Spring 2015 Course Guide

100 Level

100 AL1 - GLOBAL HISTORY (Burton, A)

This course is an introduction to the world history of the last 700 years. Our approach emphasizes imperial power as a framework for capturing the eruptive moments and intimate experiences of an unevenly integrating global system in this period. We deal with revolutions, cultural contact and embodied histories in local, regional, national and global contexts. Our major themes are the rise and fall of empires, the worlds that trade has made and the work of women, gender and the body in shaping world histories.

Wherever possible we try to examine these histories from below: from the bottom up, from the vantage point of common people, and with an eye to how global connections succeed and fail on the ground of human experience and/or the natural environment. You should come away with a sense of globalization¹s deep history, and an appreciation for why you need historical skills to understand what it means to be living in the shadow of a variety of global pasts.

106 A - MODERN LATIN AMERICA  (Hertzman, M)

What’s happening in Latin America today, and how have the last two hundred years shaped the present?  What can the history of Latin America tell us about the future of the United States, an increasingly Latin@ nation?  This course will address these and other questions through a careful (and also entertaining) reading of “modern” Latin America (ca. 1800 to present day).  Special attention will be paid to race, gender, class, and diplomatic relations between Latin America and the U.S.

110 A - HISTORY OF AFRICA (Nobili, M)

This course consists of a survey of African history, or rather African 'histories'. Along with historical knowledge, it seeks to give students a basic familiarity with Africa’s geographic and anthropological setting, as well as to provide an overview on African languages. The course covers a lengthy span of time, from the early civilizations to the 21st century. Through the analysis of secondary as well as of primary sources, students will first discover and examine the development of pre-colonial African societies, following which the focus will shift to the past two centuries, with the growth of European influence on the continent culminating with the colonial period. Finally, students will engage in the study of the process of decolonization and the dynamics of contemporary African states. The course will include lectures, documentaries, and discussions on the readings and of novels.


Same as EALC 120

This course examines East Asian civilizations from the seventeenth century to the present time. In order to introduce this expansive four-century-long history efficiently, we have divided the course into four parts. The first part covers the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and addresses the political and social-economic changes in Qing China, Tokugawa Japan, and Joseon Korea. The second part covers the nineteenth century, focusing on how Japan and China reacted to and remade itself in the face of challenges from Western countries. The third part covers the first half of the twentieth century, and the focus will be on how the Japanese empire governed and influenced East Asian regions, like Taiwan and Korea, and  on how Japan and China eventually slid into the Second Sino-Japanese War. The last part covers East Asian history since 1945. In addition to introducing the different paths take by East Asian countries in pursuit of economic prosperity, we will examine some contemporary issues from a historical perspective, such as Sino-Japanese disputes over wartime grievances and Hong Kong’s relationship with China after 1997. This course is designed for students interested in East Asian history and culture, and students will encounter a variety of sources, including official archives, diaries, and novels. By reading and digesting all these materials, students will cultivate a comprehensive understanding of East Asian history and culture, and will be able to analyze and explain key East Asian issues from a historical perspective.


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


Please see course description for HIST 141.



Meets with HIST 140 AL1

This course explores the major processes, ideas, and events that formed societies from ancient Mesopotamia to the European colonization of the Americas:  over four thousand years of human endeavor.  Distant though this history may seem, it shapes our everyday lives in fundamental ways; our languages, living spaces, food, clothing, gender roles, sexual mores, political institutions, values, beliefs, basic assumptions – all are products of the distant past. Students will investigate the shared and contested heritage of the West, which includes elements drawn from the diverse peoples of western Asia, North Africa, and Europe and which gave rise to the interrelated religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Major themes include the growth and transformation of empires, the changing status of women, forms of kingship and law, migration and exploration, the impact of new technologies, and the relationships among the cultures of classical Greece, the Roman Empire, Byzantium, and the Christian and Muslim kingdoms of the medieval world.  This course also serves as an introduction to the craft of history, as both an intellectual discipline and a basic human need.

142 AL1 - WESTERN CIVILIZATION SINCE 1660 (Fritzsche, P)

Meets with 143 AL1

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.         


Please see course description for HIST 142 .

172 AL1 - US HISTORY SINCE 1877 (Reagan, L)

Meets with HIST 173 AL1

Course description not available at time of posting.

173 AL1 - US HISTORY SINCE 1877-ACP (Reagan, L)

Please see course description for HIST 172.

174 AL1 - BLACK AMERICA, 1619-PRESENT (McDuffie, E)

Same as AFRO 101

Please see course description for AFRO 101.

