103 Seminars

The 103 is a proseminar on historiography involving close reading and critical discussion, most often with a synthesizing paper due at the end of the semester.  Every history major is required to take one 103; non-majors are welcome on a space available basis.

Special enrollment procedures for priority enrollment are available for History 103 Seminars. 

Full schedules and descriptions are below and the Spring 2015 sign up form is now available here. The priority sign up reqest deadline October 20th at 9am.

Enrollment Procedures

At the top of this page is a link to the full set of course descriptions and an online course application form that will allow you to request enrollment into the 103 seminars.  You will be asked to rank you top three seminar choices.  All submissions must be received by October 20th in order to be considered for the first round of 103 seminar assignments.  Finalized class assignments and corresponding course control numbers (CCNs) and course entry codes (CECs) will be emailed the week of October 20th.  AFTER YOU ARE ACCEPTED INTO A SECTION, YOU MUST ENROLL IN THE COURSE ON TELEBEARS no later than the 1st day of the adjustment Phase or we will invaludate the CEC so that someone else can enroll.   

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-ssc@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 October 20th at 5pm, 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 October, spaces are available in many of the sections after the first round of seminar assignments. You may add them after October 25thth directly on Telebears.  Particularly for full sections, make certain that you attend the 1st class meeting as students who come to class will have priority on the waitlist.      

These courses are limited to 15 students per section.

103 Courses

103F.002: Seminar: Jews, Muslims, Christians in Late Ottoman and Mandatory Jerusalem
  • Note new room.

Most studies of late Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine/Eretz-Yisrael tend to focus on the city of Jerusalem. This holy city, which has great religious and symbolic importance to all the monotheistic religions, was the focus of international attention in the 19th century. In 1872 it became the capital of the independent province of Jerusalem which was governed directly from Istanbul and controlled all the southern and central parts of Ottoman Eretz-Yisrael/Palestine. In this course we will examine inter-faith relationships in the city of Jerusalem during the late-Ottoman and Mandatory periods as influenced by major political and social developments in the region such as the Ottoman reforms, growing European involvement, the beginning of Zionist activity in Palestine, WWI, the end of Ottoman rule and the beginning of British Mandate, the Arab Revolt, World War II, and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Yuval Ben-Bassat
M 4-6P
103U.002: Institutions of Culture

Many of the cultural institutions that we take for granted existed either not at all or in only a few special cases two centuries ago: museums, concert hall, public libraries and opera houses for example and, much more obviously, railway and airport bookshops, rock concert venues, and movie houses.  The sociology of various art forms has changed as well: all sorts of people used to go to the opera and to attend Shakespeare plays in the nineteenth century who would not be there today. We now listen to classical music in silence as if it were a religious act; in 1800 people would be speaking on their cell phones if they had them.  This course will explore the history of these institutions and of how people used them. Examples will be drawn mostly from European and US sources, but possibly other as well. There will be field trips. Short reports and one final paper required. 

Thomas W. Laqueur
Tu 4-6P
103U.003: Making Rights in a Global Modern America

"This course will focus on the meaning of “rights” in a global, modern, United States. Specifically, it will focus on the meaning of rights, who has had access to them, and what this concept has meant to different people at different times. For instance, has work been a right in the twentieth-century and for whom? What happened to the idea of “rights” between the right to refuse labor (emancipation), and the right to employment (institutionalized racism)? How have different groups such as women and minorities conceived of and argued for rights – as individuals or as a group. How have these concepts been shaped transnationally, through the movement of people and ideas across oceans, as well as through America’s imperial engagement in Latin and Central America?
As we move into the post World War II era, this course will trace the turn to “human rights” and explore the consequences of framing rights in this way. What has human rights made visible? What has it left out? How was the definition of human rights impacted the way in which groups or individuals seek access to resources, civil and political participation, or notions of equality? Reciprocally, how have persons continued to lobby for alternate definitions or conceptions of rights that fall outside the human rights framework?
This course will move chronologically through the late 19th and twentieth centuries, but it is not a survey course. A background in twentieth-century US history is helpful, but not necessary. Students wishing to use the course material towards their History 101 project will have the opportunity to shape their research and writing accordingly."
Zain Lakhani
F 10-12P
103B.005: Soviet History through Film and Fiction

The class is devoted to the relationship between fact and fiction in Soviet history. We will discuss novels, short stories, and movies that attempt to represent life in twentieth-century Russia, from the eve of the revolution to the aftermath of the fall of communism. The authors we will be reading include Isaac Babel, Andrei Platonov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Yuri Trifonov, and Sergei Dovlatov. Requirements: participation in discussion and weekly 1-page essays.

Yuri Slezkine
Tu 12-2P
103B.003: From War to Peace: Europe in the 1940s

This reading seminar will explore the mid-1940s as a watershed moment in European history. Within only a few years the descent into war and genocide was followed by the return to a stable and, in comparison to prewar Europe, fundamentally different social and political order. The starting point was in 1942-43: German mass killing policies in occupied Europe reached their zenith, Nazi Germany’s defeat became a certainty, and the Allies began to impose their vision for a postwar order. The transition ended in 1947-48 when the postwar settlement turned into a new conflict among the victorious powers, splitting the continent into Communist East and Capitalist West. We will discuss some of the major works of historical synthesis on twentieth-century Europe as well as more specific historical writings on European reconstruction that have appeared over the last decade. Weekly position papers and an in depth literature review (or a prospectus for a possible honors thesis) constitute the principal writing assignments.

