Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2017
R1B.001: From Yellow Fever to the Zika Virus: Medicine and Bodies in Global History

In recent years, epidemics, such as the Ebola and Zika viruses, have caused global panics, affected international relations, and precipitated domestic political crises. Why did disease and the management of disease become so central to the politics of the imperial and globalized world? This course will examine how disease, medicine, and public health have shaped empires and global politics over the past three hundred years. Our readings will take us from the eighteenth-century Caribbean to British-colonized India in the mid-nineteenth century to present-day humanitarian medical organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders. Key questions we will pose throughout the semester will include: How did fears of diseases shape historical imaginations about the Global South? How were scientific ideas and technologies developed, tested, and contested outside of Europe? How did that scientific knowledge, developed in the colonial world, come to shape the Global North? And, has the promise of health become an accepted right of all peoples? This course focuses on developing the fundamental skills of a liberal arts education: reading critically and writing persuasively. The course will also serve as an introduction to the components of historical thinking: change over time, causality, context, and contingency.

Julia Shatz
204 Dwinelle
MWF 2-3
Class #: 15104
1: Global History

History 1 introduces students to core dynamics of global history. Traversing the experience of human societies from earliest origins to the complex, chaotic, and cacophonous twenty-first century, the course highlights recurrent themes including the origins and development of political order; the evolution of interstate (or international) relations; and the historical advance of globalization. From this vast panorama, students will acquire a broad, even foundational, perspective on the human past and new insight into transcendent problems in the human experience.

Daniel Sargent, Nicolas Tackett
2040 Valley Life Sciences
TuTh 3:30-5
Class #: 46157
R1B.002: Dynastic Marriages in Early Modern Europe

 The Hapsburg’s attainment of political and territorial preponderance by the 16th century is often attributed by scholars to the family’s motto: “Let others wage war, but thou, O happy Austria, marry.” This course will examine the dynastic marriages of the Spanish Hapsburgs, the most powerful branch of the family, from the reign of Charles V through Charles II.  In order to paint a complete picture of these complex diplomatic exchanges, discussions will require varying levels of analysis that consider the impact that they had at an international, state and individual level. How effective were marriages as a tool for realizing foreign policy and/or promoting international stability? To what extent did dynastic ties facilitate cultural transfers between states? What effect did intense negotiations, physical displacement, and inbreeding have on the men and women at the center of these exchanges? In grappling with these questions, students will have the opportunity to explore a number of themes ranging from dynastic strategies and diplomacy to culture and gender. The course is designed to improve student’s critical thinking, reading, and writings skills and will be comprised of discussions and writing workshops. Coursework will include a number of short papers and one final research paper.

Daniel Roddy
235 Dwinelle
MWF 4-5
Class #: 15105
4A: Origins of Western Civilization: The Ancient Mediterranean World

What kind of a place was the ancient world? What is distinctive about antiquity and how is it defined? Was there, in fact, a single ancient world or just a series of discrete civilizations‹Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome? What do we know about this distant past, and how?

This course will provide answers to these questions, by giving you an introductory survey of the history of the ancient Mediterranean world, from the rise of city states in Mesopotamia circa 3000 BCE to the fragmentation of the Roman Empire at the end of the fourth century CE. 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, 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 on 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 will give students an opportunity in discussion sections to grapple with some of the evidence on which our narratives and interpretations are based.

Emily Mackil
159 Mulford
TuTh 9:30-11
Class #: 15107
6A: What Matters in Being Chinese: past and present

Increasingly, in today's world of identity politics, we encounter fantastic or essentializing assertions about "Chineseness" or "Chinese identity."  This course, which covers formative millennia — Anyang (1300 BC) to the fall of Southern Song in 1279 — seeks from the dual vantage points of past and present to reexamine many of the defining features of the premodern era in China that contribute to modern identity, including the following: (1) how did Chinese empires differ from those of Rome or the Near East? (2) how were "barbarians" defined by those in the Central States or Zhongguo? (3) how did major advances in technology and science inform the societies responding to them? (4) what notions of justice, law, and the common good were widely shared among rulers and their subjects? (5) what magical and religious roles were assigned the spirit world in daily life? (6) what environmental conditions shaped people's ways of life, and why did people's views of the environment change markedly over time? (7) how many Silk Roads were there, and how did they keep the culture open? and (8) how was knowledge produced and learning transmitted?  As students will discover, vibrant traditions in China (multiple) came together and cross-fertilized, producing often a surprising cohesiveness, but also strong traditions of resistance, uprisings, and contrary stances.  The true histories of China are exciting and absorbing, once we imagine the human dynamics, intellectual and sociopolitical innovations, and distinctive political realities.

