Spring 2008 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.


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.

110A HISTORY OF AFRICA (Williams-Black)

Survey of the early history of the continent, nineteenth century developments, and the period of colonial occupation and independence, with particular focus on case studies from East Africa, South Africa and West Africa at the conclusion of the term.


Same as EALC 120

This course introduces the common ideas and institutions that link China, Korea, and Japan together in a broadly shared civilization, as well as the distinct culture and institutions each has developed for itself. We will focus on two historical processes: First, the making of a cultural system spanning East Asia, in which classical Chinese civilization, language, and culture was a key common element within each of the cultures of the region, and the interplay of indigenous values, social practices; and second, unique historical developments in each of these countries that have produced their distinct cultures within the broader civilization. We will examine major themes in the civilization of East Asia, that is, and in the principal cultures of which it is comprised—China, Korea, and Japan—from earliest times to the modern age.

While we will cover the broad range of political, socio-ecomomic, and cultural developments, our main focus will be on the common values, practices, and ideas that make for a civilization, working from both modern texts, and materials that contemporaries wrote (or painted) themselves, including contemporary philosophical and historical materials, diaries and belles-lettres, religious or political tracts. Our hope is to understand not just “what happened,” but how people of various stations in life—from aristocrats and emperors, to peasants and pirates—experienced the world around them. To that end, several of the book-length supplemental readings are literary works. The Analects of Confucius has been a central, canonical text across East Asia; The Gossamer Years is the memoir of a 10th -century aristocratic woman; The Death of Woman Wang attempts to reconstruct the life and death of an ordinary woman of the Qing dynasty; and Musui’s Story is the autobiography of a 19th-century samurai whose life story may upset all your preconceptions about what it meant to be a ‘samurai.’

Our goals in History/EALC 120 include developing both a knowledge and understanding of the major trends, processes, and value systems characterizing the cultures comprising East Asia, on the one hand, and on the other an appreciation for the methods and practices of history as a discipline and approach to human experience.


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

140AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660 - ACP (Mathisen, R.)

Please see course description for Hist.141AL1.

141AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660 (Mathisen, R.)

This survey of Western civilization will cover the human past from antiquity to the Renaissance and Reformation, from 3000 BC until the sixteenth century, with even attention given to all periods of history. Beginning in the ancient near east, the first phase of the course will study the contributions to human culture of Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Hebrews, Assyrians, and Persians.  We will then turn to ancient Greece in the second phase, Rome and the early Middle Ages in the third phase, and the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation in the final phase of the class. The course will focus on the cultural interactions among the different peoples of the Mediterranean and Near East and upon how individuals responded to their worlds.

142DIS WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Micale)

First year Discovery Program course

Please see course description for Hist. 142AL1

142AL1 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.

143AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 - ACP (Micale)

Please see course description for Hist. 142 AL1.


Same as RLST 120

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

172AL1 US HIST SINCE 1877 (Roediger)

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

173AL1 US HISTORY SINCE 1877 - ACP (Roediger)

Please see course description for Hist. 172AL1


Same as AFRO 101

This course offers a broad, yet critical, introduction to major themes in African American history.  Specifically, this course gives an overview of: (1)life in pre-colonial Africa before the Transatlantic slave trade; (2)African servitude in the "New World," and the consolidation of a racialized slave system in the British North American colonies that became the U.S. republic; (3)slavery in the early republic and antebellum years; (4)the U.S. Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction; (5)the demise of Reconstruction, and the emergence of Jim Crow segregation; (6)black migration, urbanization, and community-building during and after the First World War; (7)the social and political upheaval of the Great Depression and Second World War; (8)the "Second Reconstruction" of the postwar period, including the modern Civil Rights and Black Power movements; and (9)the legacies of the post-Civil Rights/Black Power era.


For history senior honors thesis writers only.


Topic:  Bible through the Ages

This introductory course offers a broad historical survey of the formation and impact of Jewish and Christian Bibles through the centuries. The goal is to offer a comparative history of the construction of Bibles and their authority. The course will proceed roughly along chronological lines, though different issues will take center stage for different times and places considered. A major goal of the course is to give students an academic setting for investigating the complex (and ongoing) history of the formation of Bible versions and their impact. Two guiding questions will be: How have historical developments informed significant versions of the Bible and how have versions of the Bible informed cultural and political developments?

200 Level


Topic: Twentieth Century European Revolutions

Revolutions—from the Glorious Revolution of 1688, to the French Revolution of 1789, to the Russian Revolution of 1917—in which existing governments were overthrown and replaced by new ruling bodies, have long been a privileged topic of historical inquiry.  And yet, revolutions are not uniquely associated with military conflict or political change.  Indeed, during the twentieth century a slew of transformations in the cultural, economic, and social realms are also remembered as revolutions.  In what ways does the idea of revolution produce specific understandings of historical change?  How do historians utilize this analytic trope? What characteristics are central to its attribution?  From the Russian Revolution, to the Student Revolutions of 1968, from the Sexual Revolution to the Consumer Revolution, and from the Computer Revolution to the Velvet Revolution of 1989, this course examines the concept of revolution in order to explore major transformations in modern European history. Assignments will include the writing of an original research paper in two drafts examining some aspect of revolutionary change in twentieth century Europe.  In addition to textual sources, the historical analysis of film, photographs, art and music will be integral to our work.


