Upcoming Courses

Below is a list of upcoming courses for the Spring 2024 semester.


HIST 20602:

The American Revolution


When speaking of the American Revolution, many writers reach for a comment made by John Adams in 1818 that, “[T]he Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. . .” Whether this assertion is true historically or not, it still does not adequately describe what that revolution was. The American Revolution obviously had its political elements, primarily the formation of the United States. To reach its political goals, military means were necessary. Without a successful War for Independence, there would have been no revolution. To leave matters there, however, would be insufficient. A fuller understanding of the revolution would need to address how it affected the whole spectrum of American life. It would consider the revolution as a social movement that challenged the political and social hierarchies of the day. It would also ask how the revolution affected those who were not white males, especially women, slaves, and Native Americans. Without considering the possible negative implications of the revolution, any telling would be incomplete. This class will take up these challenges and attempt to make a full-orbed presentation of the events surrounding the American Revolution. It will introduce students both to elites and to those whom the popular narrative glosses over. It will attempt to count the losses, as well as the gains, which flowed from the move to independence from Britain. Finally, it will attempt to describe the many changes through this period, which resulted, not only in a new political nation, but in a new society and culture—changes that in varying degrees are still with us today and of which contemporary Americans are the inheritors.


Prof. Carter

MW 12:50-1:40 p.m.


HIST 20902:

Atlantic Slavery


This course will introduce students to the main topics, themes, and debates in Atlantic history, focusing on Spanish and Portuguese America and the Caribbean. It will begin with an overview of slavery and other legal and labor systems in West Africa and the Americas, and then examine how and why the Portuguese and Spanish entered into a slaving trade in West Africa, and what ensued from contact with the American hemisphere after 1492. We will end with abolition and emancipation in the Americas. Along the way we will examine the rise and fall of “Indian,” slavery, the cultural meanings of Blackness, the labor and economic conditions in urban settings as well as on rural plantations, and the strategies that enslaved people used to negotiate living conditions and achieve freedom. We will also pay careful attention to different kinds of resistance, including the formation of stable palenques of those who escaped slavery and a variety of rebellions, including the successful Haitian Revolution. Weekly readings will include modern accounts and historical documents. Assignments will predominantly be medium-length (5-7 pages) essays using primary sources and one exercise using the Transatlantic Slave Trade Database. We also hope to utilize the collections at the Raclin Murphy Art Museum.


Prof. Graubart

MW 3:30-4:20 p.m.


HIST 20983:

History of Food


Food feeds culture. It nourishes societies as well as bodies. No discipline is intelligible without it. It provides economics with products, physiology with sustenance, social sciences with classes and relationships of power. and intellects with food for thought. Food´s also essential in ecology. Our most intimate contact with the environment occurs when we eat it. From interdisciplinary perspectives, we´ll approach the history of food in all cultures (including, by the way, those of non-human cultural creatures) in all periods that we can say something about, from the origins of carnivorism and cannibalism through famines and fushion to the food-related environmental problems of the future. There may even be time to explore cuisines.


Prof. Specht

MW 2:00-2:50 p.m.


HIST 20996:

War in Modern History, 1453-Present


This course will explore the evolution of war in modern history from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 through the present. Content will center upon the relationship between war, technology and society. Central themes will include the military revolution debate, the rise of western Europe, the military origins of modern state, and the challenge of technological change to stable international orders. Students will learn how the evolving conduct of war has shaped the structure of modern societies, and vice-versa. Individual class sessions will explore important moments of conflict and technological innovation. Some class sessions will center on paradigm-defining conflicts, such as the Thirty Years’ War or the Second World War. The course will conclude with explorations of new themes in modern warfare, from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the rise of drone and cyber warfare. This course satisfies the university history requirement and is open to all students; no previous knowledge of the topic is required.


Prof. Johnson

MW 2:00-2:50 p.m.


