NEHC 30502/HIST 35804 Islamic History and Society 2: The Middle Period (J. Woods) This sequence surveys the main trends in the political history of the Islamic world, with some attention to economic, social, and intellectual history. This course covers the period from ca. 1000 to 1750, including the arrival of the steppe peoples (Turks and Mongols), the Mongol successor states, and the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria. We also study the foundation of the great Islamic regional empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Moghuls.
NEHC 30602/HIST 35615 Islamic Thought and Literature II (F. Lewis) This sequence explores the thought and literature of the Islamic world from the coming of Islam in the seventh century CE through the development and spread of its civilization in the medieval period and into the modern world. Including historical framework to establish chronology and geography, the course focuses on key aspects of Islamic intellectual history: scripture, law, theology, philosophy, literature, mysticism, political thought, historical writing, and archaeology. In addition to lectures and secondary background readings, students read and discuss samples of key primary texts, with a view to exploring Islamic civilization in the direct voices of the people who participated in creating it. This course covers the period from circa 950 to 1700, surveying works of literature, theology, philosophy, sufism, politics, history, etc., written in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, as well as the art, architecture, and music of the Islamicate traditions. Through primary texts, secondary sources, and lectures, we will trace the cultural, social, religious, political, and institutional evolution through the period of the Fatimids, the Crusades, the Mongol invasions, and the "gunpowder empires" (Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals). All readings are in English translation. No prior background in the subject is required.
NEHC 30840/HIST 35901 Radical Islamic Pieties, 1200–1600 (C. Fleischer) Course examines responses to the Mongol destruction of the Abbasid caliphate in 1258 and the background to formation of regional Muslim empires. Topics include the opening of confessional boundaries; Ibn Arabi, Ibn Taymiyya, and Ibn Khaldun; the development of alternative spiritualities, mysticism, and messianism in the fifteenth century; transconfessionalism, antinomianism, and the articulation of sacral sovereignties in the sixteenth century. Readings will be in English, though some acquaintance with primary languages (Arabic, French, German, Greek, Latin, Spanish, or Turkish) is desirable.
NEHC 30853/HIST 58303 The Ottoman World in the Age of Suleyman the Magnificent (C. Fleischer) In the second quarter we focus on research topics for students writing research paper.
HIST 32708 Planetary Britain, 1600–1900 (F. Albritton Jonsson) What were the causes behind Britain's Industrial Revolution? In the vast scholarship on this problem, one particularly heated debate has focused on the imperial origins of industrialization. How much did colonial resources and markets contribute to economic growth and technological innovation in the metropole? The second part of the course will consider the global effects of British industrialization. To what extent can we trace anthropogenic climate change and other planetary crises back to the environmental transformation wrought by the British Empire? Topics include ecological imperialism, metabolic rift, the sugar revolution, the slave trade, naval construction and forestry, the East India Company, free trade and agriculture, energy use and climate change.
CLAS 34017/HIST 30307 The Spartan Divergence (A. Bresson) Sparta was a Greek city, but of what type? The ancient tradition, or at least the larger part of it, paints the portrait of an ideal city-state. The city was supposed to be stable and moderately prosperous. Its citizens were allegedly models of virtue. For many centuries the city did not experience revolutions and its army was invincible on the battlefield. This success was attributed to its perfect institutions. Following the track opened by Ollier's Spartan Mirage, modern scholarship has scrupulously and successfully deconstructed this image of an ideal city. But what do we find if we go beyond the looking glass? Was Sparta really a city "like all the others"? This class will show that we must go deeper into our evidence in order to make sense of the extraordinary success followed by the brutal collapse of this very special city-state.
LACS 34700/HIST 36102 Introduction to Latin American Civilization 2 (D. Borges) Taking these courses in sequence is not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence is offered every year. This course introduces the history and cultures of Latin America (e.g., Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands). The second quarter addresses the evolution of colonial societies, the wars of independence, and the emergence of Latin American nation-states in the changing international context of the nineteenth century.
HIST 35300 American Revolution, 1763–1789 (E. Cook) This lecture and discussion course explores the background of the American Revolution and the problem of organizing a new nation. The first half of the course uses the theory of revolutionary stages to organize a framework for the events of the 1760s and 1770s, and the second half of the course examines the period of constitution-making (1776–1789) for evidence on the ways in which the Revolution was truly revolutionary.
HIST 35309 History of Perception (P. Rossi) Knowing time. Feeling space. Smelling. Seeing. Touching. Tasting. Hearing. Are these universal aspects of human consciousness, or particular experiences contingent upon time, place, and culture? How do we come to know about our own perceptions and those of others? This course examines these and related questions through detailed readings of primary sources, engagement in secondary scholarship in the history and anthropology of sensation, and through close work with participants' own sensations and perceptions of the world around them.
