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: Petrarch, Machiavelli, and the Wars of Popes and Kings (A. Palmer) Florence, Rome, and the Italian city-states in the age of plagues and cathedrals, Petrarch 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 role-played reenactment of a Renaissance papal election (LARP).
HIST 17805 America in the Twentieth Century (J. Dailey) This is a thematic lecture course on the past 115 years of US history. The main focus of the lectures will be politics, broadly defined. The readings consist of novels and nonfiction writing, with a scattering of primary sources. Assignments: Three 1,500-word papers.
HIST 23706 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, but 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; origins, practices, aesthetics, legacies, and critiques of Stalinism; 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. Assignments: weekly readings, document-based papers, and a final exam.
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 arrangements 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.
HIST 18901 Inequality, Politics, and Government in US History (G. Winant) This class explores the relationship between social inequality and political democracy in US history. How have American political institutions dealt with and reflected the contradictions of "all men are created equal"? What is the meaning of political citizenship in a socially stratified society? How have social movements and conflicts shaped the institutions of state and the meaning of citizenship? The class touches on slavery and freedom; land and colonialism; racial discrimination; labor relations; gender and sexuality; social welfare policy; taxation and regulation; urban development; immigration; policing and incarceration. Assignments: one primary document analysis (2–3 pages), one secondary reading paper (3–5 pages), and a final paper analyzing a particular political movement, conflict, or policy (10–12 pages).
History majors take at least one history colloquium, though you are welcome to take more than one. Students interested in pursuing the research or BA-thesis track should take a colloquium prior to Spring Quarter of their third year; those pursuing other tracks can take a colloquium at any point prior to graduation.
HIST 29632 The CIA and American Democracy (B. Cumings) This colloquium will examine all aspects of American intelligence and its influence on history, politics, society, and academe since the inception of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. Particular attention will be paid to how intelligence is gathered and interpreted, intelligence failures and why they happened, the close association between top Ivy League universities and origins of US intelligence, the penetration of the early Central Intelligence Agency by British individuals spying for the Soviets, the wide influence of the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s on major aspects of American life, the crisis of US intelligence in the late 1960s and through the 1970s, the revival of intelligence vigor in the 1980s, and the uses and misuses of intelligence in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assignments: Six or seven books during the course of the colloquium, a few films outside of class time, a paper of roughly fifteen pages in the seventh week of the term, and a final exam, which mixes essay questions with questions on the reading. Outstanding participation in colloquium will merit an increment in the final grade, which otherwise will be determined equally by the outside paper and final exam.
HIST 29680 The American Apocalypse (K. Belew) This research colloquium explores the way people have imagined the end of the world in recent US history. Exploring specific apocalyptic visions such as evangelical ideas about the end of days, fears of a Y2K computer glitch, survivalist prediction of mass infrastructure breakdown, and predictions about climate change, we will consider what such imaginaries mean for American life, history, identity, and politics. We will focus on fictional texts, including The Handmaid's Tale, The Turner Diaries, Left Behind, Parable of the Sower, On Such a Full Sea. Students will complete a 12–15-page original research paper, engaging an apocalypse of their choice.
HIST 19701 Oral History: Theory and Methods (N. Kryczka, Teaching Fellow) This course explores oral history's theoretical issues and engages students directly in the collection of oral histories in an original project of their own design. Students in disciplines that rely on oral interviews, such as anthropology, gender studies, history, public policy, and sociology, will find the course useful. It involves both technical training (in interviewing techniques, recording technology, and archiving methods) and is an encounter with a set of epistemological challenges: How is an archive produced? Who decides what gets in and what is left out? What is the relationship between individual recollection and collective historical memory? Between historic preservation and academic history? What special opportunities and limits do oral histories have as historical evidence? By doing the work of collecting, preserving, and interpreting oral histories, students will develop a sophisticated self-awareness and a disciplined methodology to wrestle with these questions. The course begins with an exploration of conceptual foundations, with classic essays and recent interventions from practitioners and theoreticians of oral history. With principles and best practices of the Oral History Association as a guideline, the course then proceeds to a practicum, with the class grouped into smaller project groups. Informed by student interest, instructor guidance, and local feasibility, each group will research a historical event or community that can sustain a sample of two informants per student. See class notes for practicum details. Students will conduct background research, draft legal releases, conduct and record oral history interviews, develop an archiving plan, and submit a final presentation that reflects their engagement with the methodological, interpretive, and ethical questions raised by course readings and discussion.
HIST 29801 BA Thesis Seminar I (C. Kindell & C. Rydell) 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.
HIST 29803 Historiography (P. O’Donnell) The course provides a systematic introduction to historical methodology and approaches (e.g., political, intellectual, social, cultural, economic, gender, environmental history), as well as research techniques. Students will gain analytical, research, and writing tools that will assist them in their research colloquia and their BA theses.
NEHC 10101/HIST 15801 Introduction to the Middle East (F. Donner) This course aims to facilitate a general understanding of some key factors that have shaped life in this region, with primary emphasis on modern conditions and their background, and to provide exposure to some of the region's rich cultural diversity. This course can serve as a basis for the further study of the history, politics, and civilizations of the Middle East. Prior knowledge of the Middle East not required.
HIST 10103 Introduction to African Civilization III (K. Takabvirwa) This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. Part three uses anthropological perspectives to investigate colonial and postcolonial encounters in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on Southern Africa. The course is centered on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It begins with an examination of colonialism, the institutionalization of racism, and dispossession, before examining anti-colonialism and the postcolonial period. The class draws on scholarship on and by African writers: from poets to novelists, ethnographers, playwrights, historians, politicians, political theorists, and social critics. Over the course of the quarter, students will learn about forms of person-hood, subjectivity, gender, sexuality, kinship practices, governance, migration, and the politics of difference.
