Interregional and Comparative (INTER)

These are courses which fulfill our Interregional and Comparative requirements within the history major and minor.

HIST 4.01

The Crusades

The crusades, launched by European Christians who sought to secure military control over the Holy Land, led to a period of sustained and largely inimical contact between Christian and Muslim cultures. Covering the period from 1095-ca.1350, this course explores the cultural, religious, and ideological contexts of crusade history which shaped notions of religious violence, holy war, and ethnic cleansing, along with a long history of distrust between the peoples of Christian Europe (or the Christian West) and the Islamic Middle East. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: CI.

Major distributives: INTER, pre-1700/pre-1800.

HIST 5.08; X-LIST: AAAS 19

Africa and the World

This course focuses on links between Africa and other parts of the world, in particular Europe and Asia. Readings, lectures, and discussions will address travel and migration, economics and trade, identity formation, empire, and cultural production. Rather than viewing Africa as separate from global processes, the course will address historical phenomena across oceans, deserts, cultures, and languages to demonstrate both the diversity of experiences and the long-term global connections among disparate parts of the world. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 5.14 (formerly HIST 9.01)

The Americas from Invasion to Independence

The course explores the history of the Americas as space of conflict, colonialism, and political and economic change over three centuries from the arrival of Europeans to the revolutions that separated new American nations from European control. Using a thematic approach, the course will compare areas of the hemisphere and rival European imperial projects, while also identifying critical connections and interdependencies across the Americas. Students will be introduced to key questions in early American history and also to the analysis of primary and secondary sources through lectures and small discussion groups. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributives: INTER, pre-1700/pre-1800.

HIST 8.01

Body Parts, Body Wholes: An Introduction to the Comparative History of Medicine

This course examines the possibilities and problems of comparing medicine across time and region. We will begin by considering divergent conceptions of the body in Chinese and Greek antiquity before moving on to the transformation of the healing traditions and the advance of modern biomedicine since 1800. Instead of imposing "holism" or "reductionism" on medical traditions, this course encourages students to view past expressions of medicine as a means of analyzing our own self here and now. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 8.02

The Making of the Modern World Economy

This course introduces students to major economic developments of the last two centuries in global perspective. It addresses themes such as the Industrial Revolution and the "Great Divergence;" the political economy of imperialism; the economics of war; the transformation of the world financial system; the economics of development; and the roots of the crisis of 2007/8. Students can expect to acquire a historically founded understanding of the global economy of today.

HIST 8.03

Happiness: A History

The course aims to introduce students to a range of perspectives on human happiness, individual and collective, past and present. The course will explore happiness in different religious and wisdom traditions, while charting its emergence since the 18th century as a basic human expectation and even entitlement.  The course draws on a wide range of disciplines, including history, philosophy, religion, literary studies, contemporary psychology, economics, and social science. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

Major distributive: INTER

HIST 8.05

The International History of Human Rights

In this course, students will study the history of human rights in the modern era, tracing the idea of the "Rights of Man" from the time of the Enlightenment; the uneasy coexistence of democracy and slavery; 19th century humanitarian movements, including abolitionism; the internationalization of humanitarianism and the Red Cross; the socialist challenge to "liberal" human rights; and the development of the international human rights movement per se since World War II.

HIST 8.06

Food History

We will look at issues of food production and consumption, and how our relationship to food contributes to the political and social structures that we live with.  Our approach will be historical and pay special attention to the ways in which our production and consumption of food has been shaped by the movement of people over the last century.  The readings explore how food creates ways for people to form bonds of belonging while also creating bonds of control and regimes of inequality.

HIST 8.07

The History of Equality

This course will examine key shifts in the understanding and deployment of notions of "equality," including moral, legal, political, social, racial, and gender equality. Primarily a course of intellectual history with a focus on European and American sources and texts, it will nevertheless encourage the consideration of non-western perspectives and will draw on relevant literature in other disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, and economics.