200 Level


Topic: Gender and Crime in the Early Modern World

What can the study of crime and punishment tell us about the past and about our present? This course will explore the range of behavior considered criminal in the early modern world (1450-1815) and set it beside a study of gender to examine the ways in which definitions of crime intersected, shaped, and were shaped by notions of femininity, masculinity, and gender. We will consider the importance of legal codes to early modern conceptions of order and lawfulness and study how different legal systems enforced the law. The class will also examine systems of punishment and how theories about punishment varied depending on religious belief and cultural values. Using a comparative approach we will study crime and gender in early modern Europe, colonial America, the Caribbean, the near east, and Asia. The readings will include primary sources like trial transcripts, newspapers, and pamphlets as well as a range of scholarship on these questions. Assignments include response papers, a mid-term examination, and a research paper based on primary sources, and a poster presentation


Topic: The 1960s

This class will focus on the History of the 1960s, a tumultuous decade in the social and political history of the United States.  The class has two main goals: 1. Provide a solid knowledge of the history of this period and its social and economic developments.  2. Develop skills as a researcher, analytic reader and writer in academic history.  The first part of the semester will be devoted to the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s on. The "Great Society ", the Vietnam War and urban unrest will take up the middle of the semester.  The last part of the semester will be devoted to the cultural and social diversity that developed from the mid 1960s on.  While the classic forms of historical writing will form some of the core readings, sources and other materials will also come from the social sciences, oral histories, newspapers, document reports, art exhibitions, movies and music.  Historians need to feel comfortable with all types of sources to do their work effectively!


Topic: History of "Black Music" in the Americas and Beyond

Can we use music to write history?  What, exactly, is “black music,” and how has the category shaped (and been shaped by) larger understandings of race, music, and nation?  This course explores such questions while providing a broad introduction to what it means to write history and an exploration of how history can help prepare you for a wide range of career paths.  In this version of History 200, you will develop research skills, familiarize yourself with new technology, and learn how to ask and answer difficult, complex questions, all while listening to, discussing, and writing about great music.


Topic: Making History Local: Approaches to Place-Based US History in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond

This introduction to historical interpretation will focus on histories that focus on local places and communities in order to illuminate broader historical questions, while also engaging with specific communities interested in preserving and investigating their own past.   We will consider the methods historians use to look at place-based history in terms of landscape/environment; the built environment of private and public spaces and their meanings; oral histories of community and local struggle related to particular places; /global connections; public history and its institutions; and the different questions deriving from the study of rural as opposed to urban places.  The class will engage in a group project transcribing a local oral history of the 5th and Hill neighborhood in Champaign and its movement for environmental justice, will serve as a "laboratory" for connecting some of these approaches to a practical project. Methodological as well as historiographical readings featuring various issues arising from the project of place-based history will illustrate the relevance of this worker to history in other local places.  In addition to the group project, students will each develop a rationale and plan of research for an imagined historical project connecting local sources to broader historical issues, as well as a number of shorter exercises involving the analysis of historical arguments and various kinds of primary sources.


A "Great Books Course" has been a core demand of those postulating the necessity of immersing American college students in the wonderful works of the European civilization since Homer and Plato.  This course applauds the idea of offering direct exposure of students to the great works produced in the course of world civilizations.  But it shifts gears by focusing on works -- now arguably part of a common world heritage -- that have been written outside of Europe, in another emerging civilization: that of Latin America during the past 500 years, combining heavy doses of European influences (e.g. the language of the works) with indigenous, African and other cultural influences in the setting of colonial and post-colonial polities.  The purpose of the course is to offer students direct engagement with some of the finest and most profound works written by Latin Americans, from poetry and novels to social and political treatises or essays to works of history, philosophy and theology.  Since this is a history class we will be less concerned with the formal qualities of these works and more with what they reveal about fundamental issues debated and struggled over during the era when they were written.


Survey of major themes and events in Southern African political and cultural history, with emphasis on the period after World War II: the inception and development of apartheid in South Africa, the growth of contests over African nationalism in the subcontinent, wars of liberation, the demise of colonial domination, and challenges faced by independent nations. Aspects of southern Africa's rich cultural heritage will also be discussed. Prerequisite: HIST 110 or consent of instructor.



Same as EALC 222 and RLST 224

Please see course description for EALC 222.


Course description not available at time of posting.

252 AL1 - 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.


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

259 A - 20th CENTURY WORLD FROM MIDCENTURY (Ghamari-Tabrizi, B)

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.

260 A – HISTORY OF RUSSIA (Koenker, D)


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



Same as ANTH 275 and RLST 275

Please see course description for ANTH 275.


