NEHC 30203/HIST 35623 Islamicate Civilization III, 1750–Present 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 30840/HIST 35901 Radical Islamic Pieties, 1200–1600 (C. Fleischer) This course examines responses to the Mongol destruction of the Abbasid caliphate in 1258 and the background to formation of regional Muslim empires. Topics include the opening of confessional boundaries; Ibn Arabi, Ibn Taymiyya, and Ibn Khaldun; the development of alternative spiritualities, mysticism, and messianism in the fifteenth century; and transconfessionalism, antinomianism, and the articulation of sacral sovereignties in the sixteenth century. All work in English; some knowledge of primary languages (i.e., Arabic, French, German, Greek, Latin, Persian, Spanish, Turkish) helpful.
SCTH 30961/HIST 45004 The Values of Attention (R. Daston) Attention confers value—aesthetic, moral, epistemic, and now monetary value—upon whatever it singles out from the stream of experience. This seminar explores the long history of the theories and practices of attention in philosophy, religion, science, psychology, and the arts. Guiding questions include what objects are deemed worthy of attention and why, extreme states of attention such as religious contemplation or scientific observation, the schooling of attention through practices such as reading and web-surfing, theories of how attention works, and pathologies of attention.
HIST 33519 The Arts of Number in the Middle Ages: The Quadrivium (R. Fulton Brown) Alongside the arts of language (grammar, rhetoric, and logic), medieval students would encounter the arts of number: arithmetic, the study of pure number; geometry, number in space; music, number in time; and astronomy, number in space and time (in Stratford Caldecott's formulation). In this course, we will be following this medieval curriculum insofar as we are able through some of its primary texts, many only recently translated, so as to come to a better appreciation of the way in which the study of these arts affected the development of the medieval European intellectual, scientific, and artistic tradition. This is a companion course to "The Arts of Language in the Middle Ages: The Trivium," but the two courses may be taken in either order.
HIST 34100 Zen and History (J. Ketelaar) This course examines Chan/Zen history, debates over this history, and consequences of Chan/Zen for understanding history and historiography per se.
HIST 34115 Japan's Empire (S. Burns) The Japanese empire has long been considered "anomalous" among other modern empires: it was the first modern imperial project undertaken by a non-Western nation, one that was (purportedly) based not on racial difference but rather on cultural affinity; one that positioned itself as anti-imperialist even as it was involved in colonization. Although the empire was short-lived, it continues to shape the geopolitics of East Asia today. With an aim to reassessing the "uniqueness" of the Japanese imperial era, this seminar focuses on key issues in the historiography of the Japanese empire through the critical reading and discussion of recent Anglophone works. Assignments: Weekly Canvas posts and final research paper.
EALC 34512/HIST 34511 Social and Economic Institutions of Chinese Socialism (J. Eyferth) The socialist period (for our purposes here, c. 1949–80) fundamentally transformed the institutions of Chinese social and economic life. Marriage and family were redefined, rural communities were reorganized on a collective basis, and private property in land and other means of production was abolished. Industrialization created a new urban working class, whose access to welfare, consumer goods, and political rights depended to a large extent on their membership in work units (danwei). Migration between city and countryside almost came to a halt, and rural and urban society developed in different directions. This course will focus on the concrete details of how this society functioned. How did state planning work? What was it like to work in a socialist factory? What role did money and consumption play in a planned economy? Our readings are in English, but speakers of Chinese are encouraged to use Chinese materials (first-hand sources, if they can be found) for their final papers. All readings will be posted on Canvas.
HIST 34602 Objects of Japanese History (J. Ketelaar) The collections of Japanese objects held at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Art Institute of Chicago will be examined as case studies in museum studies, collection research, and, more specifically, in the interpretation of things "Japanese." Individual objects will be examined, not only for religious, aesthetic, cultural, and historical issues, but also for what they tell us of the collections themselves and the relation of these collections to museum studies per se.
LACS 34800/HIST 36103 Introduction to Latin American Civilization 3 (D. Borges) Taking these courses in sequence is not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence is offered every year. This course introduces the history and cultures of Latin America (e.g., Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands). The third quarter focuses on the twentieth century, with special emphasis on economic development and its political, social, and cultural consequences.
HIST 35415 History of Information (A. Johns) Everybody knows that ours in an information age. No previous generation ever enjoyed access to the mass of material made available by Google, iTunes, Amazon, and the like. At the same time, however, no previous generation ever had its reading, listening, and traveling so thoroughly tracked, recorded, data-mined, and commercialized. Information thus shapes our culture for both good and ill, and it is up to us to understand how. This course provides students with the materials to do that. It ranges across centuries to trace how information has been created, circulated, and controlled. In short, it tells us how our information age came into being, and why it has generated the issues with which it now confronts us.
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.
HIST 36304 Literature and Society in Brazil (D. Borges) This course explores the relations between literature and society in Brazil, with an emphasis on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the Modernist movement of 1922. We will read poetry but pay special attention to the novel. The Brazilian novel, like the Russian novel, was an arena in which intellectuals debated, publicized, and perhaps even discovered social questions. We will examine ways in which fiction may be used and misused as a historical document. All works available in English translation.
