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.

Priority enrollment in the History 103 seminars is complete, but space is still available in many of the sections.

Enrollment Procedures

Although initial sign ups for these courses have taken place, spaces are available in many of the sections after the first round of seminar assignments. You may add them directly through Telebears.  CCNs are listed below.  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

103H.002: Child Labor in Africa: A Historical Perspective

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
Th 10-12P
United States
103D.002: Deep History: The Republic of New England and the American Revolution

This course offers advanced history majors the opportunity to explore an important and focused topic in considerable depth. It will help to prepare you for History 101 – honors thesis writing – by developing your reading, analytical, research, and writing skills.  In recent years, a wealth of new scholarship has examined the meaning and changing nature of “republicanism” – the belief that the best form of government involves self-rule by means of representatives chosen by the voting public – in early modern England and colonial America.  In this course, we will assess this scholarship by training our sights on New England and its most powerful colony, Massachusetts, which declared itself to be a “commonwealth” and promoted republican forms of government in church and state from its beginnings in the 1630s, and sustained this commitment through the period of the American Revolution and beyond.  This focus will allow us to develop the level of mastery we need to make sense of claims for republicanism as a force in shaping the American Revolution and the new United States that emerged from it.   It will also offer many opportunities for developing significant research topics and questions. 

Mark A. Peterson
W 2-4P
103D.007: Re-Imagining & Remembering:Environments, Communities & the Power of Stories

This course is designed to introduce students to a diverse array of approaches to social, spatial, and environmental history and how all fields benefit from the study of historical memory. We will especially focus on the intersections of these fields to explore how built and natural environments reflect particular cultures and societies at specific historical moments. To this end, we will analyze the stories that structure the identities and shape the historical memory of distinct communities. How do cultures and communities transform unfamiliar spaces into familiar terrain and storied places? What was the Dust Bowl? How do narrative strategies influence historical scholarship? What is the longue durée and what are the advantages of employing this methodological approach? How have governments and scientists attempted to rationalize natural resources, reorganize ecological systems, and reorder the human populations and spatial contours of communities in very different places? How did human societies and natural environments actively shape and respond to nuclear disasters in both the Soviet Union and the United States? Finally, how do we locate and preserve the physical sites where important historical events occurred? What sorts of stories do well tell about these places? How and why do the stories we tell about these historic sites change over time? 

Robert N. Chester
M 2-4P
103D.005: Capitalism and the People in an Age of Reform

A diverse array of political movements strove to reform American capitalism between the first Gilded Age and the Second World War.  Throughout this period a series of grassroots efforts arose that focused on economic questions.  This course will explore how the American public mobilized during this era to reform the nation’s political economy. Unions, Progressives, Populists, Socialists, and others, all struggled to reshape or “tame” capitalism. We will examine both their triumphs and failures, and consider their success in effecting the transformations they sought.

Christopher W. Shaw
W 4-6P
103D.003: The History of African American Women from Slavery to Freedom

This course will examine African-American women’s history from its beginnings through emancipation and Reconstruction.  Classes and coursework explore African origins of black female Americans, their experiences during the middle passage, and throughout the evolution of plantation slavery. It will focus upon the many historical changes that shaped African-American women’s lives and culture thereafter—from the American Revolution to the Civil War. Topics will include the impact of the Haitian and American Revolutions on African-American women’s lives; the abolition of slavery in the post-Revolutionary North and the ways Northern emancipation shaped black women’s experiences in the region, the development of a free black community there and black women’s roles in these new social configurations; the expansion of slavery in the South and its gendered implications, the ways black women influenced antebellum slave culture, and female modes of resistance. Some readings will explore the African American female body under slavery and the use of enslaved African American women in early medical research and experimentation. Students will learn about enslaved women’s reproduction, the role of enslaved women in the healing and medical treatment of others within the community, and black female sexuality. We will also examine African-American women’s freedom struggles during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
W 12-2P
103D.008: The Free Speech Movement and the Student Movement of the 1960s

Berkeley played a pivotal role in the emergence of the 1960s as an era in which students and youth had an unprecedented influence over politics and culture in the US -- and even globally. This course will explore the rise and fall of mass students protest at Berkeley and beyond and assess the legacy of those movements with regard to politics, youth culture, and the university itself. We will  take advantage of the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement and Freedom Summer to undertake oral histories with the many movement veterans who will be descending upon Berkeley for the FSM-50 commemoration.

