History majors take at least one history colloquium, though you are welcome to take more than one. Students interested in pursuing the thesis or capstone track should take a colloquium prior to Spring Quarter of their third year.
HIST 29600 The Archive in History (A. Goff) This course takes up the role of the archive as a tool of social, political, and intellectual life in the early modern and modern periods through a focus on three broad questions. First, what is an archive now, and how have archives been organized and administered in the past? Second, how have archives mobilized social groups, enabled the exercise of political power, and shaped individual and collective memory? Finally, how do historians use archives, both as sources of historical information and as objects of study? Readings will draw from the fields of social, cultural, political, and legal history, as well as postcolonial studies, memory studies, and archival theory, and will be supplemented by site visits to local archives and conversations with archivists. Assignments: multiple short assignments culminating in a 15–20 page research paper; short alternative assignments.
HIST 29607 Epidemics, Public Health, and Cities (S. Burns) The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has brought a new awareness of the devastating impact of epidemic disease, particularly in cities where population density and other factors contribute to high rates of infection. This undergraduate colloquium aims to guide students through the research and writing of an original research paper that explores public health response to epidemic disease in cities around the world. Topics to be examined include defining an appropriate research question, identifying relevant secondary literature, finding primary sources, and constructing a compelling narrative.
HIST 29609 Alt-History (R. Fulton Brown) What is the difference between "historiographical argument" and "conspiracy theory"? Between "fake" and "real" history when both draw on the same sources? Why have some narratives become culturally normative while others have been dismissed as the work of partisans, forgers, heretics, or cranks, only later to be accepted as established history—and vice versa? This research colloquium gives students practice in evaluating the methodologies and tools by which historians judge the narratives they tell about the past by applying them to a range of narratives typically rejected by contemporary scholarship as "fake," for example, the existence of King Arthur, the Black Legend of Spain, or the Tartarian Empire of the American Midwest. As a corollary, we will also examine why such alternative histories have arisen when and where they do, as well as the uses to which they have been put culturally, socially, and politically. Assignments: in-class presentation and a long paper.
HIST 12001 Medieval History: Theories & Methods (J. Lyon) This course will introduce students to research methods and historical theories that are central to the field of medieval European history (500–1500 AD). The first section of the course is designed to give students a grounding in some of the most important historical narratives (political, social, economic, religious, intellectual, cultural) about the medieval period. Students will then spend the middle weeks of the quarter exploring the different types of original sources (written and non-written) that historians use to conduct research on the Middle Ages. This section of the course will include class time at the Regenstein Library's Special Collections. In the final weeks, we will concentrate on some of the scholarly debates that have shaped the modern field of medieval history. No prior knowledge of medieval European history is required; the course is open to all undergraduates. Grades will be determined on the basis of a midterm exam, two short papers, and classroom discussion.
HIST 29802 BA Thesis Seminar II (T. Gimbel, A. Hofmann, H. Kim, R. Kimmey, and T. Renaud) 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 (A. Jania) 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.
JWSC 12001/HIST 11702 Jewish Civilization II: Early Modern Period to Twenty-First Century (K. Moss) Jewish Civilization explores the development of Jewish culture and tradition from its ancient beginnings through its rabbinic and medieval transformations to its modern manifestations. Through investigation of primary texts—biblical, Talmudic, philosophical, mystical, historical, documentary, and literary—students will acquire a broad overview of Jews, Judaism, and Jewishness while reflecting in greater depth on major themes, ideas, and events in Jewish history. Part II includes discussions of mysticism, the works of Spinoza and Mendelssohn, the nineteenth-century reform, the Holocaust and its reflection in writers such as Primo Levi and Paul Celan, and literary pieces from postwar American Jewish and Israeli authors. All course sections share a common core of readings, which individual instructors supplement with other materials. Students who register for the autumn course are preregistered automatically in the winter course.
