Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2016
R1B: Capitalism and Inequality, 1500-Present

From the Occupy protests of 2011 to the 2015 State of the Union address, economic inequality has become one of the central concerns of our time. Is inequality a natural and inevitable characteristic of human society, or can it be historicized to a specific origin in time and place? What are its determinants and how has it changed over time? Most fundamentally, as the economic historian David Landes once wrote, “Why are some so rich and other so poor?” Answering these questions requires bringing a knowledge of history to contemporary economic debates.

Trevor W Jackson
MWF 100-200
CCN: 39003
R1B: Religious Violence and Toleration in Early Modern Europe (1450-1750)
For the modern secular state, the real or imagined specter of fanatical religious violence and intolerance has long served a legitimizing function. From the image of the ghoulish medieval inquisitor burning heretics to the obsession with Islamic terrorism of recent years, religious intolerance and extremism reinforces the wisdom of a pluralistic, rational, and secular order. This course will explore the history of religious intolerance and theories of toleration and pluralism as they emerged from the confessional conflicts of the early modern period. We will try to understand both what we mean by “toleration” and what early modern Europeans understood by the term and in what ways they did or did not practice it. Readings will include literature describing the ideas, tensions, and structures shaping early modern religious violence as well as the reflections of contemporaries on toleration. We will also discuss the historiography of the idea of toleration. For many years, historians accepted the narrative that the harrowing religious violence of the Reformation period ebbed as enlightened religious and political thinkers such as Sebastian Costello, John Locke, and Voltaire popularized arguments for toleration and influenced states to pass laws such as the Toleration Act of 1688. More recently, however, historians have questioned this narrative. This new perspective deconstructs the myths surrounding religious fanaticism (such as the exaggerated image of the inquisition) and reevaluates just how ‘tolerant’ and important theories of toleration were for the emergence of modern religious pluralism. Ordinary people and local communities often succeeded and often failed to find pragmatic accommodations to the reality of religious difference. Historians are much more inclined now to see western institutions, laws, and notions of pluralism as emerging through this uneven process of trial and error as opposed to great men drafting and implementing theories of toleration.  
The emphasis in R1B is on reading, analysis, and learning to write. In addition to discussion of the readings, seminars will include workshops on writing techniques and fundamentals and argumentation strategies.
Timothy Wright
TuTh 500-630
CCN: 39006
R1B: Deus Ex Machina: Technology, Complexity and Religion in Modern European and American Intellectual History

This course will examine some of the ways modern European and American intellectuals have sought to grapple with the relationship of basic philosophical concepts to technology, science and religion. Philosophers, social theorists and scientists over the last three centuries have posed the relationship between religion and technology at the center of their ruminations on modernity and the limits of human existence. We will look not only at a sampling of philosophers’ reflections on the nature and significance of technology and religion, but also at how scientists and engineers have made sense of their own work in similar terms. Themes may include but are not limited to: transcendence and immanence, freedom and determinism, self-organization, complexity, thermodynamics and heat death, evolution, contingency, artificial life, cybernetics, computing, biotechnology, and space travel.
This course will aim to foster and develop critical thinking, reading and writing skills by offering students a chance to engage with topics familiar from everyday life from unfamiliar and challenging historical perspectives. Students will read a wide range of short primary and secondary texts surveying the major themes of the course, focusing on the manifold ways historians can interpret and contextualize these resources. In addition to a brief diagnostic essay, several short papers and one final research paper will be assigned.

Ari S Edmundson
MWF 300-400
CCN: 39009
4B: Medieval Europe

As a period, the middle ages is puzzling, contradictory, difficult, and endlessly fascinating. It is also profoundly important, because its 1000 years saw the development of principles and institutions fundamental to later European, American, Latin American, and even East Asian societies. The first half of the course begins with the fall of the Roman Empire and the church's role in stabilizing the chaos of the period. We will then turn the conversion to Christianity of northern pagan society, the evolution of kingship in Anglo-Saxon society, and the creation of a Frankish empire on the continent that gave Europe a lasting belief in its historical destiny. In the second half of the course we will discuss the First Crusade, changing expressions of religious belief and practice (including heresy and the church's responses to it), the rise of states, the appearance of popular rebellion, and the literary culture of the aristocracy. A good deal of attention is also given to the position of women in society and the distinctive social values and religious piety that grew out of women's piety. With the exception of a fairly straightforward textbook, readings are entirely translated primary sources — generally whole works rather than excerpted snippets. Students should note that this year's syllabus is substantially revised from that of 2014, with a different, simpler textbook, the return of Beowulf, and the deletion of some excessively difficult readings.

Geoffrey Koziol
0150 GSPP
TuTh 1100-1230
CCN: 39015
5: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present

This course introduces students to the history of Europe since the late Renaissance, surveying the landmark events, dates, people, and historical processes of European history over the last half-millennium.  We begin in 1492 with the European conquest of the New World and the development of the “new monarchies” in Europe, and move rapidly through the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and Religious Wars, the development of strong and increasingly national states, the intellectual revolutions in science and philosophy, the French Revolution, industrialization, liberalism and socialism, colonial empires, the world wars of the 20th century, the Cold War, decolonization, and the formation of the European Union.  Throughout the course, we will focus on the reading and interpretation of primary sources, using an array of documents to introduce students to the sources of historical knowledge and the interpretive practices of historical thinking  – from theological tracts to accounts of conquest, from philosophical texts to political treatises, from descriptions of social conditions to speeches, memoirs, letters, and visual artifacts.  Themes on which we shall focus include the changing nature of political authority and practices and the changing expressions of collective identities in Europe.  Requirements include attendance at two weekly lectures and a two-hour section meeting devoted to discussing primary sources; several short papers, a midterm, and a final.  

