Professors: Boyer Lewis, Carroll (on leave 2023-24), Cornelius, Frost, Haus, Lewis (Chair), Rojas
Since everything has a history, the study of history occupies a central and important position in a liberal arts education. But History is more than just understanding what happened in the past. History students will learn that thinking historically means recognizing that all problems, all situations, and all institutions exist in the contexts of their times which must be analyzed and understood to see how the past shapes the present. History students will develop skills and tools that can be used in a variety of professions and enable them to become more informed global citizens in this challenging world. History students will learn how to synthesize and evaluate sources and viewpoints from a variety of perspectives and use evidence to inform critical discussion and argumentation. They develop and practice empathetic thinking. Studying History allows students to investigate and appreciate the diversity and similarity of human experience across time and place.
The department does not count AP or IB credits toward the major or minor. With department approval, one Study Abroad or transfer unit may be applied to the major or minor and can be counted toward the SPACE category. See department for additional information.
At least nine units are required, not including the SIP.
Students must take at least one course in both of the TIME categories, courses in at least three different FOCUS categories, and courses in at least four different SPACE categories.
100-level surveys can count only toward SPACE. Each 200-level course can be counted toward two of the required categories (for example, 1 TIME and 1 FOCUS, or 1 TIME and 1 SPACE, etc.). The required core courses do not count toward TIME, FOCUS, or SPACE categories.
At least six units are required, not including the SIP.
Students must take a course in both of the TIME categories, in at least two different FOCUS categories, and in at least three different SPACE categories. 100-level surveys can count only toward SPACE. Each 200-level course can be counted toward two of the required categories (for example, 1 TIME and 1 FOCUS, or 1 TIME and 1 SPACE, etc.).
Minors must also complete one Junior Research Seminar (HIST 390s), which does not count toward TIME, FOCUS, or SPACE categories.
Introduction to Europe I: Medieval and Early Modern Europe
This introduction to medieval Europe takes a two-fold approach. First, it serves as a chronological introduction to the history of Europe and the Mediterranean world during the Middle Ages, from the end of the Roman Empire in the West until the late fifteenth century. Next, a thematic approach identifies key social, cultural, intellectual, political, and economic developments between 500 and 1500. Rather than learning only about kings, queens, and prelates, we will broaden our thinking about the many peoples of the pre-modern world: poor as well as rich, women as well as men, slave as well as free, Jewish and Muslim as well as Christian.
Introduction to Europe II: From Early Modernity to Post-Modernity, 1648-present
This course provides an overview of the major events, themes, and problems that characterized European history between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. We will look critically at the wars, political and economic revolutions, and new intellectual developments that shaped Europe over this period: we will also examine how nation-building, imperial expansion, decolonization, division, and unity have marked its ideological and physical landscape.
Introduction to East Asian Civilizations
Surveys of the histories of China, Japan, and Korea, with particular attention to religious, political, and social patterns. Topics include Confucianism and its influence in East Asia, China's modernization dilemma, Korea's division and its implication, Japan's rise as a major power, and importance of East Asia in world history, among others.
Introduction to African Studies
This course introduces students to the history of Africa and its peoples, its activities and traditions in the medieval through the post-independence period. For purposes of organization, the course explores four major themes: Medieval Africa, Africa Meets the World, The Myth and Invention of Africa and Europe Meets Africa.
Introduction to Jewish Traditions
This course explores the development of Judaism from its ancient origins until the present. We will discuss the biblical foundations of Judaism and the impact that different historical contexts have produced on its rituals and beliefs. This approach raises a number of questions, which we will keep in mind throughout the course: What is Judaism? Who are the Jews? What is the relationship between Judaism and "being Jewish"? How have historical circumstances shaped this relationship? What has changed and what has stayed the same, and why? The class will address these questions through discussions and readings.
History of the United States I
This course will examine the American experience from multiple perspectives, concentrating on how Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans all helped shape American culture from the first contact of Native Americans with Europeans through the end of the Civil War in 1865. We'll look at the rich and the poor, those living in the country and in the cities, the enslaved and the free, and the immigrant and the native-born.
History of the United States II
This class provides a broad survey of American history since the Civil War. We will cover a variety of issues in this period, ranging from national and international politics to class, race, and gender relations, from economic and demographic developments to social and cultural changes.