269 A – JEWISH HISTORY SINCE 1700 (Seidelman, R)

Same as RLST 269

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed a profound transformation of Jewish life, culture, and religion.  Jews emerged out of their “ghettos” and enjoyed unprecedented economic and professional success throughout the “long” nineteenth century.  These transformations included changes in every facet of life – from occupations and residence, family life and marriage, as well as religious behavior and social integration.  Yet Jewish modernization differed from region to region and was imbued with profound contradictions and tensions.  What did it mean to be a Jew in the modern world?  How were Jewish identities redefined in response to the social and political opportunities, as well as the hostilities and hatreds, of the modern age?  How did the Holocaust realign the political and cultural geographies of Jewish life?                


270 A – UNITED STATES HISTORY TO 1815 (Hughes, M)


Course description not available at time of posting.



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.


274  AL1 – 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, with significant ramifications for world events and for  U.S. politics, society, and culture.  Over the course of the semester we will consider both U.S. engagement with the world and the connections between foreign and domestic affairs


275 A – AFRO-AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1877 (Hogarth, R)

Same as AFRO 275

This course examines the history of people of African descent in the North America, and will cover the period from colonial settlement to Reconstruction.  In this course, we focus on the social, political, economic, medical, and cultural formations that shaped and characterized the experiences of African Americans.  This course is designed to show how African American’s historical identity grew directly out of their experience in a unique American society based on human slavery and racial inequality, among other things. Key topics include Atlantic slavery, slavery in the colonial era, the expansion of domestic slavery, enslaved people’s resistance strategies, growing civic and political activism and principles of self-determination within free black communities, and the Civil War, emancipation, and its aftermath.



Same as AFRO 276

This course surveys the African American experience from 1877 to the present, or from the Nadir into the New Nadir. It examines the interaction between the African American’s community-building efforts and post-slavery systems of racial oppression. It surveys transformations of African Americans from sharecropping and apartheid in the South, through migration, urbanization, and proletarianization in the North and West, to contemporary deindustrialization and racialized incarceration. It explores the processes by which African Americans created and maintained independent institutions and a distinct culture through which they built social movements for equality, self-determination and/or social transformation. It chronicles several phases of the Black liberation movement, including the New Negro, civil rights, and Black Power movements. It explores unification and fragmentation among African American people. Consequently, much attention is given to Black workers and issues of class, Black women and questions of gender, and the problems of African American youth and generational conflict.

HISTORY 276/AFRO 276 is a Black/Africana Studies course. Therefore, we will introduce material from a trans-disciplinary perspective. It also means that we will approach the material from the standpoint of the interpretations and interest of the African American people. Our concepts, theories, paradigms, and pedagogical practices will be drawn from the discipline of Africana/Black Studies.

HISTORY 276/AFRO 276 is also a United States history course. It explores an American story, but one told from the underside, a harrowing tale by the survivors of the 500-year-old holocaust of white supremacist terror. It is a tale of critique, of opposition to America as it was and is.  It is the story of opposition to oppression, of opposition from diverse currents surging through waves of African American resistance. The wave represented by William Monroe Trotter, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Charles Hamilton Huston, Mary McLeod Bethune Ella Baker, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson, Jr. fought to make America fulfill its promise(s), to in the words of African American poet laureate Langston Hughes “To Let America Be America Again” as they fought for inclusion, for incorporation into the United States’ polity and civil society. And for other Blacks, like Rev. Henry McNeal Turner, Marcus Garvey, Queen Mother Audrey Moore, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur and Kwame Toure` (Stokely Carmichael), those who in the words of neo-soul artist D’Angelo, resisted  “a slice of the Devil’s Pie,” it is a struggle for self-determination, for a return to the continent of their origin or for the creation of an autonomous African American nation. Yet for others, like Peter H. Clark, Langston Hughes, Claudia Jones, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Huey P. Newton and Angela Davis it was a struggle to transform the United States into an equalitarian society free of economic exploitation and racial oppression. Regardless of the strategy or ideology of particular African Americans, at its core African American history is a struggle for what jazz artist Cassandra Wilson has called “Justice.”


The reference to individuals and particularly individuals from diverse political perspectives is deliberate.  The multivocal voice of African Americans is central to HISTORY 276/AFRO 276.  This course is largely about agency, African American actions on their own behalf. The biographical approach allows us to highlight individual initiative and to interrogate the African American experience from an interior perspective, to examine the intimate lived experiences of a broad range of African Americans over long periods of time.  Some of the people whose lives we explore were “History Makers,” in the sense that they were famous elite actors that left documents registering their contributions and describing their visions.  Others were unsung heroes, those of whom reggae artist Bob Marley claimed, “only the half has been told.” These include local leaders, and Black nationalists and radicals that the State sought to silence and render invisible. Yet, the bedrock of this course is the exploration of the lived experiences of the Black masses, the unknown people who left few private records and mainly appear in history through public documents. This course combines biographical and structural approaches to produce an understanding the African American experience.


