Spring 2009 Course Guide


100 Level

100AL1 GLOBAL HISTORY (Burton, A.)

History 100 covers 700 years across the globe in 15 weeks. The course follows a basic chronological narrative from the 13th century up to the immediate post 1945 period. Our approach will combine the global and the local, emphasizing comparison and difference between times and places. Our major themes will be political systems, trade and commodities, cultural encounters, the role of women and gender, and the rise and fall of empires -- all in the context of a global framework.


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.


Same as EALC 120

This course introduces some of the common ideas and institutions that link China, Korea, and Japan in a broadly shared, regional civilization, as well as the distinct culture and institutions each has developed for itself. One goal of this course to examine what is distinctive about “East Asian civilization.” A second goal is the study of the relationship between the evolution of China, Korea, and Japan as distinct cultures themselves. Although China exerted a profound influence on the development of pre-modern East Asia, Korea and Japan, despite considerable linguistic, intellectual, and political borrowing from China, diverged from the Chinese pattern of development to form cultures with their own very distinctive artistic and literary traditions, political organizations, and social and economic structures. Though largely concerned with pre-twentieth-century East Asia, this course will provide a background for the understanding of many debates in East Asia today.

140AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660-ACP (Koslofsky, C.)

Please see course description for 141AL1.

141AL1 WESTERN CIV TO 1660 (Koslofsky, C.)

The emphasis in this course is on the close reading of primary sources in discussion sections of about 25 students. The lectures help students make the connection between text and context. Our subject is broad: in History 141 we examine the political, social and cultural history of western civilization from antiquity to 1660. We will be reading primary sources from the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods, including the medieval heroic epic Beowulf (written c. 750), The Treasure of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan (1365-c.1429), and The Prince of Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527).

A course in the history of western civilization is an excellent opportunity for students to develop and master skills of reading, analysis, discussion, and writing which will be useful for a lifetime. The aim of this course is not to fill the student's mind with a mass of useless, quickly forgotten facts. Instead, in this course we will emphasize three skills: 1) careful and critical reading; 2) effective discussion, analysis and reasoning; and 3) clear and accurate writing. To build these skills, in each class meeting we will discuss primary sources - direct evidence from the past.

Students attend two lectures and one discussion section each week. Attendance is mandatory, and participation is a big part of your course grade. Requirements also include exams, essays, and weekly writing assignments. There are additional writing requirements for History 140.

142AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660 (Fritzsche, P.)

The political and economic revolutions which changed fundamentally the Western world will be the focus of this course.  How do historians account for the tremendous industrial power assembled in a few short decades by European societies, or the dramatic sequence of rebellion and revolution?  We will explore the impact of the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution on ordinary workers, peasants, and also on the world at large.  The course will examine the great burst of intellectual activity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and discuss nationalism, liberalism and socialism.  The twentieth century, on the other hand, saw unprecedented destruction and horror.  For this reason, we will look closely at the world wars, and at life and society in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia.  And Europe today?  The postwar division of the continent, the "dirty wars" of decolonization, the rise of a consumer society, and the revolutions of 1968 and 1989 provide the course with its final themes.  Throughout the course, we will look at the politics of war and revolution, and the accomplishments of philosophers and statesmen, but also pay attention to the lives and beliefs of ordinary people. There will be one midterm and one final, as well as short papers assigned by section leaders.

143AL1 WESTERN CIV SINCE 1660-ACP (Fritzsche, P.)

Please see course description for 142AL1.

172AL1 US HIST SINCE 1877 (Barrett, J.)

A survey of the United States since Reconstruction era, this course explores the varied ways that Americans perceived and responded to the massive economic, political, and social changes confronting them in the last 150 years. The course is particularly concerned with how common Americans experienced these changes and, indeed, reshaped our society in the process. The twice-weekly lectures provide interpretations of key problems and periods (as opposed to detailed narratives). These aim for a broad overview of political, cultural, and intellectual change, but the emphasis is on social and economic history. In practice, this means more attention to long-term historical change and to conflict along class, racial, gender, and ethnic lines and rather less to presidential administrations. Discussion sections meet weekly to examine the issues raised by the core textbook and several supplementary readings. Assessment will be on the basis of classroom work as assigned by section instructors, two examinations, and a paper. Attendance at lectures is assumed; attendance at discussion sections is required.