NEHC 10750/HIST 15900 History of the Jews in the Middle East, 1908–2008 (O. Bashkin) The class explores the history of Middle Eastern Jews during the years 1908–2008. We will investigate the ways in which modern education, infrastructure, and forms of political governance birthed new kinds of Middle Eastern Jews, with the opening of new Western schools, the establishment of democratic institutions like provincial representative assemblies, parliaments, and municipal councils (in which Jews took part), and the constructions of roads which enhanced new Jewish networks. We begin by investigating Jews as Ottoman subjects whose universe was shaped by a series of Ottoman state reforms aimed at modernization and centralization and who attempted to achieve equality before the law. We will discuss the history of Jews in modern Arab states, Turkey, Mandatory Palestine, and Iran, as well as their perceptions of Arab, Turkish, and Iranian nationalism and patriotism. Finally, we will examine Jewish displacement and the painful immigration and integration of Middle Eastern Jews into Israel society. The class will focus on identity formation, examining modern Sephardi, Mizrahi, Arab-Jewish, Zionist, and anti-Zionist formations and will likewise examine issues of intersectionality between modern Jewish Middle Eastern identities and the categories of gender and class.
HIST 13002 History of European Civilization II 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. 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 (Section 1) History of European Civilization III: Women, Piety, and Heresy in Premodern Europe (A. Locking) 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. Secular and religious women were major players in the history of European Christianity. They have been seen as saints, patrons, mystics, heretics, witches, and harlots. In this course, we will explore women's interactions with religious leaders and institutions from the days of the early Christian church through the reformations of the early modern period. We will focus on how women influenced the development of Christian institutions and practices, and how male church leaders shaped contemporary attitudes of women and the place of women in society. Our primary sources will be writings by or about women and will focus on topics including medieval and early modern gender, the medieval body, magic and heresy, lordship, and mysticism.
HIST 13003 (Section 2) History of European Civilization III: Crossing the Channel, England and France (A. Locking) 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. There are few countries that have such a long and complex relationship as England and France. Both connected and separated by the English Channel, England and France have directly aided, invaded, and invariably shaped each other for well over a millennium. In this course, we will examine some of the most crucial moments of political alliance and division and cultural diffusion and differentiation which have helped create the popular image of the love-hate relationship between the English and French peoples. We will focus on major historical moments ranging from medieval conflicts such as the Hundred Years' War to the modern religious and political upheavals of the French Revolution and the world wars. We will discuss a variety of sources from French and English authors and filmmakers, focusing especially on how to use fictional works and different forms of media to study history. Throughout the course we will explore how the constant rivalry and alliance between the English and French peoples helped shape the political and cultural developments of Europe as a whole.
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 examines 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.
HIST 14100 Introduction to Russian Civilization III (S. Gehlbach) The third quarter of Russian Civilization is a new (2020) addition to the curriculum. When taken following Introduction to Russian Civilization I and II, Introduction to Russian Civilization III meets the general education requirement in Humanities, Civilization Studies, and the Arts. The course is thematic and will vary from year to year. In spring 2021 this course will explore the nature of state socialism, or "communism"—the political and economic system that governed much of the world's population during the twentieth century—and the transition from that system to alternative modes of governance. Course material will emphasize the experience of the (former) Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, where communism as a system has disappeared most completely, but many of the lessons of transition apply also to China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Cuba. A nontrivial portion of the course covers the nature of communism, as both the tasks and obstacles of transition are determined in part by the character of the previous system. However, the bulk of the material addresses postcommunist policies, institutions, and outcomes.
HIST 15300 Introduction to East Asian Civilization 3 (J. Jeon, Teaching Fellow) This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This is a three-quarter sequence on the civilizations of China, Japan, and Korea, with emphasis on major transformation in these cultures and societies from the Middle Ages to the present. Taking these courses in sequence is not required.
LACS 16300/HIST 16103 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.
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. Part III 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, Vandals, and, ultimately, their Middle Eastern core to the Arab Muslims. Imperial Christianity united the populations of the Roman Mediterranean in the service of one 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 18502/HIST 17512 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: The Environment (F. Albritton Jonsson) Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This course charts the development of modern science and technology with special reference to the environment. Major themes include natural history and empire, political economy in the Enlightenment, the discovery of deep time and evolutionary theory, the dawn of the fossil fuel economy, Malthusian anxieties about overpopulation, the birth of ecology, the Cold War development of climate science, the postwar debates about the limits to growth, and the emergence of modern environmentalism. We will end with the new science of the Anthropocene.
HIPS 18503/HIST 17313 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: History of the Social Sciences (P. Mostajir) Social science is generally used to refer to the various disciplines devoted to the study of humanity in its social manifestations: sociology, social and cultural anthropology, economics, political science, geography, and history. But these disciplines employ radically different methodologies, rooted in distinct histories. While positive social science and the application of statistics to society began in the context of French revolutionary nation building, ethnographic methods emerged in the very different context of British imperial encounters with "exotic" cultures. In the midst of a growing interest in "society" and "culture," distinct methodological schools with competing social and cultural ontologies and methodologies emerged across Europe. This course studies these traditions and their development in the social and cultural contexts of revolution, empire, racial justice, and disciplinary institutionalization.
