Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2015
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 turns to 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
101 MOFFITT
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39021
5: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present

This course introduces students to European history from around 1500 to the present. During this time, a small, poor, and fragmented Europe became a world civilization, whose political, cultural, and economic power now touch the four corners of the globe. Our course will ask how and why this happened. How, in other words, did "modernity" become "western" for better and worse? As we cover this half-millennium, we will look at major landmarks in European cultural, intellectual, social, political, and economic development: the Renaissance, the epochal expansion of Europe into the new world, the break-up of Latin Christianity into competing religious communities, the construction of the modern state, the formation of overseas empires, the coming of capitalism, the Scientific Revolution, the French Revolution, liberalism and the Industrial Revolution, socialism and the rise of labor, modern colonialism, the world wars, communism and fascism, decolonization, the Cold War, and the European Union. Our readings will include learned treatises in religion, classics in political theory, fiction, and other documents from the past, as well as a textbook. Work in sections centers on reading and discussion of original sources and of lectures, and on the improvement of writing skills. Three hours of lecture and two hours of section (required) per week.

Ethan H. Shagan
3 LECONTE
TuTh 11-1230P
CCN: 39042
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
141 MCCONE
TuTh 11-1230A
CCN: 39063
7B: Introduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Civil War to Present

This course is an introduction to the history of the U.S. from the Civil War to the present. It will cover a wide range of topics organized around a few central themes. One: it will examine the changing dimensions of American identity, paying close attention to the roles of race, ethnicity, religion, region, class, politics, ideology, and gender in defining “American-ness.” Two: it will examine American capitalism, looking at it through the lens of industrial growth and decline, labor and immigration, the environment, consumerism, government power, and globalization. And, three: it will examine American power in the world, focusing on its rise in the late 19th century, on its uses from westward expansion through the recent wars in the Middle East, and on its meanings for American culture, politics, and society. To all of these ends, the course will draw upon traditional kinds of historical narratives. Yet, it will also incorporate mass media, technological innovation, popular entertainment, and material culture as a way to provide an updated version of the American history survey. Through lectures, readings, discussions, films, written assignments, and exams, students will not only explore the changing contours of American life, but they will also have the opportunity to develop as writers, researchers, critical thinkers, and problem solvers.

Felicia A. Viator
WHEELER AUD
MWF 10-11A
CCN: 39081
8A: Becoming Latin America, 1492 to 1824
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
The Staff
180 TAN
MWF 12-1P
CCN: 39165
12: The Middle East
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
The Staff
3108 ETCHVERRY
MWF 2-3P
CCN: 39180
24: Freshman Seminar: How Wars Begin: Europe and the World, 1789-1991

“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
186 BARROWS
Th 1-2P
CCN: 39210
100AC: Special Topics in the History of the United States: The United States West, 1789-1915

This course will introduce students to the history of the United States West. The "West" describes both a specific geographic region as well as a process of diverse peoples coming together. Drawing on recent historiography and primary sources, students will explore how peoples who belonged to competing empires, nations, and indigenous political structures navigated this shared space. Themes include race, religion, gender, and the increasing power of the federal government.

Sarah Keyes
88 Dwinelle
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39255
100AC: Special Topics in the History of the United States: Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History

Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this class will explore the relationship between gender, power and violence from the colonial period to the modern era. We will discuss how women have challenged conventional notions of “womanhood” through their words and their deeds, how their respective communities understood their behavior, and we will contemplate the ways in which these women simultaneously constructed narratives of power that do not conform to contemporary conceptualizations of their lives. Moreover, students will contemplate prevailing narratives of powerlessness which render these women, and their acts, invisible to us and the role gender ideologies played in their construction. Students will read about famous and less well-known cases of “deadly women” and in the process, they will understand how different bodies of law, social customs, and economic systems affected the lives of men and women differently and allocated disproportionate amounts and kinds of power to them. We will evaluate how these hierarchies of power facilitated women’s defiant, revolutionary and sometimes murderous acts. Conversations about the impacts that race, ethnicity, economic class, and religion had upon the lives of these women will be central to the course as well. Themes that will be covered include: involuntary servitude, witchcraft, interracial and same-sex love and relationships, infanticide, prostitution, murderesses, female victims of lynch mobs, and female members of revolutionary, terrorist, and racist/supremacist groups.