Native American History
A broad survey of the field of Native American history, spanning the full range of Native-white relations -- social, economic, cultural, political, and military -- with a focus upon the region ultimately included within the United States.
African American History to the Civil War
This course will examine African-American History from 1619 when the first Africans are documented as entering colonial Virginia to the Civil War of 1860-65. We will explore the Slave Trade, the colonial era and the ante-bellum period, examining the exploitation and resistance of both enslaved and "free" blacks in the US.
American Women's History to 1870
An in-depth survey of the lives of women in America from the beginning of the colonial era to 1870. Topics include: the differences of class, religion, and race in women's lives, region, work, friendships, family life, community, health and sexuality, the women's rights movement, and the impact of the American Revolution and Civil War.
American Women's History since 1870
An in-depth survey of the lives of women in America from 1870 to today. Topics include the impact of race, class, and region in women's lives, paid and unpaid labor, prostitution, family life, community, birth control, the women's rights movement, and the impact of US involvement in international wars.
The idea of American exceptionalism has a long and complex history. What does it mean now and what did it mean in the past to describe America as exceptional? Who has used the language of American exceptionalism over time? Who has challenged it? How has the idea of American exceptionalism served to define what and who is and is not American? How has it shaped the ways that Americans, in and out of government, have viewed and interacted with other peoples and governments? To answer these questions, this course will take a historical approach to the idea of American exceptionalism, tracing it from the earliest period of colonial settlement to the recent present.
History of Leisure and Recreation in America
An examination of the history of leisure and recreation in America from the Puritans to the present. Discussion of the importance of leisure, the rise of public amusements, spectator sports and vacations, the growth of tourism, tensions between work and leisure, and why recent Americans choose more work over more leisure.
American Environmental History
Focusing upon that part of North America that became the United States, this class examines the long history of the interactions of human societies and the natural world. We will trace three key issues through time: changing ideas about nature; humanity's impacts on the natural world; and the natural world's impacts on culture, broadly defined.
Unsettling Colonial America
This course will explore the various ways individuals and groups questioned, challenged, and resisted the sources of authority in Colonial America from around 1600 through 1760. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Native Americans, indentured servants, enslaved persons, women, young people, religious groups, and others sought to change the emerging hierarchical structures of British colonial society, with varying degrees of success, by using their voices, their bodies, the courts, politics, and even violence.
Revolutionary America, 1760-1800
An examination of the era of the American Revolution, with lectures, readings, and discussion covering issues ranging from national and international politics to class, gender, and race relations, from economic and demographic developments to culture and society.
Victorianizing America and Its Challengers
This course will improve your skills as a historian as we examine how the White middle class set out to "Victorianize" American society as well as the resultant challenges to that project from around 1830 to around 1910. We will pay special attention to the impact of class, gender, and race on these cultural and social developments. We will also explore how many other groups-artists, workers, immigrants, radicals-responded to and often challenged the efforts and power of the middle class. Your critical thinking and writing skills will also improve through your analysis of sources in discussions, papers, and exams.
Post World War II America
This broad examination of American political, social, diplomatic, economic, and cultural life in the three decades after World War II, highlights the links between foreign affairs and domestic politics and society. Topics include the Cold War, Red Scare, Civil Rights, baby boom, Vietnam War, counterculture, women's movement, and Watergate.
American Jewish Experience
This course will explore the religious, social, political, cultural, and economic history of the Jewish people in America from the first settlement until the present. The major themes of study will focus upon the development of Judaism in America. We will take into account a number of historical factors that shaped that development: the economic, social, and political evolution of American Jewry and its institutions; Jewish immigration to the United States and its consequences; American Jewish self-perception; and the relationship between Jews and non-Jews in American society. Assignments will draw upon a wide range of materials, from secondary historical studies and primary documents to fiction and film.
Special Topics: U.S.
This course will focus upon a topic in US history that is not addressed in the department's regular offerings. The course can be repeated with different topics.
Frozen in Time: the Ancient City of Pompeii
Since its discovery in the 1700s, Pompeii has captured the popular imagination as a city frozen in time. Centuries of nearly uninterrupted excavation have made astonishing discoveries that allow us to paint a vivid picture of Roman life in the first centuries BCE and CE. In this course we will explore the material, visual, and architectural remains of the city to reconstruct the lives of its inhabitants. We will enhance our understanding of these topics by considering their connection to current debates on cultural identity, ethnic diversity and social inequality.
