History Gateways are introductory courses meant to appeal to first- through third-year students who may not have done previous course work on the topic of the course; topics cover the globe and span the ages.
HIST 11301 Global British Empire to 1784: War, Commerce, and Revolution (S. Pincus) This course traces the origins, development, and revolutionary transformation of the British Empire. Students will explore the English Civil War, King Philip's War, Bacon's Rebellion, the development of slavery, the Revolution of 1688, the making of British India, the rise of Irish discontent, the Scottish Jacobite Rebellions, the causes of the American Revolution, and the transformation of the British Empire into an authoritarian state. Students will read selections from Locke, Defoe, Swift, Franklin, Burke, and many others.
HIST 18600 US Labor History (A. Stanley) This course explores the history of labor and laboring people in the United States. It will consider the significance of work from the vantage points of law, culture, and political economy. Key topics will include working-class life, industrialization and corporate capitalism, slavery and emancipation, the role of the state and trade unions, race and sex difference in the workplace. The course is intended for freshmen through seniors, as well as majors in history and in other disciplines.
History majors take at least one history colloquium, though you are welcome to take more than one. Students interested in pursuing the research or BA-thesis track should take a colloquium prior to Spring Quarter of their third year; those pursuing other tracks can take a colloquium at any point prior to graduation.
HIST 29681 Radical America (J. Dailey) This undergraduate research colloquium explores various sorts of radicalisms (religious, political, sexual, environmental) from the eighteenth century to the present. Students will write a fifteen-page work of original historical research.
HIST 29683 Race, Slavery, and Nation (R. Johnson) This undergraduate research colloquium examines the relationship between slavery and republicanism in the early United States. With an interdisciplinary approach and transnational perspective, it considers the contested role of chattel slavery in the creation of US political systems, market relations, social hierarchies, and cultural productions. We will use primary sources and secondary literature to consider the possibilities and limits of archival research; contingent histories of race-making; the relationship between slavery and capitalism; the workings of domination, agency, and resistance; and black "freedom dreams" in the antebellum United States. Assignment: an original research paper (15–20 pages) using primary and secondary sources.
HIST 12001 Medieval History: Theories & Methods (J. Lyon) This course will introduce students to research methods and historical theories that are central to the field of medieval European history (500–1500 AD). The first section of the course is designed to give students a grounding in some of the most important historical narratives (political, social, economic, religious, intellectual, cultural) about the medieval period. Students will then spend the middle weeks of the quarter exploring the different types of original sources (written and non-written) that historians use to conduct research on the Middle Ages. This section of the course will include class time at the Regenstein Library's Special Collections. In the final weeks, we will concentrate on some of the scholarly debates that have shaped the modern field of medieval history. Grades will be determined on the basis of a midterm exam, a final exam, two short papers, and classroom discussion.
HIST 24513 Documentary Chinese (G. Alitto) This course guides students through critical readings of primary historical documents from approximately 1800 through 1950. These documents are translated sentence by sentence, and then historiographically analyzed. Most of these documents are from the nineteenth century. Genres include public imperial edicts, secret imperial edicts, secret memorials to the throne from officials, official reports to superiors and from superiors, funereal essays, depositions ("confessions"), local gazetteers (fangzhi), newspapers, and periodicals. To provide an introduction to these genres, the first six weeks of the course will use the Fairbank and Kuhn textbook The Rebellion of Chung Jen-chieh (Harvard-Yanjing Institute). The textbook provides ten different genres of document with vocabulary glosses and grammatical explanations; all documents relate to an 1841–42 rebellion in Hubei province. Assignments: each week prior to class students electronically submit a written translation of the document or documents to be read; a day after the class they electronically submit a corrected translation of the document or documents read. A fifteen-page term paper based on original sources in documentary Chinese is also required. A reading knowledge of modern (baihua) Chinese and some familiarity with classical Chinese (wenyan) or Japanese Kanbun. Other students may take the course with permission from the instructor.
HIST 26320 Latin American Historiography, 19th–21st Century (M. Tenorio) Review of recent trends in the history of the regions. Weekly reviews.
HIST 29801 BA Thesis Seminar I (P. O'Donnell) History students in the research track are required to take HIST 29801–29802. BA Thesis Seminar I 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 students in the research track and 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. You must receive a B grade in BA Seminar I to continue in the research track and enroll in BA Seminar II.