HIST 35415 History of Information (A. Johns) "Information" in all its forms is perhaps the defining phenomenon of our age. But although we tend to think of it as something distinctively modern, in fact it came into being through a long history of thought, practice, and technology. This course will therefore suggest how to think historically about information. Using examples that range from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, we shall explore how different societies have conceptualized the subject, and how they have sought to control it. We shall address how information has been collected, classified, circulated, contested, and destroyed. The aim is to provide a different kind of understanding of information practices—one that can be put to use in other historical inquiries, as well as casting an unfamiliar light on our own everyday lives.
HIST 36127 Latin America during the Age of Revolutions, circa 1750–1850 (F. Tavárez, Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow) During the period known as the Age of Revolutions, roughly spanning between 1750 and 1850, Latin American territories went from being colonies of two Iberian empires to being a collection of independent countries. This course examines the tumultuous history that led to the dissolution of the Spanish and Portuguese empires and the birth of new republics and monarchies in the Americas. The course begins by analyzing the imperial reforms of the eighteenth century and their relationship to Enlightenment thought. The course also considers the many tax revolts and indigenous and slave rebellions that surfaced in reaction to imperial reforms. The course then proceeds to examine the traumatic effects of the Napoleonic wars in the Iberian world, as well as the many innovative political experiments that came about in an effort to safeguard the Spanish and Portuguese empires. Finally, the course examines the many conflicts, wars, and liberation projects that ultimately culminated with Latin American independence. By the end of the course, students will have a firm understanding of the process of Latin American independence and its contribution to the formation of a new global order in the nineteenth century.
REES 37019/HIST 33413 The Holocaust Object (S. Shallcross) What is the role of ordinary everyday things in the extraordinary time of war and genocide? What was their power in the brutalized and debased existence of Holocaust victims? In this multidisciplinary course, we explore and reconstruct the often overlooked, yet meaningful connections between humans and everyday things during and after WW II. Arguing for their interdependence, we read narratives which emphasize things and represent various Holocaust artifacts and material remnants as they were used, looted, amassed, photographed, displayed, and, therefore, controlled. In the next stages of our virtual tour through the memorial sites and museums located in former ghettos and extermination and concentration camps, we ask how the post-Holocaust matter and things deliver their "testimonies" and serve as tools of remembrance. We study the ways in which the post-Holocaust material world, ranging from infrastructure to detritus, has been subjected to two, often conflicting, tasks of representation and preservation, which we view through a prism of authenticity. In order to study representational strategies, we engage a textual and visual reading of museum narrations and fiction writings; to tackle with demands of preservation we apply a neo-materialist approach to analyze the diminishing post-Holocaust material world. By engaging these discourses the course tracks the impact of ever evolving memory politics and ideologies on the Holocaust remnants understood here as both the (post)human and material. The course will also equip students with salient critical tools for future research in the Holocaust studies and thing theory. No knowledge of Polish required.
REES 37300/HIST 34005 The Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise (A. Ilieva) How and why do national identities provoke the deep emotional attachments that they do? In this course we try to understand these emotional attachments by examining the narrative of loss and redemption through which most nations in the Balkans retell their Ottoman past. We begin by considering the mythic temporality of the Romantic national narrative while focusing on specific national literary texts where the national past is retold through the formula of original wholeness, foreign invasion, passion, and salvation. We then consider the structural role of the different elements of that narrative. With the help of Žižek's theory of the subject as constituted by trauma, we think about the national fixation on the trauma of loss and the role of trauma in the formation of national consciousness. Specific theme inquiries involve the figure of the Janissary as self and other, brotherhood and fratricide, and the writing of the national trauma on the individual physical body. Special attention is given to the general æsthetic of victimhood, the casting of the victimized national self as the object of the "other's perverse desire." With the help of Freud, Žižek, and Kant we consider the transformation of national victimhood into the sublimity of the national self. The main primary texts include Petar Njegoš's Mountain Wreath (Serbia and Montenegro), Ismail Kadare's The Castle (Albania), Anton Donchev's Time of Parting (Bulgaria).
HIST 38906 Nineteenth-Century American Mass Entertainment (A. Lippert) Popular culture filters, reflects, and occasionally refracts many of the central values, prejudices, and preoccupations of a given society. From the Industrial Revolution to the advent of feature films in the early twentieth century, American audiences sought both entertainment and reassurance from performers, daredevils, amusement parks, lecturers, magicians, panoramas, athletes, and photographers. Amidst the Civil War, they paid for portraits that purportedly revealed the ghosts of lost loved ones; in an age of imperialism, they forked over hard-earned cash to relive the glories of western settlement, adventure, and conquest in Buffalo Bill's Wild West. Mass entertainment not only echoed the central events of the age it helped shape them: from phrenology as the channel for antebellum convictions about outward appearance (and racial identity), to the race riots following Jack Johnson's boxing victory over Jim Jeffries. Many of these entertainment forms became economic juggernauts in their own right, and in the process of achieving unprecedented popularity, they also shaped collective memory, gender roles, race relations, and the public's sense of acceptable beliefs and behaviors. This lecture course will examine the history of modern American entertainment over the course of the long nineteenth century. Requirements include careful reading, active and thoughtful participation, and written assignments.