NEHC 20013/HIST 15604 Ancient Empires III (B. Muhs) The ancient Egyptians were able to establish a vast empire and become one of the key regional powers for most of the duration of the New Kingdom (1550–1069 BCE). This course investigates in detail the development of Egyptian foreign policies and military expansion that affected parts of the Near East and Nubia. We will examine and discuss ideology, imperial identity, political struggle, motivation for conquest and control of wider regions surrounding the Egyptian state, and the relationship with other powers and their perspectives on Egyptian rulers, as for example described in the Amarna letters.
HIST 20110 Trans-Saharan Africa (R. Austen) Should Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa be treated as one or two historical units? What was the global and regional significance of medieval and early modern trans-Saharan caravan trade? How are we to understand the vast empires that sprang up in the West and Central Sudan during this era? How and in what form did Islam and the broader culture that accompanied it spread across this entire region? What was the role of slavery in the economic and cultural development of both North and West–West Central Africa? To what extent did European colonial rule and its aftermath alter or encourage the social and cultural processes initiated by trans-Saharan contacts? We will consider these questions in this course, which will mix lectures on Tuesdays with discussion of readings on Thursday. Assignments: Two short 3–5-page critical papers on specialized readings and one longer final essay of 10–12 pages.
SALC 20200/HIST 10900 Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia II (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 20203/HIST 15613 Islamicate Civilization III, 1750–Present (A. Shissler) This course focuses 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 20240/HIST 25712 Women's Movements in the Modern Middle East (K. Peruccio) This course will expose you to the rich and diverse history of women's movements in the modern Middle East. We will begin with popular and legal changes in late nineteenth-century concepts of love and marriage; explore twentieth-century Middle Eastern women's involvement at major international women's congresses and the assimilation of feminism groups by the state in numerous nations; and conclude with twenty-first-century LGBTQ activism. We will assess the different varieties of feminism and women's movements, as these concepts are intersectional and not monolithic. You will study the role of religion and education, colonialism and anticolonialism, the press and popular culture. Alongside secondary sources, you will examine primary sources produced by these movements, such as pamphlets, posters, memoirs, and even YouTube videos. You will develop close reading skills, and over the quarter, you will research, write, and produce a podcast episode for a class series. Some prior knowledge of Middle Eastern history is helpful, but certainly not required. If you have reading skills in Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, Persian, or French, terrific! If not, have no fear, all materials will be available in translation. All are welcome.
NEHC 20603/HIST 25616 Islamic Thought and Literature III (O. Bashkin) This course covers the period from ca. 1700 to the present. It explores Muslim intellectuals' engagement with tradition and modernity in the realms of religion, politics, literature, and law. We discuss debates concerning the role of religion in a modern society, perceptions of Europe and European influence, the challenges of maintaining religious and cultural authenticity, and Muslim views of nation-states and nationalism in the Middle East. We also give consideration to the modern developments of transnational jihadism and the Arab Spring. This course sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.
NEHC 20625/HIST 21009 Politics of Cultural Heritage Practices (A. Huang) In this course, students will explore the complex questions surrounding the politics of the past in the modern day. Following the outbreak of the Iraq War and the subsequent increase in the looting and destruction of artifacts, the boom of the antiquities market, and the rise of ISIS, issues surrounding the interpretation, preservation, and repatriation of cultural heritage have become all the more relevant. Through a series of case studies, this discussion-based seminar class will explore how we as humans relate to the past by considering subjects such as the meaning of cultural heritage, the origins of archaeology and its connections to colonialism and nationalism, depictions of the field in popular media, and recent controversies surrounding the trade of antiquities.
SCTH 20672/HIST 25024 Back to the Land: Agrarian Communalism in Western Europe and the United States, 1880–1990 (D. Gutherz) As the nineteenth century drew to a close, many Europeans and Americans alarmed by the march of "industrial civilization" began to form clubs, communes, corporations, and political parties grounded in the belief that humanity could only be saved by a collective return to Nature. From the 1880s to the 1980s, this paradisiacal vision of the simple life attracted rebels from across the political spectrum. Despite the common association of "back-to-the-landers" with long-haired, sandal-wearing, vegetarian pot smokers, variants of agrarian communalism have been embraced by fascists, libertarians, socialist Zionists, and radical feminists. In this course, we will analyze the appeal and impact of the back-to-the-land ideology. The class will be structured around four linked studies, dealing with pastoralists in late Victorian England, Fascist ruralism, the hippy movement, and the white separatists of Ruby Ridge and the Aryan Cowboys.
MOGK 21001/HIST 23613 Greece and the Balkans in the Age of Nationalism (S. Katsikas) This course is an introduction to the history of Southeastern Europe since the 1790s. Each week's work will examine a key topic in Balkan affairs through a combination of lectures, readings, and discussion of associated issues. The class will not follow the history of any one Balkan country comprehensively. Instead, it will direct students' attention to relevant developments that address questions like these: How does Balkan history related to European history? What is a nation, a nationality, and an ethnic group? What has nationalism meant in the Balkans? The course emphasizes the history of Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia, with some attention to events in the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, and Hungary as appropriate. The course aims to offer a historical background that will enable students to better understand the recent history of Greece and the Balkans.
HMRT 21003/HIST 29322 Human Rights: Between Philosophy and History (B. Laurence) We will explore the connections between the history and philosophy of human rights in this course. We will ask questions like, what is it to think about human rights as a historically constituted phenomenon? What if anything is new about human rights? When did human rights "begin"? How have human rights changed, and how can we periodize these changes? What would be it be for our philosophy of human rights to be historically sensitive? How can the philosopher locate her philosophy of human rights in the present moment? Should she? What is about political philosophy that tends to pull it away from history towards abstraction? How can we critique this tendency? We will read authors drawn from both history and philosophy, including but not limited to Sam Moyn, Mark Bradley, Lynne Hunt, James Griffin, Charles Beitz, Andrea Sangiovanni, and John Tasioulas.