HIST 29800 BA Thesis Seminar II: Autumn (C. Kindell & C. Rydell) BA Seminar II is a forum to successfully complete the BA thesis, the topic of which was developed in BA Seminar I, in a structured forum that allows for ongoing discussion and peer review. Autumn Quarter is devoted to completing the research and beginning the writing of the thesis. By the end of the quarter students will have drafted 10–15 pages. Over the course of the Winter Quarter students will complete a draft of the thesis, which will be workshopped in the biweekly sessions. The final deadline for submission of the thesis is the second week of the Spring Quarter. Students register for the seminar in both autumn and winter quarters; the seminar meets every other week in autumn and winter for 10-weeks total.
HIST 29803 Historiography (P. O'Donnell) The course provides a systematic introduction to historical methodology and approaches (e.g., political, intellectual, social, cultural, economic, gender, environmental history), as well as research techniques. Students will gain analytical, research, and writing tools that will assist them in their capstone projects, research colloquia, or BA theses. Assignments: weekly response papers, short presentation and paper, take-home final exam. Historiography is required for all majors beginning with the class of 2021, but open to all students.
HIST 29804 Capstone Seminar: Autumn (P. O'Donnell) Capstone Seminar is a forum to create, discuss, and develop History capstone projects. Early weeks of the seminar will be devoted to exploring various forms historical work can take, from museum installations to podcasts and documentaries. In-process work will beshared and critiqued in workshops. The course meets every other week in autumn and winter, allowing students ample time to develop their projects on their own. The final deadline for submission of the Capstone Project is the second week of Spring Quarter.
HIST 10101 Introduction to African Civilization I (E. Osborn) African Civilization introduces students to African history in a three-quarter sequence. Part One considers literary, oral, and archeological sources to investigate African societies and states from the early Iron Age through the emergence of the Atlantic World. We will study the empires of Ghana and Mali, the Swahili Coast, Great Zimbabwe, and medieval Ethiopia. We will also explore the expansion of Islam, the origins and effects of European contact, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
MUSI 12100/HIST 12700 Music in Western Civilization 1: To 1750 (R. Kendrick) This course, part of the Social Sciences Civilization Core, looks at musics in different moments of Euro-American history and the social contexts in which they originated, with some comparative views on other world traditions. It aims to give students a better understanding of the social contexts of European music over this period, aids for the basic sound structures of pieces from these different moments, and convincing writing in response to prompts based on source readings or music pieces. The first quarter (MUS 12100 etc.) spans roughly the period between Charlemagne's coronation as Holy Roman Emperor (800 CE) and the dissolution of the Empire (1806) with the triumph of Napoleon across Western Europe.
HIST 13001 History of European Civilization I 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 I (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 I 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 13802 The Russian Empire (F. Hillis) Empire is back in contemporary Russia. Old imperial insignia have replaced hammers and sickles on government buildings, the bodies of the last tsar and his family have been exhumed and venerated, and Putin's foreign policy stakes imperial claims on the nations on Russia's border. This course examines what the Russian empire was, how it worked, and the legacies that it left behind. Themes to be considered include the culture of the autocracy and the tradition of reform from above; imperial expansion and multiethnic society; the construction of class, ethnic, and estate identities; and the causes and consequences of the Old Regime's collapse. First-year students warmly welcomed; no prior Russian history, culture, or language assumed.
HIST 13900 Introduction to Russian Civilization I (E. Gilburd & W. Nickells) 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 15100 Introduction to East Asian Civilization I (G. Alitto) 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 I (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 I: Greece (C. Kearns) 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 18300/HIST 17310 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization I: Greek and Roman Science (J. Wee) This undergraduate core course represents the first quarter of the Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization sequence. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This quarter will focus on aspects of ancient Greek and Roman intellectual history, their perceived continuities or discontinuities with modern definitions and practices of science, and how they were shaped by the cultures, politics, and aesthetics of their day. Topics surveyed include history writing and ancient science, the cosmos, medicine and biology, meteorology, ethnography and physiognomics, arithmetic and geometry, mechanics, taxonomy, optics, astronomy, and mechanical computing.
HIPS 18503/HIST 17313 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: History of the Social Sciences (P. Mostajir) Social science is generally used to refer to the various disciplines devoted to the study of humanity in its social manifestations: sociology, social and cultural anthropology, economics, political science, geography, and history. But these disciplines employ radically different methodologies, rooted in distinct histories. While positive social science and the application of statistics to society began in the context of French revolutionary nation building, ethnographic methods emerged in the very different context of British imperial encounters with "exotic" cultures. In the midst of a growing interest in "society" and "culture," distinct methodological schools with competing social and cultural ontologies and methodologies emerged across Europe. This course studies these traditions and their development in the social and cultural contexts of revolution, empire, racial justice, and disciplinary institutionalization.
