History in the World
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 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 arrangments 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.
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 12203 Italian Renaissance: Dante, Machiavelli, and the Wars of Popes and Kings (A. Palmer) This course will consider 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, philosophy, primary sources, the revival of antiquity, and the papacy's entanglement with pan-European politics. We will examine humanism, patronage, politics, corruption, assassination, feuds, art, music, magic, censorship, education, science, heresy, and the roots of the Reformation. Writing assignments focus on higher-level writing skills, with a creative writing component linked to our in-class live-action-role-played (LARP) reenactment of a Renaissance papal election.
HIST 13803 The Soviet Union (E. Gilburd) This lecture course surveys the making and unmaking of the Soviet Union as a society, culture, economy, superpower, and empire from 1917 to 1991. The Soviet Union began as an unprecedented radical experiment in remaking society and economy, ethnic and gender relations, personal identities, even human nature. In the course of its history, it came to resemble other (capitalist) societies, sharing, in turn, their violence, welfare provisions, and consumerism. The story of this transformation—from being unique and exhilarating to being much like everyone else, only poorer and more drab—will be at the center of our exploration. The main themes of the course include social and cultural revolutions; ideology and the role of Marxism; political violence from the birth of the socialist state to the end of the Stalin terror; Stalinism, its origins, practices, aesthetics, legacies, and critiques; law, dissent, and human rights; nationality policies and the role of ethnic minorities; the economy of shortages and the material culture it created; institutions of daily life (communal apartments, courtyards, peasant markets, dachas, and boiler rooms); socialist realism and the Soviet dreamworld.
HIST 14204 History of the Present (K. Belew) This gateway course takes a reverse approach to the study of history, defining issues relevant to the current moment—some determined by the students—and exploring the long stories required to understand the present. We might examine the election of 2016, social movements, climate change, debt, gun ownership, statelessness, and other issues. Each topic will occupy one week of the class. Students will learn historical thinking skills, critical reading, and argumentation, and will complete a final assignment geared towards providing historical context for an ongoing debate in the public sphere. This lecture course is an elective open to non-majors and to first- and second-year students, although upper-year students and History majors and minors are welcome. No previous history course work is required.
History majors take at least one history colloquium, though you are welcome to take more than one. If you are pursuing the Research Track take a colloquium prior to Spring Quarter of your third year. If you are in the Regular Track can take a colloquium at any point prior to graduation.
HIST 29674 History Colloquium: American Indian History (M. Kruer) This colloquium will explore the history of the indigenous peoples of North America from the century before contact with Europeans to the present day. Topics will range from early encounters between American Indians and European colonists, the contested creation of a shared world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Native struggle for independence in the early United States, the nineteenth-century subjugation of Indian tribes in the west, and the twentieth-century indigenous resurgence of "Red Power" movements and other groups advocating for self-determination. Readings are primarily scholarly monographs, which provide examples for discussion, and guidebooks on project design and writing techniques. Readings will also include theoretical pieces on the development of the field and methodological discussions of scholarly practice, with the aim of "decolonizing" the study of Native American societies and their histories. Students are expected to plan, research, and write an original paper using resources available through the University of Chicago libraries and the special collections of the Newberry Library, a national center for the study of Native American history.
HIST 29675 History Colloquium: Urban History (A. Lippert) According to Hank V. Savitch and Paul Kantor, "cities are the crucibles through which radical experiments become convention. They are concentrated environments in which people adapt and their resilience is tested. They are the world's incubators of innovation—made possible by critical mass, diversity, and rich interaction." This undergraduate research colloquium will explore American cities and their influence on United States history, with an emphasis on the nineteenth century. We will discuss a range of secondary historical monographs and will examine primary sources, including print culture, material objects, images, architecture, and the built environment. Requirements include careful reading, active and thoughtful participation, and a fifteen-page work of original research that will be presented in class.
HIST 29677 History Colloquium: Religion and History (R. Fulton Brown) The study of religion presents an enormous challenge to the historian. On the one hand, religious beliefs typically posit a reality beyond that accessible to the tools of analysis employed by most historians; on the other, such beliefs and their associated practices have given shape and purpose to human society and psyches throughout human history, making them one of the most important drivers of human thought and behavior. In this colloquium, we will wrestle with the question of how, as historians, it is possible to make sense of the role of religion in history. We will explore different methodologies for thinking about religion and test them with specific examples of belief and practice across various religious traditions. To ensure a variety of perspectives, students will be able to choose the tradition they want to focus on for their class presentations and final projects.
