HIST 29652 History Colloquium: Migration and Citizenship (M. Briones) Looking through a broad interdisciplinary lens, this colloquium will examine the history of migration and citizenship. The focus will largely be on the United States, but, given its topic, the course will necessitate transnational and comparative histories. How did nineteenth- and early twentieth-century "sojourners" become "citizens"? What constituted the public's perception of some immigrants as inassimilable aliens and others as an ostensible "model minority"? We will interrogate not only what it means to have been and to be an immigrant in America but also what it means to be a citizen in a multiracial democracy. As a junior history colloquium, the course's main purpose is to help students learn to write a long research paper based on primary sources in preparation for writing the BA thesis.
HIST 29667 History Colloquium: The History of the Public Museum (A. Goff) What do people do in museums and why does it matter? This junior colloquium will examine this question and its history from the emergence of the public museum in eighteenth-century Europe through its many iterations around the world to the present day. Throughout our attention will be on the historical relationship between museums and their publics. What role have public museums played in shaping communities of nation, gender, race, faith, and class? We will also take up how different communities have shaped the role of museum in public life, defining their missions, determining their contents, and occasionally undermining them in various ways as well. In addition to common readings, visits to local institutions, and close observation of objects and images as a class, students will be required to spend time independently in a public museum exhibition of their choosing in preparation for a final research paper based on primary sources.
HIST 29670 History Colloquium: Britain's Age of Revolutions (A. Johns) This course looks at British history in the "long seventeenth century," ranging from the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558 to the end of the Stuart dynasty in 1714. The period was one of upheaval, extraordinary both in itself and in its lasting consequences. The country saw protracted civil conflict, a king put on trial and executed, and (arguably) two revolutions. Its culture was distinguished by figures such as Shakespeare, Milton, Newton, Locke, and Purcell. And it created the origins of a world empire, as well as pursuing radical developments in economics, politics, and experimental science. We shall explore aspects of this period, using selected primary and secondary sources to introduce the history and historiography of early modern English culture.
HIST 29672 History Colloquium: France in the Age of Enlightenment (P. Cheney) The Enlightenment was a European, even a global movement, but Paris was its capital. This course will examine the contexts that gave rise to diverse movements that, taken together, have come to define the Age of Enlightenment. In France, enlightened philosophes advanced schemes to relieve poverty and passionately criticized a state that was often needlessly cruel and inefficient; hitherto excluded groups entered into very public conversations about truth and beauty, but also the salacious scandals that were undermining the legitimacy of the monarchy; and hoards of scientists, merchants, and colonial administrators traveled to the four corners of the earth to understand, profit from, and sometimes subjugate the new environments and peoples they found there. The Enlightenment contained within it many contradictory impulses, and we shall try to determine if they are really reducible to a single coherent movement. Although we will read historical documents from the eighteenth century, we will mainly concentrate on how historians have approached the period in order to provide students with a toolkit for their own, self-directed explorations into France's century of Enlightenment.
HIST 10101 Introduction to African Civilization 1 (E. Fretwell) African Civilization introduces students to African history and culture in a two-quarter sequence. Part one considers literary, oral, and archeological sources to investigate African societies and states from the early Iron Age through the emergence of the Atlantic world. Case studies include the empires of Ghana, Mali, and Great Zimbabwe. The course also treats the diffusion of Islam, the origins and effects of European contact, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Completion of the general education requirement in social sciences recommended.
MUSI 12100/HIST 12700 Music in Western Civilization 1: To 1750 (R. Kendrick) This two-quarter sequence explores musical works of broad cultural significance in Western civilization. We study pieces not only from the standpoint of musical style but also through the lenses of politics, intellectual history, economics, gender, cultural studies, and so on. Readings are taken both from our music textbook and from the writings of a number of figures such as St. Benedict of Nursia and Martin Luther. In addition to lectures, students discuss important issues in the readings and participate in music listening exercises in smaller sections.
HIST 13001 History of European Civilization 1 European Civilization is a two-quarter sequence designed to use close readings of primary sources to enrich our understanding of Europeans of the past. 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 13002 History of European Civilization 2 European Civilization is a two-quarter sequence designed to use close readings of primary sources to enrich our understanding of Europeans of the past. 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 13200 History of Western Civilization 2 (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 13600 America in World Civilization 2 The American Civ sequence is nothing like your high-school history class, for here we examine 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. The nineteenth-century segment of America in World Civilizations asks: What happens when democracy confronts inequality? We focus on themes that include indigenous-US relations; religious revivalism and reform; slavery, the Civil War, and emancipation; the intersection between women's rights and antislavery; the development of industrial capitalism; urbanism and social inequality.
