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Courses

The History Department offers courses in the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.  Please use this Searchable List of Classes to browse our offerings.

Below, please find a comprehensive list of all courses regularly offered by full-time Department faculty.  Please check the Searchable List of Classes above, or contact individual instructors listed, to find out when certain courses might next be offered. 

Hist. 111: World History to 1500

Karen M. Kern

 

History 111 is a survey 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.

This course should fulfill pluralism and diversity requirements. I’m not sure it is registered as such, in the catalogue.  It has historically fulfilled New York State requirements, as well. 

 

 

Hist. 121: Early Modern Europe 1500-1815

Daniel Margocsy

 

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.

 

 

HIS 122: History of Modern Europe 19&20 Centuries

Elidor Mehilli

 

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?

 

Hist. 122: History of Modern Europe 19&20 Centuries

Iryna Vushko

 

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.

Fulfill CUNY common core: World Cultures and Global Issues Requirements

 

 

Hist. 141.51: Twentieth-century World History

Manu Bhagavan

 

This course is designed to introduce students to major themes in the world’s history during the twentieth century.  Some of the questions explored during the term include: What are the drivers of integration and unification?  What forces have been divisive?  What have been major fault lines of conflict?  What visions have advocated peace and justice, and in what way?

No pre-reqs.

 

 

Hist. 151: United States from the Civil War to the Present

Angelo Angelis

 

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.

 

 

Hist. 151: United States from the Civil War to the Present

Bernadette McCauley

 

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. Students who satisfactorily complete this course should be able to discuss the major themes, questions and events that shaped the United States through the Civil War, including the foundations and institutions of the American government; understand and employ historical method, including cause and effect, change and continuity over time, and the role evidence plays in writing history; conduct critical reading of primary and secondary sources and apply these readings to in-class discussions and written assignments and exams; develop, draft, and edit a research essay which investigates a historical topic with rigorous, scholarly sources.

 

 

Hist. 152: United States from the Civil War to the Present

Donna Haverty-Stacke

 

This course is a survey of American history from the end of the Civil War to the early 1970s.  Through my lectures and in our readings and weekly discussions we will examine the major political events, social and economic developments, and cultural changes that have taken place in the nation since 1865.  In this investigation, we will pay attention to larger thematic concerns, such as different attempts to expand the meaning of democracy and freedom (both at home and abroad) that often existed alongside an ideology of empire and the growth of America as a global power. This is a writing intensive course (W) and fulfills CCCR f. U.S. Experience in its Diversity. (It could also fulfill Concurrent Course Requirement 2. “Pluralism and Diversity” because it addresses the history of:  2b African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans; and, 2c Women).

 

 

Hist. 152: United States from the Civil War to the Present

Daniel Hurewitz

 

While this course is designed to be a broad overview of the last 150 years of American

history, this version of the U.S. survey focuses in on the shifting answers to 3 key questions. Who counts as American in terms of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender? How much is economic inequaity an issue of public concern? What role should the United States plan in the affairs of other countries.

[Fulfills the Common Core Requirement in US History, as well as for the major.]

 

 

Hist. 152: United States from the Civil War to the Present

Jonathan Rosenberg

 

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.

 

 

Hist. 250.05: Eastern Europe since 1800

Iryna Vushko

 

History of Eastern Europe from 1800 to the present. In this course, we analyze the concept of and historical trajectories of Eastern Europe during the modern era. The focus of this course is upon political history, but we will also discuss how modern politics affected culture and the arts. Themes and topics include (but not limited to): the concept of Eastern Europe; empire, statehood and nationalism in East-European history; Marxism, radicalism, fascism, communism; the revolutions of 1848, 1917, 1989, and 2014. No prior knowledge of East-European history is required. We focus on territories that belong to today’s Poland, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, and will also address some issues related to the history of the Balkans, specifically former Yugoslavia. Lectures will be supplemented by weekly readings from the textbook and primary sources. Readings include two textbooks and excerpts from primary sources as well as two works of fiction related to specific historical events and periods.

 

 

Hist. 250.06: Men, Women & Sex in 20th Century U.S.

Daniel Hurewitz

 

This course explores how ideas about masculinity and femininity, and “appropriate” heterosexual and homosexual behavior have shifted over the last 100+ years in the U.S. We look at the emergence of sexual identities, and recent battles about abortion, AIDS, and sex education.

