Summer 2015
7B: The United States Since the Civil War - Session C

This course is an introduction to American history since the Civil War. It is also an introduction to the way historians think and write. We will cover the major events of the past 150 years, including such topics as the Civil War, industrialization, eugenics, the Great Depression, immigration, the Cold War, the suburbs, human rights, and 9/11. While broadly surveying major developments, we will focus on three major themes. The first theme, Slave Society and Its Consequences,traces how the legacy of slavery and emancipation has shaped American ideas about racial hierarchy, multiculturalism, and model minorities. The second theme, Capitalism and Its Critics, follows the rise of industrial society, the growth of consumer economy, and finally the creation of finance capitalism—and how Americans experienced and managed these transitions. Finally, Dechristianization of America, follows how the United States was understood as a Protestant nation, then a Judeo-Christian one, and, finally, as a post-Christian country. Students will sharpen their analytical and critical thinking skills through their engagement with these three themes in lectures, readings, movies, music, and art.

Gene Zubovich
MWTh 10-12P
CCN: 52505
N100.001: Special Topics in History: Short Course - "Slavery in the Ancient Greek and Roman World" -- Session A
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.
The institution of slavery was deeply embedded in the political, legal, social, economic and cultural framework of the ancient Greek and Roman world.  Among societies that have tolerated or supported the domination and ownership of human beings by other human beings, ancient Greece and Rome stand out as two of the few that can properly be considered “slave societies.”  In order to examine the impact of slavery on state and society in the ancient Greek and Roman, world we will consider a wide range of topics including the origins and maintenance of the slave system, slave labor, family life, resistance and slave rebellions, manumission and freedom, and Greek and Roman ideas about slavery.  Discussion of slavery in the antebellum U.S. South will help us to place ancient slavery in a broad historical and comparative perspective.
This is a two-unit course.  There are no prerequisites
Carlos F. Noreña
TuTh 4-6P
CCN: 52530
N100.002: Special Topics in History: Short Course - "Energy: An American History" Session D
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.
This course will examine how the predominant sources of energy and how the uses of those different types of energy changed over time and across American geographies. We will start by analyzing the diets of hunter-gatherer societies, as well as the domestication of fire, plants, and animals. We will explore the origins and consequences of the dam building frenzy in the first half of the twentieth century, the expansion of the fossil fuel economy, and the social history of electricity and automobiles and their impacts on consumer culture. We will also analyze the ways that WWII and the Cold War created the context for the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants and the controversies and legacies these industries have generated. Finally, we will examine how increased consumption of energies helped contribute to the rise of current controversies over fracking, climate change, and renewable energy projects.
This is a two-unit course.  There are no prerequisites
Robert N. Chester
102 Moffitt
MW 8-10AM
CCN: 52535
N106B: The Roman Empire - Session A

This course offers an introduction to the history of the Roman empire, from the advent of monarchy in Rome in the first century BC to the breakdown of central state authority in the fifth century AD.  Major themes include the overlapping networks of social power in the Roman empire (institutional and personal); the unity and diversity of Roman imperial culture; the changing relationship between state and society; the political economy of the Roman empire; and the geography and ecology of the Mediterranean world.  Lectures will provide an essential historical narrative and interpretations of central problems in Roman imperial history, and discussion sections will give students an opportunity to engage with key texts from or about the Roman empire, from Tacitus to Gibbon.  There are no prerequisites for this course.

Carlos F. Noreña
TuWTh 1-330P
CCN: 52540
N109C: The Modern Middle East from the 18th Century to the Present - Session D

This course surveys the key processes, events and personalities that have shaped the societies, states and economies of the Middle East since the 18th century. It is designed to help contextualize current developments, to identify various interpretative frameworks for approaching history in general and for understanding the Middle East in particular, and to acquaint students with a variety of useful sources ranging from film to specialized academic articles. Students are expected to attend every class to hear the lecture, ask questions and participate in discussion.

Daniel Strieff
MTuWTh 10-12P
CCN: 52545
N119A: Postwar Japan - Session A

This course considers the history of Japan since Hiroshima--since the atomic bombings and Soviet declaration of war brought "retribution" and cataclysmic defeat to the Japanese empire in 1945. We start with an exploration of the war itself and its complex legacies to the postwar era. Guided by the best recent scholarship and a selection of translated novels, essays, and poetry along with film and art, we then look at the occupation era and the six postwar decades that followed, examining the transformations of Japanese life that those years have brought. We try, finally, to answer the question: has "postwar" itself come to an end? And if it has, how should we characterize the current era?

