War, Violence, and Society

HIST 25300  American Revolution, 1763–1789  (E. Cook Jr.)  This lecture and discussion course explores the background of the American Revolution and the problem of organizing a new nation. The first half of the course uses the theory of revolutionary stages to organize a framework for the events of the 1760s and 1770s, and the second half of the course examines the period of constitution making (1776–1789) for evidence on the ways in which the Revolution was truly revolutionary.

HIST 26409  Revolution, Dictatorship, and Violence in Modern Latin America  (B. Fischer)  This course will examine the role played by Marxist revolutions, revolutionary movements, and the right-wing dictatorships that have opposed them in shaping Latin American societies and political cultures since the end of World War II. Themes examined will include the relationship among Marxism, revolution, and nation building; the importance of charismatic leaders and icons; the popular authenticity and social content of Latin American revolutions; the role of foreign influences and interventions; the links between revolution and dictatorship; and the lasting legacies of political violence and military rule. Countries examined will include Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Mexico.

HIST 27509  A New Order for the Ages? An Intellectual History of the Early American Republic  (A. Rowe, Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences)  This course examines the conflicting political ideas that Americans built into the new republic and how the heirs to the revolution transformed the resulting ambiguities and contradictions into a new national creed, at once fragile and extraordinarily powerful. Americans in the early republic were almost pathologically deferential to the founders, and especially to the constitution. Yet, the rigid constitutionalism that held the nation together disguised an explosion of political innovation at the local level. A cultural federalism, more potent than its institutional counterpart, fragmented the legacy of the revolution without diminishing the reverence it inspired. We will explore the different concepts Americans used to define their political system: as the outgrowth of one or another colonial history, as the singular achievement of heroic ancestors, and as an ongoing experiment with universal significance for the cause of human freedom. We will see how these concepts evolved as Americans argued over them. We will conclude by examining how these intellectual currents culminated in the Civil War.

HIST 29423  Just War Theory and Realism  (E. Tschinkel, Teaching Fellow)  This course will explore the just war versus realist debate during the twentieth century by investigating three key moments, represented by three key texts: Politics Among Nations by Hans Morgenthau, Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer, and "On the Moral Equality of Combatants" by Jeff McMahan. We will begin with the "Walzer Moment" andl discuss the radical (or not) nature of the text, its critical reception and Vietnam War context, as well as the important concepts of jus in bello, jus ad bellum, and other basic just-war concepts. We will then look backwards to Morgenthau and discuss, among other concepts, the circumstantial application of morality. Finally, we will fast forward to McMahan and discuss the debate on the separation, or lack thereof, between jus in bello and jus ad bellum. Throughout the course our readings will be supplemented by historical texts such as The Global Cold War by Odd Arne Westad and Vietnam at War by Mark Bradley.

HIST 29679  Writing Family History—Migration Stories  (T. Zahra)  Almost every family has a migration story, whether it involves a move across international borders or within a single nation (south to north, east to west). Sometimes these movements entailed deportation or flight from war or persecution, other times a search for better opportunities or to join (or escape) family members. These stories often become a part of family lore and identity, even if we don't know much about how or why they took place, or even if they are true. This course will combine genealogical and historical research. Students will research the history of a family member's migration, using primary sources and genealogical tools, and will contextualize that individual story in the broader history of migration (and migration in our own times).