HIST 10103 Introduction to African Civilization 3 (K. Hickerson) African Civilization introduces students to African history in a three quarter sequence. Part Three investigates the long nineteenth century. It considers the Egyptian conquest of Sudan, Omani colonialism on the Swahili coast, and Islamic reform movements across the Sahara. It will also explore connections between the end of the transatlantic slave trade and the formal colonization of the African continent.
MUSI 12200/HIST 12800 Music in Western Civilization 2: 1750–Present This two-quarter sequence explores musical works of broad cultural significance in Western civilization. We study pieces not only from the standpoint of musical style but also through the lenses of politics, intellectual history, economics, gender, cultural studies, and so on. Readings are taken both from our music textbook and from the writings of a number of figures such as St. Benedict of Nursia and Martin Luther. In addition to lectures, students discuss important issues in the readings and participate in music listening exercises in smaller sections.
HIST 13002 History of European Civilization 2 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 13003 History of European Civilization 3 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.
HIST 13300 History of Western Civilization 3 (K. Weintraub) 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 purpose of this sequence is threefold: (1) to introduce students to the principles of historical thought, (2) to acquaint them with some of the more important epochs in the development of Western civilization since the sixth century BC, and (3) to assist them in discovering connections between the various epochs. The purpose of the course is not to present a general survey of Western history. Instruction consists of intensive investigation of a selection of original documents bearing on a number of separate topics, usually two or three a quarter, occasionally supplemented by the work of a modern historian. The treatment of the selected topics varies from section to section. This sequence is currently offered twice a year. The amount of material covered is the same whether the student enrolls in the Autumn-Winter-Spring sequence or the Summer sequence.
HIST 13700 America in World Civilization 3 The American Civ sequence is nothing like your high-school history class, for here we examine 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. What conditions have shaped inclusion and exclusion from the category "American" in the twentieth century? Who has claimed rights, citizenship, and protection, and under what conditions? The third quarter America in World Civilization focuses on multiple definitions of Americanism in a period characterized by empire, transnational formations, and America's role in the world. We explore the construction of social order in a multicultural society; culture in the shadow of war; the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender; the rise and fall of new social movements on the left and the right; the emergence of the carceral state and militarization of civil space; and the role of climate change and the apocalyptic in shaping imagined futures.
CLCV 15000/HIST 17000 Myth and Its Critics (C. Ando) The class will survey mythological traditions of the ancient Mediterranean: Hebrew, Greek and Roman. We will explore the power of myth to convey and contest religious, political and social truths, and will engage the most famous ancient critics of myth, notably Plato and Saint Augustine.
HIST 15300 Introduction to East Asian Civilization 3 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.
LACS 16300/HIST 16103 Introduction to Latin American Civilization 3 (D. Borges) 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.
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 examines late antiquity, a period of paradox. The later Roman emperors established the most intensive, pervasive state structures of the ancient Mediterranean, yet yielded their northern and western territories to Goths, Huns, and Vandals—and ultimately their Middle Eastern core to the Arab Muslims. Imperial Christianity united the populations of the Roman Mediterranean in the service of the same god, but simultaneously divided them into competing sectarian factions. A novel culture of Christian asceticism coexisted with the consolidation of an aristocratic ruling class notable for its insatiable appetite for gold. The course will address these apparent contradictions while charting the profound transformations of the cultures, societies, economies, and political orders of the Mediterranean from the conversion of Constantine to the rise of Islam.
HIPS 17502/HIST 17502 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III (A. Johns) Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence focuses on the origins and development of science in the West. The course is organized around a series of broad questions about science. These questions are addressed by means of examples drawn from both the past and the present. The historical cases arise in chronological sequence, ranging from the development of experimental methods in the late seventeenth century to the advent of biotechnology in the modern era. They furnish a selective set of materials for a history of scientific practice. Their other purpose here, however, is to highlight the depth and importance of many problems still confronting the world of science today—problems that are cultural as well as scientific and that demand of us an understanding of what science is and how it works.
HIPS 17503/HIST 17503 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: The History of Medicine Part II, 1900–Present (M. Rossi) Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence focuses on the origins and development of science in the West. The twentieth century is sometimes called the golden age of medicine: a period in which medicine broke free of tradition and combined with science to provide powerful new ways of understanding disease and spectacular new technologies for fighting sickness. Along with amelioration of suffering, however, came new diseases, new medical systems, and new ways of thinking about the relationship between medical bodies, political bodies, and the nature and scope of human misery. This course examines some of the many transformations of, predominantly Euro-American, medicine in the twentieth century, looking not only at advances in medical knowledge and technologies, but also at the social, political, moral, and affective ramifications of new ways of thinking about the promise and perils of (bio)medical practice.