Andrew E. Barshay
MTuW 930-12P
CCN: 52550
N122A: Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society - Session D
HIST122 examines the period in which the United States became a continental nation and contributed to the escalating tensions that would precipitate the Civil War. As a broad overview of the this era, the class emphasizes the consequences of the War of 1812, the democratization of American politics, the rise of industrial manufacturing and the creation of transportation infrastructure, the dispossession and marginalization of Native Americans, the growth of slavery and the lives of slaves, changes in the lives of women, and the ways that religion and reform reshaped American society during these years.The course starts by examining what historian Edmund Morgan has famously illuminated as an American paradox: the symbiotic relationship between American freedom for white men and the enslavement of African-Americans. Beginning with Jeffersonian conceptions of liberty and republicanism, we will continually explore how an expanding conception of equality amongst white men during the first half of the nineteenth century remained dependent on the exclusion, exploitation, and subordination of women, American Indians, and African-Americans. After examining the hierarchical and white supremacist ideology of the Herrenvolk Democracy during the Jacksonian period, we will explore debates about the interplay between Indian, African, and Mexican racial inferiority and white economic opportunity. This theme is vividly displayed by analyzing the Cherokee Removal, American infiltration of Texas, the U.S. war with Mexico, and finally the conflict between the North and the South over the expansion of African slavery and the dignity of free white labor. 
The course will also focus on the central importance of the War of 1812 in the lives of Americans during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. In addition to the multiple ways that the war shaped the daily lives and long-term fates of indigenous communities throughout the United States and Canada, the significance of the so called second war for American independence has remained obscured by a lack of sufficient scholarly attention and its chronological positioning between the American Revolution and the Civil War. We will examine how fortunate Americans were that the war ended the way it did and how Americans explained and remembered these events in romanticized ways that transformed what actually was at best a military draw into a great American victory. In terms of how Americans continued to elaborate a national narrative that suited their political ambitions, we will later explore Manifest Destiny as a cynical but pervasive ideology that allegedly explained not only the westward expansion of the United States but why white Americans repeatedly prevailed over disappearing inferior races. We will also examine the potency of myth and how it has shaped historical memory in the case of Andrew Jackson’s iconic status as a champion of the common man. Of course, both Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson made frequent use of their association with producer ideology and criticized luxury and the corruption of the rich. However, both men indulged throughout their lives in luxury and both also did things politically that contradicted the lofty ideals and practical goals they promoted.
Robert N. Chester
TuWTh 2-430P
CCN: 52555
N124B: The United States from World War II to the Vietnam War Era - Session D
This course examines how American society has changed since World War II.  The second half of the century saw the emergence of an international superpower, a new economy, suburbanization, the sunbelt, the civil rights movement, a political backlash, shifting gender roles, the decline of labor unions, and novel cultural forms. We will address all of these issues and more, while paying particular attention to how the experience of Americans living in the middle of the twentieth century was different from that of Americans living fifty years later.
Christopher W. Shaw
MTuWTh 12-2P
CCN: 52565
N124A: The United States from the Late 19th Century to the Eve of the World War II - Session A

During the half-century before World War II, the United States became an industrialized, urban society with national markets and communication media. This class will explore some of the most important changes of this period and how they were connected. We will also examine how these changes elicited a variety of responses, from optimism to anxiety, from experimentation to conservatism. Among the topics addressed: the institution of Jim Crow, population movements and efforts to control immigration, conflicts between Capital and Labor, reform campaigns, territorial expansion, popular and high culture trends, and shifting conceptions of citizenship and self-hood.

Gabriel Milner
MTuWTh 12-2P
CCN: 52560
127AC: California History - Session D
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
The Staff
103 GPB
MTuWThu 12-2PM
CCN: 52570
N131B: Social History of the United States: 1914-Present - Session A
This course provides an introduction to American social and labor history from World War I to the present day.  It will focus on the experiences of ordinary people, addressing various aspects of how American life changed during this period. We will stress inclusion and exclusion from participation in American political and economic life.  Major themes include the creation and destruction of a mass middle class, the establishment of a welfare state and the subsequent political backlash that it provoked, and the reconstitution of gender norms and race relations.
Christopher W. Shaw
MTuWTh 2-4P
CCN: 52575
136AC: Gender Matters in 20th Century America - Session A
  • This course has been cancelled.
The Staff
MTuWTh 10-12P
CCN: 52580
N158C: Where Have All the Soldiers Gone? Europe 1914 to the Present - Session C

The twentieth century was the most devastating in the history of Europe. This course surveys the major developments that led to the wars and revolutions for which the century is famous. It stresses the supreme importance of the commanding actors on the political stage as the century unfolded--Lenin and Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, Churchill and de Gaulle, Walesa and Thatcher and Gorbachev, and focuses on the differing approaches to European relations taken by American presidents from Wilson to George W. Bush. The course will seek to squeeze every ounce of drama out of the century's most famous -- and infamous -- events: Europe's last summer -- the incredible days of July 1914; the slaughter of World War I; the rise of Communism, Fascism, and Nazism; Munich; the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939; the decimation of World War II; the bombing of London and Dresden; the destruction of the European Jewry; the German invasion of Russia; D-Day, the suicide of Hitler, the origins and development of the Cold War; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the revolutions of 1989; the disintegration of the Soviet Union; the collapse of Yugoslavia; and the first and second Gulf wars. All this and more we will explore through books, documents and, not least, films and documentaries.

David Wetzel
TuWTh 330-530P
CCN: 52585
162B: War and Peace: International Relations since 1914
  • This course has been cancelled.
Sarah Cramsey
CCN: 52593
296: Directed Dissertation Research- Session C
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.

Intended for students engaged in dissertation research and writing.

Margaret Chowning
CCN: 52605
602: Individual Study for Doctoral Students- Session C
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.

Intended for students engaged PhD Orals preparation.  

Margaret Chowning
CCN: 52645

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 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 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 (, 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