Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2014
2: Ancient Empires

At the dawn of the first millennium, nearly one half of the world’s population lived within one of two extensive imperial systems, the Roman empire in the Mediterranean basin and the Han empire in East Asia (ruling roughly the territory of today’s China).  This course examines these two durable and far-flung empires in comparative perspective, and also considers the nature of empire as a particular type of polity in the premodern world.  Structurally similar in some ways but strikingly different in others, the Roman and Han empires form an ideal subject for sustained, comparative analysis.  Central themes include warfare and conquest; economics, finance, and the distribution of resources; administration, governance, and strategies of rule; relations between center and periphery; methods of acquiring and perpetuating high status and the making of social orders; imperial time and space; culture and cultural change; imperial literatures and religions; and the aftermath and legacies of these two world empires.  Lectures will provide an essential historical narrative as well as interpretations of central problems, while readings in primary sources will give students an opportunity in discussion sections to grapple with some of the evidence on which such narratives and interpretations are based. 

Requirements include attendance at weekly discussion section; one short paper (4-5 pp.); one midterm exam; one term paper (10-12 pp.); and a final exam.

Carlos F. Noreña, Michael Nylan
TuTh 11-1230P
CCN: 39015
4A: Origins of Western Civilization: The Ancient Mediterranean World

This course offers an introductory survey of the history of the ancient Mediterranean world, from the rise of city states in Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC to the emergence of the Byzantine Empire in the sixth century AD.  The course has three main foci.  The first is to survey the major events and developments in the social, economic, and political history of the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.   The second focus is to consider, very much along the way, the origins and development in the ancient world of ideas, practices, and institutions that have had an enduring influence on the development of western civilization.  These will include the emergence of cities, kingship, organized religion, and written law in the Near East and Mesopotamia; dynastic rule and priestly power in Egypt; tyranny, democracy, citizenship, imperialism, colonization, slavery, freedom, religious persecution and martyrdom in the Greek and Roman worlds.  The third focus will be the Mediterranean itself, for it was on and around its deep waters that all of these developments took place, and it left on each of them its distinctive mark.

Lectures and textbook readings will provide an essential historical narrative as well as interpretations of central problems. Primary source readings (including epic poetry, songs of labor and lamentation, political propaganda, narrative history, public documents, and biography) will give students an opportunity in discussion sections to grapple with some of the evidence on which our narratives and interpretations are based.  There will be two short papers, three map quizzes, a midterm, and a cumulative final exam. Regular attendance and participation in discussion section is required.

Emily Mackil
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39036
5: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present

This course introduces students to European history from around 1500 to the present as an aspect of global history. During this period, a small, poor, and fragmented outcropping of Asia became a world civilization, whose political, cultural, and economic power touched the four corners of the world. Our course will ask how and why this happened. How, in other words, did "modernity" become "western," for better and worse? As we cover this half-millennium, we will look at major landmarks in European cultural, intellectual, social, political, and economic development as they played out on a local and on a global scale: the Renaissance, the epochal expansion of Europe into the new world, the break-up of Latin Christianity into the competing religious communities, the construction of the modern state, the formation of overseas empires and the coming of capitalism, the Scientific Revolution, the French Revolution, liberalism and the industrial revolution, socialism and the rise of labor, modern colonialism, the world wars, communism and capitalism, decolonization, and the Cold War and the European Union. Our readings will range from learned treatises in religion and classics in political theory to novels and plays and documents from the past, and perhaps a good history book or two. There will probably be no textbook. Work in sections focuses on discussions of the readings and on the improvement of writing skills. Three hours of lecture and two hours of section (required) per week.

Thomas W. Laqueur
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39063
6A: History of China: Origins to the Mongol Conquest

Origins to the Mongol Conquest. The history of China from its beginnings to the destruction of the Song Dynasty by the Mongols in the 13th century. Topics to be covered include the emergence of Chinese civilization, the Chinese language, early philosophy, the creation of the first empire, Buddhism and religious Daoism, the Silk Road, ethnicity, the socioeconomic revolution of the 10th to 12th centuries, lyric poetry, and painting and calligraphy.

Nicolas Tackett
155 Donner Lab
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39099
7A: The United States from Settlement to Civil War

This course introduces the history of the lands that became the United States, from antiquity through the Civil War.  We will focus on interactions among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans on the North American continent; the social, political, and environmental changes wrought by those interactions; the development of colonial societies and the formation of the United States; the spread of new ideas and cultural institutions; the clash of competing claims about power, rights, religious obligation, and the good life.

