HIST 29635 Imperial Europe (F. Hillis) This course explores the range of encounters, collisions, and exchanges that modern European empires have fostered. Geographically, our readings traverse the space from Russia to the Atlantic world, covering overseas colonial empires as well as their overland counterparts; chronologically, they focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will consider governance, mobility, imperial politics, the built environment, and consumption as venues of cross-cultural contact and exchange; examine the role that imperial societies have played in the construction of ethnic and racial difference, religious practices, and gender norms; and consider how the collapse of empires restructured networks, identities, and subjectivities. Roughly half of the class will be devoted to discussing exemplary studies of imperial societies and half to discussing historiographical approaches and research techniques. Over the course of the quarter, students will be expected to design and carry out an original research project of fifteen to twenty pages. Please come to the first day of class having read and ready to discuss Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper's Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference (2010).
HIST 29662 Gender and Sexuality in US History, 1620–1920 (A. Lippert) This colloquium will examine three centuries of US history through the lens of nearly three decades of historical scholarship since Joan Wallach Scott first proposed gender as "a useful category of historical analysis." Readings are primarily composed of monographs with some theoretical selections included. We will address recent developments in the history of sexuality, as well as that field's capacity for complicating or problematizing the politics of feminism and feminist history. Requirements include active and thoughtful participation, short preliminary paper assignments, and a research paper due at the end of the term.
HIST 29668 Economic Growth in Theory and Practice (F. Albritton Jonsson) The idea of economic growth is one of the foundational concepts of modern politics and society. This course will examine the intellectual roots of growth theory from early modern alchemy to Silicon Valley, with a special emphasis on the material and social context of economic thought.
HIST 10102 Introduction to African Civilization 2 (J. Cole) In 2017–18 African Civ 2 will be offered in Autumn and African Civ 1 will be offered in Winter. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. The second segment of the African Civilizations sequence uses anthropological perspectives to investigate colonial and postcolonial encounters in West and East Africa. The course objective is to show that while colonialism was brutal and oppressive, it was by no means a unidirectional process of domination in which Europeans plundered the African continent and enforced a wholesale adoption of European culture. Rather, scholars today recognize that colonial encounters were complex culture, political, and economic fields of interaction. Africans actively adopted, reworked, and contested colonizers' policies and projects, and Europeans drew heavily from these encounters to form liberal conceptions of self, nation, and society. Over the course of the quarter, students will learn about forms of personhood, political economy, and everyday life in the twentieth century. Course themes will include social reproduction, kinship practices, medicine, domesticity, and development.
HIST 13001 History of European Civilization 1 European Civilization is a two-quarter sequence designed to use close readings of primary sources to enrich our understanding of Europeans of the past. As we examine the variety of their experiences, we will often call into question what we mean in the first place by “Europe” and “civilization.” Rather than providing a narrative of high politics, the sequence will emphasize the contested geographic, religious, social, and racial boundaries that have defined and redefined Europe and its people over the centuries. We will read and discuss sources covering the period from the early Middle Ages to the present, from a variety of genres: saga, biography, personal letters, property records, political treatises, memoirs, and government documents, to name only a few. Individual instructors may choose different sources and highlight different aspects of European civilization, but some of the most important readings will be the same in all sections. The two-quarter sequence may also be supplemented by a third quarter, in which students will have the opportunity to explore in greater depth a particular topic in the history of European civilization.
HIST 13100 Western Civilization 1 (K. Weintraub) Available as a three-quarter sequence (Autumn-Winter-Spring) or as a two-quarter sequence (Autumn-Winter or Winter-Spring). This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. The purpose of this sequence is threefold: (1) to introduce students to the principles of historical thought, (2) to acquaint them with some of the more important epochs in the development of Western civilization since the sixth century BC, and (3) to assist them in discovering connections between the various epochs. The purpose of the course is not to present a general survey of Western history. Instruction consists of intensive investigation of a selection of original documents bearing on a number of separate topics, usually two or three a quarter, occasionally supplemented by the work of a modern historian. The treatment of the selected topics varies from section to section. This sequence is currently offered twice a year. The amount of material covered is the same whether the student enrolls in the Autumn-Winter-Spring sequence or the Summer sequence.
