103 Courses

United States
103D.006: US Latino/a History since 1848 (Proseminar in United States History)

This course introduces students to the experiences of major Latina/o populations in the US since 1848. While the term “Latina/o” encompasses a diverse set of peoples from the western hemisphere, in this course we consider some of the similarities among people descending from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Central America, and their historical experiences in the US. Four themes emerge in the US-centered histories of Latina/os: 1) the interplay between US intervention in Latin America and migration; 2) the relationship between labor recruitment and the struggle for inclusion in US society; 3) the development of transnational communities between country of origin and the US; and 4) the emergence of pan-ethnic identities and politics.  Over the course of the semester, we will study these themes with a comparative focus, while following a chronology driven by three turning points: the end of the US war with Mexico in 1848, the Spanish-American War of 1898, and World War II.  Students will develop the skills necessary to write a prospectus for original research (e.g., History 101 senior thesis). In writing a prospectus, students will gain a basic understanding of how to begin original research on any historical topic of their choosing: how to read historiography, ask critical questions, identify problems in the historiography, develop research questions, and locate potential primary sources/archives for further study.

Natalie Mendoza
211 Dwinelle
M 12-2
103D.003: Taxes and Politics (Proseminar in United States History)

Why are taxes so complicated? Are they as complicated as they seem? Who really pays them? Who doesn't? And, perhaps most important, how are these decisions made? What is the history of American income taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, inheritance taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, and the rest? And, most generally, what does the tax structure of a society tell us about it? This seminar will examine the literature about the history of taxation, mainly in the United States, and think about taxes in relation to more general political, economic, and even cultural history. Readings will include some works by economists, sociologists, and political scientists, as well as historians, since tax history has always been a thoroughly interdisciplinary conversation. Requirements include active participation in discussion and three essays (two brief ones during the semester and a more sustained final paper). The brief essays will involve oral reports ton the common readings for particular weeks plus some supplementary reading. The final essay, on a topic of your choice related to U.S. tax history, will develop a proposal for a 101 thesis, either to jump-start your own future 101, or just to learn the form of a 101 proposal.

Robin L. Einhorn
3205 Dwinelle
Thu 12-2P
103D.003: Proseminar: United States History
Robin L. Einhorn
3205 Dwinelle
F 12-2
103D.004: Landscapes of the Americas: Environments of our Making (Proseminar in the United States)

How do the spaces and places we inhabit affect our lives? What is the relationship between the environment and politics, culture, and social change? How have struggles over land and space defined the course of history and changed the way we understand our place in the world? This class explores these questions based on major themes in US history as applied to the Americas as a whole, for example: the idea of the frontier; the definition of the border as a political, cultural, economic, and environmental project; water and the politics of hydraulic infrastructure; and the relationship between urban development and hinterland agriculture and resource extraction.


Sarah Selvidge
2303 Dwinelle
F 10-12
103D.005: In Capitalism We Trust: American Business History from Cotton to Foreclosure (Proseminar in United States History)

When President Calvin Coolidge declared in 1925 that “the chief business of the American people is business,” he was not making a historical argument, though it would have been a defensible one. Nearly a century earlier, French visitor, Alexis de Tocqueville, made a similar observation. Indeed, America was colonized by joint-stock corporations! Understanding the history of American capitalism therefore unlocks a great deal about America itself. How did capital become capitalism and how did capitalism affected Americans’ lives? How have capitalist markets been constructed socially and legally? What is the relationship between capitalism, gender, race, and inequality? We will explore these questions on a chronological journey from seventeenth-century cotton trading to twenty-first century foreclosure.

Note: many of the textbooks are available online via the Library.  Please check Oskicat!