HIST 30056:

From Narratives to Data: Social Networks, Geographical Mobility & Criminals in Early Chinese Empires


This course will provide advanced undergraduates and graduate students with a critical introduction to digital humanities for the study of early China, the fountainhead of Chinese Civilization. Collaborating with the Center of Digital Scholarship, this course will focus on relational data with structured information on historical figures, especially high officials, of early Chinese empires. Throughout the semester, we will read academic articles, mine data from primary sources, and employ Gephi and ArcGIS to visualize data. Those constructed data will cover three major themes: how geographical mobility contributed to consolidating a newly unified empire over diversified regions; how social networks served as the hidden social structure channeling the flow of power and talents; and how criminal records and excavated legal statutes shed light on the unique understanding of law and its relationship with the state in Chinese history.


Prof. Cai

TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.


HIST 30062:

Africa Before Colonization


Popular perceptions of Africa are almost wholly defined by the last century and a half of its history, first under the boot of European imperial powers and then struggling to rebuild sovereignty and stability in the post-colonial world. Apart from the slave trade, most often narrated as an American story that happens to begin in Africa, little of the continent’s rich pre-modern past earns more than a passing mention in global history. This course aims to shine a spotlight on these neglected stories and examine the many contributions of Africans to the course of human history. We will begin with Africa as the ancients knew it, a land of bright sunshine, proud empires, and legendary wealth. We’ll then examine the continent’s long history of trade with the wider world, both in goods and in people. Finally, we will consider the sources of the great upheavals that swept the continent in the 19th century and how they heralded the coming of colonization. Along the way, we will work with a wide range of sources, from legends and travelogues to fiction and film, in order to better appreciate the lives and perspectives of everyday Africans.


Prof. Szepesi

MW 9:30-10:45 a.m.


HIST 30092:

Memory, History and Violence in the Middle East


This course examines the interplay between history, memory and violence in the modern the Middle East. We will discuss specific case studies of violence and war and their social, political and cultural dynamics of commemoration, forgetfulness and silence. The course will start with an overview of theories and concepts emanated from the field of Memory Studies and then continue with our case studies. These will include the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990), the 1948 war that led to the establishment of Israel and Palestinian displacement, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the violent regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Armenian genocide during World War I and the Algerian war of independence (1955-1962).


Prof. Kaufman

TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.


HIST 30094:

Modern India and Pakistan


India, Pakistan and Bangladesh account for more than a fifth of humanity: nearly two billion people in one of the most densely populated parts of the planet. South Asians speak more than a hundred languages, and represent most of the Hindus, Muslims, Sikh, Jains, and Zoroastrians in the world. The region’s major economy, India, is by itself among the ten largest economies and one of the fastest growing. Yet, there is much about South Asia that can be perplexing. Caste based violence remains widespread in a society that is fast modernizing; billionaires mushroom alongside widespread malnourishment; space missions are launched to Mars amidst vast numbers of illiterate and uneducated citizens; Bollywood thrives while freedom of expression is often under threat; religious fundamentalism exists alongside extraordinary religious pluralism; gay rights expand alongside the murders of atheist bloggers; a democratic government lives in fear of military overthrow; a society that has that has chosen women as heads of state also sees increasing reports of sexual crimes. This course will unravel these knots and explain the processes that gave rise to them. Beginning in the middle of the twentieth century, this course will progress chronologically and bring us to the present day via themes on politics, economy, society, and popular culture. It offers an understanding of contemporary India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and their place on the global stage.


Prof. Menon

TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.


HIST 30202:

The Medieval Mediterranean


Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived side by side for centuries in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean throughout the Middle Ages – the occupied the same towns, shopped in the same markets, dwelt in the same neighborhoods, read each other’s books, and borrowed each other’s stories. While covering the broad sweep of Latin-Christian, Islamic, and Byzantine civilizations that grew up in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea after the fall of Rome, we will focus especially the on-going interactions between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in this area. While doing so we will constantly ask how can we know – and what kinds of things we can know – about the Middle Ages, as we examine many types of medieval sources, including literary works, historical texts, religious and philosophical writings, and works of art. The course lectures will provide the student with sufficient understanding of the medieval Mediterranean that they will be able to read with profit the assigned texts which are all primary sources, written in a variety of Mediterranean languages, in English translation. The course will proceed partly chronologically – especially when it comes to the politics and geo-politics of the region – and partly thematically.