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
170 BARROWS
TuTh 11-1230P
100B: Special Topics in European History: Berlin and the Twentieth-Century

There is probably no other city in the world that bears the marks of twentieth-century modernity as much as Berlin. Pivotal site for the collapse of four different Germanies between 1918 and 1989, Berlin has been the capital of Empire, war and revolution, democracy, social, artistic and cultural experimentation, Nazism, genocide and urban warfare, Cold War confrontation, student radicalism in the West and Soviet-style Socialism in the East, and finally re-united Germany, haunted by the presence of the past. While our analysis will be buoyed by close readings of short primary texts (among others, from the collection Metropolis Berlin 1890-1940) and recent scholarship on Berlin’s ruptured twentieth-century history, careful analysis of visual sources (architecture, urban design, film and photography) will be at the heart of this course. As we ourselves journey through Berlin’s history, we will pay close attention to the ways in which contemporaries envisioned modernity as well to the darker side that these visions entailed. There will be two short papers, a mid-term and a final exam, which can be replaced by a research paper. Primary sources and short readings will be available on bCourses. Guest speakers will include Greg Castillo (College of Environmental Design), Deniz Göktürk and Anton Kaes (German Department). In preparation, please purchase a copy of Brian Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin (1998) and listen to Berlin’s music of the last century from cabaret to techno: http://www.berlin-sampler.com.

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann
102 WURSTER
2-330P
CCN: 39258
100B: Special Topics in European History: Gdańsk/Danzig/Gedanu, A City Shaped—Histories and Cultures

In this course we will examine the fascinating, competing histories and cultures of the Baltic coast city known variously as Danzig and Gdańsk (among other spellings and forms).  First a medieval Slavic (Polish/Kashubian) fishing village, then a growing port city under the rule of the Teutonic Knights of the Cross (XIV century), then the largest city of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (XV century to 1795).  Freed from the hated overlordship of the Teutonic Order and, as the chief city of Royal Prussia (a semi-autonomous district of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Gdańsk (still largely German speaking and a Hanseatic city) was Poland’s main access to the wider world through export and import.  Except for a brief period of intendant status as, once again, a “Free City” in Napoleonic times (1807–1814), from 1795 (the Third Partition of Poland) to 1918 (end of WWI), Danzig  was a city of diminished significance in the Kingdom of Prussia and later the German Empire.  In the twentieth century, it became a focal point of German-Polish tensions.  The Treaty of Versailles (1918) did many things:  among them it created a “Free State (not “City”) of Gdańsk,” governed (loosely) by the League of Nations; it also resurrected a free and independent Second Polish Republic, still a multi-ethnic federation, but with much changed borders, and with a promise of “free and secure access to the sea.”

Course materials will include close examination of maps of the city throughout its existence, coupled with lectures (with a few short readings) on the city’s history.  These will accompany us throughout the course.  The main body of reading material for students will be from novels (1959–2001), both German and Polish (in English translation), produced by citizens of the city; these works deal directly with the city’s topography, social, political, and religious divides, historical memory; and in the Polish case, the problem of inhabiting and making Polish, a city that, for centuries, had not been “ours” in any direct sense.  On the German side, we will read four of the novels of Danziger and Noble Prize winner for literature (1999), Günter Grass.  On the Polish side we will read three novels by writers of the next generation, sons of those who took up residence in the abandoned houses of post-war Danzig/Gdańsk:  Paweł Huelle and Stefan Chwin.  Both Polish writers, in different ways, could be said to be involved in a dialogue in their works with those of Günter Grass.

 

David Frick
243 DWINELLE
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39260
100D: Special Topics in the History of the United States: American Lives, American History: Oral History and the Understanding of Social Change

This course provides an introduction to oral history as a research method generating primary sources with distinctive information about the past.  Primary and secondary readings will help students explore the potential of oral history interviews to augment historical understanding, with focus on how social change marks the lives of those it touches, as reflected in the stories they are willing to share.  We will examine the ways in which memory and identity are continually changing responses to historic events and processes that are always simultaneously personal and collective.  Students will receive training in preparation, conduct, and analysis of interviews.  Students will conduct a short interview for the course and write a brief analysis of what they learned and what the record might contribute to historical understanding.