HIST 13500 America in World Civilization 1 The American Civ sequence is nothing like your high-school history class, for here we examine America as a contested idea and a contested place by reading and writing about a wide array of primary sources. In the process, students gain a new sense of historical awareness and of the making of America. The course is designed both for history majors and non-majors who want to deepen their understanding of the nation's history, encounter some enlightening and provocative voices from the past, and develop the qualitative methodology of historical thinking. America in World Civilization I examines foundational texts and moments in American culture, society, and politics, from early European incursions into the New World through the early republic of the United States, roughly 1500-1800. We will examine encounters between Native Americans and representatives of imperial powers (Spain, France, and England) as well as the rise of African slavery in North America before 1700. We will consider the development of Anglo-American society and government in the eighteenth century, focusing especially on the causes and consequences of the American Revolution.
HIST 13900 Introduction to Russian Civilization 1 (W. Nickell) This two-quarter sequence, which meets the general education requirement in civilization studies, provides an interdisciplinary introduction to Russian civilization. The first quarter covers the ninth century to the 1870s; the second quarter continues on through the post-Soviet period. Working closely with a variety of primary sources—from oral legends to film and music, from political treatises to literary masterpieces—we will track the evolution of Russian civilization over the centuries and through radically different political regimes. Topics to be discussed include the influence of Byzantine, Mongol-Tataric, and Western culture in Russian civilization; forces of change and continuity in political, intellectual and cultural life; the relationship between center and periphery; systems of social and political legitimization; and symbols and practices of collective identity.
HIST 15200 Introduction to East Asian Civilization 2 (J. Ketelaar) In 2017–18 EA Civ 2 (Japan) will be offered in Autumn and EA Civ 1 (China) will be offered in Winter. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This is a three-quarter sequence on the civilizations of China, Japan, and Korea, with emphasis on major transformation in these cultures and societies from the Middle Ages to the present. Taking these courses in sequence is not required.
LACS 16100/HIST 16101 Introduction to Latin American Civilization 1 (E. Kourí) 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 first quarter examines the origins of civilizations in Latin America with a focus on the political, social, and cultural features of the major pre-Columbian civilizations of the Maya, Inca, and Aztec. The quarter concludes with an analysis of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest and the construction of colonial societies in Latin America.
HIST 16700 Ancient Mediterranean World 1: Greece Available as a three-quarter sequence (Autumn-Winter-Spring) or as a two-quarter sequence (Autumn-Winter or Winter-Spring). This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence surveys the social, economic, and political history of Greece to the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC), the Roman Republic (509 to 27 BC), and late antiquity (27 BC to the fifth century AD). This quarter surveys the social, economic, and political history of Greece from prehistory to the Hellenistic period. The main topics considered include the development of the institutions of the Greek city-state, the Persian Wars and the rivalry of Athens and Sparta, the social and economic consequences of the Peloponnesian War, and the eclipse and defeat of the city-states by the Macedonians. The sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.
HIPS 17300/HIST 17300 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization I (J. Wee) This course focuses on the origins and development of science in the West. The aim is to trace the evolution of the biological, psychological, natural, and mathematical sciences as they emerge from the cultural and social matrix of their periods, and in turn, affect culture and society. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence focuses on the origins and development of science in the West.
HIPS 17400/HIST 17400 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: Early Modern Science (A. Johns) Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This quarter is devoted to a period of extraordinary upheaval. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries knowledge about the natural world was transformed, in a process that is often called the scientific revolution. We look at the major figures in this process—Copernicus, Galileo, Harvey, Newton, and more. Placing their achievements in historical context, we examine how they shaped what would become the modern scientific enterprise.
NEHC 20011/HIST 15602 Ancient Empires 1: Hittite Empire (H. Haroutunian) This sequence introduces three great empires of the ancient world. Each course in the sequence focuses on one empire, with attention to the similarities and differences among the empires being considered. By exploring the rich legacy of documents and monuments that these empires produced, students are introduced to ways of understanding imperialism and its cultural and societal effects—both on the imperial elites and on those they conquered. Taking these courses in sequence is not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.
HMRT 20301/HIST 29304 Human Rights: Contemporary Issues (S. Gzesh) This interdisciplinary course presents an overview of several major contemporary human-rights problems as a means to explore the use of human-rights norms and mechanisms. The course addresses the roles of states, intergovernmental bodies, national courts, and civil-society actors, including NGOs, victims and their families, and other non-state actors. Topics are likely to include universalism, enforceability of human-rights norms, the prohibition against torture, US exceptionalism, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and noncitizens.