Peter Sahlins
TuTh 200-330
CCN: 39036
6B: Introduction to Chinese History from the Mongols to Mao

This survey of early modern and modern Chinese history covers the rise and fall of three major conquest dynasties (the Mongol Yuan, the Chinese Ming, and the Manchu Qing), the ultimate collapse of the dynastic system, and the emergence of the nation-state in the twentieth century (first under the Nationalist Party, then under the Communist Party). Along the way, we will examine encounters between the latter territorial empires and the maritime empires of the West, increasing commercialization and urbanization, and the impact of various social revolutions. Students will be required to attend lectures, take part in discussion sessions, and read up to 150 pages each week in a variety of materials, with a strong emphasis on primary sources in English translation. Graded assignments will include weekly reading responses, active participation in discussion, two short papers, and two exams. There are no prerequisites.

Alexander C. Cook
TuTh 1230-200
CCN: 39063
7B: The United States: Civil War to the Present

This course is an introduction to the history of the United States from the Civil War to the present. It is also an introduction to the ways historians look at the past and think about evidence. Rather than a matter of memorizing names and dates, history is about framing the truest and most complete stories we can to explain wide ranges of human experience. Although this course will touch on many subjects, it will track three main narrative lines. One, from the abolition of slavery to the election of Obama, will trace changing regulations of and ideas about race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other cultural and political markers of identity. The second, the rise and fall of industrial society, will examine major economic transitions, as the fulcrum of U.S. economic life shifted from agriculture to industry and then to services. The third, from Sand Creek and Little Bighorn to 9-11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, will focus on the rise and uses of American power in the world. Lectures, readings, discussions, films, and writing assignments will stress various parts of these stories and also sharpen critical reading, interpretation, research, and writing skills.

Robin L. Einhorn
MWF 1000-1100
CCN: 39084
8B: Modern Latin America

This introductory course to Latin American history, after presenting some of the region's geographical and colonial background, will narrate, with broad brush, Latin American history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Because of the enormous range of nations, of histories, of geographies, we will not be able to "cover" all of Latin America's history.  Indeed, coverage is impossible.  Nonetheless, by the time we complete the course, the engaged student will have been introduced to some of the central themes of this dramatic and turbulent period and how these themes play themselves out in a variety of regions from Mexico to Chile, from the Andes to Brazil, from Central America to the Caribbean to the dissolving borders of the 21st-century.  Some of the central themes of the modern period which we will address in this course are colonial legacies and the multiple meanings of independence, ethnicity and class in the new nations and mutating nationalisms, the dynamism of the North Atlantic economy and the deformations of Latin America's arrested economic development, differing Latin American strategies to address long-term structural inequalities in the twentieth century, the cycles of revolutionary movements and repressive military governments, and the powerful forces of neoliberal globalization and Latin American resistance. Grades will be based quizzes, a midterm, and a final that will include a term paper and an in-class exam.

Rebecca Herman
MWF 200-300
CCN: 39162
14: Introduction to the History of Japan
This survey of Japanese culture from the period of origins until today will focus on the great texts that illuminate the political, religious, and economic experiences of all social classes.  Readings include the Shinto creation myth, Buddhist tales and Zen tracts, samurai literature (such as Tales of the Heike, Hagakure, and shogunal laws), aristocratic classics (such as The Tale of Genji), the literature of urban commoners (such as kabuki drama and merchant codes), major modern sources (from Imperial Rescripts to accounts of wartime travail), and examples of contemporary pop culture.  We shall also discuss two films (Double Suicide and Jiro Dreams of Sushi).  Our emphasis throughout will fall on the urgent subjects of war and peace, ethical and political values, urbanization and market revolutions, international relations and crises, and the changing conceptions of both selves and families.  Japan is a reasonably small country, separated from neighbors by treacherous seas, that contains very little farmable land and limited natural resources.  We shall grapple with the question of how it developed such remarkable cultural, economic, and military power. All are welcome.
Mary Elizabeth Berry
TuTh 930-1100
CCN: 39189
24: The Story of Berkeley and the University of California in a Global Context

The university as a self-governing corporation has the second longest unbroken history in western society.  Only the Roman Catholic Church is older. The university began almost imperceptibly in the 12th century. Within a short period, it found a home throughout Europe.  Colonial expansion took the university form to the New World.  Today it is to be found everywhere, educating millions of students. China in particular, the second largest economy in the world, is expanding higher education at almost an unprecedented rate.  The university is sometimes referred to as the powerhouse of modern society. How can we account for its triumph and supremacy? A good part of the answer lies in the fact that it is unique.  It is different from other institutions: different from business corporations, churches, the military or government.  Within the global world of universities, UC and Berkeley stand out, our campus in particular ranked amongst the top four research universities in the world.  We will explore the nature of this achievement, even its mysteries and odd rituals, in discussions, presentations, visits to special collections and walks around the campus, which has one of the most unusual designs to be found anywhere,.  The seminar is especially designed for freshmen because they are the newest of our students and the least acquainted with the extraordinary riches and mysteries of the university, but sophomores are welcome.  Attendance at the first meeting of the class is mandatory in order to secure a place in the seminar. 