Richard Cándida-Smith
229 DWINELLE
TuTh 1230-2P
100U: Special Topics in Comparative History: The Second World War

The Second World War was true to its name. It was not the first war fought on a world scale or to shake the established order among powerful states and their empires. Indeed the second followed the first by less than two decades and is inexplicable without reference to that conflict, including its terms of settlement. But the second, which merged two vast conflagrations in Europe and Asia, was destructive on a scale all its own. This was the first ideological war, not simply about territory, but about conflicting ideas on how governments should organize lives of their citizens. The war tested fascism, socialism and liberal democracy. Because of the furies unleashed, the war harnessed entire populations—men, women, children—in sacrifice, suffering and in some cases profit. It left in its wake the Holocaust, the massive destruction of cities from the air, and the first use of atomic weapons in warfare; it was followed by the liquidation of European and Japanese colonialism, the advent of the Cold War, the undermining of racism in political and public life and the emergence of human rights as a norm in the conduct of international relations.

This new lecture course invites students to think through the Second World War in three stages, considering first its causes, then the course of conflict in all its theaters, and finally its consequences, into our day. Readings will include major works of historical synthesis along with selected documents, literary treatments, oral histories, and films.

Andrew E. Barshay, John Connelly
126 BARROWS
1230-2P
CCN: 39273
100U: Special Topics in Comparative History: Big History

A growing body of interdisciplinary scholarly work has begun to attempt an integrated history of the universe from the Big Bang to the 21st century. Varieties of “big history” or deep history” have been especially influential among scholars working across the humanities and various physical sciences. Since the physical sciences have generally devoted themselves to the non-human past, and since most historians have confined themselves to the study of human events, we will be paying special attention to the difficulties that the interaction of human and natural environments have posed for theory and research. This course will introduce students to current debates by tracing the intellectual history of “big history” from the heyday of Universal History in the 18th and 19th centuries to its newfound popularity today. The course will be divided between lecture and class discussion of weekly materials. Students will be responsible for discussions, two brief papers, and a final blue-book exam.

Kerwin L. Klein
TBA
TBA
CCN: 39276
101: Seminar in Historical Research and Writing for History Majors

See http://history.berkeley.edu/undergraduate/history-101-faq for full listings.

The Staff
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 evaluating historical arguments, 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.
Brian DeLay
145 MOFFITT
M 4-530P
CCN: 39480
105A: Archaic and Classical Greek History

This course will represent an overview of the history of the Greek world from the Bronze Age to the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404BC. Major themes will include: the ecology of the Meditteranean; the emergence of communities and states; the expansion of Greek settlement abroad; tyranny and democracy; religion; warfare; agriculture and commerce; interstate relations; the Persian wars; Sparta and the Peloponnesian League; Athens and the Athenian Empire. Most readings will be in translated primary sources, including Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, lyric and tragic poetry, and documentary evidence such as laws, treaties, and decrees. There will be two short papers (5-7pp), a midterm, and a cumulative final exam.

Emily Mackil
130 WHEELER
TuTh 930-11A
108: Byzantium
This course surveys the political, economic, social, and intellectual history of the Eastern Roman empire (Byzantium) from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries. 
Maria Mavroudi
145 MOFFITT
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39501
111B: Modern Southeast Asia
This introductory course surveys major themes of modern Southeast Asian history. Lectures will be organized topically and chronologically with an emphasis on cross-country comparisons. Starting with a consideration of pre-colonial political and economic legacies, we will examine local responses to imperial conquest and colonial state formation, the impact of capitalist penetration, the transformation of indigenous elites, the growth of "plural societies," anti-colonial resistance and the development of nationalism, war and Japanese occupation, decolonization and the erection of post-colonial regimes. Emphasis will be placed on the region's largest and most populous countries: Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. Requirements include class attendance, participation in discussion sections, several short essays, a mid-term and a final.
Peter B. Zinoman
122 WHEELER
TuTh 11-1230P
CCN: 39519
112C: Colonialism and Nationalism in Africa
n the last quarter of the 19th century, a small number of European nations invaded most of Africa. In so doing, they transformed the 2nd largest continent and birthplace of humanity, with its myriad autochthonous polities and overlapping cultures into a cartographic parody of Europe that reflected the ownership rights of the conquering nations. Yet, Africans did not passively acquiesce. Below the surface of occupation, Africans responded by fomenting strong liberation movements throughout the continent. Just over a century later, “Africa” — as a community of 55 nations - had broken free of this overt domination. This independence, so filled with hope, was, and continues to be problematic.
 
