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Spring 2018 Undergraduate Courses

Please note: Course offerings subject to change.

HIST 11200: World History 1500 to the Present
This course is a survey of world history from the 16th century until the present. Our focus will be the evolution of global connections and interactions that led to unprecedented movements of people, ideas, technologies, and microbes during this time period. As novel forms of migration and rule crossed our world, they propelled new forms of domination and resistance. We will explore how these processes impacted the causes and consequences of the slave trade, imperial domination, decolonization, and nationalism. Specific case studies will illuminate these events by exploring how global processes effected local contexts and vice-versa. Particular emphasis will be placed on how historians analyze primary source material, interpret, and debate the past. Finally, this course will reorient students away from a western perspective to highlight global and alternative histories that are often ignored within broad historical surveys.


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)
History of modern Europe between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, covering Western, Eastern Europe, and Russia. The focus of this course is upon political history but topics related to economy, culture and the arts are included as well. We start with the French Revolution of 1789 and complete the course with the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union in 1991. We will analyze how the concept of Europe changed over time; how colonies turned into nation states, and how these nations transformed during the modern era; why, how, and when some states adopted totalitarian models; and how colonialism and totalitarianism came to an end in Europe after WWII. Themes include: the French Revolution and Revolutionary Wars, romanticism, liberalism, socialism and Marxism, 1848, empire and nation states, European imperialism, WWI, interwar radicalism, Nazism, fascism, and Stalinism, WWII, the Holocaust, cold war, European Union, the collapse of communism, and the creation of a new Europe. Lectures will be supplemented by weekly readings from the textbook and primary sources. Students will learn to work with primary sources and incorporate them into historical analysis.
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 course will cover U.S. History broadly from the early period of European settlement to the conclusion of the Civil War. The course will include at least one focused study of a particular topic or event from this period. 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 25003: The World of the Bible
The Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) is a library of works that reflect much more than one thousand years of ancient Jewish history that has attained immense spiritual authority in history and still in our time.  The Bible is a collection of many writings -- narratives, laws, poetry of various kinds, prophetic oracles, proverbs, reflections on life, wisdom, etc. These works were influenced by almost all the ancient civilizations of the Middle East from Mesopotamia and Egypt to the Greeks and Romans.  Biblical writing relates to many great themes of human self-exploration: why there is a universe at all, what is the goal of history and why it full of turmoil, what are the supreme values, the meaning of collective and individual existence -- and suffering, the relation of faith, revelation, and spiritual redemption.  Biblical authors were reacting not only to internal problems of the people of Israel.  They not only borrowed from the surrounding cultures but viewed them critically. A historical concern of the course is how the biblical writings came in to be written down against a background of social turmoil, military upheavals, and power politics.  We will also discuss how the Hebrew Bible became a ground of ancient Christianity and rabbinic Judaism (and indirectly Islam).  Study of "the biblical world" is almost the study of world history in miniature.  No prior religious knowledge is required. A student who does have some background should find it challenged by the historical analysis of this course.


HIST 25008: Gender, Sexuality and History
An undergraduate course exploring historical issues of gender and sexuality.


HIST 25076: History of Modern South Asia
This course is designed to introduce students to the civilization(s) of the subcontinent from the coming of the Mughals in 1526 to the present. We will examine aspects of South Asia’s diverse political, social, and cultural histories. “South Asia” here refers to the contemporary countries of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. No prior knowledge of South Asian history or culture is expected or required. 


HIST 27200: History of Latin America in the 19th and 20th Centuries
This course explores key topics in the History of Latin America from the struggles for Independence through the present day. These include the rise of Latin American liberalism to upheavals like the Mexican Revolution, the birth of nationalist and populist mass politics, the Cuban Revolution and the counterinsurgency wars in Central America to the neoliberal" and "pink tide" trends of recent decades, and today's turbulence in many parts of the region. Using texts as well as music and video, we will study social, political and cultural aspects of the history of this varied and vibrant region whose importance for the U.S. and New York City in particular keeps growing.


