came to dominate the globe, how did the experience of colonialism and imperialism fundamentally shape the West itself, and what was the effect of 20th century colonial independence movements? How did the rise of excluded groups— workers, women, Jews, peasants—and the ambivalent relationship with Eastern Europe figure in? We will end with the collapse of communism and the position of the New Europe in a globalized world: unified and progressive leader, `fortress' against immigrants, or sidekick to a lone superpower? There will be a focus on historical analysis of literature and other primary sources, on engaging with standard concepts critically, and on students expressing their views in clear, well-argued writing.  Students will emerge from the course with an understanding of key concepts of Western civilization-the Enlightenment, French and Industrial Revolutions, liberalism, Romanticism, nationalism, socialism, modernism, fascism, Communism—but also with a sense of the West as a global creation.

142 AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (T. Matheson)

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

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

Please see course description for 142AL1.


Same as RELST 120

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

172 BL1 US HIST SINCE 1877 (Esch)

This introduction to late 19th and 20th century U.S. history argues that change is a profound and central feature of modern U.S. history, shaped by both popular movements and elites. 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 lived their daily lives--how they worked, formed families, loved, faced discrimination, fought racism, had fun, migrated, and learned receive emphasis. Large-scale social, political and cultural phenomenon - such as elections, wars, legislation, economic depressions - will be studied in terms of how they were experienced by a diversity of people living in the U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike.

172 AL1 US HIST SINCE 1877 (Leff)

Explores the varied ways that Americans perceived and responded to the massive economic, political, and social changes confronting them in the late 19th and 20th centuries.  Through readings, media presentations, twice-weekly lectures, and discussion sections, the course places the standard chronicle of Presidential accomplishments, industrial progress, and expanding global linkages in a broader context of the competing visions and divisions that still shape the diversity of the American experience.

173 AL1 US HISTORY SINCE 1877 AC (Leff)

Please see course description for Hist.172 AL1

174 A BLACK AMERICA, 1619-PRESENT (Fouché)

Same as Afro 101

History 174 surveys the African American experience from the West African background to contemporary times. The course traces the lived experiences of African Americans. It examines why and how African peoples were incorporated into the United States of America. It examines the formation of slavery and subsequent systems of racial oppression. This course provides a materialist framework for understanding the dialectical relationship between changing structures of U.S. capitalist political economy, the structures and ideologies of racial oppression, and the self emancipatory practices of African American people. It delineates the elements of racial oppression, including both its structural and ideological apparatuses and offers a conceptualization of the periods and stages of African American historical development. History 174 explores the processes by which diverse African ethnicities transformed themselves into one people, African Americans and created and maintained a distinct culture. The course explores the forces that both unify and fragment African American people. Consequently, much attention is given to black women and questions of gender; black workers and issues of class; and youth and generational conflict. Furthermore, this will examine the nationalist and radical wings of the Black Freedom Movement as well as the traditional liberal organizations.


For history senior honors thesis writers only


Topic The Bible through the Centuries

A broad historical survey of the formation and impact of Christian Bibles through the centuries. The goal of the course is to offer a comparative history of the construction of Bibles and their authority.The course gives students an academic setting for investigating the complex (and ongoing) cultural history of the Bible. Two guiding questions will be: How have historical developments informed different versions of the Bible? How have versions of the Bible informed cultural and political developments? A third issue for us will be to compare the different sensibilities and messages of major manifestations of the Christian and Jewish Bibles.

The course is introductory, which means basic background information will be provided for each issue considered. Students, nonetheless, will study substantial amounts of primary documents (parts of Bibles, legal documents, artistic interpretations, theological interpretations, historical records, etc.) as a basis for deepening their own analyses of aspects of the history of the Bible.

Among our topics are: the historical relationship of Jewish and Christian Bibles; emergence of “authorized” contents for Bibles; formation of diverse Bibles (focus on history of the Septuagint and the Ethiopic Bible); Jerome’s creation of a Bible for Christian Europe; ancient and medieval interpretation of the Bible; what did the medieval Bible look like?; Bible and Christian “heresy” (focus on the English medieval Wycliffite Bible); Renaissance of the Bible (scholarship and printing); the Reformation and the Bible (Luther, Bible as propaganda, a new canon?); role of the English Bible in the Reformation; Catholic Bibles of the Reformation; defending or qualifying the Bible’s authority in the Enlightenment (Reimarus fragments; G. E. Lessing); emergence of “Higher Criticism” (historical critique of the canon--Jean d’Astruc, Tübingen school, D. F. Strauss). We will conclude with a brief consideration of the function of the Bible in some modern movements (the Bible and European missionizing; Feminist biblical interpretation; Bible and social justice; Bible and ecology).


Topic:  Viewing History through Film

What can we learn about history from film? Is film any good at portraying history? In this course we will discuss the connections between film and history. The class will view a series of films and will read about the historical events these films depict. We will focus on a series of mostly international Third World films, made in or about Asia, Africa, and Latin America which explore a wide range of contemporary social, political, cultural and gender issues.


Topic:The Balkan Peninsula from Earliest Times to the Present

This new survey course, conceived for freshmen and sophomores, and widely open to all disciplines, is dedicated to the history of a historic region – the Balkan Peninsula or South-Eastern Europe – from the earliest times to the present. Roughly one third of the course will cover antiquity and the Byzantine Empire. The second third of the course will offer a compressed overview of the Ottoman Empire and its legacy, and the final part will concentrate on nationalism and the modern period, with an emphasis on recent trends, and especially the gradual entry of the Balkans in the European Union.  The course will be a combination of lectures and discussion. Special attention will be paid to introducing students to sources.  Finally, by reading and discussing fictional work and showing several films, 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.


