NEHC 30202/HIST 35622 Islamicate Civilization II, 950–1750 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.
NEHC 30602/HIST 35615 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).
HIST 31404 Britain in the Age of Steam, 1783–1914 (F. Albritton Jonsson) In the Victorian era, Britain rose to global dominance by pioneering a new fossil-fuel economy. This course explores the profound impact of coal and steam on every aspect of Victorian society, from politics and religion to industrial capitalism and the pursuit of empire. Such historical investigation also serves a second purpose by helping us see our own fossil-fuel economy with fresh eyes through direct comparison with Victorian energy use. Assignments include short essays based on energy "field work" and explorations in past and present material culture.
ENGL 32250/HIST 32205 The Printed Book in the West: Evidence and Inference from Bibliography and Book History (M. Suarez, Chicago Visiting Scholar in Paleography and the Book) This hands-on seminar, conducted in the Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, will teach graduate students and advanced undergraduates how to read the whole book (viz. paper, type, illustrations, bindings, mise-en-page) in order to understand the relationships between materiality and the making of culturally instantiated meanings. Understanding the book as a coalescence of human intentions, we will learn about the processes of making books from incunabula through the early twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the hand-press period (c.1450–1830). Students will learn the elements of bibliography (the formal analysis of printed artifacts) and be equipped to undertake bibliographical and book-historical research projects of their own. We will consider the central importance of such investigations for literary and historical scholarship, for the critical editing of texts, and for thinking about how we interrogate the past in a digital age.
HIST 32610 Paris and the French Revolution (C. Jones, Visiting Professor) The French Revolution is one of the defining moments of modern world history. This course will explore the mix of social, political, and cultural factors which caused its outbreak in 1789 and go on to consider the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy in 1792, the drift towards state-driven Terror in 1793–94, and the ensuing failure to achieve political stability down to the advent of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. We will view these epochal changes through the prism of France's capital city. Paris shaped the revolution in many ways, but the revolution also reshaped Paris. The urbane city of European enlightenment acquired new identities as democratic hub from 1789 and as site of popular democracy after 1793–94. In addition, the revolution generated new ways of thinking about urban living and remodelling the city for the modern age. A wide range of primary sources will be used, including visual sources (notably paintings, political cartoons and caricatures, and maps).
HMRT 34007/HIST 34516 Human Rights in China (J. Ransmeier & Teng B.) This seminar explores the diverse range of human rights crises confronting China and Chinese people today. Co-taught by Teng Biao, an internationally recognized lawyer and advocate for human rights, and University of Chicago China historian Johanna Ransmeier, this course focuses upon demands for civil and political rights within China. Discussions will cover the Chinese Communist Party's monopoly on power, the mechanisms of the Chinese criminal justice system, and the exertion of state power and influence in places like Tibet, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Taiwan, as well as the impact of the People's Republic of China on international frameworks. We will discuss the changing role of activism and the expansion of state surveillance capacity. Students are encouraged to bring their own areas of interest to our conversations. Throughout the quarter we will periodically be joined by practitioners from across the broader human rights community.
HIST 34107 Law and Society, China and Beyond: Using Legal Sources (J. Ransmeier) This course uses the robust field of Chinese legal history as a starting point for an examination of how historians have used legal records and documents to write different kinds of historical narratives. We will explore the intersection of law and society in modern China through both primary and secondary texts. While historiographic questions from the China field will arise, the class will also consider legal history ideas more generally. We will engage with debates about the role of civil law: How might more contemporary legal practices be a legacy of law or custom? How do societies' definitions of crime change over time. What role does the law play in shaping social attitudes toward different behavior?
HIST 34115 Japan's Empire (S. Burns) The Japanese empire has long been considered "anomalous" among other modern empires: it was the first modern imperial project undertaken by a non-Western nation, one that was (purportedly) based not on racial difference but rather on cultural affinity; one that positioned itself as anti-imperialist even as it was involved in colonization. Although the empire was short-lived, it continues to shape the geopolitics of East Asia today. With an aim to reassessing the "uniqueness" of the Japanese imperial era, this seminar focuses on key issues in the historiography of the Japanese empire through the critical reading and discussion of recent Anglophone works. Assignments: Weekly Canvas posts and final research paper.
