275B.002 Spring 2006 Medieval Europe

An introduction to the historiography of medieval Europe, emphasizing breadth of coverage and targeted to the kind of basic knowledge required for a graduate MA exam. Readings include works on early and later medieval Christianity, Christianization, monasticism, and heresy; social and economic history; political and institutional history (Merovingians, Carolingians, France, England); literacy and popular culture. Special attention is also paid to the way we can most productively read books and take notes that actually mean something to us later.

103B.008 Fall 2006 Queens, Courtesans, Witches and Wives: Women in the Renaissance

Caterina Sforza's castle was under siege, her six children held hostage, and when the enemy threatened to kill her sons, legend has it that from the battlements she raised her skirts declaring: ";Go ahead, I can make more!"; Everyone is familiar with the concept of the ";Renaissance Man"; - individuals like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, or Shakespeare come to mind - but what about the ";Renaissance Woman?"; In what ways were women's lives affected by the dynamic cultural movement which took place in Europe between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries?

280B.002 Spring 2006 The Early Modern Ottoman and Spanish Empires: Comparative Tasks and Themes

This course will explore comparative themes in the history of the early modern Mediterranean world?s most influential and powerful empires. Imperial mentalities, internal and external colonization, slavery, knowledge and communication, palace culture, bureaucrats and bureaucracies, and religious cultures are some of the central themes that will organize reading and discussion. The course can be taken either as a 280 or 285. In either case a final paper will be required as well as consistent contributions to the seminar discussions.

280B.001 Spring 2006 The Great War: Crucible of the Twentieth Century

For George Kennan, World War I was ";the seminal catastrophe of the Twentieth Century."; For historians, it offers one of modern history's richest historiographies. It can be likened to a wheel, with spokes -- nationalism, total war, genocide, revolution, peacemaking, but also welfare-statism, sexual upheaval, decolonialization, and modernism, to name just a few -- reaching into the past and into the future. It has thus provided a rich field for innovative work by cultural and social historians as well as by their political, diplomatic and military colleagues.

285B.001 Fall 2006 War and Memory

This seminar can be taken as a 280 or 285. The subject is one of the growth areas of the historiography of twentieth century Europe. The focus is on the two world wars, but this is not intended to be restrictive. Those with interests in other conflicts and periods will be welcome. The readings offer a mix of cultural, political and social perspectives.

101.002 Fall 2006 Race and Religion

In this course we will explore the intersections, contradictions, and mutual reinforcements of these two major forces in world history. How have religious traditions come to terms with supposedly ";natural divisions"; running through the human family - especially when nature is taken to reflect divine will? Have they acted more to oppose or to strengthen these divisions? And have they drawn more upon scripture or upon institutional and sociological imperatives in fixing their positions on the ";race question";?

103B.006 Fall 2006 Jewish Humor and History in Europe, Russia, and America: From Sholem Aleichem to Seinfeld

Why are the Jews so funny? What is unique about Jewish humor? Why are so many comedians, satirical novelists, and film directors Jewish? In this course we will seek to answer these questions by tracing the history of Jewish humor in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will begin with the birth of Jewish humor in the Yiddish-speaking shtetls of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, where Sholem Aleichem and other writers brought schlemiels, schlimazels, and schnorrers to life through their colorful stories.

103B.002 Fall 2006 World War I in Experience and Memory

The seminar will examine the origins and nature of what George Kennan has called ";the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century."; We shall begin by considering the ";war anxiety"; that preceded the crisis of the international system that led to the outbreak of war in summer of 1914; the crisis itself; and popular responses.


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