173AL1  US HIST SINCE 1877 – ACP (Barrett, J.)

Please see course description for Hist. 172AL1


Topic: The Atlantic Slave Trade from the African Perspective.

Rather than focusing on the more familiar topics of the horrors of the Middle Passage and the American side of the Atlantic Slave Trade, this course will examine two aspects of the trade’s development on the African continent. We will read historical debates about the impact of the trade on African soil, and watch and discuss some African films to get a sense of the perspectives and debates that have developed about this contentious area of African history.


For history senior honors thesis writers only.

200 Level

200A  INTRO HIST INTERPRETATION (Crowston, C. & Fouché, R.)

Topic: Digital History

This course will think through how to represent historical information and analysis in digital space. The primary focus will be to study, critique and produce digital history.  The course readings, discussions, and activities will expose students to the methods, philosophies, and practices of the emerging field of History and New Media. The course will center on the process by which one can effectively make use of resources on and offline to create freely available digital history projects. Students will choose research projects and produce, by the end of the semester, their own "digital history".


Topic: Visuality

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.

"Visuality" 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: Transitional Justice in Latin American Comparative Perspective

Although the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights made “human rights” a household phrase and a concern in international politics, states continued to perpetrate atrocities against their people.  This course looks at how new democracies in the latter half of the twentieth century dealt with past state-sponsored human rights violations.  With a focus on Latin America, we will analyze the events and innovations of so-called “transitional justice.”   Among our chief concerns are the debates surrounding criminal trials for perpetrators of state-sponsored human rights violations, the promises and pitfalls of truth commissions, and the debates regarding reparations.   We will discuss concepts and theories about democratization and justice, as well as about the roles of memory and history in achieving the aims of transitional justice.


Topic:  Children

This seminar-size class will explore how historians have described and studied the lives of children in the past.  This is a challenge, because children, by nature and circumstances, leave little direct evidence of their thoughts and actions.  The course will approach this topic through the history of the family and work, the requirements of religion, law, and government, and, wherever possible, records constructed from the perspective of children themselves.  Examples will range from ancient Western societies to the twentieth-century United States.

Students should be prepared to read carefully, to discuss critically, and to undertake their own investigation of a subject related to the course.  The main written assignment is a research project (two drafts, about 15 pages).  There will also be a midterm exam and occasional online activities.


Topic: Baseball and  Integration

The integration of U.S. professional baseball has been hailed an important precedent for the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to its impact on U.S. society as whole, historians and other scholars have debated the impact that integration had on Black communities and specifically on the race institutions formed during Jim Crow segregation. This course will revisit debates about baseball integration as a microcosm of broader societal issues. We will consider integration as a process that was neither a guaranteed success nor an inevitable. Course readings will revisit primary source materials that discuss the different actors and communities that campaigned for or against integration as the process unfolded. Assigned materials will offer different interpretations about the actors and their motivations in either supporting or opposing integration. In so doing, we will analyze questions of historical interpretations: How do historians use evidence to build an argument? How do we place historical scholarship in conversation with one another? We will also explore what are the possibilities and limitations of using sport, specifically baseball, as the medium to analyze questions such as integration and racial equality. Finally, this class is 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:  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?


This course examines the history of Eastern and Southern Africa from the 19th century up to the present day. We will examine the social, economic, and cultural dynamics of African and settler societies over this period by focusing on themes such as slavery, commercialization, colonialism, urbanization, Christianity and Islam, anti-colonial rebellion, African nationalism, and the nature of post-colonial politics. We will read primary sources in the form of extracted documents and novels, as well as secondary sources in the form of books and journal articles. The course devotes equal time to lecture and discussion.

221U1 MODERN CHINA (Chang, J.)

Same as EALC 221

This course will lead us to an exploration of a culture and society very important in our global age. In this exploration we try to understand the life, history and values of the Chinese and, by way of this, also of ourselves, while appreciating the complex contexts of its enormous changes to become one of the most important economies of today. This course is a general introduction to the major themes of the Chinese Revolution from the 1840 to the present, emphasizing the interplays between politics, idea and culture in shaping the tumultuous history.  The themes will include the rise of an autonomous intelligentsia, the tension between cultural integrity and Western ideologies, the conflict between democratic participation and the tradition of centralized control, and the representation of national identity in high and mass culture.