[Fulfills requirement in U.S. history for majors, and has counted for Pluralism & Diversity, Group C, as well.]

 

 

Hist. 250.07: Europe in the Age of Total War 1900-1963

Benjamin Hett

 

This class explores the history of Europe between approximately 1900 and 1963 from a particular angle, that of the intersection of large-scale wars and military mobilization (the two World Wars and the Cold War) and processes of social, political, cultural and economic change. We will consider throughout what exactly the concepts of “total war” (and its near cousin, “totalitarianism”) really mean; and at the core of the course will be the question of how the World Wars were possible, and whether or not some similar kind of war remains possible – and if not, why not. We will also spend time considering important questions of historical causation – especially that of whether certain social or intellectual changes were results of the World Wars or instead causes of them. By the end of the course students should have a good grasp of the causes and consequences of these large scale historical events; they should be familiar with the use and analysis of primary sources and secondary sources such as are listed on this syllabus; and they should be able to formulate and sustain an argument on the basis of such sources.

 

 

Hist. 250.76: Modern South Asia 

Manu Bhagavan

 

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.

No pre-reqs

 

 

Hist. 250.80 / WGS 200.01: Introduction to LGBT Studies

Daniel Hurewitz

 

The class will begin with questions about the meaning of sex and sexuality and then explore some of the historic evolution of these concepts in a U.S. context. From there, we will investigate several contemporary situations including the politics of same-sex marriage, the making of queer families, the treatment of LGBT characters in pop culture, and intersections of race and sexuality.

[Fulfills requirement in U.S. history for majors, and has counted for Pluralism & Diversity, Group C, as well.]

 

 

Hist. 271: Early Latin America

Mary Roldán

 

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.

Requirements met: Major (non-US, non-European; pre-1800)

 

 

Hist. 276.50: Middle Eastern History from the Beginning of Islam to 1800

Karen M. Kern

 

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.276.51: Modern Middle East: 1500 to the Present

Karen M. Kern

 

History 276.51is a survey of Middle East history spanning from the 16th century, during the period of the time of the great Ottoman and Persian empires, to the present.  This course introduces modern 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, intellectuals, and artists from the region.  In addition, films in English or subtitled will be shown during the semester. Geographically, the course concentrates on lands of the former Ottoman Empire, particularly present day Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and North Africa, plus Iran.  Thematically, topics covered are concerned with state formation and the impact of European imperialism on Middle East politics and society.  The primary focus of the course is on intellectual history and examines the views of scholars on issues such as nationalism, pan-Arabism, political Islam, women’s rights, colonization, decolonization, and revolutions.

This course is registered as fulfilling pluralism and diversity requirements.

 

 

Hist. 277: East Asia to 1600

Richard Belsky


A survey history of the traditional cultures and sociopolitical structures of China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam to about 1600 AD.  This course tracks East Asian history from the regionally diverse evolution of early Neolithic cultures into more complex hierarchical polities.   It examines the evolution of distinctly Chinese schools of thought regarding proper social/political relations and structures, and both traces how Chinese ideology evolved over time and how Chinese classical thinking affected and was adopted by the regionally diverse and distinctive societies with their own rich autonomous traditions located in modern Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

Fulfills Hunter Core, Pluralism and Diversity requirements

 

Hist. 278: East Asia, 1600 to the Present

Richard Belsky


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 Hunter Core, Pluralism and Diversity requirements

 

 

Hist. 290: History Practicum: Nineteenth-Century American Civic Life.

Donna Haverty-Stacke

 

This class is intended to help history majors develop their skills as historians.  In this course we will practice those skills as we become familiar with the specific historical content of nineteenth-century holidays and civic life.  Through our readings, discussions and writing assignments over the course of the semester we will work to master the skills central to the historian’s craft.  We will contextualize our practice of these skills in our exploration of the history of nineteenth-century civic life.  We will explore, for example, the roots of indigenous American holidays, such as the Fourth of July, along with more distinctly ethnic observations, like St. Patrick's Day, to consider celebration's role in the creation of national identity and in expressions of cultural pluralism during the nineteenth century.  We also will examine the growing roles that consumerism and class identity played in certain holiday celebrations, like Christmas.  Our meetings will consist of a combination of discussions of the assigned readings, proof reading of writing assignments, and workshops that will focus on problematic areas of grammar, composition, style and citation.