MUSI 12200/HIST 12800 Music in Western Civilization II, 1800–Present (R. Kendrick)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 (T. Sharp, M. Williams) 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 (O. Cussen, A. Goff, T. Sharp, M. Williams) 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 (M. Kruer, G. Winant, A. Stanley, E. Atkinson) 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, A. Aizman, A. Holekamp, D. Molina) 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 15412 East Asian Civilization II, 1600–1895 (S. Burns & K. Pomeranz) The second quarter of the East Asian civilization sequence covering what are now China, Japan, and Korea from roughly 1600 to 1895. Major themes include demographic and economic change; the social and cultural effects of widespread but uneven commercialization; state formation, rebellion, and political change; migration, urbanization, and territorial expansion; changes in family and gender roles; changes in the "natural" environment, particularly as related to agricultural expansion; changes in religion, ideology, and relationships between "elite" and "popular" culture; and increasingly consequential encounters with Western Europeans, Russians, and Americans, especially in the nineteenth century. The course aims to treat East Asia as a single interacting region, rather than as three (or more) sharply separated proto-nations; however, it will also call attention to the enormous diversity both among and within China, Japan, and Korea, treating those differences as constantly evolving and as something to be explained rather than assumed. HIST 15411-15412-15413 meets the general education requirement in civilization studies via three civilization courses. HIST 15411-15412, HIST 15411-15413, or HIST 15412-15413 meets the general education requirement in civilization studies via two civilization courses.
LACS 16200/HIST 16102 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 16800 Ancient Mediterranean World II: Rome (C. Ando) 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.
HIST 17522 Energy and Society II (E. Chatterjee & R. Jobson) This two-quarter course explores the historical roots of climate change and other global environmental problems with a special attention to how energy use shapes human societies over time. Part II covers energy systems across the world from the early twentieth century to the present, examining themes such as the uneven globalization of energy-intensive lifestyles, the changing geopolitics of energy, and possible futures beyond fossil-fuel dependence. Parts I and II should be taken in sequence.
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 will focus on the development of early modern science. Among figures considered are Vessalius, Harvey, Copernicus, Descartes, Galileo, Newton, and Darwin. We will specially examine the role of religion as providing a context for science, both as a complement and as a barrier.
HIPS 18403/HIST 17413 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: Science in Global Perspective, 1000–1800 (E. Kern) This course considers the global history of science from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries, looking at the relationship between science, power, and the state in shaping "global science" in the early modern world. Conventional narratives of the history of modern science have located its origins in Western Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, while European knowledge traditions have played an important role in the construction of what we now call science, knowledge about the natural world has been coproduced in many different geographic and cultural contexts around the globe. Beginning with science in Islamic societies in the Middle East (c. 800–1200), this class will explore the histories of astronomy, botany, medicine, navigation, and mechanics in societies in the Middle East and North Africa, East Asia, South America, and Oceania.
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 (M. Kaya) 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.
HIST 20302 This is Sparta (or Is It?) (J. Hall) From Herodotos to Hitler, ancient Sparta has continued to fascinate for its supposedly balanced constitution, its military superiority, its totalitarian ideology, and its brutality. Yet the image we possess of the most important state of the Peloponnese is largely the projection of outside observers for whom the objectification of Sparta could serve either as a model for emulation or as a paradigm of "otherness." This course will examine the extant evidence for Sparta from its origins through to its repackaging in Roman times and beyond and will serve as a case study in discussing the writing of history and in attempting to gauge the viability of a non-Athenocentric Greek history. Assignments: short papers.
NEHC 20602/HIST 25615 Islamic Thought and Literature II (A. El Shamsy) 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).
CDIN 20704/HIST 26606 Postcolonial and Decolonial History and Theory (R. Majumdar & L. Wedeen) This course introduces students to some key texts in postcolonial and decolonial theory. Our goals are threefold. First, to familiarize students with foundational thinkers, with attention drawn to the different ways in which their ideas have been deployed in subsequent scholarship. Second, we ask questions oriented towards comparison of postcolonial and decolonial approaches: What, if any, are the points of overlap? How do both bodies of work critique and contest the legacies of empire? Third, we investigate the present and possible futures of decolonial and postcolonial thought.
ENST 22101/HIST 27506 Changing America in the Last One Hundred Years (M. Conzen) This course examines the economic and social forces that have transformed the critical character and performance of the major regions of the United States since the 1920s, and how the interactions between regions has profoundly shifted. Emphasized are the ways in which socio-cultural, technological, and economic changes have played out differently across continental space and produced variable environmental consequences. An all-day field trip in the Chicago region visits sites that reflect some of the larger forces at work at the intra-regional scale.
CRES 22211/HIST 26814 Against Caste and Race: A Parallel History of Discrimination in India and in the United States (S. Poddar) This course will provide an overview of the major intellectual trajectories of the movements against race-based discrimination in the United States and caste-based oppression in India and the Indian diaspora and will identify notable moments of synchronicity and solidarity between them. Students will read seminal works by anti-caste and anti-race intellectuals and activists. Together, we will seek to understand the affective experiences at stake by watching films, listening to podcasts, and reading poetry and fiction. The focus will be on the analysis of innovative strategies of resistance offered against caste and race and modes through which the discriminated claimed selfhood and emerged as subjects. Students will examine how race and caste privileges that operate at an everyday level are directly linked with histories of discrimination and perpetuate structural exploitation. Finally, we will have a chance to compare the emergence of critical caste studies as a new disciplinary approach alongside the rise of critical race studies.