This course asks students to critically engage with the following themes: the meta-politics of interdependency that colonialism rested upon, which in one way or another, continue to prevail today under globalisation; colonial conquest and practices of administration; the imposition of colonial ‘development’ (industrialization, labor migration, Christianity and education upon vernacular modes of production, land, gender and African bodies); the diversity of African responses and alternatives to the imposition of European rule; the hot and cold wars of liberation; socialist and nationalist alternatives; civil wars and post-colonial conflicts; the specificity of apartheid; the colonial legacy today. The course will reveal the intimate connection between events in Africa and the rise of the modern world, establishing an enduring dialectic that continues today. With one in four people expected to be African by the year 2050, understanding African history is of great importance for the 21st century.
Leopold Podlashuc
220 WHEELER
MWF 3-4P
CCN: 39530
114B: Modern South Asia
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Janaki Bakhle
123 WHEELER
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39531
116D: Topics in Twentieth-Century China: Mao

116D will turn into 116M after final course approval in october.

Paper tigers, running dogs, and the spiritual atom bomb: the world of Chairman Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung) is colorful, confusing, and above all controversial. This course opens multiple and sometimes contradictory perspectives on the infamous leader of China’s socialist revolution. We will navigate the tumultuous twentieth century of Chinese and global history, taking the Great Helmsman himself as our guide; lectures provide orientation and course corrections along the way.

Alexander C. Cook
170 BARROWS
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39540
118B: Japan 1800-1900
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
The Staff
20 WHEELER
MWF 9-10A
CCN: 39549
121A: Colonial US
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Mark A. Peterson, Elena A. Schneider
101 MOFFITT
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39552
124B: The United States from World War II to the Vietnam Era
This course examines how American society has changed since World War II.  The second half of the century saw the emergence of an international superpower, a new economy, suburbanization, the sunbelt, the civil rights movement, a political backlash, shifting gender roles, the decline of labor unions, and novel cultural forms. We will address all of these issues and more, while paying particular attention to how the experience of Americans living in the middle of the twentieth century was different from that of Americans living fifty years later.
Christopher W. Shaw
100 LEWIS
MWF 1-2P
CCN: 39558
125A: The History of Black People and Race Relations, 1550-1861
  • This course has been cancelled.

Proffessor Martin will instead teach History C139C: Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History.

3 LECONTE
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39561
127AC: California

After explaining how people have viewed California throughout its history, this course explores the unique environmental diversity of the region. Then, we examine the settlement of distinct regions of California and the particular indigenous communities that emerged in these places. Students will also explore the motives for and consequences of Spanish exploration, colonization, and the establishment of missions. From the arrival of the Spanish through the end of the nineteenth century, changes in the treatment and demography of the California Indians figure prominently. From the hide and tallow trade and the Mexican-American War to the Gold Rush, this course explores the expansive influence of Americans and how they conquered, dispossessed, exploited, and persecuted the region's old and new inhabitants. We will study the ways that the Gold Rush transformed, and students then learn how railroads, agriculture, immigration, and populist and progressive political movements continued to shape California and the nation. This course also examines the growth of San Francisco and Los Angeles in the first half of the twentieth century with special emphasis on the importance of water and the rise of Hollywood. The Great Depression and World War II also reflected periods of rapid change with the ";Okie"; migration, the Bracero Agreement, the Zoot Suit Riots, and the explosion of war industries jobs and urban populations. After World War II, we will turn our attention to the tensions between opportunity and exclusion, as demonstrated by the Watts Riots, the rise of the Chicano movement and the UFW, the impact of propositions on politics, and the causes and consequences of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. Assigned readings include selections by Stephen Hackel, Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe, Lawson Fusao Inada, Judy Yung, Elizabeth Armstrong, and D.J. Waldie.