HIST 18806 Introduction to Black Chicago, 1893–2010 (A. Green) This course surveys the history of African Americans in Chicago, from before the twentieth century to the near present. In referring to that history, we treat a variety of themes, including migration and its impact, the origins and effects of class stratification, the relation of culture and cultural endeavor to collective consciousness, the rise of institutionalized religions, facts and fictions of political empowerment, and the correspondence of Black lives and living to indices of city wellness (services, schools, safety, general civic feeling). This is a history class that situates itself within a robust interdisciplinary conversation. Students can expect to engage works of autobiography and poetry, sociology, documentary photography, and political science as well as more straightforward historical analysis. By the end of the class, students should have grounding in Black Chicago's history and an appreciation of how this history outlines and anticipates Black life and racial politics in the modern United States.
NEHC 20012/HIST 15603 Ancient Empires II (H. Karateke) This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. The Ottomans ruled in Anatolia, the Middle East, South East Europe, and North Africa for over six hundred years. The objective of this course is to understand the society and culture of this bygone empire whose legacy continues, in one way or another, in some twenty-five contemporary successor states from the Balkans to the Arabian Peninsula. The course is designed as an introduction to the Ottoman world with a focus on the cultural history of the Ottoman society. It explores identities and mentalities, customs and rituals, status of minorities, mystical orders and religious establishments, literacy and the use of the public sphere.
NEHC 20201/HIST 15611 Islamicate Civilization I, 600–950 (A. El Shamsy) This course covers the rise and spread of Islam, the Islamic empire under the Umayyad and early Abbasid caliphs, and the emergence of regional Islamic states from Afghanistan and eastern Iran to North Africa and Spain. The main focus will be on political, economic, and social history.
NEHC 20601/HIST 25610 Islamic Thought and Literature I (A. El Shamsy) This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. It 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. All readings are in English translation. No prior background in the subject is required.
NEHC 20840/HIST 25901 Radical Islamic Pieties, 1200–1600 (C. Fleischer) This 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; and transconfessionalism, antinomianism, and the articulation of sacral sovereignties in the sixteenth century. All work in English, but some knowledge of primary languages (i.e., Arabic, French, German, Greek, Latin, Persian, Spanish, Turkish) helpful.
HMRT 21002/HIST 29319 Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations (B. Laurence) Human rights are claims of justice that hold merely in virtue of our shared humanity. In this course we will explore philosophical theories of this elementary and crucial form of justice. Among topics to be considered are the role that dignity and humanity play in grounding such rights, their relation to political and economic institutions, and the distinction between duties of justice and claims of charity or humanitarian aid. Finally we will consider the application of such theories to concrete, problematic, and pressing problems, such as global poverty, torture, and genocide.
RLST 21330/HIST 22121 Despair and Consolation: Emotion and Affect in Late Medieval and Reformation Christianity (M. Vanderpoel) The course surveys major texts in Christian thought and culture from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, and it focuses on how these authors understood despair—a central theme in the writings of many women and men, secular and religious—and how, if at all, despair may be remedied. We will think alongside these late medieval and early modern figures about the phenomenon of emotion, the relations between feeling and knowing, possible responses to (especially negative) affects, and how religious belief, practice, and experience shape and are shaped by emotional life. We will read major historical figures, including Catherine of Siena, Jean Gerson, Christine de Pisan, Julian of Norwich, Heinrich Kramer, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Teresa of Ávila, and Michel de Montaigne. We will also read selected contemporary voices in affect theory and disability studies to hone our critical and analytical resources for interpreting the primary texts.
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 23209 France and Its Empire, 1830–2020 (L. Auslander) Opening with the French invasion of Algeria and closing with the contemporary debates around race, gender, secularism, and Islam, this course will provide both an overview of France's engagement in the world and its consequences and an in-depth knowledge of some key moments or events. Special attention will be given to the engagement of French feminists in the imperial project and the development of feminist movements in West and North Africa; the role of indigenous intermediaries; and the mobilization of culture in the interests of both imperial rule and anti-colonial nationalism. Materials will include primary printed and visual and material sources, such as films, as well as a textbook for background. The format will combine lecture and discussion. Assignments: class presentations on the readings, a midterm paper, and a final paper. Attendance will be required and participation graded.
