Law, Governance, and the State
HIST 13003 (Sections 5) History of European Civilization III—The Enlightenment: Foundations and Interpretations (D. Lyons) The two-quarter sequence may 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. Descriptions of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment have ranged from a radical vanguard advancing the modern world’s "egalitarian and democratic core values and ideals" and "installing [human beings] as their own masters" to "a triumphant calamity" and an enterprise ending in nihilism. We will attempt to understand whether it makes sense to speak of the Enlightenment as a coherent program and, if so, how the ends of that program are best understood. We will first engage with works on politics, society, and religion by representative Enlightenment figures (Voltaire, Montesquieu, Hume, Diderot, Smith, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, and Kant) and then turn to seminal interpretations of the Enlightenment from the mid-twentieth century to the near present, using the earlier readings to test the conclusions of the latter.
HIST 13003 (Sections TBD) History of European Civilization III—Totalitarianism, Law, and Revolution (D. Lyons) The two-quarter sequence may 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. In the final chapter of her seminal The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt argued that, far from being a lawless form of government, totalitarianism is an attempt to impose some notion of ultimate law directly on the world, with no mediation through positive law and no regard for the lived particularity of human communities. In this course we will examine some seminal theories about totalitarianism, as well as primary sources and some secondary sources on the history of totalitarian movements, all with an eye toward understanding what relationship totalitarianism bears to forms of legality and to attempts at overturning prior legal, social, and political regimes.
HIST 14100 Introduction to Russian Civilization III: All the Russians (K. Sorenson) The third quarter of Russian Civilization is a new (2020) addition to the curriculum. The course is thematic and will vary from year to year. We will be exploring how Russian intellectuals have both supported and challenged state power throughout modern Russian history. The course begins with a brief overview of nineteenth-century debates on the social responsibilities of intellectuals before examining how the intellectual traditions of collaboration and dissent were developed during the Soviet period. The second half of the course considers how prominent post-Soviet intellectuals invoke and alter these traditions as they navigate their own relationships to the state. Throughout the course, our main goal will be to examine the ways in which these thinkers both conceptualize and perform the role of "public intellectual" vis-à-vis state power.
HIST 16900 Ancient Mediterranean World-3: Late Antique (R. Payne) 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 final course of the sequence surveys the social, political, and cultural history of the late antique Mediterranean from Constantine I to Charlemagne. Through close reading and discussion of primary sources, we will examine (among other topics) the rise and spread of Christianity and Islam, changing conceptions of Roman identity, and the inheritance of the classical world, as well as some implications of these topics for subsequent European history.
HIST 17805 America in the Twentieth Century (J. Dailey) This is a thematic lecture course on the past 115 years of US history. The main focus of the lectures will be politics, broadly defined. The readings consist of novels and nonfiction writing, with a scattering of primary sources. Assignments: Three 1,500-word papers.
HIST 18101 Democracy in America? (J. Sparrow) This course will explore the unlikely career of democracy in US history. Throughout its past, the United States has been defined by endless and unpredictable struggles to establish and extend self-government of one kind or another—even as those struggles have encountered great resistance and relied on the exclusion or subordination of some portion of society to underwrite expanding freedom and equality for those enjoying the fullest benefits of citizenship. American democracy has also relied on a conceptual separation between state and society that has necessarily broken down in practice, as political institutions produced and sustained economic forms like slavery or the corporation, social arrangements like the family, and cultural values such as freedom—even as private interests worked their reciprocal influence over public institutions. Over the course of the quarter we will explore this contested history of democracy in America through a close reading of classic texts, including Tocqueville's famous study, contextualized by the most current historical scholarship. Small, incremental writing assignments and individual presentations will culminate in a final essay that can emphasize philosophical/theoretical or historical/empirical questions according to students’ interests. Students will also have the option of conducting their own original research to satisfy some portion of the coursework, which may lead to subsequent internship opportunities with relevant faculty.
HIST 18702 Race, Politics, and Sports in the United States (M. Briones) Kneeling or standing for the national anthem? Breaking the glass ceiling, coming out of the closet, or crossing the color line in sports? This course will take up the question of why sports are so central to American identity and what historic role sports and athletes have played in American political life. Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Jackie Robinson, and Bill Russell are only a few of the athletes who fought for freedom, inclusion, and equality in sports and American life. Through close critical readings of popular and scholarly writing, memoirs, and visual culture (film and television), we will examine the seminal overlapping events in sports history and American history to understand the collision and convergence of our politics and sports culture.
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.
HIST 24515 Social Outcasts in Late Imperial and Modern China (C. Wang, Von Holst Prize Lecturer) This course considers the often neglected presence of "social outcasts" in Chinese history as a gateway to understanding ideas and practices of discrimination from the late Qing to modern-day China. It traces changes in the intersection of law, custom, and daily social practices, focusing on attempts aimed at legitimizing discrimination across class, territory, ethnicity, religion, gender and disability. Thus a theoretical objective of the course is to analyze legal and social dimensions of exclusion along the axis of empire and state building. Chronologically, this course begins with the collapse of status order in the late Qing and explores how the Republic and the PRC managed transgressive elements of society, from beggars, prostitutes, and the insane to ethnic and religious minorities. We will use legal documents, police records, and visual materials to explore how sociocultural processes shape the experience of discrimination and its resistance. Another focus of this course will be asking how disenfranchised groups might enhance our understanding of mainstream values. Through discussions, in-class presentations, and written assignments, students will develop skills to analyze historical evidence and critically reflect on its implication for cross-cultural issues.