HIST 14000 Introduction to Russian Civilization 2 (F. Hillis) This two-quarter sequence, which meets the general education requirement in civilization studies, provides an interdisciplinary introduction to Russian civilization. The first quarter covers the ninth century to the 1870s; the second quarter continues on through the post-Soviet period. Working closely with a variety of primary sources—from oral legends to film and music, from political treatises to literary masterpieces—we will track the evolution of Russian civilization over the centuries and through radically different political regimes. Topics to be discussed include the influence of Byzantine, Mongol-Tataric, and Western culture in Russian civilization; forces of change and continuity in political, intellectual and cultural life; the relationship between center and periphery; systems of social and political legitimization; and symbols and practices of collective identity.
HIST 15100 Introduction to East Asian Civilization 1 (G. Alitto) 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 16200/HIST 16102 Introduction to Latin American Civilization 2 (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 second quarter addresses the evolution of colonial societies, the wars of independence, and the emergence of Latin American nation-states in the changing international context of the nineteenth century.
HIST 16800 Ancient Mediterranean World 2: Rome 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. This sequence surveys the social, economic, and political history of Greece to the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC), the Roman Republic (509 to 27 BC), and late antiquity (27 BC to the fifth century AD). This quarter surveys the social, economic, and political history of Rome, from its prehistoric beginnings in the twelfth century BCE to the end of the Severan dynasty in 235 CE. Throughout, the focus is upon the dynamism and adaptability of Roman society, as it moved from a monarchy to a republic to an empire, and the implications of these political changes for structures of competition and cooperation within the community.
HIPS 17402/HIST 17402 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: History of Medicine 1 (P. Rossi) Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence focuses on the origins and development of science in the West. Our aim is to trace the evolution of the biological, psychological, natural, and mathematical sciences as they emerge from the cultural and social matrix of their periods and, in turn, affect culture and society. This course examines the history of medicine from the Renaissance through the end of the eighteenth century, when many features of medicine that we now consider "modern" were coming into being. Topics include the history of anatomy and physiology, including Vesalius and Harvey; the history of relations between doctors and patients, including traditional medical practitioners and midwives; and the changing nature of the hospital.
HIPS 17403/HIST 17403 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: Early Modern Science (R. Richards) Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence focuses on the origins and development of science in the West.
HIPS 17504/HIST 17504 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 three-quarter sequence focuses on the origins and development of science in the West. This course will chart the development of modern science and technology with special reference to the environment and energy. Major themes include empire and environmental change, romanticism and conservation, science in the industrial revolution, energy in science and industry, the debates about the limits to growth, the rise of ecology, the Cold War development of climate science, and the emergence of modern environmentalism. We end with the science of the Anthropocene.
NEHC 20012/HIST 15603 Ancient Empires 2: The Ottoman Empire This sequence introduces three great empires of the ancient world. Each course in the sequence focuses on one empire, with attention to the similarities and differences among the empires being considered. By exploring the rich legacy of documents and monuments that these empires produced, students are introduced to ways of understanding imperialism and its cultural and societal effects—both on the imperial elites and on those they conquered.
SALC 20100/HIST 10800 Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia 1 (M. Alam) 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 first quarter focuses on Islam in South Asia, Hindu-Muslim interaction, Mughal political and literary traditions, and South Asia's early encounters with Europe.
NEHC 20502/HIST 25804 Islamic History and Society 2: The Middle Period (J. Woods) This sequence surveys the main trends in the political history of the Islamic world, with some attention to economic, social, and intellectual history. This course covers the period from ca. 1000 to 1750, including the arrival of the steppe peoples (Turks and Mongols), the Mongol successor states, and the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria. We also study the foundation of the great Islamic regional empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Moghuls.
