Social Change, Labor, and Social Movements
HIST 15300 Introduction to East Asian Civilization 3 (J. Jeon, Teaching Fellow) 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 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 25613 Saints and Sinners in Late Antiquity (R. Payne) Between the third and seventh centuries, Christian communities came to flourish throughout the Middle East and neighboring regions in the Roman and Iranian empires as well as the kingdoms of the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Ethiopia. This course will examine the development of Christian institutions and ideologies in relation to the distinctive social structures, political cultures, economies, and environments of the Middle East, with a focus on the Fertile Crescent. The makers of Middle Eastern Christianities were both saints and sinners. Holy men and women, monks, and sometimes bishops withdrew from what they often called "the world" with the intention of reshaping society through prayer, asceticism, and writing; some also intervened directly in social, political, and economic relations. The work of these saints depended on the cooperation of aristocrats, merchants, and rulers who established enduring worldly institutions. To explore the dialectical relationship between saints and sinners, we will read lives of saints in various Middle Eastern languages in translation.
HIST 27300 African American History since 1883 (T. Holt) A lecture course discussing selected topics in the African American experience (economic, political, social) from Reconstruction Era protections of African American civil rights through social and political movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries seeking their restoration. Course evaluations via online quizzes and take-home essays.
HIST 27709 Soul and the Black Seventies (A. Green) This course considers in what ways soul as cultural genre and style shaped, and was shaped by, the political, social, structural, cultural, and ethical shifts and conditions associated with the 1970s. It will focus on popular music as both symbolic field and system of production, while also taking up other forms of expression—literary, intellectual, institutional, activist—in order to propose an alternate, and compelling, archive for this era. The course intends to deepen understanding of the feel and meaning of soul by relating it to consequential legacies of the 1970s: urban identity and crisis, emerging limitations of racial reformism, the deepening class stratification of Black life, and the radical disruption of social norms through feminism, in particular Black feminism.
HIST 28103 The American Novel in History and the Historical Novel Republic (A. Rowe, Teaching Fellow) We will read several American novels—some canonical, others largely forgotten—to explore the relationship between literature and history from the early Republic to the present. A novel like Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables is both a historical artifact, a rich and suggestive reflection of the world in which it was written, and a profound meditation on history itself, on the narratives by which a culture acknowledges and denies its inheritance from the past. Indeed, many novelists have explored dimensions of our collective past that historians, tethered to the surface of recorded fact, cannot reach and should not ignore. From the creation of the American republic to the unraveling of the American working class, from the experience of slavery to the experience of industrialized warfare, we will examine some of the most significant issues in American history through the art of some of the nation's most gifted novelists.
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 29421 Politics of Commemoration (L. Auslander) Most of the time we pass in front of the statues, commemorative museums, monuments, and flags that inhabit our cities without noticing them. In recent years, however, they (along with pre-college history curricula) have become controversial across the globe. This course addresses those controversies primarily in Europe and the United States, but also in Latin America, West Africa, and South Africa. Through a series of case studies we will analyze the conditions of the creation of statues, monuments, and museums. Who conceptualized them and lobbied for their creation? Who paid for them? For whom were they originally intended? What message did they convey? What happened over time? How did their message change? Did they provoke controversy at the moment of their planning or inauguration or later and, if so, from whom? Equal attention will be paid to scholars' efforts to address the question of what these commemorative works actually do. If they really become unnoticeable, then why does the threat of their removal so often spark such intense controversy? Assignments: Active participation in class, one secondary text analysis, one analysis of a controversy, and one proposal for a monument, museum, or school curriculum.
HIST 29656 Urban Histories: Experiencing, Using, and Representing the City (L. Auslander) This course will provide an analysis of the changing forms, meanings, and representations of urban life in Europe from the medieval period to the present. To that end, each session will pair secondary readings with a wide range of primary sources, including maps, municipal and legal records, newspapers, novels, prints, songs, paintings, films, planning treatises, tourist guides, memoirs, architectural drawings, photographs, and advertisements. We will address the histories of building, zoning, transportation, planning, ghettoization, segregation, and gentrification. We will consider cities as destinations for migrants, refugees, pilgrims, and tourists, as well as sites of political, social and cultural experimentation, unrest and upheaval. At the end of the term, you will have learned how cities have been shaped by their role as centers of economic, political, and cultural life, as well as how those who inhabit them have sometimes been able to use urban space to their own ends. This will be a small discussion-based course in which each student will write a fifteen-page research paper. Our work with primary sources will provide the tools you need to pursue your research project, while our close readings of both classic and experimental historiography will assure that your final paper contributes to an ongoing scholarly conversation. The material will be drawn from (imperial) Europe, but students interested in urbanism in all parts of the world are very welcome.
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.