Topic:Holocaust in Hist Perspective

This course will focus on the events of the Holocaust in their historical contexts: their development in the various regions of Europe, as well as their importance of our understanding of nationalism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, religious intolerance, genocide, and the realities of our current world.


Topic:Asian American Historical Experience

Meets with AAS 199C

Asian Americans and immigrants from Asia have lived and worked in the United States for the last century and a half. Most of us know this to be the case. But what is similar and what is different about the experiences of various Asian descent groups in the U.S.? In order to answer this question, this course will provide students with an overview of the diverse and intermingled histories of Asians in the United States. The course offers a rich array of readings, films, and lectures on people descended from China, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, South Asia, and Vietnam. Furthermore, we will learn that Asian Americans did not exist in harmony with each other or in isolation from other groups of color. This understudied component of the history will form an important part of the class. Last, we will examine and discuss original documents that shed light on Asian American history. This will allow students to learn a broader historical lesson: how history is assembled, written and analyzed. Course requirements will include 2 midterm exams (neither will be comprehensive) and a 7-10 page paper.

200 Level


Topic: Slavery & its Destruction in North America

This course will examine a range of controversial issues and themes in the history of slavery, race, sectional strife, the Civil War and its aftermath in the United States. To do that, we will range widely across time, from the founding of British colonies in North America down through the end of the 19th century. Students will study historians’ conflicting answers to a series of major questions, such as: Did racism produce African slavery in the North American colonies or did slavery there give rise to racism? Was the U.S. Constitution a pro- or anti-slavery document? How different were the northern and southern sections of the United States during the early 19th century? What caused the Civil War? Was the Civil War inevitable? Why did the South lose the Civil War? How radically did Reconstruction transform the United States? What were the lasting effects of the sectional conflict and its aftermath? Students will also study and weigh the significance of various forms of evidence that bear on those questions. They will also formulate their own tentative answers to these questions, both verbally and in writing.


Topic: The History of Language Politics and Ideologies

All societies are linguistically diverse, and all societies have characteristic ways of interpreting and dealing with this diversity. Why do some strive for linguistic uniformity, while others embrace bi- or multilingualism? Why do some languages acquire a special prestige while others are marginalized and even disappear? (Are the fortunes of languages simply those of the people who speak them?) How do governments and other institutions go about changing the way people speak? This course will serve as an introduction to the “language question,” both as an object of historical research in its own right and as a dimension of key movements or processes in world history, such as colonialism and nationalism. Themes and methods in the study of language politics and language ideologies will be explored through a wide selection of case studies drawn from different time periods and world areas.


Topic:  India and South Asia in the Wider World

Disrupting traditional boundaries fostered by national, cultural and even historical identifications, this course situates ‘India’ and ‘South Asia’ in a wider world of trade, architecture, music, labour, sexuality, religion and activism.  The major and over-lapping themes that structure our exploration will be the Indian Ocean trading world, Islam, the British empire, and diaspora.  Within these, we will discuss how the movements of goods, practices, peoples, ideas and meanings travelled far beyond the geographical boundaries of ‘India’ and present-day South Asia.  We will use a vast array of sources: memoirs, government records, films and novels.  Critiquing the urge to shrink dynamic historical change into the ‘box’ of national identification, the course encourages students to think creatively about the interplay between historical interpretation and methodology.


Topic: Orientalism and Its Critics

This course explores different ways through which western observers have depicted non-western societies since the advent of the Enlightenment. The class will examine these depictions, generally known as Orientalism, in different genres of scholarly investigations, artistic/cultural productions, and political relations. Students are required to conduct original research to develop a critique of an orientalist literally, artistic, or scholarly work.


Topic:  Race, Racism and Resistance

Few people would disagree with the idea that "race" plays an incredibly important role in the production of and debates about U.S. culture, politics, economics and foreign policy.  Has this always been true or is this a recent phenomenon? How have the development of racial systems and challenges to them shaped possibility and conflict in the U.S.? In this course we will explore the emergence of race as an historic category which has changed over time; the role it has played in structuring other identities; how it is mobilized in order to further political ideologies; and in particular how African American organizing against the continued denial of full political, social and economic participation has expanded the possibility of social justice for all people.  This history class will consider particular moments of crisis in the history of what used to be called "race relations" and will also use historic context to take up contemporary discussions about affirmative action, immigration, empire and rights


Topic:  Engineering Change and Designing the Future

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


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 from the history of cartography, 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: Religion, Conflict and the Printing Press in Early Modern Europe (1450-1648)

“Holy War” has raged within Europe since the 9th century AD, and Europeans have waged such wars on their frontiers and beyond. It has pitted Christians against non-Christians, and sometimes against each other. Our subject will be the phase in this long history that extended from the Reconquista in Spain to the general European peace of 1648. We will be looking at real and metaphorical warfare, considering how the image of the enemy, or “other”, was developed and sustained, through the lens of early English print media. We will read primary sources and published research, and students will prepare a research paper using the methods explored and the skills developed in this course


Topic: Education and Assimilation

This course will examine the history of indigenous education, and the ways in which government policies attempted to “educate” and assimilate indigenous people of the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada into mainstream “white” society (1800-1950).  In addition to focusing on government policies, this course will examine how indigenous people responded to an education based primarily on colonial ideas and values.  By consulting primary and secondary sources at the University library and using various methods of historical interpretation, this course will seek to explain how and why dominate cultures/governments sought to use non-indigenous educational methods to assimilate and acculturate indigenous people of North America and the Pacific.