HIST 39516 History of Skepticism (A. Palmer) Before we ask what is true or false, we must ask how we can know what is true or false. This course examines the vital role doubt and philosophical skepticism have played in the Western intellectual tradition, from pre-Socratic Greece through the Enlightenment, with a focus on how Criteria of Truth—what kinds of arguments are considered legitimate sources of certainty—have changed over time. The course will examine dialog between skeptical and dogmatic thinkers, and how many of the most fertile systems in the history of philosophy have been hybrid systems which divided the world into things which can be known, and things which cannot. The course will touch on the history of atheism, heresy and free thought, on fideism and skeptical religion, and will examine how the Scientific Method is itself a form of philosophical skepticism. Primary source readings will include Plato, Sextus Empiricus, Lucretius, Ockham, Pierre Bayle, Montaigne, Descartes, Francis Bacon, Hobbes, Voltaire, Diderot, and others.
KNOW 40201/HIST 66606 Religion and Reason (S. Bartsch-Zimmer & R. Richards) The quarrel between reason and faith has a long history. The ancient Greeks privileged this human capacity above all others, finding in reason the quality wherein man was closest to the gods, while the early Christians found this viewpoint antithetical to religious humility. As religion and its place in society have evolved throughout history, so have the standing of, and philosophical justification for, non-belief on rational grounds. This course will examine the intellectual and cultural history of arguments against religion in Western thought from antiquity to the present. Along the way, of course, we will also examine the assumptions bound up in the binary terms "religion" and "reason."
PLSC 41302/HIST 68901 Modern Theories of the State (C. Ando & J. Pitts) The course will explore the context and content of late medieval and early modern theories of the state. We will read normative political and legal theory from Italy, England, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Questions to be posed include What is revealed about the claims made on behalf of states and sovereignty by commencing from an understanding of contemporary states as infrastructurally weak rather than strong? Early modern states evolved from earlier political forms. What political and normative work was performed by focusing, as so many theorists did, on fictive moments of origin? The overwhelming majority of macro-regional powers in world history to that point had understood themselves to be empires. What contribution did thinking about empire make to the emergent notion of the national state?
HIST 56706 Colloquium: Modern Korean History 2 (B. Cumings) Students present the subject, method, and rationale for a research paper. Papers should be about forty pages and based in primary materials; ideally this means Korean materials, but ability to read scholarly materials in Korean, Japanese, or Chinese is not a requirement for taking the colloquium. Students may also choose a comparative and theoretical approach, examining some problems in modern Korean history in the light of similar problems elsewhere, or through the vision of a body of theory.
HIST 58602 Colloquium: Iran and Central Asia 2 (J. Woods) The second quarter will be devoted to the preparation of a major research paper.
HIST 63904 Colloquium: Rise of the Carceral State (K. Belew) This course explores the historical roots and late-twentieth century rise of mass incarceration in the United States. We will focus on three major themes: the emergence of the prison-industrial complex, histories of racialized prison labor, and local economies around prisons; racialized and militarized policing, mandatory mimums, and the war on drugs; and militarism more broadly in American life and culture. Within these historical trajectories, we will focus on mass incarceration as continuity and change with earlier moments; race and gender as rendered through the carceral state; and how the state itself has shifted to promote and accommodate militarized policing and large numbers of incarcerated people.
HIST 73505 Seminar: History of the Human Sciences 2, 1700–1900 (P. Cheney & J. Goldstein) In the second quarter we focus on research topics for students writing the seminar paper.
HIST 76004 Seminar: Modern Chinese History 2 (J. Eyferth) The winter quarter will be devoted to the preparation of a research paper.
HIST 76602 Seminar: Japanese History 2 (J. Ketelaar) In the second quarter we focus on research topics for students writing the seminar paper.
HIST 79302 Seminar: Inequality in Latin American History 2 (B. Fischer) Students write the seminar paper in the winter quarter.
HIST 84802 Seminar: Twentieth-Century US History 2 (A. Green) Students write the seminar paper in the winter quarter.
HIST 89001 Sem: Race in the Twentieth-Century Atlantic World 2 (L. Auslander & T. Holt) Students research and write the seminar paper in the winter quarter.