The structural approach used in this course interrogates the dialectical relationship between changing systems of U.S. capitalist political economy, an evolving federal governmental system, the institutions and ideologies of racial oppression, and the self emancipatory practices of African American people. It delineates the elements of racial oppression, including the institutional and ideological apparatuses.  It also provides a periodization of African American socio-historical development.



Same as AAS 281, AFRO 281, and LLS 281

Course description not available at time of posting.


Same as LA 242, NRES 242, and RST 242

Please see course description for RST 242.



Same as AAS 283

This course begins in the early modern period, following the “discovery” of the Americas, and covers the experiences of early Asian immigrants in the U.S. from the Gold Rush to World War II.  The first part of this course focuses on immigration, labor, community formation, exclusion, and incarceration.  The second portion of the course highlights the significant changes within Asian American communities since 1965, including the 1960s social movements, new immigrants, the Vietnam and Korean Wars, and the 1992 Los Angeles unrest.  Students will be graded based on two exams (one midterm, one final), two papers, in-class discussion and participation, and presentations.



Same as AFRO 287 and GWS 287

This course provides an overview of the history of African American women, from the beginnings of enslavement through the twentieth century.  This course is an overview of multiple components of African American women’s history with a specific attention to the economic, social, and political conditions of their lives and their ongoing struggle for freedom, equality, and power. The course will also explore the diversity of experiences and circumstances within and between African American women’s communities along the lines of gender, class, sexual orientation, place, and time. This course will center the voices of African American women using primary and secondary sources to explore their lives as activists, workers, mothers, citizens, and theoreticians.




Same as ANTH 288 and AIS 288

Please see course description for ANTH 288.


295 A – HONORS COLLOQUIUM (Liebersohn, H)

Topic: History of Travel

Description:  If history is virtual travel, what could be a more exciting itinerary than great voyages of discovery?  Travel expeditions from Columbus to the present provide fascinating glimpses of contact between European and non-European peoples.  They also made it possible for Europeans to map, explore, and conquer the vast reaches of the world.  This class will explore these voyages, some real, others fictional.  We will discuss the ambitions of statesmen at home, the drama of life at sea, the impact of encounters on hosts abroad, and the challenges to travelers’ preconceived beliefs; we will consider voyages as historical enterprises and also as material for the human imagination that live on in the work of artists and novelists.




Same as MACS 300

Topic: The History of African American Representation in Film

This course explores the representation of African Americans in U.S. film. It explores the conflicting presentation of the Black image, male and female, in film by white and Black film makers and the interpretation of those images by critics and activists from Black’s initial appearance in U.S. films through the “coon” and race films of the 1910-40s era, the racial liberal films of the 1950s-60s, to blaxploitation, to the Black cinema movement of the 1970s-80s, especially the Los Angeles School, the “urban”, and films of the contemporary moment. In this course, we will examine mainstream “Hollywood” films and works by independent filmmakers, Black and white with an eye toward examining the conflicting presentations of the Black image and exploring how the representation of Blacks has changed over time and across different genres of film. The course is especially concerned with how the struggle over the Black filmic image resonates with broader social struggles and issues surrounding African American life and history. Of utmost importance, is examining the socio-historical context, the political, social, and economic environment in which film is created, viewed, and understood. The course will also explore the question of Black identity through the treatment of the Black family, religion, and the issues of color, gender, class, sexuality, and their interrelation. Another important aspect of the course will be the examination of filmmakers’ depiction of movement activists and struggles for social change.



The operations of multinational corporations in poor countries have traditionally been vilified by those who believe they mainly exploit the peoples and resources of those countries, or celebrated by those who believe they bring jobs, development, and prosperity to areas that would not have experienced it otherwise. This course will engage in this debate by exploring the historical expansion of US and European multinational corporations in Latin America and Africa between the late nineteenth century and the late twentieth century.  We will focus on the political and social relationships between the multinationals and the domestic societies in sectors such as mining and agriculture.  We will also study different theoretical approaches that try to understand the role of multinationals in social and economic development as well as in the creation of a global economy.