Requirements include active participation in weekly discussion sections, two in-class quizzes, two take-home essays, and a final examination.

David Henkin
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39114
8B: Modern Latin America

This survey of Modern Latin America introduces students to the making of the region that came to be known as "Latin America," to its diverse peoples, and to their experience of modernity during the past two centuries. The course will focus on the region as a whole, and will explain both how modern Latin American nations came to be, and how social relations operated within and across their national boundaries. This perspective will provide students with conceptual and historical tools to understand the nature of today’s globalization and to see Latin America as an intrinsic part of it. It proceeds almost backwards: we will start discussing the current debates on the present and future of Latin America, and then explore how economic structures, Iberian legacies, indigenous realities, revolutions, populisms, state terrorism, music, and ethnic identities shaped today's Latin America.

Readings deal with issues as diverse as Caribbean politics and Andean cocaine, Mexican revolutionaries and Brazilian music, Argentine workers and Nicaraguan villages. Lectures will provide a main narrative and the analytical framework for the readings. Section meetings will be a space for discussing both primary sources and scholarly literature. Each student will write a paper on a historical object (for example, a historical figure, a material object, an idea, an aesthetic style, or an institution), and trace its circulation across time and space. Papers will be based on online and archival primary sources, as well as optional films and literature. Consultation in office hours is especially encouraged for designing the research plan and getting feedback during the writing process.


(The syllabus will be uploaded soon, please check back.)


8B Syllabus Palomino Fall 2014.pdf
Pablo Palomino
150 GSPP
MWF 3-4P
CCN: 39171
10: African History
  • Note new room.

In 1482 – ten years before Columbus reached America-  the Portuguese captain Diogo Cåo arrived at the mouth of the Congo river, setting in motion a chain of events that fundamentally transformed Africa and made the world what it is today. This course is an introductory survey of the history of Africa from the late 15th century to the present set against the older history of Africa as wellspring of humankind and the deeply complex local histories that existed for millennia before and beyond European occupation. It seeks to provide students with an overview of the key themes, events, and personalities of the period, so as to increase their understanding of the important historical developments that have shaped modern Africa and how this in turn shaped world history. The course will reveal the intimate connection between events in Africa and the rise of Modernity, how this played out in an enduring dialectic that continues today. With one in four people expected to be African by the year 2050, understanding African history is of great importance for the 21st century.

Leopold Podlashuc is an African social historian and activist,  researching the political economy of slums and social movements arising within them, with a focus upon the historical agency of the poor. Since 2003, he has partnered with Umfelandawonye Wabantu Basemjondolo (The South African Homeless Peoples Federation) and similarly positioned movements across the South, confronting issues of governance and inclusion. 

Leopold Podlashuc
CCN: 39186
14: Introduction to the History of Japan

This course is a brisk but intense introduction to the nearly two millennia of recorded Japanese history. As a survey, the course gives attention to broad themes and problems in Japan's political, social and cultural/intellectual history. Topics include the interplay of national and local identities in shaping Japan's interaction with the Asian continent and the Western world, and the relation of past to present in modern times. As fas as possible readings are taken from primary sources, including religious writings, diaries, poetry, novels, political tracts, etc. These are supplemented by selected secondary treatments and occasional films.

Andrew E. Barshay
213 Wheeler
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39198
24: The Free Speech Movement and the 1960s

We will discuss the historical origins, development, meanings, and legacy of Berkeley's Free Speech Movement. Several key issues will guide our investigation: relevant historical notions of free speech and interrelated free speech practices; the history of key student movements at Berkeley and other colleges/universities, in the US and beyond; and, why, how, and with what consequences Berkeley's Free Speech Movement evolved as it did.  

Waldo E. Martin, Jr. is the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of American History and Citizenship at Berkeley. His most recent book, co-authored with Joshua Bloom, is Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (2013). He's also the author of "Holding One Another: Mario Savio and the Freedom Struggle in Mississippi and Berkeley," in Cohen and Zelnik, The Free Speech Movement (2002).

Waldo E. Martin
123 Dwinelle
W 1-2P
CCN: 39213
84P: Sophomore Seminar: "American High: Years of Confidence and Anxiety, 1950-1964"

This seminar will meet the entire semester.