Prof. Burman

MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.


HIST 30267:

The Middle Ages on Film


This course will explore modern popular imaginings of the Middle Ages through film. We will view several feature-length films and numerous clips, interspersed with readings from and about the Middle Ages. Together we will discuss and analyze both the texts and films. The films will range from early silent films to Monty Python spoofs to recent blockbusters. I have divided the course into six segments: (1) the Crusades; (2) Eleanor of Aquitaine: wife and mother of kings; (3) Robin Hood; (4) King Arthur; (5) the Black Death; and (6) Joan of Arc Students will write short daily assignments, two short essays, and a final paper or take-home exam. There are two required textbooks and a course packet. The textbooks are Robert Brent Toplin, Reel History: In Defense of Hollywood (2002); and Daniel Hobbins (trans.), The Trial of Joan of Arc.


Prof. Hobbins

MW 11:00-12:15 p.m.


HIST 30328:

Sport and the Cold War


This course aims to accomplish the following: 1) to develop students’ understanding of the Cold War and its major political developments; 2) to develop students’ understanding of the ways sports and society influence and reflect political developments; 3) to see sports programs as a reflection of the nation-states in which they develop, and to use athletic traditions in different nations to develop students’ understanding of different societies; 4) to improve students’ ability to use contemporary periodical sources in historical research; and 5) to improve students’ analytical reading and writing skills through readings, exams, and a paper.


Prof. Soares

MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.


HIST 30341:

From the Crusades to the Ottoman Empire: The Eastern Mediterranean 1000-1500


This course explores the major developments in Byzantium and the Eastern Mediterranean from the time of the crusades and the eastward expansion of the Italian naval powers until the rise of the Ottoman Empire to a new universal power unifying the Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor under the rule of a Muslim sultanate. The encounter between Latin and Greek Orthodox Christians in the wake of the crusade led to political rivalries and religious discord, culminating in the Latin conquest of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade of 1204. While the eastward expansion of Italian naval powers had already begun in the late eleventh century, it was mainly as a result of 1204 that Venice and, later on, Genoa became predominant political and economic factors in the Eastern Mediterranean, controlling much of the long-distance seaborne trade between Italy and the Syrian coast. The Anatolian Seljuk Turks initiated the gradual Turkification and Islamization of Asia Minor. In the thirteenth century, the Eastern Mediterranean endured increasing pressure from the Mongols and the Mamluk sultanate. One of the results of this development was the rise of the Ottoman principality to a leading political power incorporating large parts of the Balkan Peninsula and, in 1453, the city of Constantinople. We will discuss both socio-economic and political aspects of these developments.


Prof. Beihammer

TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.


HIST 30351:

The Making of Modern Ireland


This course offers a chronological survey of Ireland and the Irish from the Act of Union with Great Britain to the present day. It will consider the social, political, religious, gendered, cultural and economic aspects of that history, and will place the island of Ireland within its wider contexts, as part of the United Kingdom, as part of Europe, as part of the British Empire, and as the source of the global Irish Diaspora. The course will focus on a number of central issues, including: how enduring sectarian divisions have influenced the development of Irish history; the Famine, mass emigration, and the rise of the Diaspora; the development and course of both Ulster and Southern unionism, and of Irish nationalism; the relationship of Ireland and the Irish to the British Empire and the wider Anglo-world; the Irish revolution, counter-revolution, and partition; the development of the Irish Free State, and Republic of Ireland; the history of Northern Ireland, the Troubles, and the peace process; the collapse of the “Celtic Tiger”.


Prof. Barr

TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.


