United States

C132B Spring 2014 Intellectual History of the United States since 1865

In this course we will examine key developments in U.S. thought since the middle of the nineteenth century, roughly beginning with the reception of Darwin in the 1860s. The story told in the class weaves together the history of science, the arts and popular culture, philosophy, and education. Our goal is to trace the effects that ideas--whether they are dominant, challenging, or nostalgic--have had on how Americans live together. The sciences and the arts have provided raw material for an on-going reconstruction of how to understand and interpret the world.

130B Spring 2014 The United States and the World Since 1945

This course will explore the history of U.S. relations with the external world during the second half of the twentieth century. It will emphasize the reciprocal nature of the American Republic's international relations, asking both how the external world has affected the historical development of the United States and how the U.S. has impacted the course of larger global events.

124B Spring 2014 The "American Century": The United States from World War II to the Great Recession

World War II is considered a watershed moment in American history for good reason. It marks the beginning of the “American Century,” when the United States emerged as a true world power. It was a country that had delivered a victory for the Allies, ended its Great Depression, and realized its capacity to advance its values around the globe. That the U.S. boasted an evolving economy, political stability, and military might meant it held a unique position on the world stage.

101.019 Spring 2014 Popular Culture In/As U.S. History

How does experience with popular culture anchor someone in a particular time and place? Defined by one scholar as “the expressive practices of everyday life,” popular culture includes religious rituals, sports spectatorship, foodways, pedagogy, and musical trends. It can be experienced as a national, regional, local, or cultural practice. Depending on the ways in which these “practices” are constructed and by whom, popular culture can make legible, and earn consent for, forms of political, economic, and social power, or it can challenge these forms of power.

101.018 Spring 2014 Topics in Race, Gender, and Sexuality in America

This 101 course is geared toward students who want to study any one—or all—of the title topics. It is specifically organized to emphasize the intersection of all three, not because each paper is expected to do so but because this will allow the most inclusive, integrative class discussions about all the papers. Race, gender, and sexuality are all integral components of human identity, and therefore discussions about them frequently overlap.

101.017 Spring 2014 The American West since 1845

This seminar is for history students who will write their thesis on some aspect of the American West since the Mexican-American War. (Anyone interested in exploring something prior to 1845 is welcome but must contact me in the fall to discuss a topic and proposed sources.) In the first weeks, students will read a few superb article-length works, discuss research strategies and writing styles, and hone their own historical questions.

101.016 Spring 2014 The American City: Identity, Image, and Imagination

This seminar focuses on the intersection of cities and identity, image, and imagination—that is, it is open to a variety of research topics that may consider questions such as: What role has the promotion and perception of cities played in Americans’ psyche, migration patterns, or lifestyle choices? Why have certain cities been the backdrop, location, or vehicle for social and political change? In what ways have Americans tied their identities, hopes, and prejudices to certain cities?

101.015 Spring 2014 Working Environments and the Roots of Community, 1815 to 1945

This is a research seminar broadly conceived to aid students interested in exploring relationships between social history, labor history, and/or environmental history. This seminar asks students to consider the ways that communities and work both reflect and actively shape cultural and physical environments.

101.014 Spring 2014 The Gilded Age

This seminar is designed for students writing their theses in U.S. history in the late-19th century (though spillover into the early-20th century is fine as well).  Emphasis will be placed on getting into your own research quickly and in supporting each other's work with advice and helpful critique.  Preference in admission will be given to students who took my 103 in the fall 2013, but all students must sign up using the form linked on this page.


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