Course Descriptions

Course Catalog for HISTORY
HIST 100
Modern Britain since 1750
This course surveys the profound and continuous ways in which Britain changed over the course of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries: in terms of its boundaries, political system, population, economy, and culture. In 1750 ‘Britain’ refers to an agrarian state composed of three countries, with a powerful monarchy, limited democracy and a growing empire. By 1900 Britain has become a United Kingdom, a highly industrialised and urbanised state with a massive empire and a broadening democratic system; by 2000, it has ‘lost’ its empire but is profoundly globalised and democratic. Why, when and how did these changes happen? This class will be as interactive lectures with particular time will be set aside for class discussions and analysis of primary sources.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 102
Europe Since 1715
European history from 1715 to the present.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 103
Latin America & Caribbean through Film
This course introduces students to the history and current cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean through film and film movements. It covers their history from 1492 to the present. Themes include: conquest and colonization of Native peoples; African slavery in Brazil and the Caribbean; the interplay of gender, race, class, and sexuality, from the politics of love and solidarity to the politics of subordination and oppression; the contrast between rural and urban society, with an emphasis on urban-centered films; the cultural creativity of the region’s artists in music, film, visual arts, literature and architecture; the role of religion in daily life and politics; and the confrontations of oligarchies and military regimes with movements for reform, democracy and revolution.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 104
Europe in the 20th Century
This course will examine the upheavals of Europe's tumultuous 20th century. From the hopes of progress built on the advances of the 19th century came the destruction and despair of a century of revolution, war, genocide, oppression, and subsequent rebirth. This course will study the contours of Europe in 1914, the causes and consequences of the World War I, the weaknesses of liberal democracy in the interwar years, the allure of alternative political systems like Communism and Fascism, the outbreak of World War II and the Holocaust, attempts to rebuild Europe after the war and the creation of the social welfare state in Western Europe since 1945, and the course of events in Communist Eastern Europe culminating in the collapse of the Soviet Union.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 105
Nationalism in Europe's Long 19th Century
The Nineteenth Century in Europe was the Age of –Isms: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and, above all, Nationalism. The course will follow the development of Nationalism and national movements from the French Revolution to the Outbreak of WWI. What began the century as a tenet of Liberalism will end it as a hallmark of a new, virulent form of Conservatism, as Nationalism was exported to the colonies. We will examine national movements among subject nationalities (Poles, Czechs and Irish, to name a few), as well as unite a country or two. Readings will consist of scholarly texts and contemporary novels.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 106
Crusade and 'Convivencia' in Medieval Spain
This course examines the history and society of Spain from the disintegration of the Roman empire through the Arab conquest and the so-called Christian Reconquista. Although Muslim and Christian rulers framed their wars in religious terms, throughout this period Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together on both sides of the frontier. That coexistence, or convivencia, was never equal, nor was it free from violence. Through primary sources, both words and images, we will explore the cultures of medieval Spain and how they developed in relation to, and in conflict with, one another. The course concludes with an examination of how colonial experiences in medieval Iberia also set the stage for later Spanish conquests in the New World.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 112
Introduction to Medieval Civilization
An introduction to the essential events, institutions, and cultures of medieval civilization. The course will ask: What defined the Middle Ages and how did medieval civilization evolve into the Renaissance and Reformation?
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 115
History of the Greek World: c. 1500-200 BCE
This course covers the history of the Greek world—Greece, the Aegean islands, western Asia Minor, the Black Sea, and southern Italy and Sicily—in the period between the end of the Bronze Age and the arrival of the Romans (c. 1500-200 BCE). The emergence of the polis, the Greek city-state, as the predominant way to organize political, social, economic, religious, and cultural life, and the spread of these institutions, form the central foci of the course. There will be emphasis on the reading and interpretation of primary source material through lectures, discussions, and analytical writing.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 116
The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic
By about 300 BCE the Roman state had in place its republican institutions, and began the expansionist process by which the Romans came to control the Mediterranean basin. Four hundred years later, the Roman empire extended from Britain to Egypt, but the state running that empire had undergone fundamental social, political, and cultural changes. This course traces the processes that created the empire and transformed the Roman world, with special emphasis on the interplay of political and social phenomena. We will look closely at primary sources on which our knowledge of these changes is based.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 130
Exile to Enlightenment: Jewish History Before Modernity
This course will offer an introductory survey of Jewish history beginning with the Babylonian Exile. We will trace the evolution of Jewish identity through the Second Temple period, the impact of the destruction of the Temple on Jewish religious culture, the nature of Jewish-Christian relations in medieval and early modern Europe, the Jewish experience under Islam, and the challenges confronting Jews after the Reformation and the beginning of the Enlightenment. Anti-Semitism, the varieties of Judaism in different social contexts, and the interaction of Jews and non-Jews will be major themes of the course.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 135
War and Gender in Europe 1914-1945
Between 1914 and 1945, Europe was destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed once more. All aspects of society were affected and changed by the wars, including the gender order. This course will examine the breaks, as well as the continuities, in the relationship between men and women over the course of two devastating World Wars. The wars forced women to take on jobs previously restricted to men, as well as navigate the challenges of the Home Front; meanwhile, men were tasked with reintegrating into society after facing the horrors of war, often returning to a home that was much different than the one they had left. Through memoirs, scholarly texts, and film, we will explore how the wars affected conceptions of both femininity and masculinity in Europe.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 142
From Scroll to Screen: Books in the Digital Age
Using the resources of the Watkinson Library, this course will explore the evolution of the form, use, and impact of the book in human culture and will explore the changing nature of the book in the age of the Internet and digital books.
0.50 units, Seminar
HIST 150
What Happened to the Ancestral Pueblo People? A Study in Environmental Catastrophe?
Between c. 900 and 1300 CE the Four Corners area of the United States (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona) hosted a thriving culture, famous for the “cliff dwellings” of Mesa Verde. By about 1285, the population of these settlements disappeared. What happened to them remains a matter of controversy, but there seems now to be general agreement that a mega-drought in the Southwest stressed people to the breaking-point: war, intra-cultural violence, crop failure, famine, disease seem to have devastated the populations, till they simply decided to leave. Understanding what happened to the Ancestral Pueblo is a central question in American prehistory.
