Below is a list of upcoming courses for the Fall 2023 semester.
History of US National Security Policy since the 1890s
In the aftermath of 9/11, with American troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and concern about the nuclear ambitions of such nations as North Korea and Iran, "national security" is the phrase that is often discussed and is of crucial importance to informed citizens. This course will examine national security policy: what it is, how it is formulated and executed, and how US national security policies have evolved since the 1890s. Using a variety of readings and films such as Casablanca and Dr. Strangelove, this course will examine US national security policies from the late 1890s through two world wars, the interwar period, the Cold War, the post-Cold War years, and up to the current post-9/11 world. We will identify continuities and departures in historic US national security policies, and consider the roles of policymakers and their critics in a self-governing society.
MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Welcome to Global Africa. This course is an introduction to the history of the peoples of Africa from the late nineteenth century to the present day. We investigate the ways in which Africans shaped and were shaped by the transformative events of the period. At the turn of the twentieth century, European powers conquered and colonized much of the continent. Over the next sixty years, Africans lived and died under the yoke of European rule. They resisted and collaborated, rendering uncertain the power of colonialism and certain its ultimate collapse. By the 1960s, most Africans were free of foreign rule. Since then they have endeavored to achieve political stability, navigate Cold War politics, harness development aid, and adapt to an emerging neoliberal economic order. In recent years, while some have ignited brutal wars and endured devastating famines, they have also inspired the world with their triumph over apartheid, emergent, vibrant democracies, and rich cultures. Together, we will explore these dramatic moments as well as the complex and painful forms of inequality that lay beneath - whether racial, gendered, sexual, or economic. We will approach these unsettling issues with respect for another and the past. To do so, we analyze a variety of texts from primary documents, fiction written by Africans, film, and graphic novels. We will also train ourselves to be historians of Africa, researching the lives and labors of everyday African peoples and using historical writing to understand their influence over the past and present.
MW 2:00-2:50 p.m.
Western Civilization to 1500
This course offers a survey of the central themes in Western Civilization from ancient Mesopotamia to the Renaissance. Emphasis will fall upon problems of social organization, especially the mutual obligations and responsibilities of individuals and states; evolving concepts of justice; aesthetic standards; religious ideas and institutions; basic philosophical concepts; different kinds of states and the ideologies that defined and sustained them.
MW 10:30-11:20 a.m.
Scholars have long speculated about the rise of Asia, but Asia has already risen. Asian economies are driving global growth; Asian governments are some of the largest purveyors of foreign aid and investment; and Asian superpowers like China are shaping and shifting geopolitics. This course, taught by a political scientist and a historian, offers students the opportunity to unpack the complexity and diversity of Asia across time and space. We will explore Asia through political and historical concepts against the background of China’s evolving role within the region. At the same time, we will focus on elevating diverse Asian voices to understand how historical concepts and political and economic trajectories have shifted over time and what it means for domestic and global audiences in the 21st century.
As an integration course, our focus is analytical and interdisciplinary: we examine the political, economic, and social trajectory of Asia to shed light on the most dynamic region of the world. We also devote considerable time to understanding how historical legacies and patterns such as colonialism or economic imperialism impact Asia today. Lectures, assigned readings covering a wide range of primary and secondary sources in political science and history, and a discussion-oriented format introduces students to issues ranging from populism, party-state capitalism, and poverty alleviation to soft and sharp power, demographic crises, surveillance, and social unrest. All majors and backgrounds are welcome. No prior knowledge of Asian languages or topics is required.
Prof. Koll and Prof. Koesel
TTh 11:00-12:15 p.m.
Colonial Latin America
When Columbus stepped ashore in the Caribbean in 1492, he set in motion a process that led to the creation of wealthy Spanish and Portuguese empires in the Americas, the genocide of countless numbers of indigenous men and women, the enslavement of millions of African men and women, and the eventual formation of a variety of independent states competing in the world economy. In this semester-long survey, we will examine topics in this history that will allow us to consider how history is produced as well as what happened in the past, from various perspectives, from elite colonial administrators and merchants to indigenous peasants and formerly enslaved men and women.
MW 12:50-1:40 p.m.
Humans and Other Apes: a Modern Historical Survey from Scalinger to Peter Singer
One way to improve our understanding of ourselves is to compare ourselves with the animals who most resemble us, in informative, challenging and disturbing ways. In this course, we'll look at the relationship that has done most to change human self-perceptions. With a focus on Western texts and experiences, but with reference to many other cultures, we'll concentrate on the problems of how and why human attitudes to other apes have changed since the Middle Ages, and how they have influenced thinking in science, religion, politics, sociology, literature, and ethics.
MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.
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.
TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Introduction to India and South Asia
It is tempting to think that South Asia - home to nearly two billion people - is only now beginning to occupy global attention. But India has played a prominent part in global history for centuries. This course will span three millennia - from the Indus Valley civilization, to the time of Buddha, to the powerful Mughal Empire, two centuries of the British rule, the Gandhi-led freedom struggle, and ending with the recent histories of independent India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This introduction to India and South Asia will answer questions such as: Has there been an unbroken Indian civilization? How did a British company come to rule a vast Indian empire? How did India win its independence? What accounts for the region's poverty? Why are India and Pakistan separate countries today, with such divergent trajectories of democracy and dictatorship? And, finally, could India rival China and the United States in this century? South Asia is a place of extreme diversity and paradox: it can be confusing. However, its history offers us explanations. This course will offer an introduction and guide to the history of India's rich history, stormy politics, vibrant cultures, and globalized economies.
MW 11:00-12:15 p.m.
Transformation of the Roman World
This course is designed as a general introduction into the early and middle Byzantine period, focusing on the various aspects of transformation from the late Roman Empire to Byzantium at the end of the so-called ?Dark Ages'. The main topics are the Christianization of the Empire and the separation between East and West; reactions to the barbarian migrations, the Slavic expansion, and the Islamic conquests; patterns of social and economic change; iconoclasm; Byzantine relations with the Carolingian and Ottonian Empires.
TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.
World War 2: A Global History
The Second World War is the largest single event in human history, fought across six of the world's seven continents and all its oceans. It killed fifty million human beings, left hundreds of millions of others wounded in mind or body and materially devastated much of the heartland of civilization." The above quote from historian John Keegan summarizes the significance of studying the Second World War. In this class, students will receive an introduction to the largest conflict in human history, from the origins of the war in Asia and Europe to the postwar settlements that continue to shape the modern world. Class content will focus on the military, diplomatic, and political narratives of the war, while exploring the lived experience of the war through primary source readings. This course satisfies the university history requirement and is open to all students; no previous knowledge of the topic is required.
MW 3:30-4:30 p.m.
17th-Century England: Divine Kings, Puritan Consciences, and Violent Actions
England's seventeenth century provides one of the most compelling epochs of human history, full of a cast of remarkable characters. Once Elizabeth I died in 1603, a new dynasty, the Scottish royal house, the Stuarts, came to the throne in the person of James VI & I. A new political dynamic ensued. Insoluble tensions arose between perceived licentiousness in high politics on one hand and puritan moral rigour on the other, between royal control of religion and a hankering after policies based on literal Biblical interpretation and also between a gaping royal treasury and public reluctance to contribute financially to the realm. These, and other factors, resulted in the unthinkable: the dissolution of the ties that had held English politics and society together. The Civil War (or "Great Rebellion", or "Puritan Revolution" depending on the interpretation favoured) that resulted gave rise to a welter of new constitutional ideas, religious experiments and virulent anti-Catholicism. These were all set loose as King and Parliament fought for domination of the country. We will pay particular attention to the figure of Oliver Cromwell, who came to command English politics both before and after the hitherto unimaginable public execution of the king (who many believed was God's anointed). We will also ask why the English after allowing their king to be executed and their toleration a substantial Interregnum subsequently restored Charles II, their erstwhile king's son, as monarch. Remarkable figures that we will encounter and evaluate include the Leveller John Lilburne, the poet John Milton, Praise-God Barebones (yes, that is a name) and the libidinous Samuel Pepys.
TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Irish Language & Culture 1600-1900: Anglicization or Modernization
From the Plantation of Ulster in the early seventeenth century to today the hegemony, and later the survival, of native Irish culture in the Irish language has been challenged by English language culture. This course seeks, by analyzing primary sources in Irish (available to students in translation) in their historical context, to chart this process over time. The course also seeks to ask questions about the extent to which the Irish Catholic population resisted or collaborated in the process of anglicization that took place. Was the 'Sacsa nua darbh ainm Éire' /(New England going by the name of Ireland) culturally alien to the Irish population that resided in it
TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.