This course can also fulfill Concurrent Course Requirement 2. “Pluralism and Diversity” because it addresses the history of: 2b. African Americans; and, 2c Women. It is also Writing Intensive (W).

 

 

Hist. 290: History Practicum

Daniel Hurewitz

 

This version of the practicum focuses in on the “whys” and “hows” of history as a field. For the whys, we examine the historical impulse and why we explore the past. For the hows, we practice multiple research techniques and materials, including oral history interviews, newspaper research, census records, and photography.

 

[Fulfills requirement for all majors.]

 

 

Hist. 3xx.xx: Gandhi

Manu Bhagavan

 

This class will explore in-depth the life, thought, and legacies of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the famed proponent of non-violent resistance and leader of the twentieth-century anti-colonial campaign in India. We will critically discuss a broad range of topics including, but not limited to, Gandhi’s role(s) in and thoughts on nationalism and identity politics; class/caste/ethnic/religious conflict; protest, non-violence, and resistance; and mass mobilization. 

 

 

Hist. 3xx.xx: Twentieth-century India: Murder, Minds, and Money

Manu Bhagavan

 

This seminar will explore the history of India in the twentieth century.  Guided by the visions and legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, “India” as a concept and idea has come to mean different things to varying groups and individuals, dependent upon their own agendas.   This course explores these divergent visions as a means to better understand the making of the world’s first major non-Western postcolonial state, and its “largest democracy.”

 

 

Hist. 317: History of the American City from the Colonial Period to the Present.

Donna Haverty-Stacke

 

In this course we will examine the history of labor and working-class life in America since the colonial period.  Working with both primary and secondary sources we will explore some of the major themes of this history.  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.  We will consider the nature and evolution of labor and of the working-class cultures that existed in America from the colonial period to the late-twentieth century, and the extent to which those working-class cultures both drew from and influenced a broader American culture.

This course can also fulfill Concurrent Course Requirement 2. “Pluralism and Diversity” because it addresses the history of: 2b. African Americans; and, 2c Women. It has been taught as Writing Intensive (W).

 

 

Hist. 318: History of the American Working Class from the Colonial Period to the Present.

Donna Haverty-Stacke

 

In this course we will examine the history of labor and working-class life in America since the colonial period.  Working with both primary and secondary sources we will explore some of the major themes of this history.  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.  We will consider the nature and evolution of labor and of the working-class cultures that existed in America from the colonial period to the late-twentieth century, and the extent to which those working-class cultures both drew from and influenced a broader American culture. 

This course can also fulfill Concurrent Course Requirement 2. “Pluralism and Diversity” because it addresses the history of: 2b. African Americans; and, 2c Women. It has been taught as Writing Intensive (W).

 

 

Hist. 323: Early Science and Medicine

Daniel Margocsy

 

This course examines the rapid development of a new kind of natural knowledge between 1400 and 1800: modern science and medicine. We will focus on the stunning proliferation of information, ideas, theories and models of the natural world—from the human body to the remote heavens. When, how and why did scientists begin to dissect human bodies; invent telescopes and microscopes to explore microscopic structures and distant worlds; and develop complex mathematical models to describe the solar system?

 

We study knowledge in the making. We will examine how the creation of scientific knowledge was a communal, social process, and how scholars, artisans, aristocratic women, courtiers, apothecaries and travelers cooperated in gathering facts and formulating theories about the workings of nature. Our course will take us from the palaces of Florence to the rural village of Frombork in Poland, from the bustling urban setting of London to the plantations of Suriname, and from French salons to the Jesuit mission in Beijing. We will see how modern scientific knowledge emerged from the circulation of information between these different sites.

 

 

Hist. 329: History of European Diplomacy

Elidor Mehilli

 

What is power? Who enables it? Can it be completely taken away? Can a big state lack power? Can a small state effectively exercise power? How? Are states the only legitimate sources of power? Can anyone else have it? In tackling these questions, this course offers a broad overview of modern European international relations since the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Major themes include the origins of stability and instability, ideas and ideology, alliances, world war, the establishment of international organizations, Cold War confrontation, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the making of post-Cold War Europe. Students will engage with a variety of texts, including original sources, and they will be expected to actively participate in debates on major themes.