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann
W 10-12P
103B.004: A Century Later: Germany and the Great War

2014 is the centennial of the outbreak of the "Great War” – a conflict which spread across the globe and unleashed death and destruction on an unimaginable scale. Based around discussions of major works of historical synthesis on early 20th century German history we will address the historical challenges and problems that led to the outbreak of what became known as the First World War. We will analyse the breakdown of the international system that had kept peace in Europe for nearly a century; contrast the experience of Germans in the trenches, under military occupation, and at home in the turbulent years during and immediately following the First World War; and examine gendered narratives, historical arguments, and scholarly interpretations about the First World War. This course will encourage you to explore new ideas and interests and is intended to help you to improve your research skills and to identify themes for the writing a thesis prospectus.
Andrea A. Sinn is DAAD-Professor of German and History at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research and teaching focus on modern European history with specialties in German, Jewish, and migration history. Her current research project addressing Jewish experiences during the Great War is inspired by the apparent absence of female and minority perspectives in studies addressing World War I.
Andrea A. Sinn
Th 12-2P
United States
103D.002: Nations, Narratives, and Negotiating New Boundaries

How have nations and other communities redrawn their boundaries over time and space? How do the lines on a paper map simultaneously represent real and imagined geographies, produce and obscure knowledge, confirm and deny possession, and include and exclude the physical presence of distinct communities? How do stories provide maps to the past? How do our maps and stories unfold over time? How do new maps of old places reflect the changing and contested nature of political, military, economic, cultural, and social spaces? This class will explore nation states and stateless nations as historical entities that have both reflected and actively created new worlds with new boundaries that encourage and often require the telling of new stories. From the religious and political conflicts that wracked early modern England to the multi-cultural memorialization of battle sites and the militarization of the US-Mexico border, assigned readings will explore how culture, government bureaucracies and the technologies of state power, the influence of narratives, and the continued renegotiation of new geographic and political boundaries illuminate relationships that continue to reshape how communities understand themselves, experience their daily lives, articulate the historical origins of their identity, and legitimate and disseminate stories about conflicts and encounters between distinct societies in both the past and the present.

Robert N. Chester
M 2-4P
103D.003: Memory in the 19th-Century United States

The United States is a young nation with a short history. In the nineteenth-century, Alexis de Tocqueville famously faulted Americans for not only being individualistic but also for having no sense of the past. A similar critique exists in popular culture today, where conservative politicians decry the historical knowledge of American citizens. And yet, the ways in which we remember the past fundamentally shape our present and our future. This seminar explores the evolving relationship between memory and history in the nineteenth-century United States. Specifically, it examines the ways in which Americans of different racial and ethnic groups remembered seminal moments such as the Salem Witch Trials, The American Revolution, and the Civil War. Taking memory of the nineteenth-century United States as its starting point, this course will prompt students to explore the nature of historical memory and the practice of history.

Sarah Keyes
Tu 2-4
Latin America
103E: Latin America in the Age of Mass Politics

Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, mass political – often referred to as “populist” – governments emerged in much of Latin America.  These governments were marked by the incorporation of previously politically marginalized groups, such as rural agricultural workers and unionized urban industrial laborers, into ruling coalitions, a move away from the liberal export economic model of the nineteenth century, and the promotion of new forms of cultural nationalism.  This course will seek answers to important questions about these governments, which lasted until the 1960s and 1970s.  How and why were these new ruling coalitions formed?  Who joined them?  What limits did these coalitions face?  What economic policies did these governments adopt?  How did they promote the new nationalism?  And what was the relationship between mass political leaders and the rank-and-file?  Because they are the best-documented and best-studied cases, we will focus primarily on Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, although we will also discuss the cases of Chile and Colombia.

Alberto M Garcia
225 Dwinelle
W 4-6P
103H: Child Labor in Africa: A Historical Perspective
  • Note new room.

A recent study indicates that 48 million African children, or one third of all children under 14 years of age, are "economically active".  The range of children's work extends beyond the purely economic and includes military service and sex slavery. Emerging within specific socio-cultural, economic, religious and political contexts riddled with extreme poverty, and a hostile global environment, child labor in Africa is a complex phenomenon that defies simple analysis or solution. This seminar seeks to explore the historical and emergent trends in child labor in rural and urban Africa. Topics to be explored include: the complex definitions of childhood and child labor; traditional constructions and organization of children´s work; apprenticeships; children and production for household consumption; gender and child labor; colonialism, globalization and redefinition of children's work; child abductions, child soldiers; agricultural work; and sex slavery among others. The seminar will also explore the world of Talibes, Islamic pupils whose begging/agricultural lives complicate conventional notions of children's work. As well as secondary and primary texts, the course will include documentaries on African children.

Tabitha Kanogo
102 Barrows
W 10-12P