East and southern Africa contains a diversity of peoples and cultures.  It is a theater of rapid change and of world strategic importance.  In the north it impinges on the Red Sea and Middle East.  In the south it dominates major ocean routes.  It contains rich mineral deposits.  We will start with a brief look at the East African evidence bearing on human origins.  Then we will consider the peoples and societies which marked the area in ancient times and their achievements in civilization and technology.  An important theme will be the impact of European colonialism.  A substantial proportion of the course will deal with the area over the last twenty years.  It will examine the challenges of independence in eastern Africa and the effects of apartheid throughout southern Africa.  The course uses novels by African authors to examine the different perspectives and impacts of colonial and post-colonial experiences.  Students will be expected to participate regularly in class discussion.

Requirements: two 5-7 page papers comparing African novels and a 10-15 page research 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. TextThe Cambridge History of Southeast AsiaVol. I. There are mid-term and final examinations, and 2 short essay assignments.  Meets general education requirement in Non-Western Cultures.


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


Same as GLBL 251

History 251 carries on the story begun in History 250; however, 250 is not a prerequisite for 251. Now the subject is the history of war and military institutions during the last two hundred years. Subjects covered include the impact of the Industrial Revolution on military technology and practice, the influence of Clausewitzian theory, the development of staffs and doctrine, the phenomenon of total war, the character of insurgency, and the rise of global terrorism. Conflicts studied in some detail include the U.S. Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Arab-Israeli Wars. The approach followed in 251 will stress society and culture as factors that shaping warfare and the military. The material presented is specifically designed to interest a wide range of students who simply want to know more about humankind. Learn more about this inescapable, though regrettable, side of human experience.

256 A GREAT BRITAIN SINCE 1688 (Ramsbottom)

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


Topic: World History, World Culture, World Modernity

Overviews of modernization and modernity in a non-Western context tend to conflate modernization with Westernization, and modernity with `becoming Western.'  Are they indeed the same, or were both shaped by local reactions?  This course will explore reactions of the non- and semi-West to the global ideas and forces of the `long 19th century' (Democratic and Industrial Revolutions; nationalism; ideas of `progress' and `backwardness'; modernism). The course will look at key issues chosen to bring out the interaction of cultures, national identity formation, and evolving modernity in a variety of contexts.  Comparative examples will pair countries or regions (Latin America, East Asia, India, Russia/Eastern Europe, etc.) into dyads or triads that bring out relevant similarities as well as contrasts.  We will use literature, films, primary and secondary sources, with an emphasis on writing and discussion, and look to gain conceptual tools for looking at world history more than expecting to absorb the vast scope of the many histories referred to.

269 A JEWISH HISTORY SINCE 1700 (Avrutin)

Same as RELST 269

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed a profound transformation of Jewish life, culture, and religion.  Jews emerged out of their “ghettos” and enjoyed unprecedented economic and professional success throughout the “long” nineteenth century.  These transformations included changes in every facet of life – from occupations and residence, family life and marriage, as well as religious behavior and social integration.  Yet Jewish modernization differed from region to region and was imbued with profound contradictions and tensions.  What did it mean to be a Jew in the modern world?  How were Jewish identities redefined in response to the social and political opportunities, as well as the hostilities and hatreds, of the modern age?  How did the Holocaust realign the political and cultural geographies of Jewish life?  No previous knowledge of Jewish history is required.  Students are required to take three in-class exams and write one short paper.


Same as AFRO 276.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course. History of Afro-Americans in the age of white supremacy; the rise of modern protest organizations; the era of integration; and the black power movement.


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 AAS 281, AFRO 281, LLS 281

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


Same as 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.

300 Level


Same as CINE 300

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

With the arrival of sound, the movies from Hollywood learned not only to talk, but also to sing and dance.  Musicals, at once, became one of the American film industry's most popular and inventive genres, and they helped movie-goers cope with economic and social crises and even war.  But were these features merely examples of escapism, or 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 in the 1930s and 1940s dealt with questions concerning such matters as gender, race, and propaganda practices? This course will examine these questions by doing in-depth studies of some of the most memorable musicals from the beginning of the sound era through 1945.  Among the films to be viewed in the weekly showings will be movies displaying the visual magic of Busby Berkeley, the sophisticated dances of Astaire and Rogers, the charm of the Fox musicals (and, in particular, the appeal of Shirley Temple), the lush products of the Arthur Freed unit at M-G-M, and the music of great American composers like Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, and Harry Warren.  Various historical, theoretical, and critical approaches will be considered in the assigned readings for the course and in the weekly lecture-discussions, and the class also will consider the historical antecedents of these films, from vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley to the American musical theater.  Students will be asked to write three short papers based on questions from weekly study guides as well as a final paper.  Also a significant term paper and prospectus requiring primary source materials will be required.  The prerequisite is either a course in history or a course in cinema studies, though it is highly advisable for students to have completed the Composition I requirement.  3 Hours


In 404 BC the Spartans threw down the walls of Athens, declaring to the Greek world that the event marked the beginning of freedom for the Greeks. For the next century the Greeks tried to find that peace and turn it into the natural routine of life. Yet many states used this laudable goal as an excuse for aggression and empire-building. This course examines how the Spartans themselves first tried and failed to bring peace through domination. Thebes followed them in their efforts but could not build any foundation of a peaceful Greek life. Not only did Athens try and fail, but it goaded a new factor into taking active steps in Greece. That factor was Philip king of Macedonia, who used his power and position to introduce monarchy into Greece as a method of government and a way to maintain peace. His son, Alexander the Great, carried his work and ideas across the know world. More of a conqueror than a messenger of peace, he established monarchy as a predominant rule of political life in Greece and throughout the Near East.  Required reading: L.A. Tritle et al., “The Greek World in the Fourth Century” (1997); A.B. Bosworth, “Conquest and Empire” (1988); and P. Harding, “From the Peloponnesian War” (1985).