France: From the Old Regime to the Revolution
Between 1643 and 1789, France underwent one of the most pivotal national transitions in modern European history. In the second half of the seventeenth century, Louis XIV reigned as the most powerful divine right monarch on the continent. He marshaled religious ideology, set cultural standards, pursued economic projects, and waged wars to consolidate his authority over the French and foreign powers alike. Yet, by the late eighteenth century, Louis XVI's crumbling crown gave way to the Revolution. The French ultimately dethroned the king and established a republic. Our class will explore how the French negotiated this tumultuous trajectory from subjects to citizens. We will analyze three main themes over the course of the Old Regime. First, we will wrestle with issues of modern state building including administrative reform, military campaigns, financial ventures, and expansion in the New World. Second, we will study the relationship among politics, culture, and religion as the French vacillated between critique and reform. Finally, we will probe the origins of the French Revolution. These sparks ranged from Enlightenment debates over contract theory and social privilege to the stresses of everyday life including taxes and food shortages. We will close as the revolutionaries imagined nascent citizenship on the eve of the republic. In sum, this course will ask: how did European democracy find its roots in an absolute monarchy? And how did generations of French work out this transition through their everyday lives?
TTh 11:00-12:15 p.m.
Modern France since the Revolution
The French Revolution, along with the American Revolution, is often considered the founding moment of modern democracy. And yet, democracy was not achieved once and for all in 1789. Over the course of the next two hundred years, France went through five republics, two empires, two monarchies, and one (arguably) fascist regime. In addition, it took hundreds of years for the egalitarian promises of the revolution to be extended to all members of French society. This course tells the story of this ongoing experiment in democratic governance?one that continues to this day. It introduces students to the major themes in the political and cultural history of modern France from 1789 to the present, examining how the universalist promise of the Republic has been contested and reshaped through its encounter with colonialism, industrialization, the rise of radical ideologies, religion, war, feminism, and multiculturalism. Course materials are drawn from a variety of sources, including novels, manifestos, political cartoons, films, works of art and philosophy, as well as secondary works by historians.
TTh 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Modern European Thought from Rousseau to Foucault
Since the eighteenth century, Europeans have grappled with a number of transformative events and developments, from the French Revolution and the birth of an industrial economy, to catastrophic wars and the rise and fall of European empires. In the process of making sense of these events, they produced works of philosophy, political theory, art, and literature that continue to shape the way we understand our place in the world today. This course introduces students to the history of European thought from the Enlightenment to the present, a period that birthed the many great "isms" that have defined the modern world: liberalism, socialism, nationalism, feminism, existentialism, totalitarianism, and colonialism. Course readings will be drawn from a range of primary sources, including novels, works of philosophy, political treatises, films, and works of art, as well as secondary sources by historians. By reading these two kinds of sources together, we will explore not only how ideas and works of art were shaped by the historical context in which they were produced, but also how they themselves shaped the course of European history.
TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.
The American Constitution
The Constitution holds a unique place in American law and political culture. Not only is it the basis of the federal government, it provides the framework for political debates about all manner of controversial issues in modern America. Today, there is much talk of a "constitutional crisis" in the United States. What does this mean? How can a history help us make sense of the Constitution and of our politics? This course explores the historical context in which the American Constitution was framed, ratified, and amended over time. Together, we will ask and answer the questions of how and why it was written the way it was; how and why it gained legitimacy; and how it was put into practice and interpreted over time. The class will introduce students to central historical problems, which include: Is the American Constitution democratic? Did the Constitution codify slavery into law? Is originalism a useful and valid way to interpret the Constitution? Course readings will consist primarily of primary source material, though students will also read historical interpretations of the Constitution and the process of forming, amending, and interpreting it. The discussion-based class will empower students to think historically about the American Constitution by interpreting primary source material, building arguments about causes and effects of particular constitutional points, and intervening in scholarly dialogues about the founding and its legacy. Students will be evaluated primarily based on class participation, a short primary source analysis, a role-play activity, and a final paper.
TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Crime, Heredity and Insanity in American History
This course gives students the opportunity to learn more about how Americans have thought about criminal responsibility and how their ideas have changed over time. Historians contend that the 19th century witnessed a transformation in the understanding of the origins of criminal behavior in the United States. The earlier religious emphasis on the sinfulness of all mankind, which made the murderer into merely another sinner, gave way to a belief in the inherent goodness of humankind. But if humans were naturally good, how are we to explain their evil actions? And crime rates varied widely by sex and race; European women were said to have been domesticated out of crime doing. What do those variations tell us about a common human nature? The criminal might be a flawed specimen of humankind born lacking a healthy and sane mind. Relying in part upon studies done in Europe, American doctors, preachers, and lawyers debated whether insanity explained criminality over the century and how it expressed itself in different races and sexes. Alternative theories were offered. Environment, heredity, and free will were all said to have determined the actions of the criminal. By the early 20th century, lawyers and doctors had largely succeeded in medicalizing criminality. Psychiatrists now treated criminals as patients; judges invoked hereditary eugenics in sentencing criminals. Science, not sin, had apparently become the preferred mode of explanation for the origins of crime. But was this a better explanation than what had come before? Can it explain the turbulent debates in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries over variations in crime rates by race? Can it explain why men, not women, are still more likely to commit murder?
TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.
The Priest and Nun in American Culture
This course explores some of the critical questions and themes in U.S. Catholic history by examining how priests and nuns have been depicted, from the nation’s founding until today, in American art (including Thomas Nast’s cartoons and Paul Henry Wood’s painting, “Absolution Under Fire”), literature (including the lurid tale of Maria Monk and the short stories of J.F. Powers), television (including The Flying Nun’s Sister Bertrille and M*A*S*H’s Father Mulcahy), and film (including On the Waterfront, The Bells of St. Mary’s, Dead Man Walking, and Doubt).
Tracing the evolution of cultural portrayals of priests and nuns, alongside changes in the Church’s theological understanding of priesthood and religious life, and the self-understanding and ministries of priests and nuns, illuminates how Catholicism has shaped and been shaped by the American context. It highlights how Catholics in the U.S. have been both feared outsiders and exemplary citizens, and it sheds light on how the Church in America has navigated encounters with nativism and anti-Catholicism; evangelization and ecumenism; immigration, industrialization, and urbanization; race, ethnicity, and civil rights; politics, diplomacy, and war; gender, sexuality, and sexual abuse; assimilation, secularization, and religious reform among many other topics.
TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Law and Religion in US History
Americans have long supported religious liberty under law, yet many also believed that only a religious people could guarantee the success of the Republic. Americans argued over how to define religious liberty, and over which particular religion best suited a republican government. Some said God had made certain people too inferior for citizenship, while others shot back that He had made all people equally capable. One man's piety was another man's oppression, one woman's equality another woman's blasphemy. We begin with the colonial era the concerns of the Revolutionary generation, look at the 19th Century's reform movements and new state institutions, then consider the Civil Rights movement of the 20th Century, and the place of religion in public schools. This discussion class will examine legal documents, like judges' rulings, and popular beliefs in political speeches and best-selling novels.
TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.
The History of Energy in American Life
This course will offer students a rigorous and lively encounter with multiple energy sources and their manifold effects on American society, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.Recent political developments in the US offer plenty of reasons for a course of this sort, one that can contextualize contemporary debates over energy-related matters such as global warming,national security, federal regulation, and sustainability in broad sweeps of change over time. Yet The primary goal of this course will be to provide a history of energy on its own terms. One Cannot grasp the complexities and entanglements of modern life in its entirety without first coming to terms with the ways humans demand, consume, and interact with energy - and in turn,the ways it shapes and reshapes our social structures, realigns our lived and material infrastructures, and even dictates cultural values and trends.We will interrogate these values and structural outcomes with the help of path-breaking scholarship - books and articles about coal, petroleum, electricity, and nuclear energy that not only chart their development over time, but also reveal the ways in which, at key junctures in the nation's past, they forged new patterns of labor and race relations, corporate and community growth, state governance and land-use policy, gender and religion, regional growth andAmerica's global reach. Moving from the Civil War to the present, from the oil patches of western Pennsylvania and West Texas to American petroleum sites in the Middle East - from the electrification of east-coast cities in the late nineteenth century to the damming of western rivers for hydropower in the early-twentieth, this course will give students the opportunity to ponder past and present energy systems within prisms of vast societal impact.
