Spring 2011 Course Guide


100 Level

100AL1 GLOBAL HISTORY (Koslofsky, C.)

       Topic: The First Global Age, 1300-1815

       In this course we will study the early modern world from the fourteenth through the early nineteenth centuries. In this first global age trade, conquest, and colonization connected all parts of the globe as never before. By 1800, all large areas of human settlement and culture everywhere on Earth interacted with one another – some only barely, others in deep and transforming ways.


      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 will introduce the students to East Asian civilization, as well as to ways through which one can examine and understand the historical roots of current affairs in and related to East Asia. The course will help students to explore not only the dramatic changes in politics, culture, and society during the past centuries, but also their impact on people's lives in contemporary East Asia. We will learn how to use various information sources, such as official documents, literature, films, newspapers and magazines, and personal narrations, to study two major themes: 1) Changes and continuity in Modern East Asia (with a focus on historical, social and cultural aspects); 2) East Asia in the world (with a focus on the encounters between East Asia and the West).

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

     Please see course description for 141AL1.

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

     This course will survey essential developments in Western Civilization from Antiquity through the seventeenth century.  It will focus on the evolution of political institutions from the city-states of Ancient Greece, through the Roman Empire, the feudal system of Medieval Europe and, finally, the emergence of nation-states in the seventeenth century.  We will also study the philosophies or religious beliefs that helped men and women understand their society and the world, as well as the social structures and conflicts that characterized different periods of history. In particular, we will examine how relations with "outsiders" - such as Jews, Muslims, the New World, and women - contributed essential new ideas to Western Europeans and helped them define their own identity. In the process, we will gain a new understanding of the cultural fusions and conflicts that continue to define our world. Lectures will be supplemented by in-depth consideration of primary sources materials produced by the people of this fascinating epoch. Throughout the semester, you will be required to read carefully, to attend class, to speak out in discussion section and to complete all written assignments. 

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 (Roediger, D.)

      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 HIST SINCE 1877 – ACP (Roediger, D.)

       Please see course description for Hist. 172AL1

174AL1  BLACK AMERICA, 1619-PRESENT (Praylow, P.)

        Same as AFRO 101. SEE AFRO 101.

        Description not available at time of publication.

200 Level


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

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


        Topic: 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:  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?


        Topic:  History and Film                                                             

        This course uses film to introduce students to the stakes involved in historical interpretation. Using cinema allows visual sources to be combined in the mix with written materials that students will use to hone their interpretive skills. We will utilize films as primary sources, secondary sources, and to supplement written historical sources. The course is organized primarily as a series of case studies in film and history each with the aim of students developing their own structured historical interpretations in a series of written work. In addition, we will meet with library staff for a library tour and introduction to using library resources, including on-line resources. We will also read and discuss a select number of studies situated at the intersection of film and history.


        Topic: Space, Place and Habitat in the U.S., 1860-1990

        History is widely understood as producing narratives that examine change over time, but the people whose lives it discusses live out those changes in particular spaces.  This course focuses on the significance of space in the interpretation of history by examining works that focus on issues of region, place, urban space, households, and other “spatial” dimensions of historical experience in the US as central problems of analysis and explanation.  

       Students will look at how various dimensions of “space” figure in a range of historical subfields, including environmental history, urban history, material culture, history of medicine, women’s history, history of architecture and landscape architecture, and social policy, among others.  

        Consistent with the purposes of History 200, discussions will focus on secondary and primary sources that introduce students to problems of historical argument, method, and research.  The format will be predominantly discussion-based, with requirements including active participation, response papers to secondary and primary sources, short review papers, and a longer, end-of-semester project. 


        Topic: U.S. History, 2001-2008

        This course is an introduction to learning the skills of historians, finding and evaluating primary sources, analyzing second sources, developing anargument and debating the merits of contrasting arguments. The content of the course is U.S. History, 2001 to 2008, with major primary sources consisting of documentary films about this period in U.S. history. Usually historians allow journalists, filmmakers, and social scientists about forty years to produce a first draft of history before they have enough perspective to try their hand. This class will violate that rule and will seek its own first drafts, attempting answers to such questions as Why did the U.S. believe Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction? Why were relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina so botched? and what caused the Great Recession of 2008? Among the documentary films shown in class will be  “Taxi to the Dark Side” and “Inside Job.”