HIST 30375:

The Crusades


In AD 1095, the Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Alexius Comnenus sent a letter to Pope Urban II, asking for succor from Latin Christendom in order to repel the Muslim invaders who were overrunning his empire. Pope Urban II did not merely comply with this request, but transformed it into a call to restore to Christendom the lands of Christianity’s origin, which had been lost to Muslim rule in the seventh century. In doing so, Pope Urban inspired and unleashed an outpouring of religious fervor- and bloodshed- unique in the annals of Christian history. This course will be dedicated to the examination of this extraordinary movement, from the initial overwhelming response it aroused among Christians across Europe through the fall of Acre in 1291. Among the issues it will explore are the historical, political, and ideological background to the Crusades, in Byzantium, Europe, and the Islamic world; The Peasants’ Crusade and the Children’s Crusade; the Latin principalities in the Near East, their organization and societies; interactions between Muslims and Christians; the status and treatment of religious minorities; the legend of Prester John and how it inaugurated the beginning of the European exploration of Central and Eastern Asia; the Italian communes and growth of commerce; the military orders; the career of St. Louis in the Near East; the Ayyubid and Mamluk sultanates and the geopolitical consequences of the Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century; and more. Students will spend the second half of the course researching and writing a capstone research paper utilizing primary sources in translation.


Prof. Tor

TTh 11:00-12:15 p.m.


HIST 30456:

From Humors to Hysteria: Human and Political Bodies in European History, 1517-1918


Between the early rumblings of the Reformations and the last cannon shot of World War I, Europeans profoundly changed how they conceptualized bodies as experience and metaphors. During these four centuries, Europeans grounded the ways in which they interacted with each other and the world in bodily imaginings. On an individual level, the living, human body provided a means of accessing and understanding the material or spiritual world. On a collective scale, the physical body, its adornments, and its gestures provided markers that Europeans used to fracture society along axes of gender, sexuality, class, race, mental aptitude, and even sacrality. Drawing in part from their myriad imaginings of the human body, Europeans constructed metaphorical political bodies. The body politic assumed diverse forms spanning from divine right monarchs to revolutionary republics to modern nation states. Our course will lay bare the human body as culturally constructed, while fleshing out how Europeans’ evolving visions affected political imaginings.


Prof. Jarvis

TTh 11:00-12:15 p.m.


HIST 30554:

Catholicism Confronts Modernity


This class introduces students to the history of Catholicism since the French Revolution, focusing primarily on Europe. It examines how Catholics confronted the challenges of modernity – from liberal democracy and nationalism; to capitalism and modern science; to new political ideologies such as fascism and communism. We will explore not only how these encounters transformed the Church, but also how Catholicism itself has shaped modern politics and culture. The first part of the course begins with the nineteenth-century – culture wars – between Catholics and anticlerical forces, focusing in particular on popular devotions like the Lourdes pilgrimage and the perceived “feminization” of religion. The second part of the course shifts to the twentieth century and examines the relationship between the Catholic Church and modern political ideologies such as nationalism, fascism, communism, and democracy. The third part of the course explores modern Catholic art, literature, and film. Finally, we close by examining the more recent history of Catholicism since the transformative changes of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Readings are drawn from a range of primary sources – including novels, speeches, Church documents, works of art, and films – as well as secondary sources by historians.


Prof. Shortall

TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.


HIST 30604:

US Civil War and Reconstruction, 1848-77


This course surveys the years 1848 to 1877 and centers on the constitutional crisis of the mid-19th Century that exploded in the U.S. Civil War. We begin with the political controversies over slavery, consider the eruption of violence between abolitionists and slaveholders, the breakdown of the political system that climaxed in the election of 1860, the southern rebellion to Lincoln’s election, the experience of the war itself, the process of emancipation, and the political struggles during Reconstruction over federal power and the place of African-Americans in the Republic. This course emphasizes constitutional, political, social, and cultural events, the decisions made by public officials and voters, by men and women, by whites and blacks. In order to understand this tumultuous era, we will read political and legal documents as well as poetry, fiction, and private letters. Lastly, we will consider the ways in which historians evaluate the period and the ways the public remembers it. The course will be a mix of lecture and discussion.


Prof. Przybyszewski

TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.


