History 101 Seminars

What is History 101?

The History 101 seminar is designed to guide you through the capstone experience of your undergraduate education as a history major: 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, informed by thorough secondary source reading.

The 101 priority enrollment application is closed. Please enroll directly through Telebears using the CCN listed under the course description.

101 Courses

101.004: Asian Worldviews

The Asian Worldviews seminar is open to thesis writers working on any topic, time, or place in Asia. Our approach will be methodological, rather than topical, developing historical papers through close reading and exposition of a key text. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with Professor Cook in the Fall semester to discuss their interests, and should enter the seminar having already identified a primary source (in translation, if necessary) from which to begin their investigation. The chosen text could be most any sort: political, religious, philosophical, commercial, literary; or even, through prior arrangement with the instructor, visual, musical, architectural, physical/material, etc. In any case, the "text" must originate from the historical time and place under investigation, and must be sufficiently rich in content to support our main objective: to make an argument about the ideology or worldview embodied in the text. By the end of the semester, you will produce an original, high-quality research paper of 30-50 pages on a topic of your choosing.

Alexander C. Cook
2231 Dwinelle
TuTh 10-12
101.010: South Asia and the WorldNote new room.

This 101 seminar is open to students wishing to write about any aspect of the history of the Indian subcontinent since the sixteenth century. A wide variety of topics are encouraged, including those dealing with cultural, social, and political questions. Topics concerning South Asia's relations with other parts of the world - whether they involve migration, trade, imperialism, or other kinds of connections - are also welcome. The beginning of the course will be devoted to discussing approaches to writing history, as well as to formulating research questions and finding potential sources. During the remainder of the semester, the focus will be on supporting your research and writing. Knowledge of any South Asian language is not required (although it is beneficial), but you should arrive with some sense of the topics that interest you.

David S. Boyk
3104 Dwinelle
TuTh 400-600
101.001: Research Topics in Ancient Greek and Roman History

This course is open to all students intending to write a thesis on any topic in ancient Greek and Roman history. Class meetings in the first couple of weeks will explore different models of research and writing in ancient history. Students will then pursue a research topic of their own choosing, in consultation with the instructor. Subsequent meetings will allow students to share their work with one another, and will facilitate the process of rethinking, rewriting, and finishing on time.

Carlos F. Noreña
2231 Dwinelle
WF 1000-1200
101.003: Anything on Imperial Britain

This class is primarily designed for students who have made Britain or its empire their area of concentration. Class meetings will focus on the process of research and writing. Early readings will explore different models of research and writing and introduce students to the research materials available to them on campus. I am open to students writing on any subject so long as they have a good question and a set of archival sources that will help them answer it. As beginning your research over the Winter break is essential for a successful 101 experience I will hold a meeting in the RRR week for students interested in the class and eager to get to work. If you would like to visit archives in the UK before the Spring semester starts please send me an email as soon as possible.

James Vernon
3104 Dwinelle
MW 1000-1200
101.012: Writer's Group

This section is designed for seniors with well-conceived thesis projects that do not fit within the rubrics of other 101 seminars. Members of the group will observe a common schedule in developing, drafting, and critiquing material but will not share a common subject area. Admission requires a written statement and the consent of the instructor. The statement should include: (1) a two-hundred word description of the proposed thesis topic; (2) a preliminary annotated bibliography (with full citations) of suitable primary sources; (3) a short bibliography of secondary sources; (4) a list of previous coursework in the proposed field of research; and (5) the name of a departmental instructor in that field who is willing to help mentor the student by providing bibliographical guidance, occasional consultation, and a critique of the first draft of the thesis. Students apply online by submitting the online preference form, and must also submit their statements directly to Leah Flanagan (via email toleahf@berkeley.edu or mailbox in 3229 Dwinelle) by 9am on Monday, January 13. Although most applicants will not have had time to develop rigorous statements by the application deadline, they must demonstrate the viability of their projects and their commitment to serious preparation in advance of the course. This section is limited to students whose work clearly falls outside the scope of other 101 sections. If in doubt, please apply.