Topic:The Enlightenment

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


Topic: War, Holocaust and State Socialism in Postwar European Memory

This course will introduce students to the practices of intellectual and cultural history and memory studies, while surveying issues that still bedevil European identities and relations between constituent nations and peoples. How did Europeans process—or suppress—memories of the incredible destruction and fratricidal conflicts of World War II? As the oppositions of the Cold War became established, how did these traumas appear differently in East and West? As state socialism in Eastern Europe reached its twilight and fall, how were memories and interpretations of that experience utilized to create the new political landscapes and to negotiate European integration? What is ‘post-communist nostalgia’ and what does it express? After surveying the history of the period, we will examine particular ‘memory struggles’ that emerged at certain conjunctures between various constituencies, examining issues of collaboration and resistance, victims and perpetrators, guilt and retribution, and considering possibilities for future conflict and for reconciliation. We will evaluate different approaches to social and collective memory, as a way of initiation into historians’ practices of integrating theory and event, historiography and history, past and present. Requirements will include much reading and active discussion; regular short response papers; and a final project.


Topic: Poverty

This course will introduce students to the discipline of history by studying a phenomenon that remains elusive even when we recognize it on sight: poverty.  We will begin with modern global examples that will help refine our definitions, and then we will examine the problem in various societies of the past, ranging from medieval Europe to 20th-century America.  We will explore the differing experiences of poor women, minority groups, and children.  In addition to history, readings will include the perspectives of journalism, economics, and anthropology as models for research that incorporates insights from multiple disciplines.

Requirements include a library visit, one short paper, a graded first draft of a research paper, and a final draft (20 pages).  Students should expect to participate actively in class discussion and to prepare for individual conferences with the instructor.


Topic: War and Memory

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. In the United States, the 1980s saw Japan bashing that included elected officials speaking about a second Pearl Harbor and a renewed ‘Yellow Peril’. 2005 saw anti-Japan riots in China and Korea. 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. We will pay particular attention to the way historians have examined these issues.


Topic: The Enlightenment and its Others: Race, Sex and the Exotic in the Eighteenth-Century

Enlightenment thinkers addressed numerous vexing problems of human society, including despotic governments, individual rights and liberties, education, and slavery.  Their writings championed reason, universalism and progress as key values.  In developing ideas about rationality and the ideal society, these philosophers devoted a great deal of thought to people who fell outside the category of “reasonable” thinkers, including women and non-European peoples.  Thinking about these “others” helped Enlightenment philosophers shape their vision of their own worlds, as they defined themselves in opposition to such people; they also helped to produce enduring notions of race, masculinity and femininity, exoticism, sexuality and nature. This course will examine attitudes towards women, sexuality and racial differences among Enlightenment writers and the responses which they generated.  Our aim will be to understand similarities and contrasts among different writers, the relationship of their ideas to the broader principles and interests of the Enlightenment and something about the wider historical context within which these cultural and intellectual debates took place.


Topic:  Latin America and the World Economy

Since their independence in the 19th century, Latin American countries have participated in the world economy. The countries specialized in the production and export of raw materials to the industrialized world, and opened its doors to foreign investors. This was encouraged and endorsed by the local elites of the newly-created countries, who upheld the goals of modernization and "progress" through participation in an emerging global economic system. This process of integration, however, was not smooth. The relationship between foreign markets and local societies generated different kinds of conflicts and movements of resistance that shaped Latin America in the 19th and 20th century. This course explores the relationship between Latin America and the world market, attempting to answer the following questions: Was the peculiar insertion of Latin American countries into global capitalist markets to blame for the region's widespread poverty? To what degree did foreign investors change local societies? How has the relationship between Latin American societies, foreign investors, and the world market evolved in the last two centuries?


Offering students the opportunity to engage directly with texts produced by Latin Americans, this course will provide students with a survey of Latin American History. Students will study important and influential authors as well as less-know (but equally influential) writers who give us insights into the everyday lived experience of Latin Americans. Looking through the eyes of those living and shaping the history, we will examine key historical moments—such as the “conquest,” debates regarding the treatment of native people, the Independence movements, the rise of authoritarian dictators and, of course, revolutions, failed revolutions and the struggle for justice and equality. Reading texts written by all strata of society, from indigenous elites to runaway slaves to literary geniuses, students will re-construct and de-construct the traditional narrative of Latin American history and together we will advance our individual and collective understanding of Latin America’s rich and complex past.


