As one of the first institutions in the United States to provide for historical studies, Brown University has long valued and nurtured research in the Department of History. The faculty’s high standard of scholarship and excellence in teaching are well known, and members of the department are committed to the value a rigorous education in the humanities confers upon students. The department trains students in the fundamentals of historical thinking: skills and attitudes that will provide a foundation for excellence in a wide range of careers and professions, including teaching, law, medicine, business, public service, and advanced historical research.
For additional information, please visit the department's website: https://www.brown.edu/academics/history/
HIST 0150A. History of Capitalism.
Capitalism didn't just spring from the brain of Adam Smith. Its logic is not encoded on human DNA, and its practices are not the inevitable outcome of supply and demand. So how did capitalism become the dominant economic system of the modern world? History can provide an answer by exploring the interaction of culture and politics, technology and enterprise, and opportunity and exploitation from the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade to the 2008 Financial Crisis. HIST 0150 courses introduce students to methods of historical analysis, interpretation, and argument. This class presumes no economics background, nor previous history courses.
HIST 0150B. The Philosophers' Stone: Alchemy From Antiquity to Harry Potter.
Alchemy today conjures Harry Potter or Full Metal Alchemist, not the serious scholarly tradition that captivated Isaac Newton and Carl Jung. We will explore alchemy’s long history, examining how it has endured and adapted to different cultural, social, intellectual, economic, and religious contexts. What did alchemists do? How did they explain their art? And why has alchemy come to represent fraud and folly in some circles and wisdom in others? Students will answer these questions by conducting research in the Hay. HIST 0150 courses introduce students to methods of historical analysis, interpretation, and argument. Presumes no previous history courses. WRIT
HIST 0150C. Locked Up: A Global History of Prison and Captivity.
A long history lies behind the millions of men and women locked up today as prisoners, captives and hostages. Beginning in antiquity and ending in the present, this course draws on materials from a variety of cultures across the world to explore incarceration's centuries-old past. In examining the experience and meaning of imprisonment, whether as judicial punishment, political repression, or the fallout of war, the class will ask fundamental questions about liberty as well. History 150 courses introduce students to methods of historical analysis, interpretation and argumentation. This course presumes no previous history courses.
HIST 0150D. Refugees: A Twentieth-Century History.
Refugees are arguably the most important social, political and legal category of the twentieth century. This introductory lecture course locates the emergence of the figure of the refugee in histories of border-making, nation-state formation and political conflicts across the twentieth century to understand how displacement and humanitarianism came to be organized as international responses to forms of exclusion, war, disaster and inequality.
HIST 0150F. Pirates.
As long as ships have sailed, pirates have preyed upon them. This course examines piracy from ancient times to present, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. We will explore questions: How did piracy evolve over time? Where, why, and how did people become pirates, and what (if anything) made them different from other seafarers? How is piracy related to other historical processes, notably imperialism and nation-building? What explains the resurgence of piracy in the twenty-first century? Why have pirates become the stuff of legend, and how accurately are they portrayed in books and films?
HIST 0150G. History of Law: Great Trials.
Through discussion of a variety of precedent-setting trials throughout history, this course will probe the nature of demonstrative justice, the relationship between ideology and law in different societies, the politics of trials, and the relationship of trials to terror(ism) and social marginalization. Cases to be covered include: Socrates, Jesus Christ, the mythical Japanese Okuninushi, witch trials, the French Revolutionary Terror, the Dreyfus Affair, the Scopes (monkey) trial, the Stalinist show trials, the war crimes trials at Nuremberg, the Chinese Gang of Four, and the trials of Nelson Mandela and Saddam Hussein.
HIST 0150H. Foods and Drugs in History.
What we consume connects us to the worlds of both nature and culture. Bodily and socially, “you are what you eat,” but if your well-being suffers, you often seek out other ingestible substances. In many times and places, changing what you eat is thought to be healing, while in other times and places drugs – either remedial or recreational – are thought to be distinct and more immediately restorative. Few human interactions with the larger world are more important or interesting than how comestibles and medicines have been discovered, mixed, transformed, distributed, and how those processes have changed us. WRIT
HIST 0202. African Experiences of Empire.
This is a "flipped" course on sub-Saharan Africa from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. It presupposes no knowledge of Africa and serves as an introduction to the continent. It focuses on daily life, families, and popular culture. Students will analyze change, question perspectives, and imagine life, and question what "Africa" was during the period of European imperialism. Most readings are primary sources, which include photographs, songs, and oral histories. The course is "flipped"; students' first introduction to the content comes before class meetings through the text and multi-media sources. Class meetings are dedicated to discussion and exercises, including role-playing.
HIST 0203. Modern Africa: From Empire to Nation-State.
This course examines the major historical developments in Africa from 1945 to the present and pays special attention to the diversity of experiences within the vast continent. The first part focuses on Africans’ varied responses to the waning European imperial project and explores different ways in which African nationalist leaders and everyday people challenged colonial administrations to ultimately achieve their independence. The second part of the class investigates the consequences and opportunities of decolonization, including questions of political legitimacy, state-building, structural adjustment programs and international aid, human rights, and civil conflicts.
HIST 0212. Histories of East Asia: China.
China's ascendancy as a global economic power in recent decades has been regarded by many as a reclaiming of its former glory. In introducing the history of China from earliest times to the present, this course aims to provide an understanding of the making and remaking over millennia of what we call Chinese civilization, with its changes, contingencies, and continuities, its various claims to greatness, and its many recurring challenges. This course is open to all students and assumes no prior knowledge of Chinese culture, history, or language. Readings consist of both a textbook and relevant primary sources.
HIST 0214. Histories of East Asia: Japan.
This is a course for students who have always been curious about Japan but haven't had an opportunity to explore that interest fully, for anyone in search of a better understanding of the historical contexts that shaped Japan's complex relationships with China, Korea and the West, and for all those who wish to broaden their exposure to the histories of East Asia. Open to all students, this course assumes no prior knowledge of Japanese culture, history, or language. WRIT
HIST 0215. Modern Korea: Contending with Modernity.
This course examines the extraordinarily rapid revolution of Korea from isolated, agrarian society into a culturally modern, industrialized, and democratic nation that is an important actor on the world stage. It also will investigate how a non-Western society generates its own inspiration for human relations, social structure, political and cultural values. Includes coverage of North Korea. WRIT
HIST 0218. The Making of Modern East Asia.
This course examines Asia in the shaping of the modern world, from competing definitions of empires circa 1800 to the rise of the notion of the twenty-first as a "Pacific Century." It investigates the definition(s) of Asia as a world region, explores transnational interactions and emphasizes Asians as historical actors via written, visual and aural sources. Events are placed in the context of key historical paradigms, including varying definitions of modernity, the rise of the nation-state, birth of mass politics, new mechanisms of war, the language of self-determination, changing views of gender, shifting types of media and consumption, etc. WRIT
HIST 0228A. War and Peace in Modern Europe.
This course explores the relationship between war, culture, and society in modern Europe. The two world wars changed the political, social, and cultural landscape of Europe, and by extension, of the rest of the world, not least the United States. We will not delve into the military history of these vast conflicts; instead, we will examine how the experience of total war remolded European understanding and practices of memory and commemoration, culture and representation, humanity and civilization, utopia and revolution, catastrophe and identity. We will read influential scholarly texts and literary works, and watch important contemporary films.
HIST 0232. Clash of Empires in Latin America.
Examines Latin America as the scene of international rivalry from the 16th to the 19th century. Topics include comparative colonization, the transatlantic slave trade, privateering and piracy in the Caribbean, and the creation of an "Atlantic world." P
HIST 0233. Colonial Latin America.
Colonial Latin America, from Columbus's voyage in 1492 to Independence in the nineteenth century, was the creation of three peoples: Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans. Spanish and Portuguese conquerors brought with them the world of the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Renaissance. Native Americans lived there already, in rich empires and hunter-gatherer bands. Africans came as slaves from Senegal, Nigeria, Congo and Angola, bringing old traditions and creating new ones. These diverse peoples blended together to form a new people. This was a place of violence, slavery and oppression -- but also of art, faith, new societies, new ideas. P WRIT
HIST 0234. Modern Latin America.
This course is an introduction to the history of modern Latin America. Through lectures, discussions, shared readings, we will explore major themes in the past two hundred years of Latin American history, from the early nineteenth-century independence movements to the recent “Left Turn” in Latin American politics. Some of the topics we will examine include the racial politics of state-formation; the fraught history of U.S.-Latin American relations; the cultural politics of nationalism; how modernity was defined in relation to gender and sexuality; and the emergence of authoritarian regimes and revolutionary mobilizations, and the role of religion in shaping these processes.
HIST 0243. Modern Middle East Roots: 1492 to the Present.
The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of Modern Middle Eastern history. Following the expulsion of the Moors and Jews of Iberia, we journey to the opposite end of the Mediterranean with continued Turkic expansions into southeastern Europe, the Arab world, and Iran. Then, the “long” nineteenth century: an era of profound transformation culminating in the Ottoman Empire’s partition, primarily by British and French colonial rule. Finally, we explore forces shaping the twentieth century Middle East, from nationalism to oil, Islamism to “street” politics, and military interventions by the US, USSR, and regional powers.
HIST 0244. Understanding the Middle East: 1800s to the Present.
This course is an introduction to the history of the modern Middle East from the mid-19th C to the present. Readings and topics are structured chronologically, and emphasize the key events and turning points in the political and economic history of the region. The goal of the course is to understand how the Middle East, as it is today, has been shaped by the events of the past.
HIST 0247. Civilization, Empire, Nation: Competing Histories of the Middle East.
The “Middle East” is a recent invention. 100 years ago, virtually none of the states currently populating the region’s map existed. This course considers how historians (and others) have used the concepts of civilization, empire, and nation to construct competing narratives about this pivotal region’s past from the rise of Islam to the present. Since facts acquire meanings through interpretative frameworks, we ask: What is privileged and what is hidden in these narratives? And what would the history of this region look like if we could see it through the eyes of the peoples who have long lived there?
HIST 0250. American Exceptionalism: The History of an Idea.
For four centuries, the theme of America having a special place in the world has dominated American politics and culture, though many have questioned or challenged American distinctiveness. This course examines articulations and critiques of American exceptionalism, using sources from American history and literature, from comparative history and literature, and from modern American culture and politics. It is intended both as an introduction to American history and as a thematic class, focused on the U.S. in a global context, which is different from a traditional high school or first-year college American history class. WRIT
HIST 0252. The American Civil War.
An examination of the American Civil War and related topics in international law, international relations, and popular culture (this is not purely a course on military history). Students will learn about the American Civil War in a global context while also learning to analyze documents of different genres; and learning to make optimal use of online databases. The course assumes no background knowledge, yet it acknowledges that students may have a strong background in U.S. history, so it focuses especially on topics of current relevance that fall outside of typical history courses--international conflict and international law in particular.
HIST 0253. Religion, Politics, and Culture in America, 1865 - Present.
Religion has played an undeniable role in the contemporary American cultural landscape. This course lends some perspective on the present by investigating the various and, at times, surprising role religion has played in history in the shaping of American culture from 1865 to the present. WRIT
HIST 0257. Modern American History: New and Different Perspectives.
Rather than a survey, this course uses specific episodes and events to reveal different modes of analysis. Examples of questions are: What do gender perspectives tell us about men on the frontier and women in dance halls? What is the importance of baseball to American culture? How do a historian and a lawyer differ in their analysis of a sensational crime case? How can we understand why the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan? How did scandals in television and popular music signal an end to American innocence? How has the Baby Boom generation altered American society? And more. WRIT
HIST 0270A. From Fire Wielders to Empire Builders: Human Impact on the Global Environment before 1492.
This is a new lecture course intended to introduce the field of environmental history to students with no previous experience in it. The study of prehistoric, ancient and medieval environments is a heavily interdisciplinary research field, and the course will emphasize the variety of sources available for studying it. We will combine textbook readings with primary source readings from scientific and archaeological reports and, especially, contemporary texts. P
HIST 0270B. From the Columbian Exchange to Climate Change: Modern Global Environmental History.
Environmental stories are constantly in the news, from weird weather to viral outbreaks to concerns about extinction and fracking. In this course, we put current events in the context of the past 500 years, exploring how climate, plants, animals, and microbiota – not just humans –acted as agents in history. From imperialism to the industrial revolution and from global capitalism to environmental activism, we will examine how nature and culture intermingled to create the modern world. This is an introduction to environmental history and assumes no prior courses.
HIST 0273A. The First Globalization: The Portuguese in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
This class surveys history of Portuguese empire in Asia, Africa, and Brazil from fifteenth to early nineteenth centuries. Portugal pioneered the European expansion in the fourteenth century, laying the groundwork for several historical phenomena that defined modernity - the formation of colonial coastal enclaves in Africa and Asia, the colonization of the Americas, and the beginning of large-scale trade across the Atlantic and Indian oceans. The class analyzes the economic, religious and technological factors behind Portugal's pioneering role in European expansion. We focus on patterns of socio-cultural and religious interaction between Portuguese and native peoples in Asia, Africa, Brazil. P
HIST 0276B. Science and Capitalism.
We will explore the longstanding relationship between science and commerce from the 17th century to our own asking when the modern notion of science as a disinterested pursuit of objective truth took root. We will also explore how knowledge of the natural world has been shaped by personal, financial, and other kinds of self-interest in a number of diverse contexts ranging from Galileo’s invention of the telescope in Renaissance Italy to to the patenting of genetically engineered organisms in today's world, paying special attention to the diverse mechanisms that have been devised to guard against fraud and disinformation. WRIT
HIST 0285A. Modern Genocide and Other Crimes against Humanity.
This course explores the emergence, evolution, varieties, underlying causes, and means of confronting and coming to terms with genocide and other crimes against humanity in the 20th century. We will discuss the origins of genocide and the subsequent conceptualization of this phenomenon; manifestations of colonial, imperial, racial, and communist genocide; war crimes and mass crimes by totalitarian regimes; and policies of mass expulsions and "ethnic cleansing." We will conclude with attempts to curb and punish genocide by means of international justice.
HIST 0286A. History of Medicine I: Medical Traditions in the Old World Before 1700.
People have always attempted to promote health and prolong life, and to ameliorate bodily suffering. Those living in parts of Eurasia also developed textual traditions that, together with material remains, allow historians to explore their medical practices and explanations, including changes in their traditions, sometimes caused by interactions with other peoples of Europe, Asia, and Africa. We'll introduce students to major medical traditions of the Old World to 1700, with emphasis on Europe, and explore some reasons for change. A knowledge of languages and the social and natural sciences is welcome not required. P WRIT
HIST 0286B. History of Medicine II: The Development of Scientific Medicine in Europe and the World.
From the 18th century onward, Western medicine has claimed universal validity due to its scientific foundations, relegating other kinds of medicine to the status of "alternative" practices. The course therefore examines the development of scientific medicine in Europe and elsewhere up to the late 20th century, and its relationships with other medical ideas, practices, and traditions. Students with a knowledge of languages and the social and natural sciences are welcome but no prerequisites are required.
HIST 0505. Africa and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
This class deals with the History of transatlantic slave trade by emphasizing how Africa affected and was affected by the largest forced migration in the History of humankind. The class will engage key debates in the historiography of the slave trade, such as whether the trade underdeveloped Africa, the connection between the trade and the rise of coastal kingdoms in West Africa, and African resistance/cooperation with the slave trade. FYS P
HIST 0510A. Shanghai in Myth and History.
“Fishing village”, “Paris of the East”, or “a waking dream where everything I could already imagine had been taken to its extreme?” In an iconic role, Marlene Dietrich bragged that “it took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily,” but the local song “Shanghai by Night” retorted, “To look at her/Smiling face/Who would know that she’s troubled inside?” We will examine why Shanghai has gripped the imaginations of so many, placing the material history of the city alongside dream and image, focusing on the four topics of colonialism, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and class. FYS
HIST 0520A. Athens, Jerusalem, and Baghdad: Three Civilizations, One Tradition.
We examine core beliefs of early Greek, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic civilizations that form the basis of Western thought. Serving similar ideological purpose in the pre-modern world as have political and economic theories for the modern world, religion and philosophy defined individual lives and collective identities. We focus on the manner of appropriation and modification of thought from one culture to another in order to appreciate that there is far more similarity than difference in belief systems among what are today viewed as separate, even contesting, cultures. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. Instructor permission required. FYS WRIT P
HIST 0521A. Christianity in Conflict in the Medieval Mediterranean.
Students in this class will learn about medieval history by taking on roles, informed by classic texts, in elaborate games set in the past. Drawing on the innovative “Reacting to the Past” curriculum, this class explores two dramatic moments in medieval history: the debate about Christian belief held at Nicaea in 325 and the deliberations about crusading held at Acre in 1148. Students will adhere to the intellectual beliefs of the medieval figures they have been assigned to play, and will learn skills—speaking, writing, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork—in order to prevail in difficult and complicated situations. FYS P
HIST 0521M. The Holy Grail and the Historian's Quest for the Truth.
Dan Brown's wildly successful novel The Da Vinci Code has recently given a feminist twist to an enduringly popular medieval legend also captured in big-screen antics of Monty Python and Indiana Jones: the quest for the Holy Grail. Beginning with Brown's novel and other modern representations of the search for the Grail then turning back to texts from the Middle Ages, this seminar will unravel the truth - or truths - behind the legend. One central question will be how historians can use legends to understand the cultures they study. Instructor permission required. FYS WRIT P
HIST 0522G. An Empire and Republic: The Dutch Golden Age.
Between about 1580 and 1690, a new nation emerged in Europe that became a bastion of liberty, ideas in ferment, fine art, military power, science and technology, and global economic reach: the Dutch Republic. A nation that thought of itself as peaceful, yet was constantly at war; as Protestant, yet was composed of people of many faiths; as personally aspirational, yet derived much wealth from the conquest and slavery of others. Its people and institutional arrangements greatly influenced Britain and America on their paths to power, too. Its rise and eclipse may be instructive.. Enrollment limited to 19 first-year students. FYS WRIT P
HIST 0522N. Reason, Revolution and Reaction in Europe.
First year seminar designed to introduce students to the study of history through a focused look at the French Revolution. It will be divided into two very different parts. The first part will be organized as a traditional history seminar in which we explore together the eighteenth-century developments that preceded the outbreak of the French Revolution. In the second half of the class, students will be assigned different roles in order to re-enact the discussions in the National Assembly that, from 1791 to its collapse in 1792, tried to create a constitution for the new French Nation. FYS WRIT P
HIST 0522O. The Enlightenment.
The Enlightenment: Introduction to the Enlightenment as a fragmented series of projects that aimed at human liberation and the understanding of the social and natural worlds, with massive implications for the way that we conceive of ourselves today. Readings explore philosophy, science, slavery, economics, gender relations, and politics in the 18th century. FYS WRIT
HIST 0523A. The Holocaust in Historical Perspective.
The course will examine the history and historiography of the Holocaust from early accounts to recent reconstructions of the origins, implementation, and aftermath of the "Final Solution." We will also analyze documents, testimonies, memoirs, trial records, and various forms of representations and commemorations of the Shoah. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS WRIT
HIST 0523B. State Surveillance in History.
How and why do states watch their citizens? This course explores historical practices of state surveillance from the perspective of both the “watchers” and the “watched.” Special emphasis will be given to twentieth-century Europe, but examples from other parts of the world and the US will also be featured in the readings. Some of the readings will be primary sources: memoirs, diaries, surveillance files. Other sources will include films and short fiction and some scholarly pieces on the workings of state security and secret police organizations. FYS WRIT
HIST 0523O. The Academic as Activist.
Since the late nineteenth century, the modern research university has struggled with questions about When is the researcher participating in engaged scholarship? When does engagement suggest, instead, a lack of objectivity? How have economists, anthropologists, biologists, and historians tried to contribute to the common good, and where have their efforts broken barriers of privilege, and when have their efforts contributed to further oppression? This seminar will look at debates over the role of academics in political life. Topics may include: Fabian socialism, libertarianism and development economics, pan-African movements, and the Green Revolution. WRIT FYS
HIST 0535A. Atlantic Pirates.
This seminar explores piracy in the Atlantic from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. We will examine everyday life on pirate vessels; the pirates' role in emerging colonial societies and economies; the complex links between piracy, imperialism, and nation-building; and the image of pirates as both villains and figures of legend. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS WRIT P
HIST 0535B. Conquests.
What does “conquest” mean? How does it take place, and how is it experienced by both the invaders and the invaded? Drawing upon both primary and secondary sources, this seminar explores how conquest shaped the region we now know as Spanish America. We will begin with the great pre-Columbian empires of the Aztecs and Incas, and then turn to Spanish expeditions in the sixteenth century. The course will encompass specific moments of encounter (such as the Spanish capture of the Inca emperor Atahualpa at Cajamarca), as well as the broader implications of forging a new political and social order. P
HIST 0537A. Popular Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean.
From tango to plastic surgery, Donald Duck to reggaeton, this course places popular culture at the center of modern Latin American and Caribbean history. How, we will ask, did popular culture reflect and shape struggles over national belonging? How did foreign cultural products come to bear on international relations and transnational flows? In what contexts has culture served as a vehicle of resistance to dominant ideologies and systems of power? Far from a mere "diversion," popular culture instead offers a compelling lens onto the relationship between state and society in Latin America and beyond. WRIT FYS DPLL
HIST 0537B. Tropical Delights: Imagining Brazil in History and Culture.
Examines the many ways that Brazilians and foreigners have understood this vast continent-size country, ranging from early European explorers' anxieties about Cannibalism to modern images of the Amazonian rainforest, Rio De Janeiro's freewheeling Carnival celebrations, and the array of social movements mobilizing for social justice. Through an examination of historical sources, literature, movies, and popular culture, this seminar will consider how multiple images and projections of Brazil have shaped national and international notions about the country. Reserved for First Year students. Enrollment limited to 19. FYS WRIT
HIST 0540F. Women in the Middle East, 7th-20th C.: Patriarchal Visions, Revolutionary Voices.
This course provides an historical approach to women’s lives, status, and perceptions. It focuses on women in the Middle East, from the seventh century emergence of Islam to the twentieth century revolutions and struggle for new identities. It examines the contested roles of women in society and the ways women were culturally crafted. In particular, we will discuss the modes by which women’s lives were narrated (by themselves and others); women’s use of the “patriarchal bargain” to deal with the shift from so-called “traditional” to so-called “modern” culture; and the encounter between “Eastern” and “Western” societies. FYS WRIT
HIST 0550A. Object Histories: The Material Culture of Early America.
History is not just about people; it is also about things! Come explore the world of early America through the lens of objects--boats, dresses, plows, houses, wagons, watches, silver cups, wigs, blankets, land, gardens, hammers, desks--and the cultures that produced and consumed them. As a first year seminar, this course is designed to engagingly introduce students to the basic concepts of historical study. We will take several field trips to local historical sites, both on and off campus. Our primary focus will be specific objects and their contexts and histories. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS WRIT P
HIST 0551A. Abraham Lincoln: Historical and Cultural Perspectives.
This seminar uses life, legacy, myth of Abraham Lincoln to explore central themes such as frontier in early republic, nature of political leadership, law/legal culture, and emergence of sectionalism, slavery, antislavery, Civil War. Frequent short writing assignments and research investigations allow students in-depth explorations of Lincoln’s works, the writings of his contemporaries, and modern non-fiction, fiction, and film. The course enables us to consider two larger themes: 1) the relationship between memory and history; and 2) the function of history in modern society. The course has no prerequisites and does not presuppose special knowledge of American history. WRIT FYS
HIST 0555B. Robber Barons.