Women in Classical Antiquity
A literary, historical, and cultural survey of social structures and private life in ancient Greece and Rome. Issues covered include constructions of sexuality, cross-cultural standards of the beautiful, varieties of courtship and marriage, and contentions between pornography and erotica. Students will examine sources from medical, philosophic, lyric, tragic, comic, and rhetorical writers as well as representative works from vase painting, the plastic arts, graffiti, etc. (This is a designated Greek and Roman literature or culture course in Classics.)
This course explores the bubonic plague caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis during the medieval period. Treating plague pandemics as both human and biological events, this course will explore the diverse cultural reactions to this devastating disease, its effects on labor and economic structures, its impacts on religion and community, its influences on public health policies and medicine, and its connections to modern epidemiology.
History of Science, Magic, & Belief
From Alchemy to Astronomy: A History of Science, Magic, and Belief in Pre-Modern Europe. This class charts the courses of science, magic, and belief in premodern Europe. It examines how alchemists, astrologers, learned men of medicine, surgeons, theologians, religious mystics, and peasant folk healers all played important roles in creating the foundations of contemporary Western scientific and medicinal understandings.
This course will include an overview of the Medieval inquisition and how the Spanish Inquisition mirrored and diverged from its predecessor. We will examine the founding of each Inquisition and its modus operandi, its bureaucratic reach throughout Europe, and across the Atlantic to the Americas, its creation of racial hierarchy, and its impact on legal processes. Through an examination of primary sources including trial documents, edicts, letters and contemporary reports, we will consider the crimes and people these Inquisitions prosecuted (and persecuted), and the resistance to this suppression. We will explore its influence on religion and society, impact on the colonies in the "New World" and the negative criticisms it drew from contemporaries, fueling anti-Catholic rhetoric and anti-Spanish bias. Our course will conclude with the debate on the Inquisition and its role in race-thinking and the making of modernity.
Gender and Sexuality in Pre-Modern Europe
Part social history, part cultural history, this course examines gender and sexuality in medieval and early modern Europe, particularly the ways in which perceptions of gender difference were used to construct political and social relationships. The course is organized thematically rather than chronologically, and topics include medicine, marriage, prostitution, gender and state-building, and same-sex relations.
Special Topics in Early European History
This course will focus upon a topic in early European history that is not addressed in the department's regular offerings. The course can be repeated with a different topic.
Enlightenment and Its Legacies
This course serves both as an introduction to some key questions that characterize intellectual and cultural history and to the intellectual developments that shaped European culture, society, and political life between 1650 and 1850. We will analyze the intellectual tensions that defined this era - between, for example, traditionalism and progress, reason and the unconscious, freedom and authority, hierarchy and equality, and the individual and society. We will consider the historical context in which these intellectual tensions emerged and consider how they spread. We will thus be reflecting critically on the relationship between philosophical ideas, artistic expression, social structures, and political movements.
French Revolution and Napoleon
This course examines the transnational and global history of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire. We will begin by examining French Old Regime culture, society, and government before turning to the revolutionary challenge to that order. We'll follow France's political, social, intellectual, and cultural shifts as it moved from an absolute monarchy, to a constitutional monarchy, to a democratic republic, to an authoritarian state, to an oligarchic republic, and ultimately to the Napoleonic Empire. At the same time, we'll also be looking at the ways in which the Revolution transformed society, culture, and politics outside of France: both across Europe and overseas, especially in Haiti.
Gender and Sexuality in 19th Century Europe
This course is an introduction to the history of gender and sexuality in nineteenth-century Europe and its empires. It is organized roughly chronologically, but its approach is primarily thematic. We will consider how gender norms were constructed by philosophical, political, racial, and scientific thinking over the nineteenth century, and we will reflect on how individuals both conformed to and defied those norms in their individual lives. We will also examine nineteenth century beliefs about sex and sexuality and look at how those beliefs structured relationships within and across gendered lines.
European Colonialism and Decolonization
This course explores the history of European colonialism and decolonization, beginning with the emergence of early modern empires in the sixteenth century and ending with the contradictions that have characterized the post colonial era. We will explore the meaning and significance of imperialism using both a chronological and thematic framework. Key themes will include military conflict and violence; strategies of domination; resistance to imperial rule; economics and trade; relations between center and periphery; the role of beliefs about racial and cultural difference; the relationship between empire and the modern nation-state; decolonization; and the legacy of empire.