        This course surveys the major themes and events in the 20th century history of East and Southern Africa with emphasis on the development and operation of anti-colonial struggles, in Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Prerequisite: HIST 110 or consent of instructor.


      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 of warfare and its relationship to changing technologies, tactics, and political structures, with an emphasis on the ways that military institutions are integrated with society as a whole.  There are no prerequisites to History 251; however, a strong background in modern European and American history is highly recommended.  Students are encouraged to take History 142 and/or History 172 before enrolling in History 251.

252AL1  THE HOLOCAUST (Fritzsche, P.)

         Topic: The Holocaust in the Modern World

        This course will examine how twentieth-century intellectuals, writers, and historians have tried to make sense of Nazism, the Third Reich, and the Holocaust in the last seventy-five years.  We will look at the nature of support National Socialism garnered in German society, the role of anti-Semitism in Germany and in Europe generally, and roles of perpetrator, bystander, and victim in the Holocaust and in other genocides. 

        The class will also explore how the Holocaust has changed the way we look at the contemporary world.  Current and historical events look different in the light of the Holocaust and the Holocaust looks different in light of these reexamined histories.  Along the way, students will gain primary knowledge about the rise of Nazism and the origins of the Holocaust, become more alert to problems of the interpretation of extreme events and varying angles of perspective, and they will gain a fluency in assessing genocide in wider contexts. 

        The course is both about events in the past and about how those past events change the way we as global citizens assess ideology, perpe- tratorship, and victimhood, as well as our ability to represent, compare, and contrast.  Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, to write three short papers (4-5pp each), spread out over the course of the semester, and to prepare a modest “capstone” research paper (10pp).  Please read the Guenter Grass novel, “Crabwalk,” for the first day of class.  

255B  BRITISH ISLES TO 1688   (Ramsbottom, J.)

        Same as MDVL 255.

        This is an experimental course taught entirely online with frequent interaction between the students and instructor.  Students need to have a thoroughly reliable internet connection, a computer equipped with Java and Flash, and a headset combining microphone and earphones.

        The course provides an introduction to the history of the peoples of the British Isles over a span of roughly 1500 years during the Roman, medieval, and early modern periods.  We will trace the rise of England as a centralized kingdom and its relations, often hostile, with the neighboring countries of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France. 

        What was England's success based upon?  How did the monarchy and the Church evolve over time?  What role, if any, did ordinary people play in a society dominated by lords and prelates?  We will address such questions by studying both first-hand descriptions and modern interpret-ations of major events, from the Roman conquest through the Civil War of the seventeenth century.  Comprehension of textbook reading and historical sources will be assessed through online quizzes, projects, group assignments, and discussions, as well as a proctored final examination.

255B  BRITISH ISLES TO 1688 (Ramsbottom, J.)


      In this course, we will attempt to construct the historical genealogy of our contemporary world.  In other words, we will examine the major historical forces of the second half of the twentieth century, which most had a lasting impact on shaping the world in which we live today.  We’ll start by looking at the ways in which decolonization drastically changed life in both formerly colonized countries and within Europe itself.  We shall then turn to an examination of the cold war, looking specifically at how the conflict between the Eastern bloc and the Western powers affected the so-called “third world” through proxy wars and neo-colonial relationships.  Next we will turn to the role of global capital in shaping the post-war world, looking at the dynamic new ways in which corporations and free market ideology run our world, and the movements which have developed in opposition to these phenomena.  We will spend the final part of the course looking at ethnic cleansing, wars of intervention, and our post-9/11 world

260A  HISTORY OF RUSSIA (Randolph, J.)

        This course will survey the fundamental periods, questions, and debates in Russian history, 1500-present.  In traveling through Russia's past, we will focus on the clash between the ideal and the real in the making of Russia, exploring both what people wanted (their ambitions) and what they experienced.  Assignments will include recent historical writings as well as classic 'texts' of Russian culture including fiction, film, memoir, and art. 


        This course will examine the ways technology has developed over time, and how those changes have affected societies in different parts of the world.  The primary emphasis will be places on understanding the evolving cultural contexts of technological change. Topics covered include the power, manufacturing, railroads, emergence of engineering professions, corporate R&D, household technology, technology of modern warfare, consumer electronics, and video gaming.  Some of the questions examined by this course include: What is technology? How do technologies develop? To what degree are technologies a product of the culture in which they develop? How are technologies propagated? How have people thought about technology in different places and periods?