Same as EALC 222, RLST 224

This course takes a cultural approach to ideas of major Chinese thinkers from Confucius to Mao Zedong. We will begin with those who belong to the major schools of thought in ancient China: Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism.  These intellectual and religious traditions will be examined in terms of their genealogy in their respective historical context, paying special attention to their relationship with power in its various forms: social, political, symbolic, and institutional. Contrary to stereotypical accounts, Chinese thought has never ceased to evolve in response to both internal as well as external challenges. Over its long history, Chinese thought often engaged in dialogue with alien cultures. Through complex processes of integration, negotiation, and resistance, Chinese thought, like other aspects of Chinese culture, has continued to expand its horizon. Attention will be given to the impact of contact with foreign intellectual currents on Chinese thought from Buddhism and Christianity in the imperial period to science, individualism, liberalism, democratic theories and Marxism in modern times. Background of Chinese history is not required.


Same as ANTH 286 & ASST 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.


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.

256A GREAT BRITAIN SINCE 1688 (Ramsbottom)

In this survey course we will be concerned with major events and trends in British history since the Glorious Revolution of 1688.  Particular attention will be given to the formation of the British state, the process of industrialization, and the impact of the World Wars.  We will also seek answers to underlying questions: What factors shaped the development of the British constitution?  How was the British Empire created and maintained?  How have social class and gender affected people's experience of life in modern Britain?   In addition to a midterm and a final exam, there will be occasional quizzes and two assigned papers (totaling about 15 pages).


It is both cliche and reality that we live in the midst of globalizing culture(s). What are the historical roots of this phenomenon? Is modernity Western, must a society and culture Westernize in order to modernize? Are there other paths to modernity, in which people of the non- and semi-West can lead rather than follow? This course will explore the local experience of modernity from a variety of non-Western perspectives. A focus on the `long 19th century' (Democratic and Industrial Revolutions; nationalism; ideas of `progress' and `backwardness'; role of intellectuals; imperialism and anti-colonialism; Communism; modernism) will be buttressed by a brief view of the world before Western domination. By the end of the course, the student will gain a sense of basic historical components of the modern period as a global creation, and of the world we live in as a product of complex forces from multiple sources. The emphasis will not be so much on absorbing information about the different regions and periods as on developing the skills to think comparatively and creatively about both the past and the present. To this end, we will use literature, primary and secondary sources, and, especially, films, with an emphasis on critical thinking and writing.


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


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 uses of history in the current political climate and amid contemporary political debates. Twentieth Century U.S. History then proceeds chronologically from the Spanish-American War to the end of century under the Clinton Presidency.

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

274AL1 US & 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 AIS 278

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


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 LA 242, NRES 242, RST 242

The course develops an appreciation and critique of cultural meanings related to American natural landscapes.  Traditional perspectives including colonial American, romantic, and science-based conservation are characterized, as well as revisionist themes that criticize wilderness, align with gender and ethnic perspectives, and point towards a land ethic for everyday living.  The implications of diversity in cultural meanings toward nature support concepts related to community-based conservation that fit a multicultural society.


Same as AAS 283

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


Same as GWS 286

This course examines U.S. history from 1877 to the present using the history of women and gender as the primary analysis. The class lectures, multimedia presentations, and readings emphasize U.S. women's history (incorporating factors of race, class, region, ethnicity, and age), but also trace how the changing definitions of gender for both males and females has affected general historical trends such as family life, sexuality, housework, education, the workforce, and politics. Readings 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. Students are responsible for all lecture and multimedia material presented in class as well as assigned readings on the World Wide Web and in required texts.


Same as AFRO 287, GWS 287

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


Same as RLST 236

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of religion, of violence, and of culture, through an examination of points in American history where the three have intersected.  Using a wide range of primary and secondary texts, we will examine the worlds of perpetrators and victims of religiously motivated and/or religiously justified violence.  We will seek to explain why people of faith acted as they did, how religion shaped their views of those against whom they struggled, and what, if anything, America's violent religious past tells us about the present day.


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.

Course requirements include a research paper based on original sources and an oral presentation to the class based on this research.  Grades are assigned for these two items as well weekly contributions in discussion. 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.

Prerequisite: Chancellor's Scholar, or consent of the Department and Director.


Topic: History of Travel

Just about everyone likes to travel - but why? What motivates us, and what do we learn by leaving home? In this course we will try to answer these questions and to understand how our multi-cultural, globalized society is the outcome of centuries of travel. We'll look at famous explorers, but also at the beachcombers, missionaries, non-Europeans, and other men and women who have circulated around the world since Columbus; we'll use novels, non-fiction, movies, and original historical documents to bring their experiences to life. Our library is rich in travel accounts and we will make at least one special trip to the library and its rare books room to familiarize class members with its resources.