We will view and discuss movies made during these years in order to help us understand the era. In addition, we will make use of a reader of more conventional documents.  This might help us address the question, “What are the advantages and shortcomings of using movies for an understanding of the era in which they were made? Can movies give us a sense of what it was like to be alive in such times?”

Students will be asked to write a one paragraph response to each of the movies, and they will also be called upon to submit a 10 page interpretive essay at the end of the course.  This course will be linked to the “On the Same Page” program.  Professor Robert Cohen, the featured speaker, will come to one of our meetings and help us discuss the topic, Mario Savio in the ‘50s.

This seminar is part of the On the Same Page initiative. 

Samuel Haber is an Emeritus Professor of History at UC Berkeley.

Samuel Haber
W 2-5P
CCN: 39222
100AC: Special Topics in the History of the United States
What is capitalism? And when did it come to characterize the American economy? This course will explore the economic history of the United States, from the colonial period to the present. We will analyze the dramatic changes that catapulted a chain of colonies from the fringe of the global economy to its center. As the semester progresses, we will seek out the sources of this dramatic transformation, exploring a variety of overlapping and sometimes conflicting explanations for the coming of capitalism. Is this primarily a story about ideas and economic outlook? Is it about entrepreneurship and innovation? Or about exploitation and expropriation? What role did the government play? What role the individual?
Major themes will include the rise of the factory system, slavery and emancipation, technological innovation, the development of banking and finance, and economic inequality. Rarely was the “invisible hand” colorblind or gender neutral. We will examine capitalism both from above and from below, seeking to understand the causes and consequences of economic change for different groups of Americans. We will debate the role of famous businessmen and inventors, but we will also look at the ways largely forgotten workmen, mothers, and even slaves shaped the course of American economic development.
Caitlin C. Rosenthal
TuTh 11-1230P
CCN: 39279
100AP: Special Topics in Ancient History: Augustine's City of God

This course will focus on Augustine’s City of God.  A classic of “Western Civilization” as well as “Christianity,” this is a challenging text. We will use it as a guide-line to investigate “on the ground” how Augustine saw the transformation of the later Roman empire into a Christian empire and how he himself contributed to that transformation. We want to investigate how Christianity changes membership in the ancient city, what it meant for Augustine to be a Christian “citizen,” and how he thought about Roman history. In doing all this we will address recent scholarship positing (once more) the decline of the Roman Empire.

Requirements are: one final seminar paper and one in class book review.

Susanna Elm
78 Barrows
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39287
100D: America Divided: Politics and Culture of the Long 1960s

The long decade of the 1960s feels both decisively over and continually present. We live still with the political and social movements it spawned, with its music, with the intractable social and political issues it raised and with the powerful nostalgia it generated even while it was still in progress. It remains a touchstone for condemnation as well as emulation. The Occupy Wall Street Movement, for example, drew on the repertoire of protest generated by the student movement of the 1960s (which itself drew on the example of the militant labor movement of the 1930s). And critics of the occupation denounced its activists as dirty hippies and ’60s wannabes. The first task of the course will be to determine what, exactly, we mean by “the sixties.” What was the relationship between the counterculture and the New Left? Between the civil rights movement and the antiwar movement?  Between an emergent women's movement and both?  Between these mass protest movements and US domestic and foreign policy? Our second task will be to figure out why the decade continues to matter and in what ways. How, for example, are we to assess the legacy of the 1960s peace movement – its long term impact – given the record of the first decade of the 21st century?  Our readings will mix primary documents and latter day reflections upon them by participants and historians after the dance was over.

Robert Cohen
160 Dwinelle
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39291
100H: Special Topics in African History: Modern East Africa, 1880-the Present

This course will examine the recent history of East Africa from the inception of colonial rule to the present. East Africa is a cultural mosaic of hundreds of inland ethnic groups, Islamic Arab and Swahili people at the coast, and a minority of immigrant Asian and European communities. The course will start with a brief survey of pre-colonial social, political and economic organization, including the Arab/Swahili Zanzibar slave trade and its abolition; European exploration, the geopolitics of the Nile and the resultant colonization of the region. The core of the course will focus on the post 1880s period beginning with the imposition of British and German rule; African response to colonization; the advent and impact of minority Asian and European immigrant communities; Africans and the First World War; colonial economies and their dualities; race, politics and gender; interwar political mobilization and disparate post 1945 nationalist struggles including Mau Mau, monarchist politics, party and constitutional reforms. We will also examine the political trajectories of Post-colonial East Africa, especially Ujamaa-African Socialism in Tanzania; other topics will include environmental conservation and the Green Belt Movement of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, and Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army. The course will conclude with an examination of key economic and political problems confronting contemporary East Africa. Readings will be drawn from primary sources, memoirs, novels and some secondary sources. We shall also use occasional films and documentaries.