HIST 34118 Aynu Civilizations (J. Ketelaar) This class examines the history of the Aynu peoples, the indigenous peoples of Japan. Particular focus will be given to their oral histories. Ability to read Japanese a plus but not required.
LACS 34700/HIST 36102 Introduction to Latin American Civilization II (M. Hicks) 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 34706 Edo/Tokyo: Society and the City in Japan (S. Burns) This course explores the history of one of the world's largest cities from its origins as the castle town of the Tokugawa shoguns in the early seventeenth century, to its transformation into a national capital and imperial center, and concludes in the postwar era as Tokyo emerged from the ashes of World War II to become a center of global capital and culture. Our focus will be on the complex and evolving interactions between the natural and built environments of the city and politics, culture, and social relations.
HIST 34712 Society and the Supernatural in Late Imperial and Modern China (K. Pomeranz) Chinese introductory studies often ignore religion, treating Confucius's alleged agnosticism as representative of mainstream culture. But ideas about supernatural entities—souls, ancestral spirits, demons, immortals, the vital energies of nature, etc.—and practices aimed at managing spirits were important before 1949. Spirits testified in court, cured or caused illness, mediated disputes, changed the weather, and made the realm governable or ungovernable. After declining in the 1950s–1970s, various kinds of worship are immensely popular again, though usually in altered forms. This course traces changes in ideas about spirits and daily social practices, focusing on attempts to "standardize the gods," resistance to such efforts, and the consequences for cohesion, or its lack, across classes, territory, and gender, ethnicity, and other differences. A central concern will be the intertwining of religion with attempts to define communities and claim rights within (or over) them. Another central theme is what "religion" means as a category for understanding Chinese history, an issue that will take on very different valences when we look at the twentieth century, in which Western models of what "religions" should look like became increasingly influential among would-be secularizers and many religious activists. Most recently, the global dimensions of certain religions (especially Islam and Christianity) have complicated their status in the People's Republic in new and important ways.
RAME 34900/HIST 47602 The Age of Walter Rauschenbusch: The Social Gospel (C. Evans) This course is a critical evaluation of the theological and social thought and the historical contributions of the Social Gospel, which is regarded as a relatively distinct effort to reform the American social, economic, and political order from the 1880s to the 1920s. We will explore a number of themes that preoccupied leading thinkers, including but not limited to the Kingdom of God, a critique of individualism, social solidarity, revisions of divine immanence or God's relation to the world, the person and ethics of Jesus, and human progress. These themes will not be treated abstractly, but as theological and social ideas regarded as instruments of concrete engagement with and attempts to transform America's increasingly urban, industrial, and pluralistic society. Particular emphasis is placed on the work and writings of Walter Rauschenbusch, a prominent Baptist preacher and church historian who provided a sustained revision of Christian social thought and a radical critique of capitalism and the growing power and influence of corporations in US economic and political life. Although primary focus will be on Protestant Christianity as the exponent of Social Gospel reform, some effort is made to understand how Catholics challenged and reflected some of these critiques of American society.
HIST 35110 Philosophy of History: Narrative and Explanation (R. Richards) This lecture-discussion course will focus on the nature of historical explanation and the role of narrative in providing an understanding of historical events. Among the figures considered are Gibbon, Kant, Humboldt, Ranke, Collingwood, Acton, Fraudel, Furet, Hempel, Danto.
HIST 35300 American Revolution, 1763–1789 (E. Cook Jr.) This lecture and discussion course explores the background of the American Revolution and the problem of organizing a new nation. The first half of the course uses the theory of revolutionary stages to organize a framework for the events of the 1760s and 1770s, and the second half of the course examines the period of constitution making (1776–1789) for evidence on the ways in which the Revolution was truly revolutionary.
HIJD 35806/HIST 39403 The Political Theologies of Zionism (D. Barak-Gorodetsky) The relationship between nationalism and religion has throughout history been a stormy, often characterized by antagonisms and antipathy. In this course we will examine various aspects of the complex nexus of these two sources of repeated ideological and political dispute within Judaism and, more specifically, within Zionism as its political manifestation. Zionism has mostly been considered a secular project; yet, recently, scholars have scrutinized Zionist theory to identify and unearth its supposedly hidden theological origins. In Israel today, a rise in religious identification alongside an increasing religionization of the political discourse calls for the consideration of new theopolitical models of Zionism applicable in a post-secular environment. The aim of this course is to explore this complex intertwining of politics and religion in Israel from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The first part will outline the theoretical foundation of post-secular and political-theological discourses. The second part will address the explicit and implicit political theologies of Zionism. The third part will outline contemporary aspects of political-theological thought in Israel, and their actual appearance in the political sphere.
