Europe

103B.003 Spring 2018 History of Nature: From Early Modern Empires to Global Warming

In 1755 the “Great Lisbon Earthquake” triggered a crisis of faith in God across Europe, and shook the foundations of the Portuguese Empire. In summer 2017 the “Lucifer Heatwave” deepened a crisis of faith in modernity and intensified debates about global warming. This course examines the changing meanings of nature in European culture from the seventeenth century to the present day, and the rise of modern environmentalism.

103B.002 Spring 2018 The Caucasus in the Modern Era: "Ethnicities, Empires, and Nations"

This seminar is a historical survey of the Caucasus from the end of the eighteenth century to the present. A number of features characterize this region, three of which deserve some attention. First, the ethnoreligious diversity of its population is remarkable, for many small ethnies have been able to survive there for centuries in often adverse conditions. Second, the region is also best understood as a corridor through which numerous invasions have passed, often leaving behind them masses of settlers.

103B.001 Spring 2018 Food in Europe, 1500-1950

The history of food as a recognized subfield is relatively young. Sociologists and anthropologists discovered it well before historians did. And yet, food lies at the basis, not only of human survival, but of all political, social, economic and cultural systems. The viability of every state rests on the adequate provisioning of subjects, particularly in the urban metropolis, but also in the military. Grain supplies have always been one of the most basic tests of the mobilizing capacity of the state. Management of dearth in staple goods is no less important in maintaining social cohesion.

101.005 Spring 2018 Topics in Modern European History: 1789 to the Present.

This writing seminar is open to all students planning to write their thesis on a topic related to ‘Late Modern Europe.’ While all topics are welcome, those particularly interested in the region of Russia, Eurasia, or Eastern Europe, as well as those with an emphasis on cultural history, are especially encouraged to register. We will meet during the first few weeks to discuss research and writing strategies, formulate reading lists, and identify primary source bases.

101.004 Spring 2018 Topics in Modern European History, 1789 to the Present

This seminar will guide students through the process of completing a senior thesis in a topic in modern European history, with a geographical focus on Western Europe. Our focus will be the research and writing process, ranging from the feasibility of research topics, historiography, methodology, and analysis, but with an extra emphasis on the practicalities of writing research papers. Students should contact the professor in advance of the seminar to discuss possible topics and, if possible, research questions.

101.003 Fall 2017 Topics in Modern European History, French Revolution to the present

Any topics in Late Modern European history are welcome. We will meet several times at the beginning of the semester to discuss possible topics, bibliographies, and research strategies, and then again at the end to discuss paper drafts. The rest of the time I will be meeting with students individually.

103U.001 Fall 2017 Transgressions and repressions; crimes and punishments in Atlantic Society, 1500-1800

Our course concentrates on the occurrence, nature, and causes of secular and religious transgressions and the institutions of control designed to punish transgressors in early modern Atlantic societies. We will explore the everyday lives and actions of (ex)ordinary people caught up in the mechanisms of the control of crime and religious transgression.

103B.002 Fall 2017 Violence and Feud in the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages has the reputation of being a period of unusual violence tamed only by the legal institutions of the developing state, but the reputation is undeserved, at least if one thinks of violence as the unrestrained use of physical force by individuals. Violence was common in the middle ages, but it was not unrestrained. It was limited, calculated, and essential to maintaining social order. For that very reason, it is all the more interesting.

103B.001 Fall 2017 The Historical Novel and European History

Art has long served as a way of personalizing the past: turning something distant and abstract into a tangible experience. What is historical fiction and how does it relate to the professional practice of history? What are the different advantages and challenges faced by writers and historians in their attempts to represent or investigate the past? How have representations of history changed by place and over time? Rather than using literature merely as a supplement to a historical topic, we will foreground the history of the historical novel.

103U Fall 2017 Antisemitism and Jewish Responses

Hatred of Jews and Judaism is an enduring prejudice, stretching from antiquity to the present. Its seeming chronological limitlessness is matched by its apparent lack of geographical boundaries. So tenacious an ideology is it that even countries where there have never been Jews have nonetheless had antisemites. Beginning with the ancient world, we will examine the history of this hatred by reading both primary and secondary-source material. We will also seriously consider the variety of Jewish responses to it.

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