Tabitha Kanogo
210 Dwinelle
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39294
100M: The History of Modern Israel, 1882 - Present

This course will offer an interdisciplinary introduction to the history of the modern state of Israel, beginning with the pre-state origins of Jewish nationalism in the late nineteenth century and concluding in the present. The class will consider, among other topics, the history of Zionism, proto-Zionist activity, the development of modern Hebrew culture, Jewish-Arab relationships prior and after the establishment of Israel, religion and ethnicity in Israel, and historical debates in Israeli politics, law and constitutionalism. This foundational course will also feature guest lectures by a number of Berkeley faculty from a variety of disciplines, who will provide specialist perspectives on key topics.

Yuval Ben-Bassat
MW 4- 5:30P
CCN: 39296
109C: The Middle East From the 18th Century to the Present
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
The Staff
MWF 9-10A
CCN: 39501
111C: Political and Cultural History of Vietnam

This course provides an introduction to Vietnamese history from the mythic origins of the Vietnamese people to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Special emphasis will be placed on "modern" developments from the late 18th century. Topics include Sino-Vietnamese political and cultural relations; the status of Vietnamese women; the history of Vietnamese Buddhism, Confucianism and Catholicism; the rise and fall of the Ly, Tran, Ho, and Le dynasties; the Nguyen/Trinh Wars and the origins of Southern Vietnam; the Tay Son Rebellion; the emergence of the Nguyen Dynasty, French imperialism and colonial conquest; the development of colonial capitalism; the growth of anti-colonialism, radicalism, nationalism, and communism; World War II and Japanese Occupation; the August Revolution; the first Indochina War, Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Accords; the formation of separate post-colonial states in northern and southern Vietnam; American Intervention and the Second Indochina War. Readings will be drawn from a range of secondary scholarship and primary historical documents as well as from literature, memoirs and poetry.

Peter B. Zinoman
30 Wheeler
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39503
114A: Medieval and Early Modern India to the Coming of the British

In this course we will develop a panoramic view of the long sweep of Indian History until the sometime in the middle of the eighteenth century. We will supplement our understanding of the political history of the subcontinent’s many empires with close attention to the literary and aesthetic artifacts that reveal the richness and diversity of their cultures over the centuries. Beginning from the earliest signs of settled civilization, we will examine the growth of empires and urban societies in the subcontinent. Studying the development of links with the Hellenic world in the aftermath of Alexander’s invasion, we will focus on the development of science, religion, and philosophy in the Indo-Greek world and the empires of India which followed. We will then turn to the making of the Delhi Sultanate in North India as well as the dynasties of the South, and trace the development of new religious traditions and hybrid political formations such as the Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Next we will visit the roughly simultaneous arrival of two new groups who did much to shape the course of the subcontinent’s recent past: the first of the Europeans, who arrived in the form of Vasco da Gama in 1498, and a young man of noble blood by the name of Babur, who founded the Mughal dynasty in North India after his great victory in 1526. We will follow the fortunes of both groups in South Asia until the practical dissolution of the Mughal empire and the rise of the East India Company.

Abhishek Kaicker
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39504
116G: Imperial China and the World

The history of China's relationship to the world from earliest times to the 20th c. Provides historical contextualization for China's recent resurgence on the world stage. Topics will include early territorial expansion, the Silk Road, the Great Wall, the Chinese diaspora, Mongol and Manchu empire building, the impact of Europeans in the 19th c, the emergence of Chinese nationalism, and China's evolving role in the global economy.

