Modern History

HIST 10102  Introduction to African Civilization II  (K. Hickerson)  African Civilization introduces students to African history in a three-quarter sequence. Part two examines the transformations of African societies in the long nineteenth century. At the beginning of the era, European economic and political presence was mainly coastal, but by the end, nearly the entire continent was colonized. This course examines how and why this occurred, highlighting the struggles of African societies to manage internal reforms and external political, military, and economic pressures. Topics include the Egyptian conquest of Sudan, Omani colonialism on the Swahili coast, Islamic reform movements across the Sahara, and connections between the end of the transatlantic slave trade and the formal colonization of the African continent. Students will examine memoirs of African soldiers, religious texts, colonial handbooks, and visual and material sources, including ethnographic artifacts, photographs, and textiles. Assignments: team projects, document and material analyses, response papers, essays, and written exams. The course will equip students with a working knowledge of the struggles that created many of the political and social boundaries of modern Africa.

HIST 13002  History of European Civilization II  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 13600  America in World Civilization II  The American Civ sequence examines 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. The nineteenth-century segment of America in World Civilizations asks: What happens when democracy confronts inequality? We focus on themes that include indigenous-US relations; religious revivalism and reform; slavery, the Civil War, and emancipation; the intersection between women's rights and antislavery; the development of industrial capitalism; urbanism and social inequality.

HIST 14000  Introduction to Russian Civilization II (E. Gilburd)  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 II  (J. Ketelaar)  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.

HIST 14303  Modern Korean History  (J. Jeon, Teaching Fellow)  This course focuses on the modern history of a country that is well known for shifting its course at dizzying speed. Beginning with the last monarchic dynasty's "opening" to the world in the late nineteenth century, the course will move on to deal with radical transformations such as Japanese colonization and Korea's subsequent liberation in 1945; the civil war, national division, and dictatorship in the two Koreas; and the economic miracle and democratization in the South and nuclear development in the North. How do we understand recent events, such as the South Korean president's impeachment in 2017 and the North Korean leader's high-profile diplomatic détentes in 2018? Do they come out of nowhere, or can we find an underlying consistency based on an understanding of the long twentieth century? Through a careful study of Korea's modern history, this course is designed to reveal the longer trajectories of Korea's historical development, showing how the study of this contentious peninsula becomes a study of modern world history.

HIST 17606  American Revolutions  (M. Kruer)  In 1750, "British America" was a diverse and fractious collection of colonies huddled along the eastern seaboard, on the margins of the churning waters of the Atlantic world. Forty years later, thirteen of those remote American settlements had become, through rebellion and war, into a revolutionary nation. The traumatic passage of this transformation established the world's first modern republic and set in motion an age of democratic revolutions that reverberated in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, and western North America. This course explores this remarkable epoch in early American history. Topics include the first global military struggle (the Seven Years War); the transformation from scattered urban riots against taxes into a rebellion against the world's strongest imperial power; the everyday experience of occupation, insurgency, and civil war; Black and Native American struggles for independence; experiments in women's rights, radical democracy, and religious freedom; the fragility of the new union and the ragged road toward a federal nation-state; and the revolutionary idealism that inspired revolutions in France, Haiti, and the Americas, with consequences that shaped the early United States and all its diverse peoples. Grades will be based on three short papers and one final paper. This lecture course is open to non-History majors and does not presume any previous history coursework.

HIST 18804  America in the Nineteenth Century  (N. Maor, Teaching Fellow)  This lecture course will examine major conflicts that shaped American life during the nineteenth century. Focusing on contemporaries' attempts to seize upon or challenge the nation's commitment to the ideals of liberty and equality, we will examine pivotal moments of contestation, compromise, and community building. Central questions that will frame the course include how were notions of freedom negotiated and reshaped? What were the political and socioeconomic conditions that prompted the emergence of reform movements, including antislavery, women's rights, temperance, and labor? How did individuals mobilize and stake claims on the state? How were the boundaries of American citizenship debated and transformed over the course of the century?

