Undergraduate Courses

Summer 2015
7B: The United States Since the Civil War - Session C

This course is an introduction to American history since the Civil War. It is also an introduction to the way historians think and write. We will cover the major events of the past 150 years, including such topics as the Civil War, industrialization, eugenics, the Great Depression, immigration, the Cold War, the suburbs, human rights, and 9/11. While broadly surveying major developments, we will focus on three major themes. The first theme, Slave Society and Its Consequences,traces how the legacy of slavery and emancipation has shaped American ideas about racial hierarchy, multiculturalism, and model minorities. The second theme, Capitalism and Its Critics, follows the rise of industrial society, the growth of consumer economy, and finally the creation of finance capitalism—and how Americans experienced and managed these transitions. Finally, Dechristianization of America, follows how the United States was understood as a Protestant nation, then a Judeo-Christian one, and, finally, as a post-Christian country. Students will sharpen their analytical and critical thinking skills through their engagement with these three themes in lectures, readings, movies, music, and art.

Gene Zubovich
101 MOFFITT
MWTh 10-12P
CCN: 52505
N100.001: Special Topics in History: Short Course - "Slavery in the Ancient Greek and Roman World" -- Session A
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.
The institution of slavery was deeply embedded in the political, legal, social, economic and cultural framework of the ancient Greek and Roman world.  Among societies that have tolerated or supported the domination and ownership of human beings by other human beings, ancient Greece and Rome stand out as two of the few that can properly be considered “slave societies.”  In order to examine the impact of slavery on state and society in the ancient Greek and Roman, world we will consider a wide range of topics including the origins and maintenance of the slave system, slave labor, family life, resistance and slave rebellions, manumission and freedom, and Greek and Roman ideas about slavery.  Discussion of slavery in the antebellum U.S. South will help us to place ancient slavery in a broad historical and comparative perspective.
 
This is a two-unit course.  There are no prerequisites
Carlos F. Noreña
88 DWINELLE
TuTh 4-6P
CCN: 52530
N100.002: Special Topics in History: Short Course - "Energy: An American History" Session D
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.
This course will examine how the predominant sources of energy and how the uses of those different types of energy changed over time and across American geographies. We will start by analyzing the diets of hunter-gatherer societies, as well as the domestication of fire, plants, and animals. We will explore the origins and consequences of the dam building frenzy in the first half of the twentieth century, the expansion of the fossil fuel economy, and the social history of electricity and automobiles and their impacts on consumer culture. We will also analyze the ways that WWII and the Cold War created the context for the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants and the controversies and legacies these industries have generated. Finally, we will examine how increased consumption of energies helped contribute to the rise of current controversies over fracking, climate change, and renewable energy projects.
 
This is a two-unit course.  There are no prerequisites
Robert N. Chester
102 Moffitt
MW 8-10AM
CCN: 52535
N106B: The Roman Empire - Session A

This course offers an introduction to the history of the Roman empire, from the advent of monarchy in Rome in the first century BC to the breakdown of central state authority in the fifth century AD.  Major themes include the overlapping networks of social power in the Roman empire (institutional and personal); the unity and diversity of Roman imperial culture; the changing relationship between state and society; the political economy of the Roman empire; and the geography and ecology of the Mediterranean world.  Lectures will provide an essential historical narrative and interpretations of central problems in Roman imperial history, and discussion sections will give students an opportunity to engage with key texts from or about the Roman empire, from Tacitus to Gibbon.  There are no prerequisites for this course.

Carlos F. Noreña
102 MOFFITT
TuWTh 1-330P
CCN: 52540
N109C: The Modern Middle East from the 18th Century to the Present - Session D

This course surveys the key processes, events and personalities that have shaped the societies, states and economies of the Middle East since the 18th century. It is designed to help contextualize current developments, to identify various interpretative frameworks for approaching history in general and for understanding the Middle East in particular, and to acquaint students with a variety of useful sources ranging from film to specialized academic articles. Students are expected to attend every class to hear the lecture, ask questions and participate in discussion.

Berkeley109C_ST2015_Strieff.pdf
Daniel Strieff
242 DWINELLE
MTuWTh 10-12P
CCN: 52545
N119A: Postwar Japan - Session A

This course considers the history of Japan since Hiroshima--since the atomic bombings and Soviet declaration of war brought "retribution" and cataclysmic defeat to the Japanese empire in 1945. We start with an exploration of the war itself and its complex legacies to the postwar era. Guided by the best recent scholarship and a selection of translated novels, essays, and poetry along with film and art, we then look at the occupation era and the six postwar decades that followed, examining the transformations of Japanese life that those years have brought. We try, finally, to answer the question: has "postwar" itself come to an end? And if it has, how should we characterize the current era?

Andrew E. Barshay
223 DWINELLE
MTuW 930-12P
CCN: 52550
N122A: Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society - Session D
HIST122 examines the period in which the United States became a continental nation and contributed to the escalating tensions that would precipitate the Civil War. As a broad overview of the this era, the class emphasizes the consequences of the War of 1812, the democratization of American politics, the rise of industrial manufacturing and the creation of transportation infrastructure, the dispossession and marginalization of Native Americans, the growth of slavery and the lives of slaves, changes in the lives of women, and the ways that religion and reform reshaped American society during these years.The course starts by examining what historian Edmund Morgan has famously illuminated as an American paradox: the symbiotic relationship between American freedom for white men and the enslavement of African-Americans. Beginning with Jeffersonian conceptions of liberty and republicanism, we will continually explore how an expanding conception of equality amongst white men during the first half of the nineteenth century remained dependent on the exclusion, exploitation, and subordination of women, American Indians, and African-Americans. After examining the hierarchical and white supremacist ideology of the Herrenvolk Democracy during the Jacksonian period, we will explore debates about the interplay between Indian, African, and Mexican racial inferiority and white economic opportunity. This theme is vividly displayed by analyzing the Cherokee Removal, American infiltration of Texas, the U.S. war with Mexico, and finally the conflict between the North and the South over the expansion of African slavery and the dignity of free white labor. 
 