Same as RELST 347

An introductory study of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations with sustained focus on the history of Germany (Holy Roman Empire), Switzerland, England, and the Papacy in the sixteenth century. We will study political, intellectual, and cultural aspects of the explosive fragmentation of European Christianity. Our central goal will be to assess important historiographic questions (and disagreements) for the interpretation of this complex phenomenon. Students will be expected to develop their own ways of understanding the political and cultural diversity of Reformation movements. Readings are a balance of original documents (which will be the basis for most discussions) and historical overviews and specialized studies.

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. A major 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.


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


The Civil War was the most important conflict in the history of the United States. This course closely examines the causes and origins of that conflict – the deep-going changes in economic, social, cultural, and political life that in 1861 tore the country apart and in the process destroyed the centuries-old institution of chattel slavery. The course pays particular attention to the different ways in which diverse segments of population -- north and south, urban and rural, rich and poor, black and white, slave and free, male and female -- affected and were affected by these changes. (Note: a separate course will carry this story forward in time to the Civil War itself and the Reconstruction era.)


Same as LLS 379

According to the U.S. Census, Latinos have assumed the position as the nation’s majority-minority. Despite recent attention on the impact that this demographic shift will have on the political landscape, racial politics, and American identity, most remain unfamiliar with the particular history of Latina/os and cities. This course focuses on the historic, economic, social and political factors that influenced Latina/o migrations and the choices migrants made to come to the United States and to urban areas in particular. Assigned materials explore the theories and paradigms, past and present, by which scholars have interpreted urban Latino experiences, and explores the practices through which Latina/os have sought to create community.


Same as AFRO 383 and GWS 383

Why have black women been critical to leading black freedom movements during the 20th century? Why were black women attracted to Garveyism, Communism, and Black Power? How did the intersections of gender, race, and class position black women and men differently within protests organizations? Using the latest scholarship, memoir, and film, this interdisciplinary course seeks to answer these questions and more. Students will gain a greater appreciation for black women’s history and improve their communicative, analytical, and writing skills

396 A SPECIAL TOPICS (Avrutin)

Topic:East European Jewish History and Culture

At the end of the eighteenth century the Russian Empire acquired the largest Jewish population in the world with the three partitions of Poland (in 1772, 1793, and 1795).  Although Jews and Christians had lived side by side with one another for over three hundred years in Poland andLithuania, their worlds were distinct.  Jewish law (Halakhah) as expressed in the legal texts of the Talmud and Shulhan Arukh regulated daily life. Jews spoke a different language (Yiddish), perceived time differently (observed the Sabbath on Saturday rather than on Sunday), and observed different dietary restrictions.  This course analyzes the cultural, social, religious, and political reconfigurations of Jews and Jewish communities in Russia and the Soviet Union.  In what ways did Jewish responses to the political and social dislocations of the second half of the nineteenth century – acculturation, population movement, social mobility, and conversion – destabilize common notions of “Jewishness?”  How did the Great War and the Revolution restructure and fragment Jewish communities in the western borderlands?  Students are required to read around 200 pages of primary and secondary texts per week, write three 5-7 page papers, and lead three class discussions during the semester.  This course will be taught in a mixed lecture/discussion format.  Each sub-topic will be introduced by a lecture, followed by a discussion of the readings and lectures.


Topic:  Museums and Collecting

The hand of a mermaid, a miniature landscape in a tiny box, cheese turned to stone, a bat as large as a pigeon -- all found in the 17th century British Ashmolean Museum, along with whale bones, pelicans and Turkish shoes. In 1802, in Philadelphia, Charles Wilson Peale exhibited portraits of Revolutionary war heroes alongside mounted animal specimens, glass cases filled with minerals, and a mastodon skeleton. How can we comprehend these curious collections? Why don't museums display mermaids anymore? Such questions provoke us to ask even more basic ones: What are museums for? Who do they serve? What underlies the authority of their claims about the world? In this course we will explore collecting and displaying objects as a means for creating and organizing knowledge about the world, from the early modern period to the present, from early cabinets of curiosity to later museums of art, science and history, first in Europe and then in the United States. We'll study how ideas about nature itself, and how one reaches conclusions about the world, have changed over the last 400 years, and look at the profound effects these changes have had on museums and collecting.

400 Level

406 G2/G4/U3 HISTORY OF MEXICO FROM 1915 (Durston)

An examination of key developments from the Spanish conquest (prefaced by a lingering glance at the Mesoamerican cultural tradition) up to the consolidation, in the wake of the Mexican Revolution, of the recently-deceased PRI political system. While the course seeks to include some of the best and most representative Mexicanist historiography, there will be an emphasis on long-term issues and processes involving Mexico’s cultural and racial diversity, especially with regard to indigenous populations. A significant portion of the grade will be based on student presentations and participation in discussions.