HIST 23103  East Central Europe, 1880–Present  (T. Zahra)  The past 150 years have brought democratization, mass politics, two violent world wars, and no less than four different political regimes to the lands between Germany and the Soviet Union. The focus of this course will be on the forces that have shaped Eastern European politics and society since the 1880s. How and why was a multinational and multilingual empire transformed into self-declared nation states? How has mass migration reshaped East European societies? What were the causes and consequences of ethnic cleansing in East Central Europe? How did the experience of total war transform the states and societies? How did citizens respond to and participate in the construction of socialist societies after the Second World War? And finally, what changes and challenges has the transition from socialism to capitalism brought to the region since 1989? The course will focus on the Habsburg Monarchy and its successor states, particularly Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary, with occasional discussion of the former Yugoslavia and Romania. Assignments: three short papers (5–6 pages).

HIST 24508  Human Rights in Japanese History  (K. Pan, Von Holst Prize Lecturer)  This course examines how the modern concept of "rights" and "human rights" localized in Japan and how different parties in Japan have used the language of human rights in attempts to remake Japan's social, cultural, and legal landscape. We will explore a wide range of topics including the translation of Eurocentric rights talk in East Asia, colonization and decolonization, statelessness and migration, transitional justice and reconciliation, biopolitical rights and bio-citizenship, indigenous rights, and women and gender-specific rights. Throughout the course we pay special attention to the ways in which rights talk and human-rights politics in Japan intertwine with the country's efforts to modernize and build the "nation within the empire" and, after its defeat in WWII, to close off its "long postwar" and reconcile with its neighbors. This is an introductory course, and no previous knowledge of Japanese history or the international history of human rights is required. However, you should be prepared to read (and watch, browse, and listen to) a wide array of primary and secondary sources that destabilize the most common vocabulary and concepts we take for granted in contemporary human-rights talk such as race, state responsibility, and the very notion of universalism so central to the idea of human rights.

HIST 24806  History of Japanese Philosophy  (J. Ketelaar)  What is philosophy and why does looking at Japanese philosophy make a difference? By examining Buddhist, Confucian, Shinto, and modern academic philosophical traditions, this course will provide a history of ideas found in Japan and central to thinking about being/nonbeing, government, ethics, aesthetics, economics, faith, and practice.

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 2019 was the 210th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 160th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.

HIST 25218  American Epidemics, Past and Present  (C. Kindell, Teaching Fellow)  This course explores how disease epidemics have shaped watershed periods in US history from the late eighteenth century to the present. Through readings, lectures, and in-class discussions, we will employ different categories of analysis (e.g., race, gender, class, and citizenship) to answer a range of historical questions focused on disease, health, and medicine. For instance, to what extent did smallpox alter the trajectory of the American Revolution? How did cholera and typhoid affect the lived experiences of slaves and soldiers during the Civil War? In what ways did the US government capitalize on fears over yellow fever and bubonic plague to justify continued interventions across the Caribbean and the Pacific? What do these episodes from the American past reveal about contemporary encounters with modern diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19? Course readings will be drawn from book chapters and scholarly articles, as well as primary sources ranging from public-health reports, medical correspondence, and scientific journals to newspapers, political cartoons, maps, and personal diaries. Grades will be based on participation, weekly Canvas posts, peer review, and a series of written assignments (a proposal and an annotated bibliography, primary source analysis, book review, and rough draft) all of which will culminate in a ten-page final research paper.

HIST 26220  Brazil: Another American History  (B. Fischer)  Brazil is in many ways a mirror image of the United States: an almost continental democracy, rich in natural resources, populated by the descendants of three continents, shaped by colonialism, slavery, and sui generis liberal capitalism. Why, then, has Brazil's historical path been so distinct? To explore this question, this course will focus on the history of economic development, race, citizenship, urbanization, the environment, popular culture, violence, and the challenge of democracy. Assignments: weekly reading, participation in discussions, weekly journal posts, and a final paper.