HIST 21010 1821: A Greek Bicentennial (J. Hall) This year, 2021, marks the two hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the Greek Revolutionary War, whereby the Orthodox Christian population of what is now Greece, assisted by foreign sympathizers, achieved liberation from the Ottoman Empire. This course examines the groundwork laid prior to the war, the course of the war itself, and the implementation over the next two centuries of what would prove to be one of the most successful nation-building projects in history. Particular consideration will be given to the role that the legacy of Greek antiquity and the practice of archaeology have played in constructing, imagining, and validating the Greek nation. We will also highlight the physical locales where these events played out.
BCSN 21300/HIST 24008 (Re)Branding the Balkan City: Contemporary Belgrade, Sarajevo, and Zagreb (N. Petkovic) The course uses an urban-studies lens to explore the complex history, infrastructure, and transformations of cities, mainly in the capitals of today's Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Croatia. Yugoslav architecture embodied one of the great political experiments of the modern era, which creates a particular need to survey this region. Drawing on anthropological theory and urban ethnography, we consider processes of urban destruction and renewal, practices of branding spaces and identities, urban life as praxis, art and design movements, film, music, food, architectural histories and styles, metropolitan citizenship, and the broader politics of space. The course includes cultural and historical media, guest speakers, and virtual tours, such as the 2018 MoMA exhibition, Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980, which placed Yugoslav modernism in the modern architectural canon. Classes are held in English; no knowledge of South Slavic languages is required.
HIST 21405 Inventing Race in the British Empire (Z. Leonard, Teaching Fellow) This course reveals how the British encounter with racial difference in the Caribbean, Australasia, and India both validated and subverted the project of empire-building. We begin by examining clashes within London scholarly societies over the question of racial differentiation in the nineteenth century. We then determine how the British deployed these "scientific" theories of race in the colonies: Did they inform relations between colonized and settler populations, or did the local states innovate novel race-based policies to undergird their rule? Key topics include acts of resistance to prejudicial racialization, post-Emancipation labor systems, miscegenation, colonial classification schemes, public health controls, and fears of European degeneration in tropical climates. We will use primary sources (anthropological treatises, missionary accounts, public speeches, and fictional works) to critique the British narrative of a "civilizing mission" and to investigate how an array of actors used race as an instrument to accomplish specific objectives.
CRES 22100/HIST 29106 Islands of Diaspora: The Making of Race in the Caribbean (D. Lyons, Teaching Fellow) The Caribbean archipelago composes Indigenous, African, Chinese, European, and South Asian people. It has absorbed the forced and voluntary migration of millions from across the world, beginning in the fifteenth century and accelerating with the global economy based on capitalist consumption of slave-produced goods. This course examines racial and gendered ideologies and identities that were produced by the consolidation of African chattel slavery and the transatlantic slave trade; by shifting European and American rivalries; by indentured labor; by revolution, independence, emancipation, and decolonization; and by twentieth-century migration. Adopting an inter-island approach, we will draw on tools in critical race, ethnic, and gender studies to examine how the region's historical experiences transformed the Caribbean archipelago into pluralistic and multiethnic societies with significant political, cultural, and social differences. The course will draw on race and gender scholarship, historical documents, novels, films, and other materials.
HIST 23414 Central Europe, 1740 to 1918 (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.
HIST 23510 The Arts of Language in the Middle Ages: The Trivium (R. Fulton Brown) Throughout the Middle Ages, formal education began with the study of language under three disciplines: (1) grammar, including the study of literature as well as the practical mastery of the mechanics of language (here, Latin); (2) logic or dialectic, whether narrowly defined as the art of constructing arguments or, more generally, as metaphysics, including the philosophy of mind; and (3) rhetoric, or the art of speaking well, whether to praise or to persuade. In this course, we will be following this medieval curriculum insofar as we are able through some of its primary texts, so as to come to a better appreciation of the way in which the study of these arts affected the development of medieval European intellectual and artistic culture.
HIST 23518 Colloquium: How to Be Good (R. Fulton Brown) Medieval Christians understood virtue as both a habit and a gift of grace. In this course, we will test this understanding by comparison with the definitions of virtue found in three complementary traditions: Greek, Jewish, and Confucian. Readings will be taken from the New Testament, Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, Plato, the Torah, the Talmud, and the Analects. Our purpose will be to discover how each of these systems of training the soul works, along with their similarities and differences.
CRES 24002/HIST 18302 Colonizations II This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence apprdoaches the concept of civilization from an emphasis on cross-cultural/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.
CRES 24003/HIST 18303 Colonizations III 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.
HMRT 24007/HIST 24516 Human Rights in China (J. Ransmeier & Teng B.) This seminar explores the diverse range of human rights crises confronting China and Chinese people today. Co-taught by Teng Biao, an internationally recognized lawyer and advocate for human rights, and University of Chicago China historian Johanna Ransmeier, this course focuses upon demands for civil and political rights within China. Discussions will cover the Chinese Communist Party's monopoly on power, the mechanisms of the Chinese criminal justice system, and the exertion of state power and influence in places like Tibet, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Taiwan, as well as the impact of the People's Republic of China on international frameworks. We will discuss the changing role of activism and the expansion of state surveillance capacity. Students are encouraged to bring their own areas of interest to our conversations. Throughout the quarter we will periodically be joined by practitioners from across the broader human rights community.