Robert Cohen
Th 12-2P
103D.006: Promised Land: Readings in California History

This seminar will explore the idea of California as “America’s America” through some of the latest and most innovative historical scholarship about the region. Topics will include exploration and conquest; frontier labor, economies, and politics; migration and immigration; urban growth and decline; gender, race, and ethnicity; and the changing myths of California and the American West. Students will discuss key historiographical debates while also reviewing research methods and writing styles. Beyond group discussions, this course aims to help prepare students for their History 101 senior thesis. To that end, as a final project, students will have the option to craft a formal project prospectus and an annotated bibliography for their proposed 101 thesis. Alternatively, students may choose to compose a 9 - 11 page primary source-based paper on a chosen topic within the scope of California history. This course will be ideal for students intending to produce a 101 thesis in the area of California history or the American West. Those interested in exploring U.S. urban history more broadly are also welcomed to enroll as several course texts will fit into that framework. 

Felicia A. Viator
M 10-12P
103D.004: E Pluribus Barnum: Popular Entertainment in the United States

This course will explore how ordinary Americans entertained themselves before the early twentieth century. Since 1786, when Charles Wilson Peale founded his museum in Philadelphia as a place for art, lectures, scientific specimens, and natural history objects, Americans have used popular entertainment as a vehicle for both amusement and education. In this class, we will consider how the kinds of entertainment Americans engaged in changed over time, and how the justifications for participating in popular entertainment shifted as well. What did Americans hope to gain from attending a freak show, watching a blackface minstrelsy performance, or buying a ticket to the Chicago World’s Fair? How did popular entertainment reflect, reinforce, or challenge ideas about race, gender, class, science, and national identity? Throughout this semester, we will take seriously what may seem to be trivial, as we consider how historians have used popular entertainment as a lens to examine broader themes of American life.

M 12-2P
Latin America
103E.002: Slavery, War, and Revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean

This course will examine a century of warfare, revolution, and rebellion in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries.  Within 100 years, two institutions crucial to the settlement of the Americas—imperial rule and African slavery—had been largely destroyed.  How did this come to be?  What was the relationship between the struggles for personal and political emancipation?  How have the forces of anticolonialism, antislavery, and antiracism converged and conflicted in the Latin American and Caribbean past?  In this course, we will investigate an array of rebellions and insurgencies, some successful and some not, as well as their social, political, and cultural contexts, the linkages between them, and the debates among historians about their interpretations.  While the majority of the course will deal with earlier times, we will also include a final unit that connects with twentieth-century Latin American revolutionary movements.  

Elena A. Schneider
Tu 12-2P
103E.003: The Question of Progress in Latin American History

Progress has always been a puzzle in Latin America’s history: a challenge for intellectual and political elites, an elusive dream for ordinary Latin Americans, and the cause of new challenges and problems wherever it did take place. For historians, progress used to represent the very sense of universal history, a narrative that sneaked into current visions of “Western modernity” and “globalization.” What has “progress” meant particularly for Latin Americans? What is, for instance, the meaning of “progress” in the Brazilian flag? In political terms, what ideas of “progress” animated oligarchic, liberal, populist, military, revolutionary, and democratic projects? Because progress involves planning and envisioning the outcome of present actions, the history of progress is, in certain way, a history of the future.
The goal of the seminar is to help students situate a problem of their choice—from public policy to political ideologies, from religion to economics, from the arts to the sciences—and trace its history in terms of the political debates that pursued the goal of progress (or to stop it) in that specific realm. Students in history and humanities, as well as both the hard and social sciences, will be able to intervene in today’s debates about the future—economic regimes, environmental policies, institutions, technology, and culture—informed by an explicit idea of progress instead of an implicit or ideological one. 
Pablo Palomino
F 10-12P
103S.002: Striving for Knowledge in Western History of Science and Medicine