 

 

Hist.336.40: Germany Since 1914

Benjamin Hett

 

This course is an introduction to the major themes in German history in the 20th Century. We will cover such topics as the impact of the First World War, the incredible culture of the Weimar Republic, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, the Second World War, and Germany’s place in the Cold War. The course will place particular emphasis on understanding the controversies which have arisen out of Germany’s turbulent recent past, and on encouraging students to develop their skills in participating in such arguments. We will also put much emphasis on reading and understanding primary texts: eyewitness accounts from people involved in these dramatic historical events.

 

 

Hist. 341: Race & Racism in U.S. History

Eduardo Contreras

 

This undergraduate seminar examines the centrality of race, racial politics, and racism in United States history from the colonial era to the present. It uses a comparative approach to study the historical experiences produced by conquest, slavery, imperialism, immigration restriction, and segregation. We will work to understand the political logic behind multiple forms of racial exclusion/discrimination; a host of social movements for racial equality; and the relationship between race, Americanness, and American civic ideals.

 

 

Hist. 341.03: Berlin: Capital of the 20th Century

Benjamin Hett

 

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. 341.08: U.S. COLONIAL HISTORY TO 1763

Angelo Angelis

 

This course will address the colonial experience in North America, beginning with initial in the late 16th century and continuing to the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, which many historians consider the beginning of the Revolutionary Era. Our focus will be mostly on the English/British mainland colonies, with some attention paid to the French, Spanish and Caribbean experiences.  The goal is to achieve a broad understanding of the colonial American experience, including: European-Indian relations, the development of colonial regions and colonial economies, slavery, the colonial experience of women, the maturing colonies and the imperial relationship.

 

 

Hist. 341.12: U.S. Latino History

Eduardo Contreras

 

This course surveys the histories and diversity of Latino communities in the United States from the colonial era to the present. It considers the legacies of conquest, imperialism, and colonialism; processes of racialization, (im)migration, and labor market participation; and the predicaments of citizenship and Americanization. It also focuses on community formation; civic action and social movements; and the cultural politics surrounding gender relations, family life, and sexuality.

 

 

Hist. 341.20: Women and Gender in Islam

Karen M. Kern

 

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.

This course should fulfill pluralism and diversity.

 

 

Hist. 341.36: The United States since 1945

Jonathan Rosenberg

 

This class explores some of the key developments in the history of the United States since the end of World War II. Particular attention is paid to postwar politics and culture, the freedom struggles of African-Americans and women, U.S. engagement with the world, and the ways in which foreign affairs shaped social and cultural life in the United States.

 

 

Hist. 341.47: US Constitutional History

Angelo Angelis

 

This course examines U.S. constitutional experience in theory and practice, beginning with the English and colonial foundations of American constitutionalism. It continues with an examination of the changing understandings of constitutionalism during the American Revolution, continuing through the first American constitutions established by the states, the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution.

 

 

Hist. 341.51 Era of the American Revolution

Angelo Angelis

 

This course covers the long American Revolution from its origins in 1763 through the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. The focus will be on developing a thorough understanding of the evolution from protest to resistance, rebellion and finally revolution. This examination will include the economic, political and social origins and of the American Revolution and the way revolution and war affected different groups and regions.

 

 

History 341.52: Art, Politics and Culture in Twentieth Century Latin America

Mary Roldán

 

Latin American artists (poets, musicians, painters, writers, artisans) were often in the vanguard of challenging the status quo, offering alternative visions of the nation, exposing and criticizing social inequalities, and spearheading popular expression and resistance when formal political participation in parties, elections, or free speech was constrained by repression or limited only to a privileged few.  This course uses the lens of culture and the role of the artist to examine the processes of revolution, reaction, repression, and reform that characterized twentieth century political contention in Latin America over such issues as the definition of national identity and citizenship, ideology and values, and persistent racial/ethnic, class, and gender inequalities. We will explore the connections between politics and culture through different mediums (film, music, plays, painting, photography, etc) in different countries (Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Argentina, Cuba) from the early 20th through the 21st centuries.

 

Requirements met: Major (non-US, non European)

 

 

Hist. 341.74: Topics in U.S. History: Significant Themes in American Cultural History.