HIST 24117 Aino/Ainu/Aynu: Reading Indigenous Tales in Japanese (J. Ketelaar) The Aynu indigenous peoples of Japan have an extensive collection of oral tales that have been collected over the past century. In this course we will read and translate (from Japanese and Aynu originals) into English, various examples of Aynu oral literature. The selections range from everyday tales in the Uwepeker (Talking Tales) genre to the sacred songs of the Aynu Yukar. Reading ability in Japanese is required.
HIST 24212 Family, State, and Community in China, 1750–Present (K. Pomeranz) Upper–level undergraduate course, combining lectures, discussions, and other formats (e.g., group projects) as appropriate. No previous background in Chinese history is required, but students who are complete novices in this area may find some additional reading helpful. Major themes include the breakdown of the Qing empire and the formation of a modern national state which had different expectations of its citizens than the Qing had had of their subjects; changes in kinship and family life; gender roles; notions of the individual; and changing bases of authority in local society.
HMRT 24506/HIST 24505 Disability in East Asia: Past and Present (C. Wang) Why does disability matter to East Asia? This course uses this overarching question to anchor discussions on the role disability plays in historical and contemporary issues of social inequality and human rights in China, Japan, and Korea. Students will think critically about disability identities, institutions, theories, experiences, and interactions that have made disability what it is today. We will learn to narrate disability from a wide range of sources that represent bodily impairments (blindness, madness, autism, trauma, deformities, etc.) in medicine, literature, and film. We will also learn to relate disability narratives to theoretical debates over stigma, medicalization, the politics of inclusion and exclusion, and human rights. We will look closely into the lives of "disabled persons": who they are, how they are disabled and by what circumstances, and how they identify themselves and are represented in different media. More broadly, this course unsettles the concept of East Asia by making sense of disability as "difference" and to think about how it may expand "mainstream" assumptions of body, culture, and society.
HIST 24700 Histories of Japanese Religion (J. Ketelaar) An examination of select texts, moments, and problems to explore aspects of religion, religiosity, and religious institutions of Japan's history.
HIST 25025 Environmental Histories of the Global South (E. Chatterjee) Drawing on cases from Africa, Latin America, and especially Asia, this course explores key themes in the modern environmental history of the world beyond the rich industrialized North. Our investigations will focus on the ecological impacts of colonialism, war, and development, and how environmental management has helped to construct modern states and capitalist practices in turn. Ranging from the malarial plantations of the Caribbean to the forests of southeast Asia, we will analyze not-so-natural disasters like floods and chemical spills as well as the slow violence of deforestation and droughts. Combining primary sources with classic scholarship, we will encounter pioneering green activists like the original "tree huggers" of the Himalayas and environmental advocates for brutal population control. The course will conclude by examining the emergence of a newly assertive Global South in international climate negotiations, and its implications for the environmental history of our planet at large. The course is open to all, but may be of particular interest to students who have taken "Introduction to Environmental History."
SALC 25322/HIST 26811 Enlightenment Modernity and Colonial South Asia (T. Newbold) For Kant, the work of public reasoning was the condition for "man's exit from self-imposed immaturity." In South Asia, however, the critique of existing society as insufficiently reasonable is intwined with the justification of Britain's "liberal" colonial project and the the case for empire. Indian intellectuals were deeply aware of enlightened reason's uncomfortable proximity to empire, yet intellectuals of a variety of stripes advanced claims of enlightenment. Would the appeal to Reason bring about a new moral world or a derivatively imitative landscape? Could the Enlightenment be so truly universal that the colonized could claim it without disowning their past? What relationship would the moral resources of India's past share with social critique for a new generation of radical intellectuals? In order to address the promise and perils of colonial Enlightenment, this course will focus on a variety of primary and secondary sources. We will look at arguments penned by Indian and British thinkers and place the rich historiography of nineteenth-century India in dialogue with the normative theory produced by Europe's Enlightenment. Considering India both complicates the history of the Enlightenment as a whole and helps us draft a new and broader answer to what is enlightenment.
SALC 25323/HIST 26812 Tolerance and Intolerance in South Asia (T. Reza) The problem of diversity, in the classic formulation of John Rawls, is "how is society even possible between those of different faiths?" According to Rawls the idea of toleration helps mitigate the conflict between democracy and different religious doctrines. Few places in the world are as embroiled in the problem of diversity as South Asia, where sectarian violence—fought mainly along religious lines, but also along caste, gender, and linguistic lines—is at the center of political maneuvering. South Asia offers important lessons in how people manage to live together despite histories of mutual strife and conflict about communities and castes. Focusing on the period of British colonial rule, this class explores different instances and ideologies of toleration and conflict. How were South Asian discourses of toleration by such leaders as Gandhi and Nehru different from their European counterparts, such as John Locke and John Rawls? How did their ideologies differ from those articulated by their peers such as Ambedkar, Azad, and Madani? In the first half of the course, we will analyze some constitutive precepts, namely secularism, syncretism, and toleration. Our attention here will be on the universal connotations of these ideas and their South Asian expression. Fifth week onward, we will turn our attention to select Indian thinkers (i.e., Gandhi, Ambedkar, Azad, Madani). Our focus here will be on the ways in which each intellectual negotiated the thorny issues of toleration, difference, ethnicity, and belonging. All the thinkers covered in this class had an active presence in nationalist-era politics. Finally, we will read historical accounts of some of the most frequent causes of intolerance, namely cow slaughter, music played before the mosque, and desecration of sacred objects. All reading materials will be available in English. No prior knowledge of South Asian history or South Asian languages is required.
