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 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 18804 America in the Nineteenth Century (N. Maor, Teaching Fellow) This lecture course will examine major conflicts that shaped American life during the nineteenth century. Focusing on contemporaries' attempts to seize upon or challenge the nation's commitment to the ideals of liberty and equality, we will examine pivotal moments of contestation, compromise, and community building. Central questions that will frame the course include how were notions of freedom negotiated and reshaped? What were the political and socioeconomic conditions that prompted the emergence of reform movements, including antislavery, women's rights, temperance, and labor? How did individuals mobilize and stake claims on the state? How were the boundaries of American citizenship debated and transformed over the course of the century?
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 29652 Migration and Citizenship (M. Briones) Looking through a broad interdisciplinary lens, this colloquium examines the history of migration and citizenship. The focus is largely 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 history colloquium, the course's main purpose is to help students learn to write a long research paper based on primary sources. The class is not a survey course. We will be taking on specific episodes and themes in immigration history. Assignments: an original research paper (15–20 pages) using primary and secondary sources.
HIST 29678 Medicine and Society (M. Rossi) How does medical knowledge change? How do medical practices transform over time? What factors influence the ways in which doctors and patients—and scientists, artists, politicians, legislators, activists, and educators, among others—understand matters of health and disease, of proper and improper interventions, of the rights of individuals and the needs of communities? This course treats these questions as a starting point for exploring the interactions of medicine and society from 1800 to the present. Through a combination of primary and secondary sources we will examine changing causes of morbidity and mortality, the development of new medical technologies and infrastructures, shifting patterns of disease and shifting ideas about bodies, and debates about health care policy, among other topics. Assignment: students will be expected to conduct original research and produce an original research paper of fifteen to twenty pages.
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).
HIST 29802 BA Thesis Seminar II (C. Kindell & C. Rydell) 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.
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 capstone projects, research colloquia, or BA theses. Assignments: weekly response papers, short presentation and paper, take-home final exam. Historiography is required for all majors beginning with the class of 2021, but open to all students.
HIST 29805 Capstone Seminar (P. O'Donnell) Capstone Seminar is a forum to create, discuss, and develop History capstone projects. Early weeks of the seminar will be devoted to exploring various forms historical work can take, from museum installations to podcasts and documentaries. In-process work will beshared and critiqued in workshops. The course meets every other week in autumn and winter, allowing students ample time to develop their projects on their own. The final deadline for submission of the Capstone Project is the second week of Spring Quarter.
HIST 10102 Introduction to African Civilization II (K. Hickerson) African Civilization introduces students to African history in a three-quarter sequence. Part two examines the transformations of African societies in the long nineteenth century. At the beginning of the era, European economic and political presence was mainly coastal, but by the end, nearly the entire continent was colonized. This course examines how and why this occurred, highlighting the struggles of African societies to manage internal reforms and external political, military, and economic pressures. Topics include the Egyptian conquest of Sudan, Omani colonialism on the Swahili coast, Islamic reform movements across the Sahara, and connections between the end of the transatlantic slave trade and the formal colonization of the African continent. Students will examine memoirs of African soldiers, religious texts, colonial handbooks, and visual and material sources, including ethnographic artifacts, photographs, and textiles. Assignments: team projects, document and material analyses, response papers, essays, and written exams. The course will equip students with a working knowledge of the struggles that created many of the political and social boundaries of modern Africa.
MUSI 12200/HIST 12800 Music in Western Civilization II, 1800–Present This course, part of the Social Sciences core, looks at music in different moments of Euro-American history and the social contexts in which they originated, with some comparative views on other traditions. It aims to give students a better understanding of the social contexts of European music over this period, aids for the basic sound structures of pieces from these different moments, and convincing writing in response to prompts based on source readings or music pieces.