HIST 30606:

The United States’ Gilded Age and Progressive Era


This course offers an introduction to the history of the United States from Reconstruction through the First World War with particular emphasis on the social, cultural, and intellectual formations of the period. The United States made a dramatic transition in these years: from a predominantly agrarian and rural society to an urban, industrial society and imperial, world power. It is also said that in this period, a new, national, and distinctly modern culture emerged. We will test the merits of this claim and attempt to understand how Americans grappled with these broad transformations by examining the history of social formations, including class, race, and gender, together with the history of cultural formations – American popular culture, the adaptations of bourgeois culture, and the creation of mass culture. In reading sources such as short stories, poetry, political speeches, and novels, and analyzing photography, film, advertising, and architecture, we will explore the making of a modern America.


Prof. McKenna

TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.


HIST 30632:

U.S. Environmental History


This class considers the environment’s role in shaping history. We will discover how our stories of the past change when we include microbes, pigs, and the climate, alongside of more typical subjects like presidents, wars, and ideas. We will ask what nature has meant in the past to a range of people, from the Comanche on the Great Plains, to settler-farmers in New England, to coal miners in Colorado. Throughout the course we will also ask the question: What is nature? And how have ideas about nature changed over time? A premise of this course is that nature is not something “out there,” but in fact is everywhere. Thus, we will explore a robust set of thematic topics that will illumine the the varied meanings of “nature”: the ways it is constructed, how ideas about it have changed over time, how it surrounds us, nourishes us, has been used to justify violence and racism, how it impedes on our lives.


Prof. Coleman

TTh 3:30-4:45 p.m.


HIST 30643:

History of Race and Racism in Science, Medicine, and Technology


This course explores how ideas about race and racism have been intertwined with scientific, medical, and technological developments, shaping society since the 18th century. While recognizing that race is fundamentally a social construct, the course delves into scientific efforts to quantify, measure, and categorize individuals by race from early anthropometry to contemporary developments like the Human Genome Project and artificial intelligence. By critically analyzing scientific theories that produced and built upon ideas of racial hierarchy, students will develop a deep understanding of how race, racism, and racial inequality have been embedded into scientific knowledge, and thus, societal understanding. Students will also examine the historical context of racial disparities in healthcare, including the development of racialized medical theories, and will explore the role of technology in reinforcing or challenging racial biases, from the early days of photography to modern AI and surveillance technologies. This course is tailored for students with interests in the history of science and the production of scientific knowledge, as well as those curious about the origins of scientific racism and racial inequality.


Prof. Kola

TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.


HIST 30644:

Consuming America


This course traces the development of consumer society in the United States from the colonial era through the late twentieth century. It asks how Americans came to define the “good life” as one marked by material abundance and how transformations in buying and selling have shaped American culture, politics, and national identity. One of our aims will be to develop a usable historical definition of consumer society and to evaluate when such a society emerged in the United States. We will examine the role that consumption has played in defining and policing ideals of gender, race, sexuality, and class. We will also consider how Americans have used consumer practices and spaces to advance political claims and notions of citizenship. The course is organized around key turning points in American consumer capitalism: the consumer boom of the eighteenth century; the market revolution and feminization of consumption; the birth of the department store; the rise of mass consumption and commercial leisure; the development of modern advertising and sales; the spread of chain stores and shopping malls; and the globalization of American consumer culture. In addition to recent scholarship and text-based primary sources, we will analyze artifacts of consumer culture, such as advertisements, catalogs, product labels, broadsides, film, and television.


Prof. Remus

TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.


HIST 30709:

Latino Chicago


This major-level course is designed to provide students with a substantive overview of Latina/o immigration and community formation in Chicago during the twentieth century, and how it became one of the largest Latino cities in the United States. The Windy City’s rise in the nineteenth century as an industrial metropolis transformed it as a magnet for capital, culture, and labor. A series of key events around the turn of the century and into the early decades of the twentieth century – the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920, the rise of economic production during World War I (1914-1918), and the Immigration Act of 1924 that greatly reduced Eastern and Southern European immigration – would come to shape the patterns, processes, and terms of Latina/o migration into Chicago, particularly those of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Mexicans and other Latin Americans joined the Great Migrations of African Americans and ethnic whites to look for better opportunities in the north, and since then, Latino Chicagoans have forged communities as they have also negotiated the broader social, cultural, and political currents of American history throughout the twentieth century. This course will introduce students to these broader patterns as explored through recent scholarship on Latinos/as in Chicago. Students will also read key primary sources in the field and consider the historiographical debates about retelling this aspect of Chicago’s history.


