Fall 2016 Undergraduate Courses
HIST 11100: World History to 1500
History 111 is a survey of the history of human civilization from the end of the Stone Age to 1500 CE. The course examines the concept of civilization, the emergence of the earliest civilizations, and the distinctive features of ancient cultures, societies and governments. Other topics include the expansion of contacts among the early centers of urban society, and the emergence of civilizations in what had originally been peripheral regions. Particular attention is paid to the development of the religious and intellectual traditions of several classical civilizations, and the influence these traditions have had on later societies. The course ends roughly around 1500, on the eve of the tremendous changes that came about in the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world as a result of the European explorations and conquests that began with the voyages of Columbus.
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group A).
HIST 12100: Early Modern Europe 1500 – 1815
The early modern period saw the Renaissance, the Reformations, the Age of Discoveries, the invention of print, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Contemporary observers interpreted these events as harbingers of new times, and speculated how society should or will be organized in the future. This course reads the major transformations of early modern Europe through the lens of these utopian visions. As we will see, the expectations of contemporaries were often not realized. Yet their writings reveal how scholars, priests, newswriters and ordinary people experienced and hoped to shape the world they were living in.
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group D).
HIST 12200: 19th and 20th Century Europe (W)
An introduction to the history of modern Europe. Beginning with the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, the course traces the development of the Industrial Revolution, the dissemination of ideas and ideologies across the continent, imperialism, two world wars, and the global repercussions of the Cold War. We will raise a number of big questions: How do we explain European predominance and decline in the modern era? Was the nation-state inevitable? Were free markets inevitable? Were democratic systems inevitable? How did the two world wars change the international system? How did Europe’s global entanglements over the last two centuries shape its societies? How can we make sense (or not) of the past, and what does that say about the present?
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group D). (W) Writing intensive course (W)
HIST 15100: United States from the Colonial Era to the Civil War (W)
This survey course examines the development of the United States politically and socially through the Civil War. Specific topics we will follow over the entire course include the foundation and development of the United States government, economic growth, immigration, slavery, social and intellectual thought, territorial expansion, and the place of women in American society.
Writing intensive course (W)
HIST 15200: United States from the Civil War to the Present (W)
This course surveys some of the major developments in United States history from 1865 to the 1970s. Among the subjects covered are the struggles for justice of African Americans and women; the expanding scope and power of the federal government; and the increasing engagement of the United States with the world.
Writing intensive course (W)
HIST 21100: Medieval Civilization
The thousand year period between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the beginnings of the modern age were a dynamic, action-packed era which saw the birth of many modern social institutions, including universities, systematized law, centralized government, and the romance novel, just to name a few. We will approach the course with the following goals in mind: to understand the social, institutional, economic, cultural, and religious shifts that occurred during this period; to understand the continuities of medieval thought and society and to be able to explain its relationship to the periods before and after the Middle Ages; to be able to critically analyze primary sources, and to understand how to use primary sources to forward a historical argument; and to understand how historical interpretations of a topic or event themselves change over time.
HIST 27100: Early History of Latin America
This course provides an overview of the early political, economic, cultural and social history of Latin America (1490s to 1820s). The course encompasses the history of Spanish America as well as Portuguese Brazil, but emphasis will be on the former. Among the topics covered are pre-Columbian indigenous societies in the Americas; the personal, regional and transnational impact of the encounter between European, African and Native peoples; evolving land, labor and production arrangements; Christian evangelization and the role of the Catholic Church in colonial society; the character and reach of imperial authority; racial, ethnic, caste and gender relations; popular resistance and protest; and the ideological and material underpinnings of emergent independence movements in the early 19th century.
HIST 27650: Middle East from the Beginning of Islam to 1800
History 276.50 is a survey that acquaints the student with the origins and development of the history and civilization of the Middle East since the advent of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula until 1800 when Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt changed the course of Middle Eastern (and European) history. As a result, the concentration of this course is on the Muslim experience in the Middle East. Non-Muslim populations are also considered in relation to the dominant Muslim culture. This course introduces Middle East history through the voices of the makers of that history and, consequently, the majority of the primary sources are translations of works written by scholars and intellectuals from the region. This course describes and analyzes the historical development of religious, educational, social, and legal institutions in the Middle East in the imperial and early modern periods, and the relevance of those institutions to the world today.
HIST 28900: Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries
This class explores the local and transnational relationships that have shaped African power structures and societies since the 19th century. At the center of our exploration are the myriad and evolving connections that link African polities and societies with a globalizing world. The course begins by exploring notions of power and authority within pre-colonial African societies as a framework for understanding the continuities and changes within African politics over the last two centuries. The majority of the course then focuses on African initiatives and experiences of capitalism, colonization, and independence. Through case studies examining such topics as religion, colonial rule, patronage, nationalism, development, public health, and gender, this course enables students to critically analyze the diverse interactions, opportunities, and constraints that inform African histories. Having completed the course, students will acquire the skills necessary to question the stereotypes that dominant many popular representations of “Africa.”
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group A).
HIST 29000: History Practicum (W)
A writing intensive seminar intended to help history majors develop their skills as historians. Each section of this course may focus on a different historical theme and so students will encounter different readings and topics. But in all sections of this course students will learn to locate, critically assess, and interpret primary sources, both textual and non-textual; analyze and critique a range of secondary sources for both methodological and historiographical purposes; and develop, draft, and revise a strong and effective research paper by learning how to construct a thesis, organize a paper, devise a bibliography, and cite sources following the Chicago Manual of Style.