Sheldon Rothblatt is Professor of History Emeritus.  He was Associate Dean of Students, L&S, Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education at Berkeley.  His specialty is the comparative history of universities.  He is a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (the body that grants Nobel Prizes), a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Britain, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the National Academy of Education. Upon retirement, he received the Berkeley Citation for "distinguished achievement and for notable service to the University." He has also been knighted by the King of Sweden as Knight Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star (founded in 1748).

Sheldon Rothblatt
279 Dwinelle
Thu 200-300
CCN: 39209
24: Museums of Berkeley

This seminar is about museums in general and the rich museums of Berkeley in particular. Students will be introduced to the history of museums, to social policy questions relating to them, and to some current political debates about collections (the status of Native American artifacts, for example). The core of this seminar however is a series of museum visits that will be led by the instructor and by curators in each venue. We will go to the Berkeley Art Museum, the Pacific Film Archive, the Berkeley Botanical Garden, the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Hearst Museum, the Bancroft, the paleontology and insect collections in VLSB, and the  Magnes museum.  Our last meeting will be dinner and a tour of the SF Moma if it is open again by then or top another SF museum. No reading outside class is required.

Thomas Laqueur is a cultural historian who has written on the history of education, religion, medicine, human rights and working class politics as well as, more recently, on sexuality (two books)  and on questions of memory and memorialization. His moist recent book is called The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Human Remains.

Thomas W. Laqueur
W 200-400
CCN: 39212
24: Disease in History

Is civilization bad for our health? We will explore this and other questions raised by the human experience of disease in history through short readings and weekly discussion. Topics include the nature of disease and the roles of doctors, hospitals, and public health measures, the impact of laboratory science and the germ theory, vaccines and the vaccination controversy, the pharmaceutical revolution, epidemics such as the 1918 influenza and HIV/AIDS, and the role of globalization. 

John Lesch is Professor Emeritus of History. He has a long-standing interest in the history of the life sciences and medicine. His publications include Science and Medicine in France: The Emergence of Experimental Physiology, 1790-1855; and The First Miracle Drugs: How the Sulfa Drugs Transformed Medicine. 

John Lesch
225 Dwinelle
Wednesday 1000-1100
CCN: 39215
24: How Wars Begin: Europe and the World, 1700-1945

“How do wars begin?" This is perhaps the most constant theme of the historian. Wars make up most of European history. In every civilization, there have been wars. Wars have come in all kinds of ways—wars of conquest, wars of imperial rivalries, wars of family disputes, religious wars.” These words were written by the late British historian, A.J.P. Taylor thirty years ago, and they apply with equal force to the world of today. This course will examine the origins of seven wars—more from an immediate, than from a long-range standpoint, though the latter will be considered as well. The immediate origins of wars, that is, the time when government officials set their hands to the declarations of them, often have little do with the long-range causes. Some examples: accidents of time, personal rivalries between senior officials of a government, mistaken assumptions about the intentions of the enemy. This course will examine the immediate origins of the wars noted by Taylor above, while not ignoring their long-range causes and, above all, the personalities, some of the most striking of all time, of those who brought them on.

David Wetzel
W 200-300
CCN: 39204
24: Poor and Working Children in the United States, 1880-1939

In this seminar we will examine the problem of child labor and child poverty in the United States through texts, photographs and autobiographies. Students who have read Katherine Boo's book on child poverty in India in the present day may find comparisons to the historical experience of the United States revealing and eye-opening. I am eager to have students in class who have read Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

Paula S. Fass is Professor of the Graduate School and Margaret Byrne Professor of History Emerita, University of California at Berkeley.  She has been at Berkeley for over 40 years, teaching a variety of courses in American social and cultural history, including courses on the history of childhood. She was the President of the Society of the History of Children and Youth from 2007-2009.   Her many books include Children of a New World:  Society, Culture, and Globalization (2007); Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America (1997); Outside In: Minorities and the Transformation of American Education (1989); The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s (1977).  She is the editor, most recently of Reinventing Childhood After World War II (2011)with Michael Grossberg and The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World  (2013).  She is currently completing The End of American Childhood  to be published in 2016.

Paula S. Fass
W 1100-1200
CCN: 39207
88: How Does History Count?

In this connector course, we will explore how historical data becomes historical evidence and how recent technological advances affect long-established practices, such as close attention to historical context and contingency. Will the advent of fast computing and big data make history “count” more or lead to unprecedented insights into the study of change over time? During our weekly discussions, we will apply what we learn in lectures and labs to the analysis of selected historical sources and get an understanding of constructing historical datasets. We will also consider scholarly debates over quantitative evidence and historical argument.

Andrej Milivojevic
105 Cory
Tuesdays 200-400
CCN: 40083
98BC: Berkeley Connect in History
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.

People learn best when they learn together. That premise underpins all our activities at Berkeley. Berkeley Connect seeks to enhance learning by strengthening contacts between undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty outside of the classroom.