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.


The course will examine the political, social, economic, religious, and cultural development of Rome and the Romans from the founding of Rome, ca.753 BC, until the fall of the western Roman Empire, ca.AD 480.


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.

252A THE HOLOCAUST (Fritzsche, P.)

The purpose of this course is to provide students from all backgrounds with an introduction to the complex events in twentieth-century Europe now known as the Holocaust, to the various interpretations that scholars have offered to attempt to explain the Holocaust, and to the global legacy of the Holocaust.   We will examine perpetrators, bystanders, and victims, the role of anti-Semitism, the interaction of war and genocide, the relationships between German and other European actors, the responses of Jewish communities, and the memory of the Holocaust.  There will be a midterm and a final, but the primary focus of the course will be on student engagement with the texts in three short papers spread out across the semester.

256A GREAT BRITAIN SINCE 1688 (Ramsbottom, J.)

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, online discussion, and a final exam, there will be occasional quizzes and two assigned papers (totaling about 15 pages).

258A 20THC WORLD TO MIDCENTURY (Tartakovsky, D.)

In this course we will examine the powers that have shaped the modern world.  The first half of the twentieth century was a critical time, an era of world-wide conflict that put Western superiority to the test.  We will focus on the interaction and growing interdependence between Europe and its colonial empires, looking closely at specific examples in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  Through literature and film, we will explore how Europe’s struggle for democracy influenced the ideas and movements in the rest of the world, and how their struggle against colonialism shaped the West.  Key to our discussion will be the meaning of modernization, and its relationship to the West.

261A INTRO RUSSIAN-JEWISH CULTURE (Avrutin, E. & Murav, H.) 

Same as RUSS 261. See RUSS 261.

GENERAL EDUCATION CREDIT: Historical & Philosophical Perspectives, and Western Comparative Culture

An introduction to the religious, political, social, cultural, and economic changes of the Russian-Jewish community in the 20th century, with emphasis on marriage, family, love, the body, and gender roles. Key focus n creative and literary expression, and legacy and memory of Russian-Jewish life in American culture, including: visual art, films, short stories, and oral histories. Two take-home exams + short paper. No Russian required.


Twentieth Century U.S. History will examine the past century chronologically and thematically From the 190s to the Clinton Presidency. 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.

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.The class will emphasize topics in social, political and cultural history.Readings will include textbook chapters, a collection of sources, web-based materials and memoirs. A mid-term and a final as well as a paper and presentation on a topic of choice are required.

274AL1 US & WORLD SINCE 1917 (Hoganson, K.)

This class provides an introduction to the study of U.S. foreign relations from roughly 1917 through the end of the Cold War. 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.

Lectures will touch on some, but not all of the readings, and vice versa. So to do well in this 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 AAS 281, AFRO 281, and LLS 281

Description not available at time of publication.

285A US GENDER HISTORY TO 1877 (Pleck, E.)

Same as GWS 285

This course aims to introduce students to changing ideals and life experiences of American women from the period just prior to the arrival of European explorers to the Civil War.The readings draw on primary sources and historian's interpretations to emphasize the work, family, and political activities of American women, within the context of larger changes in colonial America and the United States.These larger changes include colonialism and European settlement, the role of Enlightenment ideas, the growth of an industrial economy, the expansion of slavery, and the rise of nineteenth century reform movements.Students will learn to think critically about historical arguments and the use of evidence.

300 Level

350A EUROPEAN HISTORY 1815 TO 1871 (Liebersohn, H.)

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.


This course introduces students to the history of the Iberian Peninsula from 771 to 1810. After a brief overview of Roman and Visigoth Iberia, the course will study the cultural, technological and intellectual accomplishments of Moorish Iberia. We will linger in medieval Iberia in order to evaluate the historical debates regarding convivencia-the interpretation that Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in harmony before the rise of Spain's and Portugal's imperial visions of a Catholic World. We will follow Iberians as they moved out of Iberia, into Africa, Asia and America. As they explored, conquered, traded, evangelized and settled in these new lands, the Peninsula was transformed. Concurrent with studying the circulation of people, goods and beliefs, the course will investigate how the expansion and maintenance of Empire impacted the social, political, religious and economic history of Iberia. We will conclude with the fall of the Empires, and analyze what contributed to the end of Iberian imperial powers.