Michael Nylan
180 Tan
TuTh 12:30-2
Class #: 14972
7A: Introduction to the History of the United States: 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; the founding of the United States and the evolution and of its political institutions; the spread of new ideas and cultural practices; and the clash of competing claims about power, rights, religious obligation, and the good life.

David Henkin
105 Stanley
TuTh 2-3:30
Class #: 15170
8B: Modern Latin America

This introductory course surveys the history of modern Latin America from independence to the present, with a strong emphasis on the twentieth century. Our focus will be on broad transfomations in politics, place, identity, and work.

Rebecca Herman
101 Moffitt
TuTh 11-12:30
Class #: 46342
10: African History
The history of Africa is extraordinarily complex and rich in both tragedy and achievement. In this course, important issues in African history will be introduced including the following: how and why complex societies formed in Africa; the technological responses of different Africans to environmental changes; how various cultures, religions, and state ideologies helped to organize African social and political life; the effects of the trade in enslaved Africans on African social and political structures; the impact of European colonial rule on the continent; the political economy of post-colonial Africa; and some of the ways in which modern Africans have experienced the enormous transformations which have occurred in recent decades from globalization, pandemic disease and different episodes of violence. Our goal will be to achieve both an analytic sophistication in understanding the historical processes which have defined different parts of Africa over time, and an appreciation for the ways in which Africans have explained and understood their experiences in a variety of media.
Bruce Hall
20 Wheeler
TuTh 9:30-11
Class #: 44781
11: Tantric Yoga, Tandoori Chicken and the Taj Mahal: Introduction to the Civilizations and Cultures of the Indian Subcontinent

The Indian subcontinent (today the home of Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan) is often imagined as an exceptional and timeless space and place: home to a dizzying array of ancient philosophical traditions; spiritual and physical inquiry; long-standing traditions in art, literature, architecture, aesthetics, music and dance. Birthplace of two of the worlds great traditions (Hinduism and Buddhism) and home to the largest Muslim population in the world, the subcontinent has seen dozens of dynasties ruling peoples who speak scores of languages and worship thousands of gods on the one hand, and only One on the other. In this course, we will take a rapid jaunt through this dizzying land in its past and present, and through all its manifold contradictions, from the sublime heights of abstract philosophy to the brutal realities of postcolonial poverty; from the masterpieces of art and architecture to the teeming cities of the subcontinent; from the epics represented in its traditions of dance and music to its contemporary obsession with Bollywood and cricket, that Indian game accidentally birthed in Britain. Our inquiries will be driven by a single question, that is of relevance to every inhabitant of the south Asian subcontinent and many others beyond it: how do we reconcile the lands millennia of civilization with the tortured fractures of its present?

Janaki Bakhle
2 LeConte
MW 5-6:30
Class #: 46335
14: Introduction to the History of Japan

A brisk 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 dialectic of national and local identities in shaping Japanese politics, Japan's interaction with the Asian continent and the Western world, and the relation of past to present in modern times.

Andrew E. Barshay
180 Tan
TuTh 2-3:30
Class #: 44784
24: Freshman Seminar: Endangered Children and Youth in Africa: Documentaries

Scheduled to meet for the first half of the semester only, this once-a-week two-hour seminar will analyze documentaries that explore and expose the endangerment of children and youth in Africa. Documentaries on child trafficking and enslavement, child brides, child laborers, street children and youth, victims of FGM, child soldiers, HIV/AIDS orphans and urban youth gangs will be viewed in class. The goal of the seminar is to examine the complex local, regional, and at times global factors behind the extensive abuse and endangerment of children and youth in Africa. In order to historicize and contextualize the study, we shall, in addition to the documentaries, refer to a limited number of published articles.

Tabitha Kanogo
180 Barrows
Tu 12-2
Class #: 15006
30: Science and Society

Modern scientific thought arose from the chaotic encounters between European and non-European cultures during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As a result, scientific knowledge has been a constant companion to each major event in modern world history. This course provides a survey of the history of science from the Late Middle Ages to present. Students of the humanities will gain a richer understanding of science's influence on modern human thought. Students of science will learn techniques for historical analysis and gain a deeper appreciation for the production of scientific knowledge. This course will also prepare students for advanced coursework in the history of science.