HIST 22407 Medieval England (R. Fulton Brown) How merry was "Olde England"? This course is intended as an introduction to the history of England from the withdrawal of the Roman legions in the early fifth century to the defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in AD 1485. Sources will include chronicles, biographies, laws, charters, spiritual and political treatises, romances and parodies. Themes will include the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, the Viking and Norman invasions, the development of the monarchy and parliament, monastic, peasant, and town life, the role of literacy and education in the development of a peculiarly "English" society, and the place of devotion, art, and architecture in medieval English culture.
HIST 23008 Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws (P. Cheney) From its publication in 1748, The Spirit of the Laws has been interpreted, among other things, as a foundational work of method in historical jurisprudence; a pæan to the English constitution and an inspiration for that of the future United States; a precocious call for penal reform and the abolition of slavery; a monument to the Enlightenment's capacity for cultural relativism that laid the groundwork for the discipline of sociology; an historical treatise on the rise of globalized commerce and its political effects in Europe; and a manifesto for a reactionary feudal aristocracy. We will read The Spirit of the Laws with an attention to these and other possible interpretations. This course is mainly an exercise in close reading, but we will also think about the contexts for the writing and reception of this landmark work of Enlightenment social and political thought. Assignments: in-class presentation, short papers, and a long paper.
HIST 24000 God, Self, Nation, and Revolution in East European Jewish Life and Thought, 1850–1939 (K. Moss) The course covers the history of the Jewish encounter with modernity on the fractured political, cultural, and social terrain of Eastern Europe. Both as members of a distinct ethnic, religious, and cultural group and as ever more differentiated and divided individuals, the Jews of modern Eastern Europe collectively generated many of the modern forms of Jewish identity, politics, culture, and religion—Hasidism and ultra-Orthodoxy, Zionism and Jewish nationalism, and Jewish socialism—while individually forging a bewildering array of syntheses, hybrids, and even negations of Jewishness in relation to the unprecedented political, cultural, and social dilemmas of Eastern European life. Key foci include religious and cultural transformations within Jewish life from the late eighteenth century, which gave birth to Hasidism, Orthodoxy, and a Jewish Enlightenment movement; the nineteenth-century encounter with the invasive reformism of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires and later with twentieth-century ethnonationalisms; the recasting of everyday life and identity in relation to imperial interventions, changing cultural norms vis-à-vis authority, tradition, and gender, and dramatic social and economic transformations in late nineteenth-century Eastern Europe; the formation of modern Jewish nationalism; encounters between Jews and East European socialism and social radicalism; the development of a secular Jewish cultural sphere and an opposing Orthodox counterculture locked in conflict with each other, with rampant assimilation, and with new kinds of popular culture; relations between Jews and the other peoples and cultures of Eastern Europe; Jewish prospects and predicaments in the postimperial nation-state. Assignments: short and long papers, in-class presentations.
CRES 24001/HIST 18301 Colonizations II (K. Boyer) This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. The theme of the second quarter is modern European and Japanese colonialism in Asia and the Pacific.
HIST 24215 The History of the Book in East Asia: From Bamboo to Webtoon (G. Reynolds) This seminar offers an overview of the development and history of the “book” and its physical forms, broadly conceived, in East Asia from ancient times to the present. Drawing on recent scholarship, selected primary sources, and rare books housed within the library system, this course familiarizes students with the evolution of the book and methods of book production in China, Korea, and Japan, the principles and practices of material bibliography and the application of such to physical and digital objects, and selected topics salient to the social and cultural meanings of books: authorship, the book trade, reading, censorship, and more. Assignments include a short paper, a short presentation, and a longer final paper. All readings in English, but knowledge of East Asian history or languages helpful.
EALC 24501/HIST 24518 Women and Work in Modern East Asia (J. Eyferth) Worldwide, women do about 75 percent of the world's unpaid care and domestic work. They spend up to three hours more per day cooking and cleaning than men do and anywhere from two to ten hours more per day looking after children and the elderly. Women's underpaid work at home and in industry subsidized the early stages of industrialization in nineteenth-century Britain, early twentieth-century Japan, and contemporary China, and women's unpaid contributions to their households enable employers worldwide to keep wages low. We know, at least in outline, how women came to carry double burdens in Europe and North America, but little research has been done so far about this process in East Asia. In this course, we will discuss when and how China, Japan, and Korea developed a division of labor in which most wage work was marked male and reproductive work was marked female. Are current divisions of labor between men and women rooted in local cultures, or are they the result of industrial capitalist development? How do divisions of labor differ between the three East Asian countries, and how did developments in one East Asian country affect others? Assignments: short papers, final paper, in-class presentation.