Today, the United States looks a lot like it did at the turn of the 20th century. Much like it is now, America's economy at that time saw tremendous growth interrupted by periodic financial crises. Moreover, both are periods of immense inequality. Whereas we have the one per cent, the late 19th century witnessed a small group of capitalists amass unprecedented fortunes, which provided immense political power. In this class, we will explore what the lives of these “robber barons” can tell us about the role of economic privilege in shaping America’s social, cultural, and political history. FYS WRIT DPLL
HIST 0556A. Sport in American History.
This course covers the relationship of sports to aspects of American culture since 1900. Topics include gender, race, amateurism, professionalism, intercollegiate athletics, and sports heroes. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS WRIT
HIST 0557A. Slavery and Historical Memory in the United States.
How has America chosen to remember and forget the enslavement of millions of its own people? What are appropriate ways to acknowledge slavery in monuments, museum exhibitions, film, literature, and public policy? By approaching these questions through a wide range of visual and textual sources, we will explore the indeterminate space between history and memory. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS WRIT
HIST 0557B. Slavery, Race, and Racism.
This seminar will address the history of race and racism as it relates to the history of slavery in America. We will trace the emergence of slavery in the New World, with a heavy emphasis on slavery in the U.S. South. The course is broad in scope, beginning with the emergence of the slave trade and concluding with a look forward to the ways that the history of slavery continues to impact the way race structures our lives today. In short, this course provides an introduction to slavery studies and to the history of race in America. FYS DPLL WRIT
HIST 0557C. Narratives of Slavery.
This course will uncover the history of the slave trade, the labor regimes of slavery in the Caribbean and North America, and the rise of the Cotton Kingdom through the voices of the very people who lived through it: enslaved people themselves. We will read slave narratives, court documents, abolitionist treaties, oral histories of formerly enslaved people, and fictional accounts produced in the period. We will give special attention the ways that different kinds of historical sources-different types of narratives-shape what we know and how we know it in the history of slavery. FYS WRIT DPLL
HIST 0559A. Culture and U.S. Empire.
This seminar examines the relationship of American culture to U.S. imperial project. We will look at how cultural ideologies such as those about race, gender, and American exceptionalism have not only shaped Americans' interactions with other peoples but also justified the spread of U.S. power. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS WRIT
HIST 0559B. Asian Americans and Third World Solidarity.
As historian Vijay Prashad puts it, “The Third World was not a place. It was a project.” During the 20th century struggles against colonialism, the peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America believed that another world was possible. Here, too, in the United States, minorities and their allies dreamed of dignity, democracy, and justice. Looking through the experiences of Asian Americans, this course examines the domestic freedom movements in the context of global decolonization. Topics include: campus activism, immigration, capitalist labor regimes, neocolonalism, cultural hegemony, and Afro-Asian connections. FYS DPLL
HIST 0574A. The Silk Road, Past and Present.
The Silk Road has historically been the crossroad of Eurasia; since the third-century BCE it has linked the societies of Asia—East, Central, and South—and Europe and the Middle East. The exchange of goods, ideas, and peoples that the Silk Road facilitated has significantly shaped the polities, economies, belief systems, and cultures of many modern nations: China, Russia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and India. This course explores the long history (and the mythologies or imaginations) of the Silk Road in order to understand how the long and complex pasts of the regions it touches are important in the age of globalization. FYS WRIT
HIST 0576A. The Arctic: Global History from the Dog Sled to the Oil Rig.
The Arctic is regularly in the media, thanks to climate change. This course examines the long history of human thinking about and habitation in the far north before and during the era of global warming. Focusing on how people valued, survived, and made the arctic home, topics range from whaling, the importance of dogs, cultural imaginaries and colonialism to capitalist and communist arctics, the meaning of sea ice, indigenous rights, and climate change. The course introduces historical methods and environmental history through reading, writing, discussion, and interpreting artifacts.
HIST 0577A. The Chinese Diaspora: A History of Globalization.
Why are there Chinese in the US, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Peru? Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines? Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Guam, Samoa? Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cape Verde, Ghana? Spain, Germany, France, Russia, Czech Republic? Mauritius, Madagascar? India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar? Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan? How and when did 50 million Chinese find their way around the world during the past 500 years, from the Ming Dynasty to the present moment? We will explore worldwide distribution of ethnic Chinese through Time (history) and Space (culture) in the so-called “Chinese diaspora,” and examine questions of migration, identity, belonging, politics and conflict. FYS WRIT DPLL
HIST 0580M. The Age of Revolutions, 1760-1824.
In the middle of the eighteenth century, the Americas belonged to a handful of European monarchies; within a few decades, most of the Americas was composed of independent republics, some of the European monarchs were either deposed or quaking on their thrones. Usually considered separately, revolutions in British North America, France, Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and Spanish America had diverse local circumstances yet composed a single cycle of intellectual ferment, imperial reform, accelerating violence and, forging of new political communities. We will examine revolutions that helped create the world we live in. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS WRIT P
HIST 0580O. Making Change: Nonviolence in Action.
This seminar will focus on the life and work of one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century, examining both his role in the Indian nationalist movement, as well as the global impact of his ideas on leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS
HIST 0582A. Animal Histories.
Animals have been people’s energy, food, wealth, gods, hobbies, icons, and companions. Wild and domesticated non-human animals are essential yet often invisible historical subjects. This seminar makes them visible by tracking them through time—ancient, modern, and contemporary—on every continent. They are often symbols, but we look beyond animals as represented by people. We are more interested in them as actors and subjects with agency. By pushing at the boundaries of what constitutes legitimate topics, this seminar serves as a critical introduction to the historical discipline. FYS WRIT
HIST 0582B. Science and Society in Darwin's England.
This course is a first year seminar designed to introduce students to the study of history. It will be divided into two very different parts. The first part will be organized as a traditional history seminar in which we explore together the world in which Darwin developed his theory of the Origin of Species. The second part will be a historical re-enactment of an 1863 discussion in Britain's Royal Society about whether to award Darwin their highest honor, the Copley Medal. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. FYS WRIT
HIST 0621B. The Search for King Arthur.
The King Arthur legend is one of the most enduring stories to emerge from medieval Britain. Drawing evidence from written and archaeological sources, we'll delve into shadowy period in which legend is based, between the collapse of Roman imperial power in Britain and establishment of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic kingdoms that would succeed the empire. We'll also take students inside the historian's workshop, exposing them to the tools, texts, and objects from which historians and archaeologists construct their interpretations of how the inhabitants of Arthur's Britain lived and died. Enrollment limited to 20 sophomores. WRIT SOPH P
HIST 0623A. British Social History.
What is the role of history in imagining progress, identity, and political movements? This course begins by reading classic nineteenth-century historians From Trevelyan to E. P. Thompson, asking about the politics implicit in their choice of subject and archive. It then turns to contemporary history, asking, how have debates about race, gender, and the environment in the past thirty years shaped how we look at history? How have different tools like digital history or the analysis of culture changed what we look at or why? How is the study of history changing today? SOPH WRIT
HIST 0623M. Becoming French: Minorities and the Challenges of Integration in the French Republic.
Recent controversies around Muslim integration, including debates around the headscarf and uprisings in the working class suburbs of French cities, point to difficulties France has faced in integrating minority populations. We'll explore the encounter between France and its immigrant, religious, and racial minorities from the Revolution to contemporary times. By comparing paths of integration and debates around minority inclusion and consider how minorities negotiated their identities as they struggled to internalize France’s cultural and historical legacy. We'll addresses political and historiographical debates over the relationship between political citizenship and religious/cultural identity. Enrollment limited to 20 sophomores. SOPH
HIST 0654A. Welfare States and a History of Modern Life.
History of the American welfare state, from its origins in nineteenth-century industrial capitalism to contemporary debates about health care, in comparative perspective. Why did welfare states appear and what form did the U.S. version take? Considerations of social inequality, labor relations, race, gender, family policy, the social wage, and the relationship between markets and the state are all considered. Some comparison with European models. SOPH WRIT
HIST 0654B. American Patriotism in Black and White.
This course explores the different and sometimes conflicting definitions and meanings of patriotism and citizenship through the lens of African American history and military participation, using primary and secondary sources from the colonial period to the present, including political and legal documents, letters to editors, literary pieces, plays, speeches, and petitions. What are the many definitions of freedom and patriotism, and how have black people understood their realities as they chose to serve militarily? This social and political (not military) history focuses on the political implications of African Americans’ military service for/to the nation over three centuries.
HIST 0655A. Culture Wars in American Schools.
This course examines "culture wars" in American public schools over the past century. It will explore how and why school curriculum has become an arena for cultural conflict and how those debates have changed over time. These debates clashes in schools over religion, values, politics, and educational aims raise important questions about majority and minority rights, the existence and meaning of a common national culture, and the role of schooling in a democratic nation. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students and sophomores.
HIST 0658D. Walden + Woodstock: The American Lives of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bob Dylan.
Emerson and Dylan are cultural icons. Emerson has been called “Mr. America” and Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Both had boundless energy for public performance and self-representation; both actively supported turning points in the civil rights struggle; both raged against American military aggression; both were at the epicenter of a wide circle of intellectuals, while denying their own centrality. What is the celebrity intellectual’s responsibility to society while remaining true to oneself? Poems, essays, autobiographies, songs, and movies provide insight into these eternally fascinating geniuses and their times. SOPH WRIT
HIST 0675A. The Chinese Diaspora: A History of Globalization.
To understand globalization is to study linkages and circulation of peoples, goods, cultures and ideas across space (land and sea) and over time. There is no better illustration of globalization than the Chinese diaspora--the worldwide dissemination of Chinese people and their descendants across the world from the Ming Dynasty to present. After sketching the global contour of this phenomenon, students will drill down deeper into specific regions of the world to examine conflicts and integration as immigrants localize; identity, community and social formations as immigrants re-territorialize; as well as transnational relationships with place of origin and co-ethnics in the diaspora.
HIST 0685A. The Social Lives of Dead Bodies in China and Beyond.
The dead are all around us, but how do we know it? This course aims to uncover how corpses interact with the living as participants in social relations, especially during times of community upheaval. We'll take China and Taiwan as jumping off points, but also look elsewhere in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe since the 19th century, when the broadening scale and nature of warfare; state expansion; rapid development; global circulations of technology; and the interplay of international philanthropies with older forms of charity and ritual pacification significantly affected the treatment, conceptions, and actions of the dead. WRIT SOPH
HIST 0690A. Empire and Everyday Life in Colonial Latin America.
What was it like to live a “regular” life in the American colonies of Spain and Portugal? How did people eat, dress, have fun, start and sustain families, pursue careers, and think about the world and themselves? Drawing upon a range of sources, this course considers how global and local forces intersected in the individual or community in myriad, yet historically contingent, ways. This micro focus provides another way of considering the broad historical forces at work in the colonies, such as religion, gender, politics, race, technology, and geography, from the “inside-out” perspective of individual and communal accounts and stories. WRIT SOPH
HIST 0690B. Women's Work: Gender and Capitalism in American History.
This course examines the importance of women and gender to the long economic history of the United States. Whereas the history of American capitalism has often been a primarily male story, this course moves women from the margins of the narrative to the center. It asks how female labor (paid and unpaid), cultural norms around gender and family, and issues of sex and reproduction have fundamentally shaped economic life—not just for women, but for all Americans. Students will gain insight into American women’s history, the history of capitalism, and the intersectional history of gender, sexuality, race, and class. WRIT SOPH
HIST 0720. The Romans.
The Romans established the only successful pan-Mediterranean empire in history, lasting nearly 1,000 years, with a legacy living everywhere today, from the U.S. Constitution to the English alphabet. Who were these people? We will study their social-political history from the city’s founding in 753 BCE to its fall in 476 CE, confronting the opinions of ancient authors directly to study historical questions such as: what challenges and problems did empire create? How did gender shape Roman lives? Or what does the decline of Rome’s democracy reveal about the state of American democracy? WRIT
HIST 0770. Evil: The History of an Idea.
This course considers how individuals and societies have constructed the idea of evil. We examine evil’s origins in religious traditions and review how those interpretations have been deployed and how the concept of evil has changed over time. Is it possible to offer a universal definition of evil? Is it true that “When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil?” Does evil exist in “the Other” or oneself? To answer these questions, we engage in activities and discussion about sin, hell, pacts with the devil, witches, torture, lynching, genocide, psychopaths, empathy, and representations of evil in music, literature, and film.
HIST 0770B. Political Imprisonment and Captivity in the Modern World: from Revolution to Conscience.
This course examines the history of political incarceration and captivity since the French Revolution. What is the relationship between the rise of ideologies such as fascism, communism and nationalism on the one hand, and the use of political imprisonment on the other? How do crimes and the political intersect? We examine several cases to consider how captivity has been used for political purposes in the modern world. In addition to scholarly works, readings will consist of primary source documents and memoirs. Emphasis will be placed on Europe, but the course will also include lectures and readings on other geographic regions.
HIST 0930A. Word, Image and Power in Renaissance Italy (ITAL 0580).
Interested students must register for ITAL 0580.
HIST 0930E. Sacrifice and Suffering: Rhetorics of Martyrdom Compared (RELS 0640).
Interested students must register for RELS 0640.
HIST 0930F. Twentieth-Century Africa (AFRI 0160).
Interested students must register for AFRI 0160.
HIST 0930G. Difficult Relations? Judaism and Christianity from the Middle Ages until the Present (JUDS 0050M).
Interested students must register for JUDS 0050M.
|Fall||HIST0930G||S01||17299||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 0930I. History of the Holocaust (JUDS 0902).
Interested students must register for JUDS 0902.
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HIST 0930J. The World of Byzantium (CLAS 0660).
Interested students must register for CLAS 0660.
HIST 0930M. Brothers Betrayed: Jews and Poles from 1500 until Today (JUDS 0901).
Interested students must register for JUDS 0901.
HIST 0930N. War and Society in the Ancient World (CLAS 0560).
Interested students must register for CLAS 0560.
HIST 0930P. Powering the Past (ENVS 0710).
Interested students must register for ENVS 0710.
|Fall||HIST0930P||S01||16874||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 0940A. History of Intercollegiate Athletics (EDUC 0850).
Interested students must register for EDUC 0850.
HIST 0940B. The Campus on Fire: American Colleges and Universities in the 1960's (EDUC 0400).
Interested students must register for EDUC 0400.
|Fall||HIST0940B||S01||16889||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 0940C. When Leaders Lie: Machiavelli in International Context (ITAL 0981).
Interested students must register for ITAL 0981.
HIST 0940D. The Border/La Frontera (ETHN 0090A).
Interested students must register for ETHN 0090A.
HIST 0940E. Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement (AFRI 0110C).
Interested students must register for AFRI 0110C. WRIT
HIST 0940F. Brown v. Board of Education (EDUC 0610).
Interested students must register for EDUC 0610.
|Spr||HIST0940F||S01||25679||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 0940G. From Amsterdam to Istanbul: Christians, Moslems, and Jews (JUDS 0050E).
Interested students must register for JUDS 0050E.
HIST 0940H. The Jew in the Modern World (JUDS 0050L).
Interested students must register for JUDS 0050L.
HIST 0940I. Social Welfare in the Ancient Greek City (CLAS 0310).
Interested students must register for CLAS 0310.
HIST 0940K. Israel's Wars (JUDS 0050H).
Interested students must register for JUDS 0050H.
HIST 0960G. When Leaders Lie: Machiavelli in International Context (ITAL 0981).
Interested students must register for ITAL 0981.
HIST 0980K. Extinction: A Global History (ENVS 0700C).
Interested students must register for ENVS 0700C.
HIST 0980L. Food for Thought: Food and Agriculture in the History of the Americas (ENVS 0700D).
Interested students must register for ENVS 0700D.
HIST 1030. Entangled South Africa.
Examines the contradiction of twentieth century South Africa as a divided society that nonetheless had dense contact across boundaries. In considering daily life, social interactions, and relations with animals, we find a challenging politics of entanglement within the class, gender, and racial hierarchies of apartheid. We close with a discussion of new divisions and alignments emerging during the transition to democratic rule in the 1990s.
HIST 1050. Africa and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
This lecture class looks at the relationship between Africa and the Transatlantic slave trade from the late fifteenth century to the nineteenth century. We deal with the main regions of Atlantic Africa affected by the largest forced migration in the history of humankind, focusing on such issues as resistance to the slave trade and the role of slavery in the African continent. The class will reflect on the relationship between the slave trade and African patterns of long-term underdevelopment as well as the relationship between the abolition of the trade and the rise of colonialism in the nineteenth century. P
HIST 1060. Africa, c.1850-1946: Colonial Contexts and Everyday Experiences.
This course considers major actors and developments in Africa from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. With a critical awareness of the ways that Africa's past has been narrated, it balances coverage of the state and economy with attention to daily life, families, and popular culture. The majority of the reading assignments are drawn from contemporary documents, commentaries, interviews, and memoirs. Works produced by historians supplements these. Students will analyze change, question perspectives, and imagine life during the age of European imperialism. Written assignments include a book review, two examinations, and identifying and editing a primary source text. WRIT
HIST 1070. "Modern" Africa.
This course begins with the end of imperialism and ends with a look toward the future. Themes include the pivotal importance of the newly sovereign states, the ongoing engagement with the rest of the world, and shared opinion about the imperative of modern development, even as definitions of modern and development differed. Readings include many primary sources, supplemented by articles on history and social science. Evaluation is based on participation, a map quiz, mid-term and final examinations, and short writing examinations, including article reviews. Students will also discover, analyze, and edit two new primary sources. WRIT
HIST 1080. Humanitarianism and Conflict in Africa.
This course focuses on the major issues and debates concerning humanitarianism and international intervention in 20th century Africa. It will explore the history of humanitarianism and the many challenges that arise when governments and institutions intervene in a conflict. Then students will investigate specific sites of conflict in Africa (ranging from Nigeria, Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, and Western Sahara) and analyze different models of intervention and aid. These case studies will expose students to pivotal events in African history and equip them with a critical vocabulary with which to assess contemporary conflicts.
HIST 1101. Chinese Political Thought from Confucius to Xi Jinping.
Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, cites the ancient political thinker Han Feizi (280-233 BCE) as an important influence on his approach to governance. He has also embraced (as have several leaders before him) some of the political and social ideals of Confucianism—ideals first stated in the sixth century BCE. This lecture-and-discussion course traces the history of Chinese political thinking from the first Chinese state to the present, emphasizing first, those ideas that continue to shape Chinese notions of governance, and second, comparisons between these and American political ideals. P WRIT
HIST 1110. Imperial China/China: Culture and Legacy.
As the current revival of Confucianism in the People’s Republic of China demonstrates, the past is still very much alive in China today. This lecture-and-discussion course surveys the history of China from the origins of the first state through the twilight of the imperial period in the nineteenth century. Lectures are designed and the reading assignments chosen to emphasize in particular those ideas and beliefs, institutions and government structures, and literary and artistic developments that have shaped (and continue to shape) China today. “Imperial China” provides the knowledge necessary for informed study of modern China.
HIST 1111. Women and Gender in Chinese Society.
The People’s Republic of China has claimed the successful “liberation” of women from the many institutions, attitudes, and customs that limited their access to power and personal fulfillment in the past. “Women and Gender in China” examines both the assumptions about the lives of women in pre-twentieth century China and their need for liberation that lies behind this claim; and the validity of the claim itself: how have the lives of Chinese women changed since 1949? Readings emphasize primary sources about or by women (textbooks for women, memoirs, fiction, poetry, etc.). P
HIST 1118. China's Late Empires.
A post-nationalist perspective on history in China from 1200-1930, with emphasis on empire--formation, gender, and daily life in the Mongol Yuan, Chinese Ming, and Manchu Qing empires, as well as nationalist reconstructions of the Chinese past in the early twentieth century. P
HIST 1121. The Modern Chinese Nation: An Idea and Its Limits.
How did the Chinese empire become a nation-state? This question drives a survey of the history of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Chinese societies overseas from 1895 to the present. We will explore a variety of conceptions of the Chinese nation and the rise of new state formations, investigating the extent to which they shaped the way people experienced everyday life. We will also pay attention to those who have been excluded by or unwillingly drafted into these processes, or who live outside them altogether, looking at other ways society has been organized and culture defined.
HIST 1122. China Pop: The Social History of Chinese Popular Culture.
An exploration of how the artifacts of visual, material, aural and ritual culture illuminate the practices and beliefs of people at various levels of Chinese society from the late imperial period to the present. Topics include arrangements of space and time, popular entertainment, religion and performance, the growth of mass media, and the relationship of cultural forms to politics, protest and global forces. In addition to lectures, discussions and papers, students will have the opportunity to create research presentations using multiple media formats. DPLL
HIST 1140. Samurai and Merchants, Prostitutes and Priests: Japanese Urban Culture in the Early Modern Period.
Examines the cultural traditions of the urban samurai, the wealthy merchant, and the plebian artisan that emerged in the great metropolises of Edo, Osaka, and Kyoto during the early modern period. Focuses on the efforts of the government to mold certain kinds of cultural development for its own purposes and the efforts of various social groups to redirect those efforts to suit their desires and self-interest. WRIT P
HIST 1149. Imperial Japan.
This course is for students interested in exploring the changing ideas, technologies and practices that shaped Japan’s history from the 1850s, when it confronted the power of an encroaching West, to the 1930s when its choices led the nation to the edge of ruin. Lectures and readings will address the collapse of the Tokugawa regime, the Meiji Restoration, the construction of empire, and the emergence of new forms of cultural and political expression. Students will also learn how ideas about gender, race, and tradition were understood and made use of in Imperial Japan. Open to all students. WRIT
HIST 1150. Modern Japan.
Japan is a rich site for an exploration of many of the key processes and concepts that have shaped, and continue to transform, the modern world. These include the creation of the nation as the fundamental structure for social and political organization, a development that came late to Japan and had profound effects on its relationships with its neighbors, the crafting of its own histories, and with the emergence of debates about what it meant to be “Japanese.” The course also explores how ideas about gender, race, and tradition have been understood and made use of in modern Japan. WRIT
HIST 1155. Japan's Pacific War: 1937-1945.
Uses film, oral histories, historical fiction, and more traditional forms of historical interpretation to explore the events, ideas, and legacies of Japan's Pacific War. The armed conflict began in 1937 with the Japanese invasion of China and ended in 1945 with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some attention is paid to military developments, but the principle concerns fall into the areas of mutual images, mobilization, and memory. WRIT
HIST 1156. Postwar Japan.
This course is for students interested in exploring Japan’s remarkable cultural, political and social transformations from the closing days of the Second World War, through its emergence as an apparent exemplar of democratization’s potential and capitalism’s benefits, and on to the contemporary era. Lectures, readings and films will explore the legacies of the war and the Occupation, the so-called “economic miracle” (and its effects on the environment), the protest movements of the 1960s and beyond, and Japan’s complicated relationships with its neighbors, with the U.S., and with its own recent history. Open to all students.
HIST 1200B. The Fall of Empires and Rise of Kings: Greek History to 478 to 323 BCE.
The Greek world was transformed in less than 200 years. The rise and fall of Empires (Athens and Persia) and metamorphosis of Macedon into a supreme power under Philip II and Alexander the Great provide the headlines. The course covers an iconic period of history, and explores life-changing events that affected the people of the eastern Mediterranean and the topics that allow us to understand aspects of life and culture of the peoples of the eastern Mediterranean. and through these transformations, offers insights into the common pressures that communities confronted. No prior knowledge of ancient history is required. P
HIST 1200C. History of Greece: From Alexander the Great to the Roman Conquest.