300 Level


Same as CINE 300

Topic: “From the ‘Bad’ to the ‘Beautiful’: Hollywood’s Depictions of the Film Industry in    American Movies”

Over the last forty years, American historians interested in film studies have written extensively about the motion picture industry, with numerous specific analyses about the economic, cultural, and societal significance of Hollywood in this country.  Interestingly, however, the American film industry itself also has produced a surprisingly extensive collection of movies touching on the same subject, going all the way back to the silent era.  These films have both celebrated and criticized the cultural impact of cinematic productions on the American people, and they also have suggested the importance of movie production to California and its state identity.  They have investigated the phenomenon of celebrity in our society, and they have considered the sometimes pernicious effect of movies on ordinary people.  The films also have depicted the economic significance of motion pictures, and they have provided a sometimes startlingly realistic critique of movie-makers and performers.  Along the way, these movies also have portrayed the ways by which Hollywood films responded to societal needs during such difficult historical moments as wartime and economic crisis; that is, these films sometimes would show how Hollywood studios would either exploit or respond to periods of social problems.  The remarkably wide variety of genres found in these films in which Hollywood attempted to portray itself extended from musicals to “biopics” (that is, biographical films), from comedies to tragedies, from satires to dramas, from war films to westerns, and from horror films to fantasies and even cartoons.  The tone of these films likewise ranged from the cynical to the sentimental, from farce to realism, and from semi-documentary style to absurdity.

This course, then, will examine the ways in which Hollywood depicted itself on the screen, and students will be asked to consider which elements of these films are accurate and which ones are exaggerations.  After a brief exploration of the history of Hollywood and an analysis of the studio system, the course will focus on what critiques in these films the movie industry is offering about itself and about the functions it performs in modern American society.  Among the possible films to be viewed, either in the weekly showings or in clips,  are such features as Sullivan’s Travels, The Bad and the Beautiful, The Day of the Locust, Hollywood Canteen, Singin’ In the Rain, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Going Hollywood, Show People, Sunset Boulevard, The Player, The Star, The Man of a Thousand Faces, The Last Tycoon, A Star is Born, Free and Easy, Movie Crazy, Lucky Devils, It’s A Great Feeling, Boy Meets Girl, The Death Kiss, Merton of the Movies, Barton Fink, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Hollywood Party, The Extra Girl, Too Much Too Soon, Inside Daisy Clover, Hollywood Hotel, and Won-Ton-Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood.  Among the readings for the course are Christopher Ames’ "Movies About the Movies: Hollywood Reflected" and several monographic works.  Students will be required 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 about the paper will be required.  Use of primary source materials will be necessary for the term paper. The prerequisite for History 300 in Spring, 2008 is either a course in history or a course in cinema studies.  (This prerequisite will be enforced).  It also is highly advisable for students to have completed the campus Composition I requirement.  3 Hours


Same as RLST 347

In 1517, the birth-year of the Protestant Reformation, the great humanist Desiderius Erasmus wrote that "as if on a given signal, splendid talents are stirring." In 1536, the year of his death, this same Erasmus wrote: "This is the worst age of history." In both cases, Erasmus was right. The age of Reformations combined an electrifying sense of promise with intense human misery. It combined dreams of freedom with brutal subjugation. This age of astonishing beauty, penetrating faith and fervent piety also saw so much waste and needless suffering: witch-burnings and religious war, martyrdom, famine, and enslavement.

In this course we will examine the many faces of Reformation Europe by reading and discussing firsthand accounts of this time of creativity and destruction, hope and fear. In each class we will discuss the primary sources of the age of Reformations, focusing on the relationship between text and context.

350A 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.

352A EUROPE IN THE WORLD SINCE 1750 (Prochaska)

In this course we focus on the colonial encounter between European colonizers and nonwestern colonized. The aim of the course is not to study the history of European imperialism in terms of European diplomacy, doctrine, and policy, but rather to elucidate the actual experience of both colonizers and colonized, comparing and contrasting 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.


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. The text is a packet of primary sources available from Notes-n-Quotes. Grades will be based on three 50-minute short-answer exams.


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


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.


Topic: Civil War and Reconstruction

Examines the United States’ civil war (1861-1865) and the era of postwar “reconstruction” (conventionally dated as 1865-1877). In these years the nation underwent its second revolution -- and a revolution more radical than the one that freed it from the British Empire. Much of U.S. history for the next century and more was decided during these decisive years.


Meets with GWS 390EM

Topic: It’s a Man’s World: Critical Inquiries into Black Masculinities

This class is a historically-informed, interdisciplinary study of the construction and representations of black masculinities.  The course will discuss how and why the imperative to “be a man” has become central to the gender identity and lives of African American men.  The class will also pay close attention to the misogynist, heteronormative assumptions embedded in prevailing notions of black manhood.  Topics of inquiry will include misogyny and Hip Hop, “the Down Low,” the Million Man March, masculinism and the Black Freedom Movement, “progressive black masculinities,” public and academic debates about black manhood (e.g. the Moynihan Report), and recent, high-profile cases of African American male celebrities involving charges of rape.