HIST 27800: East Asia, 1600 to the Present
A survey history of China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam from 1600 AD to the present day. The course examines the cultural, economic and material attainments of the Qing empire, and the Choson, Tokugawa and Nguyen regimes. We trace the rising presence of Western powers in East Asia during this period, note the differing challenges and varied responses in these different regions to Western challenges, examine the fall of traditional polities and the rise of new ones. Finally we examine the reconstructed modern East Asian identities, the renegotiated power relations (among East Asian states and vis-à-vis the international order), the rise of new and types of political orders, as well as economic developments and cultural trends. Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group A).


HIST 29000: History Practicum
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.
Prereq: ENGL 12000; 6 cr in history and permission of the department.


HIST 30200: Greek History
From the Bronze Age ca. 3000 BCE to the Roman conquest. Emphasis on cultural and political contributions of ancient Greece.


HIST 31100: Europe in the Early Middle Ages
The development of European civilization from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the First Crusade.


HIST 32000: Jewish History in the Modern World 
From the 18th century to the present: Enlightenment, Jewish emancipation and nationalism, a Jewish state; anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; recent trends.


HIST 32100: History of the Holocaust
This course examines the fate of European Jewry between 1933 and 1945. Following an introduction to Jewish history and the historical background of anti-Semitic ideology, we will cover: the rise and fall of the democratic Weimar Republic in the 1920s; the Nazi seizure of power; anti-Jewish policy and legislation in Nazi Germany; ghettoization in Nazi Europe; and, the conception and implementation of the Final Solution during the Second World War. Additional topics will include discussions of the Jewish Councils, Jewish resistance, life in the ghettos and camps, the Jewish Question and public opinion in Nazi-occupied Europe, and the reactions of the Allies, the Church, and world Jewry to the Holocaust.


HIST 33000: Social and Economic History of Modern Europe
A survey of the social and economic history of modern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include: economic thought, capitalism, globalization, anti-capitalism, state planning, decolonization, the social history of the Cold War, and the historical origins of theories of development. 


HIST 33400: France During the Revolution and Napoleonic Eras 
A study of 18th-century antecedents of the French Revolution, the Revolutionary decade, and the Napoleonic Era.


HIST 34104: History of Mexico 
A history of Mexico.


HIST 3411J: Terror and the Constitution: Free Speech and National Security in the U.S. Since 1886 Since 1886
This course explores the history of free speech in America and the various attempts to curtail it in the name of national security from the turbulent decades of the Progressive era through the uneasy years since the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. It pays particular attention to key moments of stress during which the national security state first emerged, expanded, and took on a life of its own. In this class we will consider various real and alleged threats to America’s security, including anarchism, socialism, communism, and modern variants of domestic and foreign terrorism. We will also explore the evolving government responses to such threats including the creation and expansion of the FBI. We will explore the rise of modern free speech constitutional theory in landmark Supreme Court cases, like Schenck, Dennis, and Brandenburg. And we will examine the history of organizations, like the ACLU, which emerged in the context of the struggle to defend first amendment rights in the wake of state-sponsored abuses.


HIST 34120: Women and Gender in Islam
For centuries the position of women in the Middle East has aroused much interest in the West. In today’s world, the most common media-generated view in the West has claimed that Muslim women are victims of a medieval, unchanging, religious-based construction of male-female relationships. In recent decades, in response to this negative stereotyping, academics in the West and in the Muslim world have attempted to present a more balanced, better-informed view of this issue. Nevertheless, the question of women’s status remains ideologically charged. History 341.20 examines through translated works the various roles that women have assumed since the beginning of Islam in the seventh century by looking at biographies of women warriors, religious scholars, political leaders and Sufi mystics. We will also analyze Muslim legal texts to ascertain the ideal role of women in society as well as legal prescriptions on their rights and responsibilities and attitudes towards the body that involve questions of sexuality, purity, fertility and seclusion. We investigate the wide variety of experience of Muslim women today, in particular those who are full participants in political and social life, and women who are finding identity through participation in modern revivalist movements.


HIST 3412E: Writing Women's Biography
An upper-level course on women's biographies.


HIST 36700: Civil War and Reconstruction 
Slavery, sectional conflict, political crisis of Union. New interpretations of postwar race relations.

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