In 334 BCE, the 22-year-old Alexander crossed over to Asia and North Africa perhaps already in his own mind to conquer the known world, thus changing the history of the West forever. The values of a small, if intensely introspective, people (the Greeks) became the cultural veneer for much of West, as the period became known as the Hellenistic (“Greekish”) Age. It led to the spread of a monotheistic idea, a profound belief in individualism, alienation from central power, and yet, conversely, the creation of natural law and human rights, along with a deep desire for universalism. P WRIT
HIST 1201A. Roman History I.
No description available.
HIST 1201B. Roman History II: The Empire.
The social and political history of the Roman Empire (14-565 CE). Focuses on expansion, administration, and Romanization of the empire; crisis of the 3rd century; militarization of society and monarchy; the struggle between paganism and Christianity; the end of the Empire in the West. Special attention given to the role of women, slaves, law, and historiography. Ancient sources in translation. WRIT
HIST 1202. Formation of the Classical Heritage: Greeks, Romans, Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Explores essential social, cultural, and religious foundation blocks of Western Civilization, 200 BCE to 800 CE. The main theme is the eternal struggle between universalism and particularism, including: Greek elitism vs. humanism; Roman imperialism vs. inclusion; Jewish assimilation vs. orthodoxy; Christian fellowship vs. exclusion, and Islamic transcendence vs. imminence. We will study how ancient Western individuals and societies confronted oppression and/or dramatic change and developed intellectual and spiritual strategies still in use today. Students should be prepared to examine religious thought from a secular point of view. There is no prerequisite or assumed knowledge of the period. P
HIST 1205. The Long Fall of the Roman Empire.
Once thought of as the "Dark Ages," this period of western European history should instead be seen as a fascinating time in which late Roman culture fused with that of the Germanic tribes, a mixture tempered by a new religion, Christianity. Issues of particular concern include the symbolic construction of political authority, the role of religion, the nature of social loyalties, and gender roles. P
HIST 1210A. The Viking Age.
For two centuries, Viking marauders struck terror into hearts of European Christians. Feared as raiders, Norsemen were also traders and explorers who maintained a network of connections stretching from North America to Baghdad and who developed a complex civilization that was deeply concerned with power and its abuses, the role of law in society, and the corrosive power of violence. This class examines the tensions and transformations within Norse society between AD 750 and 1100 and how people living in the Viking world sought to devise solutions to the challenges that confronted them as their world expanded and changed. P
HIST 1211. Crusaders and Cathedrals, Deviants and Dominance: Europe in the High Middle Ages.
Popes named Joan, Gothic cathedrals, and crusaders-all these were produced by rich world of the western European Middle Ages. The cultural, religious, and social history of this period are explored with special attention to the social construction of power, gender roles, and relations between Christians and non-Christians. WRIT P
HIST 1216. The Paradox of Early Modern Europe.
European social, intellectual, political, and economic history from the 15th to the 18th centuries, with an eye to the paradox embodied in the term "early modern." On the one hand, this is supposedly the heroic era of Columbus, Machiavelli, Newton, and Montesquieu, when Europeans became increasingly global, urban, and critical. On the other hand, this period also saw the rise of judicial torture, new regimes of discipline, colonialism, and a robust belief in the unseen world of demons, angels, and witches. We will explore the interplay of these paradoxical forces in Europe's transformation from medieval into modern. P
HIST 1230A. Revolution and Romanticism in 19th century Europe.
A lecture course, primarily for juniors and seniors, that focuses on salient philosophic, artistic, and ideological currents of 19th-century Europe. Beginning with the crisis of political and cultural legitimacy posed by the French Revolution, it concludes with the consolidation of bourgeois culture in the 1860s and 1870s and the two great scientific systematizers of these decades: Darwin and Marx. WRIT
HIST 1230B. Modern European Intellectual and Cultural History: The Fin de Siecle, 1880-1914.
A sequel to HIST 1230A focusing on radical intellectual and cultural currents that challenged and destabilized the assumptions of Victorian high culture during the fin de siecle. Through a careful reading of primary texts by Hobhouse, Nietzsche, Weber, and Freud. The course explores issues such as the rise of mass consumer culture, neoliberal and neofascist politics, philosophic irrationalism, psychoanalysis, and the woman question. WRIT
HIST 1230C. The Search for Renewal in 20th century Europe.
The overarching theme of the course is the relationship between modernity and the primitive as manifested in major cultural, aesthetic and political movements in the 20th century. Films are an integral part of the course. WRIT
HIST 1235A. Making A "Second Sex": Women and Gender in Modern European History.
This course deals with the history of European women and gender from the Enlightenment to the present. It will focus on large historical themes and questions, especially shifting constructions of femininity and masculinity. It will begin with an analysis of eighteenth-century philosophies regarding women and gender, and it will move to examinations of specific topics such as industrialization, Victorian femininity, the suffrage movements, gender and the Great War, interwar sexuality, fascism, gender and the Second World War, and the sexual revolution.
HIST 1240A. Politics of Violence in 20C Europe.
Europe's 20th century saw the emergence of forms of violence unthinkable in a world without mass politics. To better understand the changes in European states and societies that gave rise to total war and the violence associated with totalizing ideologies such as fascism and communism, we will read Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Fanon and others who sought to interpret violence as an extension of ideology. We will also read selections from more recent works by state leaders, historians and cultural figures from Ukraine to France, from Turkey to Great Britain who have reinterpreted past violence for present political ends.
HIST 1260D. Living Together: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Iberia.
A pressing issue in today's pluralistic societies is how people of different identities (religious, ethnic, etc.) can live together. This course explores a slice of history that can help us think through questions of difference in our world: medieval Spain, where for centuries Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in close proximity. Through explicit juxtaposition with modern debates, this course examines how these people understood and structured their relations with each other in the Iberian Peninsula between 711 and 1492. Themes include: identity and cultural definition; power and religious violence; tolerance and intolerance; acculturation and assimilation; gender and sexuality. WRIT P
HIST 1262M. Truth on Trial: Justice in Italy, 1400-1800.
Why do we think that one human being can judge another? How did this activity, enshrined in legal and political systems, profoundly shape society? We'll examine the changing face of justice, from the medieval ordeal to judicial torture; expansion of inquisitorial and state law courts; and the eventual disillusionment with the use of torture and the death penalty in the eighteenth century. Using Italy as focus, the course explores how law courts defined social, political, scientific, and religious truth in Italy. Students may pursue a project on another geographical area for their final project for the course. WRIT P
HIST 1264M. Cultural History of the Netherlands in a Golden Age and a Global Age.
Between 1580 and 1690 two nations emerged in Europe from what had been one unified region. To the north, the Dutch Republic gained its independence from Spain and developed as a bastion of liberty, ideas in ferment, visuals arts, Calvinist faith, science, technology, global economic reach. To the south, the "loyal" Netherlands, now Belgium, returned to the Spanish and Catholic fold, but sustained its leading position in the arts, competed in global trade, and negotiated a new compromise of government. In this course we present an interdisciplinary, comparative view of the "two" Netherlands and their legacy in the world.
HIST 1266C. English History, 1529-1660.
Examines politics, religion, and society from the Protestant Reformation to the Puritan Revolution-a period of rapid and dramatic change when the world, for most English people, was turned upside down. Considers the experiences and concerns of ordinary men and women, as well as the elite. Takes in Scotland, Ireland, and the great migration to New England. P WRIT
HIST 1266D. British History, 1660-1800.
A survey of British history from the restoration of monarchy to the Wilkes affair and the loss of the American colonies. In addition to political developments such as the Glorious Revolution and the rise of party, examines political ideology (including the great political theorist, John Locke) and various themes in social history (such as crime, popular protest, the sexual revolution, and the experiences of women). P WRIT
HIST 1268A. The Rise of the Russian Empire.
This course provides a broad survey of Russian history from Kievan Rus' to the Crimean War. Topics include the rise of Moscow, the Time of Troubles, the reforms of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, the Napoleonic Wars, and the conservative reign of Nicholas I. The following themes are emphasized in the lectures and readings: the changing stratification of society; the expansion of the Russian empire; Russia and the West (including diplomatic and cultural relations); economic development; and the origins and growth of the Russian intelligentsia and radical opposition to the autocracy. P
HIST 1268B. Russia in the Era of Reforms, Revolutions, and World Wars.
This course examines the rapid industrialization, modernization, and urbanization of Russia from the era of the "Great Reforms" (1860s) through the Second World War. We will examine both the growing discontentment among the population with autocracy's efforts to maintain power and the Bolshevik effort to recreate the economy, society, and everyday life. Topics will include Russian Marxism and socialism, terrorism, the Russian revolutions of 1917, the rise and consolidation of Soviet socialism, famine, the red terror, and World War II. WRIT
HIST 1268C. The Collapse of Socialism and the Rise of New Russia.
This course examines late Soviet socialism, the collapse of the USSR, and the emergence of the new Russia. The following themes are emphasized in lectures and readings: the major features of de-Stalinization; Soviet and Russian foreign policy during and after the Cold War; the domestic and international causes and consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union; and the emergence of a new Russian government and national identity during the 1990s and early 2000s. WRIT
HIST 1270C. German History, 1806-1945.
This course examines the development of German history from the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire to the end of World War II. During that time the German states went from being a sleepy backwater to being the conquerors of Europe, finally conquered themselves by the Allied Forces. Through lecture, readings, and discussion we will examine post-Napoleonic Germany, Prussia’s role in uniting Germany, the Wilhelmine Empire, the Weimar Republic, and finally National Socialism. The class will take into account politics, economics, war, and culture in painting a full picture of the development of a distinct German state and society.
HIST 1272C. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity? The History of Modern France.
This course follows the history of France from the time of Louis XIV to the present, focusing on social and cultural trends, with particular emphasis on the boundaries of French national identity. It asks who belonged to the French nation at key moments in French history, including the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic era, industrialization, imperialism, and the two world wars, as well as the complex questions presently facing France. We will examine how inclusions and exclusions during these moments reveal larger themes within French history, such as those dealing with race, class, gender, immigration, and anti-Semitism, amongst others.
HIST 1272D. The French Revolution.
This course aims to provide a basic factual knowledge of the French Revolution, an understanding of the major historiographic debates about the revolutionary period, and a sense of the worldwide impact of events occurring in late-eighteenth century France. A strong historiographic focus will direct our attention to the gendered nature of the revolutionary project; the tension between liberty and equality that runs throughout French history; the intersection of race and citizenship in the Revolution; and the plausibility of competing social, political, and cultural interpretations of the Revolution.
HIST 1280. Death from Medieval Relics to Forensic Science.
From CSI: Crime Scene Investigation to Ghost Busters to murder mysteries, western society finds death and dead bodies both fascinating and horrifying. This lecture course considers how the western world has dealt with life’s most fundamental truth – all humans die – by looking at the history of death and dead bodies from the Middle Ages up to the early twentieth century. Topics include the worship of Christian relics, Catholic and Protestant conceptions of the “good death,” body snatching and dissection, society’s fascination with murder, execution as legalized death, forensic science and dead bodies, and ghosts. P
HIST 1310. History of Brazil.
This course charts the history of Brazil from Portuguese contact with the indigenous population in 1500 to the present. It examines the countrys political, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural development to understand the causes, interactions, and consequences of conflict, change, and continuity within Brazilian society. WRIT
HIST 1312. Brazil: From Abolition to Emerging Global Power.
How did Brazil transform itself from a slave society in 1888 to rising international economic and political force? This course will examine the history of Brazil from the end of slavery to the present. We will analyze the reasons for the fall of the Empire and the establishment of a Republic, the transformations that took place as immigrants arrived from Europe, Japan, and the Middle East in the early twentieth century, and the search for new forms of national identity. We will study the rise of authoritarian regimes and the search for democratic governance in more recent years.
HIST 1313. Brazilian Biographies.
How do the famous Brazilian singers Carmen Miranda and Caetano Veloso fit into any comprehensive understanding of Brazilian history? Do the life stories of the eighteenth-century freed slave Xica da Silva or the twentieth-century favela dweller and best-selling author Carolina Maria de Jesus represent unique characters or larger social phenomena of different times and places? How have Brazilian and foreign authors written the history of Brazil through portraits of individuals. This course will examine life stories of Brazilians of all races and social classes through texts, documents, and films to see what these biographical portrayals reveal about Brazilian history/culture. P
HIST 1320. Rebel Island: Cuba, 1492-Present.
Cuba, once the jewel in the Spanish imperial crown, has been home to some of the world's most radical revolutions and violent retrenchments. For two centuries, its influence has spread well beyond its borders, igniting the passion of nationalists and internationalists as well as the wrath of imperial aggression. This course traces the history of Cuba from its colonial origins through the present, foregrounding the revolutionary imaginary that has sustained popular action-from anti-slavery rebellions through the Cuban Revolution and its discontents-in addition to the historical processes that have forged one of the world's most vibrant socio-cultural traditions.
HIST 1331. The Rise and Fall of the Aztecs: Mexico, 1300-1600.
This course will chart the evolution of the Mexica (better known as the Aztecs) from nomads to the dominant people of central Mexico; examine their political, cultural, and religious practices (including human sacrifice); explore the structure and limitations of their empire; and analyze their defeat by Spanish conquistadors and their response to European colonization. We will draw upon a variety of pre- and post-conquest sources, treating the Aztecs as a case study in the challenges of ethnohistory. P
HIST 1332. Reform and Rebellion: Mexico, 1700-1867.
This course focuses on Mexico's difficult transition from colony to nation. We will examine the key political, social, economic, and cultural developments during this period. Major topics will include: the paradoxical eighteenth century, which saw Mexico emerge as the most prosperous region of the Spanish empire, even as social and economic tensions deepened; the outbreak of peasant rebellions in the early nineteenth century; the elite-led movement for independence; the economic decline and political turmoil of the early republic; foreign interventions by the United States and France; and the rise of the Liberals as Mexico's dominant political force. P
HIST 1333. The Mexican Revolution.
To study the Mexican Revolution is to examine the sweeping history of Modern Mexico: from the Liberal reforms of Benito Juárez to the enduring power of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI); from peasant revolutionary Emiliano Zapata to his namesake Zapatistas of Chiapas; from Pancho Villa’s mass revolutionary army to transnational mystic Teresita Urrea; from the landlord Francisco Madero who led the insurgency to Lázaro Cárdenas who enacted land and labor reforms; from the constant flows of migrants crossing the border back and forth to Mexico’s defiance against Trump’s wall.
HIST 1370. The United States and Brazil: Tangled Relations.
This lecture course explores the complex relations between Brazil and the United States from the American Revolution to the present. Through the use of documents, films, literature, and historical monographs, we will examine the diplomatic, political, economic, and cultural interactions between the largest nations in the Americas, paying particular attention to the growing influence of the United States. We will focus on the “Special Relationship” that developed during World War II, the effects of Washington’s foreign policy during the Cold War, U.S. involvement over the course of the military dictatorship, and new forms of interactions after the return to democracy.
HIST 1381. Latin American History and Film: Memory, Narrative and Nation.
This course provides an introduction to cinematic interpretations of Latin American history. Together we will explore how (and why) filmmakers have used motion pictures to tell particular narratives about the Latin American past. We will critically examine a broad range of films dealing with historical questions, and explore what these films have to say about how gender and sexuality, imperialism, slavery, the church, revolution and repression shaped the history of the region. In order to explore these topics we will examine films in relation to academic, autobiographical, and popular texts, all of which provide different ways of representing the past.
HIST 1440. The Ottomans: Faith, Law, Empire.
This course explores the rise and fall of the longest-lived Muslim dynasty in history, the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923). From Turkish nomads in Asia Minor to multiethnic empire spanning three continents, the Ottomans were the premier power of southern Europe, northern Africa, and the eastern Mediterranean in the early modern world. From medieval “Turko-Persia” to the catastrophes of World War I, we shall engage difficult historical questions surrounding law and empire, religion and secularism, nationalism and statebuilding, and the legacy of Ottoman rule in and outside today’s Turkey—from Sarajevo to Baghdad, Crimea to Mecca, and “where East meets West”: Constantinople/Istanbul.
HIST 1445. The Making of the Ottoman World, 15th - 20th Centuries.
This course treats some of the major themes of Ottoman state and society, one of the major empires of the world out of which many new polities in the Balkans, Anatolia, the Middle East and North Africa emerged during the twentieth century. At the center of the course is the transformation of the “classical” Ottoman state to the early modern and modern through the many shapes and forms it has taken. We will be covering the beginnings from the 15th century and end with the analysis of the making of the modern Ottoman society in the early 20th century.
HIST 1455. The Making of the Modern Middle East.
From North Africa to Afghanistan, Turkey to the Arabian peninsula, the goal of this course is to provide students with a robust background in modern Middle Eastern history, broadly defined. We begin in the long nineteenth century, an era of intense social and economic transformation that led to the collapse of the Ottoman empire and emergence of a new state system, primarily under British and French colonial rule. We then explore forces shaping the contemporary region, including nationalism, oil, regional conflicts and the Cold War, Islamism and mass politics, and military interventions by the US and other world powers. M
HIST 1460. Modern Turkey: Empire, Nation, Republic.
This course will treat some of the major themes of Turkish history and society, one of world’s Muslim majority countries today. Since Turkey unfolded from the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, Turkish nationalism and its many shapes and forms has been at the center of the country’s uneasy history of democratization. Mapping the political, socio-economic and cultural landscape, this ventures through Turkish history to study state and society through political thought and economy of democracy, exploring secularism, Islam, feminism, Kurdish question, memory and popular culture.
HIST 1470. Legal History in the Middle East.
This course is devoted to exploring questions of law and legal history in the Middle East/eastern Mediterranean region from late antiquity to the present. Emphasis will be on the Islamic legal tradition from medieval to modern times, including intersection-and-friction points between the shari‘a and Roman, Persianate, and Mongol imperial legacies, and fellow Abrahamic faiths. From the earliest schools of Islamic jurisprudence to late Ottoman constitutionalism, and the sociolegal impact of the 1979 Iranian Revolution to the Arab Spring uprisings, our goal is to explore the depth and diversity of legal cultures and institutions across different epochs of Middle East history.
HIST 1501. The American Revolution.
This course will explore the period of the American Revolution from the 1760s through the turn of the nineteenth century. Taking a broad view of the conflict and its consequences, we will situate the American colonies in their North American and Atlantic context, examine the material and ideological concerns that prompted the Revolutionary War, and trace the consequences of the conflict for the nation that followed. Students will be invited to look beyond the Founders to the experiences of women, slaves, Native Americans, common soldiers, and Loyalists. P
HIST 1503. Antebellum America and the Road to Civil War.
Surveys society, culture, and politics between 1800 and 1860. Topics include the social order of slavery, the market revolution and its impact, abolition and other evangelical reform movements, and the development of sectional identities.
HIST 1505. Making America Modern.
This course surveys a crucial period in American history between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of World War I. During this time, the United States transitioned from a relatively fragmented, traditional, and largely agricultural society into one that was remarkably diverse, increasingly urban, and highly industrialized. In surveying this important transitional period, we will pay particular attention to far-reaching changes in the nation's business and economic life, its social movements, as well as its cultural developments, all with an eye to understanding how the United States became one of the world's most commanding economic, political, and cultural powers. DPLL WRIT
HIST 1507. American Politics and Culture Since 1945.
This course explores the history of the United States between the end of World War II and the present. Major themes and topics include WWII; the rise and decline of New Deal liberalism; the Cold War and anti-communism; mass consumption; race, civil rights and liberation movements; women’s rights and feminism; the New Right; Vietnam and foreign policy; the service economy; immigration; and neoliberalism.
HIST 1511. Sinners, Saints, and Heretics: Religion in Early America.
This course considers the major people, events, and issues in the history of religion in North America, from pre-contact Native cosmologies to the tumultuous events of the Civil War. Attention will be given to "religion as lived" by ordinary people, as well as to the ways that religion shaped (or not) larger cultural issues such as immigration, public policy, social reform, warfare, democracy, slavery, and women's rights. Prior knowledge of religion in North America is not required; there are no prerequisites to this course, and it is open to all students. P WRIT
HIST 1512. First Nations: The People and Cultures of Native North America to 1800.
This course explores the history of North America through the eyes of the original inhabitants from pre-contact times up through 1800. Far from a simplistic story of European conquest, the histories of Euroamericans and Natives were and continue to be intertwined in surprising ways. Although disease, conquest, and death are all part of this history, this course also tell another story: the big and small ways in which these First Nations shaped their own destiny, controlled resources, utilized local court systems, and drew on millennia-old rituals and practices to sustain their communities despite the crushing weight of colonialism. WRIT P
HIST 1513. U.S. Cultural History from Revolution to Reconstruction.
What does it mean to survey a country's history? In this course, it means setting out in several different directions in order to determine the form, extent, and situation of the United States from the 1750s to the 1870s. It means looking carefully at the nation's past through its cultural productions (ideas, beliefs, and customs expressed in print, material, and visual forms). And it means paying close attention to the details. Each week, students will examine one object, text, or idea in order to track broader developments in American history during this time period.
HIST 1514. Capitalism, Slavery and the Economy of Early America.
The simultaneous expansion of capitalism and slavery witnessed intense struggle over the boundaries of the market, self-interest, and economic justice. This course traces those arguments from Colonization through Reconstruction and asks how common people navigate the shifting terrain of economic life. The approach is one of cultural and social history, rather than the application of economic models to the past.
HIST 1520. Women in Early America.
This course examines the major social and cultural developments of early America through the lens of women’s history. We will explore differences among representations of women, constructions and ideals of womanhood, and lived experiences, as we engage such topics as: cross-cultural exchange and conflict; citizenship and enslavement; work and cultural expression; and women’s varying degrees of access within social, civic and legal arenas. Relying heavily on sources like letters, diaries, legal records, and artifacts, we will work to identify strategies and best practices for recovering the voices and experiences of early American women buried in the archive.
HIST 1530. The Intimate State: The Politics of Gender, Sex, and Family in the U.S., 1873-Present.
Examines the "intimate politics" of gender norms, sex and sexuality, and family structure in American history, from the 1870s to the present, focusing on law and political conflict. Topics include laws regulating sex and marriage; social norms governing gender roles in both private and public spheres; the range of political perspectives (from feminist to conservative) on sex, sexuality, and family, and the relationship of gender to notions of nationhood and the role of the modern state. Some background in history strongly recommended.
HIST 1531. Political Movements in Twentieth-Century America.
Political movements in the United States in the twentieth century. History and theory. Highlights of the course include: populism, progressivism, segregationism, first wave feminism, labor movement, civil rights, new left, second wave feminism, new right. The course focuses on the origins, nature, ideologies, and outcomes of major political movements on both left and right in the twentieth century United States. WRIT
HIST 1532. Black Freedom Struggle Since 1945.
Examines the extended history of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. with a range of primary sources. Starting at World War II, the course considers the roles of the courts, the government, organizations, local communities, and individuals in the ongoing struggle for African American equality, focusing on African American agency. Sources include photographs, documentaries, movies, letters, speeches, autobiography, and secondary readings. Must have taken at least one post-1865 U.S. history course demonstrating a foundation in this time period.
HIST 1550. American Urban History, 1600-1870.