HIST 13001 History of European Civilization I 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 II 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 II (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 II 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. 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 II (E. Gilburd) 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 15200 Introduction to East Asian Civilization II (J. Ketelaar) 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 II (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 II: Rome (A. Bresson) 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 18401/HIST 17411 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: History of Medicine 1500–1900 (M. Rossi) Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This course examines the theory and practice of medicine between 1500 and 1900. Topics include traditional early modern medicine; novel understandings of anatomy, physiology, and disease from the Renaissance onward; and new forms of medical practice, training, and knowledge making that developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
ENGL 17950/HIST 17604 The Declaration of Independence (E. Slauter) This course offers an extended investigation of the origins, meanings, and legacies of the Declaration of Independence, one of the most consequential documents in world history. Primary and secondary readings provide a series of philosophical, political, economic, social, religious, literary, and legal perspectives on the text's sources and meanings; its drafting, circulation, and early reception in the age of the American Revolution; and its changing place in American culture and world politics over nearly 250 years.
HIPS 18400/HIST 17410 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: Renaissance to Enlightenment (R. Richards) Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This lecture-discussion course examines the development of science and scientific philosophy from the mid-fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. Considerations begin with the recovery of an ancient knowledge in the works of Leonardo, Vesalius, Harvey, and Copernicus. Thereafter the course will focus on Enlightenment science, as represented by Galileo, Descartes, Newton, and Hume. The course will culminate with the work of Darwin, who utilized traditional concepts to inaugurate modern science. For each class, the instructor will provide a short introductory lecture on the texts and then open discussion to pursue with students the unexpected accomplishments of the authors under scrutiny.
NEHC 20011/ HIST 15602 Ancient Empires I This course introduces students to the Hittite Empire of ancient Anatolia. In existence from roughly 1750–1200 BCE and spanning across modern Turkey and beyond, the Hittite Empire is one of the oldest and largest empires of the ancient world. We will be examining Hittite history and political and cultural accomplishments through analysis of archaeological remains and written records composed in Hittite, the world’s first recorded Indo-European language. In the process, we will also examine the concept of empire itself: What is an empire, and how do anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians study this kind of political formation?
SALC 20100/HIST 10800 Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I (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 20202/HIST 15612 Islamicate Civilization II, 950–1750 (F. Lewis) This course surveys intellectual, cultural, religious, and political developments in the Islamic world from Andalusia to the South Asian subcontinent, 950–1750. We trace the arrival and incorporation of the Steppe Peoples (Turks and Mongols) into the central Islamic lands; the splintering of the Abbasid Caliphate and the impact on political theory; the flowering of literature of Arabic, Turkic, and Persian expression; the evolution of religious and legal scholarship and devotional life; transformations in the intellectual and philosophical traditions; the emergence of Shi`i states (Buyids and Fatimids); the Crusades and Mongol conquests; the Mamluks and Timurids, and the "gunpowder empires" of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Moghuls; the dynamics of gender and class relations; etc. This class partially fulfills the requirement for MA students in CMES, as well as for NELC majors and PhD students.
MENG 20300/HIST 25426 The Science, History, Policy, and Future of Water (S. Darling) Water is shockingly bizarre in its properties and of unsurpassed importance throughout human history, yet so mundane as to often be invisible in our daily lives. We will traverse diverse perspectives on water in this course. The journey begins with an exploration of the mysteries of water's properties on the molecular level, zooming out through its central role at biological and geological scales. Next, we travel through the history of human civilization, highlighting the fundamental part water has played throughout, including the complexities of water policy, privatization, and pricing in today's world. Attention then turns to technology and innovation, emphasizing the daunting challenges dictated by increasing water stress and a changing climate as well as the enticing opportunities to achieve a secure global water future.
HMRT 20301/HIST 29304 Human Rights: Contemporary Issues (S. Gzesh) This course examines basic human-rights norms and concepts and selected contemporary human-rights problems from across the globe, including human-rights implications of the COVID pandemic. Beginning with an overview of the present crises and significant actors on the world stage, we will then examine the political setting for the United Nations' approval of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948. Post–World War II was a period of optimism and fertile ground for the establishment of a universal rights regime, given the defeat of fascism in Europe. International jurists wanted to establish a framework of rights that went beyond the nation-state, taking into consideration the partitions of India-Pakistan and Israel-Palestine as well as the rising expectations of African Americans in the United States and of colonized peoples across Africa and Asia. But from the beginning, there were basic contradictions in a system of rights promulgated by representatives of nation-states that ruled colonial regimes, maintained de facto and de jure systems of racial discrimination and imprisoned political dissidents and journalists. Cross-cutting themes of the course include the universalism of human rights, problems of impunity and accountability, notions of "exceptionalism," and the emerging issue of the "shamelessness" of authoritarian regimes. Students will research a human-rights topic of their choosing, to be presented as either a final research paper or a group presentation.