0.50 units, Seminar
HIST 200
Hartford: Past and Present
Since Dutch fur traders arrived in the 1610s, Hartford and its region have been part of many core themes in American urban history. This course examines Hartford's rise as a financial and manufacturing center from the 1800s to early 1900s; the roles played by ethnicity, gender, religion, race and social class in urban and suburban politics, culture, civic institutions and neighborhoods; the evolution in urban planning, architecture, transportation and public spaces; and the impact of post-¬-1945 suburbanization, capitalist restructuring and globalization on the social, political and cultural profile of Hartford and its suburbs.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 201
Early America
This course introduces students to major developments in the political, economic, and social history of North America from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. We will study indigenous sovereignty, encounters between Europeans and Native Americans, the founding of European colonies, the rise of the Atlantic slave trade, the Seven Years' War, the American Revolution, the spread of human enslavement, the War of 1812, Indian removal policy, U.S. wars with Native nations, westward expansion, the U.S.-Mexican War, abolitionism, and the Civil War. Students will be challenged to imagine American history within Atlantic and global contexts and to comprehend the expansiveness of Native American homelands and the shifting nature of North American borderlands.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 203
Soccer, Race and Nationalism
In the summer of 2014 Brazil hosted the International Football Federation (FIFA) World Cup of soccer, a month-long tournament that involved 32 nations from across the globe that drew a cumulative television audience exceeding 25 billion. In this context, this course will examine the historical and contemporary interplay between national identities and nationalism in soccer at the national and international levels. Special attention will be paid to issues of race, ethnicity, globalization, migration and transnationalism, topics that have become more salient in recent decades as growing migration flows, particularly from Africa and Latin America to Europe and the United States, have transformed the racial and ethnic profile of both professional and national teams in Western countries
0.50 units, Seminar
HIST 207
Law and Government in Medieval England
This course will study the evolution of English law and government in the Middle Ages from the Norman Conquest to the Stuarts. It will emphasize key concepts of common law, the nature of English kingship, the development of Parliament, the status of particular groups in English society, the evolution of governmental power, as well as some comparative material from other medieval states. The course will be taught from primary source materials with supplementary readings from secondary scholarship.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 208
North American Environmental History
This course surveys the environmental history of North America and the Caribbean from 1491 to the present. Topics include indigenous practice, colonization, agricultural intensification, industrialization, urbanization, war, waste disposal, and climate change. Above all, the course will be concerned with the political conflicts and social inequities that arose as the continent and its surrounding waters underwent centuries of ecological change. The global environmental contexts and consequences of American political and economic activities also will be emphasized.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 209
African-American History
The experiences of African-Americans from the 17th century to the present with particular emphasis on life in slavery and in the 20th-century urban North.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 210
Paris: Capital of the Nineteenth Century
In this history of Paris we explore the revolutions in politics, culture and class which usher into being one of the most dynamic and influential spaces in European and world history. Topics include the revolutions of 1830 and 1848; the rebuilding of Paris during the Second Empire; and the invention of modern art by the Impressionists and their successors. We also discuss the Commune of 1871 (in Marx’s view, the first socialist revolution), the Dreyfus Affair (which brings anti-Semitism to the center stage of European politics), and the advent of the ‘New Woman’ whose dress and behavior crystallize a feminist challenge to the masculine politics of the age.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 212
The Crusades and Medieval Society
An introductory survey of the political, social, military, and religious history of the Crusades. Using primary sources, the course will also examine how aspects of the Crusades reveal broader themes in medieval history, including: European identity, pilgrimage, religious violence, technological innovation, perceptions of non-Europeans, and the influence of the Crusades on early modern voyages of discovery. Lecture and discussion format.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 213
Modern Jewish History
This course will examine major trends in Jewish history since 1789. There will be particular emphasis on Jewish society in Eastern Europe and the breakdown of orthodox hegemony. Topics will include the Haskalah, the Bund, the development of Zionism, the interwar period in Eastern Europe, the Holocaust, and the State of Israel. The approach will be primarily that of intellectual history with emphasis on the secular aspect of Jewish history.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 215
Latin American Cities
Course examines the historical evolution and current dynamics of Latin American cities, from the pre-colonial (pre-1492), to the colonial (1492–1825) and post-colonial (since the 1800's) periods. A variety of sources allow us to explore specific examples from several cities, including: Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Brasilia, Caracas, Havana, Mexico City, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, for example. Topics include colonialism, nationalism and transnationalism; urban slavery and race; rural-urban and ethnic migrations; industrialization and the urban working-class; urbanism, urban spaces and architecture; authoritarianism, populism and democratization; and consumer cultures, sports and leisure, among others.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 216
World War II
This is a survey of the political, military, social, cultural and economic aspects of the Second World War.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 217
The History of Urbanism in Eastern Europe
This course will examine the economic, social, and cultural history of East European urban development during the medieval and early modern periods. We will focus on local governance, urban landscape and planning, social and educational institutions, commercial and artisan activities, religious and ethnic communities, and a new type of citizen: the burgher. To better understand urban life in the important towns of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (contemporary Belarus, Lithuania, and a part of Ukraine), we will draw comparison to the major centers of Danzig-Gdansk, Königsberg-Królewiec, and Kraków in central Europe and Russian towns like Great Novgorod and Moscow. The varied sources of information for the course include diaries, testaments, memories, private correspondence, engravings, drawings, and architectural monuments.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 218
United States Since 1945
This course examines America since World War II. We will explore both political events and cultural and social trends, including the Cold War, rock 'n' roll, civil rights, feminism, Vietnam, consumerism and advertising, the New Right and the New Left, the counterculture, religious and ethnic revivals, poverty, and the "me" generation.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 219
Planet Earth: Past, Present and Future
This course explores the effect of the natural world on human history and of humans on the natural world. Our focus is on the earth as a global system. We begin with a consideration of human and natural histories in deep time, well before the written record, and offer an argument for why those histories matter. We then examine how the historical past can be understood in the context of these planetary themes, reframing familiar events in ancient and modern history by highlighting major natural changes that accompanied them, such as the redistribution of plants and animals, the fluctuation of climate, and the development of planet-altering technologies. The course culminates in a consideration of the future planetary conditions that past and present actions may cause.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 221
Science, Religion, and Nature in the Age of Galileo
The astronomer Galileo Galilei’s trial before the Roman Inquisition nearly four centuries ago endures as a symbol of the clash between science and religion. Undoubtedly, the rise of early modern science in 17th-century Europe provoked its share of battles, but was this the whole story? This course will lead students to consider the origin and extent of the apparently irreconcilable differences between world views. How wide was the rift between science and religion, especially before the Enlightenment? Students will be encouraged to explore this complex relationship in historical context, by weighing the coexistence of scientific curiosity and intense faith, and also by considering the religious response to the expanding horizons of knowledge. The course will highlight investigations of the heavens and the earth, thus seeking instructive comparisons between disciplines such as astronomy, botany, and geology. A number of broad themes will be the focus. These include the understanding of God and nature, authority (classical and scriptural) versus observation, the wide range of knowledge-making practices, the place of magic, and finally the influence of power and patronage. The class seeks to present a rich and exciting picture, looking forward as well to the influence of rational thinking and scientific inquiry on the making of modernity.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 222