Both a survey covering urbanization in America from colonial times to the present, and a specialized focus exploring American history from an urban frame of reference. Examines the premodern, "walking" city from 1600-1870. Includes such topics as cities in the Revolution and Civil War, the development of urban services, westward expansion, and social structure. P
HIST 1551. American Urban History, 1870-1965.
A survey with a specialized focus exploring American history from an urban frame of reference. Topics include the social consequences of the modern city, politics, reform, and federal-city relations. WRIT
HIST 1553. Empires in America to 1890.
In this class, we’ll consider some of the forms of empire-building by various groups of indigenous and colonizing peoples in what is now the United States in order to understand the development of imperial U.S. power in both domestic and international contexts. Rather than resting upon a foregone conclusion of European settler colonial “success,” the course explores the contingent and incomplete nature of empire-building even within unbalanced power relationships. DPLL WRIT
HIST 1554. American Empire Since 1890.
This survey of twentieth-century US foreign relations will focus on the interplay between the rise of the United States as a superpower and American culture and society. Topics include: ideology and U.S. foreign policy, imperialism and American political culture, U.S. social movements and international affairs, and the relationship between U.S. power abroad and domestic race, gender and class arrangements.
HIST 1570. American Legal and Constitutional History.
History of American law and constitutions from European settlement to the end of the 20th century. Not a comprehensive survey but a study of specific issues or episodes connecting law and history, including witchcraft trials, slavery, contests over Native American lands, delineations of race and gender, regulation of morals and the economy, and the construction of privacy.
HIST 1571. The Intellectual History of Black Women.
This course will introduce students to the intellectual productions and theoretical traditions of African American women. Focused on the canonical texts of African American women, this class gestures toward diaspora as well. Moving chronologically from the history of slavery to the present will require that we simultaneously confront the question of what counts as “intellectual” history. Thus even as we will read the written words of black feminists across time, we will also call into question what Barbara Christian calls “the race for theory,” turning also to resistance practices, material culture, and bodily performance as sites of black feminist theorization.
HIST 1620. Gandhi's India: South Asian Before 1947.
Gandhi's India tracks the emergence and transformations of British colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent, the insurgencies and the cultural and economic critiques that shaped anti-colonial nationalism, the conflicts that fueled religious differences and the ideas that shaped non-violent civil disobedience as a unique form of resistance. With readings from Gandhi, Marx and Tagore, amongst others, this course interrogates relationships between power and knowledge, histories from below, as well as violence and political mobilizations that would, by the mid-twentieth century, bring down an empire and create a bloody and enduring divide with the birth of two nation-states.
HIST 1640. Inequality + Change: South Asia after 1947.
With a focus on inequality and change this lecture course will survey South Asia's history post-1947, with the end of colonial rule and the making of nation-states. With a historical attention to 'inequality', we will interrogate the inequalities cast by rural poverty, environment, religion, caste, gender and ethnicity and the remarkable contestations of people in the region that have challenged state power, and have thus shaped South Asia's postcolonial histories. We will particularly focus on histories from below, and engage historical and literary writings, newspapers as well as documentary films.
HIST 1730. "Cannibals", "Barbarians" and "Noble Savages": Travel and Ethnography in the Early Modern World.
This seminar will trace the growth of European images of the “other” in early modern Africa, Europe and the Americas. Using the tropes of “cannibal”, “barbarian” and “noble savage”, it explores evolving theories about human nature, human difference and race. Alongside critical analyses drawn from several disciplines, the main readings will be primary sources. These vivid, enigmatic accounts are both portraits of a world alien to the writer, and also mirror the writer’s own culture. WRIT
HIST 1735. Slavery in the Early Modern World.
There were multiple forms of slavery in the Early Modern world. We will look at three major systems: Mediterranean slavery and the Barbary Corsairs, Black Sea slavery and slave elites of the Ottoman Empire, and the Atlantic triangular trade. We will examine the religious, political, racial, and economic bases for these slave systems, and compare the experiences of individual slaves and slave societies. Topics discussed include gender and sexuality (e.g. the institution of the Harem and the eunuchs who ran it), the connection between piracy and slavery, and the roles of slavery in shaping the Western world. WRIT DPLL P
HIST 1736. A Global History of the Reformation.
2017 marked the 500th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses,” an event often considered to have caused the Reformation in Europe. This course explores the religious reforms of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in a global context, examining how the interaction of peoples from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas shaped both contemporary debates and their enduring legacies. Bound up in Catholic and Protestant controversies about how humanity should interact with the divine were fundamental reappraisals of how to define who counted as human, the desirability/possibility of cultural pluralism, and religion’s place in public life. P
HIST 1740. Capitalism, Land and Water: A World History: 1350-1848.
The choice of how we allocate land and water shapes famine, drought, war, homelessness and poverty. Over the centuries, utopians and empires have looked to very different systems of allocation, from village communalism to plantation systems to state provision of infrastructure to free-market systems. This course mixes histories of political economy, theology, literature, and anthropology, asking how imaginary landscapes become the material realities of farm and highway. Themes will include the rise of modern, surveying, engineering, cities, infrastructure systems, and land reform. It will ask about the consequences of history in an era of environmental disaster, famine, mortgages, and evictions.
HIST 1741. Capitalism, Land and Water: A World History: 1848 to the present.
The choice of how we allocate land and water shapes famine, drought, war, homelessness and poverty. Over the centuries, utopians and empires have looked to very different systems of allocation, from village communalism to plantation systems to state provision of infrastructure to free-market systems. While an economist or political scientist might study these regimes through abstraction, the historian dives into the social context of different systems, reading government documents, social protests, as well as architecture, maps, and the landscape itself, as an archive that testifies as to the nature of consent, participation, and resistance in a political system. WRIT
HIST 1820A. Environmental History.
Environmental history examines the changing relationship between human beings and their physical surroundings. We will actively question the boundary between nature and culture, showing how social and natural history mutually inform one another. We will do so by asking three interrelated questions. First, how has the material context in which history unfolded impacted the development of our culture, society, and economy? Second, how and why did people’s ideas and representations of the natural world change over time? Finally, in what ways and to what ends have human beings actively though not always intentionally altered their physical surroundings?
HIST 1820G. Nature on Display.
This course will explore the different ways in which people have represented the natural world in a variety of context and time periods from the 16th to the 21st century. We will look at the depiction of nature in museums, gardens, documentary films, and municipal parks, as well as the science of biology and ecology. As we do so, we will explore our changing attitudes towards nature and the place that we occupy in it, thinking through the complex and philosophically fraught question of what nature is, and what, if anything, distinguishes it from the rest of our world. WRIT
HIST 1825F. Nature, Knowledge, Power in Renaissance Europe.
This course examines the creation and circulation of scientific knowledge in Renaissance Europe, ca. 1450-1600. We will explore the practices, materials, and ideas not just of astronomers and natural philosophers, but also of healers, botanists, astrologers, alchemists, and artisans. How did social, political, economic, and artistic developments during this period reshape how naturalists proposed to learn about, collect, manipulate, and commercialize nature? We will also consider the ways in which colonial projects forced Europeans to engage with other “ways of knowing” and rethink classical knowledge systems. P WRIT
HIST 1825H. Science, Medicine and Technology in the 17th Century.
This course examines the development of science and related fields in the period sometimes called 'the scientific revolution'. It will both introduce the student to what happened, and ask some questions about causes and effects. The new science is often associated with figures like Harvey, Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Leeuwenhoek, and Newton. But it is also associated with new ways of assessing nature that are mingled with commerce. The question of the relationship between developments in Europe and elsewhere is therefore also explored. P
HIST 1825L. The Roots of Modern Science.
This course explores the ways theories of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics grew in relation to the natural, cultural and social worlds of the 18th and 19th centuries. There are no formal pre-requisites for the course, which is designed to be equally open and accessible to science and humanities students. WRIT
HIST 1825M. Science at the Crossroads.
This course will look closely at the dramatic developments that fundamentally challenged Western Science between 1859 and the advent of the Second World War in the 1930s. Its primary focus will be on a variety of texts written in an effort to understand and interpret the meanings of fundamentally new ideas including from the biological side--evolutionary theory, genetic theory, and eugenics; from the physical side relativity theory, and quantum mechanics. The class should be equally accessible to students whose primary interests lie in the sciences and those who are working in the humanities. WRIT
HIST 1825S. Science and Capitalism.
We will explore the longstanding relationship between science and commerce from the 17th century to our own asking when the modern notion of science as a disinterested pursuit of objective truth took root. We will also explore how knowledge of the natural world has been shaped by personal, financial, and other kinds of self-interest in a number of diverse contexts ranging from Galileo’s invention of the telescope in Renaissance Italy to to the patenting of genetically engineered organisms in today's world, paying special attention to the diverse mechanisms that have been devised to guard against fraud and disinformation.
HIST 1830M. From Medieval Bedlam to Prozac Nation: Intimate Histories of Psychiatry and Self.
Humankind has long sought out keepers of its secrets and interpreters of its dreams: seers, priests, and, finally, psychiatrists. This lecture course will introduce students to the history of psychiatry in Europe, the United States, and beyond, from its pre-modern antecedents through the present day. Our focus will be on the long age of asylum psychiatry, but we will also consider the medical and social histories that intersect with, but are not contained by, asylum psychiatry: the rise of modern diagnostic systems, psychoanalysis, sexuality and stigma, race, eugenics, and pharmaceutical presents and futures.
HIST 1835A. Unearthing the Body: History, Archaeology, and Biology at the End of Antiquity.
How was the physical human body imagined, understood, and treated in life and death in the late ancient Mediterranean world? Drawing on evidence from written sources, artistic representations, and archaeological excavations, this class will explore this question by interweaving thematic lectures and student analysis of topics including disease and medicine, famine, asceticism, personal adornment and ideals of beauty, suffering, slavery, and the boundaries between the visible world and the afterlife, in order to understand and interpret the experiences of women, men, and children who lived as individuals—and not just as abstractions—at the end of antiquity. P
HIST 1930A. History of American School Reform (EDUC 1200).
Interested students must register for EDUC 1200.
HIST 1930B. Academic Freedom on Trial: A Century of Campus Controversies (EDUC 1740).
Interested students must register for EDUC 1740.
|Fall||HIST1930B||S01||16890||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1930C. The Century of Immigration (AMST 1611Z).
Interested students must register for AMST 1611Z.
HIST 1930D. Making America: Twentieth-Century U.S. Immigrant/Ethnic Literature (AMST 1611A).
Interested students must register for AMST 1611A.
HIST 1930E. Health and Healing in American History (GNSS 1960B).
Interested students must register for GNSS 1960B.
HIST 1930F. Renaissance Italy (ITAL 1360).
Interested students must register for ITAL 1360.
HIST 1930G. Black Freedom Struggle Since 1945 (AFRI 1090).
Interested students must register for AFRI 1090.
|Spr||HIST1930G||S01||25717||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1930H. Teaching Topics in American History and Literature, 1945-1980 (EDUC 1620).
Interested students must register for EDUC 1620.
HIST 1930I. American Higher Education in Historical Context (EDUC 1730).
Interested students must register for EDUC 1730.
|Spr||HIST1930I||S01||25411||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1930J. Word, Image and Power in Renaissance Italy (ITAL 1580).
Interested students must register for ITAL 1580.
HIST 1930L. The History of American Education (EDUC 1020).
Interested students must register for EDUC 1020.
|Fall||HIST1930L||S01||16891||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1930M. History of African-American Education (EDUC 1050).
Interested students must register for EDUC 1050.
HIST 1930N. Germany, Alcohol, and the Global Nineteenth Century (GRMN 1661E).
Interested students must register for GRMN 1661E.
HIST 1930P. Development, Dependency, and Decline in Africa, 1950-2025 (AFRI 1640).
Interested students must register for AFRI 1640.
HIST 1930Q. History of the State of Israel: 1948 to the Present (JUDS 1711).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1711.
|Spr||HIST1930Q||S01||25847||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1930R. Roman History I: The Rise and Fall of an Imperial Republic (CLAS 1310).
Interested students must register for CLAS 1310.
|Fall||HIST1930R||S01||17298||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1930S. Roman History II: The Roman Empire and Its Impact (CLAS 1320).
Interested students must register for CLAS 1320.
|Spr||HIST1930S||S01||25716||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1930T. History of African-American Education (EDUC 1050).
Interested students must register for EDUC 1050.
HIST 1930U. Slavery in the Ancient World (CLAS 1120E).
Interested students must register for CLAS 1120E.
HIST 1930V. History of Zionism and the Birth of the State of Israel (JUDS 1712).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1712.
HIST 1930W. Introduction to Yiddish Culture (JUDS 1713).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1713.
|Fall||HIST1930W||S01||17300||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1931A. Kabbalah: Jews, Mysticism, and Magic (JUDS 1740).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1740.
HIST 1931B. Money, Power, Sex and Love: the Modern Jewish Family in Europe and America (JUDS1722).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1722.
HIST 1931C. The End of Modern Jewish History (JUDS 1716).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1716.
HIST 1931D. Society and Population in Ancient Greece (CLAS 1130).
Interested students must register for CLAS 1130.
HIST 1931E. The Culture of Death in Ancient Rome (CLAS 1420).
Interested students must register for CLAS 1420.
HIST 1931F. History of Greece from Archaic Times to the Death of Alexander (CLAS 1210).
Interested students must register for CLAS 1210.
HIST 1931G. Roman Religion (CLAS 1410).
Interested students must register for CLAS 1410.
HIST 1931H. 1968: A Year in Review (AFRI 1968).
Interested students must register for AFRI 1968.
|Fall||HIST1931H||S01||17268||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1947A. 1968 in Latin America and Worldwide.
How can we understand the worldwide revolt of youth in 1968 that shook political regimes from Brazil and Mexico to Paris and Prague? This seminar will examine different national and international histories of a year that has become synonymous with rebellion and revolution. We will consider texts that offer global analyses of the reasons and results of the upsurges that took place during this iconic year, as well as specific case studies of countries that focus on political, social, economic, and cultural reasons for social unrest.
HIST 1952A. World of Walden Pond: Transcendentalism as a Social and Intellectual Movement.
This course examines the 19th century phenomenon of Transcendentalism: this country’s most romanticized religious, philosophical, and literary movement. Focusing especially on Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller, we’ll examine the ideas of the Transcendentalists in the age of reform and evaluate the application of their principles to abolition, feminism, and nature. The central problem which they wrestled with will be the focus, too, of our investigations: the tension between individualism and conformity.
HIST 1954J. The History of the Book in the Americas and Beyond.
This course surveys the history of book production in the early modern world (1400-1800), from the invention of moveable type in Asia to the development of printing in Europe and across the Americas, as circulation of the printed codex grew in tandem with global imperial expansion. Taught at the John Carter Brown Library with access to the Library’s world-class collection of Americana, we will examine the book trade, the early years of book production in Latin America and the Philippines, and the broader place of books, maps, and printed materials in colonial American life in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. P
HIST 1956A. Thinking Historically: A History of History Writing.
Thinking Historically explores what it means to write about the past as well as to understand the present as the potential past. We examine major ways of interpreting the past through a survey of mostly Western historians and methods, from antiquity to contemporary practitioners, and observe how history is produced, used, and misused. There are weekly writing assignments, and active participation in discussions is essential. Students will write a final paper on a particular approach or methodology as applied to a historical document of their choosing.
HIST 1956B. Rites of Power in Modern China.
Confucius and Mao shared at least one characteristic: a conviction that ritual is a critical part of exercising power. This course investigates the meaning of ritual and its importance in the formation of Chinese communities in the modern era, whether households, villages, empires, communes, regions, or nation-states. Topics include family and gender roles, imperial ceremonies, religious rites, revolutionary politics, cults of personality, grassroots movements, and popular protests. The class will collaboratively explore how political activists embraced new media (photographs, mass performance, music, film, video) and techniques (boycotts, mobilization, marches, purges) that merged ritual power with material action.
HIST 1956J. Making Meaning: Extracting Knowledge from Matter in Early Modern Europe.
In this studio/seminar, co-taught by a RISD artist and a Brown historian, we will examine how material attains meaning. Through demonstrations, workshops, lectures, and hands-on making, we will explore instruments used to understand materials in 16th and 17th-century Europe (e.g. microscopes, alchemical alembics, printed books). We will also consider how those devices have inspired contemporary art practice. Final projects, which may take a variety of forms, will interrogate the relationship between matter and the devices used to understand it. Instructor Permission Required. Class meets at RISD and mandatory studio sections.
Contact Professor Nummedal, firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
HIST 1960A. African Environmental History (AFRI 1060M).
Interested students must register for AFRI 1060M.
HIST 1960B. Alien-nation: Latina/o Im/migration in Comparative Perspective (AMST 1903B).
Interested students must register for AMST 1903B.
HIST 1960C. End of the West: The Closing of the U.S. Western Frontier in Images and Narrative (AMST 1904D).
Interested students must register for AMST 1904D.
HIST 1960D. Africa Since 1950 (AFRI 1060A).
Interested students must register for AFRI 1060A.
HIST 1960E. Word and Utopia: Seventeenth-century Portuguese World (POBS 1600S).
Interested students must register for POBS 1600S.
HIST 1960F. The Portuguese Colonial Empire in a Comparative Perspective (XIX-XX Centuries) (POBS 1600Y).
Interested students must register for POBS 1600Y.
HIST 1960G. Southern African Frontiers, c. 1400-1900.
This seminar explores southern Africa as a space of frontiers. It offers a thematic treatment of the 500-year trajectory of contact. Beginning with interactions between indigenous hunter-gatherers and ago-pastoralist, we then move to encounters between them and Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Engagements between these groups in occur environmental, economic, political, as well as intimate gendered realism. We will see the ethnic, economic and cultural assimilation and the creolization of the precolonial frontiers after the first arrival of Europeans. By the nineteenth century, however, the fluidity between peoples and societies gives way to hard racial boundaries.
HIST 1960H. Methods and Problems in Islam: Heresy and Orthodoxy (RELS 1530B).
Interested students must register for RELS 1530B.
HIST 1960I. Portuguese Discoveries and Early Modern Globalization (POBS 1600D).
Interested students must register for POBS 1600D.
HIST 1960J. Knowledge Networks and Information Economies in the Early Modern Period (HMAN 1970Z).
Interested students must register for HMAN 1970Z.
HIST 1960K. The End of Empires? A Global History of Decolonization (POBS 1600I).
Interested students must register for POBS 1600I.
HIST 1960L. Conflicts, Diasporas and Diversities: Religion in the Early Portuguese Empire (POBS 1600J).
Interested students must register for POBS 1600J.
HIST 1960M. The Birth of the Modern World: A Global History of Empires (POBS 1601A).
Interested students must register for POBS 1601A.
HIST 1960N. South Africa since 1990 (AFRI 1060T).
Interested students must register for AFRI 1060T.
HIST 1960Q. Medicine and Public Health in Africa.
This course explores the major debates in the history of medicine in Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and highlights the coexistence of a variety of healing traditions and medical understandings across the continent. It will focus on the following questions: What are some of the ways Africans practice and understand medicine? How have these practices interacted with other medical systems? What impact did colonialism have on the production of medical knowledge? How were practices and treatments evaluated and deemed effective? By whom and on what grounds? And how have independent African states addressed these critical issues?
HIST 1960R. South Africa Since 1990.
South Africa transformed after 1990, but the past remains powerful. This seminar offers a study of this dynamic and complicated country as well as an exercise in contemporary history. It explores the endurance and erosion of the apartheid legacy and the emergence of new problems. A quarter century isn’t enough for a full body of academic historical work to have developed, so the syllabus features journalism, opinion pieces, social science, and biographies – works that provide the “first draft” of history. In addition to the political history, we will focus on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and HIV-AIDs. WRIT
HIST 1960S. North African History: 1800 to Present.
This course focuses on the francophone Maghrib (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) and offers an introduction to major themes in the history of Africa and the Arab world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students will gain the tools to analyze and historicize the dynamic history of this region. We will examine a range of topics, including the transformations of pre-colonial social, economic and cultural patterns, conquest and resistance, comparative histories of colonialism, nationalism, decolonization and revolution, the consolidation of postcolonial states, regional cooperation, the rise of Islamism and civil conflicts, and the Arab Spring.
HIST 1960Z. Zionists Anti Zionists and Post Zionists: Jewish Controversies in the 20th Century (JUDS 1752).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1752.
HIST 1961B. Cities and Urban Culture in China.
Treats the development of cities and urban culture in China from roughly the sixteenth century (the beginning of a great urban boom) to the present. We will look at the physical layout of cities, city government and social structure, and urban economic life, often from a comparative perspective. The course focuses, however, on the changing culture of city life, tracing the evolution of a vernacular popular culture from the late imperial period, through the rise of Shanghai commercial culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to the diverse regional urban cultures of contemporary China.
HIST 1961C. Knowledge and Power: China's Examination Hell.
For centuries a rigorous series of examinations requiring deep knowledge of the Confucian Classics was the primary tool for the selection of government officials in imperial China. This system has been variously celebrated as a tool of meritocracy and excoriated as the intellectual “straightjacket” that impeded China’s entry into the modern world. This seminar examines the system and the profound impact it had, for better or worse, on Chinese society and government in the early modern period, and the role that its successor “examination hell”—the gaokao or university entrance examination—plays in society today.
HIST 1961D. Urban Culture in Early Modern China.
The commercial boom of sixteenth and seventeenth century China stimulated the growth of a lively popular culture in the great cities of the southeast—Nanjing, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. These cities became magnets for ambitious scholars, pleasure-loving merchants, courtesans, artists, and writers and sites for the production of some of the great masterpieces of Chinese vernacular fiction, drama, book art, and painting. After some background reading in socioeconomic history, the course focuses on analysis of the literature and art of the period and what it reveals about the short-lived “floating world” of late imperial China.
HIST 1961E. Medieval Kyoto - Medieval Japan.
In the Western historical lexicon, the term “medieval” often conjures up images of backwardness and stagnation. Japan, however, pulsated with political, economic, and cultural creativity during its middle ages. This course explores topics central to Japan’s medieval revolution: -The emergence of a samurai-led shogunate and the creation of new warrior values ; -The appearance of Zen and popular religious sects ; -The creation of innovative “Zen arts” such as noh drama and the tea ceremony, and; -The destruction of Kyoto and its subsequent resurgence in the sixteenth century as a city shared by aristocrats, merchants, and artisans. P WRIT
HIST 1961H. Korea: North and South.
This course offers a systematic investigation of the political, economic, and social histories of Korea, North and South, from the inception of the two governments following liberation from Japanese occupation in 1945 to the present day. Enrollment limited to 20. WRIT
HIST 1961I. North Korea: Past, Present, Future.
Typically, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) is portrayed as a rogue nation ruled by the Kim family, autocrats who are either “mad” or “bad” and whose policies have traumatized the country’s citizens, wrecked the economy, and threatened nuclear disaster on South Korea, East Asia, even the USA. This course moves beyond such stereotypes to examine the interconnected political, economic, and cultural transformations of the DPRK from 1945 to the present. Also included are the lived experiences of the Korean people, the plight of refugees, and the question of unification with South Korea. WRIT
HIST 1961M. Outside the Mainstream.
When ratifying UN Covenant on Civil Rights in 1979, its representative reported, "The right of any person to enjoy his own culture... is ensured under Japanese law. However, minorities... do not exist in Japan." Nothing could have been further from the truth. Japan is - and has been - home to immigrants, indigenous populations forced to accept Japanese citizenship, outcast communities of Japanese ethnicity, and otherwise ordinary persons who live outside the mainstream as outlaws and prostitutes. This course examines how minority communities came into existence, struggled to maintain distinctive lifestyles in what many view as an extraordinarily homogenous society.