Daniel M Robert
106 Stanley
MWF 2-3
Class #: 15007
39: Freshman and Sophomore Seminar
  • This course has been cancelled.

Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

M 10-12
Class #: 46524
98BC: Berkeley Connect for Lower Division Students
  • 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 quizzes.  Berkeley 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.

Thomas James Dandelet
3205 Dwinelle
Class #: 46504
100AP: Eros: A History of Love from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance

What is love? An instinct, a thing of nature? Or an idea, a product of culture? European philosophers since Plato have sought answers to these questions, advancing in the process various theories about the relationship between nature, culture, and the human condition. This class considers these theories as a starting point of an historical exploration of love as represented in a variety of cultural artifacts from ancient Greece through Renaissance Italy. These include the poetry of Sappho, Ovid and Dante; Greek and Roman sculpture; ancient and medieval romances; marriage chests and wedding hymns; the letters of Abelard and Eloise; and Christian allegorical readings of the Song of Songs. The course alternates between lecture and discussion, so class attendance and student participation are required. The final grade will be based on participation, short writing assignments, two exams, and a final paper.

Diliana Angelova
140 Barrows
TuTh 11-12:30
Class #: 46337
100AP: Shipwrecked: Conversion, Redemption, and Salvation in Shipwreck Narratives

The course will focus on several crucial shipwreck narratives, in Homers Odyssey, the Ancient Egyptian Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor, Sophokles Philoktetes, passages in the Acts of the Apostles, referring to a shipwreck of the Apostle Paul, shipwrecks in Roman imperial romance novels, in Shakespeares Tempest and in Cotton Mathers account of a saving shipwreck (with, perhaps, passing glances at Dafoes Robinson Crusoe), to identify how narratives of ship-wreck and similar maritime catastrophes encapsulate encounters with the divine, conversion experiences, questions of religious and personal 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 compare them to other conversion narratives (including martyr accounts). We will 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 as individuals and members of a society (perhaps in crisis). The requirements will include short papers, in-class presentations of particular texts and themes, to be handed in, and a final paper. Attendance will form 10% of the grade.

Susanna Elm
229 Dwinelle
TuTh 2-3:30
Class #: 46508
100E: The Atlantic World

This course explores the history of the four continents on the Atlantic rim—Europe, Africa, North America, and South America—and their increasing connectedness in the wake of Columbus's voyage in 1492. It takes the Atlantic Ocean and its peripheries as a common zone of interaction, where peoples, cultures, ideas, goods, foodstuffs, and pathogens came into contact from diverse regions. The course begins with a portrait of European, African, and American civilizations c. 1400 and ends with an overview of the protracted struggles for decolonization and emancipation from slavery in the nineteenth-century Americas. Throughout these five centuries of profound transformation, we will study conflict and encounter between the regions many different peoples. Topics for discussion include European colonial expansion and the development of an increasingly integrated economic system, the destruction and reconfiguration of indigenous worlds, the rise of African slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and the strategies of accommodation, resistance, and rebellion employed by each of these groups. Unfamiliar perspectives will be offered on familiar stories, and students will frequently be asked to think comparatively about parallel processes at work in different regions, as well as the many connections between them. Requirements include two papers, a midterm, and final exam. No prerequisites.

Mark Emerson
170 Barrows
TuTh 12:30-2
Class #: 22296
100U: Capitalism and Inequality from the Industrial Revolution to the Present

If you are an economics student and plan to use this class towards your economics requirements, you will need to email ugrad@econ.berkeley.edu and make a request to use this course as an elective. This course is approved as one time use as Economics elective for Fall 17 but you will need to email the email address above. This course is approved by the Political Science major for the History requirement.

Economic inequality has become one of the central political concerns of our time, but it has only recently attracted scholarly attention. 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? Has the global spread of industrial capitalism increased or decreased inequality between individuals, between groups, and between countries?  Has changes in inequality historically been the product of market forces, or political forces, or both?  Most fundamentally, as the economic historian David Landes once wrote, "Why are some so rich and others so poor?" This course explores the history of global inequality since the British Industrial Revolution, and examines how it relates to the peculiar set of economic institutions that we call "capitalism." The spread of industrialization after 1750 and the accompanying transition to modern economic growth has unleashed wealth and prosperity that have changed the conditions of human life, but the unequal distribution of that wealth is increasingly its defining characteristic.  This course introduces students to the history of European industrialization, the rise and fall of nineteenth century European empires, problems of twentieth century economic development in the global South, the rise of welfare states, and the contemporary political implications of inequality.