Prof. Aguilar

MW 9:30-10:45 a.m.


HIST 30749:

LGBT in the 20th-Century USA


This course covers the varied experience of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (and other gender-fluid) Americans over the course of the twentieth century. As much as possible, it will focus on the voices of LGBT people themselves, in the context of the changing meanings of what it was to claim those identities. To do this we will draw on primary sources—art, music, film, literature, interviews and oral histories, memoirs and autobiographies, plays, films. The focus will be on the ways people understood who they were—and what homosexual/gay/lesbian/queer/transsexual/transgender/et al identities meant to them—and how these identities changed over the course of the twentieth century, using a wide variety of primary sources and relevant disciplinary frameworks.


Prof. Bederman

TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.


HIST 30805:

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Cold War


This course covers the main developments in American foreign policy from World War II through the end of the Cold War. The principal topics of investigation will be wartime diplomacy and the origins of the Cold War; the Cold War and containment in Europe and Asia; Eisenhower/Dulles diplomacy; Kennedy-Johnson and Vietnam; Nixon-Kissinger and détente; Carter and the diplomacy of Human Rights; Reagan and the revival of containment; Bush and the end of the Cold War.


Fr. Miscamble

MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.


HIST 30877:

Cities and Suburbs in Postwar America


This course will survey historical scholarship on the development of American cities and suburbs from World War II to the present. Making use of primary and secondary sources, and print and visual media, we will seek to understand what defines American cities and suburbs, how the idea and ideals of cities and suburbs have changed over time, and what forces have shaped the places in which we live today. We will explore how a metropolitan approach to modern American history sheds light on major events, movements, and transformations of the twentieth century along thematic lines of race, class, and education; politics and protest; modernity and religion; gender and sexuality; ethnicity, immigration, globalization, and citizenship; urban crisis, renewal, and gentrification; and urban sprawl and environmentalism. Course objectives include learning to analyze and interpret primary sources, including written texts, film, photographs, and the built environment; to read secondary sources critically and effectively; to identify significant people, places, and events in twentieth-century American urban, social, and political history; to recognize major changes and continuities in postwar urban history; and to place contemporary issues and debates in historical and cultural context.


Fr. Koeth

TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.


HIST 30912:

Modern Mexican History: Art and Revolution


This course is designed to introduce students to the modern history of “Greater Mexico” and its people. The emphasis on “greater” in the title is an attempt to complicate narrow ideas of the “nation” that generally exclude Mexicans residing in the United States or erroneously describe them exclusively as “immigrants.” The first two parts of the class pay particular attention to political and artistic movements that developed during the Porfiriato (1876—1910), the Revolution (1910—c.1940), and the post-revolutionary period (c.1938—1970s). The third part of the class continues on its emphasis on art, but also examines the role of youth and its response to the neoliberal period (1980s-present). 

Students will examine what it meant to be a “militant” in the political world of artistic production and social movements in Revolutionary and “Greater Mexico” and the different ways in which the Mexican and American governments responded to this militancy. We will learn how and why a broad range of representative leaders of Greater Mexico’s most important political and cultural revolutions used paintings, murals, graphic art, photography, cartoons, music, graffiti, and especially film to (A) lead a social, cultural, and political restructuring of their respective communities; (B) export their unique notions of “Revolution” to the nation and to the world; and © question the contradictions that some artists (at times) faced within their own revolutionary movements in both the national and global contexts, from the revolutionary to the neoliberal period.

The success of the course relies on a combination of note-taking during the lectures, a willingness to analyze art (individually and collaboratively in group work), and a constant engagement during the class and group discussions.  