NEHC 20501/ HIST 25704 Islamic History and Society 1: The Rise of Islam and the Caliphate (F. Donner) 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 ca. 600 to 1100, including the rise and spread of Islam, the Islamic empire under the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, and the emergence of regional Islamic states from Afghanistan and eastern Iran to North Africa and Spain. The sequence meets the general eduation requirement in civilization studies.
CLCV 20517/HIST 20505 The First Great Transformation: The Economies of the Ancient World (A. Bresson) This class examines the determinants of economic growth in the ancient world. It covers various cultural areas (especially Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and China) from circa 3,000 BCE to circa 500 CE. By contrast with the modern world, ancient cultures have long been supposed to be doomed to stagnation and routine. The goal of this class is to revisit the old paradigm with a fresh methodology, which combines a rigorous economic approach and a special attention to specific cultural achievements. We will assess the factors that indeed weighed against positive growth, but we will also discover that far from being immobile the cultures of the ancient world constantly invented new forms of social and economic organization. This was indeed a world where periods of positive growth were followed by periods of brutal decline. But if envisaged on the longue durée, this was a period of decisive achievements, which provided the basis for the future accomplishments of the early modern and modern world.
NEHC 20601/HIST 25610 Islamic Thought and Literature I: Origins of Islamic Civilization 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 600 to 950, concentrating on the career of the Prophet Muhammad, Qur‘an and Hadith, the Caliphate, the development of Islamic legal, theological, philosophical, and mystical discourses, sectarian movements, and Arabic literature. All readings are in English translation. No prior background in the subject is required.
NEHC 20601/HIST 25610 Islamic Thought and Literature I: Origins of Islamic Civilization (A. El Shamsy) 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 600 to 950, concentrating on the career of the Prophet Muhammad, Qur‘an and Hadith, the Caliphate, the development of Islamic legal, theological, philosophical, and mystical discourses, sectarian movements, and Arabic literature. All readings are in English translation. No prior background in the subject is required.
NEHC 20605/HIST 26005 Colloquium: Sources for the Study of Islamic History (J. Woods) This course is designed to acquaint the student with the basic problems and concepts as well as the sources and methodology for the study of premodern Islamic history. Sources will be read in English translation and the tools acquired will be applied to specific research projects to be submitted as term papers.
KNOW 21413/HIST 22218 Sex and Enlightenment Science (M. Carlyle, postdoctoral fellow, Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge) What do a lifelike wax woman, a birthing dummy, and a hermaphrodite have in common? This interdisciplinary course seeks answers to this question by exploring how eighteenth-century scientific and medical ideas, technologies, and practices interacted with and influenced contemporary notions of sex, sexuality, and gender. In our course, the terms "sex," "Enlightenment," and "science" will be problematized in their historic contexts using a variety of primary and secondary sources. Through these texts, as well as images and objects, we will see how emerging scientific theories about sex, sexuality, and gender contributed to new understandings of the human, especially female, body. We will also see how the liberating potential of Enlightenment thought gave way to sexual and racial theories that insisted on fundamental human difference. Topics to be covered include theories of generation, childbirth, homosexuality, monstrosities, race and procreation, and hermaphrodites and questions about the "sex" of the enlightened scientist and the gendering of scientific practices.
PHIL 22000/HIST 25109 Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (T. Pashby) We will begin by trying to explicate the manner in which science is a rational response to observational facts. This will involve a discussion of inductivism, Popper’s deductivism, Lakatos and Kuhn. After this, we will briefly survey some other important topics in the philosophy of science, including underdetermination, theories of evidence, Bayesianism, the problem of induction, explanation, and laws of nature.
HIST 23006 Looting in Modern European History (A. Goff) At the end of the eighteenth century Europeans recognized the seizure of enemy property to be a time honored practice of warfare and subjugation. At the same time, however, new ideas about human rights, cultural heritage, and international law began to reshape the place of looting in the exercise of power. This course will take up the history of looting in European cultural and political life from the late eighteenth through the twentieth centuries as a tool of nationalism, imperialism, totalitarianism, and scholarship. How was looting defined, who defined it, and what kinds of ethical and legal codes governed its use? How was the seizure of personal property, cultural artifacts, and sacred objects legitimized by its practitioners and experienced by its victims? In what ways did looting change the meaning of objects and why? How do we understand looting in relationship to other forms of violence and destruction in the modern period? While the focus of the course will be on Europe, we will necessarily be concerned with a global frame as we follow cases of looting in colonial contexts, through migration, exploration, and during war. Course materials will including primary texts, images, objects, and historical accounts. Students will be required to write a final historiographical essay.