Daniel M Robert
262 Dwinelle
W 2-4P
103D.002: The Border (Proseminar in United States History)

According to one of its most eloquent students, the U.S. Mexican border is an open wound "where the third world grates against the first and bleeds." Today hundreds of millions of people cross the border every year, legally and illegally, along with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods. This seminar will explore the history of the border zone, both as an unsettled region where millions live and work, and as a uniquely unequal frontier that attracts money, power, bodies, and commodities from around the world. Readings will range from the border's formation in 1848 to the politics of immigration, trade, and borderland violence today. Final assignment will either be a senior thesis prospectus, or a historiographic paper.

Brian DeLay
3104 Dwinelle
W 2-4P
103D.001: Slavery and Servitude in the United States (Proseminar in United States History)

This course will explore various systems of involuntary servitude that have been developed and practiced in British North America and the United States. We will read about and discuss indigenous systems of bondage, indigenous enslavement at the hands of European settlers, the transport and indentured servitude of European migrants, the British inter-colonial slave trade, and the coerced servitude of Chinese migrants and indigenous women in the 19th century. The overwhelming majority of our readings will explore the captivity and enslavement of African descended people in the New World. In this vein, a number of weeks examine the experiences of African descended people before leaving the West Coast of Africa, their passage to the New World, and their bondage, resistance and freedom after settlement. The class concludes with readings that examine the development of the penal state, and the criminalization and mass incarceration of African-Americans from Reconstruction to the present. Many of the required readings will be attentive to the role that the law (and later federal and state policy) played in constructing and maintaining systems of American bondage.  Many of them will also examine the ways that gender and sexuality shaped the experiences of bound people as well.

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
3205 Dwinelle
W 12-2P
Latin America
103E.001: In and Out of Latin America: From a Region of Immigrants to a Region of Emigrants (Proseminar in Latin America History)

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, millions of Asian and European migrants left their home communities and settled in Latin America.  But during the second half of the twentieth century, millions of Latin Americans left the region and migrated elsewhere.  This reading seminar will examine the early migratory flows to Latin America and the later flows out of the region.  Readings during the first half of the course will focus on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, specifically immigrant societies in Latin America and the efforts of Latin American nation-states to attract immigrants.  Readings during the second half of the course will focus on twentieth-century emigration from Latin America and attempts by nation-states to manage or limit departures from the region.

Alberto M Garcia
2231 Dwinelle
M 10-12
103E.002: Inequalities in the Americas (Proseminar in Latin American History)

A common theme since the late nineteenth century has been the persistence of inequalities. Across the globe, workers, women, peasants, racial and religious minorities, governments, and so forth, wrestled with various forms of inequality. How did these different social actors address them? Were the grievances of workers in, say, Buenos Aires and Mexico City comparable to those in Chicago or Manchester? Was being black different in Brazil, Cuba, or the U.S. during the 1950s? Were some governments more successful at redressing inequalities than others? If so, why? This seminar explores several manifestations of inequalities, including economic, political, gender, and racial, during the twentieth century. The course is designed to have students think about inequalities comparatively by drawing on case studies from Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Mexico) and other parts of the world. In addition, we will read from a range of texts by historians, sociologists, economists, as well as primary sources. Students will be encouraged to consider how these issues transcended national borders and how certain inequalities (e.g. economic) cannot be understood in isolation from others (gender or racial).

David Tamayo is a PhD candidate in Latin American History interested in the history of the middle classes, social movements, and right-wing politics during the twentieth century. He is writing a dissertation that studies the role that US-transnational voluntary associations, such as the Lions, Rotary, and other service clubs, had in organizing and politicizing the Mexican middle classes from the 1920s to the 1970s.