Trevor Jackson
Barrows 166
Class #: 52150
106A: Ancient Rome: 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
150 Goldman
MWF 1-2
Class #: 44797
108: Byzantium

The social, cultural, and religious history of the Near East and eastern Mediterranean from late antiquity through the early middle ages. The survival of the Roman Empire in Byzantium, the Sassanian Empire in Iran, and the rise of Islam are the topics covered.

Maria Mavroudi
2 LeConte
TuTh 12:30-2
Class #: 44798
109B: The Middle East, 1000-1750

The establishment of Turkish power in the Middle East: Seljuks, Mongols, Ottomans, and Safavis.

Zoe Griffith
101 Moffitt
MWF 3-4
Class #: 44799
111C: Political and Cultural History of Vietnam

This course provides an introduction to Vietnamese history from the mythic and archeological origins of the Vietnamese people to the end of the Vietnam War.  Special emphasis will be placed on “modern” developments from the 18th century.  Topics include early Sino-Vietnamese relations, the rise and fall of the Ly, Tran, Ho and Le dynasties, the status of women in Vietnamese society, the Nguyen/Trinh wars and the origins of southern Vietnam, the Tay Son Rebellion, the encounter between the Nguyen Dynasty and French imperialism, the consolidation of the French colonial state, economic change and colonial capitalism, anti-colonialism and the rise of political radicalism and nationalism, the development of Vietnamese communism, World War II and Japanese occupation, the August Revolution, the first Indochina War, the battle of Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Accords, the development of separate states in North and South Vietnam and the American intervention and the Second Indochina War.

Peter B. Zinoman
222 Wheeler
TuTh 11-12:30
Class #: 44800
112B: Modern South Africa, 1652-Present

This course will examine over 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 racial, economic, political and socio-cultural 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 will be explored. Other themes will include mfecane, difacane and the aftermath; the role of the frontier in shaping race relations; the entry of Britain as a colonizing power in South Africa; the creation of Afrikaner republics; competing African/Boer/British nationalisms; corporate mining and its impact on race relations and labor migration; the Anglo-Boer war and the creation of the Union of South Africa The course will also examine the creation of the apartheid apparatus, and the rise of increased political mobilization among black, white, colored and Indian populations. An examination of the dismantling of apartheid and the deliberations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will provide an apt conclusion to the course. There will be: One midterm examination, a final examination and a map quiz.


Tabitha Kanogo
182 Dwinelle
TuTh 2-3:30
Class #: 46590
114A: HIST 114A: Politics, Culture, and Philosophy in India before Modernity
In this course we will develop a panoramic view of the long sweep of the history of the Indian subcontinent until the sometime in the middle of the eighteenth century. We will proceed chronologically, beginning from the earliest traces of human civilization to the development of, and debates between, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism; the coming of Islamic rule; the founding of the Mughal empire; and the arrival of the East India Companies on its shores.
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. Students will be encouraged to construct their own narrative of the subcontinent’s history through regular engagement with, and response to, textual and visual primary sources.
Abhishek Kaicker
Wheeler 20
TR 12:30-2pm
Class #: 46932
116D: Twentieth-Century China: Post-Cold War Readings of Chinese Lives and Times

This course offers a narrative of Chinese history from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. It tells the story of China’s transformation from a declining dynastic empire on the verge of being carved up by foreign powers, into a prosperous nation-state that now plays a leading role on the world stage. Topics include the fall of the Qing dynasty, the formation of a democratic Republic, the rise of revolutionary parties, the war of resistance against Japan, the building of a Communist state, the Cultural Revolution, reform and opening, and China’s global rise. 

Brooks Jessup
2 LeConte
MWF 9-10
Class #: 15001
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
222 Wheeler
TuTh 9:30-11
Class #: 44803
117A: Chinese Popular Culture

From the fever for reviving Confucian education (guoxue re) to the market for theme parks like "Song Dynasty Town," China's imperial culture is once again popular after more than a century of reform and revolution. But what was life like for ordinary people in imperial China, and how have their ideas, values, identities, and practices been represented and reimagined over time? In this course, we will ground our study of Chinese popular culture within the economically vibrant Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the culturally diverse Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). We will consider the ways in which commerce, institutions and rituals structured social life; how people articulated experiences of class, gender, ethnicity, and religion; and the relationship between culture and revolution in the early twentieth century. Through our class discussions and assignments, you will have the opportunity to explore what it meant for culture to be "popular" and "Chinese" during the late imperial period.