CRES 24001/HIST 18301 Colonizations 1 This three-quarter sequence approaches the concept of civilization from an emphasis on cross-cultural and societal connection and exchange. We explore the dynamics of conquest, slavery, colonialism, and their reciprocal relationships with concepts such as resistance, freedom, and independence, with an eye toward understanding their interlocking role in the making of the modern world. The course covers themes of slavery, colonization, and the making of the Atlantic world in the first quarter.
CRES 24003/HIST 18303 Colonizations 3 This three-quarter sequence approaches the concept of civilization from an emphasis on cross-cultural and societal connection and exchange. We explore the dynamics of conquest, slavery, colonialism, and their reciprocal relationships with concepts such as resistance, freedom, and independence, with an eye toward understanding their interlocking role in the making of the modern world. The third quarter considers the processes and consequences of decolonization both in the newly independent nations and the former colonial powers.
HIST 24500 Reading Qing Documents (G. Alitto) Reading and discussion of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century historical political documents, including such forms as memorials, decrees, local gazetteers, diplomatic communications, essays, and the like.
HIST 24611 Economic Change in China, circa 1800–2000 (K. Pomeranz) An overview of Chinese economic development since the end of the eighteenth century, with attention to its social, political, and environmental ramifications. Topics in the first part of the course include the Qing property-rights system and its implications for rural society; merchant organization, internal trade, migration, and the imperial political economy, this section of the course concludes with explanations of the economic and other crises that caused late-nineteenth and early twentieth century China to be called the "land of famine." Part two covers changes in China's relationship to the outside world, the beginnings of industrialization, and the complex patterns of regional growth and stagnation up through the victory of the Communist Party in 1949. Part three looks at both Maoist (1949–1976) and post-Maoist development, emphasizing the economic consequences of institutional changes, industrialization and urbanization (especially since 1978), and the evolving tensions with a so-called "socialist market economy." Mostly lecture, with some class time for discussions, plus an online discussion board; midterm, final, and two short papers (5–7-pages each).
HIST 24905 Darwin's On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man (R. Richards) This lecture-discussion class will focus on a close reading of Darwin's two classic texts. An initial class or two will explore the state of biology prior to Darwin's Beagle voyage, and then consider the development of his theories before 1859. Then we will turn to his two books. Among the topics of central concern will be the logical, epistemological, and rhetorical status of Darwin's several theories, especially his evolutionary ethics; the religious foundations of his ideas and the religious reaction to them; and the social-political consequences of his accomplishment. The year 2009 was the two hundredth anniversary of Darwin's birth and the one hundred fiftieth of the publication of On the Origin of Species.
HIST 25421 Censorship from the Inquisition to the Present (S. McManus & A. Palmer) Collaborative research seminar on the history of censorship and information control, with a focus on the history of books and information technologies. The class will meet in Special Collections, and students will work with the professor to prepare an exhibit, The History of Censorship, to be held in the Special Collections exhibit space in the spring. Students will work with rare books and archival materials, design exhibit cases, write exhibit labels, and contribute to the exhibit catalog. Half the course will focus on censorship in early modern Europe, including the Inquisition, the spread of the printing press, and clandestine literature in the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Special focus on the effects of censorship on classical literature, both newly rediscovered works like Lucretius and lost books of Plato, and authors like Pliny the Elder and Seneca who had been available in the Middle Ages but became newly controversial in the Renaissance. The other half of the course will look at modern and contemporary censorship issues, from wartime censorship, to the censorship of comic books, to digital-rights management, to free speech on our own campus. Students may choose whether to focus their own research and exhibit cases on classical, early modern, modern, or contemporary censorship.