HIST 20111 History of Death (K. Hickerson) From the treatment of mortal remains to the built environment of cemeteries, tombs, and memorials, the dead have always played a role in the lives of the living. This course examines how beliefs and practices surrounding death have been a source of meaning making for individuals, institutions, religious communities, and modern nations. It will ask students to consider how examining death makes it possible to better understand the values and concerns of societies across time and space. This course will consider case studies from Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, and Asia, from the Middle Ages to the Vietnam War. It introduces students to the methods and debates that animate the historical study of death—coming from histories of the body, social history, and the study of slavery—and ends by asking the question: "Is it possible to have a global history of death?"
SALC 20200 Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia 2 (D. Chakrabarty) This sequence introduces core themes in the formation of culture and society in South Asia from the early modern period until the present. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. These courses must be taken in sequence. The second quarter analyzes the colonial period (i.e., reform movements, the rise of nationalism, communalism, caste, and other identity movements) up to the independence and partition of India.
NEHC 20464/HIST 20310 Climate, Culture, and Society in the Ancient Near East (H. Reculeau) This course is part of the new curricular initiative, Course Cluster on Climate Change, Culture, and Society. Using primarily case studies from the ancient Near East (from prehistory to the first millennium BCE), the course will investigate the nature of the relationship between human societies and their environment, with a specific focus on situations of climatic change. Students will reflect on discourses on human-environment interactions from Herodotus to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on notions such as environmental or social determinism, possibilism and reductionism, societal collapse, and resilience, and on recent academic trends at the crossroads of the humanities, social sciences, and environmental studies. This will allow them to develop critical skills that nurture their reflections on current debates on anthropogenic climate change and the Anthropocene.
HIST 20902 Empires and Peoples: Ethnicity in Late Antiquity (R. Payne) Late antiquity witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of peoples in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Vandals, Arabs, Goths, Huns, Franks, and Iranians, among numerous others, took shape as political communities within the Roman and Iranian empires or along their peripheries. Recent scholarship has undone the traditional image of these groups as previously undocumented communities of "barbarians" entering history. Ethnic communities emerge from the literature as political constructions dependent on the very malleability of identities, on specific acts of textual and artistic production, on particular religious traditions, and, not least, on the imperial or postimperial regimes sustaining their claims to sovereignty. The colloquium will debate the origin, nature, and roles of ethno-political identities and communities comparatively across West Asia, from the Western Mediterranean to the Eurasian steppes, on the basis of recent contributions. As a historiographical colloquium, the course will address the contemporary cultural and political concerns—especially nationalism—that have often shaped historical accounts of ethnogenesis in the period as well as bio-historical approaches—such as genetic history—that sometimes sit uneasily with the recent advances of historians.
HIST 22102 Medieval Travelers (R. Fulton Brown) Why did Europeans respond as they did to the opportunities opened to them with Columbus's discovery of a "new world" in the late fifteenth century? What precedents and preconceptions did they have for their encounter with this "new world"? This course seeks to answer these questions by looking to the accounts of those who traveled both within and beyond Europe, in fact and in imagination, during the centuries preceding Columbus's voyage. Its argument will be that to understand what Columbus and his contemporaries found when they arrived in the "new world," we must first understand what they thought they were looking for—and that what they were looking for is not necessarily what we might expect. The course gives students the opportunity to write a significant research paper, written in the character of a medieval traveler, whether a merchant, pilgrim, crusader, missionary, geographer, or conquistador.
HIST 22610 Paris and the French Revolution (Colin Jones, Professor of History, Queen Mary University of London) The French Revolution is one of the defining moments of modern world history. This course will explore the mix of social, political, and cultural factors which caused its outbreak in 1789 and go on to consider the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy in 1792, the drift towards state-driven Terror in 1793–94, and the ensuing failure to achieve political stability down to the advent of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. We will view these epochal changes through the prism of France's capital city. Paris shaped the revolution in many ways, but the revolution also reshaped Paris. The urbane city of European enlightenment acquired new identities as democratic hub from 1789 and as site of popular democracy after 1793–94. In addition, the revolution generated new ways of thinking about urban living and remodelling the city for the modern age. A wide range of primary sources will be used, including visual sources (notably paintings, political cartoons and caricatures, and maps).