Tabitha Kanogo
3104 Dwinelle
TuTh 800-1000
101.009: Late Modern EuropeA complete description is forthcoming. Please check back. The Staff
2231 Dwinelle
MW 400-600
101.006: Early Modern Europe

This research seminar will guide students through the process of writing a senior thesis in early modern (ca. 1400-1800) European history. Our goal will be to conceive of a compelling historical question, to find an answer to that question using primary source research, and ultimately to present your findings in an engaging, effective fashion. The final product will be a 30-50 page thesis. Given the breadth of early modern European history, our course will not have a specific focus. In the first period of the semester, we will meet to discuss exemplary texts in the field which cover central themes and problems for research. Later, as you begin to execute your research project, the course will consist of individual meetings with the instructor. Finally, we will reconvene as a group later in the semester, where you will discuss your work with one another and offer feedback. Please feel free to contact the instructor at maxstaley@berkeley.edu before the semester begins if you wish to discuss your topic.

Maxwell R Staley
2303 Dwinelle
MW 400-600
101.007: Empires, Migrations, Frontiers

The most interesting questions posed by global historians do not necessarily address the world as a whole, but instead focus on the intersection of global processes and their local manifestations. This writing seminar is for students who wish to think about history across national borders as well as those interested in studying globalization’s impact in specific contexts. We will begin the semester with a few readings on the history of empires and migrations. Meeting regularly at first, then one-on-one, we will discuss approaches to these important historical topics and strategies for your own writing. Although our readings will concentrate on global history in the 19th and 20th century, this seminar is appropriate for students working on any aspect of empires, migrations or frontiers in any century.

Michael Dean
3104 Dwinelle
TuTh 200-400
Latin America
101.002: Research Topics in Latin America

This seminar will guide students through the process of completing a senior thesis on a topic within Spanish or Portuguese Latin America or the French and Spanish Caribbean. Our focus will be the research and writing process, ranging from the feasibility of research topics, historiography, methodology, and analysis. Students should contact the professor in advance of the seminar to discuss possible topics and, if possible, research questions.

Sarah Selvidge
2303 Dwinelle
WF 1200-200
101.005: The Middle Ages

To accommodate the interests of all those majors whose Field of Concentration in History in 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 substantive sources. 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.

Norman Underwood
102 Barrows
TuTh 1000-1200
101.011: Science from Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century

This seminar is designed to help students develop and execute a thesis project in the history of science. Our focus will be on developing historiographical methods and the practical aspects of historical writing. Topics are limited to scientific subjects from the period between 1700 and 1980. However, the seminar does not limit geographical focus and the theses may be area-specific or transnational in nature. Students are encouraged to see the professor in advance regarding their research interests since an incoming student should have some familiarity with the primary sources he or she will examine. Regarding the course structure, the seminar is split into three phases. The first phase will focus on building historiographical methods in the history of science. The second phase will consist of intensive, one-on-one mentorship. Finally, the seminar group will engage with each other for review, critique, and assistance. Attendance at scheduled, group seminar meetings (during the first and last phases of the course) is mandatory.

Rodolfo John Alaniz
2231 Dwinelle
TuTh 400-600
United States
101.008: California A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back. Kerwin L. Klein
2303 Dwinelle
TuTh 1000-1200
101.014: Reconstruction

This seminar is intended for students who want to write their 101 theses on U.S. political history, particularly in the 19th century.

Robin L. Einhorn
3205 Dwinelle
WF 1200-200
101.015: American Ideas in Global Perspective since 1900

This seminar will guide students in conceiving, researching, and writing their senior theses on the theme of American intellectual history in global perspective. The twentieth century brought together people from across the world into conversation with one another like never before. At international organizations, NGOs, youth congresses, pan-African meetings, and religious organizations, ideas and intellectuals crossed national boundaries in this increasingly global age. American intellectuals helped shape developments abroad. Just as often, they imported foreign ideas into the United States and reshaped domestic life. This course is open to any students writing the history of individuals or groups who crossed America’s national boundaries—whether literally or figuratively—and who took ideas seriously. Students interested in taking the class should get in touch with Dr. Zubovich before the semester begins. Gene Zubovich is an intellectual historian of the Twentieth-Century United States. His research interests include the history of religion, human rights, and liberalism. His current book project investigates the role of Protestant leaders in the human rights debates of the mid-twentieth century. His work has appeared in The Immanent Frame and Religion and Politics. Dr. Zubovich received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2015.

Gene Zubovich
3104 Dwinelle
MW 200-400
101.016: Capitalism and American Society since the Gilded AgeNote new room.

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
2303 Dwinelle
MW 200-400