Same as MDVL 345 and RLST 345

An introduction to the cultural history of western Europe during a pivotal millennium, from the fifth to the fifteenth century.  It was this “in-between” (medieval) era that generated today’s forms of education, identity, law, government, language, literature, architecture, art, and religious belief.  We will study some of the key texts and artifacts produced in this era, as well as some cutting-edge historical scholarship on crucial developments, focusing on three main sites of social interaction:  the monastic cloister, the princely court, and the city. Readings include the Rule of St. Benedict, the imperial biography of Charlemagne, the Song of Roland, the letters of Heloise and Abelard, medieval romances and troubadour poetry, the Inferno of Dante, and new interpretations of the Black Death as the first global pandemic. Students will be required to participate actively and thoughtfully in class discussions and exercises, to complete all readings and assignments, and to write several short papers. No prior knowledge of medieval history is required, and there are no prerequisites.



Same as RLST 347

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

In this course we will examine the many faces of this age by reading and discussing firsthand accounts of this time of creativity and destruction, hope and fear. In each class we will discuss the primary sources of the age of Reformations, focusing on the relationship between text and context. The course begins by examining Christianity and society in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

349 A – AGE OF REVOLUTION, 1775-1815 (Crowston, C)


The late eighteenth century witnessed a series of revolutions in the Atlantic world that transformed modern history and left a legacy of ideals and conflicts that continues to agitate today’s world. This course will investigate the social, economic, cultural and political background to revolution as well as the major events and outcomes of revolutionary movements in British North America, France and Saint-Domingue (the modern-nation of Haiti). Among  our questions will be: What was the impact of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment on the outbreak of revolution? How did empire and imperial competition among European nations contribute to revolutionary movments? Also, how did ordinary people – such as peasants, sailors, women, native Americans and enslaved and free people of African descent  – help make revolutions? This course will be of interest to students of Europe and the Americas as well as those seeking to understand popular mobilization and protest in the modern era. The course will include an 8-week simulation of the Legislative Assembly of the French Revolution in which students will learn through assuming the roles of different actors in the revolution.


350 A – 19thC ROMANTICISM & POLITICS (Liebersohn, H)

Course description not available at time of posting.


352 A – EUROPE IN THE WORLD (Koslofsky, C)

Course description not available at time of posting.




It is universally acknowledged today that the ideas of Charles Darwin initiated one of the most profound and provocative transformations in all of human thought, science, and culture.  This is a seminar about the intellectual origins, scientific content, and social, cultural, and religious impact of Darwinian evolutionary theory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Our core subject will be Darwin’s life, work, and world.  The course also provides a historical case study in the development and diffusion of radical scientific ideas and explores the origins of the most successful and comprehensive theory in the contemporary life sciences.  We will also explore the historical influence of Darwin’s theories on diverse cultural fields, including religion, politics, philosophy, social theory, literature, gender relations, and international affairs. 




Course description not available at time of posting.


372 A – AMERICA’S REPUBLIC, 1780-1880 (Levine, B)

A study of political life in the U.S. during the century following the Revolution.  The course covers the appearance and evolution of republican government, the Constitution, the expansion of voting rights, the rise and fall of political parties, and the relationship of all these things to the development of economic and social relationships.




Course description not available at time of posting.




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.



Same as LLS 379

Please see course description for LLS 379.


381 A – URBAN HISTORY (Jovanic, M)

Topic:  The Modern City

This course focuses on the emergence of the modern city from the late 18th century until the present day. Students will be exposed to various historical perspectives on city life as one of the cornerstones of modernity. How have historians, sociologists, and planners engaged the Industrial era? How did new flows of commodities and migrants transform the lived experience of port cities and beyond? Where lies the border between the changing city and its hinterland? What did "modernity" mean for the performance of gender in public space? These are only some of the issues this course intends to examine. We will utilize a diverse set of sources to look at political, ecological, and social processes that continuously shape the urban space around us.



Same as AFRO 383 and GWS 383

This course looks at various and changing forms of political and social activism among African American women between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries.  We will explore the crucial cultural, economic, and political transformations that shaped African American women’s history and examine the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality that defined their experiences and politics.


386 A – PUBLIC HISTORY (Hoxie, F)


How is history presented to the general public? What separates "good" public history from "bad" public history?  How is presenting history to the public different from the formal communication typically employed by professional scholars (books, scholarly articles, etc.)?  This course will several arenas where historians have tried to engage the general public, including public monuments, documentary films, legal disputes involving historical issues and museum exhibits.  The course will include an examination of each of these arenas as well as an opportunity for students to become involved in a major collaborative project in which they will work together to produce an online exhibit on forgotten people and places in the history of the University of Illinois. 



