Spring 2017 Course Guide


100 Level

100 AL1 - 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. This was the first global age: the first time trade, conquest, and colonization connected all parts of the globe as never before, unleashing unprecedented economic and environmental forces.  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

101 A – HISTORY NOW! (Barnes, T)

Topic: The Death of Cecil the Lion

In 2015 a dentist from Minnesota spent $54,000 to travel to Zimbabwe and kill a lion. The subsequent worldwide outrage over his hunting trip has been called “the biggest global response to a wildlife story that there’s ever been.” The lion he killed was a locally beloved national park animal named Cecil. We will use readings, videos and correspondence with current Zimbabwean university students to study histories of big game hunting, the conservation industry, concepts of the “natural” environment in southern Africa, and the role that these have played in the imaginations of hunters and the global public. How did “wild animals” become so connected to images of Africa? Why do people want to kill big cats? How and why were so many people around the world outraged by Cecil’s killing? What do Zimbabweans think about it?

101 B – HISTORY NOW! (Mumford, K)

Topic: The Crisis in Ferguson

In 2014 the shooting death of Michael Brown touched off local rioting that reverberated across the nation’s cities and suburbs until this day.  As a historian of urban riots, I propose to help us work through a long history of racial violence--from the amalgamation riots of the 1830s to the Red Summer of the 1910s Great Migration to the Urban Crisis of 1967, and from the multicultural clashes of the 1990s Rodney King riots to the rise of Black Lives Matter.  The purpose is to develop a deeper understanding of how urban conflict and violence has both persisted and yet also dramatically changed, and to provide class participants with a historically-based vision of race and racism in contemporary America.

101 C – HISTORY NOW! (Ali, T)

Topic: Panama Papers and a Global History of Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance, and Offshoring

The Panama papers revealed the close linkages between global finance, political corruption, criminal wealth, and international property markets. This course will historicize the Panama Papers within a global history of finance from the eighteenth century to the present-day. The course examines changes in the mechanisms through which bankers and financiers moved money across long-distances over the past three centuries. We will pay particular attention to the rise of offshore tax-havens – such as Panama. Further, the course examines the contentious relationship between sovereign states and global finance, as states seek to regulate and tax financial flows while the firm of Mossack Fonseca and its ilk in Panama provide the legal basis for individuals to move wealth –ill-gotten or otherwise – across international borders while avoiding the attentions of sovereign governments.

102 A - REACTING TO THE PAST (Reagan, L)

Topic: Idealism and Debate in 1913

This course uses a “Reacting to the Past” game as the centerpiece of the course.  The game takes students to the beginning of the modern era when urbanization, industrialization, and massive waves of immigration were transforming the U.S. way of life. As the game begins, suffragists are taking to the streets demanding a constitutional amendment for the vote. What, they ask, is women’s place in society? Are they to remain in the home or take an active role in the government of their communities and their nation? Labor has turned to the strike to demand living wages and better conditions; some are even proposing an industrial democracy where workers take charge of industries. African-Americans, suffering from the worst working conditions, disenfranchisement, and social segregation, debate how to support their community through education and protest, thereby challenging their continuing marginalization in both the South and the North. Members of all these groups converge in Greenwich Village, New York City, to debate their views with the artists and bohemians who are in the process of remaking themselves into the new men and new women of the twentieth century. Their spirited conversations not only show a deep understanding of nineteenth-century thinkers like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Karl Marx; they are also informed by such contemporaries as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jane Addams, W.E.B. Du Bois, Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, John Dewey, Franz Boas, and Sigmund Freud. The game asks, what social changes are most important?  What can or should one do to realize these goals?  Each of you will decide.

The course will consist of this exciting game that focuses on an era that has some similarities to ours—it was a time of idealism, hope and change as well as oppression and inequality.  Students will participate in the game in assigned roles, along with additional reading, research, and field trips related to American history at this time.


Topic: Conflict & Unity in American History

This course will explore social conflict and division in American History through the Reacting to the Past program, in which students will enact roles as historical figures in week-long games designed to immerse students in the concerns of historical moments. We will be focusing on two historical moments: the trial an Anne Hutchinson in Puritan New England, and the bohemian enclave of Greenwich Village in 1913. Within these periods, issues of gender, religion, and ideology created dissension about priorities and self-definition as communities struggled for unity. In this course, students will determine which interests will carry the day in each and thereby define the community.