BPRO 26030/HIST 25424 The Nuclear Age (D. Nelson) Seventy-five years ago a group of scientists achieved the first sustained nuclear chain reaction, commonly known as the Chicago Pile Number 1 or CP-1, at the University of Chicago under Stagg Field. This course will be part of the commemoration and reflection taking place across the university this autumn. Its goal will be to explore the ensuing nuclear age from different disciplinary perspectives by organizing a ring lecture. Each week's lecture will be delivered by faculty from fields across the university (for instance, history, physics, biomedicine, anthropology, and English), followed by a discussion section to synthesize and integrate the lecture material with the many surrounding university events. CP-1 was not only a scientific achievement of the highest magnitude, but also a civilization-changing event that remains at the boundary of the thinkable.
REES 26064/HIST 23707 Revolution R. Bird & S. Fitzpatrick Revolution primarily denotes radical political change, but this definition is both too narrow and too broad. Too broad, because since the late eighteenth century revolution has been associated specifically with an emancipatory politics, from American democracy to Soviet communism. Too narrow, because revolutionary political change is always accompanied by change in other spheres, from philosophy to everyday life. We investigate the history of revolution from 1776 to the present, with a particular focus on the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, in order to ascertain how social revolutions have been constituted, conducted, and enshrined in political and cultural institutions. We also ask what the conditions and prospects of revolution are today. Readings will be drawn from a variety of fields, from philosophy to social history. Most readings will be primary documents, from Rousseau and Marx to Bill Ayers, but will also include major statements in the historiography of revolution.
GEOG 26100/HIST 28900 Roots of the Modern American City (M. Conzen) This course traces the economic, social, and physical development of the city in North America from pre-European times to the mid-twentieth century. We emphasize evolving regional urban systems, the changing spatial organization of people and land use in urban areas, and the developing distinctiveness of American urban landscapes. All-day Illinois field trip required.
HIST 26106 Tropical Commodities in Latin America (E. Kourí) This colloquium explores selected aspects of the social, economic, and cultural history of tropical export commodities from Latin America, e.g., coffee, bananas, sugar, tobacco, henequen, rubber, vanilla, and cocaine. Topics include land, labor, capital, markets, transport, geopolitics, power, taste, and consumption.
NEHC 26151/HIST 26008 History of Iraq in the Twentieth Century (O. Bashkin) This course explores the history of Iraq from 1917 to 2015. We will discuss the rise of the Iraqi nation-state, Iraqi and pan-Arab nationalism, and Iraqi authoritarianism. The class will focus on the histories of particular groups in Iraqi society: religious groups (Shiites, Sunnis, Jews), ethnic groups (especially Kurds), classes (the urban poor, the educated middle classes, the landed and tribal elites), Iraqi women, and Iraqi tribesmen. Other class sessions will explore prominent ideologies in the Iraqi public sphere, from communism to Islamic radicalism. We will likewise discuss how colonialism and imperialism shaped major trends in Iraqi history. Reading materials combine primary and secondary sources: Iraqi novels, memoirs, and poems (in translation), as well as British and American diplomatic documents about Iraq.
HIST 26513 The Migrant City: Migration, Urbanization, and the Making of the Americas in the Twentieth Century (E. de Antuñano Villarreal, Von Holst Prize Lecturer) This course investigates cities in the Americas as "migrant cities," that is, the outcomes of the movement of millions of peoples across regions, borders, and oceans. We will consider three broad migratory movements: European migrations to cities such as New York and Buenos Aires between 1870 and 1930; internal migrations of people of African or indigenous descent from the US South to northern cities and from the Brazilian northeast to its southern industrial cities between 1930 and 1970; and, finally, the South-North migration from Mexico and Central America to the United States between 1970 and the present. By comparing these migratory movements, we will explore how migration has shaped twentieth-century megacities, asking, among other questions: Is the United States "melting pot" truly exceptional or has the whole continent been effected by movements of people across regions and borders? Have cities represented spaces of opportunity and liberation for migrants, or rather, are they sites where inequality and oppression have simply adopted a different form? What is the relationship between urban migration and twentieth-century understandings of race and culture? Is the presence of Latinos and Mexicans in US cities a new phenomenon or and old one? Does it represent a threat, an opportunity, or more of the same?