This course provides an historical survey of southern Africa from the 17th century to the present, although primary emphasis is placed on the 19th and 20th centuries and the consolidation of white settler rule.  The course highlights the social, cultural and economic dynamics of both African and settler societies as it explores the historical processes which culminated in the emergence of South Africa as a major industrial and military power after the Second World War.  Our primary thematic focus will be on the ways in which race, gender and class have historically shaped the daily lives of people in southern Africa.  This course devotes equal time to lecture and discussion. Requirements: writing discussion questions, leading and participating discussion and the completion of a 20-25-page research paper.


Same As EALC 420

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

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

447 U3/G4 BRITAIN STUART AGE 1603-1688 (Hibbard)

“Stuart Age” refers to the royal family, but the 17th century saw two decades in which the rule of that family was contested, civil war broke out, a king was executed, and an “Inter-regnum” (1649-60) occurred. We will explore the political, religious, social and economic background to those momentous events; the rapid growth of radicalism in mid-century and its surprisingly rapid disintegration; and how the new “public spaces” opened up in mid-century made the later Stuart period (1660-88) very different from the world before the war. Course requirements include a book review, participation in a debate, and the midterm and final examinations.


Topic: German Society, the Rise of the Nazis, and the Holocaust

Germany ended the twentieth century much as it began: united, economically powerful, and increasingly anxious to play a robust role in world affairs.  In the intervening decades, Germany has twice wrecked the peace of Europe, imposed a horrifying racial regime, and served as the justification for the forty-year division of Europe.  In this course, we will examine more closely: war and political extremism, the rise of National Socialism, the establishment of the Third Reich, and the destruction of European Jewry.  Readings will include period novels as well as historical texts and films ranging, for example, from Hans Fallada, Little Man, What Now?, Victor Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz, Uwe Timm, In My Brother’s Shadow, Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Ruth Klüger, Still Alive, to Hans Erich Nossack, The End: Hamburg 1943 and Günter Grass, Crabwalk.  There will be a serious writing component to the course.


This course is an upper-division reading course exploring major problems in Imperial Russian history (roughly 1680-1917).  Because we will be analyzing certain key moments in depth, rather than attempting to survey the whole Imperial period, it is intended for students with some familiarity with Russian history: for example, history 260 or a course in Russian studies.  (The instructor is willing to help students with no background catch up as the course progresses, but this will require some extra effort on their part).  The course will be conducted in a lecture and discussion format, focusing on discussion.  Among the themes which will be considered in detail are: the reign and myth of Emperor Peter I (aka ‘the Great’); life on Russia’s serf estates, 1750-1850; faith and unbelief in the nineteenth century; nation-building, 1860-1914; the making of Russian radicalism and modernism; World War I and the October Revolution.

467 G4/U3 EASTERN EUROPE (Esbenshade)

During their turbulent past two centuries, Eastern Europeans have desired above all to share the benefits of Western European security and development, while being treated as, at best, poor country cousins. Stuck (with the partial exception of the Czech lands) in a pattern of economic dependence and rural misery, deprivation of national sovereignty punctuated by periods of homegrown authoritarian rule, they have never ceased to dream European dreams. This course will focus on Poland, the Czech lands, Slovakia and Hungary, with some reference to the Baltic states, from the period of the romantic movements for national awakening of the early 19th century up to the present day. Our special concentration will be on the relationship between national identity, culture and politics; and between the intellectuals, promoters of that national identity, and the mostly peasant masses they have claimed to speak for. The West, both imagined and real, will never be far from our minds, and  we will close with the rocky road to European integration since the fall of Communism in 1989. Reading literary works and viewing films will give us our primary view into the internal struggles of East Europeans; student participation in engaging with these works will be vital.


Same as AFRO 453

This course examines the rise and fall of plantation societies in the Americas. Moving beyond iconic images of cotton fields in the U.S. South, we will explore the history of plantation agriculture and African slavery in North America, South America, and the Caribbean from the arrival of Columbus in 1492 to the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888. Planters and merchants brought slaves and capital to develop islands, riversides, and coastal plains for the world economy, but before 1800, far more Africans than Europeans came to the new world. West Africans captured in the slave trade did most of the living, working, and dying in these lucrative and repressive societies. This course examines encounters with nature, economic development, the clashes of empires, and especially the cultural collisions among Africans, Europeans, and Native Americans that made plantation America a truly transatlantic place. We will trace the paths traveled by key plantation commodities such sugar, tobacco, rice, and coffee from production to consumption. Key topics include the slave trade, piracy, the “sugar revolution,” the rise of racial thought, the Haitian Revolution, and the anti-slavery movement.


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.


American public health and health policy. Public health and health policy in America since the late-18th century.  Emergence of modern public-health institutions; relation of public health to conceptions of disease, social order, gender roles, and the role of government; emergence and development of public policy issues in public health and medical care, of the environment for the formulation of policy, and the relation of policy to broader issues of social development, incidence of disease, and assumptions about the proper distribution of public and private responsibility for health and medical care.  Class discussion, research paper (done in stages), and midterm and final exams required.  Prerequisite: one year of college history and/or college courses pertaining to public health or health policy; or consent of instructor.