270A  UNITED STATES HISTORY TO 1815  (Eisen, A.)

        Social, cultural, economic, and political survey of the region and its relation to the evolving Atlantic community.


        Meets with HIST 272B.

        Twentieth Century U.S. History will examine the past century chronologically and thematically from 1900 to the Clinton presidency. Themes that will guide lectures and discussions will focus on the rise of the United States from a largely regional to a global power, and on the continual internal diversity of the nation. The class will emphasize topics in social, economic, political and cultural history. Readings will include textbook chapters, original documents, web-based materials and memoirs. Two mid-terms and a final as well as a number of quizzes are required.  Attendance is mandatory.


Same as LLS 279.  See LLS 279.

        Course description not available at time of publication.


       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 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.

286A  US GENDER HISTORY SINCE 1877  (Pleck, E.)

        Same as GWS 286.

        The big themes of this course are the entry of American women in the political, economic, and military life of the nation, major conflicts between groups of women in defining women's roles, and changing definitions of female sexuality in American culture and society. The course presents the history of U.S. women as a separate topic and also an important part of the big events and changes in U.S. history. The class will combine lectures, films, and some discussion.


        Topic: The Fear Factor and Hunts for “Un-Americans”

        This Campus Honors Program colloquium provides a chance to “do” history and to build upon seminar discussion to explore “fear factors” driving U.S. struggles over national inclusiveness and "American identity"   It deploys historical approaches to contextualize and inform fundamental challenges to how Americans define “us” versus “them,” and to the dilemmas posed by conflicting fears, aspirations, loyalties, and visions of “liberty” and “security.” Such abstractions as subversion, tolerance, academic freedom, and citizenship gain an immediacy and urgency in the post-9/11 civil liberties atmosphere that will help guide our intensive analysis of past campaigns against “un-Americans.”  

        We’ll start with late 19th century immigration and race panics; and then move through assaults on civil liberties in WWI; the mass confinement of Japanese-Americans and other actions at odds with World War II’s reputation as “The Freedom War”; the anti- communist (and anti-immigrant, and anti-

Gay, etc.) scares of 1919-1920 and the “McCarthy Era”; and “backlashes” against the African-American Freedom Struggle and anti-war movements of the late 1960s. 

        The primary text is a photocopied course packet that combines recent interpretive debates with public opinion polls, propaganda campaigns, Congressional debates, and contemporary news coverage.  In addition to analyzing these sources and attending/discussing several classic films outside of class, members of this honors colloquium will complete short response papers and longer essays staking out their own interpretations/stances on major issues confronted in the course.

300 Level


        Same as CINE 300

        Topic: Technological Pasts, Presents, and Futures

        Popular histories of technology champion a never-ending progressive narrative of inventive creativity.  For the past century, historians of technology have attempted to present a more nuanced understanding of the evolution of technology in relation to society.  Over the twentieth century cinematic representations of technology have often been at the forefront of a socially, culturally, and historically situated critique of technology.  This course will embrace film as a non-traditional, but popularly consumed, primary source to examine the ways our society has grappled with, understood, and attempted to predict the ways technology has and will shape our historical pasts, presents, and futures.

HIST 315A Discovery, Tourism, and Travel

(Liebersohn, H.)

               Same as RST 312.

               One of the basic themes of human history since ancient times is the history of travel – that is, the stories of how human beings have left their homes and visited distant places with the intention of returning to their homes.  From classical and Biblical antiquity to the present, writings now identified with Europe have described these journeys as part of a cumulative tradition. 

               Two of the central themes of recent historical writing naturally emerge from travel accounts: cultural diversity and globalization.  Travel naturally involves cultural contact between different peoples who may have long histories of contact with one another (for example Germans and Italians in modern history) or may be radically new to one another (for example Columbus and the Amerindians).  In either case these encounters have a lot to teach us about how cultural diversity works – about how people from different cultures attempt to communicate with one another, with results that may be stumbling or successful, tragic or comic, on a wide spectrum of human possibilities.  Travel also leads us to the sites of globalization, the actual spots where, since the mid-nineteenth century, modern technologies and intensifying contacts have linked human beings across the world into a single, variegated yet integrated global network. 

               The readings for the course will be a mixture of non-fictional travel accounts, travel fictions, and historians’ narratives about travelers.  These works cover a wide range of geographic areas, for the course is especially interested in encounters between European and non-European cultures.  In addition to written sources, we will work with visual materials and music.