Donna Haverty-Stacke

 

In this course we will explore several significant themes in American cultural history from the late nineteenth through the late twentieth centuries.  Through close readings of selected primary and secondary works (both written and visual) we will consider the meanings of popular, proto-mass, and mass culture as well as the nature of different levels of cultural tastes and styles in modern American history.  Reflecting on the broader social and political context of these developments we will study a range of topics.  These may include, but will not be limited to, a consideration of the historical significance of the myth of the self-made man evoked in Horatio Alger novels, the role of the frontier and the cowboy popularized in Owen Wister's The Virginian, the resonance of early Disney films, such as The Three Little Pigs, during the Great Depression, and the critique of mass consumer culture found in the poetry of Allen Ginsberg.

 

 

Hist. 341D: Introduction to African American History from the Slave Trade to the Civil War

Kellie Carter Jackson

 

This course is a survey of the first half of African American History and Culture and traces the historical, political, social, and cultural contexts of black Americans from the slave trade to the American Civil War. Thematically, we explore the meaning of freedom, the dynamic between black struggle and white resistance, and the ways in which factors such as gender and geography complicate any notions of a single black experience. The class is intended to present a “tree, tree, tree—forest” approach.  In other words, we will focus on particular men and women, moments, and messages in order to provide a “moral of the story” perspective. Particular emphasis will be placed on how historians analyze primary source material, interpret the past, and debate the past. This course combines discussion, lecture, and multimedia. We will concentrate on a series of themes, including (but not limited to) the following: The Slave Trade, The Rise of African Slavery, The American Revolution, Abolitionism, Sectional tension, Race and Racism, and the Causes and Consequences of the Civil War

 

 

Hist. 3411F: Cold War: A Global History

Elidor Mehilli

 

The Cold War evokes images of an imminent military confrontation and the terrifying prospect of nuclear weapons deployment. The arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union was intense, its impact profound. But competition between the two super-powers also extended to other areas and had global repercussions. This seminar examines these entanglements. Rather than exhaustive in coverage, it underscores the relationship between centers and peripheries. The European theater is central to our discussions, but we will also venture beyond it. Central themes include the making of a Communist world system from Eastern Europe to East Asia, the rise of China in global affairs, Third World revolutions and solidarity, economic advising and technological exchange, reform and failure, the unexpected dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the legacy of Cold War conflicts in the world we live in today—from the Balkans to Afghanistan.

 

 

Hist. 3411J: Terror and the Constitution: Free Speech & National Security in the US Since 1886.

Donna Haverty-Stacke

 

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 3411K: Hollywood and History: Understanding American Slavery Through Film

Kellie Carter Jackson

 

This course poses the following questions: Can Hollywood do the work of historian? Does historical interpretation through film serve as useful, beneficial, or detrimental? Can we make an argument for the historical efficacy of films? Movie and television dramas depicting aspects of history have been studied for their accuracy, and in the ways they reflect popular societal sentiment and acts of remembering. In film, what is remembered, what is forgotten? Overall, this course seeks to examine slavery in the United States through the lens of this popular medium, exploring depictions of slavery, famous figures, or related events. For this course, a prior general understanding of the institution of slavery, the American Civil War, and post-Civil War period is expected to cultivate deeper levels of analysis of both the films and the readings we will review. These films are largely domestic, but also present an Atlantic World context.  The films range from historical dramas to documentaries. In examining these films, we will take into account the time period, location, and the political and social context in which they were created. We will pay close attention to the production of film in the era of the Nadir, “Jim Crow,” the Civil Rights movement, Black Power, and the Age of Obama. We will see how much film tell us about slavery and, most importantly, what film might tell us about ourselves. Through a critical reading of a range of historical works, cultural critiques, and primary sources, students will have a better comprehension of how historians and filmmakers both differ or find mutual agreement in their understanding of the past. 

 

 

Hist. 3411M: Revolutionary New York City

Angelo Angelis

 

This course will cover the experience of New York City and its immediate environs during the period of the American Revolution. Readings and discussion will include political, geographic, social and economic issues. Among the many questions we will address in the course are: How did the experience of revolution, war and occupation affect New York City and its residents? How did life and politics in the city affect how New Yorkers experienced the American Revolution?