372A AMERICA’S REPUBLIC, 1789-1861 (Sampson, R.)

This course addresses the growth and development of the United States from the adoption of the Constitution through the War with Mexico, including the social, political, and economic issues that helped shape the age.


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.

377A UNITED STATES SINCE 1932 (Leff, M.)

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

396A SPECIAL TOPICS (Fouché, R.)

Topic: Technology and Sport

Traditionally sport has been a competition between humans or humans and nature. Recent technological developments have altered this arrangement.  Now technology is a constitutive component of sport and has changed modes of play.  This course will historically examine the evolving relationships between contemporary sport, emerging technology, and cultural experience.  The fundamental question this course will address is: how has technology, in its multiple forms, reshaped sport?  Course requirements include participation, leadership in class discussions, as well as a research project.

396B SPECIAL TOPICS (Espiritu, A.)

Topic: United States in an Age of Empire

Is the United States an "Empire" or a "Republic," or both? Can this nation be at the same time an "imperial republic" or a "republican empire" or is this a contradiction in terms, an impossibility, especially in light of this nation's long traditions of democracy and freedom? This class will examine these questions from a number of angles -- from the standpoint of America's history of expansion and political evolution, from the experience of violence, conquest, and resistance of Native Americans, and from the viewpoint of colonial men, women, and children and their relations of intimacy with the colonized. This class will examine both secondary and primary sources and encourage students to develop original research.

400 Level


Same as EALC 421

This course, to be taught by Poshek Fu in partnership with give visiting professors from China (Freeman Fellows), explores major social, cultural, and historical issues of China from 1900 to the present. It is an interdisciplinary and lecture-and-discussion course engaging scholarship from various humanities and social science perspectives, focusing on the subjects of migration, education, media politics, popular culture, urban youth, and cultural identity in the rapidly changing contexts of China’s engagements with modernity and globalization. The main goal of the course is not to provide answers but to question the answers.

437G2/G4/U3 MIDDLE EAST IN THE 20th CENTURY (Cuno, K.)

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.

439G2/G4/U3 THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE (Todorova, M.)

This course introduces the history of one of the great imperial formations of the early modern and modern period, which had long-standing repercussions on the development of Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.  It covers the whole span of Ottoman history, and will pay special attention to some of the following problems: the political rise of the Ottoman state since the thirteenth century and how it became an empire, its social and   administrative structure, the classical Ottoman economic system, Ottoman impact on the societies, politics, economies and cultures of Byzantium and the medieval Balkan states, the spread of Islam in Europe, the transformations of the Ottoman polity and society and aspects of what has been conventionally named as Ottoman decline, the Eastern question in international relations, the modernizing reforms of the nineteenth century, and the spread of nationalism as a prelude to the final demise of the supranational empire in the twentieth century.

443G4/U3 BYZANTINE EMPIRE AD 284-717 (Mathisen, R.)

Same as MDVL 443

The course will examine the political, social, economic, military, institutional, religious and cultural development  of the Early Byzantine Empire from the reign of Diocletian (AD 284-305) through the Heraclian Dynasty (A.D. 610-717) with special attention given to how peoples and governments responded to stress.


(Warren, J.)

This course will examine major social, political, and cultural trends in Britain since 1900, from the South African War (1899-1902) to the “special relationship” and the 7/7 London bombings. We will examine how global warfare, the labor movement, anti-colonial and post-imperial nationalisms, the Cold War, decolonization, the growth of the welfare state, immigration and multiculturalism, Thatcherism, devolution, and international organizations contributed to the shaping of Britain over the last century. A particular emphasis will be placed on the role of changing notions of community, race, class, gender, religion, sexuality, and citizenship in shaping and responding to local, regional, and global forces.


This course is a survey of central problems in nineteenth-century Russian history: from the defeat of Napoleon’s invasion in 1812 to the Revolutions of 1917.  History 461 is an upper-division course, intended for students with some background in Russian history, although students without such background may ‘catch up’ using supplementary textbook readings.  Among the problems we will consider are: the nature of authority in Russia’s serf communities; the creation of modern Russian political ideologies; the making of Russia’s literary ‘Golden Age’; the roles of ethnicity and religion in Imperial social life; city life and Modernism at the beginning of the twentieth century; the fall of the Romanov dynasty and the October Revolution.  This course will be conducted in a lecture and discussion format, with an emphasis on the latter.  Each student will be expected to lead one discussion this semester, in consultation with the instructor.  The most fundamental goal of the course is to allow students to develop more advanced historical skills by considering key problems in modern Russian history in depth.  You will learn how to formulate a good historical question; how to survey historical opinion on that question; and how to use primary source material to extend the inquiry still further.