Robert N. Chester
100 LEWIS
MWF 11-12P
CCN: 39576
C139B: The American Immigrant Experience
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Carl Mason
200 WHEELER
TuTh 11-1230P
CCN: 39588
143: Brazil

This course explains how Atlantic capitalism and cultural circulation created a society based on both slavery and miscegenation called Brazil, and how this Portuguese colony became first an independent Empire, then a Republic, and finally Latin America’s largest democracy, its most powerful (and deeply unequal) economy, and the fabric of much of the world’s best football and music. Key themes include Brazilian forms of religiosity, racial ideologies, urbanism, gender relations, populism, developmentalism, popular culture, and authoritarianism in the past two centuries. We will also discuss contemporary issues such as the Workers Party administrations, Brazilian diplomacy and trade with Africa, Latin America and the BRICS, and the transformation of Amazonia. Analysis of films and music will have an important role. Midterm, Final, and a short paper.

Pablo Palomino
182 DWINELLE
MWF 10-11A
CCN: 39600
149B: Medieval Italy: 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 an essay based on primary sources.

Maureen C. Miller
209 DWINELLE
MWF 10-11A
CCN: 39603
151A: Tudor Stuart Britain, 1485-1660
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Robert L. Harkins
110 WHEELER
MWF 10-11A
CCN: 39606
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
145 DWINELLE
MW 4-530P
CCN: 39645
162B: War and Peace: International Relations since 1914

This course investigates the spectacular and devastating geopolitical shifts of the twentieth century, including the world wars, Communist revolutions, imperialism and decolonization, and the global Cold War and its aftermaths. Lectures and readings will emphasize the influence of human belief and strategy, and their relation to structural factors, on the unfolding of international history. While our actors and institutions will range widely— from Gandhi to Gorbachev, from the Comintern to the EU— we will keep our eyes throughout on the interplay between European crisis, U.S. foreign policy, and conflict and upheaval in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Amanda Behm
145 DWINELLE
MWF 1-2P
CCN: 39648
166C: Modern France

This course surveys the history of France from the end of the Old Regime and the French Revolution to the present.  How did the “France” of the Old Regime become French, the paradigmatic nation-state of the modern world?  And how did the How did the “nation,” proclaimed in 1789, contested and negotiated to this day, become a reality not only for the ruling classes and the bourgeoisie, but also for peasants, artisans, workers, women, immigrants, and others from France’s overseas colonies? How did a kingdom of farmers become a socialist nation, at least in name?  This course investigates these questions by focusing on the political history and tradition of revolution (from 1789 to 1968) and the social and economic history of industrialization and post-industrialization in France, both understood in a broader European and global context. 

Peter Sahlins
123 WHEELER
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39654
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
2 LECONTE
TuTh 330-5P
CCN: 39657
174B: Poles and Others: Living Together, Apart? Jews, Christians and Coexistence in Modern Poland

Every study of Jewish life in the Polish lands invariably harbors assumptions regarding integration. Did Jews and non-Jews living in early modern times share a cultural framework and linguistic sphere?  Could social interactions transcend ghetto walls? Did edicts and legal reforms emancipating Jews engender integration during the modern period?  When we speak about the "Polish Jews" across space and time, scholars must decide how and to what extent Jews raised families, ate, worked, shopped, spoke and died with (or simply alongside) their non-Jewish neighbors.  Did Jews and non-Jews truly live together? Or did they exist in parallel spaces while spending the majority of their lives apart? This seminar uses autobiographies, letters, official reports, memoirs, poetry, fiction and film to explore how “Jews” and “Poles” lived together and apart in the early modern and the modern period, from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, through the partitions of Poland, the First World War, the reconstituted Polish Republic, the Second World War, throughout the communist period and beyond 1989. Especially since the publication of Jan Gross’ book Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland, the issue of Polish-Jewish relations has become a topic of historical, historiographical and popular intrigue.  Students will approach this particular during the course of our seminar while learning more about modernization, nationalism, socialism, communism, urbanization, fascism, war, the Holocaust and memory in the east European context. 