HIST 1962B. Life During Wartime: Theory and Sources from the Twentieth Century.
This course asks how we are to understand war as everyday experience, and what separates war from, or connects it to, the other great movements of mass social and political disruption that the twentieth century has seen. The first part of the semester will examine different frameworks scholars and thinkers have proposed for understanding war as modern experience (militarization, trauma, collective memory, states of exception, etc.) In the second part we will investigate the uses and limitations of specific types of primary sources, drawn from China's war with Japan. Students will choose their own topics for final projects.
HIST 1962C. State, Religion and the Public Good in Modern China.
In late imperial China, religion formed an intrinsic part of public life, from the cosmological ritual of the state to the constitution of family and communities of various kinds. This arrangement was challenged in the twentieth century by the fall of the dynastic system and the introduction of new definitions of religion, modernity, sovereignty, and secularism. We will explore the ramifications of this change in greater China and its border areas during the past hundred years, looking at how people have sought to create a good public and the public good. Enrollment limited to 20.
HIST 1962D. Japan in the World, from the Age of Empires to 3.11.
This seminar explores the ambitions, anxieties and mutual images that shaped Japan’s relationships with China, Korea, and eventually the West, from the early modern era to the 21st century. We will examine the response to Perry’s arrival in 1853, Japan’s subsequent efforts to join the ranks of the great powers of the day through diplomacy, the pursuit of empire, and military force, and the emergence of radically different ways of being in the world since 1945. Other topics to be covered include the role of race in shaping US-Japan relations, and the legacies of colonialism and war in East Asia.
HIST 1963L. Barbarians, Byzantines, and Berbers: Early Medieval North Africa, AD 300-1050.
This class explores the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages through the lens of western North Africa. Divided internally by theological disputes and inter-communal violence, and subjected to repeated conquests and reconquests from the outside, in this period North Africa witnessed the triumph of Islam over Christianity; the rise and fall of ephemeral kingdoms, empires, and caliphates; the gradual desertion of once-prosperous cities and rural settlements; the rising strength of Berber confederations; and the continuing ability of trade to transcend political boundaries and to link the southern Mediterranean littoral to the outside world. WRIT P
HIST 1963M. Charlemagne: Conquest, Empire, and the Making of the Middle Ages.
The age of Charlemagne sits at the nexus of antiquity and the middle ages. For two hundred years Charlemagne’s family, the Carolingians, welded together fragments of splintered Roman imperial tradition and elements from the Germanic world to forge a new, medieval European civilization. This seminar examines that process by exposing students to the primary sources, archaeological evidence, and modern scholarly debates surrounding the Carolingian age. Topics include the Carolingians' rise to power; Charlemagne’s imperial coronation; interactions with the Islamic and Byzantine worlds; the revival of classical learning; the Church; warfare; the economy; Vikings; and collapse of the Carolingian Empire. WRIT P
HIST 1963Q. Sex, Power, and God: A Medieval Perspective.
Cross-dressing knights, virgin saints, homophobic priests, and mystics who speak in the language of erotic desire are but some of the medieval people considered in this seminar. This course examines how conceptions of sin, sanctity, and sexuality in the High Middle Ages intersected with structures of power in this period. While the seminar primarily focuses on Christian culture, it also considers Muslim and Jewish experience. Enrollment limited to 20. WRIT P
HIST 1964A. Age of Impostors: Fraud, Identification, and the Self in Early Modern Europe.
Alchemists claiming to possess the philosophers' stone; basilisks for sale in the market; Jews pretending to be Catholics; women dressing as men: early modern Europe appeared to be an age of impostors. Officials responded to this perceived threat by hiring experts and creating courts, licenses, passports, and other methods of surveillance in an era before reliable documentation, photography, DNA. And yet one person's fraud was another's self-fashioning. We will examine instances of dissimulation, self-fashioning, and purported fraud, efforts to identify and stem deception, and debates about what was at stake when people and things were not what they seemed. P WRIT
HIST 1964B. The Enchanted World: Magic, Angels, and Demons in Early Modern Europe.
European fascination with the unseen world reached its highpoint alongside the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution,and Enlightenment. Between 1500 and 1800, theologians, natural philosopher, princes, and peasants devoted enormous energy to understanding, communicating with, and eliminating a host of ethereal creatures, including ghosts, angels, demons, vampires, nature spirits, and witches. Some also sought to access the praeternatural powers that these creatures seemed to command. This course explores the intellectual, social, political, and religious origins of the interest in this unseen world, the structures Europeans created to grapple with it, as well as the factors that ultimately led to its demise.
HIST 1964D. Women in Early Modern England.
Selected topics in the social history of early modern England (c.1500-1800), with particular emphasis on the experiences of women. Themes to be addressed will include the family, working life, education, crime, politics, religion, and the early feminists. Not open to freshmen sophomores. P WRIT
HIST 1964E. The English Revolution.
Looks at the origins and nature of the English Civil War and Republican experiment in government (1642-1660) through a close examination of primary source materials. Considers not only the constitutional conflict between the crown and parliament, but also the part played by those out-of-doors in the revolutionary upheaval, the rise of popular radicalism, and the impact of events in Scotland and Ireland. P WRIT
HIST 1964F. Early Modern Ireland.
This seminar will cover various themes in the political, religious, social and cultural history of Ireland between c. 1500 and the later eighteenth century. Topics to be discussed will include the Reformation, the Irish Rebellion, Cromwell's rule, the War of the Two Kings, popular protest, the beginnings of the Irish nationalism, and the experiences of women. P WRIT
HIST 1964G. Spin, Terror and Revolution: England, Scotland and Ireland, 1660-1720.
Examines the revolutionary upheavals in England, Scotland and Ireland of the later 17th-century through a close examination of primary source materials. Topics covered include: high and low politics, the rise of the public sphere, the politics of sexual scandal, government spin, persecution and toleration, and the revolutions of 1688-91 and their aftermaths. Enrollment limited to 20. P WRIT
HIST 1964K. Descartes' World.
An exploration of history and historical fiction through examination of the early life of René Descartes, one of the most famous “French” philosophers of the 17th century. Little is known about his personal life, however, especially before he left France for good in 1628, despite many hints about his years as a soldier, his extensive travels in Europe, and his possible political and occult associations. This seminar is designed as a collective exploration into the small pieces of evidence about his early life and the lives of his friends and enemies in order to understand it imaginatively but truthfully. P
HIST 1964L. Slavery in the Early Modern World.
There were multiple forms of slavery in the Early Modern world. We will look at three major systems: Mediterranean slavery and the Barbary Corsairs, Black Sea slavery and slave elites of the Ottoman Empire, and the Atlantic triangular trade. We will examine the religious, political, racial, and economic bases for these slave systems, and compare the experiences of individual slaves and slave societies. Topics discussed include gender and sexuality (e.g. the institution of the Harem and the eunuchs who ran it), the connection between piracy and slavery, and the roles of slavery in shaping the Western world.
HIST 1965A. City as Modernity:Popular Culture, Mass Consumption, Urban Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century Paris.
Modernity as a distinct kind of cultural experience was first articulated in the Paris of the 1850s. The seminar will explore the meaning of this concept by looking at the theories of Walter Benjamin, as well as historical examples of popular urban culture such as the mass circulation newspaper, the department store, the museum, the café concert and the early cinema. Enrollment limited to 20. WRIT
HIST 1965B. Fin-de-Siècle Paris and Vienna.
We will examine two great imperial capitals facing similar set of challenges at the end of a century dominated by Europe. Austria-Hungary and France were forced to reckon with declining status as great powers, made manifest by their defeat at the hands of Prussia in 1867/1870 respectively. Both struggled with place of ethnic and religious minorities in modern states, and both responded with outbursts of political anti-Semitism that emerged. We will not only gain a basic factual knowledge of fin-de-siècle urban life but also explore some of the works and problems animating the intellectual life of the twentieth century.
HIST 1965C. Stalinism.
In this course students will examine in detail one of the most deadly and perplexing phenomena of the twentieth century: Stalinism. Readinngs will introduce students to major events of Soviet history from the mid-1920s to the mid-1950s as well as debates among historians about how to interpret those events?
HIST 1965D. The USSR and the Cold War.
This seminar will examine in detail the Soviet Union's involvement in the Cold War, the defining international conflict between the end of the Second World War and the collapse of communism in Europe. Topics include cultural phenomena, economic organizations, and ideology, in addition to diplomatic crises and the indirect military confrontations in Asian, Africa, and the Americas. Enrollment limited to 20.
HIST 1965E. Politics of the Intellectual in 20C Europe.
This course will concentrate on European thinkers' engagement with the politics of the 20th century. Discussion will cover a range of cultural and intellectual currents and ideologies—modernism, fascism, communism, "dissidence," "internal" migration, "anti-politics"—as well as genres (essays, letters, fiction, criticism, poetry, film). WRIT
HIST 1965L. Appetite for Greatness: Cuisine, Power, and the French.
France has long been synonymous with a delicious cuisine, one with no equal in the world. This seminar will examine the development of French cuisine as a tool for national greatness, beginning with its origins under the Sun King, Louis XIV. We will trace subjects such as the global dissemination of French food after the French Revolution, the food shortages common to French people as the country industrialized, and the feeling that France was losing its culinary hold in the twentieth century. Today, French food again serves as a nexus for the anxieties of the nation, including Americanization and immigration.
HIST 1965M. Double Fault! Race and Gender in Modern Sports History.
From 1936 Berlin Olympics to infamous East German swimmers of the Cold War to 1998 French soccer team, sport culture has consistently helped define overall societal values. We will examine how early modern societies defined the ideal sporting participant, and how shifts over time included and excluded various groups. These shifts, including the promotion of masculinity through duels, the fears of women’s emancipation via cycling, and the exclusion of Jews from competition, were based on perceived national needs. Through the study of sports, we will study who we have been as a community—as well as who we aspire to be.
HIST 1965N. "Furies from Hell" to "Femi-Nazis": A History of Modern Anti-Feminism.
Women have faced a deep antipathy at nearly every turn in their struggles for civic and social inclusion. These denials of women’s rights often take the form of commentaries—sometimes vicious ones—about women’s general natures, bodies, and fitness for public life. Women are consistently tagged with various labels of otherness: opponents of women’s rights deem them irrational, unnatural, traitors to society, even sexual deviants. This course will examine the dangers that women allegedly represent to social stability from the Enlightenment to today, as well as how women have fought back to assert their rights and independence.
HIST 1965O. 'Naturally Chic': Fashion, Gender, and National Identity in French History.
From its beginnings, the fashion industry in France has been synonymous with the international reputation of the nation. Similarly, being “chic,” having an innate sense of discernment and style, became synonymous with French femininity. This seminar will explore the interconnectivity of the history of fashion in France, the requirements it placed on French women, and the pressures the fashion industry has borne since the 1700s. We will look at how fashion reflected and created the moods of various periods, and we will also see how French women’s national belonging has been innately tied to ability to display French fashion. WRIT
HIST 1965R. The Crisis of Liberalism in Modern History.
Liberalism has flamed out before. Its collapse in the late 19c left a mark on the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud, the art of Gustav Klimt, and the fiction of Franz Kafka. Liberalism's second collapse in the 1930s, inspired the founder of neoliberal economics Friedrich Hayek and the philosopher of science Karl Popper. These men were all Austrian, a nationality they shared with the most infamous critic of liberalism, Adolf Hitler. This course wonders why this country in the center of Europe has exercised such an outsized influence on our modern experience.
HIST 1967C. Making Revolutionary Cuba, 1959-Present.
In January 1959, the forces of rebel leader Fidel Castro entered Havana and forever altered the destiny of their nation and world. We will examine the question of political hegemony and the many silences built into the achievement of Revolution—from race to sexuality to culture—even as we acknowledge that popular support for that Revolution has often been both genuine and heartfelt. It is this counterpoint between the Revolution’s successes in the social, economic, and political spheres and its equally patent exclusions that have shaped Cuba’s history in the past and will continue to guide its path to an uncertain future. WRIT
HIST 1967E. In the Shadow of Revolution: Mexico Since 1940.
This course traces political, social, and economic developments in Mexico since the consolidation of the revolutionary regime in the 1930s. The topics addressed include: the post World War II economic “miracle”; the rise of new social movements; the Tlatelolco massacre; the deepening crisis of the PRI (the governing party) in the 1980s and 1990s; the Zapatista rebellion; violence and migration on the northern border; and the war against narcotraficantes. WRIT
HIST 1967F. The Maya in the Modern World.
This seminar focuses on the Maya in postcolonial Guatemala. The main theme is the evolving relationship between indigenous peoples and the nation-state. Topics include peasant rebellions in the nineteenth century, the development and redefinition of ethnic identities, the military repression of the 1970s and 1980s, the Rigoberta Menchú controversy, and the Maya diaspora in Mexico and the United States. Enrollment limited to 20. WRIT
HIST 1967L. Politics and Culture Under The Brazilian Military Dictatorship, 1964-1985.
This course will focus on the political, social, economic, and cultural changes that took place in Brazil during the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964-85. We will examine why the generals took power, the role of the U.S. government in backing the new regime, cultural transformations during this period, and the process that led to re-democratization.
HIST 1967R. History of Rio de Janeiro.
From colonial outpost to capital of the Portuguese Empire, from sleepy port to urban megalopolis, this seminar examines the history of Rio de Janeiro from the sixteenth century to the present. Using an interdisciplinary perspective rooted in historical analyses, we will analyze multiple representations of the city, its people, and geography in relationship to Brazilian history, culture, and society.
HIST 1967T. History of the Andes from the Incas to Evo Morales.
Before the Spanish invaded in the 1530s, western South America was the scene of the largest state the New World had ever known, Tawantinsuyu, the Inca empire. During almost 300 years of colonial rule, the Andean provinces were shared by the "Republic of Spaniards" and the "Republic of Indians" - two separate societies, one dominating and exploiting the other. Today the region remains in many ways colonial, as Quechua- and Aymara-speaking villagers face a Spanish-speaking state, as well as an ever-more-integrated world market, the pressures of neoliberal reform from international banks, and the melting of the Andean glaciers. WRIT
HIST 1968A. Approaches to the Middle East.
This seminar introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Middle East Studies in the broader context of the history of area studies in the humanities and social sciences. Why and when did the Middle East become an area of study? What are the approaches and topics that have shaped the development of this field? And what are the political implications of contending visions for its future? The readings sample canonical and alternative works and the classes feature visits by leading scholars who research and write on this pivotal and amorphous region. WRIT
HIST 1968F. History of Capitalism: The Eastern Mediterranean and the World Around.
This course is an analysis of where the Mediterranean region fits in the evolving capitalist world-economy in the aftermath of the so-called Age of Discovery. The context of the Mediterranean is set in our own age’s “globalization” as histories of capitalism push on the “world” in new ways challenging our mental maps for historical change. The seminar takes on a critical approach to the European historiography on the rise of capitalism and the view that the Mediterranean collapsed with the rise of the Baltic and the Atlantic. WRIT DIAP
HIST 1968U. Islam in America: A Global History.
This course explores the history of Muslims in the United States—and American discourses about Islam—from colonial times to the present. Organized chronologically and thematically, we follow major questions and debates in American relations with the so-called “Muslim world”—from Columbus’s fateful 1492 voyage to Morocco’s recognition of the United States in 1777; and Muslim slaves and migrants in the Antebellum South to President Obama’s historic Cairo speech. As a broadly conceived transregional history, the seminar explores the diverse social, political, and economic processes connecting Africa, the Mideast, South Asia, and North America from the fifteenth to twenty-first centuries.
HIST 1968V. America and the Middle East: Social and Cultural Histories in Tandem.
This seminar explores the evolving relations between the diverse states and peoples of the Middle East and North America through the lenses of social and cultural historians. While our course proceeds chronologically tracing primarily US foreign relations with the “Mideast”, we will not stop there. Rather, we’ll read closely for underlying socioeconomic and cultural processes—including trade patterns, migrant networks, and evolving conceptions of race, religion, and citizenship—themes often ignored by conventional histories that dwell on watershed events, personalities, and conflict. Our goal: to recognize how US-Mideast relations are far more complex, rich, and deep-rooted than is generally assumed.
HIST 1969A. Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples I.
This advanced undergraduate seminar seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the links between the region now known as Israel and Palestine and the peoples that have inhabited it or have made it into part of their mental, mythical. and religious landscape throughout history. The course will be interdisciplinary at its very core, engaging the perspectives of historians, geologists, geographers, sociologists, scholars of religion and the arts, politics and media. At the very heart of the seminar is the question: What makes for the bond between groups and place - real or imagined, tangible or ephemeral. No prerequisites required. WRIT
HIST 1969B. Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples II.
This advanced undergraduate seminar seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the links between the region now known as Israel and Palestine and the peoples that have inhabited it or have made it into part of their mental, mythical. and religious landscape throughout history. The course will be interdisciplinary at its very core, engaging the perspectives of historians, geologists, geographers, sociologists, scholars of religion and the arts, politics and media. At the very heart of the seminar is the question: What makes for the bond between groups and place - real or imagined, tangible or ephemeral. No prerequisites required. WRIT
HIST 1969C. Debates in Middle Eastern History.
This seminar investigates the historical bases of some of the major debates which continue to dominate contemporary discussions on the Middle East. These include debates on colonialism and its legacies; problems associated with the post-colonial Middle Eastern state (the "democracy deficit": human rights; oil; political Islam); and arguments about the causes and consequences of some of the major events in Middle Eastern history (the Israel-Palestinian conflict; the Iranian revolution; the Lebanese civil war; 9/11 and the Iraq invasion; and the Arab Spring). DPLL WRIT
HIST 1969D. Palestine versus the Palestinians.
This course explores alternatives to the common view that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a struggle between two nationalist movements over the same land. Moving away from state-centric political discourse, it engages the questions of imperialism, settler-colonialism, and displacement from a bottom-up perspective of everyday life of Palestinian communities in historic Palestine and the Diaspora. How do these internally divided and spatially fragmented communities negotiate the present and imagine the future? Ultimately, the course asks: What does it mean to be a Palestinian? And what can the Palestinian condition teach us about the modern world?
HIST 1969F. Nothing Pleases Me: Understanding Modern Middle Eastern History Through Literature.
This seminar examines the major themes and events in the history of the Middle East in the 20th century through a close reading of literary texts and, in some cases, films. Throughout the course we will try to locate the perspectives of the “ordinary people” of the region, and will pay special attention to the voices of those who are rarely heard from in discourses on the Middle East: religious minorities, sexual minorities, women, children, but also criminals, misfits, misanthropes and others who have been deemed social outcasts. DPLL WRIT
HIST 1970A. Colonial Encounters: Indians, Europeans, and the Making of Early America.
This seminar explores Native American histories and cultures in North America, primarily through the multiple and overlapping points of contact and coexistence with Europeans from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Although we will be reading widely in the very interesting recent literature in the field, a major component of the class is to investigate in a practical way the problem of sources for understanding and writing about American Indian history. As a senior capstone seminar, the final project is a substantial research paper. Enrollment limited to 20. P WRIT
HIST 1970B. Enslaved! Indians and Africans in an Unfree Atlantic World.
This course examines the varieties of Indian and African enslavement in the Atlantic world, including North America, up through 1800. Reading widely in recent literature in the field as well as in primary sources from the colonial period, we will ponder the origins, practices, meanings, and varieties of enslavement, along with critiques and points of resistance by enslaved peoples and Europeans. Special emphasis will be given to the lived nature of enslavement, and the activity of Indians and Africans to navigate and resist these harsh realities. A final project or paper is required, but there are no prerequisites. P
HIST 1970D. Problem of Class in Early America.
This seminar considers economic inequality in colonial British North America and the new United States. Studying everyone from sailors, servants, and slaves in the seventeenth century to industrial capitalists and slaveholders in the nineteenth century, this course will look at the changing material structures of economic inequality and the shifting arguments that legitimated or challenged that inequality. Readings will explore how historians have approached the subject of inequality using on class as a mode of analysis. Students will write extended papers that place primary research in conversation with relevant historiography. Enrollment limited to: 20. Written permission required. WRIT
HIST 1970F. Early American Money.
The history of finance has become a crucial site for studying governance and statecraft, for recovering the organizing logic of capitalism, and for recognizing the structures of power in any given society. Topics include the recurring debates over metallic and paper currencies, the emergence of a national banking system, and the technologies of coinage, assaying, and counterfeiting. Particular focus on the relationship of finance and slavery, as well as the many “bank wars” that riled American politics from the seventeenth century through the nineteenth century.
HIST 1971D. From Emancipation to Obama.
This course develops a deep reading knowledge of significant issues and themes that define African American experiences in the 20th century, experiences that begin with the years following Emancipation and culminates with the election of President Obama. Themes include citizenship, gender, labor, politics, and culture. The goal is to develop critical analysis and historiographical depth. Some background in twentieth century United States history is preferred but not required. Assignments include weekly reading responses, class participation and presentation, and two written papers. Enrollment limited to 20. DPLL WRIT
HIST 1972A. American Legal History, 1760-1920.
Undergraduate seminar on the United States and international law. Focuses mainly on the period before the twentieth century. Examines subjects such as the right of revolution; the evolution of U.S. Constitution law; law as an instrument of economic development and exploitation; and the evolution of rights-consciousness—all within the context of international law. Enrollment limited to 20. Students should contact the instructor before the beginning of the semester if they are interested in taking the course. Instructor permission required. WRIT
HIST 1972E. Theory and Practice of Local History.
Examines the theory and practice of local history, evaluating examples from a variety of genres ranging through micro history to folk music, from genealogy to journalism. Work with primary documents, evidence from the built environment and visits to local historic sites and archives will enable students to evaluate sources and develop their own ideas about writing history and presenting it to a public audience. Enrollment limited to 20. Instructor permission required.
HIST 1972F. Consent: Race, Sex, and the Law.
In the context of recent student organizing on college campuses, the word “consent” has become headline news. But what is “consent” and what does it have to do with the history of race and sexuality in America? In this course, we will use history, law, and feminist theory to understand the origins of consent, to trace its operation as a political category, and to uncover the many cultural meanings of “yes” and “no” across time. Themes addressed include: slavery, marriage, sex work, feminism, and violence, from the founding of American democracy to the present.
HIST 1972G. Settler Colonialism + US Military Empire in the Pacific.
For students already familiar with the history of U.S. empire and settler colonialism on the continent, this Wintersession course—which will meet in Providence and Honolulu—provides an introduction to the wider dynamics of settler colonialism and U.S. empire in the Pacific. Students will examine not only the history of settler colonialism and militarization of Hawai`i, but also examine past and contemporary movements to resist colonization and the degradation of the environment. Other topics include: the sovereignty movement, labor and tourism industry, and solidarity work across the Pacific. Meets Jan 3 - 23; travel dates, Jan 10-17.
HIST 1972H. U.S. Human Rights in a Global Age.
Examines how the U.S. has shaped or been shaped by global human rights struggles. Topics include: indigenous rights in the U.S. Early Republic; Antislavery in the early Atlantic World; anti-imperialism in U.S. wars with Mexico and Spain; U.S. and human rights conventions; the Cold War and Civil Rights; and recent U.S. policies concerning human migration. No prerequisites. Priority given to seniors and juniors and those who have not taken the related course HIST 1972A (though students may take both courses). Instructor permission required (email professor before end of registration period).
HIST 1974A. The Silk Roads, Past and Present.
