Undergraduate Courses

Summer 2018
5: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present
  • This course has been cancelled.
7B: The United States from Civil War to Present

What does it mean to be American? Whatever your answer is to this question, chances are it is deeply connected to the themes and events we will discuss in this class. Here we will track America's rise to global power, the fate of freedom in a post-Emancipation political setting, and the changing boundaries of nation, citizenship, and community. We will use landmark events to sharpen our themes, but we will also take care to analyze the equally important (and shifting) patterns of where and how Americans lived, worked, and played. 

Daniel M Robert
9 Lewis
TuWTh, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | June 18–August 10
Class #: 13548
N100.001: Financial Crisis, Inequality and Globalization: A Transnational Economic History from the Great Depression to the Great Recession (1920s – 2010s)

• This is a 2 unit course. It does not fulfill a major requirement.

In 2003, during the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, one of its distinguished members, Nobel laureate Robert Lucas confidently proclaimed to his colleagues that the “central problem of depression prevention has been solved, for all practical purposes, and has in fact been solved for many decades.” Just a few years later, during the 2008 Great Recession, his claim was put to the test. If Lucas has been proven right, we can ask at what cost had the global economy been saved from collapse, and for whose benefit? Answers to these questions, as we will discover in this course, critically depend on how we understand the 1929 Great Depression. We will trace what lessons liberal and authoritarian political regimes learned from the Great Depression, and which ones they forgot, and when. Doing this will permit us to evaluate the connections between economic inequality and globalization that give rise to enormous outpouring of professional and popular analysis in the aftermath of financial crisis. Topics covered include global responses to the Great Depression, the Bretton Woods system, 1980s debt crisis, 1990s Asian financial crisis, and the Great Recession.

Andrej Milivojevic
60 Barrows
TuTh, 4–6 p.m. | May 21–June 29
Class #: 13549
N100.002: War on Film: Conflict and Cinema in the Middle East and Balkans
  • This course has been cancelled.
N100.003: American Business History

• This is a 2 unit course. It does not fulfill a major requirement.

When President Calvin Coolidge declared in 1925 that “the chief business of the American people is business,” he was not making a historical argument, though it would have been a defensible one. Nearly a century earlier, French visitor, Alexis de Tocqueville, made a similar observation. Indeed, America was colonized by joint-stock corporations! Understanding the history of American business can therefore unlock a great deal about America itself. How did the exchange of capital become capitalism? How have markets and firms been constructed politically and socially? Is the history of American business primarily one of creative entrepreneurs or exploitative opportunists? What is the relationship between capitalism, gender, and race? In this course, we will explore these questions on a chronological journey from seventeenth-century joint-stock colonization to twenty-first century high-frequency trading.

Daniel M Robert
2 LeConte
TuTh, 2–4 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class #: 15013
N100.005: Youth in Revolt: Post-1945 Europe through Film

• This is a 2 unit course. It does not fulfill a major requirement.

Thoroughly devastated by war and the Holocaust, the Europe of the 1940s was poor, ethnically homogeneous, and politically divided into democratic-capitalist and Communist blocs. By the 1990s, Germany was reunified, the Soviet Union withdrawn from Eastern Europe, and the European Union expanded to include states formerly under Soviet rule. But the road to prosperity and unity required the revolutionary ideas and actions of youth.  In this course, we use award-winning feature films from the 1940s through the 1990s as our major primary sources for evaluating the major social, political, and cultural upheavals through which contemporary Europe emerged from its darkest decade. Topics addressed include the psychological aftershocks of fascism and Nazism; the decolonization of the British and French empires and the rise of racial and religious minorities in London, Paris and Berlin; the Sovietization of Eastern Europe and the rise of a dissident culture; the sexual revolution; the rise of television, rock n’roll, and the mass media; and the politics of Communism and anti-Communism in the Cold War.Focusing on films from England, France, West Germany, and East Germany, our major theme is generational revolt. In postwar Europe, each generation of youth revolted against  different aspects of politics and culture: outdated gender and sexual norms, the repression of wartime memory and guilt, political parties, universities and professions, the shallowness of consumer society, conformity under dictatorship.

Matthew Specter
180 Tan
TuTh, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class #: 15125
100U: This is What Democracy Looks Like? New Populisms and Fascisms in Europe and the U.S.

This course has been approved to satisfy an upper division requirement for the Political Science major.

Populism, xenophobia, fascism, anti-Semitism, and neo-Nazism have become prominent features of contemporary democratic politics in the U.S. and Western Europe, most notably since 2016. But populism has a longer history and its definition is elusive. Our main course goals are first, to put the startling events of the last year, chief among them the electoral victory of Donald Trump, into a 20th century comparative historical context, and second, to employ the tools of political theory to gain clarity about the relationship of populism, democracy and fascism. We approach this challenge by examining the similarities and differences between today’s right-wing (or authoritarian) populists with the fascist movements and regimes (including Nazi Germany) of mid-20th century Europe. Students will consider questions such as: Is there a unitary definition of populism, or are left and right-wing populisms more different than alike? Does populism have the potential to deepen democracy or only to disrupt or threaten its survival? To what extent does the steep rise in economic inequality since the late 1970s explain the widespread disgust and loss of trust in liberal democratic institutions? Is the electoral triumph of Trump and growing visibility of the “alt-Right” the outcome of deep strands of white supremacy and racial panic in American history? Or are Trumpism’s roots shallower and more traceable to a recent transnational “populist moment”? Interactive lecture with readings in European and American history, recent journalism and commentary, documentary films, videos.