In sum, this course is not so much a survey of important names and dates in Russian history as an advanced workshop in historical thinking, using Russian historical materials.

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

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

The course examines the experience of building socialism and living through its demise by focusing on the key moments of Soviet history:  the revolutionary process of 1917 and civil war; the role of political parties and social groups; the attempt to create a new socialist culture, society, and state; Stalin's revolution from above based on industrialization, collectivization, repression, and Russian nationalism; relations with the outside world, including the Great Fatherland War and the Cold War; efforts to reform socialism after Stalin's death; the rise of the USSR as a world power; the hidden contradictions of nationality; the implosion of all these contradictions during the turbulent regime of Gorbachev; the legacy of the Soviet Union in today's Russian Federation.  Readings include personal narratives,  selected documents, and a textbook.

Requirements include 2 short papers on the readings, a take-home midterm essay, and an extended essay comparing a personal narrative with works of current historical scholarship.

467G4/U3 EASTERN EUROPE (Hitchins, K.)

Topic: Eastern Europe Since 1919

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.


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.

472G4/U3 IMMIGRANT AMERICA (Schneider, D.)

This advanced undergraduate seminar covers all aspects of the history of immigration to the United States from the early nineteenth century to the present.  After a one week introduction on European immigration to pre-industrial America, the class will focus on immigration from Europe and Asia during the period 1840-1915.  During the second half of the semester the history of immigration law and the social and cultural history of immigrants in the twentieth century United States will be the focus of lectures,  readings and discussions.

The class format will combine lectures and discussions. Readings will include historial materials, fiction and scholarly articles from the social sciences.  A research paper is required.


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. Grading based on class discussion, written assignments, and term paper (done in stages).  Prerequisite: one year of college history and/or college courses pertaining to public health or health policy; or consent of instructor.


Meets with AIS 490

This lecture/discussion course will introduce students to the history of the American Indian struggle for justice in the United States. It will offer students an opportunity to explore Native American encounters with the American legal system through common readings in secondary sources as well as the decisions of federal courts.  Students will review the evolution of federal Indian policy as well as the legal issues that have confronted Native Americans (and to a limited extent Native Hawaiians) over the past two centuries. Among the topics to be explored are sovereignty, treaty rights, the powers of tribal governments, jurisdictional disputes involving states and tribes and the civil liberties of Native people.  In the last section of the course, students will develop short research papers focused on the history of a single legal dispute involving a particular Indian community


How should a student prepare to write an honors thesis?  Answering this question requires a look "behind the scenes" of historical research.  In this seminar we will examine the basic three components of historical research: scholarly questions, primary sources, and secondary literature.  How do these three components work together when scholars write history today?  Discussions and assignments will combine practical questions (i.e. how does one find book reviews?) with abstract issues: how have historians structured their dialogue with the past?  When we ask questions about the past, what makes some answers better than others?  We will discuss these (and many other) questions, based on case studies of historical research.  In History 492 students will learn how to move from being consumers of history to become producers of their own historical scholarship.

495A HONORS SEMINAR (Chandra, S.)

Topic: Incredible India?