The Silk Road has historically been the crossroad of Eurasia; since the third-century BCE it has linked the societies of Asia—East, Central, and South—and Europe and the Middle East. The exchange of goods, ideas, and peoples that the Silk Road facilitated has significantly shaped the polities, economies, belief systems, and cultures of many modern nations: China, Russia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and India. This course explores the long history (and the mythologies or imaginations) of the Silk Road in order to understand how the long and complex pasts of the regions it touches are important in the age of globalization. P WRIT DPLL
HIST 1974B. War and Peace: A Global History.
A seminar examining how the categories of “war” and “peace” have emerged over time and place. How does a society decide that a war exists or has ended, or that there is peace, or that peace has been violated? How has the practice of war and the practice of peace changed over the course of history? We approach these questions by looking at a series of case studies, from Greek-Persian relations of the fifth century BCE to the Mongol imperial system of the thirteenth century to the twentieth-century World Wars and recent efforts (successful and failed) at global governance.
HIST 1974G. Nonviolence in History and Practice.
This advanced history seminar will begin with exploring sources of Mahatma Gandhi’s conception of nonviolent civil disobedience and go on to explore the transformation of those ideas in different contexts of protest and resistance in different parts of colonial India, as well as the US and South Africa. In addition to thinking historically, we will look at the details of strategies and practices that have been developed over the last half century, into the present.
HIST 1974J. Decolonizing Minds: A People's History of the World.
This seminar is an experiment in thinking a global history of the making of the modern world. We read texts that track the movement of ideas, peoples and goods, the formation of political and economic inequalities and the continuous struggles of ordinary people against them. From empires to nation-states, from anti-imperialist nationalist struggles to transnational radical movements, this seminar grapples with the politics of knowledge for drawing out “fugitive” lineages of the past that we need to shape our collective future. No overrides will be given before the semester begins. Interested students must attend first class meeting.
HIST 1974K. Maps and Empires.
The human fascination with maps is perennial, but it has been transformed in recent decades from a field for antiquarian map-lovers to a bona fide domain of intellectual inquiry. Maps are now understood as instruments of power and domination rather than value-free representations of territory. Using the world-renowned cartographic collection of the John Carter Brown Library, this seminar will examine the role of maps and other graphic representations of space in the consolidation and contestation of imperial dominions, introducing students to the idea of using maps as primary source materials for historical and cultural analysis. Winter session. P
HIST 1974L. A Global History of an Idea: Civilization.
This seminar explores a global history perspective to the idea of civilization since the eighteenth century. Starting from the view that the Enlightenment was a specifically European phenomenon, a foundational premise of Western modernity, we explore how this master narrative developed and crystallizatied in the 19th century, through universal history and how the latter changed into world history in the 20th century, and now into global history. The analysis of the making of this global idea includes topics like the politics of knowledge production, and transnational exchanges of ideas and practices of progress, nationalism, periodization, and intertextuality.
HIST 1974M. Early Modern Globalization.
What can the experience of a minority group like the Jews teach us about roots of globalization? What were the economic, political, and cultural conditions that allowed early modern Jewish merchants to create economic networks stretching from India to the New World? We will answer these questions by examining the connections and interactions between four major Jewish centers: Ottoman Jewry in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Port Jews of Amsterdam and London, Polish-Jewish estate managers in Ukraine, and the Court Jews of central Europe. We will see how European expansion exploited - and was exploited by - these Jewish entrepreneurs. P
HIST 1974S. The Nuclear Age.
This is a course for students interested in questions about the development of atomic weapons, their use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War arms race that followed, and debates over the risks associated with other nuclear technologies. We will look carefully at the scientific and military imperatives behind the Manhattan Project, the decisions that led to the use of atomic weapons on Japan, and subsequent efforts to reflect on the consequences of those choices. We will also explore how popular protest and popular culture after 1945 shaped our understanding of the terrors and promise of the nuclear age. WRIT
HIST 1976A. Native Histories in Latin America and North America.
From Alaska to Argentina, Native people have diverse histories. Spain, Portugal, England and France established different colonial societies; indigenous Latin Americans today have a different historical legacy than Native Americans in the United States. But the experiences of conquest, resistance and adaptation also tell a single overarching story. In colonial times, Native Americans and Europeans struggled over and shared the land. After Independence, however, the new American republics tried to destroy American Indians through war and assimilation. But in the last century Native peoples (both North and South) reasserted their identities within modern states: the "vanishing Indian" refused to vanish. WRIT DPLL
HIST 1976B. The History of Extinction.
This seminar explores the history of animals and people that are no more or whose existence is threatened. To come to terms with these histories, we will study classification of species and cultures, frontiers of exploitation and appropriation, and violence against lives and ways of life. Extinction itself is also an idea: when is it just an evolutionary phenomenon and when is it a historical moment worth marking? We will consider claims about intervention for the good of humans or others. Finally, we will observe forms of mourning. Course requirements include a major independent research project.
HIST 1976D. Powering the Past: The History of Energy.
This seminar will explore the role of energy in shaping our past, and uses energy consumption and production as an entry into central questions in environmental history. Beginning with the regimes of wood, water, and muscle in early human history, the course moves on to explore fossil fuels, nuclear power, and alternative energy sources around the world. While attentive to issues of environmental impact, we will also examine the broader implications of energy use for social, economic, and political developments and challenges. Readings are drawn from anthropology, geography, ecology as well as history. This course presumes no previous history courses. WRIT
HIST 1976E. The Anthropocene: Climate Change as Social History.
This seminar will explore ramifications of the concept of the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene has been proposed as a new human-driven geologic age that began with the increased exploitation of fossil fuels in the late eighteenth century. Its proponents emphasize transformations through anthropogenic climate change, but we will also consider the effects of population growth, pollution, habitat destruction, and extinction. To assess the historical validity of the concept, we will discuss the impact of humans on the environment before 1800, the extent of transformation since 1800, and whether human-environmental interactions can be usefully generalized to our species as a whole. WRIT
HIST 1976F. Fueling Change: A Global History of Energy.
The transition from an energy regime based on biomass and animal muscle to another based on fossil fuels is an epochal transformation whose importance is on a par with the Neolithic transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture. For most of their history, human societies relied on the sun’s energy locked up in plants and animals for their livelihood. In the late eighteenth century, some societies began to transcend the limits of the established energy regime. This course examines the implications of the modern energy transition from the old energy regime to a new one based on fossil fuels around the world.
HIST 1976G. Animal Histories.
Participants in this seminar are invited to explore human and non-human relations in the global past. The history of human-animal relations is huge, so rather than attempt a general survey, we situate our discussion around selected topics. We begin with one animal, the wolf, and move through established and less-familiar historical topics, building toward our final question: how does the inclusion of animals enhance the discipline? The anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss said, "animals are good to think with." So is history. In this seminar we think through those things together. WRIT
HIST 1976H. Environmental History of Latin America 1492-Present.
From the development of sugar as the major slave commodity of the 18th century Caribbean to the “Water Wars” in the Bolivian highlands at the turn of the 21st century, race, labor, and imperialism in Latin America have been shaped in relation to the natural environment. This course explores the role of the environment in the colonial and modern history of Latin America. Together, we will examine how the environment shaped the processes of conquest, displacement, settlement, and trade, as well as how these processes transformed the natural environment throughout the hemisphere. WRIT
HIST 1976I. The World of Isaac Newton.
This course will focus on the work of Isaac Newton in the context of his times and its impact in the centuries that followed. WRIT P
HIST 1976N. Topics in the History of Economic Thought.
This is a reading intensive seminar that exposes students to the history of economic thought by working through a number of texts about the workings of capitalism. We will make our way through a different set of authors that touch upon a variety of topics, including theories of value, property, markets, labor, inequality, and prices. We will also ask how ideas about the relationship between capitalism and other forms of production have changed over time. In the Spring of 2018, we will devote the entire seminar to Marx, especially the English translation of his seminal work, Das Kapital. WRIT
HIST 1976R. Histories of the Future.
This course is for students interested in how ideas about what the future of human societies would look like have developed over time, and in the impact of those ideas on cultural, social and political norms. We will look carefully at examples of early modern prophecy before turning to the more recent emergence of theories of economic and social progress, plans for utopian communities, and markedly less optimistic and often dark visions of where we’re headed. We will also explore the roles capitalism, popular culture, and science have played in shaping the practices and vocabularies associated with imagining the future. WRIT
HIST 1977B. Feathery Things: An Avian Introduction to Animal Studies.
This course will provide grounding in the emerging field of critical animal studies by surveying how we know and interact with one diverse and charismatic class of animals: the Aves. Inspiring science, art, and conservation, traded as resources, kept as hunters or pets, and eaten as meat, birds provide an excellent avenue into animal studies. The diverse ways people relate to birds provides an innovative avenue into studies of social science and human existence. In addition to reading and discussion, we also will experience the many forms of birds around us through indoor and outdoor “laboratory” sessions.
HIST 1977I. Gender, Race, and Medicine in the Americas.
This seminar explores the gendered and racial histories of disease and medicine in nineteenth and twentieth century Latin America and the United States. From the dark history of obstetrics and slavery in the antebellum U.S. South to twentieth-century efforts to curb venereal disease in revolutionary Mexico or U.S.-occupied Puerto Rico, to debates over HIV policy in Cuba and Brazil—together we will explore how modern medicine has shaped both race and gender in the Americas. Topics we will explore include environmental health and the body; infant mortality; the medicalization of birth; and the colonial/imperial history of new reproductive technologies.
HIST 1978B. Modern Southeast Asian History, 18th Century to Present: A Reading Seminar.
This reading seminar explores the history of modern Southeast Asia (the region comprising the contemporary nation-sates of Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) from the 18th century to the present. Crossing both national and disciplinary boundaries, this seminar will engage students in discussions on European colonization, globally linked trade networks, migration and ethnic relations, material and visual culture, formation of nationalism, war and mass violence, gender and sexuality. Students will also be able to read on specific interests of their own, individually or in small groups.
HIST 1978C. Reform and Revolution in Latin America.
This course considers the methodologies, ideas, and outcomes of several revolutionary and/or reform movements in 20th-century Latin America. Cuba, Chile, and Mexico are the primary case studies we will use to consider political, economic, social, and cultural forms of revolutionary change.
HIST 1979A. Women's Work: Gender and Capitalism in American History.
This course examines the importance of women and gender to the long economic history of the United States. Whereas the history of American capitalism has often been a primarily male story, this course moves women from the margins of the narrative to the center. It asks how female labor (paid and unpaid), cultural norms around gender and family, and issues of sex and reproduction have fundamentally shaped economic life—not just for women, but for all Americans. Students will gain insight into American women’s history, the history of capitalism, and the intersectional history of gender, sexuality, race, and class.
HIST 1979B. Empire and Everyday Life in Colonial Latin America.
What was it like to live a “regular” life in the American colonies of Spain and Portugal? How did people eat, dress, have fun, start and sustain families, pursue careers, and think about the world and themselves? Drawing upon a range of sources, this course considers how global and local forces intersected in the individual or community in myriad, yet historically contingent, ways. This micro focus provides another way of considering the broad historical forces at work in the colonies, such as religion, gender, politics, race, technology, and geography, from the “inside-out” perspective of individual and communal accounts and stories.
HIST 1979C. Putin, Stalin and "Friends": Understanding Eurasia Today through its History and Personalities.
This course uses the past to understand the present in Russia and its neighboring states. Each week we will use a “friend” (a person drawn from current events) as a window into events past and present. We will read a few contemporary articles about these notables alongside historical works that give us the necessary background to explore key aspects of their story. In the middle of the semester, you will choose an event or theme and execute an independent research project using contemporary and historical sources. Topics explored include gender, political activism, terrorism, immigration and battles to control the past.
HIST 1979D. Ruined History: Visual and Material Culture in South Asia.
What does art, architecture and material culture reveal about South Asia’s history? This course explores the significance of images, objects, architecture and other forms of material and visual culture to South Asian societies as well as their transformation during the 19th and 20th centuries under pressure from British colonial rule. We will consider how shifts in the meanings of architectural sites (like temples), images and material objects under colonial rule animated political and religious conflict in South Asia between 1880 and 1947. Topics include nationalist cartography; Hindu-Muslim violence around temples and mosques; public performance and anti-colonial activism. WRIT
HIST 1979E. Wise Latinas: Women, Gender, and Biography in Latinx History.
Last summer the Brown community reflected on Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography that documents how her experience as a Bronx-raised Puerto Rican and “wise Latina” shaped her illustrious legal career. This course will provide historical context for reading Latinx biographies and locate them within a broader history of women, gender, and sexuality in Latinx histories of the United States. We will examine life histories, oral histories, and biographies. Units will explore the histories of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Central Americans, paying close attention to race and gender and highlighting struggles for social justice.
HIST 1979F. Sex, Gender, Empire.
Despite brutal violence at their core, European empires were imagined as families consisting of European colonials and their “native” subjects. We'll position sex, gender, family at the heart of the imperial enterprise, examining how boundaries of imperial territory were imagined in terms of a shared household. What a family was and who was part of it became a source of imperial debate which intersected with anxieties around racial mixing and sexuality. In turn, diverse formations of imperial families shaped questions of sex and gender in Europe pursuing this global history of inter-cultural relationships that continue to shape our present day. WRIT
HIST 1979G. The Unwinding: A History of the 1990s.
This course will carefully consider the history of a recent decade -- the 1990s. We will reflect on grand historical narratives -- the end of the Cold War, the two-term presidency of a centrist Democrat, and the large challenges faced by the United States at home and abroad. But we will also explore less conventional topics, including the effects of new technology, and the ways in which new media and new tactics reshaped a political consensus that had endured for decades. Finally, we will consider the decade's rich cultural expression, including its music, film, literature and journalism. WRIT
HIST 1979H. Prostitutes, Mothers, + Midwives: Women in Pre-modern Europe and North America.
Today’s society often contrasts stay-at-home moms with working women. How did women in Europe and North America navigate the domestic and public sphere from the late medieval period to the start of the twentieth century? How did gender affect occupational identity? Were women excluded from the professional class? This seminar investigates gender in the workplace, looks at gender-specific employment, and considers how families functioned. Readings include passages from classical, religious, and medical texts as an introduction to medieval gender roles. Students will explore texts, images, and film to understand pre-modern work and the women who did it. WRIT
HIST 1979I. Race and Inequality in Metropolitan America from Urbanization to #blacklivesmatter.
There is nothing natural about the state of race and inequality in American cities today. Urban inequities – around residential segregation; access to housing, schools, jobs; state violence – are overwhelmingly the result of decades of choices made by individuals and policymakers. This course will examine this history. We will trace how race has shaped metropolitan America from the late nineteenth century to present day. The course will explore how institutions, government policies, and individual practices developed and perpetuated race and class-based inequalities. We will also examine examples throughout this history of individuals who fought collectively for racial and economic justice. DPLL
HIST 1979J. London: 1750 to the Present.
This course explores London’s emergence as a major European capital in the eighteenth century, its international pre-eminence in the nineteenth, its experiences of war in the twentieth century and its encounters with immigration, social change and urban discontent in the postwar period. We will focus on themes in the social and cultural life of London, including popular culture, poverty, urban space, crime, and street life. We will discuss how scholars have approached these histories and use contemporary sources—visual and material culture, court records, newspaper accounts, and literature—to explore the lives of Londoners of the past.
HIST 1979K. The Indian Ocean World.
Oceans cover two-thirds of the surface of the earth. They are the world’s great connectors. Rather than political boundaries of empire and nation-state, this course focuses on an enduring geography of water as the central shaper of history. Drawing together the history of three continents this course explores the Indian Ocean world as a major arena of political, economic and cultural contact during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As we map the contours of this history we study how race, gender and sexuality were shaped across the Indian Ocean. Major topics include Islam, imperialism, indentured labor migration, liberalism and anti-colonialism. HISTGlobal
HIST 1979L. Urban History of Latin America.
Latin America is the world’s most urbanized region. 80 percent of Latin Americans live in cities, and iconic cities such as São Paulo and Mexico City are among the world's largest conurbations. The city has long played a key role in the region's history, serving as nodes of imperial power, as religious centers, and as markets from pre-Columbian to colonial times. The 20th century witnessed both the achievement and failure of modernization, as cities industrialized rapidly but grew haphazardly, struggling with poverty and pollution. Today, Latin American cities are multifaceted spaces where both real advancement and daunting problems coexist.
HIST 1979M. Piracy, Patents and Intellectual Property.
Intellectual ownership is one of the most intractable problems in contemporary social and economic life. This course explores the emergence and significance of intellectual ownership in the domains of art, architecture, literature, scientific innovation, media, and law. We are particularly interested in the different social, geographic and national contexts in which regimes of intellectual ownership surfaced, and how different national agencies, individuals, and corporate formations variously construct and enforce understandings of ownership and infringement. We will also canvass contemporary enforcement and implementation mechanisms, global north versus global south wealth disparities, and the fate of intellectual property in the digital world.
HIST 1979N. American Charters.
This seminar will read deeply in thirteen seminal texts from American history. Exploring the context in which each document was written, the intentions of the author(s), the medium of publication, the way audiences experienced the document, and its reception throughout history, arguing that charter documents have assumed high importance in the United States, a nation with little precedent to build upon. From John Winthrop's "City Upon a Hill" speech, which may never have been given, to Second Inaugural of Barack Obama, we'll consider the ways in which ambitious writers/speakers have tried to claim authorship for the narrative of American history.
HIST 1979O. Comparative Black Power.
Fifty years ago, in 1966, Stokley Carmichael made his legendary call for “Black Power!” That call was global, marked by its diversity. How did the idea of Black Power travel? Why did it emerge when and where it did, and what were its meanings in different contexts? This course examines the manifestations of black power movements in the Caribbean and in Africa, in the United States and in India. With the 50th anniversary in mind, this course will critically explore the dreams, international dimensions, gender politics, and legacies of Black Power.
HIST 1979P. History of Chinese Medicine.
In the past several decades consumer discontent with Western medicine has prompted an unprecedented interest in other methods of healing. As the longest continuous literate tradition on the planet Chinese culture has enduring experience in healthcare provision, making it an attractive alternative to biomedicine. In this course we survey the depth and complexity of the Chinese medical tradition through the lens of indigenous techniques and their permutations in diverse locales. Proceeding from the earliest written records on oracle bones to present day ethnographies of clinical practice, we will complement close readings of canonical texts with a focus on lived experience.
HIST 1979Q. Japanese Film and Animation of the 20th Century.
Recent years have seen an explosion of worldwide interest in Japanese popular media, including manga (comics), anime (animation), and films. Yet Japan’s current success in exporting films/anime abroad is by no means just a recent phenomenon. We will explore Japanese live action film/animation from its origins through turn of 21st century. Students will learn to read films as narrative texts, and critiquing them on multiple levels. In the process, we will attempt to seek out what about Japanese cinematic art has caught the attention of Western critics, keeping our eyes on questions of identity and responses to historical events.
HIST 1979R. Scientific Controversies from Creationism to Climate Change.
This course examines scientific controversies from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Topics will include evolution, telepathy, eugenics, lobotomy, recovered memories, vaccination, cloning, and global warming. We will study what these controversies tell us about the shifting relationship between science and society, how changes in scientific paradigms occur, why some controversies resolve, and why others persist, even in the face of long-standing scientific consensus. Students will learn to see science not as a progressive series of discoveries in the eternal pursuit of truth, but as an often messy historical process fully embedded in the politics and culture of its time.
HIST 1979S. History of Life Itself: Biopolitics in Modern Europe.
Life has long existed, but also has a history of its own. With the development of the natural sciences and state governance of its own populations, human life can be said to have entered into history. Homo Sapiens became the subject of medical science, political philosophy, and state law. In looking at the intersecting histories of science, politics, and theories of life, this seminar will examine the origins and effects of political economy, biology, public health, racism, eugenics, state violence, and ultimately democracy. We will read meta-histories from theorists, case studies from historians, and classic works of political philosophy.
HIST 1979T. Modernism and Its Critics.
This course explores how European writers interpreted modern art and manners between 1850 and 1940. As a crucial figure in emerging modern world, the cultural critic aimed to explain the meaning of style for society. Consequently, cultural critics created rich primary resources for understanding politics, beliefs, and everyday life activities. We will especially focus on anxiety about modern life expressed in controversies over avant garde movements from impressionists to expressionists, realists to the surrealists. We will cover issues like hysteria, men’s fashion, music, vacations, sexuality, and advertising. In addition to lesser known figures, selected readings include Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Kafka.
HIST 1979U. The Business of Empire: History of Capitalism and U.S. Foreign Relations, 1900 to the Present.
This course explores the intersections between American business and American Empire during the twentieth century. From the United Fruit Company in Latin America to the arms manufacturers at Lockheed Martin, the interests of capital have shaped U.S. foreign relations. As students race this history across the twentieth century, they will learn how the rise of American business to global preeminence depended upon a supportive, interventionist government. This course will appeal to history, IR, and Economics concentrators among others.
HIST 1979V. Technologies of the Soul: The History of Healing.
Movements that sought to heal society formed a distinct counterpoint to establishment science, religion and culture throughout modernity. In this course, we will examine distinctly modern, non-medical forms of healing from the late 18th until the mid twentieth centuries. This course engages cultural history and theory, science, opera and religion asking whether movements such as Mesmerism, Wagnerism, or Anthroposophy formed a hopeful expansion of the healing role of science art and religion? Or did such developments subvert established norms that provoked anxiety? Ultimately we will probe the limits of the humanities while exploring movements that have challenged such boundaries.
HIST 1979W. Debates on the Holocaust.
Few topics in Modern European History have so heavily engaged historians while producing so little consensus as the Holocaust. Several debates have emerged in scholarship around several major issues such as motivation, collaboration, ideology, as well as larger questions around genocide itself. In this course, we will examine each debate and the links to specific methods within history such as periodization, causality and disciplinary boundaries. This course presents a unique entry to gain exposure to foundational historical categories and methods. Students will gain a knowledge of concepts critical to historical debate and foundation in a variety of approaches to history.
HIST 1979X. Modern Enchantments: Science, Religion, and Magic in Modernizinig America.
Scholars have long equated modernity with “disenchantment,” the subordination of magic and mysticism to the forces of science and secularization. Recent scholarship, however, has challenged this view, suggesting that the persistence of magical worldviews has been integral to the development of modernity itself. In this course, we will explore the various interactions, both conflicting and complementary, between science, religion, and magic in the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century United States. Topics will include spiritualism, hypnosis, phrenology, optical illusions, alternative medicines, stage magic, and the early psychology of religion. Throughout, we will interrogate the concept of modernity and the narrative of disenchantment.
HIST 1979Y. Peace, Justice and Human Rights in a Global Age.
This course explores the history of the major themes, problems and ideals of global peace, justice and human rights. We investigate the theoretical, social and political elements within these ideals and practices, spanning broad temporal and spatial genealogies of human thought. From biopolitics to geopolitics, we uncover attempts to demand food security, health care, and dignity as universal human rights. We highlight philosophies of peace and ethics, and unpack competing conceptions of “justice.” Among other topics, the political economy of global survival plays an important role in this perspective, especially within bioethics and environmental justice.
HIST 1979Z. The World in Revolution: America and the Global South during the Long 1970s.