History, Memory, and Identity in Modern Europe
This course will explore historical memory's role in shaping twentieth-century European politics and identities. We will begin by exploring theoretical approaches to the study of individual and collective memory. We will then turn to case studies that have shaped European memory culture, including World Wars I and II, the Holocaust, European imperialism, and the collapse of the USSR. Along the way, we will explore different "sites" of memory such as monuments, museums, memoirs, novels, and films. We will also discuss the relationship between collective memory and collective forgetting.
Refugees and Migrants in Modern Europe
This class explores the history of migration in and outside of Europe by exploring a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to the subject and looking at some specific case studies. We will begin by engaging with the history of mass migrations from Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Then, we will turn to look at the emergence of the refugee as a political category between 1914 and 1950. We will end by considering the effects of decolonization on both the practice and the notion of migration and examine some of the contemporary debates about migrants and refugees in the European Union. Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
Sophomores only. Cross-listed with SEMN-257
Special Topics in Modern European History
This course explores socialism in Europe from 1848, when Marx and Engels published The Communist Manifesto, to the present. Although Marxism is most often associated with the Cold War divide between state socialist countries in the east and capitalist democracies in the west, modern thought on communism and socialism emerged in the wake of industrialization in western Europe. What conditions prompted Marx and Engels to write The Communist Manifesto? What is the relationship among communism, socialism, and democracy? What was it like to live under socialist policies in both eastern and western Europe? These are all questions we will seek to answer as we examine Europe's social, political, and cultural development in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
ST: East or West? A Modern History of Eastern Europe
Lodged between larger powers, Eastern Europe's fate has often been decided by outside influence. Situated in this crossroads, the region has been marked by political and ideological extremes. This course will explore this history of extremes and address a central question: does Eastern Europe belong to the "East" or the "West"? As a semi-periphery on the edge of the European continent, Eastern Europe is well-suited for a broad-ranging conversation about how Europe has defined itself in the world. Topics to be covered include, the politics of backwardness, the decline of the Habsburg Empire and the rise of successor nation-states, and fantasies of colonial expansion.
A European History of Laughter
Alexander Herzen once said, "It would be extremely interesting to write the history of laughter." This course takes up Herzen's call. Historians of Europe have often focused on tragedy, violence, and war. While these are no doubt central components of the human experience, they obscure the various ways comedy has also been an important agent in history. If tears represent one of the fundamental means through which human beings have engaged with the world, laughter has been at least as significant. Jokes have served various social and political functions throughout history. By examining a series of comedic primary sources, and with laughter as our thematic throughline, we will explore these socio-political functions while covering European history from the early modern period until the present. We will cover themes such as Carnival, the concept of the "Fool," political satire, caricature, surrealist comedy, and comedy in new mediums like radio, film, and the internet. Join us as we take a "serious" look at the Joke in European history.
Jews in a Changing Europe, 1750-1880
Between 1780 and 1880 enormous changes took place in Jewish religious, political, social, intellectual, and economic life. These changes worked in tandem with developments in general European life to create new forces within Judaism and new ways of looking at the connections between Jews. In this course, we will study these developments as they affected the Jews on the European continent. In so doing, we will explore their consequences for both Jews and non-Jews, and the issues and questions they raised.
Jewish Revolutions: 1881-1967
Between 1881 and the period immediately following the Second World War, the world's Jews experienced momentous demographic, religious, political, economic, and social changes. These changes in turn shaped their relationship to non-Jews with whom they lived. This course will study the context of change across the globe from Europe and America to the Middle East and North Africa. Through primary and secondary documents, we will explore the forces that produced these changes and the results they produced for both Jews and non-Jews.