352A EUROPEAN IN THE WORLD (Prochaska, D.)

       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 experience of both colonizers and colonized, comparing and contrasting their interactions, minglings and overlaps in the contact zones where they met. Our focus will be on the dialectics of culture and power: 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. 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 require-ements include substantial written work and relatively difficult required reading assignments.


      Topic:  France and the World Since 1939     

       This course examines French History since WWII.  Through the categories of race, class, and gender, the class will study the creation and loss of a colonial empire, French involvement in the Second World War, immigration, urban development, and the major changes in French culture, politics, and society since 1939.  We will look at the changes in film, literature, political movements, music, art, and philosophy.  Major themes include resistance from within and outside the French borders, modernization, decolonization, and the legacy of France and the colonial empire.  A combination of primary historical documents, visual materials, and critical interpretations of the past will encourage a more thorough understanding of the past and of our present world.

362A SPAIN AND PORTUGAL TO 1808 (Baber, J.)

        This course introduces students to the history of the Iberian Peninsula from 1771 to 1810. After a brief overview of Roman and Visigoth Iberia, the course will study the cultural, technological and intellectual accomplishments of Moorish Iberia, and evaluate the historical debates regarding convivencia-the interpretation that Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in harmony during the middle ages. Afterwards, 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. Throughout the course, students will critically evaluate secondary sources-both print and non-print-by analyzing the biases, audience, sources, argument and authority. As a part of the course, students will learning how to evaluate and edit entries on Wikipedia.


Topic:  Epidemics in History

        The study of epidemics offers a captivating entry into historical studies.  In this course we will use a variety of documents to explore the role that epidemics have had in shaping the 20th Century.  Our approach will be comparative, as we explore how different diseases are understood and treated by different societies.  We will explore such themes as power, culture, belief, gender and race.  A few of the epidemics that we will focus on are:  TB, influenza, malaria and AIDS.  Emphasis will be placed on class discussion and critical readings of sources. 


       Examines the European colonies in North America during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries with particular focus on the British colonies in New England, the Chesapeake, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Lower South, as well as comparisons to the colonies of New Spain, French Canada, and the Caribbean.  Traces the impact of colonization on the indigenous populations of the continent and the entrenchment of African slavery within the plantation economy.

375A SOC HISTORY INDUS AM FROM 1918 (Schneider, D.)

       American Social History focuses both on the history of everyday life and on the larger social changes that affected American society in lasting and profound ways between the 1840s and 1920.  This class will pay special attention to the interaction of people from different social classes with each other and to the effects of political and economic developments on the daily lives of ordinary people.  Important themes will include:  immigration, the growth of cities, the organization of labor, African Americans and industrialization, women workers and mass culture.  Prerequisite for this class is a basic knowledge of U.S. history since the mid-19th century. Consistent class participation, two in-class examinations and a paper will be the most important parts of the class assessment.

396A SPECIAL TOPICS (Seidelman, R.)

        Topic:  Debating Israel's History

        Israel’s history is hotly contested.  Passionate and varied positions exist on terminology, the causes of historical events and the impact of their outcomes.   In this course we will critically examine the depiction of Israeli history in art, film and historiography.  We will explore the concept of parallel narratives as it can be found in various aspects of Israeli history: leadership, society, institutions and war.  The aims of this course are: 1) to further understanding of Israeli history 2) to sharpen critical analysis skills through close readings of historiography, historical documents and non-textual historical representations.   We will explore the impact of various methods depiction while examining the benefits and challenges that ambiguity poses for the student of history.

HIST 396C Special Topics ( Jacobsen, N.)

        Topic: Indians and Nation-State Formation in Latin America

        This section has two goals: first, to achieve a good understanding of the varied and significant roles that indigenous groups played in the long process of building the modern Latin American nation states, from Mexico to Bolivia and Guatemala to Brazil; and second, to help students to produce a significant piece of research and writing associated broadly with the theme of the course. Each week we will read on specific aspects of Indian/nation-state relations - from the revolutions of independence 200 years ago to the modern indigenous rights movements. And each week we will tackle a specific task in the research and writing process so that everyone remains on target for producing a sharp paper at the end of the semester. Possible topics range from the portrayal of Indians in novels and essays, to indigenous rebellions, the recruitment of Indians for armies, and the role of protestant missionaries in indigenous communities.