Japan from the Dawn of Human History to the 17th Century
This course provides a broad overview of the events and themes encountered in Japan’s early history, from the earliest archeological evidence of human habitation to the establishment of a stable political and social order under the Tokugawa bakufu (shogunate). The course will explore the role of diverse religious and cultural influences in shaping Japanese society and culture during the pre-modern era. Themes and topics of particular interest are the impact of Chinese civilization and the “indigenization” of imported traditions such as Buddhism and Confucianism, early political organization and the rise of the imperial clan, and civil war and the ascendance of the warrior class to political and cultural hegemony.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 223
Japan into the Modern World, 1840-1945
Counts as one of the survey courses for the two-semester history sequence for the Asian Studies major. This course examines the social, economic, and cultural transformations that occurred in Japan from its initial encounter with Western modernity through its rise to military superpower status in the first half of the 20th century. Students will gain a greater understanding of the problems that have shaped Japan, by exploring the challenges, conflicts, triumphs, and tragedies of modernization, industrialization, and nation-building as the Japanese experienced them in the 19th and 20th centuries. The course concludes with a detailed exploration of the road to the Pacific War and the social, political, and cultural effects of mobilization for total war followed by total defeat.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 224
Gender in Brazilian History, from Colonialism to the 20th Century
Since colonization, Brazilian society stabilized specific roles for men and women in its national discourse. We will debate how gender roles marked the experiences of Brazilian indigenous, European and afro-descent populations before and after colonialism. Gender categories also affected the lives of enslaved and freed people, since they created specific experiences for black men and women, and peculiar ways of social uplift that depended on the gender of individuals. In the 20th Century, government propaganda produced a discourse of national identity that influenced the way in which Brazilian men and especially women were seemed national and internationally. The debates and demands carried by LGBT, feminists and other social movements in Brazil who are dedicated to equalizing the rights of people will also be discussed.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 225
Downton Abbey in Historical Context
This seminar approaches British history through the television series Downton Abbey, which chronicles dramatic social and political change in the early twentieth century through the residents of a stately home. We will examine the construction and role of the "big house", the British class system, and the role of domestic service in the British economy. This will lead to further discussion of opportunities and constraints for women and the suffrage movement. We will then consider British involvement in World War I and the war’s impact upon British society, class and gender. Classes will be divided into short taught sections, in-depth discussions of primary and secondary literature, and two field trips. Students will write two short reading-response papers and a longer paper based on a primary source. The seminar will have two field trips.
0.50 units, Seminar
HIST 226
The Rise of Modern Russia
This course will examine the history of Russia from 1825 until the present. It will include the dilemmas of modernization and social stability in Tsarist Russia, the challenges of Empire and multinational populations, the impact of the intelligentsia and the causes of the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. We will then consider topics in the rise and fall of the USSR: Lenin, Stalin, World War II, the problems of de-Stalinization and the reasons that attempts to reform the Soviet system failed. The course will also make extensive use of literary materials.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 227
Ukraine and Belarus in Historical Perspective
This course is designed to equip students with a detailed understanding of the critical historical events that have influenced modern Ukraine and Belarus. In the late medieval and early modern periods (fifteenth-seventeenth centuries), this region (Western Rus’) underwent a series of important political, social, and cultural transformations that led to the formation of new ethnic entities and later nation-states (Ukraine and Belarus). Late medieval and early modern Ukraine and Belarus will be placed in a wider international context that linked them to Orthodox Europe and the Occident, as well as to the world of Islam. Understanding the history of these dynamic societies will help make some sense of the contemporary relations between Ukraine and Russia.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 228
Islamic Civilization to 1517
This course surveys the transformation of the Middle East into an Islamic civilization from the life of Muhammad in the early seventh century through the collapse of the Mamluk Empire in 1517. It focuses on social, cultural, and political history and addresses regional variations from Morocco to Iran. Topics include women, religious minorities, and slavery, as well as Islamic education, mysticism, and literature.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 229
Middle East Since 1517
This course surveys Middle Eastern history from the foundations of the Ottoman and Safavid Empires through the 20th century. Major topics include modernity, imperialism, nationalism, and the role of Islam. Textbook readings are supplemented with primary sources and biographical sketches to situate the complexities of gender and culture in the context of political and economic change.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 230
Greek Democracy in Theory and Practice
As we all know, the Greeks invented democracy – or did they? This course explores the emergence and development of democracy in the city-states (poleis) of the ancient Greek world from roughly 1000 BCE to 300 CE. We focus especially on possible Near Eastern origins for democratic institutions and practices and the borrowing or parallel development of democracy in early Greek poleis; the features of the best-known Greek democracy, that of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE; and the adaptation of democracy to rule by Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors. We will also examine closely the treatment of democracy in Greek philosophy, especially Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 231
Abraham's Children: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages
Jews, Christians and Muslims all claimed Abraham as the founder of their particular form of monotheism. In the Middle Ages, men and women from all three groups had to negotiate relationships in war and peace. Jews lived among Christians and Muslims. Christians and Muslims fought in the Crusades, and all three groups traded with each other in the cosmopolitan cities of the Mediterranean. What kinds of worlds did these people live in? Were they worlds of prejudice and hatred or a pragmatic tolerance? How were the identities of Jews, Christians and Muslims shaped by their interactions during the Middle Ages? Are we still living with the results of those interactions?
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 233
War, Society, and Culture in America
Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz said that war is an extension of politics and historian John Keegan has countered, "War embraces much more than is always an expression of culture." This course examines the use of armed force in the United States as a cultural phenomenon. How have the values and beliefs of individual soldiers influenced the military? What is the connection between American democracy and American war conduct? How do different understandings of American violence impact global interactions and the way the nation deploys troops?
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 235
Colonialism in the Americas
Columbus’s voyage began a new period in the history of colonialism. This course examines the complex world that the Spanish Conquest destroyed, and it explores the “New World” created in its aftermath. It opens with a journey into the worlds of the Aztecs, the Mayas, and Incas, but it also considers indigenous peoples less well known to contemporary students, especially the Tainos, the Lencas, and the Guarani. The plight of millions of enslaved West Africans in the Americas is also a central topic. Spanish colonialism here extends between 1492 and 1898 in the Caribbean, and up to the 1820s in the U.S.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 237
The History of French Wine
This course introduces the history of French wine. Students will gain a critical, contextualised understanding of how French wine has evolved over the past three centuries and made its mark on French culture, society and politics. This short, intense course is taught in Paris and incorporates the city experientially. Classes will be divided into short taught sections, in-depth discussions of primary and secondary literature, and three excursions: a professional wine tasting emphasizing regional differences in France and the concept of terroir; a visit to a working vineyard to highlight the technical and spatial aspects of wine production; and a visit to a wine museum to explore the evolution of wine through material culture. Assessment is through four short papers, a quiz and a final exam.