We invite you to connect with undergraduates, graduates and faculty in lively conversation about history and the Berkeley experience. Meet a fantastic group of peers.  Ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Learn about the practice of history, and explore the Berkeley campus with a dedicated mentor.  Discover a new Berkeley!

The core of the Berkeley Connect program is a one-credit, pass-fail course that is designed to create a community of students with similar intellectual interests. There is no homework associated with Berkeley Connect: no exams, no papers, no quizzesBerkeley Connect links undergraduate students with experienced mentors in History through small groups of 10-20 students that meet regularly. Small group meetings help students share ideas and learn new skills, as well as foster friendships and provide a supportive intellectual community. Participants will also meet with mentors one-on-one for academic guidance and advice.

The only requirement for joining Berkeley Connect is that you have an interest in the field of study. You do not have to be a major in order to participate! Undeclared freshmen and sophomores are welcome, along with entering junior transfers and juniors and seniors.

Alberto M Garcia
M 500-600
CCN: 39237
98BC: Berkeley Connect in History
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.

People learn best when they learn together. That premise underpins all our activities at Berkeley. Berkeley Connect seeks to enhance learning by strengthening contacts between undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty outside of the classroom.

We invite you to connect with undergraduates, graduates and faculty in lively conversation about history and the Berkeley experience. Meet a fantastic group of peers.  Ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Learn about the practice of history, and explore the Berkeley campus with a dedicated mentor.  Discover a new Berkeley!

The core of the Berkeley Connect program is a one-credit, pass-fail course that is designed to create a community of students with similar intellectual interests. There is no homework associated with Berkeley Connect: no exams, no papers, no quizzesBerkeley Connect links undergraduate students with experienced mentors in History through small groups of 10-20 students that meet regularly. Small group meetings help students share ideas and learn new skills, as well as foster friendships and provide a supportive intellectual community. Participants will also meet with mentors one-on-one for academic guidance and advice.

The only requirement for joining Berkeley Connect is that you have an interest in the field of study. You do not have to be a major in order to participate! Undeclared freshmen and sophomores are welcome, along with entering junior transfers and juniors and seniors.

Margaret O'Donnell
Tu 600-700
CCN: 39240
98BC: Berkeley Connect in History
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.

People learn best when they learn together. That premise underpins all our activities at Berkeley. Berkeley Connect seeks to enhance learning by strengthening contacts between undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty outside of the classroom.

We invite you to connect with undergraduates, graduates and faculty in lively conversation about history and the Berkeley experience. Meet a fantastic group of peers.  Ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Learn about the practice of history, and explore the Berkeley campus with a dedicated mentor.  Discover a new Berkeley!

The core of the Berkeley Connect program is a one-credit, pass-fail course that is designed to create a community of students with similar intellectual interests. There is no homework associated with Berkeley Connect: no exams, no papers, no quizzesBerkeley Connect links undergraduate students with experienced mentors in History through small groups of 10-20 students that meet regularly. Small group meetings help students share ideas and learn new skills, as well as foster friendships and provide a supportive intellectual community. Participants will also meet with mentors one-on-one for academic guidance and advice.

The only requirement for joining Berkeley Connect is that you have an interest in the field of study. You do not have to be a major in order to participate! Undeclared freshmen and sophomores are welcome, along with entering junior transfers and juniors and seniors.

Th 500-600
CCN: 39243
100AC: History of American Capitalism
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 200-330
CCN: 39246
100AP: Shipwrecked – Conversion, Redemption, and Salvation in Ship-wreck Narratives
The course will focus  on several crucial shipwreck narratives, in the Odyssey,  the Acts of the Apostles and other Christian writings referring to the Apostle Paul, in Shakespeare’s Tempest and Dafoe’s Robinson Crusoe, to identify how narratives of ship-wreck and similar naval catastrophes encapsulate encounters with the divine, conversion experiences, questions of religious identity, and concepts of paradise. We will focus on the narrative pattern of these classic shipwreck accounts (that is, we will read the texts!) and then use approaches from cultural anthropology and literary theory to identify how the narrators use shipwrecks to talk about the relation between nature, the divine, and humans.
Susanna Elm
223 Dwinelle
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39267
100BP: The Viking World

In the late eighth century Europe was rocked by the first of the Viking attacks. Over the next two centuries they left a legacy that has been immortalized in books, TV shows, movies and sports teams. But what drove these renowned seafarers to set sail from Scandinavia to shores as far as North America and the Black Sea? In this course we will examine the world of the Vikings, looking at the social, cultural, and political changes that the Viking Age ushered in not just in Scandinavia but across Europe. We will discuss how raiding and trade went hand in hand, how new ideas of kingship and worship crossed cultural boundaries, and the ways in which history and legend overlap, coloring our ideas of the medieval past.

Daniel F. Melleno
MWF 900-1000
CCN: 39269
100D: Staging the American City: A Cultural History of Broadway

This course weaves together two stories that are ordinarily told separately: the history of popular theatrical productions in the United States and the history of American urban life. Both stories focus on New York, and on the meaning of Broadway - as a place, an institution, and a cultural symbol. What does the history of Broadway from 1800 to the present teach us about popular culture, big city living, racial and ethnic identity, mass spectacle, and everyday life in modern America? Requirements include regular attendance, timely completion of reading assignments, two midterms, and one cumulative final examination.