HIST 23400 Sex in Twentieth-Century Europe (M. Appeltová, Teaching Fellow) This course will examine the "syncopated" history of sexuality across this tumultuous century. The period took Europeans from bourgeois norms of sexuality through the 1960s sexual revolution to same-sex marriages; genocide and the emergence of rape as a war crime; and the unprecedented regulation of sexuality and biomedical developments treating infertility. Since the history of sex and sexuality in Europe cannot be thought outside of European colonialism and the Cold War, the course will also examine how sexuality shaped and was shaped by political ideologies. In short, by examining the centrality of "who can have sex with whom," students will rethink "standard" political narratives of twentieth-century Europe. Working with Dagmar Herzog's Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History, the main text of the course, and drawing on a variety of primary sources—including law and medical treatises, popular culture, and autobiographies—students will also gain an insight into the ways in which sexuality can be studied beyond archival sources.
CRES 24001/HIST 18301 Colonizations I 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. Colonizations I covers themes of slavery, colonization, and the making of the Atlantic world in the first quarter.
CRES 24003/HIST 18303 Colonizations III 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. Colonizations III considers the processes and consequences of decolonization both in the newly independent nations and the former colonial powers.
EALC 24256/HIST 24512 Everyday Maoism: Work, Daily Life, and Material Culture in Socialist China (J. Eyferth & Y. Shi) The history of the People's Republic is usually told as a sequence of political campaigns. In this course, we will look at aspects that were not outside politics (nothing was) but that changed only gradually: everyday life, material culture, the organization of work, family life, and relations between genders and generations. Knowledge of the political history of the PRC is a plus but not required. Course format: lectures and discussion sections.
HIST 24513 Documentary Chinese (G. Alitto) This course guides students through critical readings of primary historical documents from approximately 1800 through 1950. These documents are translated sentence by sentence, and then historiographically analyzed. Most of these documents are from the nineteenth century. Genres include public imperial edicts, secret imperial edicts, secret memorials to the throne from officials, official reports to superiors and from superiors, funereal essays, depositions ("confessions"), local gazetteers (fangzhi), newspapers, and periodicals. To provide an introduction to these genres, the first six weeks of the course will use the Fairbank and Kuhn textbook The Rebellion of Chung Jen-chieh (Harvard-Yanjing Institute). The textbook provides ten different genres of document with vocabulary glosses and grammatical explanations; all documents relate to an 1841–42 rebellion in Hubei province. Assignments: each week prior to class students electronically submit a written translation of the document or documents to be read; a day after the class they electronically submit a corrected translation of the document or documents read. A fifteen-page term paper based on original sources in documentary Chinese is also required.
HIST 24612 Chinese Frontier History, circa 1600–Present (K. Pomeranz) A study of frontier regions, migration, and border policies in Qing (1644–1912) and twentieth-century China, focusing on selected case studies. Cases will include both actual border regions (where the Qing/China was adjacent to some other polity it recognized), ethnically diverse internal frontiers, and places where migrants moved into previously uninhabited regions (e.g., high mountains). Topics include the political economy and geopolitics of migration and frontier regions, the formation of ethnic and national identities in frontier contexts, borderland society (e.g., marriage, social stratification, and social mobility), and the environmental effects of migration. Assignments for undergraduates are two short papers, a midterm (which can be waived under certain circumstances), a final, and class participation; requirements for graduate students are negotiable, but will include roughly twenty pages of writing (and no in-class exams).
LLSO 24711/HIST 27102 Lincoln: Slavery, War, and the Constitution (J. Hutchinson) This course is a study of Abraham Lincoln's view of the Constitution, based on close readings of his writings, plus comparisons to judicial responses to Lincoln's policies.
HIST 25304 Goethe: Literature, Science, Philosophy (R. Richards) This lecture-discussion course will examine Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's intellectual development, from the time he wrote Sorrows of a Young Werther through the final stages of Faust. Along the way, we will read a selection of Goethe's plays, poetry, and travel literature. We will also examine his scientific work, especially his theory of color and his morphological theories. On the philosophical side, we will discuss Goethe's coming to terms with Kant (especially the third Critique), and his adoption of Schelling's transcendental idealism. The theme uniting the exploration of the various works of Goethe will be the unity of the artistic and scientific understanding of nature, especially as he exemplified that unity in "the eternal feminine."