Zionism: From Idea to State
This course explores the origins, development, and manifestations of Zionism. The course examines the transformation of traditional religious conceptions of the connection between Jews and the Land of Israel (Palestine) into a nationalist ideology in the 19th century. This transformation entailed parallel changes to the idea of Jewish peoplehood. Through the use of primary documents we will follow these trends through intellectual, religious, social, and political changes that culminated in the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
Women and Judaism
This course explores the religious and social position women have historically occupied in Jewish society. We will discuss religious practice and theological beliefs as well as social and economic developments as a means of addressing questions such as: What role have women played in Jewish tradition? How are they viewed by Jewish law? How has their status changed in different historical contexts, and why might those changes have taken place? What are contemporary ideas about the status of Jewish women, and how have these ideas influenced contemporary Jewish practices and communal relations? What do the historical and religious experiences of Jewish women teach us about the way that Judaism has developed?
Jews on Film
This course examines themes in Jewish history and culture as expressed through the medium of film. Through readings, lectures, and class discussions, students will explore issues such as assimilation and acculturation, anti-Semitism, group cohesion, interfaith relations, Zionism, and the Holocaust. We will consider questions, such as: How are Jewish characters and places portrayed on film? Which elements of these portrayals change over time, and which remain constant? How do these cultural statements speak to the historical contexts that produced them? What choices do filmmakers make regarding the depiction of Jewish life, and how do those choices influence perceptions of Jews in particular, or minorities generally? Sophomores Only
Special Topics in Jewish History
This course will focus upon a topic in Jewish history that is not addressed in the department's regular offerings. The course can be repeated with different topics.
Gender Relations in Africa
This course explores categories of masculinity and femininity that relate to and inform one another. It analyzes how these identity categories interact with other axes of social and political power, such as ethnic affiliation, economic status, and age in various places and at different historical times in Africa.
Atlantic Slave Trade
This course examines the complex web of connections that linked together the various lives and fates of Africans, Europeans, and Americans via the Atlantic slave trade. It analyzes the mode of enslavement of Africans by slavers in Africa, the experiences of slaves in the Middle Passage, and the impact of the trade on continental and Diasporan Africans. It also explores the role played by Africa-based abolitionist movements in ending the trade in Atlantic Africa.
Islam in Africa
This course explores the spread of Islam from the Arabian Peninsula to the African continent in the seventh century through the nineteenth century and limns the factors, which facilitated this advance. It examines the methods and principles of Islam and how the religion affected the life styles of its African neophytes and adherents. Because of the interaction between Muslim and African civilizations, the advance of Islam has profoundly influenced religious beliefs and practices of African societies, while local traditions have also influenced Islamic practices. Muslims were important in the process of state building and in the creation of commercial networks that brought together large parts of the continent. Muslim clerics served as registrars of state records and played a role in developing inner-state diplomacy inside Africa and beyond.
Civilizations of Africa
Study of Africa south of the Sahara including the origins of man and the emergence of food producing communities; Ancient Egypt and pre-colonial African kingdoms and federations; medieval empires of western Sudan, Ethiopia, and Bantu-speaking Africa; and the Atlantic slave trade. Emphasis on socio-political and economic history.
Study of Africa south of the Sahara including colonialism and the anti-colonial struggles of the post-WWII period.
Special Topics in African History
Africa Confidential explores the relationships between secrets, the embodied practices of secret keeping, power, and the production of specialized knowledge in Africa. This course advances three related objectives: (1) Help student develop the analytical tools required to use compartmentalized knowledge in historical work; (2) build the capacity to assess conventional sources about the past and appraise the epistemological value of unconventional sources; and (3) habituate the interrogation of sources and narratives. With a focus on the frictions (and violence) attendant to the maintenance and policing of different types of secrets, this course uses specific case studies across space and time to explore the latent linkages between a source's content, secret provenance, historical context and circumstances of production and reproduction.
St: Nationalism and Decolonization In West and Southern Africa
The course examines the growth of anti-colonial nationalism, the end of colonial rule, and post- independence in West and Southern Africa. It also identifies and illuminates the complex and contested aims of decolonization in these two regions. We will examine the different ways in which race, ethnicity, class, and gender shaped the African nationalist movement strategies and agendas, and how these identities continued to shape post-colonial state politics and societies. The course reviews these topics within specific African countries' contexts, including Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Ghana. We will also review these topics within specific non-African countries' contexts, including the United Kingdom, United States, Portugal, and Soviet Union.
