WIN 19: Global History Courses
HIST 17204 Thou Shalt Not Kill: Human Rights and War from Napoleon to the War on Terror (P. O'Donnell) This course will consider the intersection between human rights and humans in wars from Napoleon's first forays into a nationalized army, citizen soldiers, and battlefield medicine in the early nineteenth century to the contradictions of the global "war on terror": Abu Ghraib, drone strikes, and Support Our Troops bumper stickers. Along the way, it will consider the evolution of rights alongside the evolution of war, using historical examples as stepping stones, from the horrors produced by European colonial firepower and the global cataclysms of the twentieth century's world wars, to the Cold War's proxy wars and nuclear threats, to failed attempts at peacekeeping in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. History in the World courses use history as a valuable tool to help students critically exam our society, culture, and politics. Preference given to first- and second-year students.
HIST 19402 Economic History II: The Early Modern World, circa 1300–1800 (P. Cheney & K. Pomeranz) This course both describes preindustrial economic life and weighs the models used to explain fundamental changes to it. We will begin by describing some of the basic structures that determined patterns of production, exchange, and consumption in a period of low and easily reversible growth. These include agricultural productivity, demographic constraints, modes of transportation, and the social structures that governed the distribution of what little surplus premodern societies produced. Turning to the sources of economic dynamism that may have contributed to later industrialization, we will first examine the growth of long-distance trade networks starting in the late fourteenth century. How were traditional economies characterized by limited movement stimulated by the circulation of people, goods, and money from afar? We will then move to a discussion of the factors leading to (or frustrating) transformational patterns of economic growth: agricultural productivity, institutions, "proto-industrial" production in an era of limited urban growth, and changing norms of consumption. 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 20210 History Lab: Migration and Mobility in Human History (E. Osborn) This Making History course will explore different episodes of human mobility. We will study forced and voluntary migrations by considering the earliest movements of people out of Africa, the transatlantic slave trade, the displacements in Europe produced by World War II, and the current flows of people from Africa and the Middle East across the Mediterranean. These wide-ranging topics necessarily demand that students use a variety of primary sources and methodologies; assigned readings will thus be supplemented by documentaries, audio recordings, artistic renditions, and material culture. For their final project students will be required to work individually or in teams to investigate an example of human migration. Student may present the results of this research as a formal academic essay, may create a website or video, or use some other medium. Making History courses forgo traditional paper assignments for innovative projects that develop new skills with professional applications in the working world. Open to students at all levels, but especially recommended for third- and fourth-year students.
HIST 25308 Lab, Field, and Clinic: The History and Anthropology of Medicine and the Life Sciences (M. Rossi) In this course we will examine the ways in which different groups of people—in different times and places—have understood the nature of life and living things, bodies and bodily processes, and health and disease, among other notions. We will address these issues principally, though not exclusively, through the lens of the changing sets of methods and practices commonly recognizable as science and medicine. We will also pay close attention to the methods through which scholars in history and anthropology have written about these topics, and how current scientific and medical practice affect historical and anthropological studies of science and medicine.
HIST 28607 War, Diplomacy, and Empire in US History (J. Sparrow) World politics have profoundly shaped the United States from its colonial origins to the war on terror. Yet only recently have US historians made a sustained effort to relate the foreign relations of the country to its domestic history. For a century and a half prior to independence, empire, trade, great-power politics, and violent conflict with Native Americans formed the large structures of power and meaning within which colonists pursued their everyday lives. In violently repudiating the claims of the British Empire, the revolutionaries commenced a political tradition that sought to avoid the perils of great-power statecraft for roughly the next century and a half. Yet even as it lent a distinctive cast to US politics and society, this pursuit of exceptionalism had to reckon with the requirements of state power and geopolitics from the Civil War onward. With its sudden embrace of great-power politics and the "rise to globalism" from WWII onward the United States became increasingly like the European societies it had repudiated at the founding, even as its exceptional military and economic power set it apart as a "unipolar power" by the turn of the millennium. To understand these developments in depth students will write two modest-length "deep-dive" analytical essays and three brief reports on targeted expeditions into primary materials, while reading broadly across the historiography of the new diplomatic and international history.
HIST 29418 Writing the Past: History as Creative Nonfiction (P. O'Donnell) Writing is central to the work of a historian. It is both the tangible result of our work and the way in which we communicate the importance of our work to the world. This course is focused on the writing of history. But in it we will be concerned less with historiography—the scholarly debates among historians about historical questions or problems—than with the storytelling choices of those who write history, their ideological stakes, and their rhetorical positions. We will read pathbreaking works of history on a broad range of topics, written in a variety of genres: scholarly monographs, memoir, and historically minded journalism. All are written by historians or scholars who leveraged their traditional historical training but chose to do something brave, and hard: to tell their stories in a new and different way, to write, rather than merely report, history. The goal of this course is to broaden our sense of how historical narratives might be written, and to inspire you to think carefully as you craft prose, and to take risks when you write history.
HIST 29678 History Colloquium: Medicine and Society (M. Rossi) How does medical knowledge change? How do medical practices transform over time? What factors influence the ways in which doctors and patients—and scientists, artists, politicians, legislators, activists, and educators, among others—understand matters of health and disease, of proper and improper interventions, of the rights of individuals and the needs of communities? This course treats these questions as a starting point for exploring the interactions of medicine and society from 1800 to the present. Through a combination of primary and secondary sources we will examine changing causes of morbidity and mortality, the development of new medical technologies and infrastructures, shifting patterns of disease and shifting ideas about bodies, and debates about health care policy, among other topics. Students will be expected to conduct original research and produce an original research paper of fifteen to twenty pages.