KNOW 36056/HIST 35103 MAPSS Core: Ways of Knowing (K. Buse & I. Gabel) This seminar introduces students to the processes of knowledge formation that shape human understandings of nature, theories of social life, and projections of possible futures. It examines how claims to knowledge emerge out of disciplinary, historical, and political contexts, as well as local cultural factors both explicit and unspoken. How do people decide what they know and do not know? How have societies produced, stabilized, or disrupted knowledge? How do techniques of inscription, observation, and mediation, such as seismographs, experiments, and simulations, allow people to see what they know and to know what they see? The course will take an expansive approach to knowledge formation by considering the interface of epistemology, social theory, technology, and governance.
KNOW 36071/HIST HIST 35102 Knowing Animals (B. Bolman) What is an animal, and are humans them? This course will approach this deceptively simple question from multiple angles, exploring the diverse ways that humans come to know and differentiate themselves from animals and the implications of that labor. How can humans understand and write about the lived experience of a bat, an octopus, or a hawk? Who decides which species are essential to experimental science, and which are simply edible? Why do people buy canine pharmaceuticals or construct tiger preserves in Oklahoma? The course will explore how hunting, eating, keeping pets, and laboring, experimenting, and living with animals contribute to the formation of knowledge. We will draw on scholarship in history, cultural anthropology, philosophy, and critical theory, as well as novels and films. The course is meant to serve in part as an introduction to the topics and methods of animal history and animal studies, so we will read foundational texts as well as recent scholarship on the intersections of animality, capital, disability, gender, and race. Students will leave with core competencies in the field and, hopefully, a deeper sense of what it means to be human.
HIST 36511 Cities from Scratch: The History of Urban Latin America (B. Fischer) Latin America is one of the world's most urbanized regions and its urban heritage long predates European conquest. Yet the region's urban experience has generally been understood through North Atlantic models, which often treat Latin American cities as disjunctive, distorted knockoffs of idealized US or European cities. This class interrogates and expands those North Atlantic visions by emphasizing the history of vital urban issues such as informality, inequality, intimacy, race, gender, violence, plural regulatory regimes, the urban environment, and rights to the city. Interdisciplinary course materials include anthropology, sociology, history, fiction, film, photography, and journalism produced from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries.
HIST 37119 Radical America (J. Dailey) This course explores various sorts of radicalisms in America (religious, political, sexual, environmental) from the eighteenth century to the present.
BIBL 37213/HIST 31600 Partings, Encounters, and Entangled Histories: The Formation of Judaism and Christianity (E. Glagay) When did the fault lines between Judaism and Christianity emerge? This course explores this question by examining the formation of Judaism and Christianity within the world of the ancient Mediterranean. What religious views, texts, and practices did Jews and Christians hold in common? How did early writers construct communal boundaries and project "ideal" belief and practice? What role did the changing political tides of the Roman and Persian empires play? We will explore continuities and growing distinctions between Jews and Christians in the areas of scriptural interpretation, ritual practices, and structures of authority. Special attention will be paid to debates around gender and sexuality, healing, and views of government and economics. We will approach these issues through material evidence and close readings of early literature in light of contemporary scholarship. Students interested in modern histories of Judaism and Christianity will gain a firm foundation in the pivotal debates, texts, and events that set the trajectories for later centuries. No prerequisite knowledge of the historical periods, literature, or religious traditions covered is expected.
HIST 37709 Soul and the Black Seventies (A. Green) This course considers in what ways soul as cultural genre and style shaped, and was shaped by the political, social, structural, cultural, and ethical shifts and conditions associated with the 1970s. It will focus on popular music as both symbolic field and system of production, while also taking up other forms of expression—literary, intellectual, institutional, activist—in order to propose an alternate, and compelling, archive for this era. The course intends to deepen understanding of the feel and meaning of soul by relating it to consequential legacies of the 1970s: urban identity and crisis, emerging limitations of racial reformism, the deepening class stratification of Black life, and the radical disruption of social norms through feminism, in particular Black feminism.