Prof. Pensado

TTh 11:00-12:15 p.m.


HIST 30986:

Technology, Engineering, and the Modern World


We live in a fully engineered world. What we eat, what we wear, where and how we live, the ways we entertain ourselves, the air we breath and the very ground we walk on are all the product of engineering. The profession of engineering emerged from modest beginnings to global prominence: in the twentieth century engineers came to design, implement, and manage nearly all elements of the modern world from their positions within corporations and government bureaucracies. Engineering is embedded in histories of capitalism, development, the environment, and human welfare. We examine the work of engineers in the United States and Europe as well as in places such as China, India, Mexico, Chile, and elsewhere. Students will develop a research project on a topic in this history, using archival and/or digitized sources. No background in history or engineering is required.


Prof. Beatty

TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.


HIST 33757:

Catholics and US Public Life from JFK to the Present


This course offers an overview of the interaction between Catholics and public life in America during the half century following the Second Vatican Council and the election of a Catholic as President in 1960. The course should permit students to gain a greater familiarity with the engagement and response of various Catholic individuals and groups on some major political and social-cultural issues. It will explore the extent of Catholic influence in American politics and society during the period and will explore the role of religion in shaping (or not shaping) the outlooks of a number of significant Catholic political figures beginning with JFK, RFK, and Eugene McCarthy, moving to Mario Cuomo and Daniel Patrick Moynihan down to contemporary figures. The course offers each student the opportunity to research and write a major paper on a topic of his or her choosing in this area.


Fr. Miscamble

MW 11:00-12:15 p.m.


HIST 35049:

Economy and Business in History


This semester our seminar focuses on the history of money in economies and societies across time and space. We will explore key developments in the evolution of money and finance in world history, starting with finance as it emerged with the first civilizations of the Near East in the third millennium BCE to the recent debates about cryptocurrencies — in short, from Babylon to blockchain. Through a wide variety of readings, short lectures, and well prepared discussions, we will explore all aspects of money and finance as tools and technologies to manage the economics of time and risk in different cultural settings. Topics include the role of money and finance as contributors to urban growth and social specialization across civilizations, the evolution of concepts such as investment, trust, and interest, and more generally how money and finance allowed people past (and present) to think about the future.


Prof. Specht

MW 11:00-12:15 p.m.


HIST 35440:

Northern Ireland Troubles


This course explores the history of the six north-eastern counties of Ireland which became “Northern Ireland” in 1920/1. Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom and had a built-in Protestant unionist majority, while the Catholic minority, alienated from the state from the outset, looked across the new border and to Dublin, capital of the Irish Free State, as the site of their allegiance. Northern Ireland was thus, from the beginning, dysfunctional, scarred by sectarian violence and systematic discrimination in housing and employment. After examining the origins of the state and the early decades of it existence, the class will turn to its main concern, “the troubles,” which broke out in the late 1960s. The major episodes under scrutiny include the civil rights movement, Bloody Sunday, the hunger strikes, and the Good Friday Peace Agreement.


Prof. Barr

TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.


HIST 35453:

The French Revolution and Napoleon


The French Revolution created a turning point in history by paving the way for modern politics and society. Napoleon’s empire, on the other hand, toppled some of the oldest European monarchies and shook up the international status quo. During two and a half turbulent decades, the French destroyed feudalism, created a constitutional monarchy, founded a republic, and built an empire that stretched across the continent. Our course will focus on how the French reinvented the social, cultural, and political dimensions of their world from the 1780s to 1815. We will ask major questions such as: What were the origins of the French Revolution? How did the revolutionaries recreate political culture and social structures? Why did the Revolution radicalize at first but eventually slide into an empire? Was Napoleon the “son of the Revolution” or did he betray its major goals? Of special note, our course includes a 4-week “Reacting to the Past” game that allows you to engage in history from a completely new perspective. During this historical role-playing unit, you will become a specific member of the National Assembly or the Parisian crowd. To win, you must pass a constitution favorable to your position while wrestling “with the threat of foreign invasion, political and religious struggles, and questions of liberty and citizenship.” Although we may change the course of history within the unit, you will root your arguments in resources available to your historical persona: primary documents, political treatises, inspiring speeches, secret collaborations, and “current” events.


