HIST 32407 Medieval England (R. Fulton Brown) How merry was "Olde England"? This course is intended as an introduction to the history of England from the withdrawal of the Roman legions in the early fifth century to the defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in AD 1485. Sources will include chronicles, biographies, laws, charters, spiritual and political treatises, romances and parodies. Themes will include the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, the Viking and Norman invasions, the development of the monarchy and parliament, monastic, peasant, and town life, the role of literacy and education in the development of a peculiarly "English" society, and the place of devotion, art, and architecture in medieval English culture. Students will have the opportunity to do a research paper or craft a project of their choice based on the themes of the course.
HIST 32900 The Italian Renaissance (A. Palmer) Florence, Rome, and the Italian city-states in the age of plagues and cathedrals, Dante and Machiavelli, Medici and Borgia (1250–1600), with a focus on literature and primary sources, the recovery of lost texts and technologies of the ancient world, and the role of the church in Renaissance culture and politics. Humanism, patronage, translation, cultural immersion, dynastic and papal politics, corruption, assassination, art, music, magic, censorship, religion, education, science, heresy, and the roots of the Reformation. Assignments include creative writing, reproducing historical artifacts, and a live reenactment of a papal election. First-year students and non-history majors welcome.
HIST 33414 Central Europe, 1740 to 1914 (J. Boyer) The purpose of this course is to provide a general introduction to major themes in the political, social, and international history of Germany and of the Hapsburg Empire from 1740 until 1914. The course will be evenly balanced between consideration of the history of Prussia and later of kleindeutsch Germany, and of the history of the Austrian lands. A primary concern of the course will be to identify and to elaborate key comparative, developmental features common both to the German and the Austrian experience, and, at the same time, to understand the ways in which German and Austrian history manifest distinctive patterns, based on different state and social traditions. This course is open to third- and fourth-year undergraduates and to first-year graduate students who have not yet had a general introduction to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Central European history. There is no language requirement, although students with a command of German will be encouraged to use it.
MAPS 33501/HIST 23308 Gender, Sex, and Empire (D. Heuring) This course examines the complex and contested relationships between gender, sexuality, social organization, and power in histories of (primarily British) imperialism and colonialism from the early conquests in the New World through the twentieth century. Employing insights from gender history, postcolonial studies, and feminist theory, we look at a broad range of historical case studies to explore themes such as the intersectionality of race, class, and gender; the instability of gender ideologies; how power was articulated through the fields of gender and sexuality; the politics of intimacy; and the regulation and "improvement" of colonial bodies. Our goal is to better understand the ways that gender and sexuality and Western imperialism were coconstitutive in specific imperial and colonial contexts.
HIST 34213 Contact Zones: Japan's Treaty Ports, 1854–1899 (S. Burns) A series of treaties signed by the Tokugawa shogunate with Western powers in the 1850s designated port towns such as Nagasaki, Yokohama, Hakodate, and Kobe "treaty ports." Semicolonial sites in which Western citizens benefited from rights, such as extraterritoriality, the treaty ports were complicated places that both challenged Japan's sovereignty while also becoming conduits of economic, social, and cultural change. This seminar will explore the evolution of the treaty ports. The main assignment will be an original research paper on a topic of the student's choice.
HIST 34310 China: Rise or Return? Historical Perspectives on Chinese Culture (G. Alitto) This course addresses the development through time of the Chinese state, society, and culture from its beginning to the present. Only the most general of treatments is possible in addressing such an enormous subject, but the course provides an opportunity for individual research on a specialize topic of the student's choosing within this framework. No background in Chinese studies is required. The class discusses and critiques the weekly readings. Each set of readings centers on a broad historical question of crucial historical significance.
LACS 34800/HIST 36103 Introduction to Latin American Civilization 3 (B. Fischer) 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 third quarter focuses on the twentieth century, with special emphasis on economic development and its political, social, and cultural consequences.
CLAS 35808/HIST 31004 Roman Law (C. Ando) The course has two chief aims. First, to investigate the Roman law as a topic of historical inquiry and to chart its development over time; to study its implication in political and demographic changes in the society it sought to map; and to raise problems of evidence and method in grappling with the sources of knowledge that survive to us. Second, to consider some areas of legal doctrine and legal practice both in Rome itself and in the communities over which Rome ruled.
HIST 36220 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.
HIST 37900 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.