NEHC 20602/HIST 25615 Islamic Thought and Literature II (F. Lewis) This sequence explores the thought and literature of the Islamic world from the coming of Islam in the seventh century CE through the development and spread of its civilization in the medieval period and into the modern world. Including historical framework to establish chronology and geography, the course focuses on key aspects of Islamic intellectual history: scripture, law, theology, philosophy, literature, mysticism, political thought, historical writing, and archaeology. In addition to lectures and secondary background readings, students read and discuss samples of key primary texts, with a view to exploring Islamic civilization in the direct voices of the people who participated in creating it. This course covers the period from circa 950 to 1700, surveying works of literature, theology, philosophy, sufism, politics, history, etc., written in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, as well as the art, architecture, and music of the Islamicate traditions. Through primary texts, secondary sources, and lectures, we will trace the cultural, social, religious, political, and institutional evolution through the period of the Fatimids, the Crusades, the Mongol invasions, and the "gunpowder empires" (Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals). All readings are in English translation. No prior background in the subject is required.
NEHC 20840/HIST 25901 Radical Islamic Pieties, 1200–1600 (C. Fleischer) 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; transconfessionalism, antinomianism, and the articulation of sacral sovereignties in the sixteenth century. Readings will be in English, though some acquaintance with primary languages (Arabic, French, German, Greek, Latin, Spanish, or Turkish) is desirable.
KNOW 21408/HIST 25314 History of Medicine (J. Daly, postdoctoral fellow) This course surveys the history of medicine from the medieval period to the present. How did medicine emerge as a defined body of knowledge? To what extent do diseases and disorders have an independent existence, and to what extent are they cultural constructs? How have social mores—particularly those related to religion, class, nationality, race, and gender—influenced the ways in which health was and is understood and maintained, and illness treated? What does it mean to practice medicine ethically, and how has that changed over time? Topics include the emergence and evolution of the medical profession, the history of medical research and method, the interpretation and treatment of the unhealthy and healthy alike, eugenics, euthanasia, the quest for immortality, and the changing relationship between technology and disease.
KNOW 21411/HIST 25315 Sex, Race, and Empire (M. Carlyle, postdoctoral fellow) How did science, race, and gender interact in the early modern Atlantic world? How, why, and with what consequences did imperial science create new knowledge claims about human inequality, especially racial and sexual difference? Drawing on British, Iberian, and French imperial agendas, this course uncovers the experiences of men and women of the Atlantic world: indigenous peoples, enslaved black Africans, free people of color, and white Europeans. Using primary and secondary sources, we analyze European aspirations to control and exploit the natural world and the agency of subjugated peoples in responding to and resisting these designs. Topics covered include natural history collecting and classification; the invention of racial theory; slavery and maroons; women, gender, and reproduction; consumption; and violence, resistance, and revolution.
RLST 21601/HIST 22112 Saints and Barbarians: The Conversion of Europe (L. Pick) How did Europe become Christian, and why? Who were these new Christians, and how did they shape what it meant to be Christian? What happened to those who were left out? And did Europe need to become Christian before it could become Europe? This course will examine these questions and more from the earliest stirrings of the new religion, through the fall of Rome and the barbarian invasions, the expansion of the Carolingian world, and the age of the Vikings. We will consider the relationship between the Church and the Roman state, Christian attitudes toward the barbarians, and the missions to northern Europe, as well manifestations of religion in "popular" Christianity and the emergence of consciously Christian monarchies.
HIST 22708 Planetary Britain, 1600–1900 (F. Albritton Jonsson) What were the causes behind Britain's Industrial Revolution? In the vast scholarship on this problem, one particularly heated debate has focused on the imperial origins of industrialization. How much did colonial resources and markets contribute to economic growth and technological innovation in the metropole? The second part of the course will consider the global effects of British industrialization. To what extent can we trace anthropogenic climate change and other planetary crises back to the environmental transformation wrought by the British Empire? Topics include ecological imperialism, metabolic rift, the sugar revolution, the slave trade, naval construction and forestry, the East India Company, free trade and agriculture, energy use and climate change.