Writing Intensive course (W)
HIST 34119: Ancient Jewish History
This course traces Jewish history from the biblical, second temple, through the rabbinic period. It will examine the evolution of the social, political and religious institutions and thought during these foundational stages in Israelite history.
HIST 34103: Berlin: Capital of the 20th Century
This class explores the central importance of the city of Berlin to the course of German, European, and world history in the twentieth century. The local and national politics of Berlin will be traced through the five different German regimes of the twentieth century: Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, the German Democratic Republic, and the Federal Republic of Germany. Additionally the course will examine the distinct local culture of the city of Berlin, and Berlin’s role as a center of artistic, scientific, and social innovation in the twentieth century. Themes of the course will include the tensions between the local, national and world dimensions of Berlin’s story, and the various questions of identity – urban, Prussian, west versus east German, “red” versus “national” – which Berlin’s history raises. By the end of the course, students should understand the periodization of Berlin’s 20th century history and the key facts, themes, issues and individuals and groups involved; they should be familiar with the use and analysis of primary sources such as those listed on this syllabus; and they should be able to formulate and sustain an argument on the basis of such sources.
HIST 3411T: History of Jewish Music
This course will survey the development of Jewish music from its origins in the biblical Temple service, the development of Medieval modes and cantillation, the polyphony of Salomone Rossi, the synthesis of Western and traditional Jewish music in 19th century Europe and 20th century United States, to today’s folk and rock phenomena.
HIST 3411U: China Since 1911
1911 was a pivotally important year in Chinese history. The Xinhai Revolution of that year brought to an end a two thousand year tradition of imperial rule in China but what ought to and could replace that tradition was neither clear nor uniformly agreed upon. In this course we will look at how Chinese people have continually redefined themselves, their state, their ideologies, their culture, and their place in the world since that time up to the present day.
HIST 3411V: History of Arab-Israeli Relations
This course traces the origins and development of Arab-Israeli relations from the late 19th century to the present. Through the use of primary and secondary sources, this course examines major issues such as colonialism, modernity, and nationalism, as well as the development of Zionism, Palestine under Ottoman Rule, Jewish Settlements in Palestine, the Palestine Mandate, the 1948 War of Independence, as well as other conflicts, settlements, and the Peace Process.
HIST 3411W: History of Cuba
In this course we will study key aspects of Cuba's history, culture and politics. From pre-Conquest times to Columbus' "discovery," the development of a slave society on the basis of plantation agriculture, and the island's increasing centrality to the world sugar trade in the wake of the Haitian Revolution, the story of Cuba was a vital part of the development of colonialism in the Western Hemisphere. Yet Cuba was also an exception to the pattern of Latin American independence, remaining within Spain's empire three quarters of a century longer than other colonies. Convulsive independence and anti-slavery struggles gave way to new patterns of domination, again with a wide-ranging regional impact, with the Spanish-American War. The mass labor and student upsurge of the 1930s and consolidation of the Batista regime prepared the scene for the Cuban Revolution, which profoundly affected all of Latin America as well as U.S. approaches to the hemisphere. The course will end with a look at ongoing shifts in U.S.-Cuba relations.
HIST 3411X: Violence and Healing in African History
This course questions what constitutes "war" in African history, and why violent events and processes occurred when they have. We will examine the subtleties of violent events in Africa, which have sometimes led to conflicts, and sometimes to rich strategies of healing and improvisation. These include ecological crises, domestic violence, corruption, economic exploitation, and demographic crises (including urbanization and diseases such as HIV-AIDS). While we begin by examining ideas about conflict in pre-colonial Africa, the course focuses on the colonial and post-colonial eras in African history.
HIST 36100: U.S. and the World in the Twentieth Century
This class considers the interrelationship between the United States and the twentieth-century world. In examining the trajectory of U.S. foreign relations during the last century, we will focus on how and why the United States interacted with other nations and peoples as it did. We will also explore the ways in which developments overseas helped shape American domestic life. The goal, in short, is to develop an understanding of America's impact on the world in the last century and, at the same time, to ponder how the world influenced life in America.
HIST 38210: The Reformation and the Wars of Religion
In this seminar we will explore the causes and development of the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century and the Catholic (Counter) Reformation through the reading and discussion of both primary and secondary sources, with emphasis on the works and teachings of Martin Luther and John Calvin. We will also examine and compare the ensuing religious wars (Dutch, French, German). Students will develop two research projects and will have the opportunity to present their findings in class.
HIST 38213: Tudor England
In this seminar we will begin with the study of fifteenth-century England and the War of the Roses as the background to the triumph of Henry VII Tudor on the battlefield in 1485. We continue by surveying the reigns of the five Tudor monarchs—Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I—and follow the often revolutionary developments in state, church and society to the end of the Tudor period in 1603. Students will develop two research projects and will have the opportunity to present their findings in class.
HIST 38217: Jerusalem in the 20th Century
This course is designed as an honors seminar—a weekly meeting of students—devoted to the study of the city of Jerusalem and its peoples in the 20th century. Jerusalem is an ancient city whose 3,000-year recorded history played a central role in the religious lives of Jews, Christians, and Muslims world over. All those who vied for control of the city used stories of Jerusalem’s past to demonstrate their rights to land and authority. During the period of our study the boundaries of the city changed several times, and the composition of the population changed significantly. The purpose of the class is to deepen understanding of the modern history of this ancient city, taking into consideration the competing views of Western, Israeli, and Palestinian scholars. Understanding the conflict in Jerusalem is key to understanding the larger Middle East. The skills learned in this course should enable the student to participate in a more meaningful way in one of the most important trouble spots in today’s world.