Today, India’s Department of Tourism works to attract visitors from far and wide with the slogan “Incredible India!” – a publicity campaign that extols the country’s exceptionalism. Yet images of India as unique and exotic, exceptional yet unchanging are anything but new. They have been absolutely foundational to everything from British explorer Richard Burton’s translation of the Kama Sutra, to the hit TV series “Jewel in the Crown,” the global explosion of Bollywood, the scholarly study of the “subaltern,” and the proliferation of yoga studios in North America and Europe!  How, and why, did India become ‘incredible’?  Reaching to intellectual and social history, and to cultural studies methods, this course explores the mechanisms for the production and transnational dissemination of popular perceptions about India.  Where do these perceptions originate and how are they produced?   What are the intellectual traditions, the institutional sites, and the visual/ narrative forms that support what some might describe as a trans-national public relations campaign?  What are the effects, and the political stakes, of this exceptionalism?  In answering these questions we will utilize a diverse range of primary and secondary sources from 1750 to the present, including memoirs and manifestos, novels and films.  Methodologically, we will bring together intellectual histories of orientalism, nationalism, postcoloniality and ‘area studies’, with histories of Indian social movements; we read these through feminist cultural studies models on the production and dissemination of meaning.   While students are not expected to have prior knowledge of Indian history, the course requires independent, historical research projects.  Potential topics for investigation include:  ‘Indian Regional Hegemony,’ ‘The Cold War and Area Studies in South Asia,’ ‘Indian Exceptionalism,’ ‘Indo-Chic,’ ‘Postmodern Hindu Nationalism,’ ‘Caste in Transnational Perspective’ and ‘Self-Orientalisms.’


Topic:  Diseases and Devices: A History of Medicine and Technology

This course examines the history of material cultures of health care. The class will analyze how technological innovation has become central to medicine over the last two centuries and how we are coping with the consequences, both intended and unintended, of our reliance upon such devices. We will look at the ways in which disease is constructed, and how technologies contribute to the naming of maladies and the identities associated with “sickness.” Attention will given to race, class, and gender, in term of implications for emergent biotechnologies.


Topic:  Lincoln Visual Culture and Nation Building

This course will examine the use of visual symbols (pictures, portraits, statutes, etc.) of great leaders such as Abraham Lincoln to build consensus notions of a national community amid the challenges presented by civil war or the creation of empire.  In the first part of the seminar, we will discuss what we mean by "visual culture", and follow with three case studies in the United States (Lincoln), Germany (Bismarck) and Britain (Queen Victoria).  In the second half of the course, we will move to a more thematic approach, looking at various types of visual culture.  In the end, students will be expected to produce a research paper using primary source documents (as part of our research, we will also take a field trip to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield).  Potential topics are not limited to our particular case studies, but may include examinations of any figure from any period.


Topic: Understanding the Civil War Era (1830-1880)

This seminar focuses upon the era of the U.S. Civil War – which is defined here to span the decades between the intensification of sectional conflict in the 1830s through the end of Reconstruction in the late 1870s. Course requirements aim to develop student skills in historical analysis, research, evaluation of evidence, and writing.


Topic: American Empire

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


Topic: Censorship in 20th Century US

This course examines the social, cultural, and political foundations of censorship in the United States from 1873 to the present. Beginning with the passage of the Comstock act and continuing through the pornography wars of the 1980s, students will explore the power dynamics involved in controlling what individuals are allowed to see, experience, and read. The class will use visual and textual sources to evaluate how shifting social, economic, and cultural anxieties inspired moral legislation over time. The weekly readings will pay particular attention to the role that gender, class, sexuality, and religion played in establishing a modern definition of obscenity. The class will also chronicle the continuing struggle to promote civil liberties, exercise freedom of speech, and subvert censoring regimes through direct resistance and subtle manipulation. Documenting campaigns against the birth control movement, sex radicals, film, theater, homosexuality, comic books, pornography, and political dissidents, this course seeks to critically examine the role of censorship in a democratic society.


Topic: Madness And Society In The Modern World

"What is insanity?  How do we define the normal and the pathological?  Who in society is best suited to determine psychological health and sickness?  Can there be sciences of the emotions and sexuality?  How do class, race, religion, and gender influence our views of human mental functioning?  Can the human mind know itself?  At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the sciences of the mind—psychiatry, psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, psychopharmacology, the cognitive neurosciences—claim tremendous scientific authority and exert enormous cultural influence.  Yet these are only several of the basic, urgent questions that remain controversial or unanswered today.

This seminar seeks to explore these and many related subjects.  Our approach will be historical.  Specifically, we will study the social, cultural, intellectual, and institutional history of madness and psychiatry in Britain, continental Europe, and North America from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries.  Topics will include:  the origins of psychiatric humanitarianism, medical professionalization, the history of psychiatric diagnostics, the emergence of the modern asylum, patient autobiography, women in the mental health system, the history of the insanity defense in the courts, Victorian nervousness and hysteria, psychiatry and heredity, the beginnings of medical sexology, Freud and the coming of psychoanalysis, and shell shock in the First World War."