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 39105 Gendering Slavery (M. Hicks) This reading seminar will introduce students to the key questions, methods, and theories of the burgeoning field of gendered histories of slavery. Global in scope, but with a focus on the early modern Atlantic world, we will explore a range of primary and secondary texts from various slave societies. Assigned monographs will cover a multitude of topics including women and law, sexualities, kinship, and reproduction, and the intersection of race, labor, and market economies. In addition to examining historical narratives, students will discuss the ethical and methodological implications of reading and writing histories of violence, erasure, and domination. Learning to work within and against the limits imposed by hegemonic forms of representation, the fragmentary nature of the archive, and the afterlives of slavery, this course will examine how masculinity and femininity remade and were remade by bondage.
HIST 42303 Renaissance Humanism (A. Palmer) Humanism in the Renaissance was an ambitious project to repair what idealists saw as a fallen, broken world by reviving the lost arts of antiquity. Their systematic transformation of literature, education, art, religion, architecture, and science dramatically reshaped European culture, mixing ancient and medieval and producing the foundations of modern thought and society. Readings focus on primary sources: Petrarch, Poggio, Ficino, Pico, Castiglione, and Machiavelli, with a historiographical review of major modern treatments of the topic. We will discuss the history of the book, cultural and intellectual history, and academic writing skills especially planning the dissertation as a book and writing and submitting articles to journals.
HIST 42901 The Habsburg Monarchy and the Austrian Republic, 1740–1983 (J. Boyer) This colloquium will give students in modern European history a systematic overview of major interpretive problems in Hapsburg and Austrian history from 1740 to 1983. We will consider issues such as the competing historiographical narratives about the fate of the empire; reform absolutism and eighteenth-century communities in the empire; 1848 in Vienna and in the empire; the empire during the constitutional crises of the 1860s; liberalism, nationalism, and the political culture of the post-1867 dualism; mass politics in the empire after 1890; fin de siècle culture in Vienna; the social history of World War I and the collapse of the empire; the revolution of 1918 and the reasons behind the ultimate failure of the First Republic; and authoritarianism, Nazism, and postwar reconstruction.
HIST 47503 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 49502 Colonialism, Globalization, and Postcolonialism (R. Austen) The narrative of this course encompasses European overseas expansion from the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries and the emergence from this process of, first, early modern proto-colonies (monopolistic trading companies and slave plantations), then modern colonies (European-ruled territories inhabited by non-European "colonial subjects"), and, finally, 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/underdevelopment); and culture (the construction of European and "third-world' identities via colonialism). The lectures and assigned readings will privilege "northern" European (British, Dutch, German, as opposed to Iberian, but including French) colonialism and focus upon tropical Africa, the British and French Caribbean, and South Asia. Students are welcome, however, to challenge or extend this definition of the topic. Class sessions will combine lectures and discussions of readings. Requirements are two short (3–5 pages) critical discussion papers and one longer final essay (10–12 pages) either discussing an approved, self-selected topic or responding to prompts on general course issues.
HIST 49701 Cultural Cold War (E. Gilburd) In this course we will consider culture wars amidst the Cold War. We will range across media and aesthetic schools to examine the entanglement of art and politics, culture and diplomacy, creativity and propaganda, consumerism and the avant-garde, nuclear aspirations and dystopian visions, artistic freedom and police operations. The course's basic premise is that, notwithstanding the bipolar world it created, the Cold War was a multisided affair, so our readings will extend beyond the United States and the Soviet Union to include various national contexts.
HIST 56900 Colloquium: The Scientific Image—Formalism, Abstraction, and Realism (M. Rossi) This course explores the broad field of scientific image-making, focusing in particular on problems of formalism, abstraction, and realism. What makes a "good" scientific image? What kind of work do scientific images do? What philosophical, ideological, and political constraints underwrite attempts to render the complexity of events and entities in the world in stylized visual vocabularies? And how might we approach the work of aesthetics and style in image-making? We will examine these questions through a survey of several contemporary scholarly frameworks used for thinking about problems of representation in scientific practice and will attend to such image-making practices as graphing, diagramming, modeling, doodling, illustrating, sculpting, and photographing, among other methods.
HIST 62100 Colloquium: Subaltern Studies—Issues and Historiography (D. Chakrabarty) The course will discuss problems of researching and writing histories of "subaltern classes" by focusing on some key ideas and texts produced by scholars related to the South Asian series Subaltern Studies (c. 1980–2000).
HIST 62706 Colloquium: Post-Emancipation African American History (A. Green) This course will introduce student to key topics in African American history, concentrated in the United States after slavery. Key themes will include the material and social legacies of Reconstruction, intersectional approaches to resistance, identity, and struggle, the changing relationship of blackness to citizenship, racial capitalism in an increasingly urban America, and culture as both self-definition and means to assimilation.
HIST 63003 Colloquium: The American South, 1865–Present (J. Dailey) The South has had something of a makeover in recent years. The region previously associated with hierarchy, racism, patriarchy, ignorance, superstition, intolerance, violence, and a certain unfamiliarity with legal norms obtaining elsewhere has been transformed, as one historian of the South put it recently, into "a place that nurtured radical political alternatives and offered them up to the rest of the nation." In the nineteenth century, yeomen farmers resisted the forces of capitalist economic change and slaves helped turn a war for reunion into one for emancipation. In the twentieth century, "women worked for political equality and social reform; industrial workers organized to right the oppressive hegemony of the business elite; and African Americans' constant struggle against white supremacy made the civil rights movement possible." We will explore this massive narrative paradigm shift in this course, which is intended for graduate students in US history. Focusing on the topics of politics, memory, and representation in the post–Civil War South, our readings will emphasize recent publications driving the new southern synthesis.
HIST 67604 Public History Practicum II (A. Goff) Open to students who enroll in HIST 67603 in winter quarter.