United States

280D Spring 2016 Slavery and Servitude in the United States

This course will serve as a selective overview of the most recent scholarship, which explores systems of captivity and coerced labor in (British) North America and the United States. We will explore indigenous systems of bondage, indigenous enslavement at the hands of European settlers, the transport and indentured servitude of European migrants, the British inter-colonial slave trade, and the indentured and sexual servitude of Chinese migrants and indigenous women in the 19th century.

101.003 Fall 2015 America in the 20th Century

This seminar is a thesis-writing workshop, designed for students working on senior projects related to the history of the United States in the 20th century. As the broad title suggests, it will welcome a wide variety of topics and methods, and should be a good home to students of diverse interests. The goal of this course will be the completion of one 30-50 page, high-quality paper. Unfortunately, a paper of this length and depth can hardly be written in a single semester—we will be behind from the very first class.

103D.006 Fall 2015 Social Protest in America

Social protest has been central to American political reform efforts from the late nineteenth century to the present.  Throughout this period a variety of protest movements pushed for social change.   This course will examine a number of these social movements, with a focus on the 1880s through the 1930s.  We will read about populists, prohibitionists, suffragettes, socialists, union activists, and

103D.005 Fall 2015 Twentieth-Century U.S. Intellectual History

How have intellectuals understood and shaped the major events of twentieth-century America? In this seminar we will explore how philosophers, economists, fundamentalist Protestants, fiction writers, and others understood and responded to the major events  of the last century, including two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the Civil Rights movement, and the rise of the New Right.

103D.007 Fall 2015 Variations on a Global Theme: Stories About Science, Economies, and Environments

From the Dust Bowl and sport fishing to pesticides and climate change, technocrats have told stories about the human ability to harness technology and improve nature for the benefit of human societies and state projects. How does narrative shape the conveyance, assessment, and reception of information?

103D.004 Fall 2015 The Trial in American History

This course examines the history of an important legal event: the trial. Trials are often portrayed as simple, adversarial contests in which someone wins and someone loses. Underneath, of course, there is often much more: trials affect such things as TV ratings, public policy, the meaning of the Constitution, and who gets to keep the kids. Most legal disputes never go to trial. And the court’s judgment is rarely the end of the story. None of these things is new. What are trials for? Why do people go to court?

103D.002 Fall 2015 Sexing the Body: Medical and Scientific Conceptions of Gender and Sexuality

This seminar will examine how physicians and scientists have sought to explain sex, gender, and sexuality. We will focus on how their concepts of the human body have shaped definitions of masculinity, femininity, and sexual identity over time. Throughout the course, we will use specific examples and case studies to highlight the relationship among medicine, science, and their cultural context.

103D.003 Fall 2015 Love, Sex and Marriage in U.S. History

Though shaped by human biology and evolutionary impulses, human sexual and romantic relations have varied widely and changed dramatically.  This course explores aspects of that diversity and change in the social, cultural, and legal history of the United States between the American Revolution and the Second World War.  Most of our work will consist of intensive seminar discussion of recent scholarly work in the history of marriage and sexuality.

285D Fall 2015 America since 1900

This research seminar is for students working on American history since 1900. This is not a reading seminar. We will spend some time discussing critical elements of the historian's craft (formulating topics; mapping out research programs; situating one's work within the historiography; designing, writing, and re-writing article length essays; etc.). But from very early in the semester the seminar will be devoted to the drafting, production, and refinement of seminar papers. 

280D Fall 2015 African American Legal History

This seminar explores scholarship about African Americans’ encounter with law. It looks at how debates over the place of African Americans in a democratic society have shaped important aspects of state and federal law. And it explores the impact of law on the lives of African Americans.

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