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 de Busbecq will be read. Readings and discussions and a research paper.

500 Level


Topic: Mobility in Eurasia: From the Silk Road to the Railroad

In recent years, histories of human mobility have begun to move beyond their traditional concerns—measuring the scale, speed, and direction of human movement—to consider questions of space, agency, and subjectivity.  How do power and culture develop, spatially? How does the practice of movement—how does the valence of movement—change over time?  What sort of framework do means and modes of mobility provide for political action, sociability, and the making of individual or collective identities? What can the study of movement reveal about human ambition, and ability?

This seminar will be an introduction to mobility as a category of historical analysis, based on materials from Eurasia and its vast systems of overland transportation.  The course is meant for graduate students who are interested in developing themes and problems for their own research, rather than for specialists in any one country.  Readings will range geographically from China and India to Russia and continental Europe, and chronologically from about 1500 to about 1900.  The course will likely be subdivided into three main rubrics (“Mobility as a Concept for Historical Research”; “Technologies of Movement”; and “Techniques for Mobility Research”).  Interested students are invited to contact the instructor for a list of course readings.  For their written assignments, students will have several choices: a series of reviews; a larger historiographical review essay; or a research proposal and bibliography elaborating a topic from the history of mobility.


Topic: Comparative Nationalism

Nationalism, an issue that was considered to have passed its peak, now dominates world politics and permeates political discourse. Not only is a thorough grasp of this phenomenon crucial to the understanding of such imposing institutional constructions-in-process as the European Union, it is at the bottom of tensions and conflicts that are garbed in a religious rhetorical veil, and constitute much of the agenda of today’s “war on terror.” What explains the recurrence, persistence and ubiquity of this phenomenon?  What are its peculiar manifestations in different historical periods? Which are the main forms of its articulation?  How does it differ across geographical borders, class boundaries, gender and generational cleavages?

In its first part, this graduate seminar will focus on the theories of nationalism, and will deal with problems of definition, the ancient or modern origins of nationalism, its main chronological and geographical varieties and the models proposed to describe them, the typology of nationalist movements and, finally, the articulation of the nationalist discourse.  The readings draw on a variety of approaches – historical, sociological, anthropological, literary, and psychological -- and aim at providing a solid introduction to the scholarly literature.  They are clustered around a list of mandatory books (at Illini Bookstores), supplemented by articles, reviews and discussion that will be available during the course.  The second part of the course is supposed to lead to the completion of a paper which can deal with a particular aspect of any one of the world's nationalisms, with its characteristics in a given historical period, or its evolution over time, as well as comparisons between the manifestations of different nationalisms.

502C PROB IN COMPARATIVE HISTORY (Barrett, J. and Summerfield, G.)

Topic: Immigration: History and Policy

Description not available at time of publication.


Topic: Transnational History

This course will consider methods and themes in transnational history, as distinct from national or international history, and discuss how the transnational approach may enrich our understanding of modern history, including the history of the United States and the world in the twentieth century. Students will be assigned various readings and asked to discuss how the authors succeed in going beyond nation-centered presentations of the past. Please note: The first meeting of the course will be on Friday January 23, and thereafter we shall meet on some (but not all) Fridays and Mondays, for a total of fourteen meetings.

502E PROB IN COMPARATIVE HISTORY (Edelson, M. & Baber, J.)

Topic: New World Empires: Spain and Britain in America, 1492-1825

Early modern European expansion into the World was a spatial process. This course examines the creation of early modern empires from a spatial perspective. Our readings range broadly across European and Amerindian zones of influence and emphasize the history of cartography, modes of visual representation, legal history, and the history of commerce and culture. Themes include the comparative history of British and Spanish colonization, how the Dutch shaped American visual conventions, the European creation of a cartographic “imaginary,” indigenous mapping, spatiality in comparative legal regimes, the contest over the trans-Mississippi west, Virginia’s relation to the wider Atlantic world, the extension of the Portuguese empire, and the place of the Caribbean in an age of revolutions. We encourage students to develop spatial dimensions of their own research interests and will provide an introduction to map research and spatial analysis. Graduate students from geography, landscape architecture, art history, English, law, the CLACS program, and Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese are welcome to take part in this interdisciplinary seminar.