KNOW 27004/HIST 25617 Babylon and the Origins of Knowledge (E. Escobar) In 1946 the economist John Maynard Keynes declared that Isaac Newton "was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians." We find throughout history, in the writings of Galileo, Jorge Luis Borges, Ibn Khaldun, Herodotus, and the Hebrew Bible, a city of Babylon full of contradictions. At once sinful and reverential, a site of magic and science, rational and irrational, Babylon seemed destined to resound in the historical imagination as the birthplace of knowledge itself. But how does the myth compare to history? How did the Babylonians themselves envisage their own knowledge? And is it reasonable to draw, as Keynes did, a line that begins with Babylon and ends with Newton? In this course we will take a cross-comparative approach, investigating the history of the ancient city and its continuity in the scientific imagination.
CRES 27512/HIST 22116 Making Postcolonial Europe (E. Fransee) Although it is more common to talk about formerly colonized territories as being postcolonial, Europe is also shape profoundly shaped by its history of empire. This course will consider political systems and the ways in which colonialism shaped cultural production, economic structures, and shifting ideas about gender, sexuality, and race. Reading materials will include primary documents (fiction, film, material culture, and art) and secondary historical analysis. Students will analyse these texts and their historical contexts in order to understand factors relevant to the history of global colonialism, including technology, sexuality and gender, race, war and violence, labor, resources and development, modernity, and the state. Through a combination of discussion, reading, short lecture, and different types of writing, students will gain a general narrative of the history of the European colonialism and decolonization and the making of postcolonial Europe. Students will leave the course with a broad narrative of the history of European colonialism and develop their capacity for critical analysis, based in both text and context.
CRES 27517/HIST 29103 Gender and Race in the Atlantic World (C. Séquin) This course explores the crucial role that gender and race played in the formation and development of Atlantic societies as a way to build a critical "genealogy of the present" and to investigate the roots of persisting gender and racial hierarchies and inequalities in today's societies. Focusing on North America, the Caribbean, and West Africa, from the time of early colonial encounters in the sixteenth century to the present, the course examines how ideas about gender and race shaped significant developments across the Atlantic, such as colonial conquests and projects, the Atlantic slave trade, plantation slavery, nationalism, and postcolonial migrations. It posits gender, sexuality, and race as fluid categories that were repeatedly produced and reproduced to establish, legitimize, and maintain various regimes of power and social inequalities, while also shaping the meaning of citizenship, republicanism, and national identity. Just as importantly, it considers how women, blacks, mixed-race, and colonial subjects navigated and at times challenged the gender, racial, and sexual economies of the societies in which they lived.
SALC 27701/HIST 26602 Mughal India: Tradition and Transition (M. Alam) The focus of this course is on the period of Mughal rule during the late sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, especially on selected issues that have been at the center of historiographical debate in the past decades. This course is directed towards graduate students; undergraduates may enroll with the permission of the instructor.
HIPS 28307/HIST 25422 Global Environmental Humanities (I. Gabel) This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities, which calls on us to study the global environment, and the threats posed by globalization and climate change, using the tools of history, cultural studies, philosophy, and literature. Reading texts from these and other disciplines, we will attend to the ways that "environment" registers in political, aesthetic, and social life across the globe. Sample authors: Fernand Braudel, William Cronon, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Amitav Ghosh, Ursula Heise, Joseph Masco, Jed Purdy, Anna Tsing.
HIST 28802 US Labor History (A. Stanley) This course will explore the history of labor and laboring people in the United States. The significance of work will be considered from the vantage points of political economy, culture, and law. Key topics will include working-class life, industrialization and corporate capitalism, slavery and emancipation, the role of the state and trade unions, and race and sex difference in the workplace.
HIST 29519 Histories of Racial Capitalism (D. Jenkins) This course takes as its starting point the insistence that the movement, settlement, and hierarchical arrangements of people of African descent is inseparable from regimes of capital accumulation. It builds on the concept of "racial capitalism," which rejects treatments of race as external to a purely economic project and counters the idea that racism is an externality, cultural overflow, or aberration from the so-called real workings of capitalism. With a focus on the African diaspora, this course will cover topics such as racial slavery, labor in Jamaica, banking in the Caribbean, black capitalism in Miami, the under development of Africa, mass incarceration, and the contemporary demand for racial reparations.
HIPS 29800/HIST 25503 Junior HIPSS Seminar: My Favorite Readings in the History and Philosophy of Science (R. Richards) This course introduces some of the most important and influential accounts of science to have been produced in modern times. It provides an opportunity to discover how philosophers, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists have grappled with the scientific enterprise and to assess critically how successful their efforts have been. Authors likely include Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Robert Merton, Steven Shapin, and Bruno Latour.