David Tamayo
225 Dwinelle
Tu 4-6P
103B.001: Banned Books: The Rise of Censorship in Modernity (Proseminar in European History)

The printing press was a technology that, in over five hundred years, can only really be compared to the rise of the internet. It allowed the spread of information at rates that were previously unimaginable and built communities that would otherwise have been impossible. It enabled the Reformation and changed the face of the political world. With all of this new freedom, though, came new demands for guidance, regulation, and control. In this class, we will look at the 500 years of printed material through the eyes of the censors rather than the writers or the printers. We will ask how they understood their job, and why they thought it was acceptable (or even helpful). More importantly, we will ask how these assumptions changed, and what they implied about the wider communities that created the censors. Approximately half of the course will be spent on the 20th century, when both totalitarian and democratic regimes adopted censoring methods that were even more sweeping and sophisticated. Students planning on writing a 101 may be asked to use the final paper assignment to begin exploring their potential thesis topic. Please feel free to contact the instructor by e-mail with any questions.

Elizabeth Wenger
3104 Dwinelle
W 10-12P
103B.003: The Renaissance, 1370-1700 (Proseminar in European History)

This seminar will focus on the long Renaissance in Europe with particular attention to historical literature that has been written in the past 25 years. We will be reading a wide selection of both articles and books that are representative of the different tasks and themes of Renaissance historians. This will allow us to map the shifting contours of the field as it has evolved over the past few decades with the goal of understanding the potential future of the Renaissance in the 21st century.

Requirements include regular participation in weekly meetings, a few brief presentations in class, and a final paper.

Thomas James Dandelet
3104 Dwinelle
M 4-6P
103B.002: The Soviet Union on the Eve of the End: Film, Fiction, Music (Proseminar in European History)

We will try to understand the Soviet collapse by looking at late-Soviet culture. Requirements include 5-minute reports (10%); class discussion (40%), and 1.5-page responses to weekly assignments (50%).

Yuri Slezkine
2303 Dwinelle
W 4-6P
103U.001: Introduction to Military History (Proseminar in Comparative History)

An introduction to global military history from the late eighteenth century to the late twentieth century, with emphasis on the interplay between strategic paradigms, technology, and society. The format is a seminar: regular and active participation is required. Each student will produce a stand-alone research paper that is suitable as a thesis proposal.

Alexander C. Cook
3104 Dwinelle
F 10-12
103U.002: History of Women in the Ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Europe (Proseminar in Comparative History)

Ancient and medieval historians paid little attention to women. When they did, it was either to praise them lavishly or disparage them irredeemably. Since the 1970s scholars have done much to change this two-dimensional presentation through new readings of visual and textual sources as well as through innovative new theories and methods. In this class we’ll engage this rich scholarship with several objectives in mind. We will consider the gamut of women’s experiences: social and gender roles, economic and legal rights, faith, passions, and religious responsibilities. We will read about Greek prophetesses and Christian visionaries, martyrs and sorceresses, slaves and queens, poets and benefactors. We will also analyze women’s imagined realities and ideas about women in art and literature. All of this will be done through critical engagement of primary and secondary sources. The class will be organized chronologically and will cover selected topics from ancient Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and medieval Europe.

Diliana Angelova
3104 Dwinelle
M 2-4
103S.001: Science, Religion, and Magic in Early Modern Europe (Proseminar in History of Science)

This seminar explores the momentous transformation of knowledge that took place between the late sixteenth and the early eighteenth century, and which is usually described as the Scientific Revolution. During this period, the criteria for assessing what can count as sound evidence changed significantly, as did those to judge whether an argument is valid, or a belief credible. We shall explore the social and cultural contexts in which Western science emerged as a distinctive kind of knowledge and set of practices. At the same time, we shall look at the continuing vitality, throughout this period, of forms of religious and magical experience. How do historians understand this entanglement of recognizably modern ways of thinking with beliefs in magic, astrology, prophecy, and witchcraft?

Massimo Mazzotti
2303 Dwinelle
Th 12-2P
103F.002: Modern Mongolia (Proseminar in Asian History)
  • This course has been cancelled.

