NEHC 30467/HIST 30311 Coping with Changing Climates in Early Antiquity II (H. Reculeau) This two-quarter colloquium is offered as part of an ongoing collaborative research project called Coping with Changing Climates in Early Antiquity: Comparative Approaches Between Empiricism and Theory, developed jointly at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and Purdue University. Using a shared syllabus at the three institutions, and some joint sessions in the form of webinars, the seminar will cover the theoretical framework that allows for an in-depth understanding of the relations between human societies and their environments and on social response to change in their social, political, and environmental climates. In spring quarter students will be exposed to cross-cultural approaches and will be able to interact with partners at other institutions through an online discussion group. Students will have the opportunity to work collaboratively (2–3 students) within their institution and across institutions on a research project of their choice, whose results will be presented at a poster session during the project's final conference in 2020 and will then be exhibited at the three partner institutions in the course of the 2020–21 academic year.
HIST 30805 Cities and Urban Space in the Ancient World (M. Andrews) Cities have been features in human landscapes for nearly six thousand years. This course will explore how cities became such a dominant feature of settlement patterns in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, ca. 4,000 BCE–350 CE. Was there an "Urban Revolution," and how did it start? What various physical forms did cities assume, and why did cities physically differ (or not) from each other? What functions did cities have in different cultures of the past, and what cultural value did "urban" life have? How do past perspectives on cities compare with contemporary ones? Working thematically and using theoretical and comparative approaches, this course will address various aspects of ancient urban space and its occupation, with each topic backed up by in-depth analysis of concrete case studies.
HIST 30902 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 32102 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 32610 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).
CMST 34112/HIST 36808 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.
LACS 34800/HIST 36103 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 36516 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 39000 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 39533 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.
KNOW 40304/HIST 34920 Between Nature and Artifice: The Formation of Scientific Knowledge (M. Carlyle, J. Daly, and E. Escobar) This course critically examines concepts of "nature" and "artifice" in the formation of scientific knowledge from the Babylonians to the Romantics, and the ways that this history has been written and problematized by both canonical and less canonical works in the history of science from the twentieth century to the present. Our course is guided by three overarching questions, approached with historical texts and historiography, that correspond to three modules of investigation: Nature, Artifice, and Liminal (neither natural nor artificial).
KNOW 40306/HIST 37013 Race, Land, and Empire: History, Intersectionality, and the Meanings of America (I. Wilner) This colloquium examines the making and meaning of the United States at the intersections of race, land, and empire. It considers a set of profound historical transformations that shape American and global life today: the conquest and colonization of the North American continent; the expansion of slavery and with it a system of global capitalism; the growth of opposition to that system of labor, culminating in the Civil War; the origins, as a result of that war, of a modern American nation-state; the ethnic cleansing and resettlement of the West; and the ascension of the United States of America to global eminence as a military power. Rather than framing these events within a national narrative about the idea of Manifest Destiny or an epic struggle toward the ideal of democracy—an approach that ignores most of the continent, divides the West from the North and South, and frames history itself as progress—this course makes use of a global lens to analyze the borders between and border crossings by American communities. Our foci will be the interrelations between regions and peoples; the processes that led to alteration; and the evolution of structures that redistributed social power. Our three interwoven factors—race, land, and empire—give us an acute lens of observation. At the intersections of these patterns of belonging, modes of land use, and relations of domination, we can come to a new understanding of the most rapid surge of colonization in world history, which led to the rise of a global empire. Salient themes include democracy and its contradictions, imperial science, questions of historical agency, the politics of sex and gender, and the ongoing legacies of slavery and ethnic cleansing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HIST 57000 –/+: Molding, Casting, and the Shaping of Knowledge (P. Crowley & P. Rossi) Of all technologies of reproduction and resemblance, those of molding and casting are perhaps the most intimate. An object, a sculpture, a creature, a person is slathered in plaster (or some other form-hugging material), and the resulting "negative" image is rendered into a "positive" replica. This course explores the various historically and culturally contingent meanings that have been attached to these technical procedures—despite their ostensibly "styleless" or "anachronistic" character—from the ancient world to the present day. Used in practices ranging from funerary rituals to fine art, natural history to medicine, anthropology to forensics, molding and casting constitute forms of knowledge production that capture at once the real and the enduring, the ephemeral and fleeting, and the authentic and affective. Featuring a diverse set of readings by authors such as Pliny the Elder, Charles Sanders Peirce, Walter Benjamin, Oswald Spengler, Gilbert Simondon, and others, the colloquium will address theoretical and methodological questions pertaining to concepts of materiality, indexicality, tactility, scalability, and seriality. Besides plaster, the objects of our analysis will comprise a diverse range of media including but not limited to wax, metal, photography and film, synthetic polymers, and digital media.
HIST 62405 Colloquium: Early Modern North America (M. Kruer) This course focuses on the complex, contested, and often violent world of North America in the early modern period, from the early sixteenth through the late eighteenth century. Although in the past "early America" has sometimes been synonymous with the thirteen colonies that eventually formed the United States, this class will stress the multicultural, multi-imperial, and multipolar nature of early North America, and the many connections between the continent and the rest of the early modern world. Roughly half the class will be devoted to classics in the historiography and half to exemplars of recent trends in the scholarship of the field.
HIST 62903 Colloquium: Urban US History (A. Lippert) This course introduces graduate students to important and innovative scholarly texts in the study of American urban history, with a focus on the nineteenth century. Readings touch upon a range of methodologies, themes, and historical experiences, with some focus on white-Indian relations, slavery, gender roles, the West, reformism, and the cultural histories of market relations, public perception, and spectacle, and print communication. The colloquium is intended for doctoral students in any department who intended to pursue primary, secondary, or outside fields of study in US history, American social and cultural history, comparative cultural history, or American literature. Requirements include careful reading, active and thoughtful participation, and two historiographical presentations in class.
HIST 63003 Colloquium: The American South, 1865-Present (J. Dailey) The South has had something of a historical makeover in recent years. The region previously associated with hierarchy, racism, patriarchy, ignorance, superstition, intolerance, violence, and a studied unfamiliarity with legal norms obtaining elsewhere has been transformed, as one historian of the South put it recently, into "a place that nurtured radical political alternatives and offered them up to the rest of the nation." In the nineteenth century yeomen farmers resisted the forces of capitalist economic change and slaves helped turn a war for reunion into one for emancipation. In the twentieth century "women worked for political equality and social reform; industrial workers organized to right the oppressive hegemony of the business elite; and African Americans' constant struggle against white supremacy made the civil rights movement possible." We will explore this massive narrative paradigm shift in this course, which is intended for graduate students in US history. Our readings will emphasize recent publications driving the new southern synthesis, and ask whether this "new New South" synthesis can withstand recent events.
HIST 69900 Colloquium: Historiography (M. Tenorio) 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 History graduate students only.