David Henkin
TuTh 1230-200
CCN: 39270
100E: A History of Film in Latin America

This class posits that films are primary documents, and thus, can be used as the basis of historical inquiry and analysis. We will consider aspects of the content, form, and execution of a set of outstanding films from Latin America from about 1940 to about 1970, focusing on this period of cultural and political development primarily in the countries with major film industries: Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, and Argentina. Our readings will include histories of the film and culture industries, more general examinations of the political and social issues raised in the movies we watch, and film criticism of the period. Students will be expected to attend several movie nights or make arrangements to see movies outside of class time at the Media Resource Center. The course will include two short papers based on the films as well as a final paper.

Sarah Selvidge
MWF 900-1000
CCN: 39296
100F: Tongue and Territory: Language and Region in South Asian History

Language is central to human relationships; so central, in fact, that speakers of a particular language often feel deeply tied to others who speak the same language, and isolated from those who don’t. Moreover, this connection can seem like something they have not made themselves, but inherited. Regions, too, seem like facts of nature: although their borders may be blurry, they often appear to be real things, with their own environments, political dynamics, and cultures. But how do we know where one language stops and the next one starts? Do different languages have different essences? And is a region defined by a particular landscape, by the people who live there, or by something else? 

In the Indian subcontinent, languages and regions have generated love, jealousy, pride, and hatred—all with the kind of intensity more often associated with religions and nations. Despite their seeming naturalness, they have been shaped in profound ways by both human and nonhuman forces, sometimes deliberately and sometimes entirely by accident. In this course, we will examine these histories from a variety of perspectives, using a wide range of primary documents as well as scholarly writings to think about how political struggles, cultural expressions, technological revolutions, and ecological transformations have remade these essential facets of everyday life.

David S. Boyk
MWF 1200-100
CCN: 39297
100M: Jews and Muslims

Jewish-Muslim relations as they developed in the Middle East and North Africa from the rise of Islam to the present day. This course analyzes how ethnic and religious boundaries were drawn and transgressed in historical settings including Muhammad's Arabia, Islamic Spain, the Ottoman Empire, and modern Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, and Israel. It asks how this shared cultural heritage is remembered and mobilized in the contemporary world, shedding light on the current state of Muslim-Jewish relations in MENA, Europe and the US. Films, memoirs, scripture, and historical works will form the basis of our inquiry.

Emily Gottreich
102 Wurster
MW 400-530
CCN: 39302
100M: History of Modern Israel

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
102 Moffitt
TuTh 1100-1230
CCN: 39300
104: The Craft of History

History 104 is a course designed for history majors, or prospective majors, to master the skills necessary to succeed in their chosen discipline and to enhance their understanding of the nature of historical inquiry.   By taking this course, you will improve your ability to meet the challenges of upper level history courses and prepare yourself for the advanced research and writing expected in History 103 and 101, the senior honors thesis sequence.   History 104 is taught in one lecture and two section meetings per week, emphasizing hands-on learning. There will be no exams, and the reading assignments are relatively light, in order to give you time to work with the professor and GSIs on asking historical questions, finding research topics, locating and organizing primary and secondary source materials, developing an argument, experimenting with various forms of writing, and crafting a polished essay.  Grading will be based on section participation and a series of writing assignments building toward a 10-12 page original historical essay.

Mark A. Peterson
M 400-530
CCN: 39417
105B: The Greek World: 403- 31 B.C.E.
  • Note new room.

At the end of the Peloponnesian War, some of Athens' enemies proposed that the great city, now starved into defeat, should be razed to the ground and turned into pastureland for sheep. So dramatic a reversal, so severe a punishment, was unthinkable to most Greeks even in the heated moment of their unexpected victory, and the proposal was not approved. It remains, however, indicative of a major turning-point in Greek history and will serve as our point of departure. This course will explore the changing face of the Greek world in the late Classical period, an age of political experiment and struggle for hegemony; the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late fourth century and the Hellenistic world of the kings and dynasts who fought their way to power after his death; and the process by which Rome, nothing more than a little Italian city-state at the beginning of this period, was drawn into the eastern Mediterranean and came to conquer the entire Greek world. Other topics will include cultural interactions between Greeks and their non-Greek neighbors, including Persians, Indians, Jews, Egyptians, and Romans; kings; cities, civic identity, and civic benefactors; federalism; religious change; economic growth and practices; mercenaries and pirates; warfare; patronage of the arts; and major developments in science, mathematics, and philosophy.

Emily Mackil
209 Dwinelle
MWF 300-400
CCN: 39438
111D: Vietnam at War

This course examines the social and political history of the wars that engulfed Vietnam during the post-WWII era.   It introduces two interpretive approaches to the history of these conflicts – the “Orthodox” and the “Revisionist” schools – as well as a new framework known as the Vietnam-centric school.   It foregrounds the role of Vietnamese actors and institutions and places twentieth-century developments within the broader context of Vietnamese history. While focusing on the Second Indochina War (1954-1975), it also examines the rise of regionalism, nationalism and communism prior to WWII as well as the history of the First Indochina War (1946-1954) and the Third Indochina War (1978-80).  Major topics addressed include the battle of Dien Bien Phu, the Geneva Accords, the establishment of northern and southern Vietnamese states during the 1950s, the history of American, Soviet and Chinese intervention, the escalation of the War in 1965, the Tet Offensive, Vietnamization, the Paris Accords, the American withdrawal and the Fall of Saigon.   We will also discuss representations of the conflict in film, literature and popular culture.  