Stacey Van Vleet
170 Barrows
TuTh 8-9:30
Class #: 46522
123: Civil War and Reconstruction

This lecture course will take a broad view of the political, social, economic, and cultural history of the United States in the mid-19th century in order to explore both the causes of the Civil War and its effects on American development. Major topics will include slavery and race relations (north and south), class relations and industrialization, the organization of party politics, and changing ideas about and uses of government power.

Sarah Gold McBride
102 Wheeler
MW 5-6:30
Class #: 46514
124A: The United States from the Late 19th Century to the Eve of World War II

For individuals born at the end of the Civil War in 1865 and living through the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, their 76 years of life would have witnessed profound technological, social, and ideological change. Innovations such as the telephone, airplane, and automobile transformed American business and reoriented social life. As the power of businesses grew, factory workers and farmers responded with uneven success. Masses of Americans quit laboring on the farm and moved the cities, women gained the right to vote and entered the paid workforce in greater numbers, while African Americans mostly remained trapped in low-paying occupations and segregated neighborhoods. At the same time, immigrants arrived in droves until the –golden door” banged shut. As America became more ethnically diverse and economically stratified, various ideologies developed to justify or critique these changes. This course will examine these diverse ideas and experiences by tracing the three main themes of business and technology, race and rights, and definitions of freedom from the Civil War till World War II. In the sixty-five years between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of World War II, the United States became an industrialized, urban society with national markets and communication media. This class will explore in depth some of the most important changes and how they were connected. We will also examine what did not change, and how state and local priorities persisted in many arenas. Among the topics addressed: population movements and efforts to control immigration; the growth of corporations and trade unions; the campaign for women's suffrage; Prohibition; an end to child labor; the institution of the Jim Crow system; and the reshaping of higher education.

Maggie Elmore
145 Dwinelle
TuTh 3:30-5
Class #: 15035
125A: History of African-Americans and Race Relations in the United States, 1550-1861

The history of black people in America is, in many ways, the history of America. This course goes behind the myths and speeches to explore the early history of African Americans and the country they became a part of. It is a basic course for majors and non-majors, intended to provide an introduction to the broad outlines of the story from about 1500 to 1870, with emphasis on cultural, legal, and political elements. By the end of our time together, you should be able to: critically read and analyze different kinds of historical texts; chart the evolving meanings of key concepts such as ÐraceÓ and ÐfreedomÓ and why they held such power over American politics; and make cogent, evidence-based arguments about core themes in African American history. Even those who never take another history course will come away with crucial skills for any future work in the humanities. Teaching method: Lecture and discussion. Weekly sections will focus on thorny or interesting problems that emerge from the weeks readings or lectures.

Dylan C. Penningroth
204 Wheeler
TuTh 9:30-11
Class #: 44804
128AC: California, the West, and the World: From Gold and Guano to Google and the New Gilded Age

This course surveys the history of California and the American West from the mid-nineteenth century to the dawn of the twenty-first century. It will situate this state and regional history within the relevant currents of global history, which have profoundly shaped and been shaped by California and the American West. We will pay particular heed to those elements of Californian and western history that are typically associated with the states and regions distinctiveness as a shifting region on the national map, potent and protean symbol in the national (and, often, international) imagination, and catalyst of world historical developments from the Gold Rush and the global guano trade it sparked in the mid-nineteenth century, to the rise of Hollywood in the early twentieth century, to the development and deployment of atomic weapons in the mid-twentieth century, to the emergence of Silicon Valley technological innovation and New Gilded Age income polarization in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Mark Brilliant
VLSB 2060
TuTh 9:30-11
Class #: 67207
C132B: Intellectual History of the United States since 1865
  • This course has been cancelled.
136B: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century US History

This course introduces students to the history of gender and sexuality in twentieth-century United States. We will learn about the distinctive history of women and men from 1900 to the present, the transformation of gender relations and sex roles, and how gender and sexuality have shaped the lives of different groups of women and men in twentieth century America. While paying attention to broader historical trends, we will specifically focus on the intersection of gender, race, sexuality, and class and its consequences for the experiences of women and men.

