Africa, Asia, Latin America & The Caribbean


History of Africa since 1800

(Identical to African and African American Studies 15)

This course explores some of the major historical processes unfolding in Africa since 1800. Our analysis will focus on social and economic history as we examine Africa’s integration into the international economy during the nineteenth century, the rise of new social classes, and the creation of the colonial and post-colonial state. Our primary case studies will be drawn from east, west and southern Africa to highlight both the similarities and differences of their historical development.


The History of Modern South Africa

(Identical to African and African American Studies 46)

After an initial overview of colonialism in Africa, this course will concentrate on Southern Africa, with special emphasis on the historical development, effects, and implications of the racial situation in the Republic of South Africa. Readings will be drawn from primary and secondary materials and from works of fiction. Illustrative films will be shown, and some opportunity offered to compare the history of race relations in South Africa with that in other African countries and in the United States.


Violence and Conflict in the Middle East

This course will explore the major episodes that have transformed the Middle East since World War I through the prisms of conflict and violence. Challenging the discourses that characterize Middle Eastern societies as essentially stagnant, authoritarian and violent, this course will look critically at the complexities and dynamism of the conflicts with respect to their origins, the actors involved, and the key historical and political factors that have shaped them.


Imperial China in a Global Context

China’s history, from the 3rd century BCE to the twentieth century, examined in the context of global developments in demography, economy, urbanization, technology, trade, and the arts.


Early Chinese Culture

(Identical to Chinese 62.1)

A survey of early Chinese culture. The literary tradition will be taken as the primary evidence in the reconstruction and students will read early Chinese poetry and historical texts in translation. This tradition will then be examined in the light of new evidence from archaeological excavations, concerning the material culture of ancient China, and from ancient inscriptions.


Intellectual History of East Asia

A comparative exploration of Chinese and Japanese thought, from the formation of Confucianism in the Warring States period to the confrontation between traditional thought and the imported ideologies of the twentieth centuries. In writing assignments, students may concentrate upon either Chinese or Japanese topics.


Colonialism, Development, and the Environment in Africa and Asia

(Identical to Environmental Studies 45 and African and African American Studies 50)

This course examines the environmental history of Africa and Asia, focusing on the period of European colonialism and its aftermath. Topics include deforestation and desertification under colonial rule; imperialism and conservation; the consequences of environmental change for rural Africans and Asians; irrigation, big dams and transformations in water landscapes; the development of national parks and their impact on wildlife and humans; the environmentalism of the poor; urbanization and pollution; and global climate change in Africa and Asia.


The History of Modern South Asia

This course examines the history of South Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Themes of the course include the development of British imperialism, the impact of colonial rule on Indian rural society and economy, processes of cultural change, the development of nationalism, the historical role of Gandhi, the emergence of Hindu-Muslim conflict, and the character of post-colonial South Asia.


Imperialism in Modern East Asia

An examination of Western and Japanese imperialism in East Asia from the Opium War to the Pacific War. Subjects to be treated include the imposition of unequal treaties, the “scramble for concessions” in China, the creation of Japan’s formal and informal empires, and the rise and fall of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

HIST 78.1

Christianity in Korea

(Identical to AMES 11)

This course examines Korean Christians’ beliefs and practices, which have shaped and brought tensions to current socio-religious phenomena. Topics include the Korean origins of Christianity, the encounter between Catholicism and Neo-Confucianism in the eighteenth century, Protestant missionaries’ role in medicine and education, the rise of nationalism and Christianity under Japanese colonialism, churches in North Korea, Pentecostalism under South Korea’s rapid industrialization and democratization, Korean missionaries around the world, and Christian musicians and entertainers in Korea, as well as the interface between gender and Korean Christian culture.

HIST 78.2

North Korea, Origins and Transitions

(Identical to Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 21.04)

This course explores the history of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) from a global perspective. Topics include the Japanese colonial legacies; liberation, division, and foreign occupation between 1945 and 1950; the meanings of the Korean War; comparing Kim Il-Sung's North Korean revolution with Park Chung-hee's state building in the South; the reality of "Self-Reliance"; social control and everyday life; and issues around human rights.


Postwar Japan: From Occupied Nation to Economic Superpower

This course examines the internal and external forces that have shaped Japan’s government, economy, and society since 1945. Topics to be treated include American Occupation reforms, the conservative hegemony in politics, rapid economic growth and its costs, the mass middle-class society, and Japan’s changing world role.


Popular Struggle, Political Change and U.S. Intervention in Central America

This course will explore the history of popular struggles, political change and U.S. intervention in Central America. The region’s rich and complex history has been marked both by repressive dictatorships and by struggles for national liberation, social justice and indigenous rights. We will look at the different factors that played a part in determining this history including commodity production, labor systems, U.S. foreign policy, race relations, liberation theology and revolution.


Twentieth-Century Latin America

This course seeks to address major issues in twentieth century Latin America through the history of three or four countries. Topics discussed will include development, imperialism, nationalism, revolution, state formation and violence.


Culture and Identity in Modern Mexico

(Identical to Latin American and Caribbean Studies 76)

From the Porfiriato and the Revolution to the present, a survey of Mexican society and politics, with emphasis on the connections between economic developments, social justice, and political organization. Topics include fin de siècle modernization and the agrarian problem; causes and consequences of the Revolution of 1910; the making of the modern Mexican State; relations with the United States; industrialism and land reform; urbanization and migration; ethnicity, culture, and nationalism; neoliberalism and social inequality; the problems of political reform; and the zapatista rebellion in Chiapas.

HIST 92.03

Slavery and Emancipation in Latin America and the Caribbean

(Identical to African and African-American Studies 83.3)

For over 300 years, Africans were transport to Latin America and the Caribbean to work as enslaved laborers. This course will examine the history of African slavery in the region from the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade to the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888. For each class session, students will review primary source documents such as autobiographies, slave codes, plantation journals, visual images, and anti-slavery tracts as well as historical scholarship.