NEHC 20602/HIST 25615 Islamic Thought and Literature II This course covers the period from ca. 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).
SCTH 20671/HIST 25118 The Voice of the Past: Aural History from the Golden Age of Radio to Today (D. Gutherz) What happens when we use our ears to understand the past? What kinds of historical narratives are most suited for the sound waves and how should we judge these narratives? In this course, we will seek to both historicize the ongoing "podcast revolution" and expand students' critical toolbox in order to evaluate history that is written to be heard. For practical reasons, the course will focus on audio documentaries produced in and for the Anglophone world. Students will be asked to analyze the rhetoric, ideology, accuracy, and archival practices of experimental documentaries and popular, historically inflected programs (such as Slow Burn, This American Life, and Radiolab). Our goal is not only to judge these works of aural history but also to reflect on their social significance. To this end, we will compare such programs to documentaries and dramas from the so-called golden age of radio (1920s–1960s) and to academic scholarship dealing with phenomena discussed on air. Additionally, since podcasters are often praised for helping to democratize the radio, we will pay special attention to previous waves of democratizers, especially the "pirate radio" and "audio blog" movements of the 1970s and 1980s. Practical guidance will be available to students who want to produce podcasts for the class, but this will not be a requirement.
NEHC 20692/HIST 25711 Armenian History through Art and Culture (H. Haroutunian) Who are the Armenians and where do they come from? What is the cultural contribution of Armenians to their neighbors and overall world heritage? This crash course will try to answer these and other similar questions while surveying Armenian history and elements of culture (mythology, religion, manuscript illumination, art, architecture, etc.). It also will discuss transformations of Armenian identity and symbols of "Armenianness" through time, based on such elements of national identity as language, religion, art, or shared history. Due to the great artistic quality and the transcultural nature of its monuments and artifacts, Armenia has much to offer in the field of art history, especially when we think about global transculturation and appropriation among cultures as a result of peoples' movements and contacts. The course is recommended for students with interest in Armenian studies or related fields, in area or civilizations studies, art and cultural studies, etc.
NEHC 20737/HIST 20312 Imperialism before the Age of Empires? (H. Reculeau) This course offers a critical analysis of the use of concepts such as empire and imperialism in the historiography of ancient Mesopotamia to address political formations that developed (and vanished) from the early to late Bronze Ages. Drawing from theoretical studies on imperialism and the imperial constructions that developed in the Iron Age and beyond, this seminar will explore the nature of power, control, and resource management in these early formations, and how they qualify (or not) as imperial policies. Students will address a substantial part of Mesopotamian history and study in depth some key historiographical issues for the history of early antiquity. Primary documents will be read in translation and the course has no ancient language requirements. However, readings of secondary literature in common academic languages, especially French and German, are to be expected.
HIST 22310 The Commons: Environment and Economy in Early Modern Europe (O. Cussen, Teaching Fellow) Drawing on case studies from Europe and the Atlantic world, this course will track changes in land use and property rights over the early modern period (ca. 1500–1800), inviting students to reflect on the relationship between natural environments (woodlands, waterways, pasture) and histories of state formation, economic growth, rebellion, and colonialism. Organizing concepts and debates will include the tragedy of the commons, moral economies, sustainability and scarcity, the "organic economy" of the old regime, primitive accumulation, and economic takeoff. Readings will encompass classic works in agrarian, environmental, and social history (i.e., Marc Bloch, E. P. Thompson, Silvia Federici, James Scott, Carolyn Merchant) as well as primary documents and contemporary texts (i.e., More, Bacon, Smith, Paine, Babeuf). We will also reflect on how these histories bear on debates about land use and natural resources in the present day.
