HIST 30404 Troy and Its Legacy (M. Andrews) This course will explore the Trojan War through the archaeology, art, and mythology of the Greeks and Romans, as well as through the popular imaginings of it in later cultures. The first half will focus on the actual events of the "Trojan War" at the end of the second millennium BCE. We will study the site of Troy, the cities of the opposing Greeks, and the evidence for contact, cooperation, and conflict between the Greeks and Trojans. Students will be introduced to the history of archaeology and the development of archaeological fieldwork. The second half will trace how the narrative and mythology of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War were adapted and used by later civilizations, from classical Greece to twenty-first-century America, to justify their rises to political and cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean and the West, respectively.
NEHC 30503/HIST 35904 Islamic History and Society III: The Modern Middle East (A. H. Shissler) This sequence surveys the main trends in the political history of the Islamic world, with some attention to economic, social, and intellectual history. This course covers the period from ca. 1750 to the present, focusing on Western military, economic, and ideological encroachment; the impact of such ideas as nationalism and liberalism; efforts at reform in the Islamic states; the emergence of the "modern" Middle East after World War I; the struggle for liberation from Western colonial and imperial control; the Middle Eastern states in the cold war era; and local and regional conflicts.
NEHC 30603/HIST 35613 Islamic Thought and Literature III (O. Bashkin) This sequence explores the thought and literature of the Islamic world from the coming of Islam in the seventh century CE through the development and spread of its civilization in the medieval period and into the modern world. Including historical framework to establish chronology and geography, the course focuses on key aspects of Islamic intellectual history: scripture, law, theology, philosophy, literature, mysticism, political thought, historical writing, and archaeology. In addition to lectures and secondary background readings, students read and discuss samples of key primary texts, with a view to exploring Islamic civilization in the direct voices of the people who participated in creating it. This course covers the period from circa 1700 to the present, exploring works of Arab intellectuals who interpreted various aspects of Islamic philosophy, political theory, and law in the modern age. We look at diverse interpretations concerning the role of religion in a modern society, at secularized and historicized approaches to religion, and at the critique of both religious establishments and nation-states as articulated by Arab intellectuals. Generally, we discuss secondary literature first and the primary sources later. All readings are in English translation. No prior background in the subject is required.
SCTH 30926/HIST 35318 Wonder, Wonders, and Knowing (L. Daston, visiting professor of social thought; director, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte) "In wonder is the beginning of philosophy," wrote Aristotle; Descartes also thought that those deficient in wonder were also deficient in knowledge. But the relationship between wonder and inquiry has always been an ambivalent one: too much wonder stupefies rather than stimulates investigation, according to Descartes; Aristotle explicitly excluded wonders as objects of inquiry from natural philosophy. Since the sixteenth century scientists and scholars have both cultivated and repudiated the passion of wonder. On the one hand, marvels (or even just anomalies) threaten to subvert the human and natural orders; on the other hand, the wonder they ignite fuels inquiry into their causes. Wonder is also a passion tinged with the numinous, and miracles have long stood for the inexplicable in religious contexts. This seminar will explore the long, vexed relationship between wonder, knowledge, and belief in the history of philosophy, science, and religion.
HMRT 31002/HIST 39319 Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations (B. Laurence) Human rights are claims of justice that hold merely in virtue of our shared humanity. In this course we will explore philosophical theories of this elementary and crucial form of justice. Among topics to be considered are the role that dignity and humanity play in grounding such rights, their relation to political and economic institutions, and the distinction between duties of justice and claims of charity or humanitarian aid. Finally we will consider the application of such theories to concrete, problematic, and pressing problems, such as global poverty, torture, and genocide.