Nicolas Tackett
240 Mulford
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39513
118B: Japan 1800-1900
  • This course has been cancelled.
The Staff
106 Moffitt
MWF 11-12P
CCN: 39521
120AC: American Environmental and Cultural History

This class examines how diverse human societies and natural environments have shaped one another throughout the history of the United States and the Americas more broadly. We will explore the consequences of the Pleistocene Extinctions, the development of agriculture, indigenous resource management, and the impacts of ecological encounters with European colonists. Our study of European colonization will emphasize the role of exotic diseases in reshaping native demography, how invasive species reconfigured ecology, and the ways that the production of staple commodities restructured relationships between labor, capital, land, race, and ecology from New England to the Caribbean. We will examine the impact of the Louisiana Purchase, the Expansion of the Cotton Kingdom, the rise of industrial manufacturing, and how agriculture contributed to the causes and outcomes of the Civil War. From the Transcendentalists and the Hudson River School to the writings of Marsh, Muir, and Leopold, the course traces the deep intellectual roots that shaped the emergence of conservationist thought. Twentieth Century topics we will explore include: environmental justice and environmental racism; water rights, water law, irrigation, and dams; the unnatural history of “natural” disasters; the role of the federal government in managing public resources and protecting public health; the rise of the environmental movement; the transition to a fossil fuel economy and its economic, environmental, and political consequences; how NGOs have shaped policy debates and pioneered conservation strategies; the changing nature of agriculture through the twentieth century; the causes and consequences of global climate change for the United States and the World.

Robert N. Chester
MWF 10-11A
CCN: 39522
124A: The United States from the Late 19th Century to the Eve of World War II

There is no period in American history quite like the first half of the 20th century, when the country as a whole transformed so rapidly and so dynamically. Within just a few decades, the United States became a modern industrialized nation, emerging as a new economic empire. It became a beacon for immigrants from all over the globe and, relatedly, home to some of the most cosmopolitan and densely populated cities in the world. This period in American history marked the rise of mass entertainment, mass religion, mass migrations, and mass politics. It ushered in new conceptions of gender and sexuality, race, class, and citizenship. It brought dramatic transformations in work and leisure, significant shifts in the relationship between the American government and its people, great economic boom times, and historic depressions. And during this era, the nation fought in its first world war and stood on the threshold of its second. Throughout this course, we will explore the fabric of this –– the “modern era” of American history –– by sorting through many of its most important economic, political, cultural, and social changes along with the various ways in which people and institutions responded to them. Assignments will include two 5 - 7 page papers, a midterm, and a comprehensive final exam.     

Felicia A. Viator
MWF 2-3P
CCN: 39555
125B: Soul Power: African American History 1861-1980

This course will examine the history of African Americans and race relations from the Civil War and Emancipation (1861-1865) through the modern African American Freedom Struggle (1954-1980), concluding with the post-Civil Rights-Black Power era (1980-2008). Social, cultural, and Social Change; the Harlem Renaissance; Civil Rights; Black Power; and, Beyond Civil Rights-Black Power. Possible texts: W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk; Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery; Jacqueline Royster, Ida B. Wells; James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Assata, An Autobiography; Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father. There will be two exams -- a mid-term and a final -- and two short response papers.

Waldo E. Martin
2 Leconte
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39570
131B: Creating Modern American Society: From the End of the Civil War to the Global Age
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Christopher W. Shaw
10 Evans
MWF 9-10A
CCN: 39591
C132B: Intellectual History of the United States since 1865

In this course we examine key developments in U.S. thought since the middle of the nineteenth century, roughly beginning with the reception of Darwin in the 1860s.  Key topics to be addressed include nineteenth-century revolutions in science and religion; the emergence of pragmatism, the first original contribution to philosophy developed within the United States; early twentieth-century debates about modernity, urbanization, economic development, democracy, and pluralism; the impact of psychoanalysis, other new theories of psychological development, and existentialism on U.S. life and thought after World War II.  The class concludes by examining the foundations for new technologies like information processing and biotechnology provided by earlier developments in U.S. intellectual life, particularly pragmatism and semiotics.  We also look at debates at the end of the twentieth century over race and multi-culturality, national security and the military-industrial-academic complex, economic policy and growing income inequality.

Richard Cándida-Smith
219 Dwinelle
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39593
137AC: The Repeopling of America

The monuments of Plymouth Rock, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty embody our collective historical memory of immigration in the United States. But these icons obscure as much as they reveal. Immigration history is much more than a story of the search for religious freedom, the welcoming of European immigrants to the Eastern seaboard, and the supposed magnetic pull of a nation founded on the ideals of freedom and liberty. Immigrants have been treated differently because of their race, ethnicity, and nationality. Politicians and ordinary United States citizens have supported policies that denied people of certain races and nationalities entry and/or citizenship. Exclusion is as much of a theme of U.S. immigration history as inclusion. Over the course of the semester we will explore the following central questions: Who is an immigrant?, In what ways have ideas of immigration changed over time?, How have categories of race, ethnicity, nationality and citizenship shaped and been shaped by immigration debates?, What did the transformation of the United States from a handful of struggling British colonies to a global superpower spanning a continent have to do with immigration? By the end of this course, students will gain a greater understanding of both immigration history and America's national narrative.