Sandra Eder
150 Goldman
TuTh 11-12:30
Class #: 44807
138/138T: 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.

Daniel M Robert
141 McCone
TuTh 8-9:30
Class #: 14882
C139C: Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History

Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History presents a top-down (political and legal history), bottom-up (social and cultural history), and comparative (by race and ethnicity as well as region) view of America's struggles for racial equality from roughly World War II until the present. Beginning with the onset of World War II, America experienced not a singular, unitary Civil Rights Movement as is typically portrayed in standard textbook accounts and the collective memory, but rather a variety of contemporaneous civil rights and their related social movements. These movements, moreover, did not follow a tidy chronological-geographic trajectory from South to North to West, nor were their participants merely black and white. Instead, from their inception, America's civil rights movements unfolded both beyond the South and beyond black and white. "Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History" endeavors to equip students with a greater appreciation for the complexity of America's civil rights and social movements history, a complexity that neither a black / white nor nonwhite / white framework adequately captures. Put another way, "Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History" will examine how the problem of the color line which W.E.B. DuBois deemed to be in 1903 the problem of the twentieth century might better be viewed as a problem of color lines. If America's demographics are increasingly beyond black and white, if "the classic American dilemma has now become many dilemmas of race and ethnicity," as President Clinton put it in the late 1990s, if color lines now loom as the problem of the 21st century, then a course on America's civil rights and social movements past may very well offer a glimpse into America's civil rights and social movements present and future.

Waldo E. Martin
277 Cory
TuTh 12:30-2
Class #: 21774
143: Brazil

From 16th Century conquest and settlement to the emergence of an industrial economy during the post-1964 period of military rule. Emphasis on dependence of colony on empire, on plantation agriculture, slavery, export economy, and the transition from agrarian to industrial society.

Javier Cikota
222 Wheeler
MWF 2-3
Class #: 44808
149B: Italy in the Age of Dante (1000-1350)

The history of medieval Italy is one of vivid contrasts: of beauty and brutality, freedom and tyranny, piety and blasphemy. The great poet of the Inferno summons us to consider such contrasts in nearly every canto: how can such stunningly beautiful language conjure images of such horrendous violence? This course explores the world that produced Dante, Giotto, and Saint Francis. It first traces the emergence of independent city-states in northern and central Italy after the millennium, emphasizing the particular conditions and experiences that created this distinctive medieval civilization. We will then focus on the culture of these vibrant urban centers using the artifacts they produced to discover the economic, social, religious, and political tensions underpinning them. Were the divisions and inequities of this society central to its creativity? We will explore with particular intensity the relationship between religion and society. Special emphasis will also be placed on analyzing material and visual sources: do they tell a different story than the written sources? Requirements include midterm and final examinations in addition to two short essays based on primary sources.

Maureen C. Miller
109 Dwinelle
MWF 11-12
Class #: 44809
C157: The Renaissance and the Reformation

European history from the fourteenth to the middle of the seventeenth century. Political, social, and economic developments during this transitional period will be examined, together with the rise of Renaissance culture, and the religious upheavals of the sixteenth century.

Thomas James Dandelet
9 Lewis
TuTh 12:30-2
Class #: 46336
158C: Modern Europe: Old and New Europe, 1914-Present

This course covers the dramatic and often troubling events of Europe's past century.  The First World War, now forgotten, was a cataclysm costing millions their lives, and toppling governments as well as the ideas that supported them. At war's end East and Central Europe became staging grounds for national revolutions, and Russia saw the emergence of  an experiment to end human exploitation.  Unresolved tensions led to a second war, at the end of which Europe had abdicated all pretenses to lead the world;  it was not even master of its own fortunes.   The year 1989 seemed to mark a step toward self-governance in freedom and peace, but more recent years have seen the re-emergence of nationalist and semi-fascist populist movements from east to west, testing European unity and domestic political arrangements based in liberal democracy. 

How was all of this possible?  How and why did a continent commit suicide; why and how did it found the resources to return to life; but why is a stable and prosperous future again in doubt?  What does Europe teach us about balancing the forces of the market with popular demands for social security; the ambitions of national interest with the welfare of the international community; the temptations for easy political solutions with the challenges of making politics by consensus?  Europe is home to fascism, Stalinism, and genocide; but also to the welfare state, mass literacy, international comity, and a discourse of human rights. It both attracts and repels migrants, and struggles to find out what the ancient word Europe might mean.