 

 

Hist. 346: Churchill’s Britain 1900-1965

Benjamin Hett

 

This course looks at the history of Britain in the 20th century through the life of Winston Spencer Churchill, 1874-1965, Prime Minister of Britain 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. The emphasis will be on the world wars and their impact on British military and diplomatic power, as well as on the changes the wars brought to the British economy, society and culture. The major theme of the course will be on how to understand Britain’s “decline” in the 20th century: can we really speak simply of such a decline, or is the reality of Britain’s 20th century more complicated than that? By the end of the course, students should understand the periodization of Britain’s 20th century history and the key facts, themes, issues and individuals and groups involved; they should be familiar with the main facts of Churchill’s biography; 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. 359: Immigration and Ethnicity in U.S. History

Bernadette McCauley

 

  In this course we will examine the historical experiences of immigrants and their families in the United States with an emphasis on the variety of experiences among migrants, and the reasons for them. Learning Objectives include an understanding of the chronological sequence and historical context of  foreign migration to the United States,  the major issues and events of American immigration history, and the ability to analyze and contextualize relevant documents.

 

 

Hist. 370: The West in American History

Eduardo Contreras

 

This course focuses on the history of the place now known as the American West and the diverse inhabitants living there. Starting in the seventeenth century, we will study European expansion; Native American subjugation and resistance; the establishment of Spanish-American colonies; and the incorporation of western territories into the United States. We will pay specific attention to the ideology/myth of the West in United States history; Anglo-American migration and western settlement; struggles over land, water, and natural resources; and the rise of western cities.

 

 

Hist. 373: History of the Ottoman Empire

Karen M. Kern

 

History 373.00 explores the history of the Ottoman Empire from the beginnings of Turkic migrations into Byzantine Western Asia in the 11th century through the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.  At the end of the semester, we also look at the emergence of Turkey, the country that took over from the empire and sought different directions to mark its own path in the world.  The approach to this survey includes chronological overviews of Ottoman history; geographical focus that examines the role of the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Arab lands in the Empire; and selected topics, such as religion, law, education and statescraft, that highlight broader issues and transformations of the period under study. The course also concentrates on Ottoman decentralization, the rise of European colonialism, and Ottoman responses to the new nationalisms of the 19th century. Finally we will consider the question of the historical legacy of the Ottoman Empire in the world today.

This course is registered as fulfilling pluralism and diversity requirements

 

 

Hist. 375: Late Imperial Russia and Soviet Union

Iryna Vushko

 

History of late imperial Russia and the Soviet Union from the nineteenth century to 1991. The course is organized around the concept of Russian special path: by analyzing Russian imperial and Soviet history, we will seek an answer to the question of why and when (if ever) Russia took a path, different from the rest of Europe. The focus of this class is upon the Empire: we will approach Russian history in its complexity and discuss the ethnic, religious and cultural heterogeneity of the Russian and Soviet Empires. This course combines aspects of political, cultural, intellectual and economic history: we will analyze how politics became reflected – or negated – in literature and the arts, and how it affected everyday life of citizens of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

No pre-requisites

 

 

Hist. 378: China Since 1800

Richard Belsky

 

Of the many reasons to study modern Chinese history three are especially relevant today.  The first is that China is becoming (or more accurately is re-emerging as) an enormously important force on the world stage.   People outside of China should learn more about that country, and given geopolitical realities, Americans have a special obligation in this regard. The second reason is that knowledge of China's past should be considered an indispensable part of any educated person's understanding of history. No one who aspires to even a very basic and general understanding of the universal human condition can ignore such a major portion of humanity.  Scholars estimate that in the year 1800 when our course begins approximately one third of all human beings were subjects of the Qing Empire, and even today Chinese citizens represent close to one fifth of the world’s people.  Of course, China’s claim to universal human significance goes beyond numbers of people; more important is China's social/culture attainments, its economic power over centuries, and its great regional and increasingly global political influence.  Particularly notable are China's efforts to achieve modernity on its own terms, reacting to and learning from but not slavishly following the west. 

 

 

Hist. 382.14: America and the World in the Twentieth Century:

Jonathan Rosenberg

 

 This class considers the interrelationship between the United States and the twentieth-century world. In examining the trajectory of American foreign relations during the last century, the class considers how and why the United States engaged other nations and peoples as it did. At the same time, the class explores how developments overseas helped shape American domestic life. The aim of the class, then, is to develop an understanding of America’s impact on the twentieth-century world and also to consider the myriad ways in which the world influenced life in the United States.

 

 

Hist. 382.19/HIST492.19: Seminar on Rebellion in Early America

Angelo Angelis

 

Rebellion is a constant theme in American history, although this topic rarely appears in a cohesive way in historical studies of early America. This seminar will explore rebellion in America, beginning in the colonial period and continuing into the end of the 18th century as a comparative topic and as a larger political, social and economic experience that connected Americans across time and geographic boundaries.