We'll explore varied relationships between Americans and Global South during the long 1970s—from the wave of revolutionary movements of the late 1960s to the Reagan “offensive” of 1981. As we trace these relationships across the decade, students will learn how Americans from all walks of life encountered the revolutionary “Third World.” While many on the American Left—from Black Nationalists to feminists such as Bella Abzug—sought cooperation with the revolutionary movements in the Global South, others became determined to reassert U.S. hegemony abroad following the Vietnam War. We will try to understand why this latter group’s antagonistic attitude towards the Global South ultimately came to define U.S. foreign policy.
HIST 1980I. Portuguese Discoveries and Early Modern Globalization (POBS 1600D).
Interested students must register for POBS 1600D.
HIST 1980L. Islam in America: A Global History (HMAN 1973N).
Interested students must register for HMAN 1973N.
|Spr||HIST1980L||S01||25826||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1980M. Bureaucracy: A Modern History (HMAN 1973K).
Interested students must register for HMAN 1973K.
|Fall||HIST1980M||S01||17269||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1980R. Urban Schools in Historical Perspective (EDUC 1720).
Interested students must register for EDUC 1720.
|Spr||HIST1980R||S01||25678||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1980T. Modernity, Jews, and Urban Identities in Central Europe (JUDS 1718).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1718.
HIST 1980U. Popular Culture, 1400-1800 (ITAL 1430).
Interested students must register ITAL 1430.
HIST 1980Y. Jews and Revolutions (JUDS 1701).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1701.
HIST 1981D. Jewish Humor and Commercial Entertainment in Early 20th-Century Europe and America (JUDS 1726).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1726.
|Fall||HIST1981D||S01||16893||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1981F. The Anthropocene: The Past and Present of Environmental Change (ENVS 1910).
Interested students must register for ENVS 1910.
|Fall||HIST1981F||S01||16873||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1981G. Intellectual Change: From Ottoman Modernization to the Turkish Republic (MES 1300).
Interested students must register for MES 1300.
HIST 1981H. Blacks + Jews in American History and Culture (JUDS 1753).
Interested students must register for JUDS 1753.
|Fall||HIST1981H||S01||17301||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
HIST 1990. Undergraduate Reading Courses.
Guided reading on selected topics. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
HIST 1992. History Honors Workshop for Prospective Thesis Writers.
Prospective honors students are encouraged to enroll in HIST 1992 during semesters 5 or 6. HIST 1992 offers a consideration of historical methodology and techniques of writing and research with the goal of preparing to write a senior thesis in history. The course helps students refine research skills, define a project, and prepare a thesis prospectus, which is required for admission to honors. Students who complete honors may count HIST 1992 as a concentration requirement. Limited to juniors who qualify for the honors program. WRIT
HIST 1993. History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, Part I.
HIST 1992 and HIST 1993 students meet together as the History Honors Workshop, offered in two separate sections per week. All students admitted to the History Honors Program must enroll in HIST 1993 for two semesters of thesis research and writing. They may enroll in the course during semesters 6 and 7, or 7 and 8. Course work entails researching, organizing, writing a history honors thesis. Presentation of work and critique of peers' work required. Limited to seniors and juniors who have been admitted to History Honors Program. HIST 1993 is a mandatory S/NC course. See History Concentration Honors Requirements.
HIST 1994. History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, Part II.
HIST 2050. Proseminar in Late Medieval History.
Macrohistory/Microhistory. A comparison of two different approaches to the study of the past, especially of late medieval and early modern Europe, focusing on the works of Fernand Braudel and Carlo Ginzburg.
HIST 2080. Seminar in European Social History in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.
Methods of analysis for current topics in social, economic, demographic, family, and gender history. Depending on sources available, papers may be on Italian topics of the 16th-19th centuries, or on French or English topics of the 18th-19th centuries. Language requirement depends on area of specialization.
HIST 2090. Proseminar on European Social History in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.
Selected readings on changes of social life in European cities in the period of transition from the preindustrial to the industrial economy. Primary focus is on developments in France, England, and Italy. Language requirement depends on area of specialization.
HIST 2450. Exchange Scholar Program.
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HIST 2890. Preliminary Examination Preparation.
For graduate students who have met the tuition requirement and are paying the registration fee to continue active enrollment while preparing for a preliminary examination.
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HIST 2910. Reading and Research.
Section numbers vary by instructor. Please see check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
HIST 2930. Colloquium.
Required of all first-year graduate students; includes participation in Thursday Lecture Series. E
HIST 2935. Historical Crossings.
“Historical crossings” is a rough translation of histoire croisée, referring to global configurations of events and a shared history, rather than to a traditional comparative history. This Seminar is designed to be the cornerstone of the M.A. program. It will not serve as a traditional historical methods course but instead focus on training students to read and think on various scales of historical analysis—from cross-cultural and trans-geographic to the granularity of social and cultural specificity, requiring students to think both globally and locally and introducing them to an advanced level of historical inquiry, debate, and exploration.
HIST 2940. Writing Workshop.
Required of all 3rd semester Ph.D. students.
HIST 2950. Professionalization Seminar.
Required of all second year Ph.D. students.
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HIST 2960. Prospectus Development Seminar.
This required course open only to second-year students in the History Ph.D. program focuses on the development of a dissertation prospectus. The seminar will include considering the process of choosing a dissertation topic, selecting a dissertation committee, identifying viable dissertation projects, articulating a project in the form of a prospectus, and developing research grant proposals based on the prosectus. E
HIST 2970A. New Perspectives on Medieval History.
Over the past several decades, the field of medieval history has been reshaped radically. New approaches have changed the ways that medievalists think about old subjects. Our understanding of medieval society itself has expanded as previously marginal or unexplored subjects have become central to medievalists' concern. This seminar explores how the ways in which medieval historians practice their craft have altered in response to these developments. Readings in classic older works are juxtaposed with newer ones on their way to becoming classics themselves.
HIST 2970B. Race, Ethnicity and Identity in the Atlantic World.
Explores question of identity in Atlantic world from sixteenth to nineteenth century, focusing on three types of identity: 1) ethnicity; 2) race; 3) nationality. How are such identities created and maintained? Are they "natural" or "artificial"? How do they change over time, and why? Throughout the seminar, we'll consider both internal/external boundaries, how social actors - particularly subalterns - see themselves and how they are imagined by outsiders. Finally, we will examine how identity is expressed in a wide variety of media - codices, paintings, maps, oral histories, diaries, etc. - and how scholars make use of such sources.
HIST 2970C. Rethinking the Civil Rights Movement.
This graduate course encourages a rethinking of the complex components, arguments and activities that have characterized what we have come to know as the Civil Rights Movement, concentrating primarily on African American agency, actions and politics, through careful reading of recent scholarship in the field. While knowledge of U.S. history is preferred, this course asks larger thematic questions about protest movements (the role of the state, relationships with and between oppressed groups and organizations, and periodization), that will interest non-Americanists also. Some of the topics covered include: gender, organizing and strategies, the local, global ramifications and interactions, organizational structures and politics, and the recent concept of the Long Civil Rights Movement. M
HIST 2970D. Modernity and Everyday Culture - Reading.
No description available.
HIST 2970E. Early Modern Continental Europe - Reading.
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to some major topics and debates in early modern European history, as well as a range of geographical, methodological, and historiographical perspectives. Readings combine recent works and classics to give a sense both of where the field has been and where it is going. Topics covered include political history, religious interactions (among Christians and between Christians, Jews and Muslims), urban history, the history of the book, Atlantic history, the history of science, and the Enlightenment. The class also provides the opportunity to explore a single topic of choice in greater depth.
HIST 2970F. Problems in Modern Jewish History - Reading.
This course examines significant issues in the history and historiography of modern European Jewry from the mid-18th century to WWII. It is divided into four units each of which considers a thematic question that has been of interest to European Jewish historians, including: emancipation, integration, and acculturation; gender and the study of modern Jewish history; approaches to minority identity; and history and memory. Written permission required.
HIST 2970G. Early Modern European Empires.
This course addresses both the history and historiography of the most relevant European imperial experiences in Africa, Asia and America c. 1400-1800. It will focus on the structure and dynamics of the Iberian case(s), as well as in the profile of the so-called Second European expansion led by the Dutch, the English and a number of other (minor) European examples. Particular emphasis will be given to the relations between these imperial bodies and other (non-European) Empires, by focusing on cross-cultural contacts and conflicts, hybrid societies and images. Restricted to juniors, seniors, and graduate students only. P
HIST 2970H. Special Topics Seminar: American Political History.
This graduate seminar will explore a range of approaches to the study of America’s political past from the colonial period to the late twentieth century, including scholarship on electoral politics, the state, political culture, grassroots politics and resistance, the politics of gender and family, and American political development. We will analyze how scholars have defined and redefined the field over time and throughout we will interrogate the question, “what is political history?”
HIST 2970I. Methodologies of the Ancient World.
No description available. Open to graduate students only.
HIST 2970J. Early Modern British History-Reading.
No description available.
HIST 2970L. Race and U.S. Empire.
No description available.
HIST 2970M. Japan, from Tokugawa to Meiji - Reading.
Compares the organization and exercise of political authority, the production and distribution wealth, and norms of cultural expression during the Tokugawa and Meiji periods as a way of understanding the dynamics of Japanese modernization.
HIST 2970O. Modern Latin American History - Reading.
No description available.
HIST 2970P. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American History - Reading.
No description available.
HIST 2970Q. Core Readings in 20th Century United States History.
Major topics and themes in 20th-century U.S. history. M
HIST 2970R. U.S. Social/Cultural History, 1877-present - Reading.
Case studies of prominent public intellectuals spanning the century from John Reed to George Wills, Mary McCarthy to Frances Fitzgerald.
HIST 2970S. Western and Frontier History - Reading.
An introduction to recent work on the history of North American frontiers and the region of the American West.
HIST 2970T. Representations of Suffering and Victimhood in History and Memoirs.
How have historians approached the representation of suffering in their work? How have attitudes toward representations of suffering and atrocities in historical narratives changed since the second world war? More generally, how do human rights narratives construct the identities of victims? This seminar will explore these questions in the context of the genocide of European Jewry. Requirements: One in-class presentation of weekly readings; one 20-25 page paper. Class participation required.
HIST 2970U. Topics in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American History.
HIST 2970V. Atlantic Empires.
No description available.
HIST 2970W. Graduate Readings in Early American History.
No description available.
HIST 2970X. Topics in the History of Empire and Culture.
No description available.
HIST 2970Y. History and Theory of Secularity.
No description available.
HIST 2970Z. Core Readings in Nineteenth Century Europe.
Provides an introduction to the central issues of nineteenth-century European history. It has two purposes: first, to help you refine your abilities to think historiographically; second, to assist you in preparing for your comprehensive exams. To that end, we will read both standard interpretations and newer scholarship.
HIST 2971A. Science in a Colonial Context.
This graduate seminar will consider the politics of science in colonies societies. Subjects covered include: the relationship between science and local (indigenous) knowledges, science and the "civilizing" mission, social relations in knowledge production, science and development, racial science and subject bodies, science and nationalism. Assignments will include book review, a review essay and leading discussion.
HIST 2971B. Topics in Twentieth Century Europe.
This course will introduce graduate students to current scholarship on major issues in twentieth century European history. Topics will include (but are not limited to) the causes and consequences of the two world wars; the emergence, workings, and collapse of authoritarian societies; the spread of mass culture and consumerism; Americanization; de-colonization; the European Union, and the collapse of the bi-polar political system. In the interest of introducing students to the significant historiographical debates of the field, they will read both standard historical interpretations and newer scholarship. M
HIST 2971C. Readings in American History.
Topics in American social and cultural history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
HIST 2971D. Passion, Dispassion, and the Scholar.
What role should passion and the imagination play in intellectual endeavor? Is the dispassionate, objective, and objectifying voice the only appropriate one in the arena of scholarship? How much can or should the scholar let his or her personality and personal investment in a subject appear on the page? The seminar will explore these and related questions by examining non-traditional modes of scholarly writing (primarily but not exclusively drawing on historians and anthropologists). This is not a seminar about theory and method, although such issues will inevitably be part of our discussions. It is a seminar about writing and scholarly voice. P
HIST 2971E. Latin American Historiography.
This course examines the development of historical writings on Latin America produced in the United States from the late nineteenth century until the present. We will focus on themes, such as race, gender, labor, subaltern studies, dependency theory, postcolonial analysis, and post-modernism, to understand the diverse approaches to Latin American history. M
HIST 2971F. Gender & Knowledge in Early Modern Europe.
HIST 2971G. Notions of Public & Private in Late Modern Europe.
HIST 2971H. Politics and Society in the 20th Century.
HIST 2971I. New Perspectives on Medieval History.
No description available.
HIST 2971J. Topics in 19th c. U.S. History.
This state-of-the-field course will introduce students to nineteenth-century U.S. history, with specific attention to how recent transnational, imperial, institutional, and cultural approaches have reframed older debates over the "Age of Jackson," "Manifest Destiny," and the "Market Revolution." This seminar offers core readings for students preparing a comprehensive exam field, while providing others with content knowledge to teach this period of American history.
HIST 2971L. Borderlands: Violence and Coexistence.
Readings of theoretical and empirical studies in interstate and inter-ethnic relations in borderland regions throughout the world, with an emphasis on the modern period in East-Central. Open to graduate students only.
HIST 2971M. History of Medicine.
The history of medicine is a topic that can shed light on any period and place, since all aspects of human life are intertwined parts of the story: ideas, religion, culture, material life, economy, politics, social organization and legal institutions, etc. This reading course is meant to introduce graduate students to the main subjects debated in the field, so that by the end of the semester you will be able to read in the literature and to take up any related archival trail with confidence. Open to graduate students only. E
HIST 2971N. Critical Perspectives on Public and Private.
No description available. Open to graduate students only.
HIST 2971O. Graduate Preliminary Readings.
No description available.
HIST 2971P. Diasporas and Transnationalism.
This reading seminar is designed to familiarize students with the most cited and current theories on diaspora and transnationalism, to examine a few exemplary case studies from around the world, and to allow students to develop and discuss their individual interests and reading lists around these broad themes and concepts, towards a prelim field or dissertation prospectus.
HIST 2971R. Approaches to Middle East History.
An overview of canonical and recent scholarship on the Middle East, beginning with neo-Orientalist and Modernization-theory writings that ruled until the early 1960s, then a consideration of two turns often in productive tension with each other: materialist approaches that lead to social history and political economy, and discursive approaches that lead to cultural and post-colonial studies. We then consider works on the environment and techno-politics, gender and sexuality, and law and society, among others. Throughout, we consider how theoretical trends in other disciplines shaped the writing of history. Requirements include weekly essays, oral presentations, and a literature review.
HIST 2980B. Legal History.
An introduction for graduate students to the significance and methods of legal history, broadly defined. Students will engage with works in legal history from a variety of time periods and geographical areas, and they will be guided to sources related to their specific research interests. A major research essay will be required that draws from the models of legal history given and is based on original research into legal sources. E
HIST 2980C. Race, Ethnicity and Identity in Atlantic World.
This seminar examines the meaning of racial and ethnic identity in colonial Latin America. Our primary approach will be historiographical; we will begin with colonial concepts of racial hierarchy, then move on to national ideologies of mestizaje and indigenismo, the emergence of "race mixture" as a scholarly topic, the "caste vs. class" debate of the 1970s and 1980s, and finally recent works on the African diaspora.
HIST 2980D. Topics in Violence in Modern Europe: Interethnic Relations and Violence in Eastern Europe.
This seminar will examine recent studies on interethnic coexistence, violence, and genocide in East-Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century. Readings will range from works on definitions of ethnicity and the making of nations to studies of communities and interpersonal relations. We will also read and listen to testimonies and analyze contemporary documents.
HIST 2980E. Social History in Early Modern England - Research.
Readings on select topics in early modern English social history. Topics include: marriage formation, crime, social unrest, gender issues, and popular culture. Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates.
HIST 2980F. Modern British History - Research.
No description available.
HIST 2980G. Topics in Violence in Modern Europe - Research.
No description available.
HIST 2980H. Early American History - Research.
HIST 2980I. Problems in American Social History - Research.
An advanced examination of the issues and methodology of American urban and social history plus primary research in specific topics.
HIST 2980J. U.S. Women's/Gender History - Research.
Focus is 20th-century history. Open only to graduate students.
HIST 2980K. Passion, Dispassion, and the Scholar.
What role should passion play in intellectual endeavor? Should the scholar's personal involvement in a subject appear on the page? What is the value of the dispassionate voice as opposed to a narrative voice of immediacy? The seminar explores such issues in modes of scholarly writing (primarily but not exclusively historical and anthropological). Although questions of theory and method inevitably arise, this is a seminar about scholarly voice.
HIST 2980L. Research and Pedagogy.
This research seminar is geared to help graduate students think about the ways in which they can incorporate their own research into the courses they will teach. The final product for the seminar is a primary source unit and an accompanying essay tht can conceivably serve as a "teacher's guide." All fields and periods welcome. E
HIST 2980M. Nature, Space and Power: Environmental History.
No description available.
HIST 2980N. Gender and Knowledge.
No description available.
HIST 2980P. Theory of Everyday Life.
What do we mean by the "everyday" and how can we study it in the social sciences and represent it in the arts? We will focus on attempts to answer this question both on the theoretical and the empirical levels. Readings will include philosophers of everyday life and examples of recent scholarship in "everyday life studies" that have revolutionized the study of leisure, entertainment, national identity, decolonization and gender.
HIST 2980Q. Seminar in Early Modern British History.
No description available.
HIST 2980R. Cultures of Empire.
The goal of this course is to research and produce a piece of original historical scholarship, drawing on methodologies developed during the cultural turn in the study of empires. Early semester readings address approaches to studying empire (Marxian, Subaltern Studies, Cultural Studies, etc.) and various locations: British India, Japanese Manchuria, and Netherlands Indies, among others. The course then evolves into a history writing workshop for the rest of the semester, paying attention also to historical writing, including style, form, and narrative strategies. Relevant to historical inquiry into cross-cultural encounters in any time period.
HIST 2980S. Hannah Arendt and Her World.
This seminar will explore key concerns and paradigms in 20th-century intellectual history via a critical consideration of the thinking of Hannah Arendt (1906-75). In recent years, Arendt's work has earned renewed attention for its multidisciplinary, multicontinental importance as well as for its uncanny currency to the present political and academic moment. Her thinking is thus in many ways "migratory thinking." Migratory thinking involves first the diaspora and exchange of thinkers, most specifically through political exile and emigration during the Nazi period and after. It thus involves both the experience and theorization of "worldliness": the Enlightenment value that remains a key principle for Arendt, with special reference to Lessing. Migratory thinking also involves discursive movement among disciplines and cultures, for example from German philosophy to American political theory/science, and the complications of intellectual and cultural subjectivity of émigré as well as German Jewish thinking. Finally, the history and historical contingency that support this style of thinking emphasize the drive to thinking, responsibility, and judgment at a moment of danger. Readings and seminar discussions will focus on Arendt's work, read in dialogue with the work of thinkers with whom she was in dialogue (Benjamin, Broch, Heidegger, Scholem) and with the later work of thinkers whose own subject positions might be considered comparable with the concerns in the paragraph above (G. Rose, S. Neiman, S. Aschheim, J. Derrida et al.). Themes will include cosmopolitanism, nationalism, and totalitarianism, the global politics of race, capitalism, and exchange, religious/secular tensions, and the relations of society and politics to art and the imagination.
HIST 2980T. Minorities, Citizenship and Nation.
No description available.
HIST 2980U. Power, Culture, Knowledge.
"Truth isn't outside power, or lacking in power... [t]ruth is a thing of this world," wrote Michel Foucault in the mid 1970s. In this course we will read and examine Foucault's seminal works on knowledge and power, and the kinds of scholarship it has engendered at the intersections of history, art history, anthropology, political science and social theory. In addition to Foucault's major interlocutor, Edward Said, we will read Antonio Gramsci, Derrida and Walter Benjamin. We will end the semester with facing the challenge of historicizing our own political present through a number of contemporary thinkers. M
HIST 2980V. Early Modern Empires.
This seminar will explore various approaches to understanding the rise, expansion, and contraction of empires in the early modern period (ca. 1500-1800). Students will be required to write a major research essay based on primary sources.
HIST 2980W. First Person History in Times of Crisis: Witnessing, Memory, Fiction.
This seminar examines the relationship between History as a narrative of events and history as individual experience. Postulating that historical events as related by historians were experienced in numerous different ways by their protagonists, the seminar focuses on the complementary and contradictory aspects of this often fraught relationship at times of crisis, especially in war and genocide. While much time will be spent on World War II and the Holocaust, the seminar will engage with other modern wars and genocides across the world. Materials will include eyewitness reports, postwar testimonies and trial records, memoirs and relevant works of fiction. Open to graduate students only. M
HIST 2981C. The Frontiers of Empire.
This class will look at interactions along and across imperial frontier zones throughout the world, with an emphasis on the pre-modern and early modern period. Readings will be both theoretical and empirical in nature, and will focus on themes including the conceptualization of space; practices and consequences of warfare, captive-taking, and slavery; identity- and secondary state-formation; economy and society; diplomacy and the negotiation of claims to authority.
HIST 2981E. Environmental History.
A topical seminar with global and chronologically broad scope, "Environmental History" surveys classic works and recent writing on explicitly environmental themes such as agriculture, conservation, energy, and anthropogenic change. Equally, it considers environmental treatments of major topics in other sub-fields such as war, science, imperialism, the body and senses, and animals. In examining this broad range of topics, we will seek what is distinctive about environmental history and how environmental considerations can enhance the students' own research.
HIST 2981F. The Politics of Knowledge.
The seminar offers an introduction to fundamental theoretical texts and exemplary works in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. Readings will be drawn from a range of time periods and geographical areas, and students will be asked to deploy the theoretical insights of our readings in working with sources in their own fields for a final research paper. Topics include: the gendered dimensions of knowledge, the moral economy of science, claims to expertise, and the stakes of "objectivity."
HIST 2981I. Theory From The South.
The “global south” is a working category today for a diversity of intellectual projects centered on the non-European postcolonial world. While this category is embedded in histories of empire and culture, critical thinking since the 1970s has already done much to “provincialize Europe” and interrogate the ways in which power and knowledge have been imbricated in the making of universal claims, institutional processes and historical self-understanding. This graduate seminar will draw upon lineages of anti-colonial thought and postcolonial critique to relocate and rethink the "south" as a generative source for theory and history.
HIST 2981J. The Body.
This seminar will consider theories of the body as a site of knowledge, politics, culture, gender, and identification in a broad range of temporal and geographic contexts. We will also examine how historians have written the history of the body, and what sources they have used to do so.
HIST 2981L. Interrogating the Colonial Archive.
This seminar will introduce students to various emergent approaches to thinking about “the archive” – that is, in the broadest sense, records of the past, their management, and current interpretations about the past. The silences and limitations of the archives have been particularly challenging for those seeking to understand historical agency by subaltern groups. We will reflect upon how the writing of global and transnational histories has impacted how we engage the colonial archive, discussing issues of scale, translocality, storytelling, and the biographical turn in Atlantic studies. This seminar cuts across several historiographical fields.
HIST 2981O. Seascapes of History.
This seminar explores the recent “oceanic turn” in history, examining how and why the sea and the maritime matter to interpretations of the past. Key readings will include general works that theorize new maritime history and thalassography, and studies focused on the history of specific oceanic and maritime areas (e.g. the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean), which illuminate sub-themes such as migration, colonization, empire building, trade, sailors’ culture, piracy, cultural attitudes toward the sea, religion and sea, and maritime environmental history. Readings will be drawn from a wide range of chronologies as well as geographies.