0.50 units, Seminar
HIST 238
Caribbean History
The location of the first encounter, conquest, and colonization of Native American peoples by Europeans, the Caribbean became a center of bitter rivalries between European imperial powers, and later in the 20th century a new, premiere location of the United States’ own imperial thrust. The Caribbean’s strategic location in relation to Atlantic Ocean trade routes and its tropical climate and fertile soils were key factors in shaping these imperial rivalries and the colonial and postcolonial societies that emerged in the region. The vast experience of African slavery, the later “indentured” migration of hundreds of thousands of Asians to some colonies, and the migration of similar numbers of Europeans (especially to the Hispanic Caribbean) have shaped deeply yet unevenly the nature of Caribbean societies since the 16th century, giving the Caribbean a complex multi-ethnic, yet also heavily “Western,” cultural landscape. This course will introduce students to these and other aspects of Caribbean history, from the pre-European era, through the epics of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) and the Cuban Revolution of 1959, to the present.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 239
Atlantic World History 1492-1815
This course analyzes the interaction of peoples, commodities, germs, and ideas between Europe, the Americas, and Africa. We focus on the period from Columbus’s “discovery” of the Americas through the revolutions in America, France, and Haiti. Studying from an Atlantic perspective complicates traditional historical narratives concerned with national development; it also leads to a more inclusive view of the colonial period in American history. The professor will sometimes lecture, but class discussion and the seminar style will predominate.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 241
History of China, Shang to Ming
A survey focused on the development of Chinese politics, culture, and society from 1600 B.C. to the conclusion of the Ming dynasty in 1644 A.D. This course will provide a historical introduction to the growth of a unified Chinese empire with its own homogeneous intellectual tradition and will explore the empire’s coexistence with an enormously varied cluster of regional cultures.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 242
History of China, Qing to Present
A survey of modern Chinese history in the period covering the last traditional dynastic state (1644-1911) and 20th-century China. Emphasis on the collapse of the Confucian state, China’s “Enlightenment,” and the Chinese Revolution.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 244
Strange New Worlds: Star Trek and the 1960s
For many, the 1960s were the “final frontier,” as young people, African-Americans, women, conservatives, members of the “New Left” and many others struggled to re-imagine their lives and the life of their nation. Originally intended as a “Wagon Train to the Stars,” Star Trek came to embody the 1960s spirit, both reflecting and reflecting on the many pressing issues of the day. This course will examine important issues in the 1960s from Vietnam to the counterculture, from race to shifting sexual norms, from new technology to workers’ rights, through the television show that explored the “strange new worlds” of its time.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 247
Latinos/Latinas in the United States
Who are “Latinos/Latinas” and how have they come to constitute a central ethnic/racial category in the contemporary United States? This is the organizing question around which this course examines the experiences of major Latino/Latina groups—Chicanos/Mexicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans—and new immigrants from Central America and the Caribbean. We study U.S. colonialism and imperialism in the Old Mexican North and the Caribbean; migration and immigration patterns and policies; racial, gender, and class distinctions; cultural and political expressions and conflicts; return migrations and transnationalism; and inter-ethnic relations and the construction of pan-Latino/Latina diasporic identities.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 252
African History, Origins to 1850
This course is the first part of a two-part introductory survey of African history. We will explore the rich and varied civilizations and cultures in Africa, as well as how elements of these cultures have been carried throughout the world. Because "African" as a uniform term is a creation of a later time, this course seeks to distinguish between various populations and regions on this immense continent. Beginning with human origins on the continent, we will address the major social, economic, religious, and political movements in Africa through the era of the Atlantic slave trade. Topics will include the peopling of Africa; ancient societies and African empires; African technology such as tools, weapons, art, and music; African religions and the spread of Islam and Christianity; famous early Africans such as Mansa Musa, warrior queen Nzinga, and Shaka Zulu; trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean trading routes; and the development and impact of the Atlantic slave trade.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 253
African History: 1850 to the Contemporary Era
This course is the second part of a two-part introductory survey of African history. With a focus on "Black Africa" south of the Sahara, we will begin by exploring the impact of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade on Africa and move to the establishment of - and resistance to - European colonial rule. We will then look at the impact of the two World Wars on Africa as well as the rise in nationalism and movements for independence. In the postcolonial period, we will explore Cold War policies in Africa, and address issues including the end of apartheid in South Africa, the politics of foreign aid and military interventions, global health and resource wars.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 254
Peoples and Cultures of Nepal
This course will focus on the people of Upper Mustang in Nepal. Readings will be tied to the histories and traditions of the Tibetan, Thakali, and Gurung people who form the population of this isolated region. The course will be built around a two and a half week trek in the Mustang region. Grades will derive from a ten to twelve page paper formed around a topic tied to the themes of the course. (Trek in Nepal – January 1-18)
0.50 units, Seminar
HIST 256
Human Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean: A History
In the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of people were “disappeared,” tortured and murdered in Latin America and the Caribbean, mostly by military regimes and by para-military death-squads. The period is often characterized as perhaps the lowest point in the modern abuse of “Human Rights” in the region. This course explores how these central notions, the human and rights, have evolved in theory and in practice in the history of the Americas. The course begins with the 16th-century debates among the Spaniards over the “humanity” of Indians and enslaved Africans; it then covers distinguishing elements of the human and rights within the legal structures of the nations created after independence from Spain in the 1820s and before the more contemporary conceptions of human rights in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the crimes against humanity during WWII. Finally, the modern conception and practice of human rights defense and legal monitoring are explored in case studies in the region from the late 1940s to the 1980s.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 257
Nations and Nationalism in the Middle East
The idea of nations and the ideology of nationalism emerged as powerful political, social and cultural forces in the Middle East at the end of the 19th century. Nationalisms in the Middle East took on various guises, sometimes representing perceived ethnic communities, sometimes linguistic ones, and sometimes religious groups. In addition, nationalisms never existed insulated from other alternative ideologies for community organization, and thus nationalism incorporated, rejected or otherwise responded to other competing ideas and agendas. Benedict Anderson argues that "to understand [nations and nationalisms] properly we need to consider carefully how they have come into historical being, in what ways their meanings have changed over time, and why, today, they command such profound emotional legitimacy." This course aims to do just that with specific reference to the Middle East. We will look at both theories of nations and nationalisms and explore specific historical instances, including Ottomanism, Zionism, Arab nationalism, Turkish nationalism and Arab socialism. We will also look at some competing ideas, such as Berber trans-nationalism and the ascendance of political Islam.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 258
Hearts & Minds: America's War in Vietnam
America's Vietnam War was a culminating event in histories and cultures of both US and Vietnam, and a defining moment of the Cold War. For the US, war was a demoralizing, bitterly contested foreign adventure, spawning huge domestic anti-war movement of 1960s and -70s, ongoing post-war disagreement over appropriate "lessons" to be drawn - even over what actually happened - and continuing debate over whether the current Global War on Terror is comparable. War ended President Johnson's political career. For Vietnam, war was destructive, an exhausting battle-to-the-death, combining elements of insurgency with civil, revolutionary, and conventional war-making, ultimately elevating Ho Chi Minh to iconic status. This course treats war's complicated racial, gender, and class issues, and features guest speakers, and pop-cultural interpretations of conflict. Professor is combat veteran of the war.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 259
The Islamic City: Places, Pasts and Problems
This course explores the cities founded, claimed, and inhabited by Muslims over the centuries, with a particular focus on the Middle East. Scholars have long debated whether there is such a thing as a prototypical "Islamic city" shaped by religious and cultural norms. Through a combination of lectures and discussions, we will grapple with this question by situating cities in their historical contexts, examining their built environments, and considering the ways in which gender, economic and social life, political movements, and war shape urban space.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 260
The Struggle for Civil Rights
African Americans and their allies have long struggled to win equal rights and equal opportunities in America. We will examine the course of that struggle in the twentieth century, focusing primarily on the period 1950-1968. We will consider questions of urbanization, employment, racism, politics, violence, non-violence, Black Power and the notion of “race blindness.” The end of the course will be spent considering the present day. What has been resolved, and what issues remain? Are there new challenges to achieving racial equality in the U.S? Have we become “post-racial” yet, and do we want to be?
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 261
World War I in History and Memory
The First World War devastated Europe for four years, and in its wake left a new world order. Empires fell and new countries rose in their place. The social, political and gender order were all challenged during the war. This course will examine not only the war itself – the major battles, the Home Fronts, the revolutions that followed – but how the war has been remembered over the past century. We will examine novels and memoirs, war poetry, and popular film to discover how the war’s place in history and memory has changed.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 270
Parliamentary Debate in History and Practice
This course introduces the history of debate in the British parliamentary tradition and the practice of debate as a collegiate extra-curricular activity. The course is a dynamic mix of lecture, seminar-style discussion and experiential learning. The course has three components: historical background to and analysis of the British parliamentary system, drawing on the emerging field of the history of rhetoric; primary source analysis of historical speeches and debates; applied sessions when students will draft and practice their own debates in teams. Written exercises include developing a ‘time-space case’ based in British history. Students will complete the course with a broader understanding of British political history, a deeper sensitivity to political rhetoric, and stronger oral and written argumentation and communication skills. No debate experience is necessary.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 291
French Politics and Culture 1715-1799: Enlightenment and Revolution
This course begins with an examination of the central themes of the French Enlightenment and contrasts them with the politics of court life under Louis XV and Louis XVI. It will then explore the causes and the trajectory of the Revolution (1789-1799) through the use of primary documents. We will consider the shifts from absolutism to constitutional monarchy to radical republic in terms of the development in France of a modern political culture. The course will conclude with a discussion of Napoleon’s rise to power in 1799 and the meaning of the Napoleonic Empire, which collapsed at Waterloo in 1815, as well as a consideration of the legacy of the French Revolution in politics today.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 298
Introductory History Seminar
The Introductory History Seminars are small, discussion-rich classes for first and second-year students who are considering majoring in history or who have just declared history as their major. The class will introduce students both to the field and the department in the more supportive setting of a seminar.
Seats are reserved for Sophomore and First Year Students
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 299
What is History?
A study of the character and range of activities undertaken by historians. Students will critically evaluate the way in which historians treat evidence and draw conclusions. Topics considered will include an introduction of some of the subdisciplines within the field and an examination of a number of important exchanges on matters of substance and method currently under debate among historians.
Prerequisite: This course is open only to History majors and minors.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 300
History Workshop
The Workshop seminar combines extensive readings on the topic of the seminar with a substantial research paper involving the use of primary source materials and original analysis. Prerequisite: At least one History Department course completed at Trinity. This course is primarily for History majors but permission of the instructor will allow other Trinity students interested to enroll.
Prerequisite: C- or better in at least one History course completed at Trinity, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 303
Modern Ireland, Global Island
This course explores the complicated and contentious process through which Ireland transformed from a single political entity within the British Empire to two separate entities: the Republic of Ireland, an independent state, and Northern Ireland, which remained part of the United Kingdom but has suffered decades of civil strife. Through class discussion and careful analysis of primary and secondary sources, we will look at the major political, social and economic changes on the island of Ireland since 1800. We will pay special attention to the island’s interaction with the wider world, including through its diaspora, and we will examine whether Ireland’s political history can be understood in terms of decolonisation and post-colonialism.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 304
Renaissance Italy
This course explores the origin, distinctiveness, and importance of the Italian Renaissance. It is also about culture, society, and identity in the many “Italies” that existed before the modern period. Art, humanism, and the link between cultural patronage and political power will be a focus, as will the lives of 15th- and 16th-century women and men. Early lectures will trace the evolution of the Italian city-states, outlining the social and political conditions that fostered the cultural flowering of the 1400s and 1500s. We will consider Florence in the quattrocento, and subsequently shift to Rome in the High Renaissance. Later topics will include the papacy’s return to the Eternal City, the art of Michelangelo and Raphael, and the ambitions of the warlike and mercurial Pope Julius II. Italy was a politically fragmented peninsula characterized by cultural, linguistic, and regional differences. For this reason, other topics will include: the fortunes of Venice, the courts of lesser city-states like Mantua and Ferrara, the life of Alessandra Strozzi, and the exploits of the “lover and fighter” Benvenuto Cellini. We will also look at representations of the Renaissance in film.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 307
Russia to 1881
An introduction to Russian history from earliest times through the death of Tsar Alexander II. This course explores the social, cultural, and political development of medieval and early modern Russia; the significance and impact on Russian society of the revolutionary reforms of Tsar Peter the Great; the flowering of Russian learning and culture under the “enlightened” Empress Catherine the Great; Russian imperial aspirations in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; and the social upheavals and revolutionary movements of the nineteenth century that paved the way for the October Revolution of 1917. Emphasis is on intellectual, cultural and social history, particularly of the 18th and 19th centuries.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 311
Sense of Place in the Native Northeast
The coasts, rivers, fields, hills, villages, and cities of present-day Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have been home for indigenous families, communities, and nations through numerous environmental, political, and economic transformations. Students will learn about the ways that Native nations of the Northeast, from Pequots to Mi'kmaqs, have adapted, recreated, and reaffirmed a deep connectedness to their homelands and territories, from the fifteenth century to the present. Fields trips to local sites and archives will facilitate original historical research. Primary sources to be assigned include autobiographies, travel narratives, war histories, maps, Native American stories, and dictionaries of indigenous place names, and secondary source readings will cover major themes in Native American studies, with special emphasis on sense of place.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 312
Korea and Japan in Historical Perspective
This course provides an overview of the history of relations between Korea and Japan, within the shifting contexts of imperialism and post-colonialism. Through extensive readings and class discussions, students will also gain a detailed understanding of the historiography of Korean-Japanese relations and the debates that still inform the ways the Japanese and Koreans – both North and South – view one another today. Students will produce a significant historiographical essay on a topic to be decided upon in consultation with the instructor. No prior coursework in Korean or Japanese history is required, but students with no background in the histories of Korea and Japan will be required to do additional reading to obtain a better understanding of the historical contexts encountered in the regular readings.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 312
Memory in European History & Culture: History of Concepts
This course will focus on the problems of memory and remembrance. We will analyze different concepts of memory that influenced Western culture and Western mind, from Antiquity to our days. In particular, we will attempt to understand how past and recent Occident societies understood memory and how they operated with some conceptions of memory over about the two thousand years. We will begin with Socrates and Plato, move to St. Augustine’s theory of memory. We will end with the most influential contemporary concepts of memory, in particular that of the cultural memory by Adelaide and Jan Assman. More importantly, we will try to analyze the impacts that past and recent concepts of memory might have had on different societies and their memory cultures.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 313
Environment and Empire in the Early Modern World
This course examines how Europeans interacted with their environments during the early modern period, when Europe went from being a relatively poor, inward-looking society to a power that would dominate much of the world. We will use primary sources, including art and maps, to reconstruct how the rise of capitalism and the first age of globalization influenced Europeans’ relationships with their environments, and how they in turn transformed the environments in which they found themselves. Themes include the effect of climate change on history, the impact of a capitalist search for resources on the world’s environments, and colonialism as an environmental enterprise.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 315
The Pacific War: 1931-1945
This course examines the consequences of Japan's occupation of Manchuria, Tokyo's rejection of membership in the League of Nations, and the birth of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Subsequently, Japanese expansionism in north and south China and the formation of an increasingly close relationship with Italy and Germany paved the way for the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Key topics to be examined will include the Japan's response to Chinese nationalism, Japanese perceptions of Versaille order as it impinged upon East Asia, Japan's theory and practice of "total war," war in Burma and the Pacific, and the effect of the Pacific War on European colonial empires.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 316
The Pacific War in Film
The war between Japan and the United States and its allies that raged across the South Pacific, Southeast and Northeast Asia from 1941 to 1945 remains one of the most destructive in human history. Although this conflict is typically viewed along with the European war against Nazi Germany and fascist Italy as part of the wider Second World War, perceptions on both sides of the Pacific about the fundamental cultural and racial difference and inhumanity of the enemy added a dimension of animosity to the conflict that still colors the way “the war” is remembered to this day. In addition to examining the historical causes and course of the conflict, we will explore how the combatants and the meaning of the conflict have been portrayed and remembered, during the war itself and since then, in film, the medium through which most non-combatants have come to appreciate and remember the conflict. Viewing and discussing films on the war produced in a variety of countries and historical contexts -- from wartime propaganda films to the most recent big-budget war movies -- will be a required part of this course.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 318
Gender and Sexuality in Middle Eastern History
This course takes constructions of femininity and masculinity and related representations of male and female sexuality in both the pre-modern and modern Middle East, with an emphasis on the Arab world, as its focus. Through theoretical readings and primary sources, both written and visual, we will explore the ways in which gender and sexuality have shaped political, economic, and cultural life in the Middle East.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 319
Mapping the Middle East
This course approaches the history of the Middle East through maps. It will look at the many different ways maps have told the story of the territory we now call the Middle East and the many different points of view that have defined it as a geographical entity. Readings will analyze maps as social constructions and will place mapmaking and map-use in a historical context. We will relate maps to questions of empire, colonialism, war and peace, nationalism, and environmental change. Students will be required to undertake an original research paper.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 320
Gender and Masculinity in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1870s-1970
This course addresses discourses of sexuality and gender in men in Latin America and the Caribbean between the 1870s and the 1970s. It will examine sexual practices and their cultural and social meanings in this region. Students will read social history, biographies, memoirs, poetry and see films to study sexual practices and behaviors, as well as expressions of love, in the daily life of men in relations with men and women in the Americas. The century will be divided two sub-periods, 1870s -1930s, and the 1940s to the late 1970s. The former registered new concepts, "homosexual" in 1867" and "heterosexual" at the beginning of the 20th century; by the 1960s and 1970s gay rights movements in the U.S. influenced Latin America and the Caribbean masculinities.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 322
Shanghai: From Treaty Port to Megacity
In a few decades after its forcible opening as a Treaty Port in 1842, Shanghai emerged as Asia's greatest port. It quickly grew to an international city that played a defining in China role as a catalyst for cultural, social, and economic change. After 1937, however, war, civil war, and revolution put the brakes on Shanghai's advance. After the late 1980's, Shanghai reemerged as one of the world's leading centers of trade and a meeting place of civilizations. Today the city is the linchpin of the economy of the Yangtze River basin and China's foremost gateway to the world. Using historical, literary, and documentary materials this course will reflect on the evolution of Shanghai and the role it played as a catalyst for change in various eras.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 325
Italy and the Mediterranean
This seminar examines the history of Italian coasts from the Middle Ages up to the period of nineteenth-century national unification. The focus in the first instance will be the history of port cities as well as the coastal stretches that lay between urban centers of power and commerce. As the chronology shifts toward later periods, the historical investigation of shores will also develop comparisons to coastal cultures elsewhere in the world.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 326
Disaster Archipelago: Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and the Japanese
Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world. Throughout history, people have dealt with devastation from volcanic eruptions, frequent earthquakes, and killer tsunamis. This course explores the history of these catastrophes and their aftermaths from a variety of perspectives: economic, political, social, and cultural. How have the Japanese people coped with these disasters and attempted to prepare for them, in light of shifting political contexts and evolving knowledge of the geologic mechanisms involved? Students will explore and discuss a wide variety of primary and secondary sources on Japanese ways of appreciating and dealing with disasters past and present, including memoirs, novels, and films. The course will culminate with an in-depth examination of the march 2011 tsunami and its aftermath.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 327
World Histories of Wine
This seminar explores the history of wine, a new and growing research field in world history. We will consider how wine has been produced, traded, and consumed in both continental Europe and the “New World” since circa 1600. Topics will include: approaches to commodity history; wine, terroir and the construction of national identity; protection and global markets; technological change and modernisation; networks, trade and information exchanges; and the creation of consumers and experts. There will be a field trip to a Connecticut winery. All students will write a major research paper and it is possible to gain additional course credit for Language Across the Curriculum by undertaking foreign-language research.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 328
Comparative Urbanism: Life Since 1850
This course explores urban history and urban planning by focusing on how certain models of urbanism emerged alongside modernity and capitalism since Paris was transformed into the emblematic city of capitalist modernity in 1850-1870. Topics include urban spaces, urban planning and architecture; the interplay between politics and social movements; finance capital and real-estate development; and mass consumption and sports mega-events. Examples will include cities in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 332
South Africa and the Anti-Apartheid Movement
The creation of the apartheid state in South Africa gave birth to a litany of sociopolitical movements aimed at dismantling a system of white minority rule. In what ways can a digital archive open up a window onto this rich and dynamic history of the anti-antiapartheid movement in South Africa between 1948 and 1994? This course will seek to answer this question by primarily utilizing Aluka's "Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa", a collection of over 190,000 primary and secondary sources that shed considerable light on how marginalized peoples and communities sought to realize a democratic alternative to settler colonialism during the era of decolonization in Africa. Topics such as political leadership, nonviolent civil disobedience, coalition building, state repression, armed guerilla resistance, nationalism, international solidarity and truth and reconciliation will inform the ways in which we search for sources of historical evidence contained in Aluka's digital archive.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 333
Mapping the Middle East
This course approaches the history of the Middle East using maps as primary sources. The very term “Middle East” depends on a cognitive mapping process that presupposes a certain point of view. This course will look at the many different ways maps have told the story of the territory we now call the Middle East and the many different points of view that have defined it as a geographical entity and animated its inhabitants from late antiquity through the twenty-first century. Readings will analyze maps as social constructions and will place mapmaking and map-use in a historical context. We will relate maps to questions of empire, colonialism, war and peace, nationalism, and environmental change. Students will be required to undertake an original research paper. This course fulfills requirements for majors in International Studies and History.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 334
Provinces of the Roman Empire
A history of the first two centuries of the provinces of the Roman Empire, including the processes of acquisition and Romanization and the survival of regional cultures. Important themes include social conditions, economic opportunities, and religious and political change. Extensive use of archaeological evidence.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 335
Chivalry, which literally means mounted warriors, is one of the most important developments of medieval European culture; it shaped ideals of honor and norms of social behavior from the Middle Ages to the present. We will explore how so-called nobles used art, literature and other written records to articulate ideals of chivalry that helped to obscure or atone for the violence and cruelty powerful lords in medieval society. We will explore as well how these mythical ideals about proper conduct in battle and at court affected warfare, relations between men and women, female power, and the evolution of government through the 17th century. Finally, we will consider how chivalry or contested notions of its ideals are still with us in the modem world.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 338
Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century
Eastern Europe was the site of tremendous upheaval and change throughout the twentieth century. A part of the Habsburg Empire until the end of the First World War, the nations of Eastern Europe - Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia - attempted to democratize, served as ground zero for the devastation of World War II and the Holocaust, and then were absorbed into the Soviet Bloc, where they asserted themselves through reform and revolution. Through academic texts, memoirs and primary sources, this course will delve into the history of the region explore Eastern Europe in all its myriad forms.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 342
History of Sexuality
This course examines the ways in which notions of the body, gender, sexual desire, and sexuality have been organized over space and time. Taking as a starting point the geographical regions of the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America in the ancient and medieval periods, the course seeks to de-center discourses of Western sexual modernity. It then addresses the ways in which colonialism, racism, nationalism, and globalization have depended on and disrupted normative ideas about modern sexuality, including the hetero/homosexual binary. Throughout the course we will ask how historians use theoretical and primary sources to construct a history of sexuality. Course expectations include a final research paper.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 344
America's Most Wanted: True Crime and the American Imagination
Americans are fascinated by crime. We read detective fiction, watch police dramas, and hold murder mystery dinners. When the crimes are real, we debate guilt or innocence, punishment or rehabilitation, death penalty or life in prison at our dinner tables. Why this fascination, and what does it tell us about our culture and our concerns? In this course we examine several actual crimes and try to understand what made these crimes, and not others, so riveting. What drew us in? What kept us there? Along the way we will also discuss changing police and penal practices, how attitudes about race, class, religion, and gender play into public fixations on particular crimes, and how and why those attitudes shifted over time.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 345
Seismic Disasters in Japan, Then and Now: Earth, Environment, and Culture
Japan has faced seismically related disasters throughout its history, the most recent being the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. This course will tour sites in Japan for twelve days during the summer that have been impacted by such disasters – including Tokyo, Mount Asama, and the Pacific coast of northeastern Honshu – to explore the history of these events, and their environmental, cultural, and social impacts firsthand. Prior to departing in late May, students will have regularly scheduled group meetings with the instructors in the spring to be introduced to pertinent scientific, social, and cultural concepts through readings and discussions in preparation for the trip. Students who have taken or are concurrently enrolled in ENVS 112, ENVS 149, or HIST 326 will be given preference in enrollment.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 346
The Narratives of History
How is history related to memory? To memoir? To reality? The Narratives of History explores these questions by reading American memoirs including so-called "Indian captivity narratives," slave narratives, working-class and immigrant oral-histories and autobiographies of the famous and not-so-famous. How do the authors construct the world, and why? How have these texts been used to advance particular views or agendas? How can we use both the texts and their symbolic uses to better interpret and understand the world they came from?
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 349
Writing the American Desert
This course treats changes in attitudes toward the American deserts, particularly the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, and Mojave, through reading accounts of travels, fiction, and other primary source material, from about the period of the Long Expedition (which coined the expression “Great American Desert” as the descriptor for the Plains) to Edward Abbey and the environmental movement. Because the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts straddle the US-Mexico border, we will also make forays into the Mexican world, exploring ways in which the construction of a totally artificial border after the Mexican-American War and the Gadsden Purchase affected attitudes toward that desert world; this will also allow us to consider the views of Hispanic settlers who made this region their home long before the advent of Americans. Finally, we will also explore Native American attitudes toward landscapes that were their own homelands, seen through a very different prism than that of the European-American settlers coming from a humid east.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 353
The Rise and Fall of American Slavery
This course covers important themes and developments in the history of slavery in the United States. From origins in indigenous communities, colonization, and the black Atlantic, human bondage shaped (and continues to shape) the legal and social framework for generations of Americans. Readings feature voices from slaveholders to the enslaved, politicians and activists, as well as some of the best work done by recent historians.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 354
The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877
This course examines not only the military dimensions of the war years but also such topics as politics in the Union and the Confederacy, the presidential leadership of Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, women in the Union and Confederate war efforts, and the struggle over emancipation. The latter part of the course considers post-war political, social, and economic developments, including nearly four million African Americans' transition from slavery to freedom, the conflict over how to reconstruct the former Confederate states, the establishment of bi-racial governments in those states, and the eventual overthrow of Reconstruction by conservative white "Redeemers." Lectures and discussions.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 355
The Bible in History
The Bible is arguably the most important book ever assembled. This course will explore the changing role of the Bible from Late Antiquity to the Enlightenment and its impact on society. Themes addressed in this course include: the holiness of the text, the role of the Bible in medieval culture, comparisons with the Hebrew Bible and the Koran, the impact of printing, and the critical re-conception of the Bible as a created rather than divine text.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 362
The Samurai Warrior in History, Myth, and Reality
The samurai were as important for Japan’s historical and cultural transformation as they are misunderstood. This course aims at separating the myth from the reality of the samurai by examining the history of Japanese warriors and the culture they created, from their lowly origins in antiquity through their rise to hegemony during the 13th through 18th centuries, to their eventual disappearance as a distinct class in the 19th century. We will also examine the evolving image of the samurai warrior and his supposedly rigid moral code of conduct, as it appears in literature and film, from some of the earliest appearances of such images right up to today. Our purpose in examining these images of the samurai is not only to distinguish myth from reality, but also to explore the political purposes such images have been put to in legitimating samurai rule prior to the 20th century, and in informing Japanese views of themselves and non-Japanese views of Japan in the years since.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 363
Living on the Margins of Modern Japan
This course explores the histories and identities of groups that, for a variety of reasons, have not been considered part of “mainstream” Japanese society. Among these are ethnic minorities, such as the Ainu, Okinawans, and resident Koreans, and social minorities, such as the descendants of former outcastes groups who are referred to collectively as the Burakumin. In addition to these groups, we will also explore the nature of groups viewed as outside of the mainstream by dint of the lifestyle they lead or the circumstances that have been forced upon them, such as the yakuza (gangsters), ultra-rightwing activists, residents of slums, and others. Through such an exploration, we will come to challenge the perception, all-too-common both inside and outside of Japan, that Japanese society is homogeneous. We will also look into how this illusion of homogeneity has been constructed, and what the consequences are for those who find themselves marginalized in the process.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 368
Gender and War in Twentieth Century Europe
Between 1914 and 1945, Europe was engulfed in what can be termed its "Second" Thirty Years War. The First and Second World Wars lay waste to Europe, changing and challenging every aspect of society, including the gender order. Women were asked to make sacrifices for their nations on the Home Front, as well as enter into realms of the public sphere which had previously been forbidden. Men who took up arms had to readjust to civilian life after years spent in battle. This course will examine how the First and Second World Wars affected both men and women - how notions of femininity and masculinity were challenged and renegotiated during and after the wars. Readings will include academic texts and contemporary sources.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 374
Alexander the Great
This course covers the life and times of Alexander the Great, a man who was able to subjugate most of the known world, but failed to erect a lasting political structure. When he died at the age of 33 years, he left a vast empire to be torn to pieces by his successors. However, his achievements were more than military, and his colonists built cities in places as far from Greece as modern Afghanistan, creating a new world in which Greek culture flourished.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 376
The French Revolution
An exploration of the Great French Revolution of 1789 that focuses on its social and political history, beginning with the Revolution’s origins in the crisis of the old regime and ending with its legacy in the nineteenth-century Europe. The course will grapple with the major historiographical debates, recently reinvigorated by an explosion of innovative scholarship on the Revolution. Topics to be examined include: the origins of the Revolution, the radicalization of the Revolution, counterrevolution, political culture and legitimacy, transformations in the civic order, the roles of different social actors (the bourgeoisie, nobles, artisans, peasants, women), the Thermidorian reaction, and the Napoleonic settlement. Students will be asked to evaluate competing interpretations and reach their own conclusions. The course will combine lecture and discussion of interpretive works and primary sources.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 379
The Cuban Revolution: Historical Origins
The Cuban Revolution (1959-present) is one of the most important chapters in the history of the Americas and the modern world. This course examines its deep roots in the 1800s and early 1900s, and how it has evolved, both during the Cold War and since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Topics include: Cuban nationalism and relations with the U.S. and other countries before and after 1959; how Marxism and radical Third-World internationalism have shaped Cuban politics; how Cuban revolutionaries have attempted to address (or not) issues of modernization and social class inequalities, as well as with African heritage and racism, gender and sexual discrimination; and issues in state formation and forms rule, such as dictatorship and democracy.
1.00 units, Lecture
HIST 383
Sports, Race & Nationalism
An examination of the how sports emerged as a major sphere of society and international politics since the late 19th century and how capitalism, race, ethnicity and nationalism have played a major role in this story. We will focus our attention mainly on baseball, basketball, soccer, cricket, and “mega” sporting events, such as the Olympics and FIFA’s World Cup, with case studies from around the world. Additional attention will be given also to the interplay between sports and mega sporting events, on the one hand, and urbanization, urbanism and urban life, on the other. This course counts for both the History and INTS majors (“Global Core” in INTS). For more information, please visit the course blog at =
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 393
The Past as Protest and Prophecy in Postwar Japanese Cinema
Through a variety of readings and film viewings, this course explores how Japanese directors from 1945 to the present have used the past as a setting in which to voice political and social commentary about contemporary Japan. We will explore films of a variety of genres -- including war films, samurai dramas, science fiction films, documentaries, avant-garde films, and anime -- created over the last 65 years by directors such as Fukasaku Kinji, Ichikawa Kon, Imamura Shohei, Kurosawa Akira, Mizoguchi Kenji, Oshima Nagisa, Suzuki Seijun, Tsuburaya Eiji, and others. The readings for the course will give students an appreciation of the historical settings that the films portray, the political and social contexts in which they were produced, and an understanding of each director’s political, social, and cinematic vision. These readings will allow us to discuss selected scenes of films viewed in our class meetings in a way that will highlight how postwar discourses of pacifism, internationalism, nationalism, and anti-colonialism are reflected in these cinematic works.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 395
History of the Alps
In the 1990s the European Union recognized the Alpine region as a distinct regional unit. This course is a history of that storied region extending from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic by way of Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Balkans. Topics include the ‘discovery’ of the Alps by European elites in the Age of Enlightenment; the Alps as archive of geological time and center of romantic science; the invention and commercialization of alpine sports; the appeal of the Alps as a place of retreat and healing, and their politicization by fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in the 1920s and 1930s respectively. We end with a consideration of the future of the region in the face of global warming and the promises of trans-nationalism.
1.00 units, Seminar
HIST 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairman are required for enrollment.
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
HIST 466
Teaching Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairman are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
HIST 490
Research Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairman are required for enrollment.
1.00 units, Independent Study
HIST 498
Senior Thesis/Research Seminar
A two-semester senior thesis including the required research seminar in the fall term. Permission of the instructor is required for Part I.
2.00 units, Seminar
HIST 499
Senior Thesis/Continuation
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairman are required for each semester of this year-long thesis.
2.00 units, Independent Study
HIST 940
Independent Study
Independent studies on selected topics are available by arrangement with the instructor and written approval of the graduate adviser, and department chair. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form.
1.00 units, Independent Study
HIST 953
Research Project
The graduate director, the supervisor of the project, and the department chair must approve special research project topics. Conference hours are available by appointment. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form. One course credit.
1.00 units, Independent Study
HIST 954
Thesis Part I
Thesis Part I is an investigation and report on an original research topic. Conference hours are available by appointment. Registration for the thesis will not be considered final without the thesis approval form and the signatures of the thesis adviser, graduate adviser, and department chair. Please refer to the Graduate Studies Catalog for thesis requirements. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form and the thesis writer's packet. Two course credits. (The two course credits are considered pending in Part I of the thesis; they will be awarded with the completion of Part II.)
2.00 units, Independent Study
HIST 955
Thesis Part II
Continuation of History 954. Two course credits.
2.00 units, Independent Study
HIST 956
No Course Description Available.
2.00 units, Independent Study