The reading list includes some of the latest, cutting edge scholarship in African American studies, critical race theory, black feminist theory, cultural studies, and black queer theory focused on black masculinities.  The class will also use film and music to examine these topics.  Assignments will include book reviews and a final paper.  This course is open to advanced undergraduates.  For more information, contact emcduffi@uiuc.edu

396B SPECIAL TOPICS (Hoganson)

Topic: United States in an Age of Empire

This course speaks to recent debates about the imperial nature of the United States by going back in time roughly a century (from about 1877 to 1920). This was an era marked by an imperial world system, unprecedented levels of international trade and investments, massive labor migrations, significant missionary endeavors, the consolidation of U.S. power over Native Americans, and growing U.S. political and military assertion in the international arena. We will consider how the United States and its peoples positioned themselves in international context by investigating not only government policies but also commercial endeavors and cultural practices. Class meetings combine lecture and discussion. Readings center on primary sources. There is a research component to the class.


Topic:  History of Terrorism

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

400 Level

406G2/G4/U3 HISTORY OF MEXICO FROM 1519 (Baber)

“What made Mexico uniquely Mexican?” Exploring the history of Mexico, from the arrival of Cortés to today, this course will analyze the past that continues to shape modern Mexico. Our neighbor to the south, Mexico is a land of striking contrasts and contradictions: from its economic disparities to its dramatic landscapes to its concurrent importation of foreign culture and veneration of indigenous traditions. Introducing students to the major themes of Mexican history, the course will examine such issues as Mexico’s colonial past, the development of “lo Mexicano” (Mexican cultural expression and identity), the struggle for native rights and recognition, and the processes of globalization and transnationalism (beginning with its earliest form—the Spanish Empire). We will examine this past through the prism of literature, film, newspapers and even personal correspondences in order to understand what contributed to the formation of modern Mexico.


What led up to the Iraq war?Why can't the Palestinians and Israelis make peace? How has oil production affected the societies 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.

441G4/U3 THE ROMAN EMPIRE (Mathisen, R.)

The course will examine the political, social, economic, institutional, religious, and cultural development of the Roman Empire from the reign of Augustus until the fall of the Empire in the West, ca. AD 480. Particular emphasis will be given to how the empire responded to stress.

446G4/U3 ENGLAND UNDER TUDORS 1485-1603 (Hibbard)

We remember sixteenth century England as an age of glory--Elizabeth I, the defeat of the Armada, the early years of Shakespeare--but to contemporaries it seemed a riven and troubled time. Shaken by the Reformation crisis and by rapid economic change, on the brink of civil war in the reigns of a child and two women, threatened by the superpower of the era in the form of Spain under Philip II, England struggled to maintain its independence and internal coherence. What were the real causes of the Reformation in England? How did ordinary people feel about the religious changes? How was politics organized, and what role did parliament have in the realm? How did Elizabeth I succeed as a ruler in that traditional "men's club," the English royal court? Who were the Puritans, and how did their religious ideas have political repercussions? What was the nature of England's connections with other parts of the British Isles, and with Europe?

These and other questions are explored through lectures, discussion, readings (primary sources, text, biography), slide presentations and debates. Course requirements consist of an hour exam, the final exam, a book review and participation in a debate. There is ample opportunity for student discussion.


This course covers the creation and development of the independent Balkan states (Greece, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and later Yugoslavia, and finally Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Macedonia; the establishment of Turkey will also be addressed, and the Ottoman Empire will be a constant presence) during the 19th and 20th centuries. We will focus on the roots, evolution and manifestations of the various southeastern European nationalisms. Other prominent topics will be the modernization of the rural societies of the Balkans, their state- and nation-building, intellectuals and culture, ethnic conflict and/or accommodation, and the role of the great powers in the region. We will close with an examination of the contemporary Balkans between the Yugoslav crisis and the siren song of the new United Europe. You will have the opportunity to read works of fiction by Balkan authors, and view and analyze several films by Balkan directors; class participation in discussion of both readings and films will be vital. Course requirements include several short response papers, midterm and final.

467G4/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 will be ample reading and a research paper based on sources.


This discussion class provides a chance to confront the "fear factor" in today’s world. It deploys history to contextualize and inform fundamental challenges to Americans' self-conceptions, to how Americans define “us” versus “them,” and to the dilemmas posed by Americans' conflicting fears, aspirations, loyalties, and visions of “liberty” and “security.”

At various points in the 20th century, a psychological state of siege has dominated American political life, subjecting claimed subversives to police surveillance, detention, vigilante attacks, and restrictions upon First Amendment freedoms.  Such abstractions as subversion, tolerance, citizenship, imposed political orthodoxy, and academic freedom gain an immediacy and urgency in the post-9/11 civil liberties atmosphere that will help guide the class's analysis of a series of historical case studies: images of the “witch” and the American "enemy"; World War I and the ensuing 1919-1920 “Red Scare”; the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and other actions at odds with World War II’s reputation as “The Freedom War”; McCarthyism (the anchor of the course); and the resentments generated by protest movements of the late 1960s.  The class's primary text is a photocopied course packet that combines opposing historians’ interpretations with public opinion polls, propaganda posters, Congressional debates, and contemporary news coverage. These sources will allow the class to penetrate beneath the surface of historical events and the standard debates surrounding them, and to construct and test its own hypotheses on the factors underlying, fueling, and countering crises of political tolerance.  Are these crises manipulated for political or economic gain, are they rational responses to real danger, or are they fundamentally “irrational”?  Who are the victims and victimizers in assaults on subversive conspiracies, and how and why has the composition of these groups changed?  Who really has hated us for our freedoms?  To consider such questions, students will complete an in-class exam, two 7-10 page analytic essays, and additional assignments.