400 Level

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

        “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. Students will propose and pursue an original research project that may be published on a public class wiki page.


       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.

442G4/U3 ROMAN LAW AND LEGAL TRAD (Mathisen, R.)

       This course will focus on the role played by law, broadly writ, in the Roman world, and at what the law tells us about Roman political, administrative, and social institutions. It will look at how the law was administered and at the role of the Roman Senate and popular assemblies, Roman officials and emperors, and barbarian kings in the promulgation of law from the Republican era on into the Byzantine period and the barbarian successor states. It will consider both public and private law, and how legal processes impacted the lives of individual Romans.

466G2/G4/U3 SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE (Todorova, M.)

       This course covers the history of the creation and development of the independent Balkan states (Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and later Yugoslavia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and partly Turkey) during the 19th and 20th centuries. This process, whose obverse side was the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, can be approached as a case study of the larger and general process of dissolution of multinational empires into nation states that dominated much of Europe's experience in this period. Special attention is given to Balkan nationalism, its roots, evolution and various manifestations. The modernization of the rural societies of the Balkans, their state and nation building are major problems of comparative analysis. Other topics cover ethnic conflict and/or accommodation, inter-Balkan relations, and the role of the great powers in the region. Finally, a close look will be taken on contemporary developments in the Balkans, especially the Yugoslav crisis. By reading and discussing fictional work and showing several films by Balkan authors, the course will provide a look also at the intellectual production of the region. Books for discussion are assigned on a weekly basis. Additional texts, maps and other materials will be provided by the professor.

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.

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 first half of the class will focus on immigration from Europe and Asia during the period 1840-1924.  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. Contemporary topics such as undocumented migration, the second generation and transnational cultures will be discussed in the last weeks of the semester.

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


     As Americans careen from hope to fury, trading accusations of Islamophobia and sinister elitism, how do we explain who counts as worthy rights-bearing Americans and who doesn't, whose words are censored, whose bodies are tortured, and whose consciences are not?  This discussion class contextualizes issues of “security versus freedom” in the post-9/11 world by tracking the construction of boundaries between the enlightened "us" and the barbaric "them" through a number of case studies: narratives of the Salem witch trials; civil liberties restrictions and images of the enemy “other” in WWI and the so-called “Good War” (especially the mass confinement of Japanese-Americans”); the Red Scares after each of those wars (McCarthyism anchors the course); and the resentments generated by protest movements in the late 1960s. 

     Were these “crises of tolerance” manipulated for political or economic gain, were they rational responses to real danger, or were they fundamentally “irrational”? Who were the victims and victimizers in assaults on subversive conspiracies, and how and why did the composition of these groups change?   Who really has hated us for our freedoms? In weekly one-page response papers, an in-class midterm, a 7-page position paper, and a 10-page comprehensive final argumentative essay, students will develop, challenge and test hypotheses related to such questions. These assignments will draw upon class discussion, several films, a couple of short texts, and a weighty course packet that combines primary sources—speeches, “This is the Enemy” posters, etc., from the time--with historians' interpretative debates to survey the American battlefield over liberty, subversion, and citizenship.


       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.

481G2/G4/U3  US INTEL CULTR HIST FROM 1859 (Oberdeck, K.)

        Same as RLST 479.

        This lecture/discussion course surveys the development of modern American culture since the mid-nineteenth century.  It focuses on the relation between national cultural trends and cultural diversity across lines of class, ethnic, gender and region; the impact of Darwinian ideas on Protestant religious traditions and concepts of racial and ethnic difference; the changing role of intellectual "experts"; the significance of popular and mass culture; the influence of social and political reform movements; the meanings of "modernism" and "postmodernism".  Course materials include primary written documents from American intellectual and cultural life as well as videos from American film and TV history and images from the popular and fine arts.  There will be two papers, one in-class midterm and an in-class final exam.  Class attendance and participation are required and encouraged.


       The twentieth century was a great age of historical writing, and we will be reading some of its most innovative and engaging books in a wide variety of fields by historians including Eric Foner, E. J. Hobsbawm, Fernand Braudel, Natalie Z. Davis, Christine Stansell, Peter Brown, and William Cronon.  From the beginning of the semester, students will also be researching topics and preparing a prospectus for their senior thesis; there will be time for discussion, revision, and reflection on how the readings for the course offer methodological tools for students’ own work.  Finally, we will regularly discuss grammar and style so that students can begin their thesis with good writing skills and an understanding of the special demands of historical writing.    