HMRT 23101/HIST 29321 Thou Shalt Not Kill: Human Rights and War from Napoleon to the War on Terror (P. O'Donnell, postdoctoral fellow) This course will consider the intersection between human rights and humans in wars from Napoleon's first forays into a nationalized army, citizen soldiers, and battlefield medicine in the early nineteenth century to the contradictions of the global "war on terror": Abu Ghraib, drone strikes, and Support Our Troops bumper stickers. Along the way, it will consider the evolution of rights alongside the evolution of war, using historical examples as stepping stones, from the horrors produced by European colonial firepower and the global cataclysms of the twentieth century's world wars, to the Cold War's proxy wars and nuclear threats, to failed attempts at peacekeeping in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
ENST 23650/HIST 25015 Revolutionizing Agriculture: Early Modern Technologies for the New Millennium (A. Coombs) This course integrates USDA reports and modern field and lab studies into the historiography of the British agricultural revolution, when a wave of sustainable and organic farming technologies reinvented early modern growing practices. Not all historical technologies were sustainable, and this course relies upon modern agronomy to evaluate the environmental costs and benefits of farming improvements. We know that yields per acre per worker did increase, but this is the only aspect of the story that remains unquestioned. Some agricultural improvement technologies, such as light plowing and enclosure, caused catastrophic environmental harms that lowered yields over time. Other technologies like the Norfolk rotation may have had small and gradual impacts over time and cannot be easily correlated with increases in yields on a site-by-site basis in the historical literature or in modern field trials. We similarly explore primary historical sources and historiography to better understand the environmental limits of the technologies used by organic and sustainable farmers today.
CLCV 24017/HIST 20307 The Spartan Divergence (A. Bresson) Sparta was a Greek city, but of what type? The ancient tradition, or at least the larger part of it, paints the portrait of an ideal city-state. The city was supposed to be stable and moderately prosperous. Its citizens were allegedly models of virtue. For many centuries the city did not experience revolutions and its army was invincible on the battlefield. This success was attributed to its perfect institutions. Following the track opened by Ollier's Spartan Mirage, modern scholarship has scrupulously and successfully deconstructed this image of an ideal city. But what do we find if we go beyond the looking glass? Was Sparta really a city "like all the others"? This class will show that we must go deeper into our evidence in order to make sense of the extraordinary success followed by the brutal collapse of this very special city-state.
HIST 24300 History of Modern China 1 (G. Alitto) This lecture course presents the main intellectual, political, economic, and social trends in modern China. The course covers ideological and organization structures, as well as the social movements that define a process variously described in Western literature as modernization, reform, and revolution (or political development). Emphasis is on institutional and intellectual developments during this period, especially in the twentieth century. Some attention is paid to historiographic analysis and criticism. Readings are in the English-language secondary literature.
CRES 24001/HIST 18301 Colonizations 1 (D. Lyons) 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 course covers themes of slavery, colonization, and the making of the Atlantic world in the first quarter.
CRES 24002/HIST 18302 Colonizations 2 (K. Pomeranz) This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. 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, and 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 theme of the second section considers modern European and Japanese colonialism in Asia and the Pacific.
HIST 24609 A History of Japanese Visual Culture (J. Ketelaar) This course will examine the rich and nuanced material history of Japan, drawing upon religious art, architecture, theater, fine arts, and crafts, as well as creations made through the technologies of photography, cinema, manga, and anime. Note that most of the materials examined will be from the pre-twentieth century. We will also use the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, and the Smart Museum as resources and some of the classes will be held off campus.
LLSO 24711/HIST 27102 Lincoln: Slavery, War, and the Constitution (D. Hutchinson) This course is a study of Abraham Lincoln's view of the Constitution, based on close readings of his writings, plus comparisons to judicial responses to Lincoln's policies.
HIST 25300 American Revolution, 1763–1789 (E. Cook) 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 25309 History of Perception (P. Rossi) Knowing time. Feeling space. Smelling. Seeing. Touching. Tasting. Hearing. Are these universal aspects of human consciousness, or particular experiences contingent upon time, place, and culture? How do we come to know about our own perceptions and those of others? This course examines these and related questions through detailed readings of primary sources, engagement in secondary scholarship in the history and anthropology of sensation, and through close work with participants' own sensations and perceptions of the world around them.
HIST 25415 History of Information (A. Johns) "Information" in all its forms is perhaps the defining phenomenon of our age. But although we tend to think of it as something distinctively modern, in fact it came into being through a long history of thought, practice, and technology. This course will therefore suggest how to think historically about information. Using examples that range from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, we shall explore how different societies have conceptualized the subject, and how they have sought to control it. We shall address how information has been collected, classified, circulated, contested, and destroyed. The aim is to provide a different kind of understanding of information practices—one that can be put to use in other historical inquiries, as well as casting an unfamiliar light on our own everyday lives.