HIST 23103 East Central Europe, 1880–Present (T. Zahra) The past 150 years have brought democratization, mass politics, two violent world wars, and no less than four different political regimes to the lands between Germany and the Soviet Union. The focus of this course will be on the forces that have shaped Eastern European politics and society since the 1880s. How and why was a multinational and multilingual empire transformed into self-declared nation states? How has mass migration reshaped East European societies? What were the causes and consequences of ethnic cleansing in East Central Europe? How did the experience of total war transform the states and societies? How did citizens respond to and participate in the construction of socialist societies after the Second World War? And finally, what changes and challenges has the transition from socialism to capitalism brought to the region since 1989? The course will focus on the Habsburg Monarchy and its successor states, particularly Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary, with occasional discussion of the former Yugoslavia and Romania. Assignments: three short papers (5–6 pages).
GNSE 23128/HIST 29506 Home and Empire: From Little House on the Prairie to Refugee Camps (G. Valdespino) What can living rooms tell us about empires? What did it mean to be a housewife in an imperial society? This course answers these and other questions by exploring the relationship between domesticity and imperialism over the past three hundred years. We will explore how Catholic Potawatomi women decorated their homes in the early eighteenth century, how black South African maids interacted with white employers during apartheid, and how young male refugees in contemporary France try to make homes in the land of their former colonial ruler. Through this work students will examine the racial, gendered, spatial, and political logic of imperial rule. This course is organized around three thematic phases: conquest and expansion, rule and resistance, and decolonization. After introducing theoretical approaches to the study of domesticity and imperialism, we will use case studies from across the globe to work through these thematic groups. We will discuss cases from North America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Europe. By combining secondary literature with films, memoirs, domestic objects, and visual sources we will evaluate the intersections of imperialism and homelife. Students will ultimately conduct a final research project on a topic of their choosing to explore the course themes in depth. Students will work to challenge notions of home as an idyllic or ahistorical space and see the power and struggles that took place within walls.
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.
CRES 24001/HIST 18301 & CRES 24002/HIST 18302 Colonizations I & II 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/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.
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.
HIST 24806 History of Japanese Philosophy (J. Ketelaar) What is philosophy and why does looking at Japanese philosophy make a difference? By examining Buddhist, Confucian, Shinto, and modern academic philosophical traditions, this course will provide a history of ideas found in Japan and central to thinking about being/nonbeing, government, ethics, aesthetics, economics, faith, and practice.
HIST 24905 Darwin's On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man (R. Richards) This lecture-discussion class will focus on a close reading of Darwin's two classic texts. An initial class or two will explore the state of biology prior to Darwin's Beagle voyage, and then consider the development of his theories before 1859. Then we will turn to his two books. Among the topics of central concern will be the logical, epistemological, and rhetorical status of Darwin's several theories, especially his evolutionary ethics; the religious foundations of his ideas and the religious reaction to them; and the social-political consequences of his accomplishment. The year 2019 was the 210th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 160th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.
HIST 25218 American Epidemics, Past and Present (C. Kindell, Teaching Fellow) This course explores how disease epidemics have shaped watershed periods in US history from the late eighteenth century to the present. Through readings, lectures, and in-class discussions, we will employ different categories of analysis (e.g., race, gender, class, and citizenship) to answer a range of historical questions focused on disease, health, and medicine. For instance, to what extent did smallpox alter the trajectory of the American Revolution? How did cholera and typhoid affect the lived experiences of slaves and soldiers during the Civil War? In what ways did the US government capitalize on fears over yellow fever and bubonic plague to justify continued interventions across the Caribbean and the Pacific? What do these episodes from the American past reveal about contemporary encounters with modern diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19? Course readings will be drawn from book chapters and scholarly articles, as well as primary sources ranging from public-health reports, medical correspondence, and scientific journals to newspapers, political cartoons, maps, and personal diaries. Grades will be based on participation, weekly Canvas posts, peer review, and a series of written assignments (a proposal and an annotated bibliography, primary source analysis, book review, and rough draft) all of which will culminate in a ten-page final research paper.