Topic:  Immigration Law and Policy

This course explores the historical development of immigration policy, immigration restriction, nativist sentiment, and movements for immigrant rights and pushback against narrowing of the definition of America as a land of immigrants.  To do so, it will cover not only shifting policy, but also shifting attitudes, priorities, and mechanisms of state power and control which have impacted the composition of the nation’s immigrant population.  The idea of a nation founded upon open immigration has been a driving force of American national myth and imagination, and yet, since its inception, the nation has been deeply divided over immigration restriction and the narrowing of the “golden door” of opportunity.  This course will also seek to uncover the human experiences behind immigration policy shifts, restriction, and deportation. Rather than viewing laws as made and enforced entirely from the top-down, this course will examine the spread of social movements, from racially prejudiced nativist movements, to immigrant-led struggles for acceptance and a fair place in society, to demonstrate how laws are not made in a vacuum but rather in a diverse and vocal societal atmosphere.  As such, this course will focus on immigrant communities not only as passive subjects of immigrant policy, but as active participants in the debates, by tracing their communal and individual advocacy and protest activity.


396 A – SPECIAL TOPICS (Hoganson, K)

Topic: Great Books in  History – Freedom and Empire: Transborder Histories of Early America

For this course, we will read a selection of border-crossing histories of early America (from roughly 1800 to 1850).  These histories grapple with lasting themes of freedom and empire, as they played out in a heathen school, slave ships, a carriage ride across Napoleonic Europe, understandings of the Monroe Doctrine, and the war-ravaged provinces of northern Mexico.   By closely reading a selection of prize-winning and influential books and by putting these books into conversation with other forms of historical interpretation (such as articles, films, fiction, and first-person narratives), we will delve into the question:  what constitutes good history?  In addition to focusing on historical methods, we will pay close attention to the craft of writing, in the assigned texts and papers alike.


396 B – SPECIAL TOPICS (Cuno, K)

Topic: Palestinian History

This lecture/discussion course examines the main themes of Palestinian history during the past two centuries. The events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict necessarily frame this history, but in addition to Palestinian political history this course aims to explore their social and cultural history. This is an advanced course with reading that averages over 100 pages per week, including some literary works, weekly one-page responses to the readings, and three essays plus a final.




405 G2/G4/U3 – HISTORY OF BRAZIL FROM 1808 (Dávila, W)

Course description not available at time of posting.



Same as CWL 478 and EALC 476

Please see course description for EALC 476.




Course description not available at time of posting.


458 A3/A4 – CHRISTIANS & JEWS 1099-1789 (Price, D)

Same as RLST 458

Please see course description for RLST 458.


462 G2/G4/U3 – SOVIET UNION SINCE 1917 (Steinberg, M)

Topic: Experiencing Revolution

This course explores the history of the Soviet experiment, from the rise of Bolshevism to the fall of Communism, from the perspective of people’s experience. We will seek to understand the aims and effects of Soviet socialism across the lands of the former Russian empire. Above all, we will seek to understand how individuals and groups experienced, interpreted, and made this history. Most of the readings are primary texts, written by participants and witnesses—for a key purpose of the course is to listen to the past in its own voice, though also through our own questions and concerns.

466 G4/U3 – THE BALKANS (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.


467 G4/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.



Same as AFRO 460

This course examines the social, economic, political, and cultural transformations that gave rise to the slave trade and slavery in the Atlantic world and looks closely at the development of slavery, the rise of abolitionism, and the path to universal emancipation in the United States.  We will also explore circulations of ideas and connections of alliance that emerged as human trafficking and racial enslavement created a diaspora among people of African descent across the Atlantic.  



This course provides honors students in history an introduction to the changing ways history has been “done” over time, complementary and sometimes contesting approaches to historical practice in the recent past, and established as well as emerging techniques in historical research.  The general aim is to introduce you to a wide range of questions and problems that historians pursue, and the some of the means they employ to investigate those questions and problems.    We will also explore the resources of our library, both with regard to printed collections and electronic resources to help you explore the historiography and potential primary sources for your own senior honors theses.  These aims are also specific invitations for students to enter conversations and debates historians have bout their field, and engage these in the process of developing a proposal for your own senior honors research.




Meets with HIST 498 A

Please see course description for HIST 498 A.




Meets with HIST 498 B

Please see course description for HIST 498 B.




Meets with HIST 498 C

Please see course description for HIST 498 C.




Meets with HIST 498 D

Please see course description for HIST 498 D.



Topic: Empires: Mongols, Mughals, Ottomans

We shall investigate empires through a comparative study of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan and his successors, the Mughal Empire in India, and the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia and southeastern Europe. We shall also give some attention to the Safavid Empire in Persia. Our main concerns will be the formation of empires, their armies and methods of warfare, their conquests and treatment of conquered peoples, their political and economic organization, their religious and legal institutions, especially Islamic, their relations with Europe, and their decline. Besides surveys of each empire, we shall inquire into the nature of empires in general from Roman times to the twentieth century and thus place our three case studies within this broad historical context in order to see how empire building evolved. There will be readings, discussions and a research paper.