HIST 29801 BA Seminar 1 (S. Burns) History majors are required to take HIST 29801–29802. BA Seminar 1 provides a systematic introduction to historical methodology and approaches (e.g., political, intellectual, social, cultural, economic, gender, environmental history), as well as research techniques. It culminates in students' submission of a robust BA thesis proposal that will be critiqued in class. Guidance will also be provided for applications for research funding. All third-year history majors in residence in Chicago take HIST 29801 in Spring quarter. Those who are out of residence take it in Autumn quarter of their fourth year.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates by Consent
SCTH 33401/HIST 49403 Conceptual Foundations of the Modern State (Q. Skinner) The course will examine the evolution of Western thinking about the modern concept of the state. The focus will be on Renaissance theories (Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas More), theories of absolute sovereignty (especially Thomas Hobbes), theories about "free states" (James Harrington, John Locke), and republican theories from the era of the Enlightenment.
SALC 27701/HIST 26602 Mughal India: Tradition and Transition (M. Alam) The focus of this course is on the period of Mughal rule during the late-sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, especially on selected issues that have been at the center of historiographical debate in the past decades. This course is directed towards graduate students; undergraduates may enroll with the permission of the instructor.
TURK 40589/HIST 58301 Colloquium: Advanced Ottoman Historical Texts (C. Fleischer) Based on selected readings from major Ottoman chronicles from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, the course provides an introduction to the use of primary narrative materials and an overview of the development and range of Ottoman historical writing. Knowledge of modern and Ottoman Turkish required.
HIST 42105 Cities and Towns in the Middle Ages (R. Fulton Brown) It is true: most people in medieval Europe did not live in cities or towns. And yet, cities lay at the heart of the medieval world. Christians looked to become citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, emperors and kings modeled their courts on Rome, scholars traveled to study in Paris, merchants and artisans set up shop in Venice and Bruges, Franciscans and Dominicans preached to the people in the market squares. This course explores the role of the city in medieval life as both idea and environment. Themes include the construction of cities, the occupations of the city, its political, economic, legal, educational, and administrative importance, life in the city with special emphasis on students, Jews, entertainers, and women, the virtues and aesthetics of the city, the city in warfare, and the change in the importance of cities and towns from the sack of Rome in AD 410 to the rise of the Hansa and the Italian city-states by the later fourteenth century.
HIST 43801 Colloquium: Russia and the World (F. Hillis) Interrogating the image of Russia as an inward-looking power that has pursued its own historical path, this seminar will examine Russia's interactions with the outside world in the early modern and modern periods. Topics to be considered include Russian participation in international trade and diplomacy, the role of European and Asian cultures in Russian intellectual life, Russia's role in migration and colonization processes, the status of minorities in the Russian empire and the Soviet Union, and Russia's role in the production of transnational ideologies. This is a reading-intensive seminar taught at the graduate level; it is open to undergraduates with solid knowledge of Russian/Soviet history who have obtained the instructor's permission. Knowledge of Russian is not necessary.
HIST 49502 Colloquium: Colonialism, Globalization, and Postcolonialism (R. Austen) This course deal with the relationships between Europe (mainly Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Germany) and tropical Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, and Indonesia from the fifteenth century to the present. We will examine early modern trading-post and slave-plantation empires, their transformation into modern colonial states with European rulers and indigenous subject populations, and the fate of these territories as "postcolonies" in the late-twentieth- and early twenty-first-century global order. The analytic goal is to integrate politics (the formation of colonial regimes and successor nation-states), economics (the dialectics of colonialism, underdevelopment, and global capitalism), and culture (the construction of European and "Third World" identities via colonialism).
HIST 56705 Colloquium: Modern Korean History 1 (B. Cumings) By modern, we mean Korea since its "opening" in 1876. We read about one book per week in the autumn. Before each session, one student will write a three- to four-page paper on the reading, with another student commenting on it. In the winter, 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 58601 Colloquium: Iran and Central Asia (J. Woods) A colloquium on the sources for and the literature on the political, social, economic, technological, and cultural history of Western and Central Asia from 900 to 1750. Specific topics will vary and focus on the Turks and the Islamic world, the Mongol universal empire, the age of Timur and the Turkmens, and the development of the "Gunpowder Empires."