HIST 8.08

Horse History

The use of the horse in war and transport coincides with the emergence of written history, and the end of the use of the horse in war and transport coincides with the transition to the age of nuclear weapons and electronic communications. In between, the horse has been essential to global processes of agricultural and industrial development, urbanization, exploration and conquest. In many societies horses have also been associated with the fundamentals of social stratification and gender dichotomies. For good reason, the horse as a representation has also taken on profound cultural and religious roles. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Major distributives: <1700, <1800, INTER.


What Is History?

The discipline of History is about much more than names, dates, and events. It is actually a realm of robust argument, changing interpretations, and vivid imagination. This brand-new, team-taught course explores different genres of professional historical research and writing (e.g. biography, political history, cultural history). Through a dynamic mix of lectures and small-group discussions, both History majors and non-majors will gain a new appreciation of the historian's craft. No prerequisites; first-year students welcome.

HIST 10.02

Archival Research and the Production of History

The target constituency of this summer-term course will be those students admitted to History's London-based FSP who have framed an archive-based project (as most will do). Other students who wish to engage in a high-level exploration of archival-based historical knowledge are welcome to enroll; such students will pursue work for Unit Three of the class of their own choosing, in consultation with the instructor. The term consists of a three-part hybrid: an initial unit on the "epistemology of the archive" is followed by a unit on a select number of classic archival "finds." The course concludes with practical workshop format, intended to enhance a student's prospects for executing a project for 97.10 in London. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 10.03

The Dartmouth Vietnam Project: Learning Oral History in a Digital Age

This course explores the theory and practice of oral history. Oral history interviews are collaborations between interviewers and narrators (interviewees). Such interviews are used to explore both the lives of individuals and the histories of communities. In some cases, oral history provides a way to access voices and perspectives that are marginalized or absent from the materials contained in conventional archives. The use of oral history interviews as primary sources raises complex questions about narrative, subjectivity, memory, and historical truth. In this course, students will be trained to conduct an interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project, an ongoing oral history project that records testimony from community members about their memories of the Vietnam War and its impact on their lives.


HIST 16.02; X-LIST: AAAS 60.10

Plantations and Slavery in the Americas

The plantation evolved in the Americas as a place for European exploitation of colonial environments and enslaved laborers. It played a foundational role in shaping settler colonialism, racial slavery, and capitalism across the Americas and it has also framed debates around the legacies of slavery and colonial appropriation up to the present. This course explores the evolution of the plantation as an institution and an ideology of racialized exploitation, but also traces enslaved peoples' resistance to the plantation and their construction of rival geographies and institutions. Dist: SOC, WCult: W.

Major distributives: pre-1700, pre-1800, INTER


The Vietnam War

This course examines the conflict which Americans call "The Vietnam War" as a major event in the 20th century histories of both the United States and Vietnam. In addition to exploring the key decisions made by U.S. and Vietnamese leaders, students will also learn about the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians. This course incorporates multiple American and Vietnamese sources and perspectives, and also investigates multiple explanations of the war's origins and outcome.

HIST 36.02; X-LIST: GOVT 40.03

Epidemics in History

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a profound disruption of life in the United States and around the world.  For virtually everyone alive today, the epidemic is an unprecedented and unexpected event.  Yet over the last three millennia, epidemics have been one of the foremost drivers of human history.  Infectious diseases have affected the fate of great civilizations and empires, reshaped the economic fundamentals of large societies and influenced art and culture in innumerable profound ways.  This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to some of the most dramatic epidemics in history and the consequences they had on societies around the world. Dist: SOC-INT.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 40.01 (formerly HIST 9.03)

The Global Thirties: Economics and Politics

This course provides an overview of the global history of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The course addresses themes such as the international economic order of the 1920s, the economic causes of the Depression, the political responses to the crisis, the rise of economic planning, and the legacy of the 1930s in post-war development states and economic thinking. Students will understand why the Depression influences economic theory and policymaking to this day. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: W.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 40.02 (formerly HIST 9.04)

The Intellectual History of Capitalism

Since its inception capitalism has not only been an economic endeavor but also an intellectual challenge. Critics and boosters of capitalism have debated questions such as these: Is capitalism natural? Is capitalism equitable, or should it be? Does capitalism require a specific type of society and politics? This reading-intensive course introduces students to key texts about capitalism since the mid-19th century. Authors covered include Marx, Mill, Veblen, Keynes, Hayek, Polyani, Friedman, Foucault, and Piketty. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

Major distributives: INTER.