Labor in America since 1945
This course explores the relationships among and between workers, employers, government policymakers, unions, and social movements since the end of World War II, as well as the ways in which those relationships have shaped and been shaped by American politics and culture more broadly. The United States emerged from the Second World War as the globe's unequaled economic and political power, and its citizens parlayed that preeminence into a long postwar economic boom that created, however imperfectly, the first truly mass middle-class society in world history. At the heart of that new society was the American labor movement, whose leaders and members ensured that at least some of the heady postwar profits made it into the wallets of workers and their families - and not just the wallets of union members, as working Americans generally experienced great improvement in wages, benefits, and economic opportunity during the quarter-century ending in 1970. During those same years, civil rights activists challenged the historic workplace discrimination that kept African Americans at the bottom of the labor market, confronting the racism of employers, unions, and the government, and inspiring others, primarily Mexican Americans and women, to broaden the push for equality at the workplace. Since that time, however, Americans have experienced a transformation in the workplace -- an erosion of manufacturing and the massive growth of service and government work; a rapid decline in number of union members and power of organized labor; and unresolved conflicts over affirmative action to redress centuries of racial and gender discrimination. Meanwhile, income inequality and wealth disparities have grown every year over the past three decades. What accounts for the decline of organized labor since 1970, and why have the people of the mythic land of milk and honey experienced declining upward mobility and widening gaps between the rich and everyone else? Are these phenomena linked? What has the decline of the labor movement meant for workers specifically, and the American economy and politics more broadly? How and why have popular perceptions of unions changed over time? What has been the relationship of organized labor to the civil rights movement, feminism, modern conservatism, and the fortunes of individual freedom more broadly? What is globalization, and what has been its impact upon American workers? Through an exploration of historical scholarship, memoirs, polemical writings, and films, this course will try to answer these questions and many others. It will also address the prospects for working people and labor unions in the twenty-first century.
TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.
U.S. Latina/o History
This is an interdisciplinary history course examining the Latino experience in the United States after 1848. We will examine the major demographic, social, economic and political trends of the past 150 years with an eye to understanding Latino/a America. Necessarily a large portion of the subject matter will focus on the history of Mexican-Americans, and Mexican immigrants in the Southwest and Midwestern United States, but we will also explore the histories of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Latin-Americans within the larger Latino/a community. Latinos are US citizens and as such the course will spend significant time on the status of these groups before the law, and their relations with the state, at the federal, local, and community level. To explore these issues within the various Latino communities of the US we will explore the following key topics covered: historical roots of "Latinos/as" in the US; the evolution of a Latino/a ethnicity and identity within the US; immigration, transmigration, and the shaping of Latino/a communities; Latino/a labor history; segregation; civil rights; nationalism and transnationalism; the Chicano Civil Rights Movement; Latinos in film; and post-1965 changes in Latino/a life.
TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Experience of Conquest: Native Perceptions of Relations with Spaniards in 16th-C. Mesoamerica
The aim of this class is to try to understand what conquest, as we have traditionally called it, meant to the people who experienced it in some parts of the Americas that joined the Spanish monarchy in the sixteenth century. We'll concentrate on indigenous sources - documentary, pictorial, and material - and try to adopt the indigenous point of view, without neglecting sources mediated by Europeans. Although the class will concentrate on selected cases from Mesoamerica, the lecturer will try to set the materials in the context of other encounters, both within the Americas and further afield; and students will be free, if they wish, to explore case-studies from anywhere they choose in the Americas (in consultation with the lecturer and subject to his approval) in their individual projects.
MW 11:00-12:15 p.m.
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 (C) 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.
TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.
History of Exploration
We'll study what one might call the infrastructure of global history: the work of route-finders who led the dispersal of humankind into every habitable biome, then re-forged links between sundered cultures to make possible the world we inhabit today. Along the way we'll work on critical reading, unremitting perfectionism in writing, improved attentiveness in listening, and growing effectiveness in communicating. We’ll focus on skills typically under-represented in students’ education so far: how to identify and explore interesting problems in history and anthropology, and how to read texts from unfamiliar cultures by analyzing language and imagery.
TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.
World Economic History since 1600
The difference between rich and poor nations is not, as Ernest Hemingway once said, that the rich have more money than the poor, but is in part because the rich produce more goods and services. Industrialization, in other words, has often brought wealth (as well as social dislocation and protest) to those who have succeeded. This course examines the process of industrialization from a comparative perspective and integrates the history of industrialization and its social consequences for Western Europe (Britain and Germany), the United States, Latin America (Mexico), and East Asia (Japan and South Korea). We will concentrate on these countries' transition from agriculture-based societies to industrial societies. We will analyze the process of industrialization on two levels from above the role of political authority and from below a view of factory life, industrial relations, and protest from the perspective of workers and the working classes. No specific prerequisites in history or economics are necessary.
TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Heretics and Heathens: Toleration across History
As the story is often told, much of human history was consumed by brutal religious conflict. This changed only during the Enlightenment, when Europeans began to embrace the virtue of tolerance, first of other Christians, and then of all religions and none. Though this sweeping narrative does capture a significant shift in the values upheld by the West, it smooths over the practical aspects of religious coexistence. Long before the rise of tolerance, communities have struggled to find ways to live with the religious other in their midst. Moreover, as modern history has proven time and again, even the highest ideals of tolerance do not nullify the friction created by contact between different faiths and creeds.
This course, therefore, considers the long history of toleration, both as it existed prior to the modern era, and how it has changed since the days of Spinoza, Locke, and Voltaire. Though our primary focus will be on Christianity, we will also discuss other models of coexistence practiced in the Americas, Africa, and Asia, as well as how these systems collided in the age of European colonialism. As we approach the present day, we will examine how toleration intersects with issues of racism, secularism, and fundamentalism, and ask whether historical experiences of coexistence have anything to teach us about how to live in peace with neighbors whose beliefs differ from our own.
MW 9:30-10:45 a.m.
The Great War and Modern Memory
This course will focus on the rich and various historiography of the First World War in several dimensions: Global History, International Politics, Military History, Political Economy, the history of Europe, and the domestic politics of the various combatants. Additionally, we will be reading more recent treatments of the war: its effect on the social state, the home front, literature, poetry, and historical memory. As this is a departmental seminar, the course is geared to the student's production of a substantial research paper. To this end the first half of the course will consist of seminar meetings to discuss the wide range of historiography; the reading will be greater and more intensive than in a typical course and students will read diligently to throw themselves selflessly into the material. In addition, we will be using class time to explore resources available in the library and online to assist you in your research and writing. After surviving the trenches of historiography, students will go over the top themselves. During the second half of the course, our focus will be the production and successful completion of a substantial research paper totaling approximately twenty-five pages. Class meetings and scheduled small group and one-on-one meetings during the second half of the course will focus on the research, writing, and revision of your work. The strong and the lucky will survive....
Prof. Deak and Prof. Norton
TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Moby-Dick and 19th-Century America
"I but put that brow before you," Herman Melville wrote in his 1851 novel, Moby-Dick, "read it if you can." Melville was describing the brow of the mighty sperm whale, but his words apply equally to his mighty book. In this seminar, we can and will read Moby-Dick, Melville's maddening masterpiece. We will read Moby-Dick as an invitation into its multiple historical contexts at the middle of the 19th-century American and wider worlds. We will explore the world of whaling and the age of sail, the ecological and imaginary expanses of the 19th-century ocean, the intellectual and literary culture of the "American Renaissance," and a nation on a collision course with itself.
TTh 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Latina/o Civil Rights Movement(s)
This course will examine the long history of struggle for civil rights by the Latina and Latino communities. Representing an estimated 65.3 million residents of the United States, the demographic is the largest minority group. However, their experiences represent a clear paradox. Despite their “American” identity, they remain “Others” to many in the United States. Beginning with the forceful incorporation of ethnic Mexicans in the mid-nineteenth century, this course covers the triumphs and failures of collective action by this community for a variety of rights and access on their path to inclusion. These include workplace strikes for equal pay, unionization drives, walkouts against educational discrimination, interfaith alliances for immigration rights, and more. Through covering various topics, this course documents the strategies Latinas and Latinos utilized in their social movements and negotiates the consequences of those tactics and their lasting influence in their communities. In these struggles for equality, Latinas and Latinos advocated for educational reform, reshaped public space, and influenced the negotiations of their place in society.
TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.
The Global Sixties
This course examines the "Global Sixties" (c.1956-c.1976) with particular attention to politics, culture and religion in the United States, Western Europe, and Latin America. The emphasis will be placed primarily on the topics of youth activism and state repression from the perspective (and influence) of the "Global South." The main goal of the course is to provide an opportunity for extensive reading in the Global Sixties historiography. For this, it pays particular attention to influential primary texts, ideas, interpretations, ideological currents, and repercussions of the period with emphasis on the broader context of the Cold War. Additional and more specific goals include: (1) exploring the different approaches and methods that historians have used to interpret the history of the Global Sixties; and (2) providing methodological background and advice that will aid students to write original research papers.
MW 11:00-12:15 p.m.