SALC 25311/HIST 26612 The Harem: Gender, Family, and Power in Early Modern and Modern South Asia (E. Kalb) Even today the word "harem" evokes Orientalist imaginings of an exotic east. Popular images drawn from colonial-era representations continue to define our understanding of this complex institution. In this course we will complicate this understanding through considering the harem as a site of interplay between gender, family ties, and power. Taking into account influences from the larger Islamicate world as well as local Indic practices, we will historicize the harem, tracking its changes over this long period and critiquing its various (mis)representations. We will explore the diversity within the harem, which including not only elite women and their male relatives, but also slave girls, eunuchs, and guards. We will look at the transformation of the harem during European expansionism and colonial rule in the subcontinent, when the harem became a flash point over questions of social reform and Indian nationalism. We will consider excerpts from contemporary historical accounts, paintings, short stories, photographs, and films, as well as the secondary literature. No prior knowledge of South Asian history required.
HIST 26127 Latin America during the Age of Revolutions, circa 1750–1850 (F. Tavárez, Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow) During the period known as the Age of Revolutions, roughly spanning between 1750 and 1850, Latin American territories went from being colonies of two Iberian empires to being a collection of independent countries. This course examines the tumultuous history that led to the dissolution of the Spanish and Portuguese empires and the birth of new republics and monarchies in the Americas. The course begins by analyzing the imperial reforms of the eighteenth century and their relationship to Enlightenment thought. The course also considers the many tax revolts and indigenous and slave rebellions that surfaced in reaction to imperial reforms. The course then proceeds to examine the traumatic effects of the Napoleonic wars in the Iberian world, as well as the many innovative political experiments that came about in an effort to safeguard the Spanish and Portuguese empires. Finally, the course examines the many conflicts, wars, and liberation projects that ultimately culminated with Latin American independence. By the end of the course, students will have a firm understanding of the process of Latin American independence and its contribution to the formation of a new global order in the nineteenth century.
NEHC 26151/HIST 26008 History of Iraq in the Twentieth Century (O. Bashkin) This course explores the history of Iraq from 1917 to 2015. We will discuss the rise of the Iraqi nation-state, Iraqi and pan-Arab nationalism, and Iraqi authoritarianism. The class will focus on the histories of particular groups in Iraqi society: religious groups (Shiites, Sunnis, Jews), ethnic groups (especially Kurds), classes (the urban poor, the educated middle classes, the landed and tribal elites), Iraqi women, and Iraqi tribesmen. Other class sessions will explore prominent ideologies in the Iraqi public sphere, from communism to Islamic radicalism. We will likewise discuss how colonialism and imperialism shaped major trends in Iraqi history. Reading materials combine primary and secondary sources: Iraqi novels, memoirs, and poems (in translation), as well as British and American diplomatic documents about Iraq.
REES 27019/HIST 23413 The Holocaust Object (S. Shallcross) What is the role of ordinary everyday things in the extraordinary time of war and genocide? What was their power in the brutalized and debased existence of Holocaust victims? In this multidisciplinary course, we explore and reconstruct the often overlooked, yet meaningful connections between humans and everyday things during and after WW II. Arguing for their interdependence, we read narratives which emphasize things and represent various Holocaust artifacts and material remnants as they were used, looted, amassed, photographed, displayed, and, therefore, controlled. In the next stages of our virtual tour through the memorial sites and museums located in former ghettos and extermination and concentration camps, we ask how the post-Holocaust matter and things deliver their "testimonies" and serve as tools of remembrance. We study the ways in which the post-Holocaust material world, ranging from infrastructure to detritus, has been subjected to two, often conflicting, tasks of representation and preservation, which we view through a prism of authenticity. In order to study representational strategies, we engage a textual and visual reading of museum narrations and fiction writings; to tackle with demands of preservation we apply a neo-materialist approach to analyze the diminishing post-Holocaust material world. By engaging these discourses the course tracks the impact of ever evolving memory politics and ideologies on the Holocaust remnants understood here as both the (post)human and material. The course will also equip students with salient critical tools for future research in the Holocaust studies and thing theory. No knowledge of Polish required.