HIST 41.02; X-list: AAAS 62.75

Race, Gender, & Revolution in the Atlantic World

This course examines how the events and intellectual production of the Haitian Revolution and decolonization struggles in the Spanish Empire shook the Atlantic World and forced a reconsideration of political categories such as liberty, tyranny, citizenship, rights, and the relationship of race and gender to all of these concepts. The Enlightenment influenced Latin American and Caribbean revolutionaries, but these rebel intellectuals in turn challenged some of the Enlightenment's fundamental tenets, ushering in new polities with radical notions of citizenship and belonging.


World War II: Ideology, Experience, Legacy

This course will explore the origins, nature, and legacies of the most dramatic war in modern times. Rather than focusing only on the military aspect, we will discuss the different ideological, cultural, political, and social factors that intersected in this monumental conflict. Students will learn about the worldviews that led to the war; the experiences of soldiers, policymakers, and ordinary people at the home fronts; and the institutions and cultures that emerged at the war's aftermath.


The Russian Empire

After a review of Kievan and Muscovite antecedents, the course surveys the history of Russia from the Time of Troubles to the beginning of the twentieth century. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of the Russian autocrat, on the institution of serfdom, and the development of the 19th century intelligentsia. Intended to precede, but not prerequisite to, HIST 55. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.


Scientific Revolutions and Modern Society

An introduction to major revolutions in Western science since 1700, focusing on changing definitions of science; on political and religious implications of scientific theories; and on the effect of national contexts on scientific practice. Topics include Newton and Newtonianism in the 18th century, the Darwinian Revolution, Einstein and the birth of modern physics, and science under 'banners' in revolutionary France, Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia.

HIST 58; X-LIST: JWST 37.01

History of the Holocaust

The focus of this course will be on the history of the murder of European Jews and the destruction of European Judaism at the hands of the Nazis. After surveying the history of racism in European society from the 18th to 20th century, the course investigates, from perspectives of history, psychology, literature, philosophy, and religion, how bureaucracy could exterminate six million Jews. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributive: INTER.


Britain and the Sea

This course explores the role of the sea in bringing Britons into contact with a wide world of environments and peoples over the last four centuries during which time Britain was transformed from a cluster of islands on the margins of Europe into an influential global hub. Topics include: voyages of exploration; maritime commerce and warfare; life and work at sea; piracy and slavery; ports and coastal life; the sea as a site of recreation, imagination, and the experience of nature. Open to all classes.


The First World War

The First World War was fought in Europe for the most part but it involved belligerents from every continent and had global effects, many of which bedevil our world today. This course introduces you to the vast subject of what the British still call The Great War, its causes, combat, homefronts and far-reaching consequences as well as to some of the unresolved questions that continue to propel our research. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 63.02

Reading Artifacts: The Material Culture of Science

SPRING 2021 and 2022 Description: In addition to its written documents, the history of science can be understood through its physical artifacts: through microscopes and mastodon molars, maps and masks, armadillo shells, botanical drawings, dioramas, and even human remains. Focusing on European and American scientific inquiry and collecting, and especially the years before 1800, this course introduces students to the historical study of material culture. Through learning about the varied types of tangible things involved in scientific study, as well as the many ways historical people and institutions have approached material artifacts, students will understand more broadly how objects and collections both reflect and shape a culture's knowledge systems, identities, and values. By encountering historical artifacts and historical ways of seeing objects, students will also learn how to incorporate objects as sources into their own research as historians. Above all, in an era of technological saturation, they will learn to slow down and to look closely. Dist: TAS; WCult: W.

Major distributive: INTER, pre-1800 (Spring 2021 and 2022 only).