Topic: Science, Medicine and Gender in Europe and America 1870-1940

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

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


Topic: Memory, History, and Politics in Latin America

Memory, especially collective memory, has been variously regarded by scholars as a matter of politics, history, and ethics.   In particular, the memory (or the forgetting) of atrocity has become an object of historical inquiry.  This course explores the tensions between memory, history and politics in Latin America, examining the ways in which societies or segments of societies constructed or contested an authoritative understanding of the past.  We will reflect on distinctions between history and memory, as well as conceptions of memory and history as particular forms of labor.  Other topics include public space, monuments and memorials, truth-telling and testimonials, bearing witness to and surviving atrocity, and justice and democratization.  The readings include theoretical works, testimonial literature, and a survey of some of the latest approaches to these topics in Latin American historiography.


Same as EALC 520

Topic: History of Literary Culture and Communications in China

This course introduces students to recent scholarly works on the approaches, methodologies, and major issues in the study of print culture of China. We will examine works on printing technology, book production, and publishing. In this course, we will concentrate on the Ming Qing periods.

There are many important questions and issues that will be addressed in this course. How were printed books produced, distributed, and marketed? Who printed books and why? Were there niche markets in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Where and how did publishers obtain manuscripts for publication? Were books too expensive for the lower classes? Was Chinese writing too difficult for literacy to spread, constraining the cultural impact of printing in imperial China? What was the impact of printing on education, literature, politics, communication, religion, and cultural production? Did the boom of commercial publishing in the sixteenth and seventeenth century create multiple reading publics of men and women? Is reading gendered? Did printing impact the production of public opinion, especially concerning literary taste, scholarly judgment, and political discussion? Did printing contribute to the fashioning of a common literary culture of China or did it promote diverse local cultures? What are the implications of the answers to these questions for a comparative study of printing in Asia and Europe?

Participation in discussion is essential and students are responsible for making presentations. There will be written assignments and a final seminar paper.


Topic: Ethnicity, Violence, and the State in Europe’s Borderlands

Focusing on the multinational and religiously diverse borderland territories, this course analyzes the origins, trajectories, and manifestations of ethnic violence in East-Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe.  Standing at the intersections of four great empires (German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman), the borderlands were marked by long periods of neighborly tolerance and coexistence, but also by horrific episodes of popular and state-driven violence and destruction.  In comparative and transnational perspective, the seminar introduces students to the rich and contentious historiography on ethnicity, violence, and the state in Europe’s multinational and religiously diverse borderlands.  Course themes include population politics, ethnic cleansing, neighborly relations, and memorialization of violence.  Over the course of the semester, each student is required to lead at least one seminar, provide a short analytical summary of the week’s reading, and raise questions for discussion.  In addition, there are two written assignments for the course: a longer mid-semester review essay of the class readings and an annotated bibliography project, which is due at the end of the term.  The bibliography project is designed to help students prepare for preliminary examinations and/or begin preliminary background reading for a future, long-term research project.

572A PROB IN US HIST SINCE 1815 (Burgos, A.)

Topic: Race and the City

The U.S. population shifted from a predominantly rural to urban demographic in the 1880s. This shift came with its own series of problems regarding the city as a physical place and an imagined space as immigrant and native-born residents sought to make community, pursue work in the industrial sector, and strove to make the city a home. Progressive reformers sought to address problems caused by urban life, urban planners sought to revive the feeling of community through design, and various ethnic and racial communities attempted to maintain the integrity of their cultures in the midst of Americanization efforts. Collectively, these groups reveal efforts to address the impact of the demographic shift in terms of the local and national political landscape, racial politics, and American identity.

573A SEMINAR AMER HIST SINCE 1789 (Roediger, D.)

Topic: Racial Formation in the United States

Concentrating on the nineteenth century this reading course also provides an introduction to varied methodologies for, and theoretical approaches to, the study of race in the United States.


This course will have two goals.  One is to make students familiar with some of the theories and concepts like class, status, and the public sphere that are a basic part of historians’ vocabulary.   The second is to discuss current theories of such topics as gender, transnationalism, the subaltern, global history, race, nation, empire.  Readings in Marx, Weber, Mauss, Habermas, Geertz, Foucault, Dening, and recent journal articles.


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.