Course Requirements: 4 short (3 page) papers, quizzes and mini-assignments, and a final paper (10-15 pages). Attendance and participation is mandatory. This course combines lecture with extensive class and group discussion.

Sarah Keyes
B5 Hearst Annex
TuTh 2-3:30PM
CCN: 39600
138: History of Science in the U.S

The course covers the history of science in the U.S. from the colonial period up to the present. We will be focusing on the unique situation of the sciences within the changing U.S. context, emphasizing debates over the place of science in intellectual, cultural, religious, and political life. As we examine the mutual shaping of national experience and scientific developments, we will also trace the emergence of institutions for the pursuit of scientific knowledge, with special attention to the relationships between science and technology and between science and the state. We will explore a large number of local examples (California geology, Ernest Lawrence, Silicon Valley, and lots on UC Berkeley). The course is aimed at students of all majors; no scientific knowledge is presupposed. Basic familiarity with U.S. history will be helpful, as the course is as much about U.S. history as about the history of science.

Cathryn Carson
56 Barrows
MW 4-530P
CCN: 39603
138T: History of Science in the U.S. CalTeach

The course covers the history of science in the U.S. from the colonial period up to the present. We will be focusing on the unique situation of the sciences within the changing U.S. context, emphasizing debates over the place of science in intellectual, cultural, religious, and political life. As we examine the mutual shaping of national experience and scientific developments, we will also trace the emergence of institutions for the pursuit of scientific knowledge, with special attention to the relationships between science and technology and between science and the state. We will explore a large number of local examples (California geology, Ernest Lawrence, Silicon Valley, and lots on UC Berkeley). The course is aimed at students of all majors; no scientific knowledge is presupposed. Basic familiarity with U.S. history will be helpful, as the course is as much about U.S. history as about the history of science.

Students interested in teaching elementary or secondary school science and math and who plan to take this course as part of the Cal Teach program (History 138T) will be attending a supplemental section. This section will focus on the techniques, skills, and perspectives necessary to apply the history of science in the juvenile and adolescent science classroom. For more information about Cal Teach, go to http://calteach.berkeley.edu/.

Cathryn Carson
56 Barrows
MW 4-530P
CCN: 39606
146: Latin American Women

This course works on two tracks. The first track is that of “women’s history.” Here we will survey the experiences and impact of women in Latin America from the pre-conquest period to the present, using the tools of social and political history. Some themes that will be addressed are: how did indigenous women’s lives change as a result of the conquest? What was the role of African American women in Latin American slave societies? Was the “patriarchal family” the dominant form of social organization or was patriarchy primarily important as an ideology? How did the convent offer women another life option besides marriage? Did the impact of nineteenth-century liberalism “liberate” women or limit their options? How did industrialization affect women and what role did they play as they entered the workforce in large numbers after World War II? How did Latin American feminism differ from the U.S. varieties? Why was the vote for women so late coming? The second track is “gender history.” In other words, we will not just discuss women’s experiences, but also the ways that gender ideologies (like patriarchy, honor-shame, machismo, marianismo) have influenced Latin American history. For example, how was sexuality central to the religious and political authority of Aztec and Inca men? How did gendered representations of indigenous America shape policy and attitudes in the post-conquest period? How did notions of motherhood change over time, and how were they deployed politically? How did ideas about masculinity shape the way agrarian reform programs in the 20th century were administered? How did military and other authoritarian regimes attempt to consolidate power by positioning themselves as “fathers” and positioning opposition forces as “immature children”? Midterm, final, two short papers, participation in two role-playing “cocktail parties.”