498 B – RESEARCH & WRITING SEMINAR (Ghamari-Tabrizi, B)

Topic: Orientalism and Its Critics

This course examines the ways in which the Orient has been imagined and described by Western missionaries, artists, filmmakers, and colonial administrators. This course requires original research in the library archives. Students are expected to work on group projects and presentations as well as individual research for a final paper.



Topic: The History of the Body in Eighteenth Century Europe


Seemingly the most natural element of human existence, the body is in fact deeply historical. Not only has the understanding of the body changed dramatically over time, humans’ experience and perception of their own bodies has also undergone profound transitions. With its monumental economic, social, political and intellectual innovations, eighteenth-century Europe is a crucial time and place in which to examine the body as a historical artifact. This course will explore the history of the body in eighteenth-century Europe from a wide variety of perspectives. We will read primary and secondary sources related to the laboring body and the function of apprenticeship as a means of transmitting embodied craft skills. We will also study the gendered and sexed body, the relationship between new concepts about race and imperial expansion, and the development of medical and intellectual theories about the role of the body’s senses in creating knowledge. Work, sex, pain, pleasure, blood, and racial difference – these topics and more will be the subjects of our readings. Students will be encouraged to think creatively and follow their own interests in selecting questions for their research papers.



Topic: Technology and Experience

This course analyzes the role of technology in major historical transformations. Did the invention of the stirrup in the 9th century helped transform Carolingian society into a feudal system? Did Gutenberg’s printing press bring about the Reformation? Did the invention of the cotton gin lead to the American Civil War by making cotton picking lucrative through slavery? Did “The Pill” cause a sexual revolution? Technology and Experience will analyze various ways in which historians introduce novel inventions into their narratives with the purpose of thinking critically about “technological determinism.” Students will read and discuss texts that explore ways of treating things and objects as historical actors.


499 A - THESIS SEMINAR (Randolph, J)

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 in the fall semester and will become a weekly writing workshop in the spring.  Throughout the year, it 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.





Topic: US Women and Gender History




Same as AFST 510

This course explores some of the major trends in African history and historiography. It will survey the different phases of the "discipline", from the production of knowledge on Africa in Europe before the colonial period, to multiple shifts in colonial and post colonial historiography up to the early 21st century. The course will focus on methods and sources of African history, tackling issues related to archeological, oral, and written sources. Finally, the last section will concentrate on the thematic issue represented by "race and slavery in Islamic Africa". Although the course spans on different areas of the African continent, West African will appear dominantly in the readings. 



Same as ANTH 504

Please see course description for ANTH 504.



Topic: Eastern European Historiography

The goal of this graduate seminar is to serve as an introduction to the complex historiography of Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe in the context of this course is understood as East-Central Europe and Southeastern Europe (the Balkans).  Russia, given that it has a hefty presence in the department curriculum, is not included, although it is considered to be a part of Eastern Europe. We will explore mostly English-language historiography but will try to inform each other about work done in the region.  Different approaches (socio-economic, political, cultural and intellectual history, the Annales paradigm, anthropology, political science, microhistory, etc.) as well as central themes (modernity, modernization, economic and social structure, nationalism, socialism, war, violence, representation) will be covered. The format of the course will consist of class discussions on readings, book reviews and a final historiographical research paper.


Topic: Politics, Society, and Culture in Modern Russia, 1801-1917

Major themes in the history and historiography of Russia from the early nineteenth century through the revolution of 1917. The course focuses on the exercise and justifications of authority, intellectual and cultural trends, and social life. Central to the course are questions of historical methodology and theory as well as of the interpretation of the Russian past. The emphasis is on examining new work and new approaches. Topics to be explored include practices and representations of power, the intelligentsia, the province, peasants, urban civil society, cultural trends, cities, sex, religion, empire, space, emotions, visualities.



Topic: Slavery and Society

This seminar explores the expansion of racial slavery in North America and the distinctive cultural, medical, social, and economic characteristics that shaped this institution over time and across distinct slave holding societies. We will focus on North American slavery, but we will also consider the experiences of displaced Africans in transit (during the middle passage) and within the Caribbean Basin. We will also critique scholarly investigations into the daily lives of slaves in a variety of different contexts and time periods. Finally, we will pay special attention to distinct but complementary patterns of resistance, community building, cultural production, and activism that allowed enslaved populations to re-negotiate their own bodies and social identity.


