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Spring 2017 Graduate Courses

Please note: Course offerings subject to change.

HIST 75000: History of the American Labor Movement
Globalization. Outsourcing. Technological displacement. Immigrant labor. These issues are not new to the 21st century but rather have a long and complex history in the United States. How have workers in America responded to such changes and challenges?  In this discussion-based class we will explore how as we examine the history of the American labor movement from the late-nineteenth century through the late-twentieth century. We will examine the different ways that American laborers organized themselves and struggled for control over their work and their lives, not only on the shop floor, but also in community organizations, through ethnic associations, and by their particular partisan affiliations. Attention will be paid to the complex ways that work, gender, race, ethnicity, and political beliefs shaped the lives of laborers, informed the meaning of class, and supported or restricted labor organizing. 

HIST 77214: Dancers, Singers, and Sax Players: Art, Politics, and Society in America
This class explores the interconnections between the arts and politics in American society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing mainly on music (classical music and jazz), with some attention given to other art forms, including dance and painting. Through a careful reading of historical works that examine this sweeping subject in a variety of ways, the class will consider how political and social developments in the United States have shaped the lives of artists and the art they create, as well as the activities of important cultural institutions.

HIST 77412: Themes in Non-US History: Debating the “Rise of the West”
One of the most consequential developments in all of human history was the so-called “Rise of the West”, the confluence of economic, intellectual, and technological breakthroughs that resulted in Europe’s industrial revolution and the dramatic increase in productivity and wealth that occurred in its wake. Historians have long debated the causes of, and indeed, the very nature of that phenomenon. Why did it occur when and where it did? What were the key factors? Were the causes tied to some intrinsically Western values or patterns of behavior? Were they more of a historical or geographical accident? Should this e be described as a "rise"? And so on. In this course we will familiarize ourselves some of the most influential attempts to answer these questions.

Hist. 77444: Women and Gender in Islam
The position of women in the Middle East has aroused much interest in the West. The most common, media-generated view claims that Muslim women are victims of a medieval, unchanging, religious-based construction of male-female relationships. 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. Nevertheless, the question of women’s status remains ideologically charged. In this course we examine through translated works the various roles that women have assumed since the sixth century by looking at biographies of women warriors, religious scholars, political leaders, and Sufi mystics. We also examine 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. Finally we look at the wide variety of experiences of Muslim women today, in particular those who are full participants in political and social life, and women who are finding their identity through participation in modern revivalist movements. 

History 77485: Problems in Modern European History
This course is an introduction to some of the major questions and debates of European history since about 1870 – such as the origins of the World Wars, the nature of the Cold War, and the rise and fall of totalitarian regimes. The focus throughout will be on understanding how history works as a discipline by examining how historians have gathered and deployed evidence and arguments in their writings, and how they have debated some of the most important issues with each other. The class will be conducted in the form of a seminar, which means the emphasis will be on critical discussion of the texts listed for each given week. Students will be expected to come to class having read all the materials and being prepared to discuss them. Students will take turns introducing the readings for each week in a brief presentation.

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