HIST 23611 Modern German History II, 1866–Present (A. Goff) This course introduces students to German history from the unification of Germany through the Kaiserreich, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, the East and West German states, and reunification. Throughout, our focus will be on the political, social, economic, cultural, and intellectual life of the period, including such themes as German colonialism, industrialization, the First World War, cultural modernism, the rise of National Socialism, the Holocaust, the Cold War, migration, the environmental movement, the European Union, and the rise of the far right in contemporary German politics. As we approach these themes from a variety of registers of experience, course materials will emphasize primary sources, including written documents, music, works of art, literature, and historical artifacts. No background in German or European history is required.
CRES 24003/HIST 18303 Colonizations 3 This three-quarter sequence approaches the concept of civilization from an emphasis on cross-cultural and societal connection and exchange. We explore the dynamics of conquest, slavery, colonialism, and their reciprocal relationships with concepts such as resistance, freedom, and independence, with an eye toward understanding their interlocking role in the making of the modern world. The third quarter considers the processes and consequences of decolonization both in the newly independent nations and the former colonial powers.
CMST 24112/HIST 26808 Screening India: Bollywood and Beyond (R. Majumdar) Cinema is, unarguably, the medium most apposite for thinking through the complexities of democratic politics, especially so in a place like India. While Indian cinema has recently gained international currency through the song and dance ensembles of Bollywood, there remains much more to be said about that body of films. Moreover, Bollywood is a small (though very important) part of Indian cinema. Through a close analysis of a wide range of films in Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, and Urdu, this course will ask if Indian cinema can be thought of as a form of knowledge of the twentieth century.
CLCV 25806/HIST 20309 The Epigraphy of the Greek World (A. Bresson) Greek inscriptions provide us a unique and specific approach to the ancient Greek world. This class will investigate both private and public inscriptions of the ancient Greek city-states, from the Archaic to the Imperial period. It will allow us to explore both new forms of expression of the Greek language and specific and highly diversified cultural features. The class is open to students with Greek proficiency at the intermediary level or higher.
CLCV 26017/HIST 20308 Gods and God in Imperial Asia Minor, 1–300 CE (A. Bresson) Roman Asia Minor in the Imperial period provides an extraordinary case of religious plurality and creativity. Pagans, Jews, and Christians, even already Christian heretics, interacted in the same space. The frontiers between Jewish and Christian communities were, at least at the beginning, more fluid than was long thought. But even the frontiers between paganism and Judaism or Christianity were certainly not as rigid as was later imagined. This does not mean, however, that there were no tensions between the various groups. This class will examine the various aspects of this religious diversity as well as the social and political factors that may explain the religious equilibrium prevailing at that time in Asia Minor.
HIST 26516 The United States and Latin America, a History from 1840s to Trump (M. Tenorio) Over the second half of the twentieth century, it became a cliché that the United States was an empire and that the so-called Latin America was its backyard, the region where the empire paraded, with largesse, its mighty will. And yet, on one hand, over the last 150 years both the United States and "Latin America" have had variegated forms of interactions, which cannot be easily characterized as one single historical constant; on the other, in today's world the question seems unavoidable: is "Latin America" still an homogenous unique region with which the United States interacts collectively in the same ways whether in political, economic, or military terms? Making use of historical analysis in tandem with constant discussions of current events in the United States and "Latin America," the course seeks to invite students to add a disciplined historical imagination to the historian/political scientist/analyst toolbox. The course will consist of lectures, student presentations, and class discussions. Each student will be required to introduce readings in class at least once, depending on the number of students. In addition, there will be two take-home essays over the semester. The essay questions will be distributed a week in advance of the due dates.
HIST 29000 Latin American Religions, Old and New (D. Borges) This course will consider select pre-twentieth-century issues, such as the transformations of Christianity in colonial society and the Catholic Church as a state institution. It will emphasize twentieth-century developments: religious rebellions, conversion to evangelical Protestant churches, Afro-diasporan religions, reformist and revolutionary Catholicism, new and New Age religions.