102 C - REACTING TO THE PAST (Thompson, P)

Topic: Science in European Society

This course will give a broad introduction to the ways in which Europeans have understood and interacted with science from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Specifically, it will focus on the trial of Galileo in the early 17th century and the 1860 Oxford debate surrounding Darwinian evolutionary theory. A key component of the course will be Reacting to the Past games, which will allow students to immerse themselves in the historical topics discussed.

102 D - REACTING TO THE PAST (Djordjevic, S)

Topic: Controversy, Heresy and Power: Christianity and the State, from the Council of Nicaea to the Reformation

The powerfulinstitutions of the Church and State have throughout history demanded complete obedience of their respective faithful followers. Clashes between these forces reshaped the fates of millions and played a crucial role in transforming Western culture, society, politics, and everyday life. Through use of the innovative Reacting to the Past pedagogy, this course allows students to participate in the central debates and controversies of the early and medieval Church and take an active role in re-shaping events of world-historical significance.

104 AL1 - BLACK MUSIC (Hertzman, M)

What is black music, and how do we know what we think we know about it? Together, we will examine musical creations pioneered by Africans and individuals of African descent over several centuries and across hemispheres. Doing so will allow us to consider the unity of the African Diaspora and its music, and also examine internal differences and diversity. Special focus is given to Latin America and the U.S., but, depending on the semester, we will also read about, listen to, and talk about music and musicians in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Most course assignments are multi-media and interactive.

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 introduces the distinct as well as shared ideas and institutions of the major civilizations in East Asia: China and Japan. We will focus on two historical processes. The first concerns the making of a cultural system of East Asia before the nineteenth century. We will discuss how China evolved into a major civilization in Asia, creating distinctive ideological, social, political, and economic formations that came to define China, and to a considerable extent Japan, before the nineteenth century. Within the larger context of East Asian culture, we will examine how, despite certain shared cultural elements, indigenous cultures and unique historical developments of these two countries had resulted in contrasting societies in this period. The second process witnessed the decline of China in the nineteenth century as a dominant political and cultural power in East Asia. Our attention will be given to the struggle of China and Japan in response to imperialist intrusion from Europe, and how in the process, each embarked on its unique road to reinventing its own identity as a modern nation-state. In examining these two processes, we will explore issues of critical importance to our understanding of East Asian cultures from contemporary perspective: issues such as identity formation, gender and women’s history, power and knowledge production, racism, as well as imperialism, etc. Readings include several very interesting literary works and an autobiography.



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; a map quiz; two essays on assigned topics; plus a midterm and a final.

140 AL1 – WESTERN CIVILIZATION TO 1660 (Crowston, C)

Same as HIST 141, except for the additional writing component.

Please see course description for HIST 141.

141 AL1 - WESTERN CIVILIZATION TO 1660 (Crowston, C)

Meets with HIST 140 AL1.

This course surveys essential developments in Western Civilization from Antiquity through 1660. It focuses on the evolution of politics, ideas and religious beliefs, and social structures and conflicts. The course examines how the West emerged through interaction with so-called "outsiders" - such as Jews, Muslims, indigenous peoples of the New World, enslaved Africans, and women – who brought essential contributions to society and culture. In the process, students gain a new understanding of the cultural fusions and conflicts that continue to define, and challenge, the West and the wider world.



Meets with HIST 143 AL1.

This course is an introduction to the major questions and themes in modern European history from the late seventeenth century to the present.  Over the course of the past three and a half centuries, European development—cultural, economic, social, political, and intellectual—has had an enormous impact on shaping the world we live in today.  European history has also been vital to the creation of what we think of as “identity”: how we define and describe ourselves, and how we define and describe others.  This semester, while learning how events, ideologies, and “isms” (nationalism, imperialism, fascism, feminism, etc.) have contributed to the evolution of European history, we will be paying particular attention to the exploration of one central concern: the construction of our own uniquely modern identities.

What motivates us to act in the ways that we do?  What kinds of experiences have led us to adopt particular political and religious beliefs?  What types of knowledge guide our perceptions concerning others and ourselves? Our goal will be to learn what it means to think historically about the connections between the development of modern Europe and the development of the modern individual.  The historical analysis of music, art and film as well as textual sources will be integral to our work.