John Connelly
106 Stanley
MWF 3-4
Class #: 14988
159B: European Economic History
  • This course has been cancelled.

This course is replaced with 100U for Fall 2017. Please refer to 100U for a full course description.

162A: Europe and the World: Wars, Empires, Nations 1648-1914

Two all-consuming wars enclose this course. The treaties of 1648 worked to bring an end to the ferocious Wars of Religion that raged throughout the continent for three decades. In 1914, Europe was on the verge of an unexpectedly brutal war that, rather than being the war to end all wars, ushered in the most violent century of Europe’s long-bloodied past. How many times between these heartbreaking tragedies did Europeans recreate themselves?

In this course, we will engage the high-political narrative of European modernization: the theory of absolutism, the rise of the state system, and the Concert of Europe for example. Along with which, we will come to know impressive personalities: Catherine the Great, Napoleon, Otto von Bismarck, and many more. However, that narrative will always be informed by the cultural and social structures that created and coevolved with changing politics, providing opportunities, momentum, and limitations to political life. What structures of authority connected non-French-speaking peasants in Languedoc to the governmental ambitions of Louis XIV? Why did emergent class-consciousness erupt in the political revolutions of 1848? How did industrialization, economic inequality, and nationalism in part lead to the First World War? Major topics include: state formation, absolutism, enlightenment, industrialization, the French Revolution, nationalism, the Congress of Vienna, 1848, the unifications of Italy and Germany, imperialism, and the origins of the First World War.

Jason Rozumalski
2060 Valley Life Sciences
TuTh 5-6:30
Class #: 45116
167C: Germany 1914 to the Present

This course will explore Germany’s political and cultural history from 1914 to the reunification of the two German states in 1990. This period was marked by the rise and fall of the first German democracy during the Weimar Republic, the First and the Second World War, the rise of extreme ideologies, the Cold War, and the fall of the Iron Curtain. Against the background of these developments we will focus on continuities and ruptures in German society during the Weimar Republic, National Socialism, the two Republics after 1949 (FRG and GDR), and the (unified) Federal Republic of Germany. By comparing the various dimensions and characteristics of Germany’s radical transformations this course introduces students to major political, social, and cultural changes, emphasizing questions of gender, class, religious identities and milieus; the impact of total war; and the roots of dictatorship and democracy. Course materials will include primary sources in translation and state-of-the-art scholarship on German history, self narratives, as well as contemporary literature, popular images, music and films.

Isabel Richter
126 Barrows
TuTh 2-3:30
Class #: 15014
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 was 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, and they made the modernization of the state their key goal, expanding both the military and bureaucracy to intervene ever more deeply in their subjects lives. Yet, Russia's enormous size and its great social, ethnic, and religious diversity made it very difficult to govern. The reigns of almost all Romanov Emperors were marked by coups d'tat, peasant rebellions, and, later, assassination attempts. 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? Students will submit two papers, take a map quiz, a midterm, and a final. Attendance and participation in class is strongly encouraged.

Victoria Frede
20 Barrows
TuTh 12:30-2
Class #: 44810
173C: History of Eastern Europe: From 1900 to the Present

This course will examine the history of modern Eastern Europe, understood as the band of countries between Germany and the former Soviet Union, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans.  Although the course covers the entire region, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Hungary will receive special attention.  Topics include the foundation of national states, East European fascism, Nazi occupation, the construction of Stalinist socialism, Yugoslav ‘non-alignment,’ the fate of reform Communism, reconstitution of ‘civil society,’ and the resurgence of nationalism in post-Communist Eastern Europe.

Jason R Morton
106 Moffitt
MWF 10-11
Class #: 46521
177A: Armenia: Armenia from Ethnogenesis to the Dark Ages

This course will cover close to three millenia of Armenian history, from the process of ethnogenesis to the almost complete destruction of the Armenian "feudal" system by the end of the 15th century. This course is based on the broad framework of Armenian political history and institutions, but also emphasizes economic development, social change, and cultural transformations.

Stephan H. Astourian
242 Dwinelle
MW 5-6:30
Class #: 44812
198BC: Berkeley Connect for Upper Division Students
  • 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 quizzes. Berkeley 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.

  • HIST 198BC section 3, class # 14895, W 5-6pm (upper division), GSI TBD
  • HIST 198BC section 6, class # 14897, W 6-7pm (upper division), GSI TBD
Thomas James Dandelet
3205 Dwinelle
Class #: See Course Description