HIST 32611 Paris from Les Misérables to the Liberation, c. 1830–1950 (Colin Jones, Professor of History, Queen Mary University of London) Starting with the grim and dysfunctional city described in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, the course will examine the history of Paris over the period in which it became viewed as the city par excellence of urban modernity through to the testing times of Nazi occupation and then liberation (c. 1830–1950). As well as focussing on architecture and the built environment, we will examine the political, social, and especially cultural history of the city. A particular feature of the course will be representations of the city—literary (Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, Zola, etc.) and artistic (impressionism and postimpressionism, cubism, surrealism). We will also examine the city's own view of itself through the prism of successive world fairs (expositions universelles).
HIST 33006 Looting in Modern European History (A. Goff) At the end of the eighteenth century Europeans recognized the seizure of enemy property to be a time-honored practice of warfare and subjugation. At the same time, however, new ideas about human rights, cultural heritage, and international law began to reshape the place of looting in the exercise of power. This course will take up the history of looting in European cultural and political life from the late eighteenth through the twentieth centuries as a tool of nationalism, imperialism, totalitarianism, and scholarship. How was looting defined, who defined it, and what kinds of ethical and legal codes governed its use? How was the seizure of personal property, cultural artifacts, and sacred objects legitimized by its practitioners and experienced by its victims? In what ways did looting change the meaning of objects and why? How do we understand looting in relationship to other forms of violence and destruction in the modern period? While the focus of the course will be on Europe, we will necessarily be concerned with a global frame as we follow cases of looting in colonial contexts, through migration, exploration, and during war. Course materials will including primary texts, images, objects, and historical accounts. Students will be required to write a final historiographical essay.
HIST 35613 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.
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 investigates the development of Roman law over time and studies its implication in the politics and demography of the society it sought to regulate. We will pay particular attention to the relationship of Roman law to problems of empire.
HIST 36416 History of Iberian and Ibero-American Ideas (M. Tenorio) The course explores the intellectual history, the big ideas, that have concerned the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds from the early nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Each week we study an idea (such as nación, pueblo, saudade, mestizaje, chingada) as an axis of analysis of variegated tendencies.
HIST 36509 Law and Citizenship in Latin America (B. Fischer) This course will examine law and citizenship in Latin America from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. We will explore the development of Latin American legal systems in both theory and practice, examine the ways in which the operation of these systems has shaped the nature of citizenship in the region, discuss the relationship between legal and other inequalities, and analyze how legal documents and practices have been studied by scholars in order to gain insight into questions of culture, nationalism, violence, inequality, gender, and race.
HIST 37300 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 37709 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 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.
HIST 39421 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.
NEHC 40122/HIST 35711 Nations in Crisis, Nations in Diaspora (O. Bashkin) The class compares the histories of Iraq and Palestine to explore questions relating to colonialism, nationalism, and resistance in the modern Middle East. Each class will take up a theme, ranging from armed resistance to gender roles in postcolonialist contexts, and will compare the Iraqi to the Palestinian case.
SCTH 40125/HIST 49407 Histories of Liberalism (J. Isaac) What was liberalism? This question is today often posed in the past tense. A number of recent books take as their premise the claim that the liberal tradition is now in need of a eulogy, or a decent burial, or a dogged defense, or radical reconstruction. Its high tide seems, in any case, to have passed. In this course, we will read a several of these contemporary retrospectives. Among the questions we shall consider are: what do we make of these competing accounts of the nature and development of liberalism? To what extent has being a "liberal" involved constructing for oneself a "liberal tradition"? How new is this sense of the crisis of liberalism? What value has the concept of liberalism for historians and political theorists?
HIST 42302 Colloquium: Medieval Studies (J. Lyon) Since its beginnings as an academic field, medieval studies has been resolutely interdisciplinary. Scholars who conduct research on the Middle Ages routinely combine methods and theories drawn from a variety of disciplines, including history, art history, languages and literatures, music, and theology—to name only a few. This course will introduce graduate students to both classic historiography and important recent work in medieval studies. We will read scholarship that employs foundational methods in the field, including paleography and manuscript studies, as well as work inspired by more recent theoretical approaches.
