101 Seminars

The History 101 seminar is designed to guide you through the capstone experience of your undergraduate history education: the researching and writing of your senior thesis. Successful completion of this challenging, but rewarding, endeavor requires you to do the work of a historian. Ultimately, this translates to producing a piece of scholarship – in this case a 30-50 page final paper – in which you articulate and defend a historical interpretation/argument rooted in extensive primary source research and informed by thorough secondary source reading.

Special enrollment procedures for priority enrollment are available for History 101 Seminars.  Fall 2015 101 course titles and descriptions will be posted by June 29th and the priority enrollment application will be posted here and open between June 29th and July 13th. 

Enrollment Procedures

Beginning June 29th there will be a full set of course descriptions and an online course application form linked at the top of this page that will allow you to request enrollment into the 101 seminars.  You will be asked to rank you top three seminar choices.  All submissions must be received by July 13th at 9am in order to be considered for the first round of 101 seminar assignments.  Finalized class assignments and corresponding course control numbers will be emailed the week of July 13th.  AFTER YOU ARE ACCEPTED INTO A SECTION, YOU MUST ENROLL IN THE COURSE ON TELEBEARS.   

Note that ONLY ONE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM WILL BE ACCEPED PER PERSON via the online application system. If you submit multiple entries, only the first submission will be considered. You should receive an e-mail confirmation of your online submission.  However, if you do not receive an email confirmation of your submission, send a message to history@berkeley.edu. Your request is only considered complete once you receive an email confirming all the data you have submitted.

Section assignments are NOT first-come, first-served, so there is no need to submit your preferences during the first days the form is available if you are still waiting for information to be posted to the website. So long as you submit by July 13th, your application will receive full consideration.  All are encouraged to submit application forms, but priority is given to History majors.

Sign-Up Procedure After Priority Enrollments Have Taken Place:

Although initial sign ups for these courses take place in July, spaces are available in many of the sections after the first round of seminar assignments. You may add them directly through Telebears begining the week of the July 20th.  Particularly for full sections, make certain that you attend the first class meeting as students who are not present may be dropped.


101 Courses

101.002: East Asia and the Modern World
This course is a research and writing seminar for students doing a 101 thesis on any aspect of modern East Asian history. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with the instructor as early as possible in the Spring 2015 semester to identify areas of interest and begin as much of the groundwork as possible: surveying the relevant scholarship, formulating a key question, and locating suitable primary sources to answer the question. Class meetings will focus more on research and writing methods than on substantive content.
Reading ability in the research area’s language is not a prerequisite. Students may write a paper based entirely on translated materials, although they may be limited in terms of the types of research the available translated materials can support. Alternatively, students may focus on an aspect of East Asian encounters with other world areas to expand their resource base. Students with appropriate reading ability will have the advantage of using the wealth of materials at Berkeley’s C.V. Starr East Asian Library. 
Andrew E. Barshay
MW 2-4P
101.009: The Pre-Modern Mediterranean and Middle East

This research seminar will guide students through the process of writing a senior thesis on pre-modern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern topics. A selection of themes and methodological problems in classical, late antique, Byzantine, and Early Islamic political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual history will be considered. Readings will include both primary sources and modern scholarship.

 Alex Roberts is a PhD candidate in Byzantine and Middle Eastern History, specializing in the scholars, intellectual communities, and scientific and religious culture of the medieval Eastern Mediterranean. He is writing a dissertation on alchemy, Biblical exegesis, cosmology, and the reception of ancient culture in eleventh-century Greek and Arabic thought.