ANTH 25422/HIST 28812 Struggle and Solidarity: The Politics of Chicago Labor in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (K. Bryce Lowry) In this course we will question how and why Chicago was important to the way we think about work. Employment, equity, wages, and security are national debates today, but Chicago has been at the forefront of this contentious conversation for the last two hundred years. In order to better understand the relationships among capitalism, labor politics, the workers' body, exploitation, and resistance we will analyze the Haymarket massacre, the Chicago stockyards, and African American Pullman porters. To be sure, laborers built this city with broad shoulders, but also with a commitment to struggle and solidarity that changed the social, political, and economic landscape of the United States and the world. This course will consider the following questions: What in the confluence of labor and capital sparked these events? How does union organization work on a pragmatic level as well in regards to ideological (re)formation? In what other ways can populations resist oppression? How do class, race, capital, and labor intersect in society over time and why do those relationships shift? What are the differences or similarities regarding labor issues between Chicago and other parts of the world?
HIST 26130 History of Spain, 1876–Present (M. Tenorio) The course is designed as a general introduction to the political, cultural, and social history of Spain from the Restauración to the 2000s. The course's fundamental aim is to sparkle students' curiosity to learn more and to think history—American, "Latin," European, African—with its indispensable ingredient revisited, namely, Spain.
HIST 26322 A History of Public Spaces in Mexico, 1520–2020 (C. Rocha, Von Holst Prize Lecturer) Streets and plazas have been sites in which much of Mexican history has been fought, forged, and even performed. This course examines the history of public spaces in Mexico since the Spanish Conquest. By gauging the degree to which these sites were truly open to the public, it addresses questions of social exclusion, resistance, and adaptability. The course traces more than the role and evolution of built sites. It also considers the individuals and groups that helped to define these places. This allows us to understand street vendors, prostitutes, students, rioters, and the "prole" as central historical actors. Through case studies and primary sources, we will examine palpable examples of how European colonization, various forms of state building, and more recent neoliberal reforms have transformed ordinary Mexicans and their public spaces.
LACS 26388/HIST 26323 Food Justice and Biodiversity in Latin America (D. Schwartz Francisco) This course asks how the relationships between food production and consumption and economic justice and biodiversity have changed over the last century in Latin America. As a region known both for its ecological diversity and as a producer of tropical foods regularly consumed in the United States, Latin America is also a site in which plantation-style agriculture has often undermined the region's celebrated biodiversity. The course focuses on workers and consumers in order to consider the ecological, social, political, economic, and cultural relationships between the production and consumption of food from Latin America. Some background in Latin American history, geography, or contemporary issues preferred.
ITAL 26500/HIST 22110 Renaissance Demonology (A. Maggi) In this course we analyze the complex concept of demonology in early modern European culture from a theological, historical, philosophical, and literary point of view. The term "demon" in the Renaissance encompasses a vast variety of meanings. Demons are hybrids. They are both the Christian devils, but also synonyms for classical deities and Neoplatonic spiritual beings. As far as Christian theology is concerned, we read selections from Augustine's and Thomas Aquinas's treatises, some complex exorcisms written in Italy, and a new recent translation of the infamous Malleus maleficarum, the most important treatise on witch hunting. We pay close attention to the historical evolution of the so-called witch craze in Europe through a selection of the best secondary literature on this subject, with special emphasis on Michel de Certeau's The Possession at Loudun. We also study how major Italian and Spanish women mystics, such as Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi and Teresa of Avila, approach the issue of demonic temptation and possession. As far as Renaissance Neoplatonic philosophy is concerned, we read selections from Marsilio Ficino's Platonic Theology and Girolamo Cardano's mesmerizing autobiography. We also investigate the connection between demonology and melancholy through a close reading of the initial section of Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy and Cervantes's short story, The Glass Graduate (El licenciado Vidriera). The course is taught in English.
HIST 26614 Making the Monsoon: The Ancient Indian Ocean (R. Payne) The course will explore the human adaptation to a climatic phenomenon and its transformative impacts on the littoral societies of the Indian Ocean, circa 1000 BCE–1000 CE. Monsoon means season, a time and space in which favorable winds made possible the efficient, rapid crossing of thousands of miles of ocean. Its discovery—at different times in different places—resulted in communication and commerce across vast distances at speeds more commonly associated with the industrial than the preindustrial era, as merchants, sailors, religious specialists, and scholars made monsoon crossings. The course will consider the participation of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East African actors in the making of monsoon worlds and their relations to the Indian Ocean societies they encountered; the course is based on literary and archaeological sources, with attention to recent comparative historiography on oceanic, climatic, and global histories.
HIST 26711 South Asia after Independence (E. Chatterjee) In 1947–48, the world's greatest experiments in postcolonial democracy and state-building began. This course surveys the histories of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka from independence to the present, with a particular focus on India due to its huge size and historiography. How did politicians and bureaucrats succeed in entrenching democracy in India, while military dictators took control in Pakistan? Why did Bangladesh secede from Pakistan, Indira Gandhi suspend India's democracy, and Sri Lanka descend into a quarter-century-long civil war? To what extent have religious and caste-based movements succeeded in reshaping South Asia today? In parallel, we will examine the transformations in political economy that have shaped these developments, from economic planning to the rise of billionaires and NGOs. By combining secondary literature with public speeches, visual sources, fictional works and more, we will arrive at a rich picture of how the histories of democratization and development in South Asia challenge conventional wisdom in the West. No prior knowledge of South Asian history or South Asian languages is required.