 If you are a Political Science student and you have questions about your particular situation, please consult with Suzanne McDermott or Efrat Cidon.

Matthew Specter
107 GPBB (Genetics & Plant Biology)
MTuWTh, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | May 21–June 29
Class #: 15015
106A: The Roman Republic

A history of Rome from the foundation of the city to the dictatorship of Caesar. The course examines the evolution of Republican government, the growth of Roman imperialism, and the internal disruptions of the age of the Gracchi, Sulla, and Caesar.

Michael J. Taylor
182 Dwinelle
MWF, 1–3:30 p.m. | May 21–June 29
Class #: 14232
109C: The Middle East from the 18th Century to the Present

The Middle East is both a very old and a very new place. The region is home to some of the world’s longest-standing cities and societies, yet most of the countries that make up the Middle East did not exist a century ago. How did today’s Middle East come about? This course will introduce you to the political, social, and cultural history of the Middle East from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. By looking at the effects of colonialism and war, but also grassroots movements, culture, and art, we will come to understand how the last 250 years of global political, economic, and social transformations impacted the region, always with an eye to the experiences and responses of ordinary people. Throughout the course, we will explore the broad themes of the region such as global capitalism, imperialism, nationalism, women’s rights, political Islam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the oil revolution, the impacts of the Cold War and American foreign policy. Such issues are not merely the purview of history and scholarship, but directly affect our lives today and will continue to do so for some time to come.

Christine Philliou
209 Dwinelle
TuWTh, 1–3:30 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class #: 14200
116D: Twentieth-Century China

This course offers a survey of Chinese history from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. The narrative will focus on the rise of the Chinese party-state, the transformation of social groups and identities, and China’s changing role in the world. Topics include the fall of the Qing dynasty, the new Republic, the rivalry between Communists and Nationalists, the war with Japan, the Cultural Revolution, reform and opening, the 1989 democracy movement, and China’s global rise.

Brooks Jessup
3106 Etcheverry
TuWTh, 1–3:30 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class #: 15111
124B: The United States from World War II to the Vietnam Era

Immediately prior to World War II, the US military ranked 17th in the world, most African-Americans lived in the rural south and were barred from voting, culture and basic science in the United States enjoyed no world-wide recognition, most married women did not work for wages, and the census did not classify most Americans as middle-class or higher. By 1973, all this had changed. This course will explore these and other transformations, all part of the making of modern America. We will take care to analyze the events, significance and cost of US ascendancy to world power in an international and domestic context.

Maggie Elmore
Dwin 215
TuWTh, 2-4:30 p.m. | May 21 - June 29
Class #: 15021
131B: US Social History from the Civil War to the Present

Perhaps the most memorable line in the Declaration of Independence (1776) is the one that assures Americans of their unalienable rights to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The nation’s founders guaranteed the first two in the Bill of Rights, but the third remains a nebulous concept that requires some contemplation and interpretation. What exactly has it meant to pursue happiness and how has that pursuit shaped the course of United States history since 1865?

This course considers these questions by interrogating the experiences, ideas, values, desires, and actions of various racial, ethnic, gender, age, class, and ability groups. In examining how Americans have defined, pursued, defended, and fought for happiness, we will necessarily also explore the limits, constraints, and challenges to that aim. Some of the topics covered in the course include: civil rights, feminism, labor, migration, consumerism, relationships, and popular culture.

Christopher W. Shaw
110 Barrows
MonTuWed, 2–4:30 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class #: 15578
C139C: Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History

In their fights for justice and equality, civil rights and social movements have put  democratic practices and institutions in the United States to test. This course explores the long (chronological) and wide (geographic) civil rights movements of the South, the North, and the West Coast, tracing their multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural aspects since the Second World War. How ​did ordinary people and grassroots activists aim to influence electoral processes, legislation, and court decisions? Readings and lectures will delve into the ​Black Freedom and Black Power struggles, Mexican American and Puerto Rican demands for rights, and Asian American and Native American efforts for equality. Paying particular attention to the Bay Area, ​we will study the dynamism of Counterculture, the Free Speech Movement, New Left Radicalism, antiwar protests, Environmentalism, and rebellions expressed in music. Appreciating the intersectionality of race, ethnic, and gender identities, we will explore the Women’s and Gay Liberation movements. Continuing into the late and early-twentieth centuries, the course situates social movements within the larger global contexts and traces the fierce opposition to civil rights and social equality that has coalesced around white nationalism, legal discrimination, and campaigns for law and order. Finally, we will consider the shifting roles and impact of technology and media on social movements within American democracy. 

Sandra Weathers Smith
108 Wheeler
MTWR, 12-2 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class #: 16081
158C: Old and New Europe, 1914–Present

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
88 Dwinelle
TuWTh, 2–4 p.m. | June 18–August 10
Class #: 16055
160: The International Economy of the 20th Century

 This course counts toward requirements for the Economics major.

Development and crises of the advanced economies, with particular emphasis on trade relations with third world countries. Economic impact of war, business cycles, and social movements. This course is equivalent to Economics 115; students will not receive credit for both courses.

Andrej Milivojevic
155 Kroeber
MTuWTh, 2–4 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class #: 15019