United States

103D.002 Spring 2016 The Catastrophe in American History

This seminar examines catastrophes in America since the turn of the eighteenth century. We will push back against the instinct to see catastrophes as natural or beyond comprehension and instead examine their historical production. We will consider what qualified as a catastrophe or distinguished catastrophes from disasters, and how each term changed over time. We will also explore how ordinary people, states, and experts attempted to foresee, explain, locate responsibility for, and remedy catastrophes.

101.016 Spring 2016 Capitalism and American Society since the Gilded Age

This course is designed for students interested in research that addresses American social history, labor history, economic history, and political history. There are a wide variety of themes and issues related to these subjects that would provide a potential topic for a thesis. Students should have a good historical question and sources that will help provide an answer.

101.014 Spring 2016 Reconstruction

This seminar is intended for students who want to write their 101 theses on U.S. political history, particularly in the 19th century.

101.015 Spring 2016 American Ideas in Global Perspective since 1900

This seminar will guide students in conceiving, researching, and writing their senior theses on the theme of American intellectual history in global perspective. The twentieth century brought together people from across the world into conversation with one another like never before. At international organizations, NGOs, youth congresses, pan-African meetings, and religious organizations, ideas and intellectuals crossed national boundaries in this increasingly global age. American intellectuals helped shape developments abroad.

280D Spring 2016 Making American Culture(s)

We will analyze selected readings in US cultural history, with an emphasis on the complexity and diversity of American culture(s). In addition, we will necessarily examine issues of difference, identity and power and their relationship to the history of American culture(s). Texts will likely include: James W. Cook, et. al.

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.


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