Same as AFRO 474

The Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the late 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s comprise one of the most transformative moments in modern U.S. history.  This course provides a narrative and interpretive overview of the postwar Black Freedom Movement (1955-75), framing it within the national and international contexts in which it occurred.  Using readings, film, classroom discussion, music, and intensive writing, this course explores several questions: What is a social movement, and how are social movements important to societal change?  How were "Civil Rights" and "Black Power" similar and distinct phases of struggle?  What role did class, gender and generation play in struggles for Civil Rights and Black Power?  How did black activists benefit from the active support of allies from other racial/ethnic groups?  And finally, what are the contemporary legacies of this period?


Same as RLST 435

This course examines the history of revivalistic and evangelical Christianities in North America from the colonial period to the twenty-first century.  This course is designed to engage students in the historical study of these often-interwoven types of Christian practice and belief, and the people who, for good and for ill, have shaped and been shaped by them.  To this end, readings will be drawn from seven influential monographs chosen for their attention to particular aspects of revivalism and evangelicalism in America: trans-oceanism/internationalism; the centrality of personality and performance; use of/influence upon national/political themes and ideas; regional variations; relations with popular and intellectual culture; understandings of race; interaction with gender ideals and domestic relations; and the public presence of evangelical Christianity in late-twentieth-century America.


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


Topic: The End of Slavery and Serfdom

This course sets the United States' experience with slavery and its elimination in comparative perspective. More specifically, it compares the historical trajectory of slavery in the United States with the rise and decline of this and other forms of unfree labor elsewhere in the western hemisphere, Europe, and southern Africa.


Topic: Media in Modern Europe

Television, radio, film, newspapers, magazines, and the Web—the emergence of the modern mass media dramatically transformed modern European society. In this class we will focus on a variety of media forms in order to investigate what they reveal about the development of modern European history.  What is mass media?  How is it related to the production and dissemination of both information and leisure culture?  What is the role of economics in its development?  Of politics?  In what ways are media central to the construction of national identity?  Is European media necessarily subordinate to the American market?  Does all media exercise a propaganda function?  Why is the study of mass media critical to understanding contemporary social and cultural change?  Over the semester we will acquire fluency with a range of important media scholars and schools of thought, from Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School, to Pierre Bourdieu, Roland Barthes, John Fiske, and Toby Miller, to the Birmingham tradition. We will discuss the ideological functions of the mass media, debate how it can both reproduce and resist hegemonic forms of ethnic, gender, sexual, economic and political oppression, and acquire the capacity to evaluate our own consumption of media forms.  Throughout, our attention will be focused on how historians interpret media history as well as how they work with the unique sources it supplies.  Assignments will include a television or film analysis and an in-class presentation.  Your final goal will be the writing of an original research paper (10-12 pages, produced in two drafts) based on some aspect of the history of the mass media in modern Europe.


Topic: Getting Personal:  Life Writing as History in Modern Europe

This course will examine biography as a form of historical knowledge.  We will explore different forms of life narrative (autobiography, memoirs, diaries, collective biographies, graphic novels, film, travel writing) that describe the experiences of individuals in Europe from the eighteenth century to the present.  Our subjects will be wide-ranging, from scientists to prostitutes, social critics to actors.  What can these lives tell us about the social, political, and cultural mentalities of modern Europe?   We will discuss current historiographical debates over the place of biography in history and also consider how such fields as women’s and gender history and post-colonial studies have affected the practice of both biography and history.


Topic: Contests of Nature: Environmental Histories in the Modern Age

In the last decades, images of environmental degradation, catastrophic weather, and disaster have inundated the media. From Three Mile Island, El Niño, and global warming to Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Asian Tsunami, humans have grappled with the natural and urban environment, seeking to control, shape, manage, clean, and accommodate it and more. Often, conflict arises as people from a variety of socio-economic classes, races, genders, and nationalities attempt to make their way in these environments through work and play. This course explores some of the key moments and locales of these stories by gauging the connections between humans and environments at the local, regional, and global level. Students will be introduced to the key concepts of environmental history as they progress thematically through the course. Debates over the environment, and how we as humans should interact with it, allows us the opportunity to analyze a wide variety of experiences on the political, economic, and cultural spectrum. With an understanding of the key concepts of environmental history, the student will complete a 20 page research paper on a specific topic based on primary sources.