HIST 24517 Taiwan in Asia and the World (J. Ransmeier) This course examines the distinctive history of the island of Taiwan, from seventeenth-century Spanish colony to outpost of the Dutch empire, from multiethnic pirate cove to Qing coastal fortress, from an essential point of origin for Austronesian languages and cultures to Japan's first model colony, and from decades living under martial law to today's vibrant democratically elected government. There may never have been a time when Taiwan's future was so heatedly debated, or viewed as so central to global politics, as it is at this moment. Readings spanning three centuries and an array of governing regimes. We will explore the historical arguments and narratives that constitute the cultural identity of this diverse and contested place. In addition to reading primary sources and historiography over the quarter, students will develop and share their own research. This will culminate with either a paper or public history project.
HIST 25025 Environmental Histories of the Global South (E. Chatterjee) Drawing on cases from Africa, Latin America, and especially Asia, this course explores key themes in the modern environmental history of the world beyond the rich industrialized North. Our investigations will focus on the ecological impacts of colonialism, war, and development, and how environmental management has helped to construct modern states and capitalist practices in turn. Ranging from the malarial plantations of the Caribbean to the forests of southeast Asia, we will analyze not-so-natural disasters like floods and chemical spills as well as the slow violence of deforestation and droughts. Combining primary sources with classic scholarship, we will encounter pioneering green activists like the original "tree huggers" of the Himalayas and environmental advocates for brutal population control. The course will conclude by examining the emergence of a newly assertive Global South in international climate negotiations, and its implications for the environmental history of our planet at large. The course is open to all, but may be of particular interest to students who have taken "Introduction to Environmental History." Assignments: in-class presentation and a long paper.
HIST 25304 Goethe: Literature, Science, Philosophy (R. Richards) This lecture-discussion course will examine Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's intellectual development, from the time he wrote Sorrows of a Young Werther through the final stages of Faust. Along the way, we will read a selection of Goethe's plays, poetry, and travel literature. We will also examine his scientific work, especially his theory of color and his morphological theories. On the philosophical side, we will discuss Goethe's coming to terms with Kant (especially the third Critique), and his adoption of Schelling's transcendental idealism. The theme uniting the exploration of the various works of Goethe will be the unity of the artistic and scientific understanding of nature, especially as he exemplified that unity in "the eternal feminine." Assignments: four papers (5–8 pages each).
HIST 26411 Literature and History in the Ibero and Ibero-American World (M. Tenorio) The course will explores the relations between literature writing (novels, short stories, poetry, essays) and history writing in the Ibero and Ibero-American world, from the 1800s to the 1970s. The focus will be on Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Rio de la Plata, and Cuba. The course will deal with historical prose in its own language broth and with literature both as form of and evidence for history. Assignments: two short essays.
HIST 26500 History of Mexico, 1876–Present (M. Tenorio) From the Porfiriato and the Revolution to the present, this course is a survey of Mexican society and politics, with emphasis on the connections between economic developments, social justice, and political organization. Topics include fin de siècle modernization and the agrarian problem; causes and consequences of the Revolution of 1910; the making of the modern Mexican state; relations with the United States; industrialism and land reform; urbanization and migration; ethnicity, culture, and nationalism; economic crises, neoliberalism, and social inequality; political reforms and electoral democracy; violence and narco-trafficking; the end of PRI rule; and AMLO's new government. Assignments: two essays.
HIST 27103 American Revolution in Global Context (S. Pincus) What happens if one thinks about the American Revolution as an event in global rather than national history? This course will introduce students both to the literature on global history and the historiography of the American Revolution. The bulk of the class will focus on primary materials and introduces various contexts for understanding the American Revolution, such as the Corsican Revolt, the Irish Revolution, the first Falklands Crisis, and the Túpac Amaru Rebellion, and the creation of British India. The course will also think about the global consequences of the revolution. Did the American Revolution change the course of global history? What were its social, political, and intellectual consequences? Assignments: short historiography essay, classroom presentation, and a final research paper.
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: two short (3–6 pp) papers and one long 10–15 pp) paper for undergraduates; one short (5–7 pp) and one long (15–20 pp) for graduate students.