Sarah Cramsey
122 WHEELER
MWF 2-3P
C175B: Jewish Civilization: Modern Period

This course will examine the impact of modern intellectual, political, economic, and social forces on the Jewish people since the eighteenth century.  It is our aim to come to an understanding of how the Jews interpreted these forces and how and in what ways they adapted and utilized them to suit the Jewish experience.  Some of the topics to be covered include Emancipation, Haskalah, new Jewish religious movements, Jewish politics and culture, antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel.

John M. Efron
123 WHEELER
TuTh 11-1230P
CCN: 39672
177B: Armenia: From Pre-modern Empires to the Present

This survey course will cover the period from the incorporation of most of the Armenian plateau into the Ottoman Empire to the present. Throughout most of this period Armenians lived in three pre-modern empires: the Persian, the Ottoman, and the Russian. As these political entities shaped Armenian life significantly, they will also serve as geographic subdivisions for the lectures of this course. In the twentieth century, two key events and their consequences will draw our attention. First, as a result of the Armenian Genocide, no Armenian population lives any more on most of the Armenian plateau and the size and characteristics of the pre-existing Armenian diaspora have changed dramatically. Second, the reluctant proclamation of a short-lived, independent republic on some parts of eastern Armenia in May 1918 laid the foundation for the subsequent Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and the current Republic of Armenia. The characteristics of the post-Soviet Armenian Republic will constitute the last topic to be dealt with. We will reflect upon a number of themes. First, what was the status of the Armenians in the pre-modern empires and how did it shape the rise of modern Armenian national consciousness? Second, what were the roots of the Armenian-Turkish polarization that put an end to centuries of cohabitation? Third, what are the legacies of the independent republic of 1918-20 and of Soviet Armenia for the current Armenian state? Fourth, how did the dispersion shape the culture, mentalities, socioeconomic development, and political culture of the Armenian people? Fifth, what does it mean to be Armenian in the modern period, especially in the twentieth century? In other words, is there such a thing as a single Armenian identity uniting, say, a Soviet Armenian, an American Armenian, and a Lebanese Armenian? Finally, we will take advantage of this survey to reflect on the main characteristics of modern Armenian culture, institutions, and political life

Stephan H. Astourian
251 DWINELLE
MW 4-5P
CCN: 39681
C182C: Science, Technology, and Society

Cross-listed with Interdisciplinary Studies Field Maj C100G section 1 and Science and Technology Studies C100 section 1

Be it bugs, buildings, or bits, what humans imagine and construct is tightly interconnected with the societies they live in. This course provides an overview of the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) as a way to study how our knowledge and technology shape and are shaped by social, political, historical, economic, and other factors. We will learn key concepts of the field (e.g. how technologies are understood and used differently in different communities) and apply them to a wide range of topics including geography, history, environmental and information science, and others. Questions this course will address include: how are scientific facts constructed? How are values embedded in technical systems? Can non-humans have agency? Is it possible to dissociate science and politics? What is scientific evidence and how do we use it?

Davis Winickoff
Massimo Mazzotti
101 BARKER
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39683
Spring 2014
R1B.001: Reading and Composition in History: Religion and Power in Modern American History
  • This course satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement.
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.

Why does religion have such a prominent place in American politics and society? Compared to other industrialized countries, America is uniquely devout. By virtually every measure—belief in God, church attendance, frequency of prayer, for example—Americans are more religious than people in comparable societies. Religion in the United States is also unusually public. In recent elections, both Democrats and Republicans have publically touted their religious credentials. The American electorate has repeatedly expressed that they would vote for a woman, a Jew, an African American, a lesbian, or a Muslim before they would vote for an atheist. Why does religion occupy such a position of power in the United States? This class will focus on the theme of religious power in American history. We will explore the cultural and political authority of religious leaders from 1860 to the present in order to understand the origins of our contemporary cultural and political landscape. Among the themes we will discuss are: how religious leaders responded to Darwinism and evolution; the debates over religious practice in schools; how the United States transitioned from a “Protestant” country to a “Judeo-Christian” nation; how the government mobilized religion during the Cold War; and how the rise of Evangelicals transformed American politics.