570 B – PROBLEMS IN AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1830 (Morrisey, R and Wilson, R)

Topic: Global Environmental History

This graduate readings course surveys environmental history in a global perspective.  We will explore new and classic environmental histories of different places around the world and place them in comparative and world contexts.   With weekly discussions focused around transnational themes, we will examine matters such as colonization, empire and natural history, science, commodities and capitalism, industrialization and pollution, borderlands, war and the environment, urbanization, environmental justice, and more.  Special attention will be paid to work that tells environmental history “from below.”  



Same as AFRO 501

Topic: Investigating Lynching and Racial Violence, 1867-2014

In the late sixties, Jamil Al-Amin (a.k.a. H. Rap Brown) declared, “Violence is as American as cherry pie.” Al-Amin's statement underscores the essential role of violence in maintaining systems of racial oppression in the United States. Racist violence was fundamental to the creation of the United States. The use of force and violence against African Americans and people of color are not options but fundamental to the maintenance of racial oppression in the U.S. Racist violence is the scaffolding upon which capitalist exploitation and white supremacy were erected. Collective violence, private and state sponsored against African Americans since emancipation has manifested itself in five dominant forms: whipping or “white capping,” lynching, race riots, police brutality, and hate crimes. Several forms of social control have occurred throughout the African American experience. Nonetheless, specific forms of racial violence have dominated particular historical periods. For instance, during slavery whipping was the preferred mechanism of punishment and very few blacks were lynched. After emancipation whipping now known as white capping continued but was soon eclipsed by lynching, not in raw numbers but as the most effective terrorist tool in the white supremacist arsenal. The number of black lynch victims gradually rose to supersede that of whites, such that during the nadir, 1890 to 1924, lynching had come to symbolize anti-black racial repression. Race riots were widespread in the 1830s, and in the aftermath of emancipation, they rivaled lynching as the embodiment of racial violence. However, after the turn to the 20th century, especially during the First Great Migration, they come to typify the dominant form of racial violence surpassing lynching and maintained that status into the Second World War. Beginning with the slave patrols, police brutality also has recurred throughout the African American socio-historical experience and while the practice was certainly high throughout the 20th century, particularly during the Second Great Migration, and it is extremely difficult to coordinate corroborating data, the contemporary moment, may represent to apogee of that practice of state sponsored racial violence.


This research seminar in African American history investigates lynching and other manifestations of racial violence, from the Emancipation era to the present, New Nadir, from 1867-2014. It is designed to provide training to graduate students in research skills with an emphasis on the use of African American source materials and social history methodologies. Students will spend a third of the semester reading seminal and contemporary books and articles, and major governmental reports on lynching, race riots and other forms of racial violence. This begins with African American testimonies before federal commissions about Emancipation/Reconstruction era violence, it highlights the work of anti-lynching activists such as Ida B. Well Barnett, examines the methodological approaches of sociologists, the first scholars to study lynching, and finally the course engages the work of historians, who as a discipline came to the study of racial violence. However, central to the course will be the self-activity of African Americans, other people and their allies in organizing resistance to the practice of racial terrorism. During the last two-thirds of class students will be engaged in investigating and writing a research paper on an episode or more than one incident of racial violence.


594 A – INTRO TO HISTORICAL WRITING (Chaplin, T and Jacobsen, N)


This seminar concludes the two-part sequence for first year History graduate students that began in HIST593A.  HIST 594 guides students in the writing of an original piece of historical scholarship while introducing them to disciplinary issues in the field.  Thus, while working to craft a research paper of article length (c. 10,000 words), our course will also examine such issues as: identifying and utilizing traditional and nontraditional sources, developing a research problem, crafting an extended interpretive argument, finding your authorial voice, formulating research and writing strategies, determining the role of theory, intervening in the historiography, identifying publication venues, and communicating findings across disciplinary fields.



Pedagogy Seminar

This Pedagogy Seminar is designed for graduate students in history. The course will help prepare students to teach their own courses in the Department of History at the University of Illinois (498, summer school, and stand-alone, semester-long courses). The course will also provide an opportunity for students to develop syllabi for teaching assignments beyond the U of I. Members of the Pedagogy Seminar will 1) read about and discuss theoretical and practical issues in teaching; 2) prepare a polished syllabus that can be included in job applications; 3) prepare a teaching portfolio that can be included in job applications; and 4) gain evidence on their transcript of having received pedagogy training.


The Pedagogy Seminar is open to all graduate students who have completed requirements for candidacy. While the course is designed for those in their fourth year or beyond, third-year graduate students may also enroll. This eight week course meets from March 16, 2015 until May 6, 2015. Attendance at all sessions is required.