CLCV 25806/HIST 20309 Greek Epigraphy beyond the Eurphrates (A. Bresson) Following the conquest of Alexander, Greek became the language of power all over the Near East and up to central Asia and India (for a while). Even the fall of the various Greek kingdoms at the end of the Hellenistic period did not mark the end of the habit of writing in Greek. Inscriptions in Greek coming from those regions are still to be found in significant number up to the third century CE. This class will cover all types of inscriptions, from slave manumissions to civic decrees or royal letters, and from modest epitaphs to sophisticated verse epigrams. It will illustrate the vitality and prestige of Greek culture well beyond the regions close to the Mediterranean Sea.
HIST 26220 Brazil: Another American History (B. Fischer) Brazil is in many ways a mirror image of the United States: an almost continental democracy, rich in natural resources, populated by the descendants of three continents, shaped by colonialism, slavery, and sui generis liberal capitalism. Why, then, has Brazil's historical path been so distinct? To explore this question, this course will focus on the history of economic development, race, citizenship, urbanization, the environment, popular culture, violence, and the challenge of democracy. Assignments: weekly reading, participation in discussions, weekly journal posts, and a final paper.
LACS 26380/HIST 26318 Indigenous Politics in Latin America (D. Schwartz Francisco) This course examines the history of Indigenous policies and politics in Latin America from the first encounters with European empires through the twenty-first century. Course readings and discussions will consider several key historical moments across the region: European encounters and colonization; the rise of liberalism and capitalist expansion in the nineteenth century; twentieth-century integration policies; and pan-Indigenous and transnational social movements in recent decades. Students will engage with primary and secondary texts that offer interpretations and perspectives both within and across imperial and national boundaries.
LACS 26382/HIST 26317 Development and the Environment in Latin America (D. Schwartz Francisco) This course considers the relationship between development and the environment in Latin America and the Caribbean from the onset of European colonialism in the fifteenth century to state and private improvement policies in the twentieth. We will consider the social, political, and economic effects of natural resource extraction, the quest to improve places and peoples, and attendant ecological transformations. We will consider such questions as how have policies affected the sustainability of land use in the last five centuries? In what ways has the modern impetus for development, beginning in the nineteenth century and reaching its current intensity in the mid-twentieth, shifted ideas and practices of sustainability in both environmental and social terms? And, more broadly, to what extent does the notion of development help us explain the historical relationship between humans and the environment?
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. Assignments: weekly reading, a midterm exam or paper, a final paper, participation in discussion, and weekly responses or quizzes.
HIST 27001 Law and Society in Early America, 1600–1800 (E. Cook) This colloquium considers law, legal institutions, and legal culture within the lived experience of colonial and revolutionary America. It will emphasize the interaction of social development and legal development and will explore the breadth of everyday experience with legal institutions like the jury, with courts as institutions for resolving disputes, and with the prosecution of crime.
HIST 27307 Schools and Space: A Chicago History (N. Kryczka, Teaching Fellow) This course fuses urban and educational history into a two-century case study of Chicago. When the Chicago Public Schools closed fifty schoolhouses in 2013, many stressed the links between public education, uneven neighborhood investment, and racial segregation. But this episode was part of a longer regional history of how metropolitan development, labor markets, and anxieties over migration affected educational policy. The course stresses the relationship between educational policy and the politics of urban development, gender, and race. Schools were sites of gendered work, for the women who operated them and for the children who navigated the moral and vocational paths laid for their futures; meanwhile, the rise of racial ghettoes had an enduring impacts on educational inequity and the shape of African American political life. Over the time span covered by the course, the United States became an indisputably "schooled" society, and Chicago was a leading indicator of national trends. Key historic episodes in American education—the rise of the modern high school, the birth of progressive education, the origins of teachers' unions, the Catholic encounter with race, the fragmentation of suburban school districts, the civil-rights critique of de facto school segregation, the pronounced "failure" of urban education, and the triumph of choice-and-accountability reforms, and the teacher-led resistance that followed—are especially well-illustrated by this course's focus on Chicago. This course combines lecture with discussions of primary sources and secondary literature each week, beginning with the one-room, log-stable schoolhouses of the antebellum Illinois prairie and ending with the nation's first charter-school teacher strikes in 2018. In addition to composing a research paper on a chosen school or school policy, students will take a field trip to local schoolhouses, reading the city's urban history through its educational architecture.