Same as HIST 142, except for the additional writing component.

Please see course description for HIST 142.


164 - THE AUTOMOBILE (Levy, J)

Interdisciplinary examination of the automobile industry, its production systems, its marketing strategies, and the way automobiles reflect the changing landscapes of consumer tastes and value over time.


168 E – A HISTORY OF JUDAISM (Rosenstock, B)

Same as RLST 120

Please see description for RLST 120.


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

Meets with HIST 173AL1.

Please see course description for HIST 173.



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

Same as HIST 172, except for the additional writing component

 This course is a survey of U.S. history from the end of the Civil War and the destruction of slavery to the present.  It examines the development of the modern United States into a powerful, industrial economy and world power, the lives and goals of the many different people who built America, and social conflicts. For decades, many Americans lived comfortably with stark contradictions between America’s stated values of democracy and equality and the reality of restrictions on voting and discrimination, but those inequities gave rise to social movements, which radically changed the world that we now live in.  Or did they?

Questions that will be answered in 172/173.

What event does much of the rest of the world celebrate on International Workers’ Day that occurred in the United States?

Did you know that the U.S. military advocated "abstinence only" long before President Reagan?

Why did some women argue against suffrage?

Where did the modern KKK get its start? It wasn't in the South.

You've probably heard that the sexual revolution began in the 1960s with the Pill, but was that really when it began?

How did people connect before the internet?

Learn the answers to these questions and much more in history 172/173. What was life really like during the Depression or the Civil Rights movement? Finally, get to the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War too, unlike in your high school history class! 

In 172/173, you will also develop your critical reading and analytical skills by reading original sources—such as letters, diaries, government documents, political cartoons, and more—from the 19th and 20th century and gaining the communication and writing skills for use in other classes, jobs, and your life.


200 Level




Topic: Commodities, Capital, Empire

The production, circulation, and consumption of commodities links disparate regions of the globe, connects cocoa farms in Ghana, coffee plantations in Jamaica, sugar-cane producers in Brazil, the Espresso Royale in the library, and the student at the University of Illinois.  To understand the production, exchange, flows, and consumption of commodities allows us to think of an inter-connected world, where our everyday forms of consumption connect us with farms and plantations, factories, and workers across the world, from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa to Asia and to the USA. In this course, we will learn to think historically about commodities we consume, examining how the twinned forces of imperialism and capitalism forged connections between disparate regions of the globe through the production, consumption and circulation of commodities.  




Topic: Ethno-history in Colonial Latin America

To write about the history of foreign people and of foreign lands was one of the great challenges authors faced in the great age of European explorations starting in the 15th and 16th centuries. European authors interviewed Native Americans (be they Inca, Aztecs or others) who often had a different understanding of how to locate human history in time and space. The newcomers on American shores tried to make sense of what they saw and of what they heard and struggled with making others believe that what they wrote was true.

In this course we examine some of the most important ethno-historic accounts of Latin America from the early modern times until the twentieth century. We will explore how past historians struggled with some crucial issues western historians faced when writing history. How did they, for example, deal with problems of evidence, objectivity, and chronology? How did their methodologies change over time? In the end, these ethno-historians can serve as a mirror of our own historical methods. While drawing on ethno-historic accounts from the Andes and Mexico during the half millennium from the sixteenth to the twentieth century we enter some of the most vibrant debates about the identity of Latin America. What about the impact of the Spanish heritage? How did an indigenous identity evolve over time? And, last but not least, what does “Mestizo” mean?



Topic: The 1970s

 What made the 1970s as historically significant as the valorized Sixties?  A gender revolution of gay liberation, pornography and feminism.  A racial revolution of prison riots and black elected officials.  The flowering of Democratic liberalism but also the emergence of the New Right conservative movement.  A generation whose protests intervened in the war in Vietnam ends the decade by electing perhaps the most conservative president of the twentieth century. This course shows how research into primary sources about this fascinating period sheds new light on the cultural and political struggles of our own times. 