       Topic: Fads, Health & Wellness

       Meets with 498A.


        Topic: Soldiers’ Reflections on War

        Meets with 498B.


        Topic: Colonial Practices and Representations

        Meets with 498C.

495DH Research and Writing Sem (Crowston, C.)

        Meets with 498D.

        Topic: Practices & Places of Enlightenment

        Meets with 498 D.

495HH  Research and Writing Sem (Mitchell, R.)

        Topic: Music, Power, and Resistance in History

        Meets with 498H.

495KH  Research and Writing Sem (Kurhajec, A.)

        Topic: 1960s Radicalism in the U.S. and Beyond

        Meets with 498K.

495MH  Research and Writing Sem (Espiritu, A.)

        Topic: American Empire

        Meets with 498M.


        Topic: Fads, Health & Wellness                                                

        How have scientific medicine and popular culture informed perceptions of health and wellness in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries? The popularity of diets, food supplements, exercise, and pharmaceuticals promoted ideals of healthy bodies and the management of sickness. This course will examine magazines, movies, health reports, self-help books, cookbooks and advertising as primary documents to understand the historical evolution of the desire for a healthy, fit, and beautiful body..


        Topic: Soldiers’ Reflections on War

        This course will examine how soldiers have reported on war and testified to how it transformed them.  What was it like to learn how to kill and to learn how to see death.  What sort of bonds of intimacy were created on the front and how did relations with the homefront thicken or fray?  What sort of creature was war?  We will concentrate on key nineteenth and twentieth century texts at the beginning of the class; students will then prepare their own examination of a single soldierly text as the basis of their research paper.   While texts will be drawn from modern Europe and the United States, and, with a single example, Japan, research papers could range more broadly in time and space.  From World War I to the Persian Gulf War, soldiers' writings will include texts by Jünger, Remarque, Mailer, Timm, Reese, Ooka, O'Brien, and Swofford. Students should read Swofford's Jarhead for the first day of class. 


        Topic: Colonial Practices and Representations

        This seminar will focus on modern European Imperialism, primarily in Africa and the Middle East.  In addition to studying the political, social, economic, and scientific aspects of colonialism, we will also look at the culture of imperialism and the relationship between culture and politics in maintaining and justifying a colonial empire.  Major themes include the display of colonies and colonial peoples, attempts to control the colonies, and representations of the colonies in art, literature, and film as well as the varied responses to these representations.  This class examines the experiences of both the colonizer and the colonized in the colonies as well as the metropole.  Students will spend much of the semester devoted to their own research and writing of a paper that examines colonial practices and representations.


        Topic: Practices & Places of Enlightenment

        The European Enlightenment is still hailed by many as a watershed moment in the creation of the modern worldview. Enlightenment thinkers addressed numerous vexing problems of human society, including despotic governments, individual rights and liberties, education, gender roles, and slavery. Their writings championed reason, universalism and progress as key values. A key element of recent historical writing is an emphasis on the practices, through which and the places in which Enlightenment thought was developed. The rise of city life, the growth of literacy, the spread of book publishing, new venues for transmitting ideas and novel forms of sociability are all seen as inseparable from Enlightenment ideas, including its emphasis on civil society and public opinion. Historians have also paid increasing attention to the places in which Enlightenment thought emerged. Lending libraries, salons, coffee-houses, city squares and Masonic lodges were all places where Enlightenment philosophers and their sympathizers gathered to discuss, debate, and critique their society. Women had access to some of these places but were excluded from others. Just as, distinctive branches of thought emerged in different parts of Europe, so did the philosophes spend a great deal of time thinking about geography and the differences among peoples in different parts of the world. This course will examine the practices and places of Enlightenment. Our aim will be to understand these new practices and places and how they contributed to the development of new ideas and debates. Students will read primary sources by Enlightenment thinkers as well as secondary sources in order to produce an independent research project.    


     Topic: Music, Power, and Resistance in History

      For centuries, thinkers around the world have observed the interrelationship between music, power and resistance. In "The Republic", Plato warned of the unique dangers that music presented to established power structures, claiming that “any musical innovation is full of danger to the whole State, and ought to be prohibited. . . when modes of music change, institutions of the State always change with them.”

     In contrast to Plato’s emphasis on the creation of a stable governing power, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche acknowledged music’s role as a form of silent protest, claiming “music reaches its high-water mark only among men who have not the ability or the right to argue.”