Alexandre Roberts
TuTh 2-330P
101.004: Britain and Its Worlds
This is a research seminar on Britain, the British empire, and British engagement with the wider world in the modern era. Members of this seminar are welcome to write on any aspect of British history, and are especially encouraged to explore the ways in which British and imperial actors or interests informed, experienced, and sometimes explosively propelled larger international problems after 1750.  
The goal of the seminar is to construct a 30- to 50-page thesis, making good use of primary sources to pose and answer a compelling historical question. Early readings will explore different models of researching, writing, and thinking about British and British imperial history. As a group, we will investigate archival materials available on campus and provide collaborative feedback on each other’s emerging work.
Amanda Behm
MW 10-12P
101.017: Writing The Consequences of Conflict in the Modern Period
“After every war,” Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska reminds us, “someone has to clean up. Things won't straighten themselves up, after all.”  This writing seminar will investigate the consequences of conflict in transnational perspective during the 19th and 20th centuries and explores how conflict altered international law, political belonging and the everyday experiences of people living in war's wake. Writers focusing on European stories will be especially welcome, but those investigating colonial, Asian, African, Middle Eastern or American stories are encouraged to register as well.  Topics can range from the diplomatic to the social and the cultural.  Specifically, writers in this seminar could focus on: postwar “peace” conference, the psychological trauma unleashed by war, shifts in cultural practices that accompany wartime experiences, social revolutions, displaced persons, the memory of war or postwar moments preserved in film, poetry, literature or other personal vantage points.  Participants will be expected to use primary source to answer a compelling historical question in a thirty to fifty page thesis.  Upon registration, please contact the instructor at sarahacramsey@berkeley.edu to schedule an appointment to discuss topics and sources before winter recess.
Sarah Cramsey
TuTh 930-11A
101.005: Early Modern EuropeNote new room.
This course will be a senior thesis seminar open to students planning to write on early modern Europe, a field broadly defined to include everything from the Italian Renaissance of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to the political revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The seminar will guide students through the process of articulating a research topic, choosing appropriate sources, researching and writing a thesis. Given the scope and variety of early modern European history, this 101 will not focus on any single theme and is designed to accommodate a wide variety of interests. Class meetings will instead focus on the process of research and writing. Students may write on any topic in early modern Europe, ca. 1450-1800. The goal of the seminar is to construct a 30-50 page thesis, using primary sources to pose and answer a compelling historical question.
Early meetings in the seminar will focus on selected readings to promote analysis of method, periodization, and the particular issues regarding the process of doing early modern European history.  As the semester enters its middle period, meetings will consist of individual consultations with the instructor. In the final third of the semester, the class meetings will reconvene as manuscripts begin to take shape. These final meetings will focus on progress reports, discussion, and collaborative feedback on our colleagues’ work. 
Please contact the instructor via email at sam.robinson@berkeley.edu in order to begin discussion about potential topics and sources. Good theses will be based upon themes already developed over the fall semester or in a previous 103 seminar.  
Sam Robinson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History. His research focuses on post-Reformation England with interests in radical religion, the mind/body problem, and medicine. His dissertation examines the changing intellectual relationship between the spirit and the body in seventeenth-century England. 
Sam Robinson
MW 10-12P
101.007: Post-Wars: Economy and Society in Western and Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century

In his magisterial account of Europe after 1945, Tony Judt asserts that “the history of the two halves of post-war Europe cannon be told in isolation from one another.” Brief readings during the first two weeks cover major political, economic, and social themes in the twentieth century and suggest how the two halves of Europe did, and did not, influence each other. During the first four weeks, students will compile a bibliography and identify key primary sources. The prospectus is due at the end of the eight week, a full draft at the end of the twelfth, and the final version two weeks later. During each phase, students will present their findings and benefit from the input of seminar members.

Andrej Milivojevic
MW 10-12P
101.008: Europe in the 20th CenturyThis course has been cancelled.

Dr. Sinn will instead teach History 103B.004.

TuTh 11-1230P
Latin America
101.018: Research Topics in Latin America

This seminar will guide you through the process of elaborating an original thesis. It will function as a workshop for projects on Spanish and Portuguese Latin America, as well as the French and Spanish Caribbean. I will help you finding and interpreting historical sources in English and romance languages, and seeking external advice if necessary to work with other languages and disciplines. Through my own research on the globalization of music in Latin America and my formation in Argentina and Berkeley, I developed a wide range of interests: music and cinema; political, intellectual, and economic history; popular, middle class and elite culture; gender and religion; global flows of ideologies and institutions; migrations, diasporas and mestizajes; violence, inequality, and war; human-animal relations; oral history, ethnography, and memory. These and other topics will be welcome.

Pablo Palomino
MW 2-4P
101.003: The Middle Ages

To accommodate the interests of all those majors whose Field of Concentration in History is the Medieval World, this 101 will not focus on a single theme.  Students will work with the guidance of the instructor to formulate research projects that are feasible, interesting, and most likely to produce an acceptable thesis.  Given the challenges of medieval source material, good projects will focus on a substantive source.  Students are strongly encouraged to contact the instructor before the term starts to begin finding possible sources and defining feasible topics.  In the opening weeks of the course, students will finalize their choice of source material and use it to frame a research question.  The rest of the term will be devoted first to research, using secondary scholarship to refine their question, and then to writing and helping one another with issues of organization, argumentation, and interpretation.  Attendance at the first meeting is mandatory.  