Peter B. Zinoman
TuTh 1100-1230
CCN: 39447
112B: Modern South Africa, 1652 - Present

This course will examine three centuries of South African history that account for the origin and development of the recently dismantled apartheid regime. Our aim is to understand the major historical forces that progressively shaped what became a turbulent socio-cultural, economic, political, and racial frontier. We will look at the nature of indigenous African societies in South Africa on the eve of European arrival; initial European settlements and the origins of competition for resources; expansionist trends among Dutch settlers and the responses of African societies; mfecane/difacane and its aftermath; the role of the frontier in shaping race relations; emergence of Afrikanerdom and the creation of Afrikaner republics; competing African/Boer/British nationalisms; corporate mining and its impact on labour migrancy; the Anglo-Boer war and the creation of the Union. The 20th century witnessed the formulation, articulation, and racialization of trade unions, the emergence of increased political mobilization among African, Afrikaner, and Indian populations. The course will examine the complex relationship between key protagonists, and the creation and dismantling of the apartheid apparatus. Course requirements will include a midterm exam (40%), one review paper (20%), and a final exam (40%).

Tabitha Kanogo
TuTh 1100-1230
CCN: 39456
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
TuTh 200-330
CCN: 39465
118C: Empire and Alienation: The 20th Century in Japan

The general theme of this course is Japan's emergence as a world power in its two phases, military and economic. Our chief concern will be with the experience within Japan of that emergence and its consequences: the impact on farming villages (including colonial villages sending labor migrants to Japan) of "late" industrialization; the emergence of a conflict, played out in actual lives, between notions of individuality vs. collective identity (based on class, nationality, and gender) and between different collective identities; the horror of total war; the transformation of values that came with defeat and occupation; the nature of postwar democracy and relation of society to state; the changing way(s) in which Japanese view and participate in the world outside Japan.

Andrew E. Barshay
TuTh 1230-200
CCN: 39468
124B: The United States from World War II to the Vietnam Era

World War II marked the beginning of a tremendous change in the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world. During the following decades, the new role of the United States in the international arena not only reshaped the nation's politics, culture, and society, but became one of many factors that transformed the question of what it meant to be an American. In this course, we will examine a few of the many ways that this question was answered on a national, group, and individual level. We will also look at the expansion of federal power, suburbanization and the changing demographics of race and class, the Cold War and anti-communism, the Civil Rights movement, the rise of mass consumption, and many other topics.

Gene Zubovich
0100 LEWIS
MWF 1100-1200
CCN: 39471
125A: The History of Black People and Race Relations, 1550- 1861

This course is a survey of African-American history from its beginnings through emancipation. Classes and coursework will examine African origins of black Americans, the history of the middle passage, the development of plantation slavery, and the many historical changes that shaped African-American life and culture thereafter—from the American Revolution to the Civil War. Topics will include the impact of the Haitian and American Revolutions on African-American life; the abolition of slavery in the post-Revolutionary North, the development of a free black community there; the expansion of slavery in the South, antebellum enslaved people's culture, and their resistance to enslavement. Some readings will explore the African American body under slavery. Other topics that will be covered include the use of enslaved African Americans in early medical research and experimentation, enslaved women’s reproduction, the role of enslaved people in the healing and medical treatment of others within the community, and enslaved African Americans love and intimacy. The readings will be attentive to the ways that gender shaped the experiences of slavery and freedom for African Americans and we will also read about the experiences of enslaved children. You should leave the class with a broader understanding of the experiences of African Americans prior to 1865. 

PLEASE NOTE: You only need to purchase VOLUME ONE of Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans with Documents (ISBN-10: 0312648839 ISBN-13: 978-0312648831)The textbook can also be rented or purchased via Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-My-Mind-Americans-Documents/dp/0312648839 and Barnes and Noble.com at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/freedom-on-my-mind-volume-1-deborah-gray...

A copy of the textbook will also be placed on reserve in Moffitt Library. 