This course satisfies the second half of the university’s reading and composition requirement. We will focus on developing the basic skills of a liberal arts education: reading critically and writing persuasively. The course will also serve as an introduction to historical research and will focus on the components of historical thinking: change over time, causality, context, complexity, and contingency. The first half of the class will require students to write brief essays focused on developing these basic skills. These short writing assignments will ask students to analyze one or more of the assigned texts. In the second half of the course, students will write a longer research essay based on texts of their choosing. At the end of the course students will demonstrate their mastery of the various components of historical thinking in a clearly written essay.

Gene Zubovich
134 DWINELLE
WF 4-530
CCN: 39002
R1B.002: Reading and Composition in History: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and History in Modern East Asia
  • This course satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement.
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.

This is a reading and composition seminar that examines the interrelated and oft-conflated concepts of ethnicity and nationalism in China, Japan, and Korea for the Twentieth and Twenty-First centuries. What does it mean to belong to one of these groups? How do they relate to each other, or to non-East Asian states and societies? How can their understanding of these terms be historically compared? We will attempt to grapple with these and other abstract questions in a grounded and coherent way, in order to develop critical thinking, reading and writing skills. 

This course satisfies the second half of the university’s reading and composition requirement. We will focus on developing the basic skills of a liberal arts education: reading critically and writing persuasively. The course will also serve as an introduction to historical research and will focus on the components of historical thinking: change over time, causality, context, complexity, and contingency. The first half of the class will require students to write brief essays focused on developing these basic skills. These short writing assignments will ask students to analyze one or more of the assigned texts. In the second half of the course, students will write a longer research essay based on texts of their choosing. At the end of the course students will demonstrate their mastery of the various components of historical thinking in a clearly written essay.

233 DWINELLE
TuTh 8-930
CCN: 39003
R1B.003: Reading and Composition in History: A History of Nature: Exploitation, Guardianship, and Awe
  • This course satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement.
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.
There is a growing global consensus that humans must take better care of the environment.  Rarely, however, do we stop to ponder what we mean by environment or, indeed, nature. In this course we will examine histories of rapacious exploitation, fierce conservation, and contemplative wonderment that gave us the very words we use today. By comparing evolving ideas of what 'nature' meant to different civilizations we will seek to uncover how the natural world has been represented philosophically, culturally, and politically over time.  In addition to providing a conceptual overview of nature in global history, this course will focus on three case studies of 'environmental history' from the United States, China, and Southeast Asia.  In the process, we will discover how our current understanding of the natural world as a global system full of abundant resources worth conserving is the result of many hard fought battles and daring conceptual leaps.  

The aim of the seminar is to develop critical thinking, reading and writing skills. The class will be writing intensive and satisfies the second half of the university's reading and composition requirement. In the first half of the semester, students will undertake short writing assignments – responding to the readings or analyzing particular archival sources - to develop their expository and analytic writing skills. In the second half of the semester, students will produce an 8 and a 10 page research paper using several sources and we will critique each others work in class. By the end of the course, students will have learned how to assess source material and use it to construct historical arguments. Through the development of critical reading skills and writing techniques, students will learn to take positions on the broad historical issues addressed in the class.

233 DWINELLE
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39006
R1B.004: Reading and Composition in History: Ancient Medicine and the Pre-Modern Body: Sex, Drugs and Disease
  • This course satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement.
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.

This course examines ancient theories and practices of medicine, that is, how Greeks and Romans understood their own bodies and put that knowledge to use. We will investigate ancient views on pathologies, treatment, nutrition, psychology, sexual health, and psychotropic substances. Considerable attention will be given to how perceptions of the body were socially constructed and reinforced norms within these societies, e.g., gender roles, sexual dynamics, and social hierarchies. The course will also cover the reception of ancient medicine and the ultimate shift towards modern medical practices. Students will leave the course with a general understanding of ancient biological knowledge and medical techniques, as well as a familiarity with the most important authorities on these subjects. 