SALC 25321/HIST 26615 Time and Its Discontents: Thinking and Experiencing Time in South Asia through the Ages (E. Acosta) While we usually think of time and its relentless march as an immutable, universal, and abstract category, this course will explore competing and contested notions of time and history and their periodization. Time is fundamental to all ideas about the past and our projections to the future, yet our measures and conceptions of time change constantly and, sometimes, violently. This interdisciplinary seminar aims to introduce students to the sociocultural worlds of South Asia through the prism of time. Instead of looking at the cultural, religious, and scientific realms of ancient, medieval, and colonial South Asia changing through time, we will explore the changes that time itself, as a concept but also as a lived reality, has undergone throughout the convoluted history of South Asia. This course will be of interest to students of different backgrounds, ranging from history, anthropology, religious studies, etc. We will revisit key concepts and ideas pertaining to the cosmology of ancient and medieval South Asia, such as the eras of the world according to old scientific and religious treatises, and how these ideas shaped the understanding of the place of mankind in history and the world. We will also study the intellectual challenges that these notions of time posed to the first Europeans that encountered them, and how our modern notion of time and its periodization was forged in this encounter. While the course relies heavily in South Asian worldviews, a previous acquaintance with the histories and mythologies stemming from this part of the word is not necessary. Rather than thinking of time and temporalities in South Asia as part of an outdated and disproved worldview, this course will strive to present South Asia and the non-European world not only as subjects to Western temporalities, but as important places where theoretical propositions were made about time-space and its divisions.
LACS 26386/HIST 26321 Greater Latin America (D. Schwartz Francisco) What is "Latin America," who are "Latin Americans," and what is the relationship among and between places and people of the region we call Latin America, on the one hand, and the greater Latinx diaspora in the United States on the other? This course explores the history of Latin America as an idea, and the cultural, social, political, and economic connections between Latin America and the United States. Students will engage multiple disciplinary perspectives in course readings and assignments and will explore Chicago as a crucial node in the geography of greater Latin America. Some topics we will consider are the origin of the concept of "Latin" America, inter-Americanism and pan-Americanism, transnational social movements and intellectual exchanges, migration, and racial and ethnic politics.
HIST 26614 Making the Monsoon: The Ancient Indian Ocean (R. Payne) The course will explore the human adaptation to a climatic phenomenon and its transformative impacts on the littoral societies of the Indian Ocean, circa 1000 BCE–1000 CE. Monsoon means season, a time and space in which favorable winds made possible the efficient, rapid crossing of thousands of miles of ocean. Its discovery—at different times in different places—resulted in communication and commerce across vast distances at speeds more commonly associated with the industrial than the preindustrial era, as merchants, sailors, religious specialists, and scholars made monsoon crossings. The course will consider the participation of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East African actors in the making of monsoon worlds and their relations to the Indian Ocean societies they encountered; the course is based on literary and archaeological sources, with attention to recent comparative historiography on oceanic, climatic, and global histories.
HIST 26810 A Global History of South Asia: Migration in the Age of Empire (Z. Leonard, Teaching Fellow) Departing from narratives that privilege the rise of a static, territorially bounded, Indian nation-state, this course will examine modern South Asian history (roughly 1600 to present) through the lens of migration and trans-regional encounters. Analyzing shifting perceptions of "the global" as a spatial concept, we will study labor flows in the Indian Ocean, the colonial state's myriad efforts to circumscribe the movement of its subjects, and population transfers between various colonial sites. Entering the later nineteenth century, we will chart the influence of migration, both historical and contemporary, on nationalist thought; we will also discuss the issues posed by the international circulation of political dissenters. Finally, we will engage with fictional representations of the Partition of India and accounts of the social tensions stemming from South Asian immigration into Britain proper. Featuring moral reform literature, petitions, family histories, and anti-colonial tracts, this course will equip students with the skills to interrogate a range of primary sources and familiarize them with recent trends in global and colonial history.
HIST 27006 Not Just the Facts: Telling About the American South (J. Dailey) This course engages the various ways people have tried to make sense of the American South, past and present. Main themes of the course include the difference between historical scholarship and writing history in fictional form; the role of the author in each, and consideration of the interstitial space of autobiography; the question of authorial authenticity; and the tension between contemporary demands for truthfulness and the rejection of "facts" and "truth." We will read across several genres, including historical scholarship, biography, and fiction.