Topic: The Crisis of the European Mind, 1650-1700

In the seventeenth century Europeans unleashed a generation of war more brutal than anything witnessed before; saw an anointed king tried and executed by his people; and discovered new worlds on Earth and in the heavens. "Atheism" and faith inflamed one another, and hope seemed inseparable from 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 this troubled era, including works by Descartes, Pascal, Milton, and Spinoza. Students will research and write a paper of about 6000 words on a seventeenth-century topic related to the crisis of of the European mind and the early Enlightenment.


Topic: Romantic Democracy, Politics, and Literature in Pre-Civil War America

Students will select a topic, in consultation with the instructor, and prepare a paper addressing a topic within the broad range implied by the course title. The course will also include introductions to various services and collections of the University of Illinois Library as well as some readings and lectures.


Topic: Modern Biography

This seminar examines the craft of writing biography and autobiography from the standpoint of the historian who seeks meaning through the study of life stories. Among the questions to be addressed are: What special insights can be gained by centering histories on individuals?  What novel problems face historians when their subjects are still living or only recently deceased?  How do historians deal with the distortions of memory that shape oral history and many other sources used in writing modern biographies? Where does the genre of biography lie on the continuum between human memory and traditional history? Students will read articles about writing biography and interpreting life histories, as well as two biographies or autobiographies (one of a well-known figure, such as Albert Einstein, Hillary Clinton, or Marilyn Monroe, and the other of a less known individual). Each student will conduct an oral history interview, write a short biography, and produce two drafts of a research paper that draws on their biography.


Topic: Empires: Mongols, Mughals, Turks

An examination of the nature of empires through a comparative study of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan and his immediate successors, the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire in India, and the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia and Southeastern Europe. The formation of empires, armies and methods of warfare, conquests and the treatment of conquered peoples, religious and legal institutions, especially Islamic, and relations with Europe will be compared. Besides surveys of each empire, sources such as "The Secret History of the Mongols", "The Baburnama", and "The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin deBusbecq" will be read. Readings and discussions and a research paper.

500 Level


Meets with GWS 590SV

Topic:  Gender and Technoculture

This course introduces graduate students to the variety of ways that technology and gender have together been understood, studied, and theorized. The course will focus on the intellectual traditions of technology studies, the feminist critiques of technology, and the problematic way that gender and technology has been posed as incompatible. This course examines how gender shapes practice and technological development, as well as how technology shapes notions of gender and sexuality. In this course, the idea of scientific “truth” will be evaluated to see how it changes at different times and different places concerning gender. In addition, the course will examine ideas about technological “progress,” and what it means in terms of gender. Finally, this course will provide approaches that students may be able to incorporate into their own research.


Topic:  Global History

No more West and the Rest. Plato to NATO is out. This course tells how we got from the Big Bang to Bush, with a few whistle stops in between. We will concern ourselves with how to read, conceptualize, and teach global history. We read wide-angle overviews (David Christian) and focus down on single spots (David Wright). We will sample some old wine (Eric Wolf, Immanuel Wallerstein) as well as newer vintages. We will expand our purview beyond the discipline of history and explore world history through literature and visual media. Throughout students will be encouraged to bring their own perspectives to bear; seminar members will have the opportunity to construct their own course syllabus.

Themes new to the 2008 edition include: The history of secrecy since 1945, from the wartime OSS-become-CIA to our more than 19 spy agencies today, or why it is no longer paranoid to think somebody is after you. The history of terrorism, the car bomb, for example, and why it is as American as Oklahoma City. The atomic bomb, the original WMD, or late nights at the atomic café, where all the talk is MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction). Why Cold War-era films such as Godzilla, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers say as much about history as the McCarthy documentary Point of Order. Why the remake of The Manchurian Candidate could not boldly go where the original had for fear of scaring the audience. From Ronald Reagan the movie to George Bush the horrorshow. We will end with the history of the future: how the Iraq War will play out (badly for the Democrats), the next 100 years, and other inconvenient truths.

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


Topic:  Oral History as a Research Tool

This graduate seminar explores the practical and intellectual issues of using interviews as a research tool in the writing of history.  The advantages of offering "living sources" a voice in historical reconstructions include the opportunity to write histories that are more complete, colorful, and sensitive to personal factors than studies based on documents alone.  Oral narrative can amplify historical accounts with personal connections, motivations, and other information.  Moreover the process of doing interviews often helps historians find references or documents not yet deposited in archives.  For the historian a major disadvantage -- and a challenge -- of using interviews in dealing with the distortions of human memory.

Assigned readings and seminar discussions during the first half of the course will address issues of historiography, human and historical memory, and interviewing technique.  Through analysis of historical works based on oral history we will study conceptual and practical consequences of offering living sources a voice in the interpretation of events.  The second half of the seminar will be focused on student interviews and reports oriented toward writing seminar papers.  Students will learn how to prepare for interviews, how to compose dynamic questions keyed to documents, and how to direct interviews so as to jolt memories and probe social masks.  We will also discuss interpretation of interviews, equipment, interviewing etiquette, ethics, transcription, and the legalities of releasing interviews.