Margaret Chowning
219 Dwinelle
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39626
151C: The Peculiar Modernity of Britain, 1848-2000
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Amanda Behm
88 Dwinelle
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39633
155B: Medieval Europe from the Investiture Conflict to the 15th Century

This course will examine the profound economic, social, and spiritual changes that occurred in Western Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages.  The themes to be explored include the Crusades (the 7th Crusade of Louis IX and perhaps the 4th Crusade, which ended not in the Holy Land but with the conquest of Constantinople), Christian kingship, inquisitions and heresy (the Cathars), the radicalization of the Franciscans, the quality of the papacy's religious leadership, law courts and justice, the acceleration of commercial activity, the transformation of lay piety, and gender ("gender" meaning not simply women, but women, men, and men and women).  Above all, throughout the course, we will pay great attention to discovering whether or not we can discern the individuality of our authors.  Readings are largely from primary sources, with a textbook and a few short readings from secondary sources.  The format is mostly discussion woven into informal lectures, along with a formal weekly discussion section.  Requirements are a midterm, a final, and regular reader-response exercises.   One or two papers may be required; if so, then one or both exams will be shortened, the papers replacing one of the exam questions.  If papers are assigned, they will require an in-depth analysis of one of the primary sources read. 

Geoffrey Koziol
88 Dwinelle
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39636
158C: Old and New Europe, 1914 - Present
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Sarah Cramsey
120 Latimer
MWF 12-1P
CCN: 39645
159B: European Economic History
History 159B is a survey course about the European economy during the long nineteenth century. The focus of the course is the Industrial Revolution, its origins in Britain during the last part of the eighteenth century and its uneven spread during the nineteenth century. During the semester, the course will grapple with several big questions: What was revolutionary about industrialization? Why did industrialization take place in some regions far from Britain, like North America and Japan, apparently sooner and more successfully than in regions closer to Britain, such as Russia and the Balkans? How did industrialization contribute to the “first” era of globalization, to the creation of an international monetary system, the gold standard, and to the emergence of “underdevelopment” in European colonies? Did Britain fall behind during the so-called second industrial revolution and why did the liberal order that Britain’s “gentlemanly capitalism” supposedly promulgated collapse so abruptly with the July crisis in 1914?
Andrej Milivojevic
101 Barker
TuTh 11-1230P
CCN: 39657
162A: Europe and the World: Wars, Empire, Nations 1648-1914

This upper division course surveys the rise and fall of the European Powers in the period of war and revolution preceding the downfall of Napoleon to the outbreak of World War I. Major Topics: Religious Wars and the 18th century States System, (1648-1789); French Revolution (1789-1799); Napoleonic Europe (1799-1814); Congress of Vienna (1814 1815); the Vienna System (1815-48); the Revolutions of 1848; Crimean War (1853-56); War of Italian unification waged by Cavour and Garibaldi (1859-61); the Wars of German unification waged by Bismarck (1864-71); the Bismarckian System in operation, (1871-90); Imperialism (1890 1907); the crises that led to the First World War (1904-1914). The course will contrast two periods, 1648-1815, and 1815-1914. It will argue that the first period was one of violence, rapaciousness, and unparalleled lawlessness; the second, one of peace and stability. It will, with reference to the later period, therefore seek to explain peace as much as it explains war. Peace is artificial and demands more explanation. Wars sometimes just happen; peace is always caused. Moreover, understanding why the period following the destruction of Napoleon in 1815 was more peaceful than any predecessor in European history helps explain why it ended in a war greater than any before. The explanation of this remarkable record and its disastrous end is the course's overriding theme. Mid-term, final, short paper.

David Wetzel
2060 VLSB
MW 4-530P
CCN: 39672
165A: The Reformations of Christendom
Christianity as we now know it has its origins in the European Reformations of the sixteenth century. These Reformations splintered an older Christian world into competing Protestant and Catholic confessions, and fundamentally reconfigured the political and cultural landscape of Europe. This course will focus on the long history of these reformations from 1500 to 1800. It wil address the innovative theologies of the period, and their impact on people, churches, and the wider society. And it will particularly highlight the connection between the religious events of the period, and the formation of modern political society. Internal conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, attemps to supress and repress religious heresy, efforts to impose Christianity on New World peoples: these bloody battles--we will discover--were key to the development of the economic, military, and political institutions, of modern governments. By understanding them, we will seek to understand the complexities of our modern world. 
Jonathan Sheehan
123 Wheeler
TuTh 11-1230P
CCN: 39675
169A: Renaissance and Baroque Italy 1350-1800
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
The Staff
MWF 9-10A
CCN: 39689
171B: Imperial Russia: From Peter the Great to the Russian Revolution

In 1721, Peter the Great chose the title of Emperor for himself and declared that Russia would be an Empire.  The empire lasted until the revolutions of 1917, but was never entirely stable.  The Romanovs believed that autocracy was the key to good governance.  Yet, the reigns of almost all the Romanov Emperors were marked by coups d’état, peasant rebellions, and, later, assassination attempts.  Russia’s expanding boundaries and growing population made it even more difficult to rule.  This course will focus heavily on political history and political thought.  Given the many factors that were tearing the Empire apart, it will ask, what held it together for so many years?       