This course satisfies the second half of the university’s reading and composition requirement. We will focus on developing the basic skills of a liberal arts education: reading critically and writing persuasively. The course will also serve as an introduction to historical research and will focus on the components of historical thinking: change over time, causality, context, complexity, and contingency. The first half of the class will require students to write brief essays focused on developing these basic skills. These short writing assignments will ask students to analyze one or more of the assigned texts. In the second half of the course, students will write a longer research essay based on texts of their choosing. At the end of the course students will demonstrate their mastery of the various components of historical thinking in a clearly written essay.

Norman Underwood
TuTh 3-530P
202 Wheeler
CCN: 39009
R1B.005: Crime, Alienation, and the Street: Cities in South Asia
  • This course satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement.
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.
When Gandhi said that “India does not live in its towns but in its villages,” he was agreeing with the conventional wisdom of his contemporaries, both Indian and British. In this class, we will disregard this view and focus instead on South Asia’s mesmerizing, contentious cities. We will read a love poem about a watermelon; watch movies about gangsters and bored housewives; and encounter shrewd slackers and homicidal, telepathic detectives. Alongside the work of historians and other scholars, these texts will help us think about what makes modernity modern, what makes cities urban, and what makes a colony colonial.
 
The aim of the seminar is to develop critical thinking, reading and writing skills. The class will be writing intensive and satisfies the second half of the university's reading and composition requirement. In the first half of the semester, students will undertake short writing assignments – responding to the readings or analyzing particular archival sources - to develop their expository and analytic writing skills. In the second half of the semester, students will produce an 8 and a 10 page research paper using several sources and we will critique each others work in class. By the end of the course, students will have learned how to assess source material and use it to construct historical arguments. Through the development of critical reading skills and writing techniques, students will learn to take positions on the broad historical issues addressed in the class.
186 BARROWS
WF 4-530P
CCN: 39012
R1B.006: The Kind of Problem a City Is: Premodern Urban Growth and Development
  • This course satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement.
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.

Early urban centers were crucial to the creation and dissemination of cultural, political, religious, and socioeconomic developments.   We will look at primary and secondary source materials on early urban centers around the world as we consider questions such as:   what criteria do we use to determine what a “city” is, what are urbanism and urbanization and how do they differ, how do we interpret the data of early sources which often do not collect data directly relevant to the questions modern historians ask.  We will discuss what tools and methodologies enable us to interpret available data on patterns of development and socialization, economic activity, crime, disease, resource management, and systems of administration and control.  A comparative perspective is encouraged.

The aim of the seminar is to develop critical thinking, reading and writing skills. The class will be writing intensive and satisfies the second half of the university's reading and composition requirement. In the first half of the semester, students will undertake short writing assignments – responding to the readings or analyzing particular archival sources - to develop their expository and analytic writing skills. In the second half of the semester, students will produce an 8 and a 10 page research paper using several sources and we will critique each others work in class. By the end of the course, students will have learned how to assess source material and use it to construct historical arguments. Through the development of critical reading skills and writing techniques, students will learn to take positions on the broad historical issues addressed in the class.

TuTh 8-9:30
222 WHEELER
CCN: 39014
2: Ancient Empires

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

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

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

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

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

Emily Mackil
50 BIRGE
TuTh 930-11A
CCN: 39036
4B: Medieval Europe

A saint picked up worms from the road to keep them safe from harm. A ruler executed 4500 prisoners of war. Jerusalem was conquered in a bloodbath. Flagellants bloodied their own bodies to prepare for the Millennium. Such incidents are all representative of the middle ages. The period 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, and Latin American societies. We will begin with the fall of the Roman Empire and then follow the history of one particular people (the Franks) whose own empire gave Europe a lasting belief in its historical destiny. We will then 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 it. Other than a good, dense textbook, readings are entirely translated primary sources – generally whole works rather than excerpted snippets.  

Geoffrey Koziol
101 BARKER
TuTh 11-1230
CCN: 39015
5: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present

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

Thomas W. Laqueur
2060 VALLEY LSB
TuTh 1230-2P
CCN: 39063
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
120 LATIMER
TuTh 2-330P
CCN: 39033