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Fall 2017 Undergraduate Courses

Note: Offerings subject to change

HIST 11100: World History to 1500
This 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)
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.

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 20800: History of the Jews
The History of the Jews surveys almost 4000 years in one semester. Beginning with the origins of the Jewish people in the biblical period, it will look at Jewish identity as it evolved over time. We will examine Jewish life in the Greco-Roman world, the Medieval diaspora communities of Babylonia, Spain and Northern Europe. After the expulsions from much of Christian Europe by the end of the 15th century, Jews made new homes in the Ottoman Empire, Eastern Europe and eventually in Amsterdam and the New World. We will examine the gradual secularization of European society that allowed for a partial reintegration of Jews into Western Europe and the radical impact this process had on Judaism itself.Finally earning emancipation, thoroughly acculturated Western Jews faced new challenges with the rise of Modern anti-Semitism. These virulent new trend culminated in the Holocaust. In its aftermath came the rise of the State of Israel and the remarkable growth of the American Jewish community.What were the key beliefs and practices that defined the Jewish people in each period? What did Jews share or learn from their neighbors during periods of cultural openness? How did they contrast their identity with those of their neighbors? This overview offers an opportunity to understand the continuities and discontinuities that characterized the Jewish people over this long history.

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 25013: Humanitarian Africa
What does it mean to give ‘humanitarian aid’? Who receives aid and why? This course is designed to offer students a historical understanding of humanitarian action that, while centered geographically in sub-Saharan Africa, is applicable in a global framework. Beginning with the evolution of the concepts of ‘humanitarian’ as well as ‘aid,’ we will explore the motivations behind humanitarian endeavors through the era of the slave trade, colonialism and the present. We will also examine how terms such as ‘refugees,’ ‘peacekeeping,’ ‘famine,’ and ‘gender,’ have evolved in humanitarian discourse, and the consequences of these processes for aid endeavors. Throughout, questions will be posed regarding the interactions between humanitarian aid, international relations, exploitation, and violence. The focus of this course is both local and global—we will analyze international humanitarian policy as well as the effects and perceptions of humanitarian aid within different African localities. We will consider how notions of power and objectivity affect both the site of aid inception as well as implementation. Students having completed the course will acquire the skills to think critically about humanitarian aid and its role in local, regional and global contexts. 

HIST 25014: History and Theater
As “Hamilton” has made clear, the theater can be a exciting place to explore history. This seminar examines theater as a mode of historical investigation by comparing a series of plays with more traditional narratives of the same events. Our goal will be to think about what is gained (or lost) in a theatrical presentation. All of the events will be drawn from American history, so the seminar will count towards a U.S. history requirement for history majors.

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 27700: East Asia to 1600
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 Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group A).

HIST 29000: History Practicum: Nineteenth-Century American Civic Life (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. Prereq: ENGL 12000; 6 cr in history and permission of the department.

HIST 30300: Roman History
This course surveys Roman history and culture from ca. 753 BCE – 565 CE, covering the rise of the city-state, imperial expansion and consolidation, and the split between west and east. Topics include the development of the political, economic, and military structures of the Roman state; Rome’s interactions with other civilizations in the Mediterranean region; the formation of a common Roman identity; arts and entertainment; slavery and social history; and the rise of Christianity. The course encourages students to learn and apply the skills of historians by analyzing ancient evidence, including literary and documentary sources, in order to form their own ideas about the ancient world. Readings include ancient texts in translation as well as modern scholarship.

HIST 33800: History of Italy (W)
This course introduces students to the history of modern Italy, from the Risorgimento to the present. Topics covered include: unification, industrialization, Italian colonialism, migration, religion, fascism, communism, world wars, decolonization, political competition, demographics, race, regionalism, crime, and corruption. Readings and class discussions place Italian history in a broader Mediterranean, European, and global context. Students will engage with a variety of texts, including primary sources, fiction, and films, and they will be expected to actively participate in debates on major themes. Writing intensive course.
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group D). Writing Intensive Course (W).

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, the Yishuv, the Palestinian Mandate, the 1948 War of Independence, as well as other conflicts, settlements, and the Peace Process.

HIST 34122: History of Brazil
This course explores crucial issues in the history of Brazil, from pre-conquest societies through the present era. In addressing these themes, the course aims a) to help students identify historical processes rather than mere collections of facts, dates and names; b) link these processes to current events; c) identify continuity and change regarding issues of national identity, social structure, race, class and gender; d) foster analytical reading and critical thinking; e) promote students’ ability to analyze historical arguments and complex texts. Working with primary and secondary sources, students will evaluate differing opinions on historical events and trends, learning to analyze them in historical perspective.

HIST 3412A: Late Imperial China
Examination of political, intellectual, cultural, economic and social developments in China and its evolving relations with other nations in the region and the world from the 10th century through the collapse of the imperial system in 1911.

HIST 3412C: History of Anti-Semitism
This course will trace what one scholar calls “A Convenient Hatred,” the persistent verbal and physical attacks upon the Jewish people over the course of its long history. We will examine the origins of anti-Semitism in the biblical period and its manifestations in the Second Temple era, particularly within the Greco-Roman world. Next we will analyze the implications of anti-Jewish rhetoric in early Christian literature as that religion strove to differentiate itself from its parent faith. The seeds sown in the Gospels bore tragic fruit in the High Middle Ages, culminating in the expulsion of the Jews of Christian Europe. Again in the Early Modern Period, Luther presented a new challenge to Judaism. With the rise of secularism, there was the hope of toleration and acceptance of Jews. Yet, even within the French Enlightenment, the seeds of a new and virulent racist anti-Semitism were sown. These came to expression in the late 19th century’s embrace of racial and nationalist ideologies, and to full actualization in the murderous war against the Jews by the Third Reich. In the aftermath of this annihilation of six million Jews, there was some hope that this ancient prejudice would disappear. Yet new forms of hostility and the recycling of old ones persist to this day. The course will try to understand anti-Semitism, but recognizes the ultimate irrationality of the phenomenon.

HIST 37500: Late Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union
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.
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group D).

HIST 38212: Revolutionary England, 1603 – 1714
In this seminar we will explore the revolutionary events and development of state, church and society in seventeenth-century Britain under the Stuarts; students will read primary and secondary sources, which we will discuss and debate in class. Students will also develop two research papers and will have the opportunity to present their findings in class.

HIST 38216: Early Modern Spain
This seminar on early modern Spanish history will start with the ancient and medieval heritage of the Iberian Peninsula. The course then focuses on the development of state, church, society and imperial expansion of the Spanish monarchies from the union of Ferdinand and Isabella in the mid-fifteenth century through the reign of the Hapsburgs (to 1714). There will be two research projects required, and students will be expected to discuss their findings in class. 

HIST 38228/7741J: Refugees & the Making of the Modern World
Following the mass popular displacements of WWII, a group of diplomats came together to create the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees-- the bases of the international refugee regime that has endured to the present. We will explore the processes that led to the creation of the modern international refugee regime and how international refugee law has evolved in response to conflicts and emergencies "on the ground." Throughout, we will question the category of the "refugee," and interrogate the methods by which refugees, as individuals and as groups, have sought to control and alter their positions under national and international authorities. Topics will include notions of migration and asylum, the creation and evolution of international refugee law, refugees, stateless people, economic migrants, and decolonization. We will have case studies of European, Palestinian, Thai, Ethiopian, Haitian, and Cuban "refugees," among others.

HIST 38361: U.S. Gay and Lesbian History
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.


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