CHSS 38306/HIST 39523 Data History: Information Overload from the Enlightenment to Google (D. Sepkoski) This discussion-seminar will place the pursuit of information in critical historical context. We will examine how data has been collected, managed, and analyzed in the sciences over the past few centuries; the emergence of various technologies and conventions for information processing; why data has been such a central concern in so many disciplines; and what was understood to be the goal of reducing the world to data. We will consider data's social and political consequences, and we will discuss the ethical and epistemological concerns of collecting and manipulating large quantities of data. Course readings include primary and secondary literature related to a series of case studies in the history of data from the early modern period to the recent past, ranging from biology and natural history to economics and demography to computer science and digital algorithms. Students should expect to read 100–200 pages per week. Undergraduates will write three papers (5–7-pages each); there will be no exams. Requirements for graduate students will be somewhat different and will include a longer term paper.
HIST 38703 Baseball and American Culture, 1840–Present (M. Briones) This course will examine the rise and fall of baseball as America's national pastime. We will trace the relationship between baseball and American society from the development of the game in the mid-nineteenth century to its enormous popularity in the first half of the twentieth century to its more recent problems and declining status in our culture. The focus will be on baseball as a professional sport, with more attention devoted to the early history of the game rather than to the recent era. Emphasis will be on using baseball as a historical lens through which we will analyze the development of American society and culture rather than on the celebration of individuals or teams. Crucial elements of racialization, ethnicity, class, gender, nationalism, and masculinity will be in play as we consider the Negro Leagues, women's leagues, the Latinization and globalization of the game, and more.
TURK 40589/HIST 58301 Colloquium: Advanced Ottoman Historical Texts (C. Fleischer) Based on selected readings from major Ottoman chronicles from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, the course provides an introduction to the use of primary narrative materials and an overview of the development and range of Ottoman historical writing. Knowledge of modern and Ottoman Turkish required.
HIST 43902 Colloquium: Stalinism (E. Gilburd) We will explore Stalin as a personality and Stalinism as a political order, an economy, a cultural system, a set of beliefs and rituals, and a way of life. Topics include the dictator, his entourage, and his cult; decision making and the new elite; industrialization, collectivization, and the economy of shortages; revolution and conservatism; nationalism, internationalism, and ethnic cleansing; political terror, mass murder, and the Gulag; communal apartments, survival strategies, and intimate life; media and the socialist-realist dreamworld; legacies and historical consciousness. Readings include classics in the field and newest hits as well as works of fiction.
CDIN 43903/HIST 45100 The Art of Healing: Medical Aesthetics in Russia and the United States (M. David & W. Nickell) What makes a medical treatment look like it will work? What makes us feel that we are receiving good care or that we can be cured? How are these responses shaped by the rhetorical practices of doctors, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies, by the physical appearance of hospitals, offices, and instruments, or by smells and sounds? Why does the color of a pill influence its effectiveness, and how can placebos achieve what less inert medication cannot? How do predictions of success or failure effect treatment responses? When does technology instill confidence, and when does it produce a sense of degradation? Is the doctor seen primarily as a caregiver or a scientist, and how does this affect treatment outcomes? What is the aesthetic experience of being “sick”? In this course we will consider these problems from the vantage points of a medical professional and a cultural historian, focusing on material from the United States and Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Our methodology will combine techniques of aesthetic analysis with those of medical anthropology, history, and practice.
HIST 44802 Coll: Development of the Modern China History Field in the West, 1950–2010 (G. Alitto) Reading and discussion of classics of historical literature in modern Chinese history from 1950 through the present. Emphasis on how historiographical changes during this period are manifest in each work. Each week students read and discuss the assigned monograph and write a review essay emphasizing its relationship to its historical context. The final requirement is a term paper in which the student constructs an analytical history of the historical literature of the period.
HCHR 44804/HIST 60606 Virginity and the Body from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages (L. Pick) What did virginity mean to Christians in late antiquity, and how did this change and develop in the early medieval period? What notions of the body and bodilyness did an ideal of virginity encourage and support? We will begin by reading Peter Brown's The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity, together with some of the primary sources Brown uses to make his case, and selected recent studies. We will take this theme into the early Middle Ages through a reading of monastic rules, hagiographies, and other texts.
ENGL 45302/HIST 62306 History of the Book in America (E. Slauter) This course considers recent scholarship in the theory and sociology of textual production and reception: the histories of authorship, publishing, dissemination, distribution, and transmission, on the one hand, and the histories of reading, listening, and viewing on the other. Our initial sessions explore classic and cutting-edge statements about what the history of the book is (or was, or should be). Then, focusing especially on literary history, we survey the history of the book in America from the colonial period to the present (or from the handpress to the Internet). Though we range widely over texts, periods, and locations we will concentrate on two primary ways of conceiving of book history: the book as a materialization of social relations and the book as a mediator of social relations; in other words, the book understood as a historical effect and as a historical cause of social life.