Students will be required to:  (1) carry out reading assignments and participate in class; (2) prepare, conduct, transcribe, and secure release of at least one well-researched interview relating to a research topic of their choice; (3) critique interviews conducted by other members of the seminar; (4) report in class on their oral history project; and (5) write a seminar paper incorporating material from their interview.  Students can select their project from any area of history in which interviews are of use.

507A Prob in Latin American Hist (Love)

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, and will have the opportunity to examine themes of special interest to them.

521A Seminar in Chinese History (Chow)

Topic: Chinese Print Culture and the Public

This course introduces students to important bibliographical and scholarly methods and tools for the study of Chinese history, using Chinese documents. A major objective of this course is to help student produce a substantial research paper to be expanded into a larger research project, using Chinese sources. This seminar focuses on the history of the Ming Qing periods. Textual, electronic, and internet resources and reference tools will be introduced and examined. Various genres of Chinese documents will be studied to show how different types of information are organized and classified. Students will learn how to use Chinese documents with knowledge of “biases” and “perspectives” of specific types of documents. Documents to be examined in class include conventional and modern bibliographies, biographical essays, genealogies, local gazetteers, official documents, official and private historical works, literary collections, poetry and prose anthologies, as well as archival materials. Other types of materials (eg. painting, calligraphy, stele inscriptions) may be included if students’ projects call for use of such materials. Students will also be introduced to important literary and cultural theories that examine general issues of authorship, reading, interpretation, visual representation, as well as manuscript and print culture.

Participation in discussion is required and students are responsible for presentations of readings and research proposals. There will be written assignments and a final seminar research paper.


Same As MDVL 547

Meets with Hist. 548A and MDVL 548A

Topic: Selected Themes in Tudor-Stuart History

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. Readings and discussion, and preparation of a research paper.

548A PROB ENGLISH HIST TO 1688 (Hibbard)

Same as MDVL 548

Meets with Hist. 547A and MDVL 547A

Topic: Selected Themes in Tudor-Stuart History

Readings and discussions on topics of current historiographical interest, and abiding historical importance, in the 16th and 17th British Isles. The course will definitely include a large section on religious developments, while other topics will be shaped in part by student interests. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the instructor to discuss their interests. Past emphases have included: Royalty, Religion and Ritual 1450-1650, and : Material Culture/Book Culture: Court and Capital 1450-1650. Students from allied disciplines (English, Musicology, Art History, etc.) and historians of other western European countries are very welcome. May form part of the history graduate field "Religion in Pre-Modern Society".

549A SEM ENG & BRIT EMP SINCE 1688 (Burton, A.)

Topic: Victorian Imperialism in Comparative Perspective

This course maps the emergence of the Victorian empire and its imperial cultures alongside, against and in collusion with accelerating global imperial modernities and alter/native translocal realities across the long 19th century. Students will read a combination of primary and secondary works and grapple with a variety of historiographical models (metropole/colony, intracolonial, transimperial, global and anti-colonial). Gender and sexuality are key critical idioms and the syllabus is presumptively interdisciplinary. Required written work for this class includes critical reviews, oral presentations, an annotated bibliography and a 20-25 page historiographical essay. Some knowledge of British history preferred but not required.


Topic: The Soviet Union

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


Topic: Wartime Social Change in the 20th Century

Amidst invocations of "the Greatest Generation" and even "Islamofascism," scholarly interpretative debates have complicated, challenged, but by no means displaced American collective memories of wartime homefronts.  Wartime imperatives reopen essential assumptions that underlie any society, forge conceptions of civic nationalism, and give meaning to citizenship itself.  What do Americans owe the state, their communities, their families, and the war dead?  What standards of equity and civil engagement are required to exact payment of these debts?

While the U.S. "home front" in World War II may play a featured role in many of our discussions, the comparative and topical orientation of this readings course extends well beyond that.  We will interrogate integrative and disintegrative effects of war on the construction of race, class, and gender; relationships among anti-war movements, public opinion, and the suppression of civil liberties; functions of propaganda, advertising, media, and film in shaping American war aims, political loyalties and self-fashioning; and effects of economic mobilization on state-building and the relations among government, business, labor, universities, and the culture of consumption.


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."


Topic: Introductory Research Seminar in History

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.

597A READING COURSE (Millward)

Meets with AFRO 597JM and GWS 590

Topic: New Readings in African American Women’s History

This seminar style course focuses on new scholarship on African American women as it relates to their nearly 400 history in North America.  The primary texts represent the current and salient historical work on African American women.  Readings in other disciplines will be introduced when they bolster our understanding of constructing an African American “her” story rather than “his” story.  Themes to be discussed include but are not limited to: gendered community formation, slavery, sexuality, sexual exploitation, the black family, civil rights and activism, feminism(s), memory, sexism, identity politics, and media representations.  Enrollment is open to any graduate student with an interest in the topic. Graduate students with a background in African, African American, Women’s History, as well as, Ethnic studies are particularly encouraged to enroll.

597P 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.