CRES 27536/HIST 29009 The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Black Lusophone Atlantic, 1450–1888 (E. McCullugh) By the abolition of Brazilian slavery in 1888, an estimated 4.3 million men, women, and children had been imported from Africa to Brazil. Yet, the narratives of slavery and freedom in the North Anglophone and Francophone Atlantic often dominate the popular imagination. This course is aimed at increasing knowledge about how slavery and the transatlantic slave trade shaped the Atlantic world through an examination of the deeply intertwined histories of Brazil and West Africa. This course offers a critical "genealogy of the present" by investigating the historical roots of racial, gendered, and social inequality that persist in Brazil and Lusophone West Africa today. It will focus on the diverse social, cultural, and political linkages that were forged as a result of the transatlantic trade with particular attention to the Portuguese in West Africa; the development and growth of the slave trade to Brazil; the relationship between slavery and gender; the continuity and adaptation of African social and cultural practices; and resistance, rebellion, and freedom. We will end the course with a look at how different communities, individuals, and nations continue to grapple with the memory and legacy of slavery today.
RLST 27720/HIST 27311 Race and Religion in Chicago (J. Brown) This course takes Chicago as a case study for testing and refining historical and theoretical claims about race and religion in the United States from 1865 to the present. It will focus on the construction of and contestation over whiteness among Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and new religious movements; will trace the "spiritual afterlife of slavery" in Chicago’s churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship, as well as in the everyday lives of Chicago's religious citizens; and will also consider other religious-racial issues and projects in Chicago's Latinx, Indian American, and Indigenous religious communities. Each week's topic will begin with readings and discussion of the broader theoretical and historiographical issues, followed by closer examination of the same topics in the context of the religious life of Chicago.
HIST 27900 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 28004 The Carceral State in Modern America (N. Maor, Teaching Fellow) In this course, we will examine the origins of mass incarceration in the United States: a country that only accounts for five percent of the world's population but nearly a quarter of its prison population. We will trace the ideologies and state apparatuses that have shaped the American carceral state from the post–Civil War era to the twenty-first century. Central themes will include the criminalization of racialized and marginalized communities; the rise of new policing regimes, along with new methods of surveillance and confinement; and the connection between welfare programs and penal policies. Over the course of this quarter, we will also discuss the emergence of social movements that have advocated for the rights of incarcerated people, as well as the eradication of prison labor and the abolition of prisons altogether.
LLSO 28030/HIST 28305 Alcohol and American Society (R. Kaminksy) Contests about America's political economy and legal regime have been tied to alcohol policy and drinking culture since the Sons of Liberty made Boston's Green Dragon Tavern their unofficial "headquarters of the Revolution." Americans' drinking habits have remained a key battleground ever since. This class will explore major themes in the development of America's legal regime and its political, economic, social, and cultural life through the nation's relationship with intoxicating drink from the colonial era to the present. Topics will include rum's role in empire; the legacy of the common-law doctrines regulating public houses in civil-rights law; the role of colonial tavern culture in the Revolution; persistent conflicts over taxation; ethno-religious conflict surrounding the temperance movement; Prohibition and organized crime; the brewing industry's roles in finance, corporate consolidation, and labor struggles; the construction of homogenized consumer culture and the postmodern quest for "authenticity"; and laws that shaped the business of craft brewing. Through discussions drawing on primary sources and secondary sources in history, social sciences, and law, we will analyze how Americans defined the bounds of the political community, individual rights, and state power. Students will build on these experiences for their final research papers, which will use primary sources to explore these themes.
REES 29023/HIST 23609 Returning the Gaze: The West and the Rest (A. Ilieva) This course provides insight into identity dynamics between the "West," as the center of economic power and self-proclaimed normative humanity, and the "Rest," as the poor, backward, volatile periphery. We investigate the relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western gaze. Inherent in the act of looking at oneself through the eyes of another is assuming the other's standard. We will contemplate the responses to this existential position—self-consciousness, defiance, arrogance, self-exoticization—and consider how these responses have been incorporated in the texture of the national, gender, and social identities in the region. We will read works by Orhan Pamuk, Ivo Andrić, Nikos Kazantzakis, Aleko Konstantinov, Emir Kusturica, and Milcho Manchevski.
LLSO 29071/HIST 27016 Great Books of the Founding Fathers: Revolution and Constitution (D. Lyons) In contemporary arguments about the meaning of the US Constitution, participants often make claims about what the framers and their opponents thought and said about topics like the powers of the Congress and the president, the strengths and weaknesses of federalism, and the role of the judiciary in a republican government. This course will seek to provide students with the means of evaluating the strengths of such claims. To that end, we will examine in three phases the emergence of the US Constitution. First, we will look at discussions of liberty and self-government in the imperial crisis of the 1760s and 1770s that led to the American Revolution. Second, we will look at the concerns that animated the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and read Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention. Third, we will look at the debates between the Federalists and anti-Federalists over ratification of the Constitution.
LLSO 29080/HIST 26222 Modernity and Its Discontents from Dawn to Decline (D. Lyons) One need look neither too long nor too hard before recognizing that the project of modernity seems to be under considerable strain: the stability and perhaps even the desirability of secularism, mass democracy, individualism, cosmopolitanism, and technological and bureaucratic rationalism have all been increasingly challenged by worldwide political events and processes as well as by postmodern, radical, conservative, and religious intellectuals. In this course we will read some classical statements of the project as a means of best understanding modernity and its features. We will then move on to a consideration of classical and more contemporary critiques of modernity with an eye toward both identifying the limits of the modern project and possible avenues for the retrieval and reconstitution at least some features of modernity.