ORC Description: Emphasizing hands-on examination of artifacts in Dartmouth's Collection of Historic Scientific Instruments, this class seeks to study history using 3-d rather than the usual 2-d textual sources. Topics include the rise of American science, science at Dartmouth, the role of experiment and demonstration in science, aesthetics and design of objects, and international trade in instruments.  Students will create and curate an exhibition of artifacts from Dartmouth's Collection. Dist: TAS; WCult: W.



HIST 90.11; X-LIST: GOVT 60.23

Law and Empire

How did law justify European imperialism? What did law look like in different imperial contexts? How do the histories of empire and imperialism help us understand the history of law? Looking across regions and contexts, from early modern Iberian empires, to early colonial North America, to Africa and Asia, this course examines the relationship between law, empire, expansion, and colonialism from the 17th to 21st centuries. With a few exceptions, our readings and discussions will follow chronological order, veering off course occasionally to look at issues comparatively. Throughout, we'll be working to uncover how imperial approaches to law changed over time and how laws and legal institutions with imperial origins have shaped expectations and experiences into the present. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 90.14

The Global British Empire, 1600 – The Present

This course charts the long history and continuing legacies of the British Empire, an entity that has transformed every single continent over the last four centuries and is widely associated with the makings of the modern world. We examine how and why a powerful and expansive British Empire emerged and sustained itself. Equally, we zoom in on the regular contestation and even outright rebellion that this transcontinental polity inspired. This course is an opportunity to think connectively and comparatively about historical experiences in America, India, the Caribbean and Africa among multiple other British imperial spaces. Through the prism of a changing British Empire, we trace the rise and evolution of global trade, slavery, the consumption of commodities such as sugar, tea, opium, and cotton; and new ideas about governance, sovereignty, race and identity. We conclude with a discussion of the persistence of imperial institutions, laws and power relations in shaping the world we inhabit. Students will be introduced to major debates about imperialism and colonialism and the political, economic, environmental, legal and racial underpinnings of the British Empire. Students will read a combination of primary and secondary sources every week and will develop a research paper drawn from original sources over the course of the term. Dist: INT; WCult: W.

Major Distributive (Class of 2023 and Before): INTER.
Major Distributives (Class of 2024 and Beyond): EUR, modern.

HIST 91.02; X-LIST: REL 34

Christianity and Conversion in the Northern World: Vikings, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons

This course explores the transformation of Christianity in the early medieval period. The conversion of 'barbarian' peoples in northwest Europe between the years 400 and 1000 meant Christianity had to adapt to a different environment than the Roman and Mediterranean one in which the religion developed. The northern world was without the Roman Empire, without cities, with different languages, cultures and notions of relations between the human and divine worlds. This course explores the impact the conversion of Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and Nordic communities had on Christianity, as well as why communities of the northern world voluntarily chose to adopt this new religion. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

Class of 2023 and Before Major Dist: INTER, pre-1700/pre-1800.
Class of 2024 and Beyond Major Dist: Europe, pre-modern.

HIST 94.03; X-LIST: CLST 14

Greek History: Archaic and Classical Greece

This course is designed to survey the major events in the history of ancient Greece from c.1600 B.C. (the emergence of palatial culture in the Mycenaean World) to 404 B.C. (the end of the Peloponnesian War). During this period, the Greeks formed individual communities and developed unique political structures, spread their culture, language, and religion throughout the Mediterranean, invented democracy (at Athens) and enshrined these values in their art and literature. This course will cover the physical setting of and the archaic legacy to the classical city-state, its economy, its civic and religious institutions, the waging of war between cities, the occurrence and ancient analysis of conflict within the city, and the public and private lives of its citizens and less well-known classes, such as women, children, slaves, etc. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributives: INTER, pre-1700/pre-1800.