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
TuTh 330-500
CCN: 39474
127AC: California
This course is an introductory survey of California’s history. Thus, the class will start by discussing some of the central themes that structure our study of the state’s past. Among the more important topics we will revisit throughout the semester are the following: historical perceptions of California as a land of opportunity and inclusion versus a place of exploitation and exclusion, radical political experimentation, intergenerational conflicts, human migrations and demographic transformations, diversity versus assimilation, and environmental adaptation and stewardship versus economic development and the conquest of environmental constraints. 
Chronologically, the course begins by examining how the environment shaped the emergence of distinct indigenous cultures in pre-contact California. Then, we will explore the founding of the missions, the Mexican-American War, and the Gold Rush. All of these events reveal the ways that religion, racism, and greed enabled the tragedies suffered by California’s diverse native cultures during continued European expansion. The Gold Rush simultaneously precipitated a more diverse society and more violent and racist reactions by whites to that diversity, as they viewed the Chinese, Mexicans, California Indians, and other groups as economic competition, alien cultures, racially inferior, and/or easily exploited. Tensions between distinct groups and communities help frame many of the case studies we will examine, especially immigrants and migrants such as the Chinese, the Japanese, Filipinos, “Okies,” African-Americans, and Mexicans. Each of these groups experienced these tensions in ways that not only shaped their lives but the larger society and politics of California during key periods in the state’s history.
As we proceed through the second half of the nineteenth century, changes wrought by railroads and the expansion of agriculture help illuminate the rapid development of California’s economy and the establishment and growth of many new communities. In this context, the importance of water and its role in the growth of agribusiness and large cities is indispensable to any understanding of California’s past and present. Next, the class examines the causes and consequences of urban growth in San Francisco and Los Angeles with special attention paid to corruption and reform, natural disasters, water politics, and the cultural significance of Hollywood. Then, we will explore the economic, sociological, and political aspects of the “Okie” migration during the Great Depression and its legacies for later generations. After examining the economic and demographic transformations of California driven by World War II and suburbanization, we turn our attention to intergenerational tensions arising from debates over civil rights, free speech, women’s liberation, identity politics, and anti-communism. Students will also read about the origins, growth, and increasing solidarity of the LGBT community in California.
Ultimately, no history of California would be complete without an emphasis on two major themes: the impacts of the initiative process and Mexican immigration. By highlighting where these two themes converge we will discuss the power of language to shape political campaigns and distort perceptions of less powerful groups. In particular, we will explore how supporters of Propositions 13, 187, and 8 all deployed language in culturally coded ways to evoke specific emotional reactions intended to legitimate the persecution and disenfranchisement of vulnerable minorities.
The Staff
390 Hearst Mining
MWF 100-200
CCN: 39482
136AC: Gender Matters in 20th Century America
  • This course has been cancelled.
The Staff
CCN: 39483
137AC: The Repeopling of America

America has been called a "nation of immigrants." Following the massive depopulation of the native populations, people from five continents over four centuries moved to what is today the United States. This course will provide an overview of that migration beginning with the colonial migration which brought the free and unfree to a less developed colonial region. It will follow the migration as the United States became a source of agricultural livelihoods and later an industrial power which exploited the labor of millions of migrants in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.  Finally, the course will conclude with migrations that have recently brought refugees and service workers to the United States. Throughout the course we will focus on the process of acculturation and the strategies used by immigrants to cope with a strange new world. The course readings will explore the diverse experiences of immigrants themselves.

Christopher W. Shaw
MWF 1200-100
CCN: 39486
C139C: From the Civil Rights Era to the New Gilded Age: Struggles for Racial Equality and Economic Equity from “Double Victory” to “Occupy”
  • Note new room.

World War II lifted the United States from the Great Depression, launching the nation on a course of economic expansion that would endure for a quarter century afterwards. This long economic boom, in turn, helped underwrite and propel efforts on behalf of greater racial equality and economic equity. By the late 1960s, however, as the long economic boom fizzled out, America’s march toward greater racial equality began to founder, while its march toward greater economic equity began to reverse course. The Civil Rights Era gave way to the New Gilded Age, a period marked by an increasing concentration of income and wealth in the hands of a decreasing percentage of the overall population. This course will explore the political, legal, and economic history of America’s struggles for racial equality and economic equity – and the relationship between them – from the World War II-inspired “Double Victory” campaign roots of the Civil Rights Era to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests of 2011 that finally brought national attention to the growing income and wealth polarization that defined the then decades-old New Gilded Age.

Mark Brilliant
180 TAN
TuTh 930-1100
CCN: 39489
C139B: The American Immigrant Experience
  • This course has been cancelled.
Carl Mason
140 Barrows
TTh 11-12:30
CCN: 39488
151A: Tudor Stuart Britain, 1485- 1660

This course explores the history of early modern Britain from the late fifteenth century to the early eighteenth century. The main focus will be political and religious history, with particular attention to the Renaissance, the Reformation, the English Revolution, economic developments, and the birth of the modern state. We will also examine many other issues, including: religious violence, cross-cultural encounters, gender politics, the rise of empire, developments in science and medicine, changing legal traditions, political philosophy, court scandal and intrigue, and the socio-economic realities of early modern life. This course will also involve discussion of early modern sources, and we will regularly examine and utilize visual, audio, and digital tools and sources.

Robert L. Harkins
MWF 100-200
CCN: 39510
151C: The Peculiar Modernity of Britain, 1750 to the Present

151C Modern Britain, 1750 to the present. This class will examine how Britain became modern. It will explore everything from the industrial revolution to deindustrialization, the spectacular growth and mobility of populations, urbanization and suburbanizaiton, the emergence of the idea of the individual and nuclear family, the expansion and eventual collapse of an empire upon which the sun once famously never set.  The class explores a number of key questions.  How did Britain become modern and yet remain a deeply traditional society unable to rid itself of ancient institutions like the monarchy, the aristocracy and the established church? How did Britons think of themselves as an essentially liberal people, bringing trade, prosperity, democracy and civilization to the rest of the world and yet become associated with the spread of immense poverty, imperial violence and exploitation. And how did this liberalism lay the foundations for the enormous growth of Britain's decolonizing welfare and security state in the twentieth century let alone the emergence of multi-culturalism and neo-liberalism?  The class combines economic, social, political and cultural history.