Topic: Film and Historical Narrative

This course uses films to explore important ideas and debates regarding historical narration. We will engage with a wide range of films, from classics such as Rashomon to modern features like Hero, and consider how they shed light on the perspectives and plot forms that shape historical writing. Alongside these films, we will read a selection of important theoretical texts that examine the connections between history and other forms of storytelling. Throughout, we will contemplate how the histories that we write are shaped by our own contested values and beliefs.


This course surveys the history of Eastern Africa, with a strong focus on the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We cover what is today Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, and Eastern Congo, and examine the themes of state-building, colonialism, resistance, religion, violence, nationalism, and urbanization. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and film, we will examine the continuities and changes in Eastern Africa’s politics, economy, and society.


219 -HISTORY OF THE PRISON (Ginsburg, R)

Same as AFRO 221 and LA 221. See LA 221.


221 A – MODERN  CHINA (Fu, P)

Same as EALC 221.

This course will lead us to an exploration of a culture and society very important in our global age. Through films and readings, this exploration will help us understand the everyday life, rich history and cultural values of the Chinese in their struggle to be modern and global. This course is a general introduction to the major themes of the Chinese Revolution from the 1840 to the present, emphasizing the interplays between politics, idea and culture in shaping the tumultuous history.  The themes will include the rise of an autonomous intelligentsia, the tension between cultural integrity and Western ideologies, the conflict between democratic participation and the tradition of centralized control, and the representation of national identity in high and mass culture.



Same as EALC 227.

This course provides a survey of the past four centuries of history in Japan from the origins of the warrior-dominated Tokugawa regime (about 1600) through the social and economic malaise that has followed the collapse of the 1980s “bubble economy.” Every effort will also be made to introduce you to a variety of historical actors--warriors, farmers, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, politicians--with the aim of showing you the diverse perspectives from which we can view and discuss modern Japan. During this course, you will read a number of written texts, both primary and secondary, and be introduced to a variety of visual sources. By the end, you should gain a better understanding of the origins and changes within modern Japanese society and know how to initiate and carry out your own historical research.


Topic: History of Ancient Greece.

This course will examine the political, social, economic, religious, and cultural developments of the Ancient Greek world ca. 3000-30 BCE, from the rise of Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilization to the Roman defeat of Cleopatra.


Same as GLBL 251.

Topic: History of Warfare from 1815 to Present

History 251 addresses the history of warfare and military institutions during the last two hundred years.  Subjects covered include the impact of the Industrial Revolution on military technology and practice, the influence of military theory (including the work of Clausewitz), the development of staffs and doctrine, the phenomenon of total war, the character of insurgency, and the rise of global terrorism.  Conflicts studied in some detail include the U.S. Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Arab-Israeli Wars, and the “war” on terrorism.  The material presented is specifically designed to interest a wide range of students who simply want to know more about history of armed conflict.  Learn more about this inescapable, though regrettable, side of human experience.”

258 - 20TH c. WORLD TO MIDCENTURY (Djordjevic, S)

Topic: The Second World War, 1933-48

The second global catastrophe of the 20th century resulted in some 60 million deaths, close to 3% of the world's population. Before it was over, the Second World War left virtually no home untouched and irrevocably changed the course of world history. The scale of its wanton slaughter necessitated the coining of a new term - genocide - to depict the willful murder of whole peoples and races. Beginning with Adolf Hitler's rise to power and the near-parallel outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, this course traces the political, military, social, and economic history of the Second World War in its major theaters: The Western, Eastern, Pacific, Chinese, and North African.


Students will become acquainted with the protagonists of this world catastrophe; some household names (Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, FDR, de Gaulle); others perhaps lesser known yet of vital importance (Tojo, Heydrich, Reynaud, Molotov, King). The course will chart the shifting fortunes on the battlefield through detailed battle and campaign studies featuring the Battles of France and Britain, Rommel's campaigns in the desert, the great aerial/naval battles of the Pacific Theater (Midway, Philippine Sea), the mammoth clashes between the Red Army and the Wehrmacht (Barbarossa, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Bagration, Berlin), and the Normandy Campaign. Additionally, the course will examine everyday life under pre-war totalitarian Nazi and Soviet regimes, during Nazi and Japanese occupation, and on the Home Front. Considerable time will be spent on the unprecedented campaigns of destruction perpetuated against innocent civilians by the Nazi, Soviet, and Imperial Japanese regimes, especially the Holocaust and the Holodomor. Key themes include the failure of the Versailles Treaties, the crisis of democracy, the rise of totalitarian Rightist and Leftist regimes, the expansion of war-making abilities by states, the civilian experience of war, the intersection of ideology and violence, and the potentialities of the Nuclear Age.