REES 27300/HIST 24005 The Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise (A. Ilieva) How and why do national identities provoke the deep emotional attachments that they do? In this course we try to understand these emotional attachments by examining the narrative of loss and redemption through which most nations in the Balkans retell their Ottoman past. We begin by considering the mythic temporality of the Romantic national narrative while focusing on specific national literary texts where the national past is retold through the formula of original wholeness, foreign invasion, passion, and salvation. We then consider the structural role of the different elements of that narrative. With the help of Žižek's theory of the subject as constituted by trauma, we think about the national fixation on the trauma of loss and the role of trauma in the formation of national consciousness. Specific theme inquiries involve the figure of the Janissary as self and other, brotherhood and fratricide, and the writing of the national trauma on the individual physical body. Special attention is given to the general æsthetic of victimhood, the casting of the victimized national self as the object of the "other's perverse desire." With the help of Freud, Žižek, and Kant we consider the transformation of national victimhood into the sublimity of the national self. The main primary texts include Petar Njegoš's Mountain Wreath (Serbia and Montenegro), Ismail Kadare's The Castle (Albania), Anton Donchev's Time of Parting (Bulgaria).
HIST 27012 Histories of Violence in the United States (K. Belew) How does violence change life stories and national narratives? How can a nation remember and retell obscured histories of violence, reconcile past violence, and resist future violence? What does it mean that lynching emerged at the same moment as the Bill of Rights and that certain kinds of violence have been central to American identity? The story of the United States is built on the inclusion or omission of violence: from the genocide of Native Americans to slavery to imperial conquest, from the "private" pain of women to the nationalized pain of soldiers. This course brings violence to the center of US history. Moving from early America to the present, we will discuss these overlapping stories in terms of their visibility and invisibility, addressing questions of representation and the haunting function of traumatic experience. Following an emerging subfield of scholarship in histories of violence, this course examines narrative, archival, and political issues around studying, teaching, and writing such stories. The final project emphasizes public history.
CRES 27517/HIST 29103 Gender and Race in the Atlantic World (C. Séquin) This course explores the crucial role that gender and race played in the formation and development of Atlantic societies as a way to build a critical "genealogy of the present" and to investigate the roots of persisting gender and racial hierarchies and inequalities in today's societies. Focusing on North America, the Caribbean, and West Africa, from the time of early colonial encounters in the sixteenth century to the present, the course examines how ideas about gender and race shaped significant developments across the Atlantic, such as colonial conquests and projects, the Atlantic slave trade, plantation slavery, nationalism, and postcolonial migrations. It posits gender, sexuality, and race as fluid categories that were repeatedly produced and reproduced to establish, legitimize, and maintain various regimes of power and social inequalities, while also shaping the meaning of citizenship, republicanism, and national identity. Just as importantly, it considers how women, blacks, mixed-race, and colonial subjects navigated and at times challenged the gender, racial, and sexual economies of the societies in which they lived.
CRES 27518/HIST 26807 Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in and beyond South Asia (K. Gardner) Few parts of the world can lay claim to such a diverse array of ethno-linguistic, religious, and regional identities as South Asia. Not surprisingly, these identities have never been static. This course considers the modern history of ethnic, religious, and racial identities across South Asia with particular attention to their representation in literature and film. We will begin with the colonial-era "ethnographic" state and the development and reification of caste-, religion-, and race-based classifications. We will then shift to Independence, partition, and South Asian diasporas. We will conclude with contemporary articulations of nationalism, with particular attention to the case of Kashmir. Throughout the course we will focus on the social and political means through which ethnic, racial, and other identity categories are constructed, including colonial re-articulations of caste and the creation of the so-called "martial races." We will also pay attention to moments of transnational comparison, for instance B. R. Ambedkar's correspondence with W. E. B. DuBois and the relation between critiques of casteism and racism. No prior knowledge of South Asian history is assumed.
HIPS 28308/HIST 25423 Science and Selfhood in Modern Europe (I. Gabel, postdoctoral fellow) This course explores the role of the sciences in changing ideas of selfhood in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe. How did the proliferation of new forms of knowledge about humans (biological, psychiatric, evolutionary, sociological, anthropological) transform peoples' understandings of themselves as biological beings, as bearers of consciousness, as subjects and citizens? This course pairs primary sources with secondary texts from European history, history of science, and history of the human sciences.
HIST 28906 Nineteenth-Century American Mass Entertainment (A. Lippert) Popular culture filters, reflects, and occasionally refracts many of the central values, prejudices, and preoccupations of a given society. From the Industrial Revolution to the advent of feature films in the early twentieth century, American audiences sought both entertainment and reassurance from performers, daredevils, amusement parks, lecturers, magicians, panoramas, athletes, and photographers. Amidst the Civil War, they paid for portraits that purportedly revealed the ghosts of lost loved ones; in an age of imperialism, they forked over hard-earned cash to relive the glories of western settlement, adventure, and conquest in Buffalo Bill's Wild West. Mass entertainment not only echoed the central events of the age it helped shape them: from phrenology as the channel for antebellum convictions about outward appearance (and racial identity), to the race riots following Jack Johnson's boxing victory over Jim Jeffries. Many of these entertainment forms became economic juggernauts in their own right, and in the process of achieving unprecedented popularity, they also shaped collective memory, gender roles, race relations, and the public's sense of acceptable beliefs and behaviors. This lecture course will examine the history of modern American entertainment over the course of the long nineteenth century. Requirements include careful reading, active and thoughtful participation, and written assignments.
