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300-level Courses

Note: Courses at the 300-level and above not offered to freshmen.

HIST 30000 (W)
Independent research related to a prior upper-level course already completed under the supervising instructor. The research will result in an extensive paper.
Prereq.: HIST 29000 and departmental permission. Writing intensive course.

HIST 31700: History of the American City from the Colonial Period to the Present
Donna Haverty-Stacke

In this course, we will explore the relationship between the growth, use, and regulation of urban spaces, and the creation and transformation of gendered, class-based, ethnic, racial, religious, and civic identities in the United States from the colonial period to the present. By understanding the city as both a physical landscape and a human community we will be able to examine the process of the social and historical construction of identity there, something perhaps less easily visible than the construction of tenements, parks, and opera houses. Over the course of the semester we will address a series of related questions. How did these cities take shape, in terms of their infrastructure and their diverse subcultures? What did the development of these cities mean to those who built them, those who were drawn to them, and those who fled from them? What were the social, cultural, and political possibilities of the new modern city, and what were its problems? How did urban middle-class, elite, and working-class dwellers define those hopes and anxieties? How and why did these aspirations and fears change over time?
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group D).

HIST 31800: History of the American Working Class from the Colonial Period to the Present (W)
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.
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group D). Writing Intensive course (W)

HIST 32900: History of European Diplomacy
Elidor Mëhilli
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 international 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.
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group D).

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 33800 - History of Italy (W)
Elidor Mëhilli
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).

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 341.20: 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.

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 341.52: 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. Fulfills major requirements (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 341.1A: Women and the French Revolutions
Laura Schor

This is a course in French history and in Women’s History that focuses on three periods of revolutionary fervor that led to changes in the way people lived, worked, and thought in France. The course will cover the major events of each of the three revolutionary periods, but will focus on women’s activities to remove the monarchy, to establish a constitutional republic, to expand the electorate, to improve conditions for workers, and to establish an egalitarian society. Why is it important to study women’s participation in past events? Because, as John Hope Franklin noted, “good history is a foundation for a better present and future.” We will see that the actions of women revolutionaries were frequently met with vitriolic caricature and satire. Revolutionaries and reactionaries both felt threatened by the demands and actions of women. Studying the way individuals and groups responded to these personal and painful attacks will shed light on how to combat misogyny in the present. In this class you will learn to use a variety of primary and secondary sources to develop your own ideas about the history of women in this turbulent period.

HIST 341.1F: Cold War: A Global History
Elidor Mëhilli
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 341.1J: 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 341.1R: 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 341.1V: The Modern Middle East: Topics in Arab-Israeli Relations
Karen Kern
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 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 34600: 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 37000: 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 37300: History of the Ottoman Empire (W)
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.
Fulfills the Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group A). Writing intensive course (W).

HIST 37500: 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.
Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity requirement (Group D).

HIST 37800: 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 382.17: Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century
Laura Schor
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. In the first half of the century Jerusalem was controlled by colonial powers: first Ottoman, later British. During these years nationalism began to replace religion as a powerful way to separate those who lived in the Holy City. In 1948, following the abrupt departure of British forces, battles between Arabs and Jews resulted in significant loss of life and emigration. The city was divided, the western part controlled by the new state of Israel and the eastern part by Jordan. In 1967, following a swift war and victory by Israel’s forces, the city was reunited and declared the indivisible capital of Israel. City boundaries were expanded and the population of the city grew rapidly. Nevertheless, half a century later, in the eyes of the world, the future of Jerusalem remains contested. 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.

HIST 382.18: U.S. Social History
Eduardo Contreras
This seminar will focus on the lived experience of peoples in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The course will underscore the linkages and intersections between everyday life, politics, economy, and culture.  Specific topics of inquiry include family and community life; the changing nature of work and labor organizing; (im)migration and Americanization; and leisure, consumption, and mass culture, among others.

HIST 382.23: The Balkans in the Twentieth Century
Elidor Mëhilli
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 382xx: 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 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.

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.

HIST 384.65 The Dreyfus Affair
Laura Schor
More than 1,000 books about the Dreyfus Affair have been published in English. The Dreyfus trial was called Trial of the Century. Much as the Scopes trial in the US, the Dreyfus trial in France captured the attention of millions of people, dividing them into two camps—Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards. A detailed study of the trial opens a window on French history as the belle époque drew to a close and years of war and depression loomed. It is also an opportunity to study Jewish history as a century of expanding civil rights for French Jews was followed by a century of anti-Semitism and mass murder. Finally, study of this trial raises broader questions of military justice and military secrets, the role of a free press, and the role of public intellectuals.

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