HIST 27310 African American History, 1865–2016 (A. Green) This class will introduce students to the key themes, events, problems and advances within African American history, after the end of slavery. Readings will include Reconstruction era documents, Ida B. Wells, Ned Cobb, W. E. B. Du Bois, Howard Thurman, Septima Clark, Philippe Wamba, and Audre Lorde among others. Assignments will include two papers, and a series of short response pieces.
CRES 27540/HIST 29008 Slave Abolition and Its Afterlives (L. Svabek) In recent years scholars and activists have (re)turned to the abolitionist movement of the nineteenth century in order to gain critical traction on the interlocking operations of racism, capitalism, and patriarchy. The return of abolitionism reveals an aspiration to learn from the failures of the past and to generate new strategies to overcome the structures of domination that pervade our social and political lives. We will read a series of texts produced before and after the formal end of slavery in the United States with particular attention to the revisions, retrospections, and reformulations made to conceptions of freedom. How did abolitionists understand the meaning of freedom before emancipation? What political transformations did they endorse? Did emancipation actualize or reframe the abolitionist imaginary? We will also track two unfulfilled promises in the thought of black scholars and activists: the attempt to secure economic independence for freed slaves and critiques of patriarchal rule within the family. By tracking these political projects, we will raise questions about the re-emergence of abolitionist promises. How does the present trend to appropriate abolition occlude key political disagreements among early and mid-nineteenth century activists? Which strand of abolitionism are we inheriting in the twenty-first century? Why? These questions will anchor our course and help us think about the uses of history for our own political present.
HIST 27906 Capitalism, Gender, and Intimate Life (G. Winant) What is the relationship between the capitalist economy and the gendered organization of society and identity of individuals? Are these two systems, or one? This class pursues these questions, seeking to understand capitalism as an everyday and intimate experience. How have markets and production shaped and been shaped by personal identity, and in particular gendered identity? We examine the historical interrelationships among practices of sexuality, marriage, family, reproduction, labor, and consumption and trace the economic dimensions of masculinity and femininity over time, focusing largely but not exclusively on US history. Assignments: midterm paper (8–10 pages) applying a theoretical reading to a secondary text, and a final paper (15 pages) based on secondary research.
EALC 28150/HIST 24516 Women and Work in East Asia (J. Eyferth) This course examines changes in the working lives of East Asian women from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century. Most of the readings will be on China but we will also discuss Korea and Japan.
LLSO 29067/HIST 27118 Christianity Confronts Capitalism: Natural Law, Political Economy, and Social Reform in the Industrial Era (R. Kaminsky) Christianity's relationship with commerce was fraught long before the industrial era, when Christianity upheld property rights alongside the poor's beatitude. Later, industrial capitalism tied the faith to the economic system, while the late nineteenth-century Social Gospel Movement popularized ideas of social justice in response to the limits of laissez-faire economics. This course will combine intellectual, social, and legal history to examine how various Christian traditions have grappled with liberal capitalism and its revolutionary critics. We will explore these traditions' competing visions of a moral political economy, how their adherents attempted to put them into action, and where these attempts placed them vis-à-vis society and civil authorities, especially in the courtroom. After a brief introduction of key Judeo-Christian texts bearing on political and economic activity, we will consider various churches' alternatives to liberal capitalism and revolutionary movements' materialism, including Catholic social thought (from Pope Leo XIII's 1891 Rerum novarum to Pope Francis's 2015 Laudato si') and Abraham Kuyper's neo-Calvinist tradition. We will put these in dialogue with the practical efforts of Social Gospel reformers, the Catholic Workers Movement, and Latin American liberation theology, as well as Hobby Lobby's and Chick-fil-A's attempts at evangelical business. Throughout, students will consider relationships between church and state, doctrine and practice, and natural law and the law of the market.
HIST 29201 Puerto Rico (D. Borges) An examination of the current situation of Puerto Rico in historical perspective. Assignments: short papers, quizzes, midterm exam, final paper.