History 265 covers major themes in the history of Western science, technology, and medicine from Ancient Greece (800 B.C.) to the present (2017). The following themes are explored in depth: philosophy of science, industrialization, science and society, science and gender, science and religion as well as science under fascism and in war. This class encourages students from all academic disciplines tocritically examinescience.




The ideas of Charles Darwin initiated one of the most profound and provocative transformation in human thought, science, and culture. This course examines the intellectual origins, scientific content, and social, cultural, and religious impacts of Darwinian evolutionary theory in the 19th and 20th centuries, provides students with 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 modern life sciences.


273 A – ILLINOIS HISTORY (Oberdeck, K)

This course provides an overview of Illinois with focus on the state, the city of Chicago, and the region around UIUC. It emphasizes social and cultural history, concentrating on processes of development and change that formed the population, economy, culture, and social relations of Illinois, Chicago, and Central Illinois, especially during the last two hundred years.   We will focus particularly on the experiences and contributions of common people—Native American peoples, migrants and immigrants, farmers, workers, members of urban and rural communities-- with the concerns of political and economic elites considered in relation to them.  The course considers the state's Native American roots and goes on to analyze the creation of a multi-ethnic and multi-racial society through immigration, internal migration, and the changing economic and social relations migrants and their descendants produced.   We will also consider the ways in which Illinois provides examples of wider historical processes affecting the United States.  Readings will consist of a narrative text, one or two book-length monographs and several articles addressing important dimensions of Illinois history and at least one novel.  Assessment will be based on class participation, mid-term and final exams, a paper, and smaller in-class assignments.


275 A – AFRO-AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1877 (Asaka, I)

Same as AFRO 275.

This course surveys the history of people of African descent in the United States from the colonial era to Reconstruction.  Its main goals are to examine the social, political, economic, and cultural formations that shaped and characterized the experiences of African Americans and to understand the diverse and changing meanings of race that informed the trajectory of their history.  Key topics include Atlantic slavery, domestic slavery expansion, enslaved people’s resistance strategies, social and political activism in free black communities, and emancipation.  



Same as AIS 277.

An examination of pivotal events in the history of Native peoples in North America. Students will explore the complexity of encounters between American Indians and others through a focus on key moments. These will include religious encounters, military confrontations, and legal struggles as well as social and artistic interactions.



Same as LLS 279.

Please see description for LLS 279.


Same as AAS 281, AFRO 281, LLS 281.

This course examines the central role racialization and racial ideology historically have played in shaping U.S. institutions, culture, and politics. Through readings, in-class discussions, lectures, presentations, and writing assignments, students will engage with questions of race and ethnicity in U.S. history: What is race? How have dominant social, political, cultural, and economic institutions racialized certain groups and in what interests? What does race have to do with notions of citizenship and belonging? How have meanings attached to certain racial classifications, as well as the classifications themselves, changed over time, and why? What does race ideology have to do with capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, and gender ideology? What role have white supremacy and anti-racist struggle played in the development of U.S. institutions? How is this history relevant to making sense of current U.S. culture and politics?


Same as LA 242, NRES 242, and RST 242.

Please see description for RST 242.



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.

300 Level




Same as MACS 300.

Topic:  Film and the African American Experience

Description not available at time of publication.



Same as MACS 300

Topic: Film and Revolution: From “Battleship Potemkin” to “Do the Right Thing”

An exploration of how filmmakers and actors, from the 1920s to the present, have portrayed, often in revolutionary ways, revolutions and revolutionaries—from the 1700s to the future and from the Soviet Union to China, Paris to Algiers, Poland to Cuba, Chicago to New York. Students will be able to influence the final selections of films. The course emphasizes the collective experience of watching and discussing films together each week and immediately interpreting, though inspired by selected written texts, mostly primary historical sources, read in advance of each screening. And we will constantly question the logic of the course: what is the relationship between films and history? Each week, students will write weekly analytical response essays of the films and readings.