HIST 29325 A Transnational History of Reparative Justice (G. Mount) In light of recent revelations tying the University of Chicago to slavery, this course will explore the long history of reparations as a global, national, and local set of questions. How does a given polity go about repairing the un-repairable and forgiving the unforgivable? Are the discursive norms of reparations irredeemably bound to our current conceptualizations of politics, governance, private-property rights, individualism, and the law or can reparations, and how we talk about them, serve as a means of reimagining these categories? How might the practice and performance of reparations actually be structured to foster both intra-group and inter-group unity while avoiding a potentially divisive backlash? Beginning with ancient forms of restorative justice and proceeding briskly into more recent attempts at truth and reconciliation, this course aims to take a transnational and comparative approach to exploring the history of reparations from an interdisciplinary perspective. The ultimate aim is a greater understanding of the possibilities of reparations as they relate to slavery, Jim Crow, and post-1968 discrimination against people of African descent in the United States, which constitutes the second half of this course.
HIST 29533 Economic History III: The Global Economy from Great Depression to Great Recession (J. Levy) This is the third part in the economic history sequence. Topics include the second Industrial Revolution and the new imperialism, the Great Depression and World War II, the American postwar world economic order, communism, and third-world development; globalization, growth, inequality, and climate change; the great recession.
HIST 29801 BA Thesis Seminar I History students in the research track are required to take HIST 29801–29802. BA Thesis Seminar I provides a systematic introduction to historical methodology and approaches (e.g., political, intellectual, social, cultural, economic, gender, environmental history), as well as research techniques. It culminates in students' submission of a robust BA thesis proposal that will be critiqued in class. Guidance will also be provided for applications for research funding. All third-year history students in the research track and in residence in Chicago take HIST 29801 in spring quarter. Those who are out of residence take it in autumn quarter of their fourth year.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates by Consent
HIST 42803 Varieties of Intellectual History: Reading Rousseau and Freud (J. Goldstein) This discussion course has been designed to serve as an introduction to the discipline of intellectual history through a sampling of the abundant and diverse scholarly literature on two pivotal modern thinkers, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Sigmund Freud. The course will be divided into two parts, one on each thinker. Each part will begin with a reading of selected texts by Rousseau or Freud, followed by a consideration of a series of books and articles that, by means of very different methodologies, seek to make sense of those texts, specify their conditions of possibility, or assess their reception and impact. Intended primarily for graduate students but open to upper-level undergraduates with permission of the instructor. Upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor.
HIST 47701 Colloquium: US Social History—Catholics as Americans (K. Conzen) This colloquium focuses on recent historiography to explore the implications of the presence of Roman Catholics within the American population for the central interpretive narratives of American history. Readings will range in time from the colonial period to the later twentieth century and address such themes as colonization, westward expansion, immigration and ethnicity, church-state relations, slavery and the Civil War, citizenship and political participation, welfare and reform, gender and sexuality, race relations, transnational ties. Upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor.
HIST 49301 Colloquium: History and the Archive (A. Goff) This course takes up the archive as a tool of historical thinking in the modern period. We will be oriented towards three related themes. First, we will consider how the archive has structured historical practice from the emergence of the research seminar in the mid-nineteenth century through the new historicism of the late twentieth century. Second, we will take up historians' treatment of the archive as an object of study in works of social and cultural history, postcolonial studies, gender studies, and memory studies. Putting these concerns together, we will finally turn toward the tension between the archive in theory and practice, addressing what has recently been termed "the archival divide" between the commitments of archivists and historians in the face of the cultural and digital turns. Open to upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor.
HIST 49302 Colloquium: History of Political Corruption (J. Lyon) The aim of this colloquium is to immerse students in the long history of corrupt political practices, especially (but not exclusively) in Europe. Dynastic regimes, nepotistic/clientilistic patronage networks, and the buying and selling of offices are only some of the ways that corruption, as we typically define it today, has left its mark on history. This course will concentrate on recent historiography about the history of corruption, from the Roman Empire to the modern period, but we will also read select primary sources in order to consider how past polities understood political corruption and sought to address it. All required readings will be in English. Grades will be based on a series of short papers and classroom discussion. Open to upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor.
HIST 49404 Colloquium: Historical Time and the Anthropocene (D. Chakrabarty) The course will review debates in the social sciences and the humanities on the idea of a new geological age of the humans, the so-called Anthropocene, and discuss their implications for historiography and historical thinking. Upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor.
HIST 49701 Colloquium: Cultural Cold War (E. Gilburd) In this course we will consider culture wars amidst the Cold War. We will range across media and aesthetic schools to examine the entanglement of art and politics, culture and diplomacy, creativity and propaganda, consumerism and the avant-garde, nuclear aspirations and dystopian visions, artistic freedom and police operations. The course's basic premise is that, notwithstanding the bipolar world it created, the Cold War was a multisided affair, so our readings will extend beyond the United States and the Soviet Union to include various national contexts. Upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor.