This course serves as an introduction to European history from the fourth to seventeenth centuries. Rather than offering a year-by-year account of historical events, the course aims to introduce students to the political structures, socioeconomic developments, and belief systems that shaped people's lives, and to convey a sense of the texture of lived experience during the late antique, medieval, and early modern periods.
This course examines a period of upheaval and transformation in European history. Its major themes are the rise of the modern state, the emergence of secular thought, and the development of a modern economy. In order to examine these themes, students evaluate different kinds of historical sources such as fiction, memoirs and images. Topics include the absolutist state, colonialism and slavery, the Enlightenment, diplomacy and warfare, and the French Revolution.
This course is a survey of European history from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the present day. It examines the emergence of distinctively modern phenomena and trends such as mass politics, industrialization and urbanization, imperialism, modern diplomacy and warfare, middle-class culture and gender roles, and intellectual and cultural controversies. Using a wide range of sources, students examine different responses to modernity in Europe. Topics include Napoleon, the age of revolutions, imperialism, modern nationalism, feminism, the World Wars, and fascism and communism.
Far from being a stagnant "dark age," the early Middle Ages were a time of sweeping changes that reshaped the political map of Europe, the Mediterranean, and Middle East and encompassed the rise of vibrant new cultures. The course begins with the transformation of the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries before moving on to explore the distinctive trajectories of Rome's three heirs: the Latin West, Byzantine Empire, and Islamic caliphates. As we trace these cultures' histories from c. 300 to c. 1050, we engage with a wide range of textual, artistic, and archaeological sources, and enter into ongoing debates over the "fall" of Rome, the impact of the early Islamic conquests, the nature of "feudal" society, and the emergence of a concept of "Europe" in the age of Charlemagne, as we meet a cast of colorful historical characters including martyrs and missionaries, pagan chieftains and Viking raiders, Muslim scholars and Carolingian princesses.
This course traces the history of Europe and the wider Mediterranean world in the later medieval and early modern periods, using the framework of material culture. Students explore a range of material sources such as domestic objects, clothing, coins, weaponry, and architecture in conjunction with contemporary texts to reconstruct major historical developments of the eleven to seventeenth centuries, as well as changing values, intercultural exchange, and habits of consumption within Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic civilizations of the Near East. In the process students consider questions and possibilities raised by the recent material turn in the study of history and practice material history as a class through the in-depth analysis of objects in their original contexts.
This course explores the experiences and values of America's diverse peoples. Students in it not only expand their knowledge of events of American history but also deepen their understanding of the meaning of those events in people's lives. Students learn how the social categories of race, gender, and class affected individual Americans' identities and opportunities; how America's natural environment shaped and was shaped by Americans' human culture; and how Americans' idea and ideals both influenced and reflected their economic, political, and social institutions. To investigate these themes, students read writings by modern historians and analyze a wide variety of historical sources from the past. American Experiences I focuses on the period from European colonization through the end of Reconstruction.
This course explores the experiences and values of America's diverse peoples. Students in it not only expand their knowledge of the events of American history but also deepen their understanding of the meaning of those events in people's lives. Students learn how the social categories of race, gender and class affected individual Americans' identities and opportunities; how Americans' ideas and ideals both influenced and reflected their economic, political, and social institutions; and how Americans defined and re-defined national identity in the context of the nation's changing role in the world. To investigate these themes, students read writings by modern historians and analyze a wide variety of historical sources from the past. American Experiences II focuses on the period from the end of Reconstruction to the Present.
This course is designed to introduce prospective majors to the discipline and Department of History. In it, students learn what history is and how historians think and work. The course teaches students to do the two things that historians do: develop interpretations from primary sources and critically evaluate the interpretations advanced by other historians. Emphasis is placed on the methods and skills of reading, analyzing, discussing, and writing history. Reading assignments expose students to a variety of current approaches to history. Writing assignments give students practice in the types of historical writing that are expected of them in upper-division history courses. History 200 is intended to be taken in the sophomore year or as soon as a History major is declared. At least one prior course in History is desirable but not required. Students minoring in History or majoring in other disciplines are also welcome.
This course explores the connections between waterways and cross-cultural interaction in early modern world history. It focuses on encounters between the peoples of the Mediterranean and the wider world from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. This encompasses the division of the Mediterranean between Spanish Catholic and Islamic Ottoman spheres to the end of the Spanish Hapsburg's global dynasty. The first part of the course explores cases of tolerance and intolerance among the peoples of the Mediterranean Sea from Antiquity to the Renaissance by using interdisciplinary perspectives to understand relations between the region's Christian, Muslim, and Jewish inhabitants. Over the rest of the semester, the course considers how this history shaped subsequent European attitudes toward other peoples of the world in Africa, the Americas, and South and East Asia by examining evidence from material culture, literature, and the arts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
This course covers Russian Imperial state and society; revolutionary movements; causes of the 1905 and 1917 revolutions; Russian and Soviet political cultures; Soviet Union and totalitarianism; Russian and Soviet foreign policy; the collapse of communism and the Soviet empire; post-communist Russian society and politics.
This course surveys the history of England from the Roman conquest to the end of the Tudor dynasty, following England's rise from remote imperial backwater to incipient world power. We begin by reconstructing the successive invasions of the island by Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans, and assessing the impact of these conquerors on the people, culture, and institutions of England. The course then explores the later medieval and early modern English world in depth, reconstructing the experiences of many different groups--women and men, peasants and aristocrats, Christians, Jews, and heretics--and tracking major historical developments like urbanization, the rise of representative institutions, and attempts to extend English rule into Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, and beyond. The course reconstructs the experience of life in premodern England through a wide range of textual and non-textual sources, including archaeological finds, architecture, law-codes, letters, and poetry, while assignments allow students to hone their research, writing, and analytical skills.
While premodern China has been depicted as a closed, insular civilization, in actuality it was deeply engaged with the outside world, and much of what we now consider to be Chinese emerged out of contact with foreign states, people, and ideas. This course aims to situate premodern China in its global context and focuses on how interactions with the world shaped Chinese culture, society, economy, religion, and government, as well as how China in turn influenced the course of East Asian and global history. While the course moves in chronological order, from China's prehistoric origins through the rise of imperial China and the East Asian tribute system, and concluding with the Qing dynasty's conquest of Taiwan in the seventeenth century, the readings and lectures are topically organized around four zones of foreign contact: China's northern frontier with the steppe peoples of Central Asia, China's interaction with India and the Silk Road, China's inland frontier to the south, and China's relationship with the sea. The course also includes field trips to museums, temples, and historical sites in Taiwan, to provide a material perspective to the assigned readings, and encourage students to glimpse the contemporary legacy of this historical interaction.
This course examines major themes in Chinese history from early times to the Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties of the late imperial period. Topics to be covered include major political philosophies, the development of the imperial state, and encounters with foreign cultures.
This course examines the emergence of modern Japan from before the Meiji Restoration (1868), through the triumph and tragedy of imperial Japan, and beyond postwar reconstruction. The consideration of ideas, principles, and values that informed Tokugawa state and society and the study of Japan's selective absorption of European and American ideas and forms enable understanding of the role of values, both Japanese and non-Japanese, in Japan's national integration, rapid industrialization, and achievement of international recognition and power.
This course examines the role of the Kansai region (the region around the cities of Nara, Kyoto and Osaka) in Japanese history, with particular attention to the Asuka/Nara and Heian Periods when Kyoto was Japan's undisputed political and cultural center. Field trips to important Kansai sites from virtually all periods of Japanese history provide a framework for a course that blends the political and cultural development of Japan's historical "heartland."
This course explores the historical experiences of African Americans in the United States from the colonial period to the present. The class studies the diversity of experiences that have constituted African American life, exploring the lives of individual African Americans, while also looking at the development and evolution of African American communities, and the interactions of African Americans with other Americans. Because racism has played such a significant role in shaping African American lives, students also explore the construction of the concept of "race," the interrelationship of the political, cultural, social, and intellectual forces that have given meaning to that concept, and the ways African Americans have responded to it across time. The course texts include not only the writings of contemporary historians, but also the historical writings, speeches, and artistic productions of African Americans, with particular emphasis on autobiographies.
This course is a survey of the early period of Latin American history, from 1492 to 1826. It begins with an overview of the European background and the major indigenous civilizations in what Europeans came to call the New World. The central focus is on the encounter of indigenous and Iberian cultures and the process of conquest, resistance and mutual transformation that ensued over the next three centuries. Attention is also given to the social and economic structures and institutions of the colonies themselves, the development in some regions of plantation economies using slave labor from Africa, and the evolving relationship of Spanish America and Brazil to Europe, culminating in the wars of Independence.
Beginning with the transition from colonies to independent nations and ending with the political transitions and implementation of neo-liberal policies in the 1990s, this course considers the Latin American region from the perspective of its subordinate incorporation into the world economy, its struggles for democratic institutions and equitable development, and the formation of identities of class, gender, race, and ethnicity.
This course introduces students to the major events and trends of the past two centuries of African history and explores how those trends and events shaped the experiences of people across the continent. Major topics include the ending of the Atlantic Slave Trade, colonial incursion, cultural change, economic transformations, the rise of nationalism and the challenges of decolonialization. Students consider how ethnic, gender, religious, and other identities shaped individual Africans' experiences and make comparisons both regionally and in terms of Africa's relationship to the world. Readings include a variety of historical sources as well as the work of contemporary historians.
This course offers students a broad outline of political, economic and social developments in Africa; topics covered will include ancient trade between Africa and the Mediterranean region, the rise of the great medieval empires of Ghana and Mali, the creation of a distinctive Swahili Coast culture and the impact of slavery and slave trade upon African societies. Second, the course will introduce students to the specific tools used by historians in the study of early Africa. In evaluating how best to write the history of non-literate peoples, students will consider, among other possibilities, the use of historical linguistics, archaeology and oral traditions. They will assess the usefulness of Islamic and European sources for African history.
This course examines the great cultural revolution known as the Renaissance from a number of perspectives, considering new developments in the arts, political theory, historical awareness, concepts of the self, science, and technology as interrelated phenomena. The primary focus is on the towns of Northern Italy that served as the cradle of the Renaissance, but consideration is also given to the spread of Renaissance ideals and innovations into Northern Europe and the Americas in the course.
This course examines the construction of gender in European contexts from Late Antiquity through the medieval and early modern period, addressing historical continuity and change in definitions of femininities and masculinities, as well as the development of related ideas about marriage, family, and sexuality. Students gain an understanding of how gender intersected with social, economic, political, educational, and religious structures in premodern Europe, and consider the merits of various historical approaches to gender over the past several decades. Special topics to be considered include the relationship between gender, sanctity, and sexuality in premodern Christianity, the development of western marriage models, courtly love and its paradoxes, gender non-conformity, and challenges to traditional gender roles in Renaissance humanists and Protestant reformers.
The military campaigns that comprised the Crusades lasted only two centuries, but their impact on Europe and the Middle East was far more lasting, and the post-medieval legacy of the Crusades continues to be debated. This course focuses on European military expeditions to the Levant between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, attempting to understand these events and their consequences from a number of perspectives through firsthand accounts by Eastern and Western Christians, as well as Muslims and Jews. We begin by considering the world from which the first crusaders came, paying special attention to the social, political, and spiritual hierarchies which shaped their undertaking. After reconstructing the First Crusade in detail, the course then considers the crusader states of the eastern Mediterranean as a lens through which to explore medieval ideas about religious difference, race, cultural assimilation, and tolerance, before tracing the expansion of the crusading project in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. We end by considering crusading's long-term consequences, and assessing modern appropriations of the Crusades in service of a range of political and religious agendas.
Modern people tend to think of the Reformation in strictly religious terms, as the movement that divided the medieval church into Catholic and Protestant camps. The scope of what are more properly termed Europe's Reformations was, in fact, much broader: Luther's initial attack on the Catholic Church in 1517 touched off a series of revolutions that divided states, rulers, and neighbors against one another and ultimately altered the balance of power across Europe. The teachings of both Protestant and Catholic reformers transformed civic life, introduced new models of citizenship and government, and forever changed the family lives of early modern Europeans. This course focuses on Northern Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, paying special attention to the course of the Reformation in the German states, Swiss cantons, the Netherlands, France, and England.
This course addresses war as a major force in European history from the early Middle Ages to c.1500, with a special focus on Northwestern Europe. Taking a 'war and society' approach, the course focuses less on strategies, tactics, and generalship than on the ways in which war has shaped, and been shaped by, variables such as social and political hierarchies, gender roles, and religious belief. Students explore the relationship between war and social, cultural, political, and technological change, and attempt to reconstruct the experience of war for combatants and non-combatants. Specific topics to be considered include the role of warfare in shaping early medieval polities, the rise of a knightly class and related social developments, the culture of chivalry and martial display, and the advent of new, increasingly destructive methods of waging war in the later Middle Ages. Students complete a substantial research project in the second half of the semester.
This course examines the British Empire both as a political and economic institution and as a lived reality for millions of individuals of widely diverse backgrounds. It acquaints students with those broad economic, political, social, ecological and technological factors that permitted the Empire's rise (and those that led to its more recent decline). It also examines the interactions and experiences through which new identities and cultures were created, both in Britain and abroad. The course includes material on the Caribbean, India, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and to a lesser extent, North America.
This course examines the works and times of prominent intellectual critics of modern European society. It centers on the texts of nineteenth-century writers, theorists, scientists and revolutionaries who formulated far-reaching analyses of and challenges to modern cultures, practices, values and economies. Special emphasis is placed on the generation of ideas and ideologies of the period, such as materialism, psychoanalysis and Marxism, and their application in culture and the arts. Cross-listed as HIST/HUM 317.
This course explores the history of Europe between two pivotal years: 1789, which saw the outbreak of Revolution in France, and 1848, when revolutionary upheaval returned to Paris, ushering in a new French Republic and triggering a wave of other largely unsuccessful uprisings across the Continent. During the six intervening decades -- over the span of only a single adult lifetime -- European politics, society, and culture all changed in radical ways. Students discuss the nature of these changes, and ask what continuities might be discernable beneath the flux. Students also spend some time considering the impact of European transformations on the world as a whole, and look at the expansion around the globe of the Empires of European states, as well as more informal spheres of European influence.
This course examines the experience of the Cold War in Europe when Europe was divided between opposing Soviet and American spheres of influence. Students examine the origins of a polarized Europe and the crises on both sides of the Iron Curtain that threatened to unravel it. While the course has a transnational approach, the main focus is on the experiences of Germany, France, and East-Central Europe (Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary). Seminar discussions of primary and secondary texts allow students to evaluate recent interpretations of the Cold War in Europe. The course culminates with the researching and writing of a substantial research paper on a topic of the student's choosing.
This course examines the political development of the fifteen states that emerged from the Soviet Union after its collapse in 1991. It focuses on different Soviet Republics in the last decades of Soviet rule and then charts how they emerged from the communist system and created new political institutions and ideologies to bolster their independence. In order to grasp the cultural, national and religious diversity of the Soviet empire and the post-Soviet space, the course examines European areas, the Caucasus region, and Central Asia. Major themes include the attempts of post-Soviet peoples to overcome and reform the institutions, political habits, and economic structures inherited from the Soviet system, ethnic conflict in the post-imperial landscape, and the renewed role of Russia in post-Soviet territory and the geopolitics of the region.
This course examines dictatorial regimes that had an enormous destructive impact on Europe and the world in the twentieth century: Stalin's USSR, Hitler's Germany, and Mussolini's Italy. Using the comparative method, it addresses central issues in the histories of the three states that scholars have often grouped together under the concept of totalitarianism: the rise to power of political movements; the harnessing of the vast powers of the modern state for ideological projects such as racial empire and communist utopianism; explaining collaboration, conformity and resistance with secret police agencies; and the impact of dictatorships on culture, gender, and everyday life. Readings include scholarly works and primary source materials such as diaries, letters of denunciation, and fictional works.
The political, social, economic, and intellectual forces that worked to shape Britain in the nineteenth century.
This course examines the history of the activities of intelligence services, with a focus on Europe and North America from the end of WWI to the present day. In today's world, few figures fascinate us (or disgust us) as much as the spy, a figure whose profession poses difficult questions about truth and deception, morality and deviance, personal and national betrayal, and the power of the modern state. Beyond the popular cult of spies, however, espionage has played a crucial role in the shaping of the twentieth-century world in a number of ways: spurring the fighting (or avoidance) of wars, shaping diplomatic and military policies, propelling and exploiting technological advancements, and creating political and mass cultures.
Medieval Spain carries a certain mystique in the modern imagination. Pictured either as a land of convivencia where Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived in harmony or as a landscape torn by religious strife epitomized in the Spanish Inquisition, the Iberian Peninsula presents historians with the unique opportunity to explore how these three peoples managed to coexist for centuries. While students discover that the communities were never entirely at peace with one another and in fact were often in open conflict, they also explore how members of these communities lived together, coexisting in communities of three faiths. This course begins with the rise of Visigothic Spain (sixth-eighth centuries) and ends with the Jewish and Muslim expulsions in the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries.
An international spotlight has fallen on the Chinese justice system in recent years due to a series of high-profile trials, detentions, and imprisonments. The names and images of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, "Barefoot Lawyer" Chen Guangcheng, and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai have graced the cover pages of newspapers and magazines around the world, and their journeys have been fodder for extended discussions and debates over the current state of the Chinese legal system. This course examines the history of law, society, and justice in China from the early imperial era to the present. During the first part of the semester students explore the philosophical underpinnings of traditional Chinese law and the late imperial civil and criminal justice systems. The second part of the course examines the evolution of law during the Republican period as well as the legal system established during the Mao era. The course concludes by using a series of high-profile cases to unpack post-Mao legal reforms, matters of human rights, and the contemporary state of Chinese justice.
Twentieth-century China bore witness to a political revolution, a social revolution and a 'cultural' revolution. This course will explore the causes and characteristics of those revolutions, as well as the varying patterns of protest, revolt, and rebellion that have taken place in China since 1800. Topics to be covered include peasant revolts, the role of religion in rebellion and resistance to state authority, and forms of resistance and protest in contemporary China during the age of the internet.
The waning months of the Chinese Civil War were critical in setting the future course of U.S.-China relations. With the defeat of the Nationalists and Communist victory all but certain, both nations set about warily trying to sound out the other's intentions. Chinese leaders assumed that the U.S. would now back away from supporting the vanquished side, and State Department personnel made the decision to stay on in embassies and legations as the new regime established itself. Students in this course examine three things: Sino-American relations during the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries; parallel Chinese history during the same period; and the United States' role in the Chinese Civil War during 1946-1950. Students explore the question of whether or not there might have been an opportunity for better, if not normal, working relations during this early period. Students also consider the future unification of Taiwan with the Mainland'the last unfinished act of the Chinese Civil War'and the implications for Sino-American relations in the 21st century.
This course examines women's history and gender relations in both traditional and modern East Asia. Themes explored include the constantly evolving roles of women in the family and as workers, artists, writers, and revolutionaries.
This course emphasizes the following themes: the things that divided Americans from one another and the things that united them in rebellion; the incidents and ideology that convinced colonists that the British king, parliament, and people were conspiring to deprive them of their liberty; the reasons that some Americans remained loyalists while others became rebels; the relationship between imperial constitutional crisis and domestic social crisis; the consequences of the Revolution for women, African Americans, and Native Americans; the implications of the daring experiment in establishing republican government; and the legacy of the Revolution for subsequent American history. The aim of the course is to answer this question: How revolutionary was the American Revolution?
This course focuses on the life of Abraham Lincoln as a way to study the Civil War era in the United States. Readings are drawn from the speeches and writings of Lincoln and from the best recent biographies and scholarly studies of Lincoln.
This course explores the United States in the transformative period from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of World War One. Investigations will be focused on three important domestic issues of the period--the reconstruction of the nation and of the concept of race in the aftermath of the Civil War; the development of an industrialized economy and the attendant changes in Americans' lives; and the politics of reform that emerged repeatedly during these years as Americans fought over the nature of citizenship, freedom, and justice in a rapidly changing nation. Implicit in all of these topics is the growth of the United States into a world power. All of these topics have been dramatically reconceptualized by historians in recent years, and this course emphasizes the exploration of these recent trends in the historiography of the era, including for instance new work in the history of race, gender, class, culture, the environment, and transnational relationships, as well as efforts to employ multiple historiographical lenses in intersecting ways that reflect more accurately the complexity of the past. Students also have the chance to work with a wide range of primary sources, and to conduct their own research. The course facilitates students' understanding of their own world as they discover the roots of contemporary American life in the structures and lived experiences of this earlier period.
This course explores the political and cultural frontiers between Indian peoples and Euro-Americans from contact to the present. Students use documents, autobiography, ethnohistory, ethnography, film, and literature to examine Indian-white relations from a variety of viewpoints. The approach moves beyond a simple narrative of what happened to Indians to a more complex consideration of how Indians have made their own history and how that history has been presented and contested.
This course investigates American involvement in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. The course focuses on the years of the Second Indochina War (1954-1975), with particular attention to the meaning and experience of American involvement for Americans. At the same time, the course places these core subjects in the context of a larger history, including the history of Southeast Asia before and after US involvement there and the legacies of the war for the United States and its citizens. Some of the issues the course explores include: Why did the United States first get involved in Vietnam? What led to the expansion of American involvement? Who were the nation's allies? Enemies? What motivated them in their struggles? What motivated Americans who supported the war? What motivated those who opposed it? What were the experiences of the men and women who served in Vietnam? What is PTSD and why has it been such a serious problem for some veterans of this war? Why did the United States withdraw from the war? What were the broader geo-political consequences of American involvement? Withdrawal? How does the war affect the United States today? The course also explores closely the role of values in shaping this war, as well as the clashes between values that were both causes and consequences of the war. Includes a substantial research paper.
This course explores catastrophes in the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, using these uncommon occurrences as a window into American culture and its practices. Following a roughly chronological path, the course is organized around different kinds of catastrophes Americans have faced--ranging from floods and forest fires to epidemics, from state-sanctioned violence to domestic terrorism, from warfare to violent crime--and the historical themes and issues these moments of crisis revealed, and shaped. The course does not claim coverage of every disaster but seeks instead to expose students to the range of historiographical approaches employed in the study of catastrophe, and the multiplicity of issues they allow historians to explore.
This course examines the relationship between human society and the natural world in what is now the United States. That relationship is complex: non-human nature sustains human society, yet people can have a profound and often destructive effect on the natural world. Nature, nonetheless, cannot be completely altered to suit human needs: resources are finite and people are bound by the limits of biology. The environment thus simultaneously creates and limits human possibilities and reflects human influences. Through reading and discussion, participants in this course examine this reciprocal relationship between ecology and society.
This course provides a broad overview of the history of migration in the United States from the colonial era to the present day. The course begins by analyzing the contours and historiography of migration. The opening sections of the class consider the role of forced migration, Indigenous people, borders, and the early republic in an effort to understand the parameters of migration and citizenship. After establishing these debates and perspectives, the course moves into a series of case studies that overlap with major political and legislative shifts in the history of citizenship and migration. The course looks at how ethnicity, class, religion, race, foreign policy, and other factors have shaped the migrant experiences of various groups.
This course explores the politics and culture of United States imperialism from the nation's founding until the first decades of the 20th century. Focusing on westward expansion and the projection of U.S. power into Asia and the Pacific, the course considers how the ideas and policies supporting expansion and military conquest were developed, expressed, manifested, and contested. It examines how various peoples have confronted U.S. colonialism, including Indians, Mexicans, Chinese, Hawaiians and Filipinos. It also examines the economic underpinnings of expansion, its environmental impact, and the racial ideas that paradoxically were used both to justify and to criticize imperialism.
This course examines major themes in the history of the American West during the last two centuries, with particular emphasis on the Pacific Northwest. Themes include Indian-white encounters, the formation of frontier communities, land policy and resource use, the impact of federalism, urbanization, and the West in the American imagination.
This course examines the history of multi-ethnic empire in Central Europe from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the aftermath of World War One. It examines the rise of nationalisms in the Hapsburg Empire or Austria-Hungary, with a focus on Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish and Ukrainian national identities, as well as Bosnian, Jewish and South Slavic peoples. The course asks why national identities became hegemonic and examines the advantages and disadvantages of multi-ethnic empire in the troubled modern history of the region.
This course examines the works of some of the more important American intellectuals who lived and wrote in the years before the Civil War. The approach is biographical, and the aim is to relate ideas to the social, political, and personal situations of the thinkers. Special attention is given to the ways that these intellectuals dealt with the tension between individualism and social responsibility. Thinkers studied include Winthrop, Edwards, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Leggett, Calhoun, C. Beecher, S. Grimk?, Douglass, Fuller, Emerson, Thoreau, Noyes, Fitzhugh, and Melville.
This course focuses on the rise of consumer culture and the way the media have influenced the formation of the American identity since 1865. The class explores the cultural significance of mass circulation magazines, advertising, photography, radio, film, television, and the internet. Particular attention is paid to the cultural construction of race and gender. Several films are screened outside of regular class time.
This course explores the history of sports in the United States and uses that history as a lens for investigating and understanding more fully the range of issues with which that history intersects. To interrogate the history of sports is to situate our current practices in their historical context. We will explore issues such as the following: the historical origins of spectator sports; the impact of major transformations such as industrialization, immigration and the nation's growth into a world power in shaping sports and the athletics industry; the commercialization of athletics and the role of media; racialized, gendered and sexual exclusion and the fight for inclusion in athletics; the relationship between sports and understandings and practices of gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity; the economics of athletics and the athlete as laborer; health and athletics; the contested role of the athlete in American public life and politics; the tension between athletics and academics at educational institutions. All of these are questions that will help us explore important dynamics in the American past and present.
This course is centered on the common historical heritage between the island of Cuba and its diasporic populations. Dating back to the birth of the Cuban independence movement, exile, migration, and displacement have been nearly permanent conditions of Cuban history. This course argues that there is not only a history of Cuba but a history Cubas that have played out in Florida, New York, Spain, Mexico, and a variety of other locations as diasporic communities have worked to shape both the Cuban republic and their adopted communities. This course looks at the interplay between events on the island and events in diasporic communities as a way of showing the profound and constant linkages between them. Along the way, the course explores how race, sexuality, citizenship, gender, culture, and a variety of other factors have shaped this shared history.
This course provides an overview of the history of peoples of Latin American descent in the United States. The course begins with an analysis of Latinx people as a historical group. From there, the course largely moves chronologically and shows the various ways in which Latinx people have shaped their own communities and the nation. Special attention will be paid to civil rights history, community history, and the social and cultural history of Latinx people.
This course introduces students to the theoretical and practical aspects of public history, using the city of Tacoma as its subject. The course begins by examining the underpinnings and guiding practices that define public history. We examine (and sometimes visit) museums, community archives, historical societies and other groups to gain an understanding of the breadth of public history work. The second section of the course looks at the history of Tacoma with special attention paid to the ethnic and racial groups that have defined much of its modern history. In this section, we also consider the presences and silences of this history in present-day Tacoma. The last third of the course centers on the creation of an original, collaborative public history project relating to Tacoma history.
This course traces the emergence of modern Mexico since its 1910 revolution. It begins with attempts at economic modernization and political centralization in the late nineteenth century, considers the social upheaval of the Revolution and the consolidation of the post-revolutionary regime by 1940. A second section follows the rise and demise of the "Mexican Miracle" of growth and stability from 1940 to 1982 in the context of the Cold War. A final section considers Mexico's neo-liberal trade and investment reforms culminating in NAFTA, along with the contradictory structures of migration, drug flows, in-bond industry in northern Mexico and militarization of the US southern border.
In 1915 filmmaker D.W. Griffith predicted that "moving pictures" would soon replace book writing as the principal way to communicate knowledge about the past. Both historical writing and movies have at various times made parallel promises to objectively convey past realities. But just as historians have questioned the objectivity of the written word, one might also ask "how real is reel?" This course explores the relationship between film and historical interpretation and understanding. It considers how films produced in the U.S. and Latin America interpret Latin American history, and how they can be used to understand Latin America's past. Besides viewing and discussing around ten films throughout the semester, the class also reads a series of related historical texts, both as a point of interpretive comparison for the films, and as a point of reflection on the possibilities and limits of the academia-bound historian's primary medium.
Revolutions, according to H.L. Mencken, are the "sex of politics." They offer an opportunity to glimpse social and political life in their rawest and most revealing forms. The goal of most twentieth-century Latin American revolutions has been national development, defined economically, politically, and culturally. This course explores the revolutions of Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua in terms of their causes, the process of revolution, and the consequences of revolution for politics, society, and culture. It also considers the foreign policy of the United States toward revolutionaries and revolutionary governments. Sources include historical narrative, testimony, novels, and film.
The region referred to as the U.S.-Mexico borderlands has been the subject of wide-ranging popular and scholarly treatment, especially focusing on politics, cultural contact, economic exchange, and violence. Readings cover examples of how the geo-political boundary and socio-cultural space encompassed by the region have produced persistent debate about identity formation, the fluidity of the border, and the inability of governments to restrict the movement of peoples and goods. Through close reading of primary and secondary sources, students explore several questions throughout the semester: How are "borderlands" defined? What role do the historical shifts in political boundaries that have occurred along the U.S.-Mexico border play in defining the geographical limits of "borderlands"? What are the origins of cross-border violence, and how have official approaches to dealing with this violence changed over time? How does the historiography on borderlands contribute to an understanding of the causes of, and popular and official reactions to, the Drug Wars currently underway? This seminar provides students with a general understanding of the scholarship and theoretical foundation of U.S.-Mexican borderlands history.
Scholars have recently embraced a turn towards "transnationalism"--an approach to the study of the movement of goods, people, and information beyond state boundaries--as a framework or set of theoretical and methodological approaches for understanding Latin America as a distinct world region. This course considers a variety of topics including environmental issues, the Cold War, the drug trade, border politics, religion, economic development, the persistence of social inequality in the region, the persistence of regional identities and loyalties, forms of political activism and the "failures" of radical politics in the context of neoliberalism.
Nelson Mandela has become an international symbol of South Africa's twentieth-century tragedies and triumphs, and for good reason; his experience touches on many of the major themes in that country's recent history. This course uses Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, as a starting point for exploring the history and historiography of South Africa. Major topics include rural life and the peasant experience, "tribalism" and the significance of tradition, urbanization and industrialization, the development of apartheid and anti-apartheid ideologies, and the implementation of democratic governance. Students consider the benefits and challenges of using autobiographies as historical sources, analyzing Mandela's account in the context of other South Africans' experiences .
How did colonization and decolonization impact the way Africans defined themselves as men and women? How did empire and the experience of cultural difference impact on gender roles in Europe? How did concerns about gender shape colonial policies and Africans' responses to those policies? Students in this course will address these questions by examining gender through a variety of analytical lenses--religion, labor, etc.--and working collaboratively to make sense of what it meant to be a man or woman within the contexts of colonial and postcolonial Africa.
Half of all Africans identify themselves as Christian, but their interpretations of Christianity vary dramatically. Some follow the ancient traditions of Ethiopia and Egypt, while others embrace new and radical forms of Pentecostalism. This course offers a narrative of Christianity in Africa from the 4th century AD to the present, with a particular emphasis on the ways both Africans and Europeans spread Christianity. The course seeks to use Christian belief and practice as a window into issues of power, gender, colonialism, nationalism and identity. A major focus is the motivations behind African conversions and the ways in which Africans adapted Christianity to their own changing circumstances.
This course seeks to introduce students to the debates surrounding the history of slavery in Africa. Did slavery in Africa predate the Atlantic Slave Trade? What impact did the Atlantic Slave Trade have on African communities? How did the Atlantic Slave Trade compare to other slave trades within and out of Africa? How were slavery and slave trading related to European colonial claims in Africa in the 19th century? These questions are addressed using both primary source material and scholarly arguments from historians, anthropologists and sociologists. While the course considers only in passing the contours of slavery in the Western Hemisphere, it aims to situate Africa and Africans within larger global narratives of violence, trade, and modernity.
Most representations of African migration have focused on the Atlantic Slave Trade or, more recently, refugees and "third world" migrants coming to the "first world." This course argues that more recent manifestations of migration to, from, and within Africa are drawn from previous forms and networks of mobility. The first half of the course then focuses on forms of colonial and imperial migration, considering the relationship between the colonial economy and rule, and labor and migration up to independence in the 1960s. In its second half, the course focuses on the history of African migration since independence, and on the history of African communities in the United States.
This course is an advanced seminar in which students explore the historiography on a particular issue, topics, or field in the discipline. Students read recent works. Students discuss and evaluate cutting edge scholarship on the topic. In this reading intensive course, emphasis is placed on discussion and the growth of students as members of the community of historians.
This course is a practicum in the methods and techniques of historical research and writing. Students undertake independent research in primary source materials and complete an advanced research paper. Research topics may relate to any area of history covered by department faculty, and are defined through consultation with the instructor in a process which ideally begins before the start of the course.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
This scheduled weekly interdisciplinary seminar provides the context to reflect on concrete experiences at an off-campus internship site and to link these experiences to academic study relating to the political, psychological, social, economic and intellectual forces that shape our views on work and its meaning. The aim is to integrate study in the liberal arts with issues and themes surrounding the pursuit of a creative, productive, and satisfying professional life. Students receive 1.0 unit of academic credit for the academic work that augments their concurrent internship fieldwork. This course is not applicable to the Upper-Division Graduation Requirement. Only 1.0 unit may be assigned to an individual internship and no more than 2.0 units of internship credit, or internship credit in combination with co-operative education credit, may be applied to an und