The course will also focus on the central importance of the War of 1812 in the lives of Americans during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. In addition to the multiple ways that the war shaped the daily lives and long-term fates of indigenous communities throughout the United States and Canada, the significance of the so called second war for American independence has remained obscured by a lack of sufficient scholarly attention and its chronological positioning between the American Revolution and the Civil War. We will examine how fortunate Americans were that the war ended the way it did and how Americans explained and remembered these events in romanticized ways that transformed what actually was at best a military draw into a great American victory. In terms of how Americans continued to elaborate a national narrative that suited their political ambitions, we will later explore Manifest Destiny as a cynical but pervasive ideology that allegedly explained not only the westward expansion of the United States but why white Americans repeatedly prevailed over disappearing inferior races. We will also examine the potency of myth and how it has shaped historical memory in the case of Andrew Jackson’s iconic status as a champion of the common man. Of course, both Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson made frequent use of their association with producer ideology and criticized luxury and the corruption of the rich. However, both men indulged throughout their lives in luxury and both also did things politically that contradicted the lofty ideals and practical goals they promoted.
Robert N. Chester
234 DWINELLE
TuWTh 2-430P
CCN: 52555
N124A: The United States from the Late 19th Century to the Eve of the World War II - Session A

During the half-century before World War II, the United States became an industrialized, urban society with national markets and communication media. This class will explore some of the most important changes of this period and how they were connected. We will also examine how these changes elicited a variety of responses, from optimism to anxiety, from experimentation to conservatism. Among the topics addressed: the institution of Jim Crow, population movements and efforts to control immigration, conflicts between Capital and Labor, reform campaigns, territorial expansion, popular and high culture trends, and shifting conceptions of citizenship and self-hood.

Gabriel Milner
170 BARROWS
MTuWTh 12-2P
CCN: 52560
N124B: The United States from World War II to the Vietnam War Era - Session D
This course examines how American society has changed since World War II.  The second half of the century saw the emergence of an international superpower, a new economy, suburbanization, the sunbelt, the civil rights movement, a political backlash, shifting gender roles, the decline of labor unions, and novel cultural forms. We will address all of these issues and more, while paying particular attention to how the experience of Americans living in the middle of the twentieth century was different from that of Americans living fifty years later.
Christopher W. Shaw
3109 ETCHEVERRY
MTuWTh 12-2P
CCN: 52565
127AC: California History - Session D

This course is an introductory survey of California History from pre-European contact to the present day. It draws from social, cultural, and political history to examine the catastrophic population decline of Native Americans; religiosity and the Franciscans; American imperialism; the social world of the miners; the politics of work and racism; the natural and built environment; popular culture and the coming of modernity; The Great Depression and World War II; the Affluent Society; the Red Scare; the Black Freedom Struggle; the New Left and the counterculture; and, lastly, the rise of the New American Right. Students will be asked to think about California as a place and a process. Additionally, by studying the History of California and the way in which it has changed over time, students will be expected to connect the past to the present as well as to hear echoes of yesteryear in the California that they live in today.  

Joe Duong
103 GPB
MTuWThu 12-2PM
CCN: 52570
N131B: Social History of the United States: 1914-Present - Session A
This course provides an introduction to American social and labor history from World War I to the present day.  It will focus on the experiences of ordinary people, addressing various aspects of how American life changed during this period. We will stress inclusion and exclusion from participation in American political and economic life.  Major themes include the creation and destruction of a mass middle class, the establishment of a welfare state and the subsequent political backlash that it provoked, and the reconstitution of gender norms and race relations.
Christopher W. Shaw
109 DWINELLE
MTuWTh 2-4P
CCN: 52575
136AC: Gender Matters in 20th Century America - Session A
  • This course has been cancelled.
The Staff
182 DWINELLE
MTuWTh 10-12P
CCN: 52580
N158C: Where Have All the Soldiers Gone? Europe 1914 to the Present - Session C

The twentieth century was the most devastating in the history of Europe. This course surveys the major developments that led to the wars and revolutions for which the century is famous. It stresses the supreme importance of the commanding actors on the political stage as the century unfolded--Lenin and Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, Churchill and de Gaulle, Walesa and Thatcher and Gorbachev, and focuses on the differing approaches to European relations taken by American presidents from Wilson to George W. Bush. The course will seek to squeeze every ounce of drama out of the century's most famous -- and infamous -- events: Europe's last summer -- the incredible days of July 1914; the slaughter of World War I; the rise of Communism, Fascism, and Nazism; Munich; the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939; the decimation of World War II; the bombing of London and Dresden; the destruction of the European Jewry; the German invasion of Russia; D-Day, the suicide of Hitler, the origins and development of the Cold War; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the revolutions of 1989; the disintegration of the Soviet Union; the collapse of Yugoslavia; and the first and second Gulf wars. All this and more we will explore through books, documents and, not least, films and documentaries.

David Wetzel
219 DWINELLE
TuWTh 330-530P
CCN: 52585
162B: War and Peace: International Relations since 1914
  • This course has been cancelled.
Sarah Cramsey
MTuWTh
12-2P
CCN: 52593