Maureen C. Miller
MW 2-4P
101.010: Research Topics in the History of Science

Every society attempts to grasp the invisible systems underlying life, consciousness, and the cosmos, but in so doing unconsciously reveals its own intimate nature. Ostensibly a window looking out upon the natural world, science is equally a mirror of the society that produces it. This irony animates much recent historical scholarship, which pulls aside the curtain on “objective reason” to reveal teeming social ecologies: a debate among seventeenth-century scientists seemingly about air vacuums conceals anxious political concerns; a table of astronomical data used to construct the solar system inadvertently maps the rapacious reach of British colonialism; the curve of a famous polynomial through Cartesian space traces the spiritual escape of an eighteenth-century noblewoman from her stifling and all-too-earthly gender roles; the strange soundtrack of a 1980 documentary about outer space gently dislodges viewers from the customary triumphalism of Cold War science. Science is always haunted by its inverted doppelgänger, socially constructed reality. This course invites students to intensively explore an intersection of science and society from any time period. A few readings will be assigned at the beginning of the semester to illustrate some recent trends and possibilities for research.

Daniel M Robert
TuTh 11-1230
United States
101.011: News in American HistoryNote new room.

This seminar is a thesis-writing workshop for students engaged in original research that explores or relies primarily on newspapers and other news media sources.  All research questions covering the history of the United States (or the lands that became the United States) before 1945 are acceptable.

David Henkin
TuTh 4-6P
101.012: Early America

This seminar is open to senior thesis writers working on Early America from North American colonization to the US Civil War. Our early meetings will focus on the mechanics of project design—identifying a topic, framing a question, and locating sources—and include reading a few exemplary articles and brief reflections on the art and craft of historical research. We will discuss some of the approaches historians have developed to define and investigate this period, from the large-scale framework of the Atlantic World to the micro-historical reconstruction of family life, but because a wide variety of topics are encouraged more focused methodological and historiographical discussions will happen through regular one-on-one meetings with the instructor. The seminar itself will operate as a workshop. As the semester moves forward our meetings will focus on discussions of progress, challenges, and emerging drafts of the 30-50 page research paper each student will produce. Students are strongly encouraged to contact the instructor, Robert Lee (robertlee27@berkeley.edu), prior to start of the semester with research ideas or questions, and to arrive on the first day with a prospective topic in mind.     

Robert Lee
MW 2-4P
101.013: The History of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in AmericaNote new room.

This seminar is designed for students who want to write their theses on the subjects of race, gender, and/or sexuality in America. With guidance and assistance from the instructor, students will develop, research, and write a 30 to 50-page essay on a topic related to the seminar theme(s). We will spend the first several weeks of class reading, discussing, and analyzing a series of foundational works that shaped the study of race, gender, and sexuality in America as well as more recent essays, which reveal the shifting contours of the field. Some issues we will consider are: Conceptualizations of race, sexuality and gender in early America and how have those ideas changed (or not) over time; the relationship between social and legal constructions of racial and sexual difference and how these processes shaped the experiences of various groups; and the intersectional relationship between race and sexuality.

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
TuTh 330-5P
101.014: Capitalism and American Society since the Gilded Age
This course is designed for students interested in research that addresses American social history, labor history, economic history, and political history. There are a wide variety of themes and issues related to these subjects that would provide a potential topic for a thesis. Students should have a good historical question and sources that will help provide an answer.
Christopher W. Shaw
MW 4-6
101.015: The American West since 1845

This seminar is for history students who will write their thesis on some aspect of the American West since the Mexican-American War. (Anyone interested in exploring something prior to 1845 is welcome but must contact me in the fall to discuss a topic and proposed sources.) In the first weeks, students will read a few published article-length works, discuss research strategies and writing styles, and hone their own historical questions. The rest of the semester will be dedicated to work on the thesis, including in-class workshops, presentations of research, peer reviews, and individual consultations with me. 

Felicia A. Viator
MW 12-2P
101.016: International History in the Twentieth CenturyNote new room.

International History in the Twentieth Century" is intended for students writing 101 thesis on international, transnational, and comparative topics in the history of the twentieth century. Students will write on topics of their own devising, which may range from diplomacy, strategy, and statecraft to transnational economic, social, and cultural interactions of diverse kinds. Thesis writers may chose to focus on U.S. relations with the broader world, but they are by no means not required to do so. Given the seminar’s scope, we will not be undertaking topical readings as a class. Aside from a minimal introduction to research methods, in which the seminar group will participate, supervision will largely take the form of individual meetings with the instructor. Students interested in participating in “International History in the Twentieth Century” are strongly encouraged to schedule a meeting with Prof. Sargent during the fall of 2014 and to begin preparatory work, including archival research, during (if not before) the 2014/15 winter break.

Daniel Sargent
TuTh 930-11A