HIST 38703 Baseball and American Culture, 1840–1970 (M. Briones) This course examines the rise and fall of baseball as America's national pastime. We will trace the relationship between baseball and American society from the development of the game in the mid-nineteenth century to its enormous popularity in the first half of the twentieth century to its more recent problems and declining status in our culture. The focus will be on baseball as a professional sport, with more attention devoted to the early history of the game rather than to the recent era. Emphasis will be on using baseball as a historical lens through which we will analyze the development of American society and culture rather than on the celebration of individuals or teams. Crucial elements of racialization, ethnicity, class, gender, nationalism, and masculinity will be in play as we consider the Negro Leagues, women's leagues, the Latinization and globalization of the game, and more.
RAME 402000/HIST 37716 Religion and American Capitalism (W. Schultz) This course will introduce students to the intersection of religion and capitalism in the United States. Through a variety of primary and secondary readings, we will explore how religious people and institutions have interacted with, affirmed, and challenged American capitalism. We will pay particularly close attention to the alternative moral economics envisioned by religious communities in the United States. The first part of the course will provide a historical introduction to the interplay of religion and American capitalism; the latter part will deal with the role of religion in contemporary debates over work, sustenance, and inequality.
CLAS 40922/HIST 50402 The Ancient Mediterranean Beyond the Polis II (C. Ando & C. Kearns) In the second quarter, students will write a major research paper. Non-Classics students may enroll for just the first quarter by arrangement with the instructors.
HIST 44003 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.
HCHR 45005/HIST 32109 Elective Affinities: Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure on the Return to God (W. Otten) The return to God (or reditus) is one of the central themes in medieval mysticism and in mysticism more generally. But return signals much more than a state of mystical contemplation. It involves finding a path back to God, not as an escape for human beings who find themselves in turmoil in the world but as a way for them to articulate where they find their true, spiritual home. Return is in many ways more about carving out one's intellectual trajectory than about the ecstasy of achieving actual union with God. Deferral and suspense are as important as consummation. Finally, return is the mirror image of procession, the path that creation follows once it is set in the world. To understand return then, one has to begin at creation. This course will interrogate Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, contemporary scholastic thinkers with respectively a more Aristotelian and a more Platonic profile, on the theme of return, seeing it both as a theoretical construct or object and as the lens through which they approach theology.
HIST 45300 Global Science (E. Kern) Is all science global, and if so, how did it get that way? Are some sciences more global than others? What has been at stake historically in describing scientific activity as variously local, transnational, international, or global, and how have these constructions influenced the historiography of the field? In this graduate colloquium, we will explore different approaches to writing and examining scientific knowledge production as a global phenomenon, as well as considering different historiographic attempts at grappling with science's simultaneously local and global qualities, poly-vocal nature, and historical coproduction with global political and economic power.
HIST 51402 Colloquium: Early Modern Britain II (A. Johns & S. Pincus) This colloquium is designed to introduce graduate students to major historiographical issues involving Britain and its empire circa 1500 to circa 1850. The course is ideal for PhD students preparing a general examination field and/or designing a research paper, but is open to MA students as well. The second term will focus on on recent scholarship. Normally students will be expected to take parts I and II.
HIST 56305 Colloquium: Modern East Asian History II (B. Cumings) In the winter quarter students will present their research papers for discussion with the class.
HIST 57200 Colloquium: Infrastructure in History—Theory, Materiality, and Power (E. Chatterjee) Dams, sewers, railroads, water pipes, power lines, barbed wire, and garbage dumps: long treated as virtually invisible, the study of infrastructure has exploded in recent years. This colloquium will explore different theoretical and methodological approaches to the history of infrastructure. What are the best methodological tools for studying the history of large technological systems? What is the relationship of infrastructure with capitalism, settler and liberal colonialism, and postcolonial development? How should we theorize and write about nonhuman agency, especially in an age of ecological crisis? While reading and critiquing recent historical classics, we will also venture across interdisciplinary boundaries to examine innovative approaches arising out of science and technology studies, anthropology, urban geography, and the environmental humanities.