HIST 26409  Revolution, Dictatorship, and Violence in Modern Latin America  (B. Fischer)  This course will examine the role played by Marxist revolutions, revolutionary movements, and the right-wing dictatorships that have opposed them in shaping Latin American societies and political cultures since the end of World War II. Themes examined will include the relationship among Marxism, revolution, and nation building; the importance of charismatic leaders and icons; the popular authenticity and social content of Latin American revolutions; the role of foreign influences and interventions; the links between revolution and dictatorship; and the lasting legacies of political violence and military rule. Countries examined will include Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Mexico. Assignments: weekly reading, a midterm exam or paper, a final paper, participation in discussion, and weekly responses or quizzes.

HIST 27001  Law and Society in Early America, 1600–1800  (E. Cook)  This colloquium considers law, legal institutions, and legal culture within the lived experience of colonial and revolutionary America. It will emphasize the interaction of social development and legal development and will explore the breadth of everyday experience with legal institutions like the jury, with courts as institutions for resolving disputes, and with the prosecution of crime.

HIST 27307  Schools and Space: A Chicago History  (N. Kryczka, Teaching Fellow)  This course fuses urban and educational history into a two-century case study of Chicago. When the Chicago Public Schools closed fifty schoolhouses in 2013, many stressed the links between public education, uneven neighborhood investment, and racial segregation. But this episode was part of a longer regional history of how metropolitan development, labor markets, and anxieties over migration affected educational policy. The course stresses the relationship between educational policy and the politics of urban development, gender, and race. Schools were sites of gendered work, for the women who operated them and for the children who navigated the moral and vocational paths laid for their futures; meanwhile, the rise of racial ghettoes had an enduring impacts on educational inequity and the shape of African American political life. Over the time span covered by the course, the United States became an indisputably "schooled" society, and Chicago was a leading indicator of national trends. Key historic episodes in American education—the rise of the modern high school, the birth of progressive education, the origins of teachers' unions, the Catholic encounter with race, the fragmentation of suburban school districts, the civil-rights critique of de facto school segregation, the pronounced "failure" of urban education, and the triumph of choice-and-accountability reforms, and the teacher-led resistance that followed—are especially well-illustrated by this course's focus on Chicago. This course combines lecture with discussions of primary sources and secondary literature each week, beginning with the one-room, log-stable schoolhouses of the antebellum Illinois prairie and ending with the nation's first charter-school teacher strikes in 2018. In addition to composing a research paper on a chosen school or school policy, students will take a field trip to local schoolhouses, reading the city's urban history through its educational architecture.

HIST 27310  African American History, 1865–2016  (A. Green)  This class will introduce students to the key themes, events, problems and advances within African American history, after the end of slavery. Readings will include Reconstruction era documents, Ida B. Wells, Ned Cobb, W. E. B. Du Bois, Howard Thurman, Septima Clark, Philippe Wamba, and Audre Lorde among others. Assignments will include two papers, and a series of short response pieces.

HIST 27906  Capitalism, Gender, and Intimate Life  (G. Winant)  What is the relationship between the capitalist economy and the gendered organization of society and identity of individuals? Are these two systems, or one? This class pursues these questions, seeking to understand capitalism as an everyday and intimate experience. How have markets and production shaped and been shaped by personal identity, and in particular gendered identity? We examine the historical interrelationships among practices of sexuality, marriage, family, reproduction, labor, and consumption and trace the economic dimensions of masculinity and femininity over time, focusing largely but not exclusively on US history. Assignments: midterm paper (8–10 pages) applying a theoretical reading to a secondary text, and a final paper (15 pages) based on secondary research.

HIST 29201  Puerto Rico  (D. Borges)  An examination of the current situation of Puerto Rico in historical perspective. Assignments: short papers, quizzes, midterm exam, final paper.

HIST 29318  Modern Disability Histories: Gender, Race, and Disability  (M. Appeltová, Teaching Fellow)  This course introduces students to the conceptual apparatus of disability studies and major developments in disability history since the late nineteenth century. The course will consider disability beyond physical impairment, centering the ways in which notions of gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability interact and shape subjects, and how these subject positions shift across political watersheds. Students will engage a variety of sources, such as autobiographies, pamphlets, visual material, laws, and medical texts, as well as historiographical sources. Topics will include late nineteenth-century female "hysteria," evolutionary approaches to sign language and orality, and the effects of industrialization on new impairments; early twentieth-century eugenics and the Nazi T4 program; postwar developments in prosthetics and discursive intersections between psychosis and civil rights movement. Students are encouraged to work on creative collective projects (e.g., an exhibit or a short video) in addition to written assignments.

