War, Violence, and Society
HIST 14303 Modern Korean History (J. Jeon, Teaching Fellow) This course focuses on the modern history of a country that is well known for shifting its course at dizzying speed. Beginning with the last monarchic dynasty's "opening" to the world in the late nineteenth century, the course will move on to deal with radical transformations such as Japanese colonization and Korea's subsequent liberation in 1945; the civil war, national division, and dictatorship in the two Koreas; and the economic miracle and democratization in the South and nuclear development in the North. How do we understand recent events, such as the South Korean president's impeachment in 2017 and the North Korean leader's high-profile diplomatic détentes in 2018? Do they come out of nowhere, or can we find an underlying consistency based on an understanding of the long twentieth century? Through a careful study of Korea's modern history, this course is designed to reveal the longer trajectories of Korea's historical development, showing how the study of this contentious peninsula becomes a study of modern world history.
HIST 17606 American Revolutions (M. Kruer) In 1750, "British America" was a diverse and fractious collection of colonies huddled along the eastern seaboard, on the margins of the churning waters of the Atlantic world. Forty years later, thirteen of those remote American settlements had become, through rebellion and war, into a revolutionary nation. The traumatic passage of this transformation established the world's first modern republic and set in motion an age of democratic revolutions that reverberated in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, and western North America. This course explores this remarkable epoch in early American history. Topics include the first global military struggle (the Seven Years War); the transformation from scattered urban riots against taxes into a rebellion against the world's strongest imperial power; the everyday experience of occupation, insurgency, and civil war; Black and Native American struggles for independence; experiments in women's rights, radical democracy, and religious freedom; the fragility of the new union and the ragged road toward a federal nation-state; and the revolutionary idealism that inspired revolutions in France, Haiti, and the Americas, with consequences that shaped the early United States and all its diverse peoples. Grades will be based on three short papers and one final paper. This lecture course is open to non-History majors and does not presume any previous history coursework.
HIST 23407 Comparative Kingship: Rulers in 12th-Century Europe (J. Lyon) The purpose of this course is to examine the different forms that kingship took in the Latin Christian kingdoms of Europe during the twelfth century. In the first half of the course, we will read and discuss a broad range of primary and secondary sources that will give us the opportunity to analyze critically kingship in England, France, and Germany (the Holy Roman Empire). In the second half of the course, we will broaden our discussion to consider how other kingdoms in Europe—including Scotland, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Sicily, Aragon, and Castile—do and do not conform to more general models of twelfth-century European kingship.
HIST 24508 Human Rights in Japanese History (K. Pan, Von Holst Prize Lecturer) This course examines how the modern concept of "rights" and "human rights" localized in Japan and how different parties in Japan have used the language of human rights in attempts to remake Japan's social, cultural, and legal landscape. We will explore a wide range of topics including the translation of Eurocentric rights talk in East Asia, colonization and decolonization, statelessness and migration, transitional justice and reconciliation, biopolitical rights and bio-citizenship, indigenous rights, and women and gender-specific rights. Throughout the course we pay special attention to the ways in which rights talk and human-rights politics in Japan intertwine with the country's efforts to modernize and build the "nation within the empire" and, after its defeat in WWII, to close off its "long postwar" and reconcile with its neighbors. This is an introductory course, and no previous knowledge of Japanese history or the international history of human rights is required. However, you should be prepared to read (and watch, browse, and listen to) a wide array of primary and secondary sources that destabilize the most common vocabulary and concepts we take for granted in contemporary human-rights talk such as race, state responsibility, and the very notion of universalism so central to the idea of human rights.