     Building upon both these perspectives, this class will examine the conflicting relations between music, power and resistance across a wide range of historical and cultural contexts, including ancient Greece, colonial US and Latin America, nineteenth-century Europe, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and postwar Communist Europe.

     Throughout the course, we will seek to break down contemporary classifications of music into “high” and “low” culture, focusing instead upon questions of how various musical traditions have expressed, embodied or rejected power relations existing within a given society and specific historical context. For this reason, the musical sources open for exploration will range from classical to popular forms, including rock and folk idioms as well as traditional religious music (Christian, Jewish and Islamic).


     Topic: 1960s Radicalism in the U.S. and Beyond

     By nearly all accounts, the 1960s represents a time of great political and social upheaval in the United States. By the end of the sixties, millions of U.S. Americans thought some kind of revolution was both necessary and imminent. This intensity did not develop in a vacuum: 1960s activists were radicalizing in a moment of global transformation and taking the lead from international liberation movements and a long history of Black Freedom Struggle within the United States. In this seminar we will explore the radical moment of the 1960s in both a national and global context. Through shared readings and dialogue we will historicize and contextualize this period, thinking about how and why different kinds of radicalism functioned as they did. Throughout the semester students will develop individualized research projects in consultation with the instructor and in line with the themes of the course.



        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: Senior Honors Thesis

             This seminar is required of all seniors in the Honors Program, and is designed to be taken concurrently with History 493 (Honors Senior Thesis).  It will meet bi-weekly throughout the year and will supplement individual students' meetings with their primary advisors. Its purpose is to provide an intellectually supportive environment in which students work together on common methodological problems, share the results of their research, and critique developing projects.

500 Level


      Topic: Comparative Microhistory

      What does it mean to change the scale of perspective in history? In science, observation through the telescope or through the microscope, in addition to the naked eye, are equally legitimate, as well as complementing. In history, there is still the tendency to prioritize certain approaches, to pronounce their scale of perspective as more “significant.”

        The goal of this graduate seminar is to serve as an introduction to a relatively new historical field – microhistory – which has been flourishing since the late 1970s.  What paradigm did the first microhistorians challenge? What traditions did they step on? What new directions has microhistorical research taken in the past decades? How does it differ across chronological, geographical and social boundaries?

        The format of the course is negotiable, but typically will consist of class discussions on readings, book reviews and a final historiographical or research paper. The readings draw on a variety of historical schools and aim at providing a solid introduction to the scholarly literature. They are clustered around a list of mandatory books (at Illini Bookstores), an extensive list of books on reserve, supplemented by articles and reviews that will be available during the course.   We are going to read the work of the original Italian school (Carlo Ginzburg, Giovanni Levi, Guido Ruggiero, and other historians around Quaderni Storici), the antecedents to the microhistory in historical anthropology and the Annales school, the cultural approach in the work of early modernists (Natalie Zemon Davis and Robert Darnton), as well as examples of microhistorical research from different locales and from different historical eras: India, China, Latin America, the Atlantic, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Africa.


        Topic:  Bodies and Evidence

        Course description not available at time of publication.


        Topic: Brazil

        History of Brazil from Independence to the early 20th century, with special attention to the Brazilian historical literature.


     Topic: Europe and the World in 17th Century   

      Problems in Early Modern European History will meet with a Seminar in Early Modern European History, 1500-1815. We will read very recent work in early modern studies, including scholarship on daily life, gender, political thought, and European expansion. We will use our reading to discover and develop research topics in all periods and fields. Students in all fields are welcome, as are students from other disciplines.


           Topic: Europe and the World in 17th Century

           This course will meet with HIST 545. We will read very recent work in early modern studies, including scholarship on daily life, gender, political thought, and European expansion. We will use our reading to discover and develop research topics in all periods and fields. Students in all fields are welcome, as are students from other disciplines.              

551B PROB EUROPEAN HIST SINCE 1789 (Hitchins, K.)

        Topic: Liberalism, Nationalism, Communism, and Fascism in Eastern Europe, 1900-1939

        Politics, social and economic conditions, the intellectual climate, and art and literature as reflections of an era of crisis. The identity of Eastern Europe within a broader European framework.