HIST 26509 Law and Citizenship in Latin America (B. Fischer) This course will examine law and citizenship in Latin America from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. We will explore the development of Latin American legal systems in both theory and practice, examine the ways in which the operation of these systems has shaped the nature of citizenship in the region, discuss the relationship between legal and other inequalities, and analyze how legal documents and practices have been studied by scholars in order to gain insight into questions of culture, nationalism, violence, inequality, gender, and race.
HIST 27900 Asian Wars of the Twentieth Century (B. Cumings) This course examines the political, economic, social, cultural, racial, and military aspects of the major Asian wars of the twentieth century: the Pacific War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. At the beginning of the course we pay particular attention to just war doctrines and then use two to three books for each war (along with several films) to examine alternative approaches to understanding the origins of these wars, their conduct, and their consequences.
HIST 28204 The Civil War and the Transformation of American Democracy (A. Rowe, Teaching Fellow) The Civil War announced the dramatic failure of American constitutional democracy to resolve or avoid a fundamental conflict over slavery. The costly achievements of the war, however, only replaced one inescapable problem with another: namely, how to incorporate the results of an abrupt, catastrophically violent assertion of military force into an enduring political regime that remained true to the ideal of free government. A national commitment to equal rights was established, but did not resolve, the problem of how to transform a society of slaves and conquered belligerents into equal citizens in a constitutional democracy. It is misleading to separate the abstract and practical dimensions of this essential problem. The moral principles at stake in the conflict ultimately depended on salvaging a bitterly divided nation from the abyss into which it had plunged. In this course, we will examine the history of the Civil War era through the dynamic controversies of high politics, as an entirely new conception of the American republic emerged from the failure of the old.
HIST 29529 Hawai‘i in Global Context, 1778–1959 (C. Kindell, Teaching Fellow) Extinct volcanoes perched behind sun-soaked beaches; hula dancers and cocktails at hotel luaus; something with Spam followed by pineapple Dole whip. Cultural images like these dominate the popular imagination when one considers Hawai‘i in the twenty-first century. Yet less understood, and often unexplored in the classroom, is the Hawaiian Islands' rich, unusual, and disputed past. Adopting a global perspective, this course examines the history of this mid-Pacific "paradise" from its European discovery in 1778 to its acquisition of statehood in 1959. It will employ transnational, comparative, and micro-historical methods to demonstrate how Hawaiian history has been indelibly shaped by global developments, including indigeneity and colonial encounters, mercantilism and environmental exploitation, informal empire and the law, land and agricultural reform, health and depopulation, labor and immigration, commercial growth and urbanization, annexation and militarization, tourism and cultural commodification, and citizenship and statehood. Grades will be based on participation, weekly Canvas posts, peer review, and a series of written assignments— i.e. a research paper proposal and bibliography, primary source analysis, literature review, and rough draft—that culminate in a 10-page final research paper.
HIST 29632 The CIA and American Democracy (B. Cumings) This colloquium will examine all aspects of American intelligence and its influence on history, politics, society, and academe since the inception of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. Particular attention will be paid to how intelligence is gathered and interpreted, intelligence failures and why they happened, the close association between top Ivy League universities and origins of US intelligence, the penetration of the early Central Intelligence Agency by British individuals spying for the Soviets, the wide influence of the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s on major aspects of American life, the crisis of US intelligence in the late 1960s and through the 1970s, the revival of intelligence vigor in the 1980s, and the uses and misuses of intelligence in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assignments: Six or seven books during the course of the colloquium, a few films outside of class time, a paper of roughly fifteen pages in the seventh week of the term, and a final exam, which mixes essay questions with questions on the reading. Outstanding participation in colloquium will merit an increment in the final grade, which otherwise will be determined equally by the outside paper and final exam.
HIST 48700 Colloquium: Social Movements in Chicago, 1950–2010 (A. Green) This graduate colloquium considers the constellation of social movements that emerged in Chicago in the late 1960s, using old and new approaches to contentious politics. Chicago comprises an urban context that simultaneously encompasses a robust labor tradition, coherent expressions of situated or identity-oriented advocacy, a sustained radical intellectual tradition, localized community-oriented philosophy of organizing, and one of the fullest concentrations of municipal authority, as a party machine regime and also a law enforcement apparatus. Taken together, these conditions and others mark Chicago as among the most revealing crucibles for movement building in the United States over the past half century. The course seeks to survey emerging scholarship on the constitution, contradictions, and impact of movement building in Chicago, seen largely through four case studies—the Puerto Rican movement, radical feminism, LGBTQ liberation/rights, and African American struggles to achieve police accountability. Additionally, the course will survey classic and emerging models of social-movement theory, in order to offer models of analysis for a mode of politics, power, and social formation especially consequential to recent history and poised, it seems, to continue to exert significant influence. Finally, the course will introduce students to new archives, new source bases, and community-based principles and authorities, in order to suggest innovative and relevant research projects.
HIST 49700 Colloquium: The Informal—Economics, Politics, and Social Ties in the City (D. Jenkins) This course engages the paradox of the informal, the range of political practices, social ties, and economic modalities seemingly in but not of "formal" institutions, norms, and sectors. It begins with engaging the foundational debates on the informal, debates that challenge the neat separation between the formal and informal and which sharpen the conceptual differences between the informal, the illicit, and the underground. Readings consist of some theory, a handful of primary sources, and mostly secondary readings on cities that cut across different political economic contexts and chronological and geographical boundaries. Themes include urban space, race, gender, borders, policing and regulation. Along the way we will consider the problem of the archive (its silences and elisions) as well as the normative judgments that frame historical interpretations of the informal.