Prof. Jarvis

TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.


HIST 35557:

Catholicism and Empire


This course explores the historical relationship between the Catholic Church and the rise and fall of European overseas empires since the sixteenth century. We will consider how Catholic missionaries both reinforced and resisted colonial power structures; how the Church made sense of racial, religious, and cultural differences in its efforts to evangelize colonial subjects; how African, Asian, and Latin American Catholics developed their own distinctive spiritual practices; and how Catholics in both Europe and its former colonies grappled with the challenge of decolonization and how to undo the legacies of colonialism within the Church itself. Readings will be drawn from a range of sources, including missionary diaries and manuals, memoirs, artwork, papal encyclicals, films, novels, works of theology, and historical scholarship.


Prof. Shortall

TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.


HIST 35624:

History of American & European Fashion


This seminar examines the rise of the modern fashion and garment industries in Europe and North America during the 20th century. We will trace the movement away from custom-made clothing to ready-to-wear and the invention of the department store. We will read early reformers who criticized women’s dress as deadly and later home economists who taught how to dress according to standards of efficiency and beauty. Along the way, we will notice the significance of changing styles, and how they affected the lives of modern men and women of different classes and races through the decades. We will pay particular attention to the dress revolutions of the 1920s and 1960s. Students will be introduced to several on-line databases including HEARTH, the Vogue archives, and the Ebony archives.


Prof. Przybyszewski

TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.


HIST 35625:

Boxing in America


In this course, we will explore the history of boxing in the United States and learn a great deal about the craft of boxing—what the writers Pierce Egan and A.J. Liebling have called “the sweet science”—as well as the craft of writing and thinking. The course will chart the story of boxing in America from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. It will start in England, move to places like nineteenth-century New York, where boxing was transformed from a gambling pursuit among the working class into a mass spectator sport, examine the time when boxing became ascendant in America, and end in the late twentieth century when boxing was entangled with transformations to American cities and with changing race politics. The story of boxing is the story of America. The class will look at the rise of cities, global trade, labor, mass migration, changing understandings of gender, race, and class, and the highs and lows of American culture. In other words, this is not a sports history class. We will also learn about the finer points of boxing, how fighting changed over time, and how technique developed. By doing all this, students will come to appreciate the inner workings of a dynamic and changing craft, one tied to America’s past. We will read and discuss all sorts of fascinating books and essays on the subject, each giving us a different perspective on both the “sweet science” and the people who tried to master it. We will watch film, read literature, and work with some documents from different time periods. Through lectures, we will also encounter some of the more enlightening and enlivening stories of boxing’s past.


Prof. Griffin

MW 11:00-12:15 p.m.


HIST 35671:

Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War


This course asks how we should narrate and understand the great ordeal of Civil War and emancipation. Reading both primary and secondary sources, it considers the Civil War era and life of Abraham Lincoln in light of the rise of abolition and antislavery politics; attitudes toward race, slavery, and labor; the political and social meanings of war and emancipation; the political and social challenge of reconstructing the nation amidst the tangled legacies of racial slavery and a destructive war.


Prof. Lundberg

TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.


HIST 35936:

Gender & Colonization in Latin America


In this course we will examine the historical construction of gendered roles in the Spanish colonial world. This will entail thinking about gender in the societies which “encountered” each other in the New World, and also thinking about how that encounter produced new forms of gendered relations. Among the questions we will consider: how was the conquest gendered? How did colonial society produce masculinity as well as femininity? What gendered forms of power were available to women? How did ethnicity and caste, as well as gender, determine people’s sense of themselves and their “others”? The course will look at a mixture of primary and secondary materials, including letters and chronicles written by men and women, testimony before the Spanish Inquisition, poetry, and novels. While there are no prerequisites for this seminar, some familiarity with colonial Latin American history will be helpful.


Prof. Graubart

MW 11:00-12:15 p.m.