            Who are the Palestinians? This lecture/discussion course examines the main themes of Palestinian history during the past two centuries. We will deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but our focus will be on Palestinian political, social, and cultural history. The reading that will average over 100 pages per week, including some literary works. There will be weekly one-page responses to the readings, and three essays plus a final. 



Introduction to one of the most transformative events in early modern world history: the creation of the Russian Empire. We will study how Moscow, a modest medieval kingdom, suddenly expanded into the world's largest state, fated to play an outsized role in world politics and culture. Chronologically, the course extends from 1500-1750, and considers topics ranging from religion and rebellion to material culture and everyday life.



This interdisciplinary course is devoted to the examination of the cultures, politics and societies of the nations of Eastern Europe during the 20th century. Located at the intersection of the three traditional contiguous empires – the Habsburg, the Ottoman, and the Romanov – Eastern Europe emerged as a zone of nation states after the collapse of these empires after the First World War. Beginning with a historical overview of the region, this course will offer an introduction to the major topics that have characterized its development in the course of a century, as well as particularly evocative case-studies. This will be achieved through a close analysis of some of the most important novels and films coming out of this region. Major topics will include: war and revolution, with special attention to the revolutions of 1989 and the color revolutions that issued the current Ukrainian conflict; memory and identity, especially the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, the position of Islam, and ethnic diversity; economic and political relations with the West and Russia, and European Union accession; everyday life during communism and post-communism.


357 A – MODERN FRANCE (Chaplin, T)

Topic: Modern France 1939 to the Present

For centuries, France has symbolized the height of European culture.  Stereotypes about France and the French abound; it is the country of rude waiters, of beautiful women, of magnificent châteaux.  France is renowned for its wine, cheese and haute couture, for its intellectuals and films, and for its crowning glory, Paris, often called the “city of lights.”  With its revolutionary, intellectual and cultural traditions, France has long influenced and fascinated both America and the world.  However, as the twentieth century progressed French dominance waned.  How do we explain the changing status of this once invincible nation?  From World War II and the Vichy regime, through occupation, collaboration and resistance, from Marxism and intellectual “mandarins” through the politically fragile Fourth Republic, from decolonization and Gaullism through student revolutions and sexual revolutions, from the theoretical battles over feminism, structuralism and post-structuralism, to the geographic battles over immigration and race, from modernization and technological change to debates over Islam, terrorism and globalization, we will study the history of modern France with an aim towards understanding France’s shifting identity in the postwar world.  Does France continue to influence the course of world events?  If so, how?  To what extent are the stereotypes that we hold about France and the French grounded in reality?  By examining the events, ideas, people and institutions that have shaped the French nation over the course of the last seventy years, we will formulate responses to these and other questions.  The historical analysis of film, music and television as well as text-based sources will be integral to our work.  


381 A – URBAN HISTORY (McDuffie, E)

Topic: TBA

Examines the history of urban centers, paying special attention to the relationship between the city and its surrounding territory, the impact of migration and immigration, the delineation of space and the transformation of the built environment, and the role of a city's inhabitants in creating social networks, political structures, and cultural institutions.



Same as AFRO 383 and GWS 383.

Please see description for AFRO 383.



Same as GWS 385.

Please see description for GWS 385  


390 A – SPORT AND SOCIETY (Gilbert, M)

Same as KIN 345

Topic: Baseball and Integration

Description not available at time of publication.



Same as ANTH 393 and RLST 393.

Please see description for ANTH 393.


396 A – SPECIAL TOPICS (Nobili, M)

Topic:  Islam in Africa

Less than ten years after the death of the Prophet Muḥammad in 632 CE, Islam ‘overflowed’ from the Arabian peninsula into the African continent. Soon, from North Africa and the Indian Ocean, the new religions entered sub-Saharan Africa. Today one Muslim out of four is from Africa and one out of two Africans is Muslim. This course focuses on the history and historiography of Muslim societies in Africa. What were the dynamics of the spread of Islam in Africa? Is there a uniform ‘Islamic experience’ in the continent? Is Islam in Africa different from the other areas of the Islamic world? What is the image in Western scholarship of Islam in Africa? Through the study of secondary sources, in-class reading and discussions on primary sources, and documentaries, this course will provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to understand this central phenomenon in modern world history.      