James Vernon
TuTh 200-330
CCN: 39519
158C: Old and New Europe, 1914 to the Present

This course examines the political, social and cultural history of Europe in the twentieth century. The story of Europe’s twentieth century is dramatic: from the era of global political and economic dominance to the unparalleled destruction of two World Wars; from the interwar crises of capitalism and democracy to the creation of social democracy and European union; from the reach of vast overseas empires to the remaking of geopolitics through decolonization and Cold War. These transformations raise key questions about the nature of modern society and politics, for example in the comparison between capitalist and communist regimes. We will examine the ways in which the various political ideologies of liberal democracy, fascism, communism, social democracy and neo-liberalism developed in reaction to one another and to the various crises which Europeans faced, and the ways in which societies were transformed through political experimentation. In this period Europe occupied a central place in global history, and we will approach the particular modern society of twentieth-century Europe both as unique in world history, and as centrally influential and important for the world as a whole both then and now.

Michael Dean
MWF 300-400
CCN: 39537
160: The International Economy of the 20th Century

The twentieth century witnessed both international integration through market-based exchange as well as numerous experiments, left and right, at economic independence from reigning financial superpowers. National governments, and the international organizations they created, alternatively relied on market mechanisms and on planning to spur economic growth, raising the living standards of millions in some instances but also fueling mass unemployment, famine, environmental degradation and even genocide in other instance. Topics include the Gold Standard, the Great Depression, the economics of the two World Wars, decolonialization, and post-war financial crisis.

Andrej Milivojevic
0100 LEWIS
MWF 1200-100
CCN: 39555
162B: European Diplomacy from 1914

This upper division course analyzes the turbulent transitions from the classical European balance of power to today's global multipolar system. The class focuses on the history of international relations and Europe's changing role within the international system. We will be examining individual personalities, including Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Churchill, de Gaulle, Thatcher and Gorbachev; ideologies, such as fascism, communism, and socialism; and institutional structures, including the League of Nations, the United Nations, and the European Union. Though Europe will feature in a starring role, we will also pay full attention to developments in parts of the world outside Europe--including but not limited to, imperialism and decolonization in Africa and Latin America, wars in the Middle East, the rise of Asia, and the post-1990 international order.

The Staff
MWF 100-200
CCN: 39557
164A: European Intellectual History from Renaissance to Enlightenment

Between 1500 and 1800, European thought helped to build the foundations of modern culture, politics, economy, government, law, and religion. This course will introduce students to this transformative period in intellectual history. It will showcase the interactions of ideas and their wider cultural contexts. Its content will range from the Renaissance rediscovery of antiquity to the Scientific Revolution, from the theological innovation of the Reformation to the new forms of political theory that accompanied both French and American Revolutions. Readings will consist principally of primary texts from the period, and will range among a series of writers, including: Erasmus, Martin Luther, Niccolò Machiavelli, John Calvin, Michel Montaigne, Thomas Hobbes, Benedict Spinoza, Rene Descartes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and others.

Tyler C. Lange
MWF 900-1000
CCN: 39558
168A: The Spanish and Portuguese Empires in the Golden Age: 1450-1700

This course will focus on the rise and development of early modern Europe's most powerful empires. Rising from the unlikely setting of a weak and fragmented Iberian peninsula in the fifteenth century, the Spanish and Portuguese Empires went on to become the world's first truly global powers. As such, they had a tremendous impact on the political, economic, cultural, and religious life of not only Iberia, but on significant parts of Europe and the New World. These were the empires of Henry the Navigator, Cervantes, Quevedo, Velasquez, and Vittoria. At the same time, they were also the powers that produced the conquistadors, the Inquisition, and Machiavelli's model prince, Ferdinand. The course will combine a chronological and thematic approach. While the lectures will focus on the dramatic narrative of the political and economic rise, expansion and decline of the empires from the later half of the fifteenth century through the seventeenth century, our readings and precepts will focus on the literary, artistic, social, and religious texts and themes that combined to create the sense that this was Spain and Portugal's Golden Age.

Thomas James Dandelet
102 Wurster
TTh 11-12:30
CCN: 39572
171C: The Soviet Union, 1917 to the Present

An introductory survey of Russian history from the revolutions of 1917 to the present. Marxism-Leninism, War Communism, and Real Socialism; the Great Transformation and the Great Terror; family and nationality; state and society; Russian versus Soviet; Gorbachev versus the past, Russia versus the world. A midterm and a final; no term paper.

Yuri Slezkine
TuTh 330-500
CCN: 39576
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
101 Wurster
MWF 1100-1200
CCN: 39591
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.


Andrea A. Sinn
TTh 930-1100
CCN: 39609
180: The Life Sciences since 1750

Naturalists ventured beyond the routine identification of plants and animals during the Enlightenment. Many of them began the systematic investigation of laws of the biological world. This change in the life sciences occurred amidst political revolution, imperial conquest, industrialization, and widespread social unrest. The new science of biology was no less revolutionary. Its principles shaped modern society and even caused people to question humanity's role in the cosmos. This course examines the individual choices that these biologists made while venturing into this new study of life. What was at stake? What questions did they ask? When faced with competing explanations for the natural world, why did they choose the explanations that gave us modern biology today? Special attention will be paid to concepts of generation, the history of evolutionary theories, and the emergence of modern molecular biology.

Rodolfo John Alaniz
MWF 100-200
CCN: 39612