ST: South African History
This course traces the tumultuous history of present-day South Africa. From the earliest evidence of food production some 2000 years ago to the Covid-19 global pandemic, from the emergence of class-based iron age societies at Mapungubwe to the rise and fall of Apartheid, students will come to understand the people, places, and circumstances that continue to shape Africa's southern-most state. Through a combination of archaeological artifacts, indigenous music, vernacular literature, archival documents and biographies, this course explores South Africa's past(s) from varied analytical frameworks and interdisciplinary lenses. Central themes include the role of race, class, identities and idioms of belonging, as well as gender and age as drivers of historical change. The overall aims of the course are: 1) enhance students' knowledge of South African people, culture and history; 2) strengthen oral and written communication skills through class discussions and practical exercises; 3) build familiarity with different analytical frameworks and scholarly sources.
The Global African Diaspora
This class explores the dispersals of African peoples across time a space. While the "African Diaspora" conventionally denotes the descendants of enslaved peoples in the Americas, the Atlantic World was but one (comparably recent) site of dispersal. Drawing on a wide selection of academic literature, fiction, cinema, and visual art, we will examine the formation of Diasporic African identities globally, with particular focus on the Indian Ocean and Atlantic regions, from the sixteenth century until the present. Beyond the patterns of human migration, students will explore the global transmission of African Diasporic technologies, epistemologies, and intellectual traditions. Weekly modules address themes including: the establishment of Sidi communities in South Asia; the diffusion of Garveyism to Cape Town; commercial networks of Senegalese women hair dressers in Harlem; and London's "underground" Hip Hop culture. Students will leave the course with a deeper appreciation of African Diasporic thought, expression, and experience.
Survey of Chinese history from the 17th century to the present; focus on major developments in China's interaction with the modern world, its struggle in modernization, the origins of the Chinese revolution, and China's reform policies in the late 20th century and their impact on Chinese society and the world.
Survey of Chinese history from earliest times to 1600. Topics include the emergence and evolution of Confucianism, the rise of centralized empires, the tributary system of foreign relations, dynastic rise and decline, the scholar-official system, shifting gender roles, and early China's place in world history.
Occupiers/Occupied in Post-World War II East Asia
How does one country occupy another? What is it like to live in an occupied society? By exploring the post-World War II occupations of Japan, Okinawa, and both North and South Korea, we will seek to address these questions and understand how this period of occupation shaped East Asia and its people in positive and negative ways. We will examine how the goals and attitudes of the occupiers, particularly those from the US and the USSR, influenced the region. In our comparative study of these occupations we will draw from the rich English-language archive of primary and secondary materials, including historical studies, memoirs, government and military documents, as well as works of fiction, cartoons, and film.
Study of Japanese history from the 17th century to the present. Topics include samurai society, economic and political modernization, the rise of militarism, World War II, the American occupation, the postwar economic miracle, and the current challenges Japan is facing.
Sports in East Asia
Whether it's Naomi Osaka on the tennis court, Otani hitting homeruns, or the ubiquitous martial arts, "East Asian" sports seem to be everywhere these days. How did this come about? What can we learn about East Asian societies -- and our own -- from studying sports? These are some of the questions we will be tackling as we explore the history and significance of sports in East Asia. Drawing from a combination of theoretical writings, comparative studies, and works focused on East Asia, we will consider sports in terms of several issues: invented traditions, nationalism, body culture, gender, stardom, and the modern Olympics, to name just a few.
Special Topics: East Asia
This course will focus upon a topic in East Asian history that is not addressed in the department's regular offerings. The course can be repeated with different topics.
The History of the Modern Middle East
This course follows the history of the Middle East from the late Ottoman period to the Arab Spring. We will begin by looking at how political pressures from Europe and the spread of new ideas led to the transformation and breakup of the Ottoman Empire. We will then consider how European powers attempted to control and reshape the Middle East in the years following World War I and trace the formation of the new nation-states that emerged in that era. Finally, we will explore the post-colonial societies that emerged in the mid-twentieth century.
The History of Premodern Latin America
This course explores Latin America during its colonial period, from the decades before European invasion in 1492, through to its independence in the 1820s. Using a range of primary sources and selected readings, the course will dive into the world(s) forged by Native Americans, Iberians, and Africans in Latin America during its colonial period.
WGS in Early Latin America
This course explores women, gender, and sexuality in Latin America from European invasion in 1492, through to Latin American independence in the 1820s. Using a range of primary sources and selected readings, we will use gender and sexuality as a category of analysis into the world(s) forged by Native Americans, Iberians, and Africans in Latin America during its "colonial" period.