396 B-SPECIAL TOPICS (Randolph, J)

Topic:  Global History of Intelligence

 How were historical documents--the letters, diaries, and other artifacts through which historians learn about the past--published in the print age? How will they be published in the digital future? 'Publishing the Past' introduces students students to the history of documentary editing, and invites them to imagine new models for its future. This course serves as an introduction to the problems and methods addressed by SourceLab, the History Department's new digital publishing initiative. Students work will include both individual writing assignments and participation in team-based final projects, developing new, prototype electronic editions of historical sources. At the same time, 'Publishing the Past,' is open to anyone interested in developing their research, project-management, and content-development skills, regardless of their participation or interest in SourceLab going forward.



Same as GWS 397.

This course will investigate contemporary sexuality as an object of historical inquiry. While sexuality has long been considered central to modern articulations of the self, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the social regulation of sexual practices became increasingly central to the control and regulation of the modern state. Increased interest in and access to new forms of contraception altered heterosexual experience in complex ways.  Secularization challenged religious proscriptions about sexual behavior, and sexual desire became a motive force behind the growing consumer economy.  Conservatives and liberals fiercely debated the merits and parameters of regulation, education, commercialization and normalization in the sexual realm. But what is sexuality?  How is it practiced, produced, policed, constructed, represented, liberated, controlled and gendered? What are the theoretical, epistemological, personal and political stakes of its analysis? How do we grasp such an intimate aspect of human experience within an historical frame?  What drives historical change in the sexual domain? This course analyzes these questions via an investigation of sexual orientation, gender identity, colonial/postcolonial sexual economies, prostitution, sexology and sexual norms, reproductive technologies, pornography and the erotic, sexuality and violence, sexuality and the media, sexual education, and questions of health, disease and desire. The geographic focus in this class may be eclectic but Europe will constitute our primary area of study.

400 Level



406 G2/G4/U3 – HISTORY OF MEXICO FROM 1519 (Brosseder, C)

Topic: Comparative Colonialisms and Modernities

This course is designed as a survey class focusing on the colonial and modern history of Mexico and its people. Particular emphasis will be placed on the cultural, economic, and political structures and processes that shaped and continued to influence life in Mexico from its colonial past to modern day present. Key issues such as colonialism, racism, mestizaje, the role of the Catholic Church, Independence, the rise of the nation state, the Reforma, the Porfiriato, the Mexican Revolution(s), the economic “miracle,” and US-relations will all be examined critically—from time to time in light of comparative themes in Peru in order to discuss the singularity of Mexico’s history. Course materials include secondary sources as well as primary documents, literature, paintings, and film in order to provide insights into the complex and diverse history of the region.



Same as CWL 478 and EALC 476.

Please see description for EALC 476


434 A3/A4 – WOMEN IN MUSLIM SOCIETIES (Hoffman, V)           

Same as ANTH 403, GLBL 403, GWS 403, RLST 403, and SAME 403.

Please see description for RLST 403. 


466 G2/G4/U3 – THE BALKANS (Todorova, M)

Topic:  The Modern Balkans Through Film and Literature (19th-20th Centuries)

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, the fall of communism and post-communist development. 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, 1919 to Present

The political, economic, and cultural history of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania; particular emphasis upon the post-World War II era.


478 G4/U3 – BLACK FREED MOVE, 1955-PRESENT (Cha-Jua, S)

Same as AFRO 474.

Please see description for AFRO 474.



A seminar for all students in the History Honors Program, to be taken no later than the spring of the Junior year. Students will study the development of the historian's craft and will be exposed to new research methods and techniques. The course will culminate in the preparation of a research proposal for the Honors Senior Thesis, developed in consultation with an individual faculty advisor. The instructor of HIST 492 and the Director of Undergraduate Studies will assist students in the selection of an appropriate mentor. Even those students who may not be planning to write the Honors Senior Thesis must enroll in this course and prepare a research proposal.



Same as HIST 498 A.

Topic: Global 1960s

Please see course description for HIST 498 A.



Same as HIST 498 B.

Topic:  Empires: Mongols, Ottomans, Habsburgs

Please see course description for HIST 498 B.



Same as HIST 498 C.

Topic: Islam in Africa

Please see course description for HIST 498 C.



Same as HIST 498 D.

Topic: Key Problems of the Civil War Era

Please see course description for HIST 498 D.