REES 27019/HIST 23413 Holocaust Object (B. Shallcross) In this course, we explore various ontological and representational modes of the Holocaust material object world as it was represented during World War II; then, we explore post-Holocaust artifacts and material remnants, as they are displayed, controlled, and narrated in memorial sites and museums of former ghettos and extermination and concentration camps. These sites—once the locations of genocide—are now places of remembrance in which (post)human and material remnants also serve educational purposes. Therefore, we study the ways in which this 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 representation, we engage critically a textual and visual reading of museum narrations and fiction writings; to tackle the demands of preservation, we apply a neo-materialist approach. Of special interest are survivors' testimonies as appended to the artifacts they donated. The course will also equip you with salient critical tools for future creative research in Holocaust studies.
HIST 28000 US Latinos: Origins and Histories (R. Gutiérrez) An examination of the diverse social, economic, political, and cultural histories of those who are now commonly identified as Latinos in the United States. Particular emphasis will be placed on the formative historical experiences of Mexican Americans and mainland Puerto Ricans, although some consideration will also be given to the histories of other Latino groups, i.e., Cubans, Central Americans, and Dominicans. Topics include cultural and geographic origins and ties; imperialism and colonization; the economics of migration and employment; legal status; work, women, and the family; racism and other forms of discrimination; the politics of national identity; language and popular culture; and the place of Latinos in US society.
HIST 28004 The Carceral State in Modern America (N. Maor, Teaching Fellow) In this course, we will examine the origins of mass incarceration in the United States: a country that only accounts for five percent of the world's population but nearly a quarter of its prison population. We will trace the ideologies and state apparatuses that have shaped the American carceral state from the post–Civil War era to the twenty-first century. Central themes will include the criminalization of racialized and marginalized communities; the rise of new policing regimes, along with new methods of surveillance and confinement; and the connection between welfare programs and penal policies. Over the course of this quarter, we will also discuss the emergence of social movements that have advocated for the rights of incarcerated people, as well as the eradication of prison labor and the abolition of prisons altogether.
LLSO 28020/HIST 28811 American Conservatism since 1945 (R. Kaminsky) American conservatism was at a low ebb in the early 1950s. Following two decades of Democratic dominence, led by Presidents Roosevelt (1933–45) and Truman (1945–53), conservatism was politically irrelevant and, perhaps worse, had no coherent intellectual foundation. Its subsequent path through the rise of Reagan, the Tea Party, and Trump is at the heart of America's modern political history. Conservative politicians could draw upon a new network of economists, lawyers, think tanks, and other organizations for support. This course will explore the American Right's emergence from the wilderness to success at the ballot box, in public-policy debates, and in the courtroom. It will draw upon primary sources as well as secondary sources in history and the social sciences to analyze conservatism as an intellectual, sociopolitical, and legal movement. We will examine the different traditions that make up the American Right, the institutions that brought them together, and the movement's history. Did conservatism represent a single coherent movement? What did it (aim to) conserve? What were the roles of corporate power, religion, libertarianism, populism, and racial bias in its ascendance? How did Chicago School economists and the conservative legal movement shape the polity? The class will conclude with the present political moment. What are the origins of Trumpism? Is it a break with conservatism's past or an evolution? What do current debates bode for the future of American politics?
HIST 29000 Latin American Religions, Old and New (D. Borges) This course will consider select pre-twentieth-century issues, such as the transformations of Christianity in colonial society and the Catholic Church as a state institution. It will emphasize twentieth-century developments: religious rebellions, conversion to evangelical Protestant churches, Afro-diasporan religions, reformist and revolutionary Catholicism, new and New Age religions. Assignments: class participation, weekly short memos (250 words) responding to questions about the required reading, and a short (8–10 pages) problem paper. There will be two short midterm exams, but no final exam.
HIST 29007 Capitalism and Revolution in the Atlantic World (O. Cussen, Teaching Fellow) What was the relationship between the "Age of Revolutions" and the rise of capitalism? This course places the social and political upheavals in France, Haiti, and the Americas between 1776 and 1821 in the context of broader developments in the long eighteenth century, including innovations in finance (debt, credit, banks, corporations), the expansion of overseas commerce and colonial slavery, and the emergence of Enlightenment political economy. Above all, we will consider the extent to which the institutional and intellectual structures of the world economy determined both the causes and the outcomes of the revolutions. Readings will cover long-standing debates in the scholarship concerning social class and revolution; the imperial origins of national consciousness; humanitarian reform and the abolition of slavery; colonialism and industry; and the legacy of eighteenth-century revolutions in the twenty-first century.