The seminar will examine issues of knowledge, evidence, and scientific methodology in the history of science and medicine. Though the time period ranges from Antiquity to the early 20th century the seminar will largely focus on Western developments in the 18th and 19th centuries, including some colonialist contexts. We will explore issues of curiosity and philosophical inquiry in Antiquity, scholastic logic in the middle ages, efforts to systematize and classify nature in the colonialist 18th century, and the rise of experimental science in the 19th century, particularly in medicine. We will probe questions such as:   Is there a superior way of knowing nature-- by pure reason, by field observation, by artificial experiment, by modeling, or by some combination of these? What may constitute as evidence? What is the relationship between science and religion as ways of knowing the world? What is the proper role of pre-existing authority in constructing our own knowledge? Can we obtain objective knowledge or is all knowledge inevitably subjective and biased? 
Monica Libell
F 12-2P
103B.004: Blood and Bones: Relics, Saints, and the Body in Medieval Europe

The material culture of the Christian west shaped the political, economic, social, and cultural life of Europe. This course will explore how the “stuff” of the Christian world—the relics of the saints, the Eucharist, the Bible, images, churches, and the body—were central to the formation of communities and kingdoms in medieval Europe. The course stretches from the passions of the first Christian martyrs through the Reformation. We will cover a variety of themes including the rewriting of secular history according to material culture, hagiography, lived Christianity, asceticism, pilgrimage, religious conflict, iconoclasm, and the market for Christian goods. Readings include primary sources such as the lives of the saints, miracles tales, and local histories, and secondary sources such as Peter Brown’s The Cult of the Saints and Caroline Walker Bynum’s Wonderful Blood. The course will aid students in developing their own research projects and culminates in a prospectus.   

Talia DiManno
M 12-2P
103U.003: Postwar: The Consequences of Conflict in the Modern Period

"After every war," Nobel Laureate Wislawa Symborska reminds us, "someone has to clean up. Things won't straighten themselves up, after all." This seminar looks at 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. While our readings will draw heavily on American and European stories of the modern period, we will cast our gaze to Africa, the Middle East and Asia as well.  We will use reflective diaries, letters penned by powerful diplomats, transcripts from international meetings, poetry and film footage alongside traditional historical monographs to interrogate when postwar periods begin, the changes they unleash and their complex legacies.   Further, we will try to understand  how war unleashes psychological trauma, social revolution and new cultural practices. Finally, we will probe how events, battles and tragedies within wars become memorialized in postwar eras. 

Sarah Cramsey
Th 4-6P
103U.004: The Global Color Line

The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the Color Line,” argued American civil rights activist and author W. E. B. DuBois in 1906. This course explores the global debate over race and equality which gripped the world from the mid-nineteenth to the twentieth century. We will focus mainly on the ideological and political dynamics of, and powerful resistance to, racial discrimination in the British and French empires, the United States, and South and East Asia from 1860 to the 1930s. We will also consider the Color Line’s major antecedents and legacies: i.e., nineteenth-century debates over slavery and colonial violence, and the politics of race that shaped decolonization and the Cold War. What was the Color Line? Who drew it, and why? In answering these questions, our discussions will emphasize issues of economic, cultural, and geopolitical identity; settler colonialism; and conflicting approaches to empire and diversity. We will interrogate primary documents, landmark historical interpretation, and cutting-edge scholarship; and in so doing, engage and challenge influential modern concepts of human difference and their ongoing implications for international life.