HIST 29320 A Global History of Reparations (G. Mount, teaching fellow in the social sciences) In light of recent revelations tying the University of Chicago to slavery, this course will explore the long history of reparations as a global, national, and local set of questions. How does a given polity go about repairing the un-repairable and forgiving the unforgivable? Are the discursive norms of reparations irredeemably shackled to our current conceptualizations of politics, governance, private-property rights, individualism, and the law or can reparations, and how we talk about them, serve as a means of reimagining these categories? How might the practice and performance of reparations actually be structured to foster both intra-group and inter-group unity while avoiding a potentially divisive backlash? Beginning with ancient forms of restorative justice and proceeding briskly into more recent attempts at truth and reconciliation, this course aims to take a transnational and comparative approach to exploring the history of reparations from an interdisciplinary perspective. The ultimate aim is a greater understanding of the possibilities of reparations as they relate to slavery, Jim Crow, and post-1968 discrimination against people of African descent in the United States, which constitutes the second half of this course.
HIST 29516 History of Skepticism (A. Palmer) Before we ask what is true or false, we must ask how we can know what is true or false. This course examines the vital role doubt and philosophical skepticism have played in the Western intellectual tradition, from pre-Socratic Greece through the Enlightenment, with a focus on how Criteria of Truth—what kinds of arguments are considered legitimate sources of certainty—have changed over time. The course will examine dialog between skeptical and dogmatic thinkers, and how many of the most fertile systems in the history of philosophy have been hybrid systems which divided the world into things which can be known, and things which cannot. The course will touch on the history of atheism, heresy and free thought, on fideism and skeptical religion, and will examine how the Scientific Method is itself a form of philosophical skepticism. Primary source readings will include Plato, Sextus Empiricus, Lucretius, Ockham, Pierre Bayle, Montaigne, Descartes, Francis Bacon, Hobbes, Voltaire, Diderot, and others.
HIPS 29626/HIST 25112 Modernities and Microscopes: Sociopolitical Change and Scientific Knowledge (Z. Barr) Historians of science Steve Shapin and Simon Schaffer argued in Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (1985) that "the problem of knowledge is the problem of social order." In short, scientific knowledge and the sociopolitical order are intertwined, and it is rarely possible to fully understand one without understanding the other. This course will proceed chronologically through major developments in European (and, briefly, North American) history from 1815 to 1955, from the role of the post-Napoleonic "Vienna System" in the consolidation of the statistical style of reasoning to the relationship between cybernetics, "Big Science," and Cold War politics. The course concludes by examining the viability and utility of the concepts of science and society and by exploring actor-network theory as an alternative framework for understanding the relationship between scientific knowledge and context.
HIST 29802 BA Thesis Seminar II The seminar is a forum to discuss and critique BA theses. Ideally, students will have completed most of their research for the thesis and will use this quarter to produce a complete draft. Early weeks of the seminar will be devoted to writing strategies and discussion of the introduction. Sections of the theses will be critiqued in the middle weeks of term, while in the final weeks of the quarter full rough drafts will be read. The final deadline for submission of the BA thesis is second week of Spring Quarter.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates by Consent
HIST 56706 Colloquium: Modern Korean History 2 (B. Cumings) Students present the subject, method, and rationale for a research paper. Papers should be about forty pages and based in primary materials; ideally this means Korean materials, but ability to read scholarly materials in Korean, Japanese, or Chinese is not a requirement for taking the colloquium. Students may also choose a comparative and theoretical approach, examining some problems in modern Korean history in the light of similar problems elsewhere, or through the vision of a body of theory. Open to upper-level undergraduate who took HIST 56705 in the autumn.
HIST 58602 Colloquium: Iran and Central Asia 2 (J. Woods) The second quarter will be devoted to the preparation of a major research paper. Open to upper-level undergraduate who took HIST 58601 in the autumn.