REES 29013/HIST 24005 The Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise (A. Ilieva) What makes it possible for the imagined communities called nations to command the emotional attachments that they do? This course considers some possible answers to Benedict Anderson's question on the basis of material from the Balkans. We will examine the transformation of the scenario of paradise, loss, and redemption into a template for a national identity narrative through which South East European nations retell their Ottoman past. With the help of Žižek's theory of the subject as constituted by trauma and Kant's notion of the sublime, we will contemplate the national fixation on the trauma of loss and the dynamic between victimhood and sublimity.
LLSO 29080/HIST 26222 Modernity and Its Discontents from Dawn to Decline (D. Lyons) One need look neither too long nor too hard before recognizing that the project of modernity seems to be under considerable strain: the stability and perhaps even the desirability of secularism, mass democracy, individualism, cosmopolitanism, and technological and bureaucratic rationalism have all been increasingly challenged by worldwide political events and processes as well as by postmodern, radical, conservative, and religious intellectuals. In this course we will read some classical statements of the project as a means of best understanding modernity and its features. We will then move on to a consideration of classical and more contemporary critiques of modernity with an eye toward both identifying the limits of the modern project and possible avenues for the retrieval and reconstitution at least some features of modernity.
HIST 29430 The Planned Economy: A Global History of Central Planning, from Bismarck to the Green New Deal (M. Lowenstein, Von Holst Prize Lecturer) This course will change the way you think about politics. One of the most urgent political questions for any modern society is what economic activity to leave to private actors and what economic activity to place under state control. Today we hear much political debate over whether capitalism or socialism is superior, and what these terms mean. This debate can obscure the historical fact that many different ideological systems around the globe have experimented with highly centralized, state-directed economic organization. In what contexts have these experiments succeeded and failed? What counts as success and failure? To what extent has one experiment in central planning studied and/or learned from examples that preceded it? This course pursues these questions beginning with the origins of modern central planning in Prussia and later during World War I. It goes on to assess other experiments in central planning, including the New Deal, the Soviet Union and Maoist China; the Axis Powers of Italy, the Third Reich, and Imperial Japan; and later in the postcolonial global south from India to Ghana. The class ends by contemplating the Green New Deal and the role of central planning in the future of the United States.
HIST 29522 Europe's Intellectual Transformations, Renaissance through Enlightenment (A. Palmer) This course will consider the foundational transformations of Western thought from the end of the Middle Ages to the threshold of modernity. It will provide an overview of the three self-conscious and interlinked intellectual revolutions which reshaped early modern Europe: the Renaissance revival of antiquity, the "new philosophy" of the seventeenth century, and the light and dark faces of the Enlightenment. It will treat scholasticism, humanism, the scientific revolution, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire, Diderot, and Sade. First-year students and non-History majors welcome.
HIPS 29639/HIST 25021 Tutorial: The World's Columbian Exposition—Science, Race, Gender, and Music at the 1893 Chicago World Fair (A. Clark) This course surveys the sights, sounds, and tastes that filled Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance between May 1 and October 30, 1893. During those six months, over 27 million people flocked to Chicago's South Side from across the United States and beyond the Atlantic to experience the marvels illuminating the World's Columbian Exposition. Visitors weaved their way through the newly designed Midway Plaisance, where they passed exhibits of "authentic villages of native peoples" in "traditional" garb until they reached the entrance of the American White City—or, as it was presented, "the apex of civilization"—where exhibits and lectures on the newest theories and innovations filled two hundred neoclassical buildings under one hundred thousand incandescent lights. Walking up the Midway demonstrated "progress" in human development in tune with the main topic of the Columbian Exposition's Congress on Evolution: social Darwinism. In this course, students will learn about explicit displays of progress during the Gilded Age and will be challenged to interrogate allegories of it at the Columbian Exposition. Together, we will practice close reading of primary and secondary texts, close looking of images and objects, and close listening of music and sounds. We will investigate how progress was staged and cogitated in terms of evolutionary theory, race, gender, music, architecture, and technology. This course also encourages a heightened awareness for the historical significance of the physical space in which we live and study. During tenth week, equipped with historical maps of the exposition, we will embark on our own walking tour up the Midway and into the White City's Palace of Fine Arts, known today as the Museum of Science and Industry.