This seminar examines some changing conceptions of history and the historian's craft from antiquity to the present. It focuses on the many different ways of writing history, and examines some of the great achievements of historical interpretation. Topics will include: the changing 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, chauvinism, nationalism; and the impact of methodologies borrowed from philosophy, anthropology, and literary theory. Readings will be drawn from the historians of classical Greece and Rome, the chroniclers of the Middle Ages, the humanists of the Renaissance, the new professional historians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the writing of history in response to the crises of the twentieth century, and the works of some contemporary scholars.  The reading load will be heavy, but rewarding.  Students will be required to take an active part in the leadership of discussion and will write several short essays, as well as one longer paper on an independent topic. 

495 A HONORS SEMINAR (Fritzsche)

Topic: Genocide

This honors course will take as its theme “genocide,” and students will be expected to formulate a research problem and write a research paper on genocide, its definition and origins, particular case studies, or its legal and cultural effects.  Students will be invited to think about genocide across time and space and the assignments will cover East Africa, North America, the Soviet Union, and Europe.  Students will be expected to have read and be prepared to discuss on the first day of class: Michael A. Sells, The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia.  We will continue to discuss texts throughout the semester, but the course will shift gears to focus on the major research project.  Texts will include Eric Weitz, A Century of Genocide; Liisa Malkki, Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania; Jan Gross, Neighbors; Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men; Art Spiegelmann, Maus; and Anthony Wallace, Jefferson and the Indians.


Topic: War and Society

This course explores the myriad aspects of Classical Greek warfare. It will at least touch upon essential topics like arms and armor, ideas of strategy and tactics and their relation to decision-making, and famous battles. As pertinent will be social aspects of warfare, especially why people fought, what they hoped to gain, and how they dealt with their losses. Most of the reading assigned will be put on reserve in the library. The reasons are several. First, many new books on the topics fail to rise above mediocrity, thus reading them amounts to wasting time. Next, many others, though solid, are prohibitively expensive. A reasonable required reading list and the excellent holdings of our own library should more than admirable meet our needs.

Required reading: A. Ferrill, The Origins of War (London 1985); and J. Rich and G. Shipley, War and Society inthe Greek World (London and New York 1993).


Topic: Science, Technology and Gender History in the United States

This course will examine the field of science, the production of technology, and the ways in which gender is both embedded in and defined by these practices in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century America.  The course addresses issues of women as practitioners of science and as inventors, and what is means to work in a masculine environment.  We will then examine assumptions about gender built into artifacts, and how common technologies influenced and shaped men’s and women’s daily experiences.  Topics include housework, labor relations, identity, communication, architecture, medicine and consumption.  By engaging historical artifacts as having technological meaning, it provides a means and a methodology for researching the material past. 


Topic: Native Americans and the Law, 1787 to 2007

This seminar will provide a window on American constitutional history and the history of American Indians.  It will offer students an opportunity to explore both subjects through common readings in secondary sources as well as the decisions of the federal courts.  Students will review the workings of the American constitutional system as well as the legal issues that have confronted Native Americans during their two century-encounter with the United States. In the last section of the course, students will develop original research papers that examine the experience of a particular Indian community with the American legal system.


Topic: Routes: The Role of Roads in History

This course is an upper-division research seminar on the role of roads and road-making in history.  We will focus on the 18th to 20th centuries, and consider the histories of river, stage coach, railway, highway, and airplane routes and their impact on political, social, and cultural life.  The focus of the course is thematic rather than geographic, but we will build from examples drawn from Russia, Europe, and North America.  The course will be conducted in a discussion format.  The central goal of the class is the production of an original research paper by each student.  This paper will be based on extensive primary source research, and will be roughly 25 pages long. 


Topic: America’s Difficult Transition from a Traditional to a Modern Society, 1790-1850

Through these decades Americans experienced very dramatic changes in their lives and in their society. They believed they were caught up in a transition from a traditional to modern world and that seemed to many to have both an up and down side to it. We will consider this transition and the varying attitudes toward it by focusing on a three of many areas of change, beginning with conflicting visions of what America should be followed by how these people stumbled from one form of political system to another. Lastly, we will examine the impact of rapid changes in American economic and social life, as the population changed, the economy became increasingly complex, successful, and difficult to manage, and what these changes did to the country's social structure. Students will read both primary and secondary sources and will write three seminar papers: one for each of the three primary areas of study.


Topic: History of Travel

This seminar offers an introduction to the ways scholars are thinking about the phenomenon of travel in a historical perspective. It will survey the ars apodemica, or "art of travel" in antiquity, the medieval and early modern period, and will focus on the rationale and mechanisms of travel from the Enlightenment to the present. Key topics we will consider are the delineation of types of travel in different periods according to a variety of characteristics: motives, provenance, social class, duration, means of transport, etc. Others include aspects of the role of travel as a method of research, i.e. the accumulation and systematization of descriptive and evaluative knowledge through travel for the formation of new disciplines and genres in the humanities: anthropology, sociology, political science, comparative history, literature, etc. We shall explore different regions of "discovery"--Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Southern and Eastern Europe, finally Europe as a whole and North America itself, and will deal with questions of representation. Special attention will be devoted to the problem of women travelers and their work. Throughout, our central objective will be to attempt to evaluate travelogues as historical sources.


Topic: Memory Matters

An exploration of public memory, commemoration, and nostalgia in American culture as evidenced in ritual performance, commemorative practices, the built environment, and popular culture.