LAWS 43267/HIST 37014 American Legal History, 1607–1870 (A. LaCroix) This course examines major themes and interpretations in the history of American law and legal institutions from the earliest English settlements through the Civil War. Topics include continuity and change between English and American law in the colonial period, the American Revolution, changing understandings of the US Constitution, the legal status of women and African Americans, federalism, commerce, slavery, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. The student's grade will be based on a take-home final examination.
CDIN 45085/HIST 60705 Journeys Real and Virtual: Travel in the Premodern Mediterranean (N. Atkinson & K. Krause) This course focuses on the art of travel in the medieval and early modern Mediterranean. From the late Middle Ages through the sixteenth-century European pilgrimage to the Holy Land constituted some of the most advanced experiments in representing travel, describing foreign cities, and mapping territories. Travel accounts represent the core material around which this course is structured along with images and maps in other contexts that such experiments influenced. Course material will span the fields of religious, art, literary, and urban history, encompassing historical geography, cartography, and cultural history. Students will engage directly with the verbal and visual modes that characterize the documentary legacy of mental and physical travel in order to come to terms with the different regimes of knowledge they construct as well as the cognitive demands they place on their audience. Through a comparison of techniques, students will explore the ways in which texts, images, and maps sought to understand human interaction, visualize geographical context, locate history, and make sense of the world beyond their drama of their local experience.
HIST 47503 Colloquium: Chicago in United States Urban History (K. Conzen) Chicago has long been one of America's most studied cities and has often been regarded as one of its most "representative" ones. This graduate colloquium aims to increase familiarity with Chicago's own history, to use Chicago as a case study in which to explore American urban development from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, as well as the historiography, methods, and sources that shape the field of US urban history. Readings and discussion each week will focus on a selected theme and moment in Chicago's development; written assignments will include three brief critical essays and a final paper in the form of a "mock proposal" for a well-conceptualized research project on a significant issue in Chicago's history.
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.
HIST 49502 Colloquium: Colonialism, Globalization, and Postcolonialism (R. Austen) This course deals with European overseas expansion from the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries, the emergence from this process of new colonial territories inhabited by non-Europeans, and the fate of these territories as "postcolonies" in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century global order. The analytic goal is to integrate politics (the formation of colonial regimes and successor nation-states); economics (the dialectics of global capitalism, European overseas expansion, and varieties of development and underdevelopment), and culture (the construction of European and Third World identities via colonialism). The lectures and assigned readings will privilege "northern" Europe (as opposed to Iberia) but will include France. We will focus upon tropical Africa, the British and French Caribbean, and South Asia, but students are welcome to challenge or extend this definition of the topic. I will normally lecture on Wednesdays, and we will normally discuss the readings on Fridays. Assignments: Two short (3–5 pp) critical papers on specialized readings and one longer final essay (10–12 pp) discussing an approved, self-selected topic. The analysis of these readings must take into account the relevant general material in the course. Students may select a take-home final exam based on the required readings as an alternative to the longer paper.
HIST 49700 Colloquium: The Informal—Economics, Politics, and Social Ties in the City (D. Jenkins) This course engages the paradox of the informal, the range of political practices, social ties, and economic modalities seemingly in but not of "formal" institutions, norms, and sectors. It begins with engaging the foundational debates on the informal, debates that challenge the neat separation between the formal and informal and which sharpen the conceptual differences between the informal, the illicit, and the underground. Readings consist of some theory, a handful of primary sources, and mostly secondary readings on cities that cut across different political economic contexts and chronological and geographical boundaries. Themes include urban space, race, gender, borders, policing and regulation. Along the way we will consider the problem of the archive (its silences and elisions) as well as the normative judgments that frame historical interpretations of the informal.
HIST 66900 Colloquium: Reading Marx's Ecology (F. Albritton Jonsson & D. Chakrabarty) In this course we will read Marx's own ideas in their historical context and then explore commentaries on them by Paul Burkett, John Bellamy Foster, and others to see what of Marx's ideas can be productively used in environmental history and in discussions of the Anthropocene.
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.