Amanda Behm received her Ph.D. from Yale in 2012. Her research focuses on the modern British Empire and its complex trajectory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a focus on intellectual and political history. She is currently revising a manuscript on historical thought as it crucially informed British imperial policymaking and determined the empire’s development and ultimate dissolution between 1880 and 1940. Amanda’s teaching and research more broadly address theories of empire and decolonization, modern international politics, and the global impact of Anglo-American relations.


Amanda Behm
F 10-12P
103U.002: Comparative Genocides

This senior seminar is an introduction to the field of genocide studies from an interdisciplinary, comparative, and thematic perspective.  Its main characteristics follow.  First, this seminar will not focus on any single genocide; instead, it will try to provide a good understanding of the extreme diversity of this form of mass killing. Second, even though it will emphasize twentieth-century cases, it will also cover earlier occurrences.  Third, it will touch upon the contributions of various disciplines: anthropology, international law, political science, social psychology, and sociology. Fourth, a number of relevant thematic issues will be discussed: “genocide and gender;” “memory, forgetting, and denial”; “justice and truth”; and “intervention and prevention.”
The seminar will start with a broad narrative survey of genocides in world history.  We will continue with readings on the concept of genocide and the discontents this concept generates.  We will then focus on case-studies summing up the current state of the historiography. Thereafter, disciplinary approaches and thematic issues will be treated.  Finally, we will conclude the seminar with two acclaimed advanced readings, which require prior knowledge of genocides.   
These are some of the case-studies we will discuss: genocide in the Americas, the destruction of the Herero in German South West Africa (1904-08), the Armenian genocide, the mass killings resulting from Stalin’s regime, the Holocaust and its historiography, the death of millions of Chinese under Mao, the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia, mass murders in Bosnia and Kosovo, and the Rwandan genocide.  
Stephan H. Astourian
Th 2-4P
103A.002: The Power of the People: Participatory Politics in the Ancient World

This seminar will focus on two very different ancient states with a strong participatory element: Athens and Rome. In Athens, a vigorous, even radical, direct democracy developed over the course of the 5th century, as Athens itself transformed into an aggressive imperial power. In Republican Rome, citizens' assemblies practiced a form of deferential democracy, electing candidates to powerful magistracies from a narrow range of aristocratic contenders; this phase of moderated participatory engagement took place at a time when Rome likewise rocketed to Mediterranean hegemony. This course will explore the central role of participatory politics in these two very different imperial states, touching on such issues as constitutional organization, democratic ideology, citizen rights and obligations, the relationship between mass and elite, and the interplay between participatory politics and mass military mobilization. While the focus will be on Athens c. 500-300 BC and Rome c. 300-50 BC, some brief consideration will be given to other ancient states with participatory elements, such as Carthage and Sparta, as well as decentralized decision making in some ancient non-state societies, in particular the early Germanic peoples.  

Michael J. Taylor
M 12-2P
103F.003: Travels to the Lands of the Indians

This course is devoted to the study of the ways in which the lands and peoples of India were encountered, observed and described by visitors from abroad over the last two millennia. We will accordingly read excerpts from a large variety of travelers’ accounts of the Indian subcontinent, beginning with Ancient Greek, Roman, and Chinese writings on India. Then we will examine the descriptions of the first Arab conquest of Sindh and subsequent invasions, paying close attention to the accounts of travelers such as Ibn Battuta and al-Biruni. Next we will turn to the narratives of visitors from Europe and West Asia, before ending with a few accounts of travelers in the opposite direction, from India to other parts of the world. As we tour these narratives, we will pay close attention to the literary construction of India as region, empire, or nation across the centuries, focusing in particular on themes of commerce and religion; representations of political and social order; and on questions of exoticism, orientalism and the understanding of difference. 

Abhishek Kaicker
Th 12-2P
103F.002: Iconic Monuments in Asia
  • Note new room.

This course proposes to introduce a range of different types of icons and monuments in Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea), from people whose histories loom larger-than-life (including Confucius, Cao Cao, Rikkyu the first tea-master, and Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in history) to major cities (e.g., the Forbidden Cities in Beijing and Hui, plus Tokugawa Tokyo), to sacred mountains, temple complexes, and fabled gardens.  Why and how cultural memories come to be fixed and developed at specific sites over time is one of the larger questions that will drive this course, also whether those cultural memories can be revisited and revised for the modern world without trauma or kitsch.