Brian Baumann
3104 Dwinelle
W 4-6P
103F.003: Sovereignty and Culture in the Middle East (Proseminar in Middle Eastern History)

This course analyzes the political and cultural history of state formation in the Middle East from the late eighteenth century through the early twenty-first century. It considers the transition from a world of multiple overlapping sovereignties to a world of territorialized nation-states. “Sovereignty” will be used a category to examine diverse phenomena in Middle East history including the nature of Ottoman political order, the expansion and collapse of modern empires and the rise of national states. Through comparative study, the course asks what is the nature of the state in the Middle East?  European powers constrained sovereignty in the Ottoman and Qajar Empires through legal and economic restrictions – practices that continued to varying degrees in the Middle East mandates, and later in states that attained full formal independence. As such, the course’s central themes include the relationship between states in the Middle East and European powers and later the United States, the role of law in imperial expansion, as well as changes in the definition of sovereignty. The first half of the course studies the Ottoman and Qajar Empires in a world of imperial rivalries and the second half considers the territorial and political reordering of the Middle East in the aftermath of World War I.

Aimee Genell
263 Dwinelle
W 4-6P
103F.001: Families in Tokugawa Japan (Proseminar in Asian History)

We shall look at many kinds of families through a great variety of sources to explore the (changing) norms and (disparate) practices that shaped households in the Early Modern Period of rule by the Tokugawa shogun (1600-1868). We shall examine the families of samurai, peasants, merchants, and geisha through sources that include memoirs, laws, ethical texts, fiction and drama, demographic evidence, and disparate visual material (from woodblock prints and book illustrations to photographs). We shall explore the variable understandings of key concepts (love and sex, marriage and divorce, childhood and life-cycles). And we shall try to think through the very place of the family in society. It was ideally imagined as an immortally continuous stem household (linking three generations of relations as well as all dependents employed in the household enterprise) that provided the foundation for the harmonious state. But was it also a place of privacy and intimacy, volatility and experiment, that set the state at a troubled distance?

No prerequisites. All are heartily welcome. (I hope some of you might find meat here for a future 101.) Brief weekly reading reports. One short essay in preparation for one longer essay also required.

Mary Elizabeth Berry has taught at Cal for over thirty years and loves the 103s as the most exciting courses in the department (since they are such dynamic collaborations between us all). She is editing a collection of essays on early modern families in Japan and trying to finish a book on Japan’s economic culture in the 17th century. She is the author of Hideyoshi, The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto, and Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period.

Mary Elizabeth Berry
3205 Dwinelle
Tu 2-4P
103A.001: Greek and Roman Citizenship (Proseminar in Ancient History)

Modern democracies trace the roots of their political systems to the Classical Greek and Roman world, but what exactly did it mean to be a citizen of Rome, Athens, or the thousands of other communities in the ancient Mediterranean? This course approaches this question of citizenship from a formal standpoint in a manner accessible both to students with prior knowledge of the Classical world and to those with experience or interest in the nature of belonging in other settings. We will analyze literary accounts, archaeological remains, and documentary sources as we explore how political communities in antiquity defined themselves, both in relation to outsiders and within the citizen body itself. Chronologically, we will track changes in the ideology and practice of citizenship from the rise of the Greek city-state in the eighth century BCE through the new hierarchies of belonging in the High Roman Empire of the third and fourth centuries CE. We will draw on comparative studies of citizenship in other times and places, and we will see how communal institutions and individual expressions of status yield a complex picture of ancient citizenships that does not always fit widely held preconceptions about the birthplace(s) of democracy.  Class meetings will consist primarily of discussion of the week’s readings, though some material will be presented in a lecture format and some student presentation of progress on course assignments will be required as well. The two shorter papers will prepare each student to complete a longer final paper that may serve as groundwork for an honors thesis on an ancient topic.

Randall Souza
204 Dwinelle
M 12-2P
103H.001: Proseminar: Africa
  • This course has been cancelled.

The Staff
2231 Dwinelle
Tu 12-2P
103A.002: The Expansion of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages, 1000-1300 (Proseminar in Medieval History)
  • This course has been cancelled.

Joel S Pattison
204 Dwinelle
F 2-4P