HIST 29652  Migration and Citizenship  (M. Briones)  Looking through a broad interdisciplinary lens, this colloquium examines the history of migration and citizenship. The focus is largely on the United States, but, given its topic, the course will necessitate transnational and comparative histories. How did nineteenth- and early twentieth-century "sojourners" become "citizens"? What constituted the public's perception of some immigrants as inassimilable aliens and others as an ostensible "model minority"? We will interrogate not only what it means to have been and to be an immigrant in America but also what it means to be a citizen in a multiracial democracy. As a history colloquium, the course's main purpose is to help students learn to write a long research paper based on primary sources. The class is not a survey course. We will be taking on specific episodes and themes in immigration history. Assignments: an original research paper (15–20 pages) using primary and secondary sources.

HIST 29678  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. Assignment: students will be expected to conduct original research and produce an original research paper of fifteen to twenty pages.

HIST 29679  Writing Family History—Migration Stories  (T. Zahra)  Almost every family has a migration story, whether it involves a move across international borders or within a single nation (south to north, east to west). Sometimes these movements entailed deportation or flight from war or persecution, other times a search for better opportunities or to join (or escape) family members. These stories often become a part of family lore and identity, even if we don't know much about how or why they took place, or even if they are true. This course will combine genealogical and historical research. Students will research the history of a family member's migration, using primary sources and genealogical tools, and will contextualize that individual story in the broader history of migration (and migration in our own times).

HIST 44003  Colloquium: Lost Histories of the Left  (F. Hillis)  When most Americans think about "the left," Marxism, Soviet state socialism, or European social democracy spring to mind. This class will explore alternative—but now largely forgotten—blueprints for revolutionizing the political and social order that emerged in the nineteenth century. We will pay special attention to utopian socialism, early anticolonial movements, the Jewish Labor Bund, and anarchism. Examining the intellectual underpinnings of these movements, their influence on the modern world, and the factors that led to their demise, we will also consider what lessons they can teach to those committed to realizing a better future today.

HIST 47002  Colloquium: Interracial America  (M. Briones)  This course will examine the interaction between different racialized and ethnic groups in America (and beyond) from the eighteenth-century to our present moment. Conventional studies rely on a simplistic black-white paradigm of US race relations. This seminar aims to move beyond that dichotomy and searches for broader historical models, which include yellow, brown, red, and ethnic white. For example, how do we interpret recently excavated histories of Afro-Cherokee relations in antebellum America? What are hepcats, pachucos, and yogores? What is a "model minority," and why did Asians inherit the mantle from Jews? What is a "protest minority," and why were Blacks and Jews labeled as such during the civil rights movement? How does race operate differently in an ostensible racial paradise like Hawai‘i? How do we understand race, nation, and decolonization in a global context, as evidenced by radical activism in California in the 1960s and '70s? We will critically interrogate the history of contact that exists between and among these diverse "groups." If conflicted, what factors have prevented meaningful alliances? If confluent, what goals have elicited cooperation?

HIST 49200  Colloquium: Approaches to Atlantic Slavery Studies  (R. Johnson)  We are witnessing an outpouring of scholarship on Atlantic slavery even as some historians are increasingly critical of the archival method. This course uses select theoretical readings and recent monographs and articles to examine this conceptual and methodological debate. Topics to be examined include histories of women, gender, and sexuality; dispossession and resistance; urban and migration history; and interdisciplinary and speculative techniques.

HIST 56706  Colloquium: Modern Korean History II  (B. Cumings)  To the extent possible, research papers should be based in primary materials; ideally this means Korean, Japanese, or Chinese materials, but some students cannot use Korean or another East Asian language for research until they embark on dissertations. An abundance of English-language research materials are available on twentieth-century Korea: American, Korean, and Japanese official reports, the Foreign Relations of the United States series, newspapers, paper collections, microfilms, dissertations based in primary materials, etc.