HCHR 57900/HIST 56903 Brauer Seminar: Theology of Nature and Nature of Theology (W. Otten & W. Schweiker) This seminar will explore historical, ethical, legal, and theological conceptions of "nature" and extrapolating from these reflect on the "nature of theological reflection" and so connect the various meanings of the seminar's title. The question of nature, human and nonhuman, is hotly debated today. This is true in the face of the global environmental crisis but no less so in important matters brought before the Supreme Court, which might lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade or the undoing of same-sex marriage, and are often grounded in appeals to "nature" and the natural. The topic has occupied thinkers throughout Western history ranging from natural law ethics, moral naturalism, definitions of the existence and essence of God and, for Christians, the "nature," i.e., the hypostatic union of the Christ, questions about creation and the natural order, and the possibility and task of natural theology. Even current questions about transhumanism and posthumanism find historical forerunners in ideas about theosis or divinization of human nature as well as in debates about resurrection and the possibility of mystical self-transcendence. Each of these topics implies something about nature and also about the nature and task of theological thinking. The seminar will explore these matters with a focus on and shifting understanding of human and divine nature, sustained throughout by a deep interest in the question of "natural religion," "natural law," and "natural theology."
HIST 62602 Colloquium: American History II, from 1865 (K. Belew) This course is a companion to American History I. It explores major problems and methods in the historiography of the United States since the Civil War. The central goals of the course are to provide a thorough immersion in the major historiographical developments in the field of modern US history; to cultivate students' ability to analyze important works of history and to synthesize patterns of scholarly intervention; and to help students develop their own analytical agenda and successfully articulate it in oral and written form. It combines the "classics," including period-based debates, along with more recent topical concerns. Major interpretive themes knit together scholarly concerns under rubrics such as national and global capitalism; the environment; migration and urbanization; citizenship, the state, democratic politics, and its many discontents; and the ways in which all of these intersected with contested grassroots struggles over class, gender and sex, race and ethnicity, religion and ideology. Readings will also grapple with major events, periods, and patterns, including Reconstruction and its collapse, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, WWI, the volatile interwar period, WWII, the Cold War, the Vietnam era, the age of Reagan, and the post–Cold War world.
HIST 64611 Colloquium: Biopolitics and Political Economy, Historiographical Problems and Opportunities (G. Winant) How have historians navigated between the traditions of Marx and Foucault? Traditionally, in political economy, capital is "dead labor" and social power is repressive, reducing people to the status of things. On the other hand, for Foucault, the characteristic form of power in modernity—biopower—is generative of life. We will explore these theoretical traditions and their points of overlap and divergence. More so, however, we will study how historians have made use of these approaches in empirical research.
HIST 67603 Public History Practicum I (A. Goff) In this two quarter course students will engage in the theory and practice of public history in partnership with organizations doing community-oriented work in a variety of areas. In the winter colloquium, we will read and discuss the theory and practice of public history as well as materials relevant to the projects you will pursue in the spring. In the spring practicum, you will work in groups of 3–5 directly with one of the partner organizations. All of the project-based work will be done collaboratively; working with partners means that there will be hard deadlines. Projects and coursework will be designed to be adaptable to current public health conditions. A showcase presentation of the projects is scheduled for the end of the spring quarter, by which time you will have become acquainted with current scholarship on public history and with experience in its actual practice. The final projects will be part of your portfolio and may be listed on your c.v. Consent of instructor is required; email Prof. Goff by seventh week of autumn quarter 2021 (email@example.com) if you are interested in taking the course. Partner organizations and projects will be advertised in advance of that deadline, and an information session will explain the details of the sequence. Every effort will be made to place students in their first choice of project; contact Prof. Goff for further information. The course is open to PhD students in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Divinity School at any point in their residency as well as to MA students. The winter quarter counts as a History graduate colloquia.
HIST 70002 The Departmental Seminar II (B. Fischer & K. Pomeranz) The two-quarter History graduate seminar leads to the completion of the first-year research paper. In the winter quarter students will write and workshop their first-year research paper in concert with their peers and with an outside faculty adviser, aiming to create work that is important both to their chosen subfield and to at least some scholars beyond it. The seminar discussions will emphasize methods of historical inquiry and argumentation, as well as aspects of writing such as style, revision, and the use of evidence. Students will be especially encouraged to develop their skills as generous and constructive readers of one another's work.