CRES 27540/HIST 29008 Slave Abolition and Its Afterlives (L. Svabek) In recent years, scholars and activists have returned to the abolitionist movement of the nineteenth century to gain critical traction on problems that can be broadly understood as racial, capitalist, and gender domination. We will read a series of texts from before and after the formal end of slavery in the United States (1863–65) with particular attention to conceptions of freedom. We will ask, how did abolitionists understand the meaning of freedom before emancipation? What political transformations did they believe were necessary to make freedom real? How did formal emancipation fulfill or disavow the abolitionist imaginary? After a short interlude on the political thought of the emancipation period, we will track the rise of progressive interpretations of abolitionist history in the twentieth century. We will raise questions about the re-emergence of abolitionist promises. How does the return to abolition occlude key political disagreements among early and mid-nineteenth century activists? How did post-Reconstruction Black thinkers reframe the meaning of abolition? Which strain of abolitionism have we inherited in the twenty-first century? Why? These questions will anchor the course and guide our thinking about the uses of history to current politics.
HIST 28301 Early American Political Culture, 1600–1820 (E. Cook Jr.) This colloquium examines the culture and practice of political participation in early America, with a comparative look at early modern England. It traces the formation of a deferential, nonpartisan politics in the colonies, and its replacement in the Revolutionary era with politics that increasingly used political party as a means of democratic participation. Assignments: three short papers.
HIST 28802 United States Labor History (A. Stanley) This course will explore the history of labor and laboring people in the United States. The significance of work will be considered from the vantage points of political economy, culture, and law. Key topics will include working-class life, industrialization and corporate capitalism, slavery and emancipation, the role of the state and trade unions, and race and sex difference in the workplace. Assignments: short papers and an in-class presentation.
HIST 29002 The Age of Emancipation (M. Hicks) Did the emancipation of millions of African-descended people from the bonds of chattel slavery—beginning with the 1791 slave rebellion in Haiti and ending with Brazilian abolition in 1888—mark the beginning of an irrevocable march towards Black freedom? Or was it merely an evolution in the continuing exploitation of Black people throughout the Americas? This course scrutinizes the complex economic, political, ideological, social, and cultural contexts that caused and were remade by emancipation. Students are asked to consider emancipation as a global historical process unconstrained by the boundaries of the modern nation-state, while exploring the reasons for and consequences of emancipation from a transnational perspective that incorporates the histories of the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa. By focusing on the ideological ambiguities and lived experiences of enslaved people, political actors, abolitionists, religious leaders, employers, and many others, this seminar will question what constitutes equality, citizenship, and freedom. Finally the course will explore what role emancipated slaves played in shaping the historical meanings and practices of modern democracy. Assignments: short and long papers.
HIST 29522 Europe's Intellectual Transformations, Renaissance through Enlightenment (A. Palmer) This course will consider the foundational transformations of Western thought from the end of the Middle Ages to the threshold of modernity. It will provide an overview of the three self-conscious and interlinked intellectual revolutions which reshaped early modern Europe: the Renaissance revival of antiquity, the "new philosophy" of the seventeenth century, and the light and dark faces of the Enlightenment. It will treat scholasticism, humanism, the scientific revolution, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire, Diderot, and Sade.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates by Consent
SCTH 40131/HIST 44900 The Unknown Future: Uncertainty and Prediction in Modern Social Thought (J. Isaac) This course examines the long struggle in modern social thought to cope with uncertainty. The very idea that the future is unknown or uncertain is a relatively modern one. We will consider the origins of the concept of the unknown future, and then consider a range of attempts to reduce the vagaries of chance and gain knowledge of that which has yet to be. Topics covered include the emergence of probability and statistics, changing conceptions of time duirng the Age of Revolutions, theories of historical progress, and radical uncertainty. Theoretical readings will include the writings of Reinhart Koselleck, Michel Foucault, and John Maynard Keynes.
HIST 49304 The Global History of Money (J. Levy) This course explores the last five hundred years of global economic history from the perspective of the evolving institution of money. After considering theories of money, we address the histories of three global currencies: silver, gold, and the US dollar. The course studies the role that silver played in the emergence of global capitalism during the European conquest of the Americas, given Asian demand for silver; the rise of the international gold standard in the nineteenth-century era of the Industrial Revolution, as well as the role gold played in the Great Depression; the role of the US dollar in the post–World War II international monetary system, as well as in the more recent era of globalization, including challenges today to the dollar's hegemony by other state currencies, as well as cryptocurrencies.