Same as HIST 498 E.

Topic: Intelligence and the Global Cold War

Please see course description for HIST 498 E.



Meets with HIST 495 A.

Topic:The Age of Democratic Revolutions: 1775-1825 

What is a revolution? Why was there a wave of revolutions and independence movements in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Historians call this an age of revolutions, but to what extent were the revolutions included in it similar or different? In this seminar, we will explore the answers to these questions and more. After first defining the period of Atlantic Revolutions, we will cover the American, French, Haitian, and Latin American Revolutions and their ramifications in the wider world. Students will be introduced to relevant primary source databases available through our library such as online newspapers and pamphlet literature, as well as printed sources and online digitized archives. Students will develop a research project addressing some aspect of this period, broadly speaking, that is relevant to their interests.



Meets with HIST 495 B.

Topic:  Empires: Mongols, Ottomans, Habsburgs

An inquiry into the nature of empires and their place in history. The Mongol, Ottoman, and Habsburg empires will serve as case studies.



Meets with HIST 495 C.

Topic:  Islam in Africa

Description not available at time of publication.



Meets with HIST 495 D.

Topic:  : American Empire: Global Power and Its Limits

The term “American empire” has undergone a resurgence in the twenty-first century, made relevant to contemporary discussions of U.S. global power by a series of traumatic events from 9/11 and the “war on terror,” to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to the current dilemmas over Syria and the South China Sea, which suggest U.S. imperial limitations. In this course, we will trace the development of the United States as a world power in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, exploring debates about its status as an empire. We will examine the formal colonial and the informal hegemonic nature of American power. And we will also connect discussions of American Empire to other experiences of empire around the world. In this course, the capstone for the history major, students will learn specifically the construction of a long research paper, engaging in original research that will allow them to explore a subject or theme in-depth.



Meets with HIST 495 E.

Topic:  Intelligence and the Global Cold War

This course examines the role played by state intelligence agencies in the Cold War (1945-1991). While we will examine the role of the major Cold War powers like the United States and Soviet Union, particular attention will be given to various 'Third World' sites such as Africa where the Cold War played out in very 'hot' conflicts.


499 A – THESIS SEMINAR (Hertzman, M)

A required seminar for all seniors writing Honor Theses in history, this course will meet throughout the year and will supplement individual students' meetings with their primary advisors. Provides an intellectually supportive environment in which students work together on common methodological problems, share the results of their research, and critique developing projects. 1 to 2 undergraduate hours. 1 to 2 graduate hours. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 3 hours. Prerequisite: Admission to the History Honors Program; HIST 492; and HIST 495. Concurrent enrollment in HIST 493 is required.

500 Level




Same as EALC 520.

Topic:  TBA

Description not available at time of publication.



Topic: The Rise and Fall of Empires in the Pre-Modern World

All the empires that have arisen during world history also have fallen, ranging from the Akkadian Empire in the 23rd century BCE to the British and Russian Empires in the 20th century. Students in this interdisciplinary and multi-cultural seminar will investigate why an empire of their choice in Europe, Asia, Africa, or the Americas rose and fell in the pre-modern world, ca. 2500 BCE - 1550 CE.


552 A – EUROPEAN SEMINAR SINCE 1789 (Micale, M)

Topic:  TBA

Description not available at time of publication.



Topic: Problems and Controversies of Soviet History, 1917-1991

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



Topic: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in North American Colonialisms  

 This seminar covers different imperial states that competed over resources in North America: namely, Spain, France, Britain, Russia, and the United States.  It examines how race, gender, and sexuality constituted the social, economic, and political relations that underlay various colonial projects.  Its thematic focus is intimate domains—domains of sex, the body, reproduction, and domestic relations.  



Same as RLST 535.

Please see description  for RLST 535.


Same as AFRO 501.

Topic: Lynching and Racial Violence

Covers in depth, major problems in the African American experience and in the historiography of that experience, including historical periods, themes and paradigms.



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



Seminar for first-year graduate students and second half of the introductory graduate sequence focused on the process of writing an original piece of historical scholarship. Topics 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 the author's findings. Over the course of the semester, each seminar participant will develop and write an original, article-length research paper. Students will work with the assistance of the instructor and an advisor from her or his own research field.



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 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. Students in other fields are welcome if there is room.