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 47503 Colloquium: Chicago in United States Urban History (K. Conzen) This graduate colloquium will use Chicago as a lens through which to examine the history and historiography of the American urban experience from the early nineteenth century to the present.
LATN 47717/HIST 64301 Augustine Confession (W. Otten & P. White) This seminar is based an in-depth reading of the Confessions with use of the Latin text. Topics to be covered will be agreed on during the first week, but they may include the genesis of the work in relation to Augustine's life and literary oeuvre (e.g., vis-à-vis the partly contemporary De Doctrina and De Trinitate); its structure (including the relationship between books I–X and XI–XIII) and narrative technique; its meditative versus dialogical character; Augustine's representation of the self and his method of Biblical exegesis; Manichean and Neoplatonic influences; and ancient (Pelagius) and postmodern readings of the Confessions (Lyotard, Marion). Once weekly meetings will consist of discussions, lectures, and reports on secondary readings.
HIST 48400 Colloquium: United States Intellectual History (M. Rossi) The practice of intellectual history has famously been described as "like nailing jelly to the wall." In this course, we will look at different methods, modes, and strategies employed by contemporary scholars in order to get a handle on the slippery topic of ideas in United States history. In addition to examining major trends in American thought since the nineteenth century, we will consider what the writing of ideas entails; where and how the disciplinary borders of history are drawn; how ideas travel; and how to think about ideas, ideologies, concepts, and thoughts in conjunction with the people, places, institutions, environments, non-human organisms, and material things that form the substrate of historical narratives.
HIST 55901 Colloquium: Politics and Culture in the German Democratic Republic (A. Goff) This course approaches the history of the German Democratic Republic through a cultural lens. Guided by recent scholarship on material culture, consumerism, the arts, history and memory, industrialism, and urban space, we will aim to move beyond traditional bifurcations between the realm of high politics and the realm of everyday life to pay particular attention to the complex relationship between the two. How exactly did state socialism inflect East German culture? How were political subjectivities formed within and beyond the boundaries of the East German state? Where and how did resistance occur? The last two weeks will be spent thinking concretely about how the answers to these questions ought to shape the ways historians, writers, archivists and curators approach telling the history of the GDR today.
HIST 56605 Colloquium: Chinese Nationalism(s) (K. Pomeranz) An exploration of the development, spread, and nature of Chinese nationalism since roughly 1895, but with attention to how legacies from the imperial period have shaped these phenomena. (Those legacies include the borders and ethnic complexity inherited from the Qing by modern state-builders, as well as the still older legacies of a common written language and literary culture, elements of a common religious system, and a variety of labels for "Chineseness"—Hua, Han, etc.—with which people identified to varying degrees.) Attention will be paid both to state leaders' attempts to create and mobilize nationalist sentiment and to various movements and practices originating elsewhere in society. Comparisons to nationalisms elsewhere, and general theories of nationalism, are not the main foci of the course, but will be invoked where they seem useful. Required readings will be in English, with recommendations available for material in Chinese. One short paper (5–7 pages) on one of a set of given topics; one longer paper (approximately 15 pages), with individualized topics; and one or two additional very short projects (1–2 pages each).
HIST 61805 Colloquium: South Asian Political Thought—A Genealogy (D. Chakrabarty) This course will look at some key texts of the colonial and postcolonial periods of South Asian history to see how the domain of the political has been understood and debated in the subcontinent since the beginning of the twentieth century.
HIST 65600 Extra-Ordinary Ordinary: Reading and Writing, Grassroots and Microhistories (J. Ransmeier) This graduate seminar confronts the challenges of writing history from the bottom up. We will consider the theoretical legacies and challenges of postcolonial history writing, the linguistic turn, subaltern studies, and microhistory. The course pays special attention to different ways to grapple with sources and the construction of diverse archives.
HIST 69900 Colloquium: Historiography (L. Auslander & T. Holt) This course is designed as a forum to grasp intellectual issues across the historical discipline and balance the tendency towards specialization in the profession. A ten-week course can hardly do justice to debates on the nature of history and the nuances of writing history. Thus this course is selective by necessity. The class is basically structured around discussion of the assigned materials, but each session will be introduced by a short lecture. (Open to first-year Ph.D. students only. Required for first-year Ph.D. students.)