Victoria Frede
213 Wheeler
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39693
173C: History of Eastern Europe: From 1900 to the Present

This course will examine the recent history of Eastern Europe, the band of countries and peoples stretching from the Baltics to the Balkans between Germany and Russia. Arguably this region exemplifies more about the good and the bad of the past century than any other. Liberated in 1918 from centuries of foreign rule, it was to become a showcase of democracy, of transplanting western institutions to a "backward" area. Instead, roads were opened to other experiments: authoritarianism, fascism, Nazi imperialism; and then, after World War II, Communism, both of Stalinist and reforming varieties. Each episode was portrayed as bearing ultimate answers to problems local and global: what does each teach us? Can a society based in principles of equality work? Remarkable is the persistence of ethnic nationalism, and its power to undermine every policy until its basic demands seem met. East Europe bequeathed humanity uplifting concepts such as "Living in Truth," and  "We are the People!" but also sobering ideas and events like national self-determination, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and of course the Berlin Wall. One enduring achievement of East Europeans – intellectuals but also manual workers – was to make evident the meaning of human rights. Given the frequent drama of the region's recent past the course makes extensive use of cinematic and literary portrayals.

John Connelly
219 Dwinelle
MWF 2-3P
CCN: 39696
178: History of the Holocaust

This course will survey the historical events and intellectual developments leading up to and surrounding the destruction of European Jewry during World War II. By reading a mixture of primary and secondary sources we will examine the Shoah (the Hebrew word for the Holocaust) against the backdrop of modern Jewish and modern German history. The course is divided into three main parts: (1) the historical background up to 1933; (2) the persecution of the Jews and the beginnings of mass murder, 1933-1941; and (3) the industrialized murder of the Jews, 1942-1945.



John M. Efron
103 Moffitt
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39710
185A: History of Christianity to Charlemagne

The course deals with the origins of Christianity and the first seven centuries of its expansion into a major institutional, social, and intellectual force shaping Western Europe. The central themes are the mechanisms and conditions shaping this expansion rather than a chronological account to present this process as a model of “institutionalization” (or not!) of religious movements. The emphasis will be on patterns of crisis and reform, i.e., on conflicts arising within the church itself and as a result of its dealings with the "outside" world, and how these crises were resolved. The course is based on the study of primary sources and will include problems of historical method. Requirements, beyond a basic familiarity with Roman and early Medieval history, are one midterm, one final, and a book review.

Susanna Elm
83 Dwinelle
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39711
C187: The History and Practice of Human Rights

What are human rights? Where did they originate and when? Who retains them, and when are we obliged to defend them? Though what kinds of institutions, practices, and frameworks have they been advocated and affirmed. And which are the human rights that we take to be self-evident? The rights to speak and worship freely? To legal process? To shelter and nourishment? Do our human rights include high-speed Internet access, as one Scandinavian country has recently proposed? Can human rights ever be global in scope? Or is the idea of universal human rights a delusion or, worse, a manifestation of cultural chauvinism?

History will not answer these questions for us, but historical understanding can help us answer them for ourselves. “The History and Practice of Human Rights,” examines the historical development of human rights to the present day, focusing on, but not confined to, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While the idiom of human rights is frequently legalistic, we will ask how the idea of human rights might depend upon humanistic modes of comprehension and communication such as film, literature, music, and the arts: media that can stretch the horizons of elastic human empathy.

 More than a history of origins, however, this course will contemplate the relationships between human rights and other crucial themes in the history of the modern era, including revolution, imperialism, racism and genocide. Why, we must ask, did an era of recurrent and catastrophic political violence produce a language of universal human rights? Looking forward, can the proponents of human rights offer a redemptive alternative to twentieth century’s catastrophes, or are human rights themselves another false utopia?

As a history of international and global themes and an examination of specific practices and organizations, this course will ask students to make comparisons across space and time and to reflect upon the evolution of human rights in international thought and action.

Daniel Sargent
2040 VLSB
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39735
C188A: Art and Science
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Massimo Mazzotti
141 McCone
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39765