 

 

Hist. 382.20: Health and Society in Early Modern Europe 1500-1800

Daniel Margocsy

 

The history of medicine examines how people in the past lived and suffered through a variety of ailments, how they conceptualized disease and death, and what cures and alternative responses they developed to the afflictions that faced them throughout their lives. In this course, we focus on early modern Europe between 1500 and 1800, a period that saw the Age of Discoveries, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution, as well as a profound transformation of medicine. We will study the reform of anatomy from Vesalius to Petrus Camper. We will investigate the professional clashes of physicians, surgeons, quacks and healing women in Germany and England. We will reflect on how men and women, both educated and illiterate, thought about their own bodies. We will debate how contagious diseases, such as the plague or syphilis, threatened both Europeans and Americans in this period. And last, but not least, we will discuss several hypothesis as to how mental illness was understood and treated in the centuries before the advent of psychotherapy and Prozac.

 

 

Hist. 382.23: The Balkans in the Twentieth Century

Elidor Mehilli

 

This seminar examines the history of the Balkans from the last decades of Ottoman rule through the Cold War and the collapse of Communists regimes — and especially the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia. Does it even make sense to think of the Balkans as one region to be studied separately? Does it make sense to think of Balkan history primarily through the angle of nationalism? Or war? Or ethnicity? We will read some of the best fiction from southeastern Europe, in addition to primary sources and other historical analyses. Central themes include the role of major European powers in the nineteenth century, national ideologies, authoritarianism, fascism, revolution, communism, non-alignment, solidarity, globalization, disintegration, and explanations for violence.

 

 

HIST 382. 24: Black Women's History: From Mum Bett to Michelle Obama and Beyond

Kellie Carter Jackson

 

This course focuses on African American Women's history in the United States with certain aspects of black women's activism and leadership covered within the African Diaspora. The course is intended to cover slavery, motherhood, labor, activism, and leadership within the black community. It traces the history and theme of struggles and successes from Mum Bett (Elizabeth Freedom, the first African American woman to sue for her freedom in the state of Massachusetts and win, effectively abolishing slavery in the state) to contemporary issues of race, sex, and class in the age of Obama.  Most importantly, this course examines the experiences and contributions of black women, with particular attention to the forces that served to differentiate the opportunities and roles of women from those of their male peers and white female counterparts. 

 

 

Hist. 383.61: LGBT U.S. History

Daniel Hurewitz

 

This course investigates the emergence of gay and lesbian identities, social worlds, and political movements from the late 19th century through the 20th century. It looks at the economic, cultural, and social structures that shaped the establishment of those identities and communities, with an emphasis place on the differences among them and across racial and economic lines.

[Fulfills requirement in U.S. history for majors, and has counted for Pluralism & Diversity, Group C, as well.]

 

 

Hist. 384.26: Death, Sex and Memory

Benjamin Hett

 

This seminar deals with the history of memory in 20th century Europe. We will look at some of the important theorists of historical memory – Renan, Halbwachs, Nora – and consider how the major events of mass killings such as the World Wars and the Holocaust have been remembered across the 20th century. One of the important themes as well will be the ways in which issues of sexuality and gender tend to be caught up in questions of memory. Since films tended to be one of the main ways in which collective memories were transmitted in the 20th century the class will feature the study of several important moves, along with fiction, art, architecture, monuments, and historical literature and historians’ debates. Students should gain a good understanding of the theory and practice of historical memory as well as greater skill in identifying the ways in which various sources construct memory.

 

 

Hist. 384.61: Hitler’s Germany 1919-1945

Benjamin Hett

 

This seminar will deal with some of the major issues in understanding this catastrophic period in human history: the atmosphere of the Weimar Republic that gave birth to the Nazi movement, the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, the major aspects of the history of the Third Reich – the nature of Hitler’s rule, Nazi society, foreign policy, the Second World War and the Holocaust, and some of the efforts after the war to hold Nazis accountable for what they had done. Readings will include both primary sources in translation and secondary sources. By the end of the course students should have a good command not only of the basic narrative history of the Nazi era, but of some of the debates which it has aroused among historians and others. Students should also improve their skills in research and writing.

 

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