498 K Research and Writing Seminar (Droubie)

Topic: War in the Pacific: History, Memory and National Narratives

2005 marked the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, yet the specter of the Greater East Asian War is looming larger than ever. There are growing political and diplomatic problems over history textbooks and visits to shrines dedicated to war dead in Japan. 2005 saw anti-Japan riots in China and Korea. In the United States, the 1980s saw Japan bashing that included elected officials speaking about a second Pearl Harbor and a renewed ‘Yellow Peril’. In this course we will examine the way that people in different countries involved in the conflict remember, mis-remember and commemorate their own versions of history and how this relates to national narratives that both tie people together, and at the same time, divide them. In the first half of the course, we will examine some of these issues together in order to learn the tools you will need to write an original research paper in the second half.


Topic: Contemplating Katrina: the History of Natural Disasters, 1746-2005

The destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina and the failed responses before and after alerted the world to not only the powerful force of nature but also the impact of politics, economics, development, race, gender and class, among other factors, upon the effects that natural phenomena have, and vice versa.  These disasters have brought to the fore many questions about the impact and importance of disasters in our world: what is a disaster? How ‘natural’ are natural disasters? How have people, namely governments, planned (or not) for disaster?  How do governments and people respond to disaster?  Are disasters good for national and regional economies?  What role do race, class, and gender play in the severity of disaster?  What role should the government have in disaster preparedness and mitigation?  This class will look at these issues in depth, drawing on the history of disasters from throughout the world, with special attention paid to Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  The study of disaster forces us to reconsider our inherited ideas of what disasters are and how they impact societies differently.   We will use a broad range of academic studies in history, sociology, political science and geography, complemented with movies, documentaries, memoirs, oral histories, journalism, and scientific data to interrogate disasters and their impacts.  Sample paper topics can range from studies of the ramifications of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake on the rise of the US West; the political outcomes of the 1974 Sahel drought; race, class and Hurricane Katrina; why tornadoes only seem to hit trailer parks; or the relationship between the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the Enlightenment, and political revolution in Europe.   We will also coordinate with the Center for Advanced Study’s ‘Mega-Disaster’ initiative, a cross-campus effort to better understand interfaces of the science, policy, and human behavior of catastrophe.

500 Level


Topic:  The History of the Body and Sexuality: a Comparative Perspective, 18th Century

This course will investigate how scholars (from the 18thC to the present) have approached the body and sexuality as objects of historical inquiry. What are the theoretical, epistemological, social and political stakes of such analyses? How do we grasp corporeality within an historical frame? What is sexuality? How is it practiced, produced, policed, constructed, represented, liberated, controlled? We shall begin by reading foundational texts (Foucault, Laqueur, Butler, Halperin, etc), in order to establish familiarity with the methodological and theoretical questions circumscribing work in these fields. Subsequent investigations shall be structured thematically around such topics as sexual orientation, colonial/postcolonial sexual economies, prostitution, sexology and sexual norms, reproductive technologies, disabilities, surgical interventions, pornography and the erotic, eugenics, eating disorders and bodily control, sexual education, and bodily adornment and mutilation. The geographic focus in this class is eclectic; Europe and America will constitute our primary areas of study but texts will range globally to Africa, Asia, Latin America, etc. Our work will include the analyses of the body and sexuality in art, literature, advertising, and film.


Topic: Transnational History

This course will consider methods and themes in transnational history, an approach to modern history that seeks to go beyond nations and states as units of analysis. The focus will be on changing definitions and problems of global governance, including imperialism, internationalism, multinational enterprises, non-governmental organizations, environmentalism, human rights, global culture, and terrorism. Please note: The first meeting of the course will be on Friday February 9, and thereafter we shall meet on some Fridays and Mondays, for a total of fourteen meetings.


Topic:  Global History

No more West and the rest. Plato to NATO is out. From Big Bang to the present is in. In this course we will concern ourselves with how to read about, how to conceptualize, and how to teach global history. We will read big surveys (David Christian) and focus down on single localities (David Wright). We will sample some old wine (Eric Wolf and Immanuel Wallerstein) as well as newer bottles. We will expand our purview beyond written history and explore teaching world history visually. Throughout students will be encouraged to bring their own perspectives to bear, and will have the opportunity to construct their own course syllabus.

This course constitutes the core course in the Ph.D. field in global history


Topic: Gender and Religion:  The Case of Christianity

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


Same as EALC 520A and AAS 550

This course, to be co-taught with social psychologist C.Y. Chiu of Psychology in partnership with several visiting scholars from China, engage scholarships from different humanity and social science disciplines for the purpose of exploring important historical and cultural issues facing Greater China (i.e., China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and ethnic Chinese communities in Southeast Asia) today. The goal of this course is not to provide answers to the questions, but to question the answers. We hope that this learning process will broaden and deepen our inquiry into the intricate interrelations of globalization, culture, and the self in Greater China.


Topic: Early Modern Japan: Recent Trends in Scholarship

History/EALC 526 (meets with HIST/EALC 527)

Recent scholarship on early-modern Japan—from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth—will be the focus of our reading in History/EALC 526. Some scholars have challenged the rubric “early modern” as applied to Japan; brought to bear new theoretical models or methodologies; and raised challenging questions about the ethnic, geographic, or political definition of “Japan” in these centuries. We will read and debate a selection of important monographs and articles published in the last five years, crossing a number of sub-specialities—including law, literature, religion, and art history. Each participant will write a historiographical essays on the state of the field in areas of early-modern Japanese history of their interest.  No reading knowledge of Japanese is required.