RLST 29104/HIST 26009 Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Historically and Today (M. Kranz) How are anti-Semitism and Islamophobia linked together? Are they two different modes of oppression and discrimination, or are they part of a similar phenomenon? Moreover, are they religious, racial, or ethnic forms of discrimination? Throughout this course, we will complicate the media narrative that sees Jews and Arabs as perpetual enemies through a historical and philosophical exploration into the origins and development of Orientalism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. Students will think historically about the construction of race, ethnicity, and religion and the discriminatory modes by which these are employed; they will use that knowledge to think critically about current depictions of anti-Jewish and anti-Islamic violence. In the first part of the course, we will consider the historical and conceptual underpinnings of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We will look to fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Spain in order to better understand how and where they originated; we will then track their development through modernity, paying close attention to how these discourses changed and evolved over time; finally, we will look at the impact of the Holocaust and the rise of the state of Israel and consider current iterations of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in Europe and America today.
HIST 29313 Childhood and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (N. Maor, Teaching Fellow) How and when did we come to embrace the idea that children are innocent and defenseless? What are the implications of framing children's rights as human rights? In this course, we will explore key historical transformations in the legal, social, and cultural construction of childhood in modern Western societies. We will examine children's own experiences and how adults rendered them the subjects of study and state regulation. Topics of discussion will include work, leisure, education, sexuality, criminality, consumerism, and censorship. Throughout, we will discuss how ideas about race, gender, class, and age have shaped the way that the public and the state had defined childhood: who was entitled to a protected period of nurture, care, and play; who was allowed to be disobedient, or even lawless, and still avoid legal consequences. We will explore how and why some children have been and continue to be excluded from this idealized vision.
HIST 29318 Modern Disability Histories: Gender, Race, and Disability (M. Appeltová, Teaching Fellow) This course introduces students to the conceptual apparatus of disability studies and major developments in disability history since the late nineteenth century. The course will consider disability beyond physical impairment, centering the ways in which notions of gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability interact and shape subjects, and how these subject positions shift across political watersheds. Students will engage a variety of sources, such as autobiographies, pamphlets, visual material, laws, and medical texts, as well as historiographical sources. Topics will include late nineteenth-century female "hysteria," evolutionary approaches to sign language and orality, and the effects of industrialization on new impairments; early twentieth-century eugenics and the Nazi T4 program; postwar developments in prosthetics and discursive intersections between psychosis and civil rights movement. Students are encouraged to work on creative collective projects (e.g., an exhibit or a short video) in addition to written assignments.
HIST 29429 Writing History (M. Tenorio) The course is designed to be an invitation to history reading and writing. It aims at introducing students to different history-writing traditions, with special, alas not exclusive, focus on the Iberian world. Do we need history? Why? How have different people written history? How and when did history became a profession and how did this take place in different countries? Why do nations and histories seem to be synonymous? These are the kinds of questions that will be addressed by the course.
HIPS 29637/HIST 25023 Tutorial: Evolution Beyond Darwin (E. Kitchen) One of the most identifiable images associated with evolution is the visage of Charles Darwin. Historical narratives of evolution center on Darwin's work, and scientific publications today still note whether or not Darwin pre-empted their ideas. This course aims to build a narrative of evolution that brings the story up to today, asking why so many see Darwin as a shorthand for evolution and what consequences that might have for the development and communication of the science. In addition, it will interrogate other "iconic" images and narratives in evolution, like the tree of life. We will ask where our ideas about evolution have come from, how they are perpetuated, and what consequence that might have for the discipline of evolutionary biology. The course has three aims: 1) to provide a historical understanding of evolution after Darwin; 2) to reflect on how evolution is communicated between scientists and to the broader public, and to ask how "icons," including Darwin himself, suggest implicit meanings counter to the work of the scientists; and 3) to more broadly examine what is a science—a process or a body of knowledge?
MAPS 33501/HIST 23308 Gender, Sex, and Empire (D. Heuring) This course examines the complex and contested relationships among gender, sex, 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 categories 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, sex, sexuality, and Western imperialism were co-constitutive in colonial contexts, and the ways that techniques of power were borrowed, adapted, and homogenized across the Western imperial world in response to changing political and economic imperatives.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates by Consent
HIST 42304 Patronage and the Production of Culture in Renaissance Italy and Her Neighbors (A. Palmer) The great works of literature, philosophy, art, architecture, music, and science which the word "Renaissance" invokes were products of a complex system of patronage and hierarchy in which local, personal, and international politics were as essential to innovation as ideas and movements. This course examines how historians of early modern Europe can strive to access, understand, and describe the web of hierarchy and inequality that bound the creative minds of Renaissance Europe to wealthy patrons, poor apprentices, distant princes, friends and rivals, women and servants, and the many other agents, almost invisible in written sources, who were vital to the production and transformation of culture.
HIST 45101 Agriculture: Ancient and Modern (F. Albritton Jonsson & P. Cheney) This course surveys the history of agriculture and agrarian societies from the dawn of the Neolithic to the age of genetic modification and anthropogenic warming. Topics to be discussed include the origins of agriculture, domestication, population dynamics, soil husbandry, foodways, land tenure, dietary transitions, industrial agriculture, the Green Revolution, and climate change. We will read texts by James Scott, Emmanuel le Roy Ladurie, Elinor Ostrom, Deborah Fitzgerald, and others.