Michael Nylan
W 10-12P
103B.003: Memory and History in Late Modern Europe

What is memory’s relationship to the past? Is memory an obstacle or an asset to historical understanding? How has it been mobilized—consciously or unconsciously—to influence cultural, political, and historical imagination? This seminar will take up these questions, exploring how societies have remembered their pasts and to what ends.  
The course is divided into two parts. The first will offer a conceptual framework for understanding how memory operates in society. We will discuss theories of individual, collective, and national memory, engaging with classic texts like Maurice Halbwachs’ On Collective Memory and Pierre Nora’s study of “sites of memory” as well as with more recent work by scholars like Paul Ricoeur and Jan and Aleida Assmann. We will investigate how individuals and societies have transmitted memory, focusing on media like photography, film, museums, archives, and monuments. And we will interrogate the relationship between memory and time, namely how the organization and punctuation of time through commemoration has shaped the identities of individuals, generations, and nations. The second part of the course will consider concrete examples of memory at work in nineteenth and twentieth-century German and French history. Readings will cover, among other things, the French Revolution, French and German nationalism, the Holocaust, and decolonization.
Jennifer Allen
M 10-12P
103B.005: Corruption in Early Modern Europe and the World

This seminar will examine “corruption” in early modern Europe and the wider world (from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century). Drawing upon primary and secondary sources, we will question how understandings of corruption and anti-corruption related to major historical trends, including the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the rise of the modern state, the birth of financial institutions, and Europe’s colonial empires. We will also investigate changing ideas of governance, political transparency, financial accountability, religious reform, textual criticism, sexuality and the body, medicine and disease, commerce and empire, the environment, and the role of the press.
Specifically, our subjects will include the city-states of Renaissance Italy, Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers on abuses in the sixteenth-century church, Renaissance humanist scholars on textual corruption and the recovery of classical and biblical sources, Thomas Cromwell and the court of Henry VIII, commercial accountability and economic crisis in the early modern Dutch Republic, heresy and religious persecution, early modern medical thought, political philosophy during the English Civil War and the French Revolution, and corruption scandals in eighteenth-century British India.
Robert L. Harkins
W 12-2P
103B.002: The European Economy in the Twentieth Century: The Paths to Prosperity

During the twentieth century, Europe witnessed a dizzying variety of economic regimes, each promising to deliver prosperity. The First World War ushered radical communist and fascist solutions for achieving modern economic growth as the laissez faire capitalism based on international trade and the gold standard lost legitimacy. The Superpowers directed the reconstruction of their respective spheres after Second World War, giving rise to welfare states across Western and Northern Europe and transforming Eastern and Southern Europe into urbanized industrial societies. The 1970s slowdown delegitimized public policies promulgated during the Great Depression and economic planning in general. During the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher epitomized the return of market-based solutions, as had privatization schemes across Eastern Europe in the 1990s. Whatever the influence of neoliberal approaches, by the end of the century, the European Union appeared a success story of supra-national economic integration. The Great Recession raised questions about the Euro’s demise and the efficacy of austerity, and invites us to think historically about various proposed paths to prosperity voiced across Europe.
In this reading seminar, we will examine the main economic regimes across Europe, and try to understand their successive attempts to achieve or to maintain -- prosperity. In the relentless search for growth, how did different regimes see the proper role of the market and the state, the collectivity (family, class, etc.) and the individual, and how did they define and apportion the benefits and costs of economic activity? To trace continuity and change among the regimes, we will examine recent synthetic historical writing about the European economy as well as biographies, country-specific and thematic studies. Writing assignments include brief reviews of the weekly readings and a longer literature review or a preliminary prospectus for your thesis."
Andrej Milivojevic
F 12-2P