Same as EALC 527and meets with HIST 526 and EALC526

See Course Description for HIST 526


Topic:  French Histories

For the past three quarters of a century, history writing about France has been among the richest historiographical traditions in the world as well as a vibrant part of French intellectual life in general.  This course studies a selection of the most important, original, and influential works of scholarship about the French past.  Topics include the Annales school and its offshoots, the history of mentalités, the concept of the longue durée, French revolutionary historiography, gender and women’s history, French political culture, Franco-Italian micro-history, the history of reading and the book, the history of the senses, French memory and tradition, the Vichy regime, and history and representation.  Authors tentatively assigned include Marc Bloch, Lucien Febvre, Fernand Braudel, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, François Furet, Natalie Davis, Robert Darnton, Lynn Hunt, Roger Chartier, Joan Scott, Jacques Revel, Alain Corbin, Simona Cerutti, Pierre Nora, and Alice Kaplan.  The course is designed for graduate students not only in French history but in all other historical areas as well as from collateral disciplines including literature, languages, and art history.  French Histories can be taken as either a reading or research seminar. We need to note that readings are in English.

552 C SEMINAR IN EUROPEAN HISTORY SINCE 1789 (Micale & Crowston)

Meets with Hist. 551C

See description for Hist 551C


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

570 A PROB IN AMERICAN HIST TO 1830 (Edelson)

Topic: The Atlantic World

This seminar examines the Atlantic world, the most influential concept shaping the current study of early American history and culture.  In reaction to a view of early America as a prelude to the history of the United States, a generation of scholars has advanced the idea of Europe, Africa, and the Americas bound together in interaction and exchange from 1492 into the early nineteenth century. This Atlantic world, defined by the dynamics of colonization, is as much a way to understand the early modern period as a time as it is to put forward a vision of old and new worlds connected across space. Centered on an ocean, bounded by coastlines, linked by ports, and dotted by islands, historians have used the Atlantic world to frame innovative studies of geography, trade, migration, and environmental change. Perhaps the most powerful legacy of the Atlantic approach, however, is its sensitivity to cross-cultural contacts and transformations. Our readings include essays by leading practitioners (including Jack P. Greene, Bernard Bailyn, David Armitage, and Karen Ordahl Kupperman) that chart the emergence of Atlantic history and define its parameters. We will also review critiques of the Atlantic approach from the perspectives of Latin American history and the “continental” study of U.S. history. Other readings focus on the slave trade, commerce, the transformation of Native America, the transnational place of the Caribbean, the Columbian exchange, immigration, imperial competition, and the age of revolutions in the Atlantic world, among other topics. History graduate students studying Afro-American, British Isles to 1688, Colonial North America and U.S. History to 1830, Environmental History, Global History, Latin America, and Race and Ethnicity may find this course relevant to their fields. It can also be used to help fulfill the pre-1815 and geographic breadth requirements for history graduate coursework. Graduate students in other departments are welcome to register.

572 B PROB IN US HIST SINCE 1815 (McDuffie)

Topic: “Lifting as We Climb”: Readings in Twentieth Century African American Women’s Activism

Meets with GWS 590EM

This is a readings class in the history of twentieth century African American women’s activism and their involvement in social movements.  We are concerned with appreciating their critical roles in building, sustaining, and leading all-Black organizations such as the Women’s Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention, National Association of Colored Women, Universal Negro Improvement Association, Black Panther Party, National Black Feminist Organization, and Combahee River Collective as well as interracial organizations like the Communist Party, USA and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.  This class will be grounded in social movement and Black feminist theory.  We will analyze how Black women activists formulated Black feminist, transnational, diasporic frameworks to understand the global nature of racism, economic inequalities, sexism, and in some cases homophobia.  We will examine how gender, race, class, sexuality, femininity, masculinity, age, and culture have structured social movements and positioned black women and men within them.  In addition, we will focus on how black women’s activists have grappled with black nationalist discourses, which have often narrowly defined the struggle for black liberation in masculinist terms.  We will also examine the transformative effects of activism on Black women’s subjectivities.  Interdisciplinary in approach, we will use the latest scholarship from the fields of History, Women’s Studies, Sociology, and Political Science as well as memoir and fiction to explore these issues.  Students will be required to write an interpretative essay as their final project.  If successful, this class should be very useful for students interested in researching and teaching in the fields of Black Women’s Studies, African American History, and African Diaspora Studies.  


Same as AFRO 501A

African American Communities and the Black Freedom Movement explores the relationship between place, space 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 (1955-1975).  This course explores the concept of  community (a place and as social network) via the specific theories and paradigms, past and present, by which scholars and activist intellectuals have interpreted it in the African American experience.  It It also explores the Black Freedom movement through 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 Black civil society, the institutional and organization composition of Afro-America, the internal (class, gender, color, and generational) social relationships, the cultural expressions of urban and rural Black communities, and the formation of a Black counterpublic within it the context of a city¹s and region¹s evolving capitalist political economy and the Black intellectual tradition.  Consequently, it explores the particular articulations of racial oppression, sexism, and capitalism that establish the context and contours within which African American agency, self-transformation, oppositional culture, and self-development operate with in specific urban and rural communities.


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


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.


Topic: Dissertation Proposal Writing

The workshop intends to give students a forum in which they can present drafts of their dissertation proposal for critique. By receiving feedback from their peers and a faculty member not necessarily from their field of study, the student can refine their dissertation project while implementing organizational, methodological, and theoretical feedback. This course prepares the student to apply to grant and fellowship competitions.

597 P READING COURSE (Oberdeck)

History 597P is intended for History Graduate students who entered the program with a BA.  It may be taken once during a semester immediately prior to your preliminary examinations.