HIST 2981Q. Histories of Empire and Decolonization.
For most of history humans have not lived within neatly bound nation-states. Rather, empires often organized the political, economic and social lives of diverse peoples. But the age of empire came to a dramatic end by the middle of the twentieth century. How and why did this rapid transformation occur and how have the legacies of colonialism continued to shape former colonies and metropoles? This course, which examines theories and case studies of empire and decolonization throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, seeks to address these questions, through key concepts including racial difference, citizenship, self-determination, settler colonialism, nationalism, and decolonization.
HIST 2990. Thesis Preparation.
For graduate students who have met the tuition requirement and are paying the registration fee to continue active enrollment while preparing a thesis.
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Robert O. Self
Engin D. Akarli
Joukowsky Family Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Modern Middle Eastern History
John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History
John P. Bodel
W. Duncan MacMillan II Professor of Classics
Cynthia J. Brokaw
Chen Family Professor of China Studies
Mari Jo Buhle
Professor Emerita of American Studies
Professor of History; Professor of Italian Studies
Howard P. Chudacoff
George L. Littlefield Professor of American History
Harold J. Cook
John F. Nickoll Professor of History
Lewis Perry Curtis Jr
Professor Emeritus of History
Beshara B. Doumani
Joukowsky Family Distinguished Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History
Professor Emeritus of History
Charles W. Fornara
Professor Emeritus of Classics
Professor of History
Stephen Richards Graubard
Professor Emeritus of History
James N. Green
Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Professor of Modern Latin American History
Jerome B. Grieder
Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies and History
Munro, Goodwin, Wilkinson Professor of European History
Professor Emerita of History
Professor of American Studies; Professor of History
Nancy J. Jacobs
Professor of History
University Professor Emeritus of Education, History and Public Policy
Robert Burr Litchfield
Professor Emeritus of History
Steven D. Lubar
Professor of American Studies; Professor of History
Professor of History and Judaic Studies
Richard Alan Meckel
Professor of American Studies
Professor Emeritus of History
Charles E. Neu
Professor Emeritus of History
Graham J. Oliver
Professor of Classics; Professor of History
James T. Patterson
Ford Foundation Professor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of History
Kurt A. Raaflaub
Professor Emeritus of Classics
Amy G. Remensnyder
Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence
Norman Robert Rich
Professor Emeritus of History
Joan L. Richards
Professor of History
Kenneth S. Sacks
Professor of History
Robert O. Self
Mary Ann Lippitt Professor of American History
Michael P. Steinberg
Barnaby Conrad and Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of History
Adam J. Teller
Professor of History; Professor of Judaic Studies
Lea Everard Williams
Professor Emeritus of History
Gordon S. Wood
Professor Emeritus of History
Holly A. Case
Associate Professor of History
Jonathan P. Conant
Associate Professor of History; Associate Professor of Classics
Robert Douglas Cope
Associate Professor of History
Vasco da Gama University Professor of Portuguese History
Linford D. Fisher
Associate Professor of History
Francoise N. Hamlin
Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History
Rebecca A. Nedostup
Associate Professor of History
Tara E. Nummedal
Associate Professor of History; Associate Professor of Italian Studies
Ethan M. Pollock
Associate Professor of History; Associate Professor of Slavic Studies
Seth E. Rockman
Associate Professor of History
Neil F. Safier
Associate Professor of History
Associate Professor of History; Associate Professor of American Studies
Associate Professor of History
Tracy L. Steffes
Associate Professor of Education; Associate Professor of History
Associate Professor of History
Vazira F-Y Zamindar
Associate Professor of History
Visiting Associate Professor
Meltem C. Toksoz
Visiting Associate Professor of History and Middle East Studies
Bathsheba R. Demuth
Assistant Professor of History and Environment and Society
Jennifer E. Johnson
Assistant Professor of History; Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Brian G. Lander
Assistant Professor of History and Environment and Society
Kutayba Alghanim Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History and International and Public Affairs
Jeremy R. Mumford
Assistant Professor of History
Emily A. Owens
Assistant Professor of History
Lukas B. Rieppel
Assistant Professor of History
Senior Lecturer in Judaic Studies and Adjunct Professor of History
Adjunct Professor of History
Adjunct Associate Professor
Amy Turner Bushnell
Adjunct Associate Professor of History
Adjunct Associate Professor of History
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Joel W. Revill
Adjunct Assistant Professor of History
Benito Bisso Schmidt
Visiting Scholar in History
Faye Getz Cook
Visiting Scholar in History
Rebecca Sherrill More
Visiting Scholar in History
History is the study of how societies and cultures across the world change over time. History concentrators learn to write and think critically, and to understand issues from a variety of perspectives. The department offers a wide variety of courses concerned with changes in human experience through time, ranging from classical Greek and Roman civilizations to the histories of Europe, the Americas, and Asia. While some courses explore special topics, others concentrate on the history of a particular country (e.g. Russia or France) or period of time (e.g. the Middle Ages or the Renaissance). By taking advantage of our diverse course offerings, students can engage in and develop broad perspectives on the past and the present.
1. Basic Requirement: A concentration in History consists of a minimum of ten semester-long courses; of these, at least eight must be offered by the Brown University History Department, including cross-listed courses. (Students who spend more than one semester at another institution, must take at least 7 HIST courses - see “Transferring Courses” below.)
2. Courses below 1000: Students may count no more than four courses numbered below 1000 toward the concentration requirements. Students considering a concentration in History are encouraged to take First Year and Sophomore seminars, as well as courses in the HIST 0150 and 0200 series, for an introduction to historical reasoning, discussion, and writing.
3. Field of Focus: The field of focus must include a minimum of four courses and serves as a "track" determined by the student concentrating in History. The field of focus my be geographic or thematic. Students who choose a geographical focus in Europe or North America must also provide a chronological focus (such as Early Modern Europe, Early North America, or Modern North America). Students who are interested in a thematic or transnational focus (such as Comparative Colonialisms, Law & Society, Science & Technology, Environment & Medicine or the Ancient World) may include courses from different geographic and chronological areas. All students should consult a concentration advisor early in the process about their potential field of focus. All fields are subject to approval by the concentration advisor.
4. Geographical Distribution: Concentrators must take at least two courses in three different geographic areas. These are:
- East Asia
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Middle East and South Asia
- North America
“Global” courses are defined as those that deal with at least three different regions of the world.
For details on which courses count toward which geographical distribution requirement click here
5. Chronological Distribution: All concentrators must complete at least two courses designated as “P” (for pre-modern).
For a listing of which courses count as "P" courses click here
6. Capstone Seminar: All concentrators must complete at least one capstone seminar (these will be HIST 1960s and HIST 1970s series courses in the new numbering system.) These seminars are designed to serve as an intellectual culmination of the concentration. They provide students with an opportunity to delve deeply into a historical problem and to write a major research and/or analytical paper which serves as a capstone experience. Ideally, they will be taken in the field of focus and during the student’s junior or senior year. Students considering writing a senior honors thesis are advised to take an advanced seminar in their junior year.
7. Transferring Courses: The History Department encourages students to take history courses at other institutions, either in the United States or abroad, as well as history-oriented courses in other departments and programs at Brown. Students may apply two courses taken in other departments/programs at Brown to the ten-course minimum for the History concentration. Students who spend one semester at another institution may apply to their concentration a maximum of two courses from other departments or institutions, and those who spend more than one semester at another institution may apply to their concentration a third course transferred from another institution.
Students wishing to apply such courses must present to their concentration advisor justification that those courses complement some aspect of their concentration. Courses from other Brown departments may not be applied toward the chronological distribution requirement. History courses taught by trained historians from other institutions (e.g., from study abroad or a previous institution) may be applied toward the chronological distribution requirement so long as at least 2/3 of the course content examine the "premodern" or "early modern" periods.
It is normally expected that students will have declared their intention to concentrate in History and have their concentration programs approved before undertaking study elsewhere. Students taking courses in Brown-run programs abroad automatically receive University transfer credit, but concentration credit is granted only with the approval of a concentration advisor. Students taking courses in other foreign-study programs or at other universities in the United States must apply to the Transfer Credit Advisor and then get approval from a concentration advisor.
8. Regular Consultation: Students are strongly urged to consult regularly with their concentration advisor or a department advisor about their program. During the seventh semester, all students must meet with their concentration advisor for review and approval of their program.
|COURSES BELOW 1000|
|150's: Thematic Courses that Cut Across Time and Place|
|History of Capitalism|
|The Philosophers' Stone: Alchemy From Antiquity to Harry Potter|
|Locked Up: A Global History of Prison and Captivity|
|Refugees: A Twentieth-Century History|
History of Law: Great Trials
|Foods and Drugs in History|
|Gateway Lecture Courses|
|African Experiences of Empire|
|Modern Africa: From Empire to Nation-State|
|Histories of East Asia: China|
|Histories of East Asia: Japan|
|Modern Korea: Contending with Modernity|
|The Making of Modern East Asia|
|War and Peace in Modern Europe|
|Clash of Empires in Latin America|
|Colonial Latin America|
|Modern Latin America|
|Modern Middle East Roots: 1492 to the Present|
|Understanding the Middle East: 1800s to the Present|
|Civilization, Empire, Nation: Competing Histories of the Middle East|
|American Exceptionalism: The History of an Idea|
|The American Civil War|
|Religion, Politics, and Culture in America, 1865 - Present|
|Modern American History: New and Different Perspectives|
|From Fire Wielders to Empire Builders: Human Impact on the Global Environment before 1492|
|From the Columbian Exchange to Climate Change: Modern Global Environmental History|
|The First Globalization: The Portuguese in Africa, Asia, and the Americas|
|Science and Capitalism|
|Modern Genocide and Other Crimes against Humanity|
|History of Medicine I: Medical Traditions in the Old World Before 1700|
|History of Medicine II: The Development of Scientific Medicine in Europe and the World|
|Africa and the Transatlantic Slave Trade|
|Shanghai in Myth and History|
|Athens, Jerusalem, and Baghdad: Three Civilizations, One Tradition|
|Christianity in Conflict in the Medieval Mediterranean|
|The Holy Grail and the Historian's Quest for the Truth|
|An Empire and Republic: The Dutch Golden Age|
|Reason, Revolution and Reaction in Europe|
|The Holocaust in Historical Perspective|
|State Surveillance in History|
|The Academic as Activist|
|Popular Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean|
|Tropical Delights: Imagining Brazil in History and Culture|
|Women in the Middle East, 7th-20th C.: Patriarchal Visions, Revolutionary Voices|
|Object Histories: The Material Culture of Early America|
|Abraham Lincoln: Historical and Cultural Perspectives|
|Sport in American History|
|Slavery and Historical Memory in the United States|
|Slavery, Race, and Racism|
|Narratives of Slavery|
|Culture and U.S. Empire|
|Asian Americans and Third World Solidarity|
|The Silk Road, Past and Present|
|The Chinese Diaspora: A History of Globalization|
|The Age of Revolutions, 1760-1824|
|Making Change: Nonviolence in Action|
|Science and Society in Darwin's England|
|The Search for King Arthur|
|British Social History|
|Becoming French: Minorities and the Challenges of Integration in the French Republic|
|Welfare States and a History of Modern Life|
|Walden + Woodstock: The American Lives of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bob Dylan|
|The Social Lives of Dead Bodies in China and Beyond|
|Empire and Everyday Life in Colonial Latin America|
|COURSES WITH NUMBERS 1000-1999|
|Southern African Entanglements: Class, Gender, Race, and Species since 1870|
|Africa, c.1850-1946: Colonial Contexts and Everyday Experiences|
|Chinese Political Thought from Confucius to Xi Jinping|
|Humanitarianism and Conflict in Africa|
|Imperial China/China: Culture and Legacy|
|China's Late Empires|
|The Modern Chinese Nation: An Idea and Its Limits|
|China Pop: The Social History of Chinese Popular Culture|
|Samurai and Merchants, Prostitutes and Priests: Japanese Urban Culture in the Early Modern Period|
|Japan's Pacific War: 1937-1945|
|The Fall of Empires and Rise of Kings: Greek History to 478 to 323 BCE|
|History of Greece: From Alexander the Great to the Roman Conquest|
|Roman History I|
|Roman History II: The Empire|
|Formation of the Classical Heritage: Greeks, Romans, Jews, Christians, and Muslims|
|The Long Fall of the Roman Empire|
|The Viking Age|
|Crusaders and Cathedrals, Deviants and Dominance: Europe in the High Middle Ages|
|Revolution and Romanticism in 19th century Europe|
|Modern European Intellectual and Cultural History: The Fin de Siecle, 1880-1914|
|The Search for Renewal in 20th century Europe|
|Making A "Second Sex": Women and Gender in Modern European History|
|Politics of Violence in 20C Europe|
|Living Together: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Iberia|
|Truth on Trial: Justice in Italy, 1400-1800|
|English History, 1529-1660|
|British History, 1660-1800|
|The Rise of the Russian Empire|
|Russia in the Era of Reforms, Revolutions, and World Wars|
|The Collapse of Socialism and the Rise of New Russia|
|German History, 1806-1945|
|Liberty, Equality, Fraternity? The History of Modern France|
|The French Revolution|
|Death from Medieval Relics to Forensic Science|
|History of Brazil|
|Brazil: From Abolition to Emerging Global Power|
|Rebel Island: Cuba, 1492-Present|
|The Rise and Fall of the Aztecs: Mexico, 1300-1600|
|Reform and Rebellion: Mexico, 1700-1867|
|The Mexican Revolution|
|The United States and Brazil: Tangled Relations|
|Latin American History and Film: Memory, Narrative and Nation|
|The Ottomans: Faith, Law, Empire|
|The Making of the Ottoman World, 15th - 20th Centuries|
|The Making of the Modern Middle East|
|Modern Turkey: Empire, Nation, Republic|
|The American Revolution|
|Antebellum America and the Road to Civil War|
|Making America Modern|
|American Politics and Culture Since 1945|
|Sinners, Saints, and Heretics: Religion in Early America|
|First Nations: The People and Cultures of Native North America to 1800|
|U.S. Cultural History from Revolution to Reconstruction|
|Capitalism, Slavery and the Economy of Early America|
|Women in Early America|
|The Intimate State: The Politics of Gender, Sex, and Family in the U.S., 1873-Present|
|Political Movements in Twentieth-Century America|
|Black Freedom Struggle Since 1945|
|American Urban History, 1600-1870|
|American Urban History, 1870-1965|
|Empires in America to 1890|
|American Empire Since 1890|
|American Legal and Constitutional History|
|Inequality + Change: South Asia after 1947|
|"Cannibals", "Barbarians" and "Noble Savages": Travel and Ethnography in the Early Modern World|
|Slavery in the Early Modern World|
|A Global History of the Reformation|
|Capitalism, Land and Water: A World History: 1350-1848|
|Capitalism, Land and Water: A World History: 1848 to the present|
|Nature on Display|
|Nature, Knowledge, Power in Renaissance Europe|
|Science, Medicine and Technology in the 17th Century|
|The Roots of Modern Science|
|Science at the Crossroads|
|Science and Capitalism|
|From Medieval Bedlam to Prozac Nation: Intimate Histories of Psychiatry and Self|
|Medicine and Public Health in Africa|
|South Africa Since 1990|
|North African History: 1800 to Present|
|Zionists Anti Zionists and Post Zionists: Jewish Controversies in the 20th Century (JUDS 1752)|
|Cities and Urban Culture in China|
|Medieval Kyoto - Medieval Japan|
|Korea: North and South|
|North Korea: Past, Present, Future|
|Outside the Mainstream|
|Life During Wartime: Theory and Sources from the Twentieth Century|
|State, Religion and the Public Good in Modern China|
|Japan in the World, from the Age of Empires to 3.11|
|Barbarians, Byzantines, and Berbers: Early Medieval North Africa, AD 300-1050|
|Charlemagne: Conquest, Empire, and the Making of the Middle Ages|
|Sex, Power, and God: A Medieval Perspective|
|Age of Impostors: Fraud, Identification, and the Self in Early Modern Europe|
|The Enchanted World: Magic, Angels, and Demons in Early Modern Europe|
|Women in Early Modern England|
|The English Revolution|
|Early Modern Ireland|
|Spin, Terror and Revolution: England, Scotland and Ireland, 1660-1720|
|City as Modernity:Popular Culture, Mass Consumption, Urban Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century Paris|
|Fin-de-Siècle Paris and Vienna|
|The USSR and the Cold War|
|Politics of the Intellectual in 20C Europe|
|Appetite for Greatness: Cuisine, Power, and the French|
|Double Fault! Race and Gender in Modern Sports History|
|"Furies from Hell" to "Femi-Nazis": A History of Modern Anti-Feminism|
|'Naturally Chic': Fashion, Gender, and National Identity in French History|
|The Crisis of Liberalism in Modern History|
|Making Revolutionary Cuba, 1959-Present|
|In the Shadow of Revolution: Mexico Since 1940|
|The Maya in the Modern World|
|Politics and Culture Under The Brazilian Military Dictatorship, 1964-1985|
|History of Rio de Janeiro|
|History of the Andes from the Incas to Evo Morales|
|Approaches to the Middle East|
|History of Capitalism: The Eastern Mediterranean and the World Around|
|America and the Middle East: Social and Cultural Histories in Tandem|
|Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples I|
|Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples II|
|Debates in Middle Eastern History|
|Palestine versus the Palestinians|
|Nothing Pleases Me: Understanding Modern Middle Eastern History Through Literature|
|Colonial Encounters: Indians, Europeans, and the Making of Early America|
|Enslaved! Indians and Africans in an Unfree Atlantic World|
|Problem of Class in Early America|
|From Emancipation to Obama|
|American Legal History, 1760-1920|
|Theory and Practice of Local History|
|Consent: Race, Sex, and the Law|
|Settler Colonialism + US Military Empire in the Pacific|
|U.S. Human Rights in a Global Age|
|The Silk Roads, Past and Present|
|War and Peace: A Global History|
|Nonviolence in History and Practice|
|Decolonizing Minds: A People's History of the World|
|Maps and Empires|
|Early Modern Globalization|
|The Nuclear Age|
|Native Histories in Latin America and North America|
|The History of Extinction|
|Powering the Past: The History of Energy|
|The Anthropocene: Climate Change as Social History|
|Fueling Change: A Global History of Energy|
|Environmental History of Latin America 1492-Present|
|The World of Isaac Newton|
|Topics in the History of Economic Thought|
|Histories of the Future|
|Feathery Things: An Avian Introduction to Animal Studies|
|Gender, Race, and Medicine in the Americas|
|Modern Southeast Asian History, 18th Century to Present: A Reading Seminar|
|Reform and Revolution in Latin America|
|Women's Work: Gender and Capitalism in American History|
|Empire and Everyday Life in Colonial Latin America|
|Putin, Stalin and "Friends": Understanding Eurasia Today through its History and Personalities|
|Ruined History: Visual and Material Culture in South Asia|
|Wise Latinas: Women, Gender, and Biography in Latinx History|
|Sex, Gender, Empire|
|The Unwinding: A History of the 1990s|
|Prostitutes, Mothers, + Midwives: Women in Pre-modern Europe and North America|
|Race and Inequality in Metropolitan America from Urbanization to #blacklivesmatter|
|London: 1750 to the Present|
|The Indian Ocean World|
|Urban History of Latin America|
|Piracy, Patents and Intellectual Property|
|Comparative Black Power|
|History of Chinese Medicine|
|Japanese Film and Animation of the 20th Century|
|Scientific Controversies from Creationism to Climate Change|
|History of Life Itself: Biopolitics in Modern Europe|
|Modernism and Its Critics|
|The Business of Empire: History of Capitalism and U.S. Foreign Relations, 1900 to the Present|
|Technologies of the Soul: The History of Healing|
|Debates on the Holocaust|
|Modern Enchantments: Science, Religion, and Magic in Modernizinig America|
|Peace, Justice and Human Rights in a Global Age|
|The World in Revolution: America and the Global South during the Long 1970s|
|Undergraduate Reading Courses|
|History Honors Workshop for Prospective Thesis Writers|
|History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, Part I|
|History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, Part II|
History concentrators in the 5th or 6th semester may apply for honors. To be admitted, students must have achieved two-thirds “quality grades” in History department courses. A “quality grade” is defined as a grade of “A” or a grade of “S” accompanied by a course performance report indicating a performance at the “A” standard.
Students who wish to enroll in honors are recommended to takeHIST 1992, “History Honors Workshop for Prospective Students.” HIST 1992 can count as one of the 10 courses required for graduation in history. HIST 1992 students who prepare a prospectus that receives a grade of A- or above will be admitted to the honors program. Students in their 7th semester who have not taken HIST 1992 (including but not limited to those who are away from Brown during that semester) may apply to the program by submitting a prospectus no later than the first day of that semester. All honors students must complete one semester of HIST 1993 “History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, Part I” and one semester of HIST 1994 “History Workshop for Thesis Writers, Part II.” HIST 1993 and HIST 1994 do not count towards the 10 courses required for graduation in history; they are an additional two courses to the minimum of 10 required history courses. Students who contemplate enrolling in the honors program in History should consult the honors section of the department website. They are also encouraged to meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who serves as the honors advisor.
The department of History offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts (A.M.) degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.
For more information about the Ph.D. program please visit the following website:
For more information about the A.M. program please visit the following website:
For more detailed information:
Guidelines for Master's Students
The one-year History M.A. program is designed to be intellectually rigorous yet also flexible enough to permit students to adapt it to a variety of professional contexts and goals. The intellectual rigor is achieved through M.A.-specific coursework, particularly the Historical Crossings seminar, and its combination with Ph.D. seminars. The flexibility is achieved through a choice of one of two tracks:
o The Professional Track incorporates two “skills” courses (in, for example, writing, language, computer science, design, or public history) designed to help students meet individual professional goals.
o The Academic Track is designed to prepare students to continue work at the PhD level. It replaces one of the “skills” courses with a research credit in the spring for which the student will produce an article-length research paper. The second “skills” course could be a language or another PhD seminar, as appropriate.
The cornerstone of the M.A. program for students on both tracks is the Historical Crossing seminar in the fall. “Historical crossings” is a rough translation of histoire croisée, a term that has emerged in recent decades in European scholarship. It refers to global configurations of events and ashared history, rather than to a traditional comparative history. The rise of global capitalism, for instance, is a shared history. People in different places experienced that rise in distinct ways yet their histories are united by the social and political formations that emerged within capitalism. Empire is another.
The Historical Crossings Seminar is a Fall course in which the entire M.A. cohort enrolls, along with interested Ph.D. students. The seminar will not serve as a traditional historical methods course but instead will focus on training students to read and think on various scales of historical analysis—from the cross-cultural and trans-geographic to the granularity of social and cultural specificity. It will require students to think both globally and locally and will introduce them to an advanced level of historical inquiry, debate, and exploration.
All students will complete 8 credits:
|Fall seminar in "Historical Crossings (required)|
|Historical Crossings: Empires and Modernity|
|2000 level courses (3 credits) for example:|
|Early Modern Continental Europe - Reading|
|Special Topics Seminar: American Political History|
|Latin American Historiography|
|Topics in 19th c. U.S. History|
|First Person History in Times of Crisis: Witnessing, Memory, Fiction|
|1000 or 2000 level courses (2 credits)|
|1000 level "skills" courses outside History, chosen in consultation with the History DGS OR 1 research credit for MA paper and 1 1000 level "skills" course, chosen in consultation with the History DGS, typically either a language course or an additional PhD seminar (2 credits)|