        Topic: The Making of the Russian Empire

        This graduate seminar will examine the political and cultural genesis of the Russian Empire in the 16th-18th centuries.  In the first part of the course, focusing on the period 1500-1680, we will analyze the political processes that gave birth to this new state.  What forces drove Russia’s expansion into a vast Eurasian Empire? How might it be compared to its predecessors (Rome, Byzantium, the Mongols) as well as its rivals, the early modern European empires?  How did these changes reflect—as well as induce—broad changes in the political economy and environmental history of Eurasia, and with it the early modern world? In the second part of the course, we will focus on the cultural revolution that attempted to create a new, European-style imperial Russian society.  Here our focus will shift to the creation of new Russian artistic and literary traditions, as well as new forms of imperial sociability.   Readings will include broad surveys of the new imperial history; specialized historical monographs on political and cultural historical themes; and original works of Russian literature, music and architecture placed in historical context.  The instructor is happy to accommodate students from a wide variety of specialties, and would be happy to discuss the course with any interested parties. Please contact him at jwr@illinois.edu .

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

       Topic:  Racial Formation in 19th Century US

        This course, taught in a seminar format, centers on the reading and discussion of ten books and several articles.   The readings open onto broad questions regarding the ways in which ideas about race, and racist practices, developed out of the experience of settler colonialism as well as out of racial slavery.  With exceptions drawn from the writings of Herman Melville, the books are historical, albeit interdisciplinary, in their approaches.  Students will report on one book not read by classmates and will lead discussion (with a partner) once during the semester.  Short (2-3 pp.) writing assignments accompany those tasks.  A longer (12-15 pp.) final paper puts a primary source (or sources) of the student's choosing into dialogue with the historians' works. For that reason the course may also be taken as a research seminar.

573A  SEMINAR AMER HIST SINCE 1789 (Barrett, J.)

        Topic: Immigration, Race, and Class in 20th Century America

       This will be a research seminar in American social history of the twentieth century with a special emphasis on class, race, and ethnicity in working-class populations.  We will focus on the historical experiences of common people -- at home, in the workplace, or in the community.  Projects focusing on women's, family, urban, intellectual and cultural, and other types of historical research are welcome as long as they focus on non-elites.  My own interests at the moment involve the subjective dimensions of American labor history, ethnic and racial identity and relations among workers from diverse backgrounds, and cosmopolitan experiences and outlooks among workers.  I am also interested in religious belief, the nature of emotional bonds, and generational conflict within wage earning families.

            There are several goals in the seminar:  The first is to develop an impression of the key historiography up to this point.  This reading part of the seminar will be concentrated early in the term with most of the remainder of the term set aside for research and writing.  A second goal is to consider some new conceptual approaches, not in the abstract, but as they might be implemented with new sources and research methods.  The course also aims to introduce students to the research process itself -- choosing and refining a topic; developing analytical questions to frame your work; identifying and securing sources; writing and revising one's work; criticizing and helping others with theirs.  We will be looking at a wide variety of sources and methods by visiting parts of the library and other research venues.  The ultimate aim, of course, is to produce a substantial, original research paper that will be shared with others -- in the seminar itself, at a conference, and eventually through publication.

            In order to equip students with the information they need to do their research and writing, we will meet twice each week, once at the scheduled meeting time and once at a mutually convenient time in the evening, for the first several weeks of the term.  From that point on, students will be working on their own, though I will meet with you individually to discuss your projects.  The group will reassemble around the middle of the term to discuss research proposals and again toward the end of the term to discuss rough drafts. Although we have a wonderful research library and other resources on campus, it may be necessary to do some traveling and to use inter-library loan.  We will discuss these and other scheduling problems early in the term, but students should be thinking about them and developing a topic, in advance of the seminar.

            Grades in the course are based not only on the final paper, but also on one's role in the collective work of the seminar -- discussions of the literature, sources, and methods and constructive criticism of one's own and other students' work.  Shorter written assignments will include ideas for research topics, research proposals, bibliographies, and critiques of others' papers.  These exercises will constitute steps toward the final paper.  Please be prepared to work collectively by sharing ideas and sources and reading one another's work seriously.  Final drafts of all papers will be due during the final exam period at the end of the semester and, in the interests of the students involved, I will not provide extensions on the deadlines.

            I will be glad to discuss your research interests with you before the beginning of the fall semester.


         This seminar for first-year graduate students is the second half of the introductory graduate sequence and is devoted to 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. Students will work with the instructors and an advisor toward the completion of an original, article-length research paper.