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.
HIPS 29638/HIST 25022 Tutorial: Vitalism and Teleology in Biology—Historical and Philosophical Approaches (B. Deadman) "What is life?" has a claim, unsurprisingly, to being one of the oldest questions in science, lagging only a little behind "what is?" It may be more surprising to learn that arguably all major answers to the question (from materialism and epiphenomenalism on one end to holism and essentialism on the other) are about as old, and that the history of biology has been more a matter of recombining these answers than coming up with new ones. If biology is a game, its ground rules were laid early on. You may propose ingenious modifications of strategy, but go too far outside the box and your fellow players will likely accuse you of playing a different game altogether—if you haven't already been disqualified by the referees. We will approach these questions by considering the history of biology as the history of philosophical attempts at making sense of life, broadly conceived, from Aristotle to Darwin. Such "philosophies" of life need not be held self-consciously, and the most interesting ones often aren't. Rather, any scientific account of life necessarily entails making metaphysical commitments. By tracing the history of these commitments, we will consider which (if any) of their historical mutations have been novel, and where we currently stand. We will also consider the ways in which philosophies of life, with all their metaphysical entanglements, have themselves been entangled with politics and ideology.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates by Consent
HIST 44003 Colloquium: Lost Histories of the Left (F. Hillis) When most Americans think about "the left," Marxism, Soviet state socialism, or European social democracy spring to mind. This class will explore alternative—but now largely forgotten—blueprints for revolutionizing the political and social order that emerged in the nineteenth century. We will pay special attention to utopian socialism, early anticolonial movements, the Jewish Labor Bund, and anarchism. Examining the intellectual underpinnings of these movements, their influence on the modern world, and the factors that led to their demise, we will also consider what lessons they can teach to those committed to realizing a better future today.
HIST 47002 Colloquium: Interracial America (M. Briones) This course will examine the interaction between different racialized and ethnic groups in America (and beyond) from the eighteenth-century to our present moment. Conventional studies rely on a simplistic black-white paradigm of US race relations. This seminar aims to move beyond that dichotomy and searches for broader historical models, which include yellow, brown, red, and ethnic white. For example, how do we interpret recently excavated histories of Afro-Cherokee relations in antebellum America? What are hepcats, pachucos, and yogores? What is a "model minority," and why did Asians inherit the mantle from Jews? What is a "protest minority," and why were Blacks and Jews labeled as such during the civil rights movement? How does race operate differently in an ostensible racial paradise like Hawai‘i? How do we understand race, nation, and decolonization in a global context, as evidenced by radical activism in California in the 1960s and '70s? We will critically interrogate the history of contact that exists between and among these diverse "groups." If conflicted, what factors have prevented meaningful alliances? If confluent, what goals have elicited cooperation?
HIST 49200 Colloquium: Approaches to Atlantic Slavery Studies (R. Johnson) We are witnessing an outpouring of scholarship on Atlantic slavery even as some historians are increasingly critical of the archival method. This course uses select theoretical readings and recent monographs and articles to examine this conceptual and methodological debate. Topics to be examined include histories of women, gender, and sexuality; dispossession and resistance; urban and migration history; and interdisciplinary and speculative techniques.
HIST 56706 Colloquium: Modern Korean History II (B. Cumings) To the extent possible, research papers should be based in primary materials; ideally this means Korean, Japanese, or Chinese materials, but some students cannot use Korean or another East Asian language for research until they embark on dissertations. An abundance of English-language research materials are available on twentieth-century Korea: American, Korean, and Japanese official reports, the Foreign Relations of the United States series, newspapers, paper collections, microfilms, dissertations based in primary materials, etc.
HIST 59000 Colloquium: Persian Historical Texts (J. Woods) This course will focus on the study and utilization of narrative, normative, and archival sources in Persian. Texts of the major Iranian historians and biographers will be subjected to close reading and analysis. The scripts, protocols, and formula used by Irano-Islamic chancelleries will also be introduced and the form and content of published and unpublished archival documents will be transcribed and examined in their institutional context. Knowledge of Persian required.