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.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates by Consent
HCHR 30200/HIST 31902 History of Christian Thought II (W. Otten) This second class in this sequence deals with the period from late antiquity until the end of the early Middle Ages, stretching roughly from 450 through 1350. The following authors and themes will be analyzed and discussed: the transition from Roman antiquity to the medieval period: Boethius and Cassiodorus; the rise of asceticism in the West: the Rule of St. Benedict and Gregory the Great; connecting East and West: Dionysius the Areopagite and John Scottus Eriugena; monastic and scholastic paragons: Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Abelard; high-medieval monastic developments: Cistercians (Bernard of Clairvaux) and Victorines (Hugh and Richard of St. Victor), beguines (Hadewijch) and mendicants (Bonaventure); scholastic synthesis and spiritual alternatives: Thomas Aquinas, Marguerite Porete, and Eckhart.
CDIN 42101/HIST 43802 Collapse: Reassessing the End of the Soviet Empire (L. Feldman & F. Hillis) This team-taught course invites students to reassess critically the meaning of the Soviet collapse on the occasion of its thirtieth anniversary. Topics to be examined include the neoliberal "shock therapy" economic reforms that ushered in a state of wild capitalism, the dissolution of the Soviet empire and rise of rise of new right nationalisms, and the formation of alternative artistic movements that resisted the economic and political devastation that accompanied the transition. The course pedagogy employs economic, political, historical, and aesthetic analysis to develop a robust understanding across a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches. Email Professors Feldman (email@example.com) and Hillis (firstname.lastname@example.org) a paragraph-long description about what you bring and what you hope to get out of this seminar.
HIST 44001 Colloquium: Ending Communism (E. Gilburd) This course focuses on the demise of one of the most enduring, ambitious, appealing, transformative, and destructive political ideologies. We will consider the collapse of communism as a religion, an aesthetic, and a way of life, an economic system and a material culture, a political structure and an international order. We will also discuss communism's afterlives in biographies and memoirs (including those of scholars). Topics include reforms and revolutions, political and cultural dissent, generations and languages, secrecy and publicity, travel and immobility, competing religions and rival ideologies, the Cold War and détentes, privileges and shortages, apartment blocks and palaces of culture, the Gorky Park, the Memento Park, and other Luna Parks. Our readings will range across Europe, focusing primarily on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the last forty years of the twentieth century.
HIST 46401 History and Fiction (D. Borges & M. Tenorio) We will explore the relations among historical analysis, historical narrative, and fiction, with an emphasis on the Americas.
HIST 47201 Colloquium: US Legal History (A. Stanley) This course focuses on the connections between law and society in modern America. It explores how legal doctrines and constitutional rules have defined individual rights and social relations in both the public and private spheres. It also examines political struggles that have transformed American law. Topics to be addressed include the meaning of rights; the regulation of property, work, race, and sexual relations; civil disobedience; and legal theory as cultural history. Readings include legal cases, judicial rulings, short stories, and legal and historical scholarship.
HIST 56705 Colloquium: Modern Korean History I (B. Cumings) By modern Korean history we mean Korea since its "opening" in 1876. This term we will be reading a number of books written by University of Chicago PhDs, in other words, by people who went through the same regimen some of you are beginning. This is a two-quarter course, although it may also be taken just for the autumn quarter. Students only taking the course for the autumn quarter must submit a 25-page paper during exam week; otherwise all requirements are the same. In the first quarter we will read about one book per week, and the colloquium will be devoted to an assessment of the reading. Before each session one student will write a 3–4 page paper on the reading, which will begin our discussion. All students should complete the reading before each seminar, and may be called upon at any time to discuss the reading.
HIST 58601 Colloquium: Iran and Central Asia I—Safvid Iran (J. Woods) The first quarter will take the form of a colloquium on the sources for and the literature on the political, social, economic, technological, and cultural history of Western and Central Asia from approximately 1500 to 1750. Classroom presentations and a short paper are required.
HIST 59000 Colloquium: Persian Historical Texts (J. Woods) This course will focus on the study and utilization of narrative, normative, and archival sources in Persian. Texts of the major Iranian historians and biographers will be subjected to close reading and analysis. The scripts, protocols, and formula used by Irano-Islamic chancelleries will also be introduced and the form and content of published and unpublished archival documents will be transcribed and examined in their institutional context.