103B.003 Fall 2017 History of Economic Crisis, 1720-2008

The year 1720 witnessed the world's first international financial crisis, in the form of the South Sea Bubble in Britain and the Mississippi Bubble in France. Since then the core of "developed" countries in Europe and America has experienced a major economic crisis about once per decade, with the most recent Great Recession still ongoing. How can we understand these crises? Is each one unique, or is there an underlying pattern? What determines their frequency and severity? Are crises an inevitable and natural feature of the modern economy?

280B/285B.003 Fall 2017 Early Modern Britain

For 280B, please use Class Number 46957. For 285B, please use Class Number 22753. 

101 Spring 2017 Early Modern Europe in the Age of Empire, 1500-1800: Tasks and Themes

This research seminar will begin by reading some central examples of the historical literature on the first global empires in early modern Europe: Spain, Portugal, France and Britain.

275B.001 Spring 2017 Early Modern Europe

History 275 is the foundational course for graduate students in the history of early modern Europe from the Renaissance to the French Revolution. This year, rather than surveying disconnected subjects, I have decided to organize the syllabus around the theme “Forms and Functions of Early Modern Politics.” This is capacious enough to include a wide range of interconnected topics: state formation; empire; gender and power; popular politics; the general crisis of the seventeenth century; political culture; church-state relations; and much else besides.

285B.004 Spring 2017 Research Topics in Soviet History

Several class meetings devoted to discussions of possible topics, bibliographies, and outlines followed by individual meetings with instructor and general discussions of final drafts. Knowledge of Russian is preferred but not required.

280B.001 Spring 2017 Problems of Nations and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe

This course surveys questions and controversies in the history of the nation and nationalism in Central Europe, from the late 18th Century to the present. 

280B/285B Spring 2017 Ancient Israel in the Modern Western Imagination

Spanning the 17th through the 20th centuries this course sets out to explore the way Europeans, Americans and Israelis have imagined and represented Biblical Israel.  Among the topics we will address are: Spinoza’s heresy, the Enlightenment Bible, the politics of archaeology, histories of Ancient Israel, Christian and Jewish representations of Jesus and the Holy Land, Israelite-Sephardic authenticity and Masada and the Zionist imagination.

275B/280B Spring 2017 Europe's Twentieth Century

We will discuss some of the major historical syntheses on twentieth-century Europe as well as more specific writings on wartime, interwar and postwar Europe that have appeared over the last decades. Particular emphasis will be placed on the tensions between national histories and trans-European trajectories. Weekly position papers and one historiographical essay constitute the principal writing assignments.

280B/285B Spring 2017 Accusing the Self: Historical Credibility of Self-Accusatory Practices

The members of the seminar will try to come to terms with the historical validity of narratives, confessions, and biographies of the accused produces under duress. The class will analyze both police, and court documents, censored diaries, pseudo-autobiographies, but also attempts that try to interpret, make use and sense of the confessions and the self-accusations.

103B.002 Spring 2017 Secularization and Modern European History

Americans have a difficult time making sense of secularism in Europe. Why, for instance, do some French citizens see wearing a burkini or a burqua to be in violation of such cherished secular principles as equality or liberty? Moreover, if Europe is so secular why are religious holidays still observed in most countries and religious symbols tolerated in public schools, such as crosses in Italy? Despite boasting the highest rates of atheism in the world, Secular Europe, according to many critics, remains biased towards its Christian past.


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