Environmental History of Colonial Latin America
This course is a survey of Colonial Latin American Environmental History. It uses topography, weather, plants, animals, and viruses as units of analysis for exploring topics including indigenous civilizations, Iberian conquest, trans-Atlantic slavery, colonial reforms, and resistance movements. And it explores the changing relations between human beings and non-human nature in the Atlantic Basin in the early-modern era.
US-Africa Relations Since WW2
Course examines the long history of US involvement with Africa since WW2. We will move beyond stereotypes and mythology to a more complete understanding of the reality and possibilities of US-Africa relations. To do so, we will address question such as: -Under what circumstances have various Americans identified with Africa? -How have Americans sought influence or profits in Africa? To what effects? -Under what circumstances have various African countries identified with the US? Rather than being a study of individual African countries, the course will approach these questions through different topics and within specific countries' contexts, including Zimbabwe.
This course will introduce the various approaches used by professional historians to reconstruct and interpret the past. Students will develop their research, writing, and critical thinking skills. The class focuses on the issues and questions historians explore and debate today. Open to Sophomore Majors or students with permission.
Open to Sophomore history majors and minors
Seminar in United States History The Stuff of Everyday Life: the Material Culture of American History
The course is taught seminar style with an emphasis on readings and discussion all building to the production of a substantial research paper related to the topic of the class. It fulfils the requirement for a Junior Research Seminar for History majors and minors.
Seminar in Medieval History
Designed with advanced history majors and minors in mind, this seminar charts the various ways historians have conceptualized race and racisms in the pre-modern West. Students will join a lively and controversial conversation among scholars of the premodern Western world as our course tracks the evolution of approaches to thinking about race prior to "modernity." Our readings will track how scholars have treated the subject of race, and approach some of the locations of medieval race, such as in the treatment of Jews, Muslims, and the Romani, premodern cartography and travelogues, in the conquest and colonization of Indigenous peoples, and in the treatment of skin color and Blackness. This reading-heavy course actively engages with these discourses while providing paradigms and models for thinking critically about medieval and early modern race. While most of the texts engage with Western texts, familiarity with premodern European studies is not a requirement. As with all history research seminars, this course is discussion-based, includes extensive reading, several writing drafts, class presentations, and cumulates in a twenty-five page research paper.
Seminar in Modern European History
Examination of selected topics in modern European history from 1700 to the present. Intended for Junior and Senior History majors and minors. Spring 2023: This course takes a comparative approach to the history of modern European imperialism, beginning with the transformation and expansion of European empires in the early 19th century and ending with the contradictions that have characterized the post-colonial era. We'll reflect on how empire operated in different parts of the world, what purposes it served, and how different groups of people sought to make use of imperial structures and/or resist, subvert, and undermine them. At the same time, we will examine different historiographical approaches that scholars have used to study empire and reflect on what each approach conceals or reveals about empire's operations. This course is a seminar-style class designed to foster critical analysis, argumentative writing, independent research, and historical thinking. Like all history research seminars, it involves extensive reading, a major research paper, and a presentation.
Seminar in East Asian History
Spring 2022: As a seminar designed for advanced history majors and minors, this course will explore how and why our historical understandings of disability have evolved. A significant portion of our efforts will be devoted to examinations of different theories, methodologies, and sources useful for studying disability in both the past and present. Readings will include both "classic" disability studies texts and works that exemplify recent trends in the historical study of disability. Although many of our texts will focus on the East Asian region, previous experience with East Asian history is not required and students with an interest in the history of disability in other areas are encouraged to enroll. Like all history research seminars, this discussion-based course will include extensive reading, several writing assignments, a presentation, and a long research paper.
History Senior Seminar
Intended as a capstone to the History major, the senior seminar is an advanced class in the work that historians, the discipline of History, and the changing understanding of the past do in the world within and beyond the academy. It is also designed to help History majors with the SIP process. Required of all History majors; departmental permission required for non-majors.
Senior History Majors only
Senior Integrated Project
History SIPs can be either one unit (generally Fall) or two units (Fall/Winter). History majors are not required to write History SIPs. Non-majors can write SIPs in History with the permission of the department and SIP supervisor. See the department chair or SIP supervisor for more information about the nature and format of one- and two-unit History SIPs.
Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.