HIST 94.05; X-LIST: CLST 17

Roman History: The Republic

This course surveys the history of the Roman people from 753 (traditional date of the founding of Rome) to 44 B.C. (the assassination of Julius Caesar). Topics include the development of Roman law, the conquest of all lands bordering on the Mediterranean, and the civil wars that destroyed Republican government. Particular emphasis is placed on the Roman political community: the political, religious and social factors that influenced the definition of the Roman aristocracy in the fourth century, the institutions that maintained the ascendancy of the elite, the military and political values inherent in the citizenship, the social and political mechanisms that militated against civil dissent, and the role of political values in the eventual destruction of Republican government from within. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributives: INTER, pre-1700/pre-1800.

HIST 94.09; X-LIST: JWST 11

History and Culture of the Jews II: The Modern Period

A continuation of JWST 10, but may be taken independently. This course provides a survey of Jewish history and culture from the European enlightenment to the establishment of the State of Israel. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 96.13

Colloquium: Great Explanations: Global Methods

Historians and other social scientists are supposed to explain the big things. But great explanations—the causes of everything, or most things, or everything that matters—are risky and sometimes hilarious. This colloquium explores both the results of risk-taking in interpreting the past and the tools used by social scientists to come up with yet one more great explanation.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 96.25

Seminar: World War II in the Pacific, 1931-1945

This seminar examines the origins, experiences, and consequences of World War II in the Pacific from 1931 – 1945. Moving beyond a U.S.-Japanese framework, we will explore the Pacific War's complex cultural, diplomatic, and geopolitical roots, examining it as a clash between empires, liberation movements, and Communist organizations.  Course materials will include both primary and second sources, along with films, comics, and memoirs that examine the experience and legacies of these wars. Dist: INT; WCult: W.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 96.27

Seminar: Great Historians: Classic Works from Herodotus to Du Bois

This course aims to introduce students to the craft of history via an exploration of the writings of some of the most celebrated historians in the Western tradition. The readings, which range from the 6th century BCE through the 19th century, are all canonical and though none is without its shortcomings, each has endured for good reason.  We will spend the course reading these works closely and critically, cultivating both an appreciative sense of what they do well and a critical sense of where they fall short. In the process, we will consider the methods, aims, purposes, and value of history itself. Open with permission of the instructor to juniors and seniors. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributives: INTER, pre-1800.

HIST 96.33

Seminar: Global History of Human Rights

This course aims to complicate histories of human rights that imagine that such rights only or primarily exist in Euro-American contexts and have to be exported — either through humanitarian or military intervention — to the Global South. To this end, we will look at rights movements in Middle East, Latin America, and Asian contexts, and attend to the often-complicated history of such movements in the context of imperialism and war. In this course, we will ask: What are human rights, and what is their history? What is the relationship between human rights and earlier languages of rights? What counts as a human right? Can there be a universal standard for human rights despite social difference? What political and ethical possibilities have been opened for marginalized communities by the language of human rights, and what possibilities have been foreclosed by the often-singular focus on human rights as a panacea against all social ills? And finally: do our demands for human rights work to make the world a more just place, and are these demands enough? Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: INTER.

HIST 96.37

Seminar: Topics in Economic History

This senior seminar addresses major debates and problems in economic history from a global perspective. The class is designed for students with previous course experience (within HIST, GEOG, GOV, ECON, or another program) in economic history, international political economy, and/or the history of capitalism . Writing a substantial research paper, based on primary sources and using historical methodology, is a core component. Admission in consultation with the instructor. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: W.

Major distributive: INTER.

Summer 2021 Topic: States and Economic Development - Global Histories and Comparisons


Additional courses that fulfill the Interregional and/or Comparative category

HIST 91.01    Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Age of the Crusades (X-list: REL 33/JWST 36.01)

HIST 91.02    Christianity and Conversion in the Northern World: Vikings, Celts and Anglo-Saxons (X-list: REL 34)

HIST 94.04      Alexander the Great and Macedonian Kings (X-list: CLST 15)

HIST 94.06      History of the Roman Empire (X-list: CLST 18)

HIST 94.07      Methods and Theory in Ancient History (X-list: CLST 19)

HIST 94.08      History & Culture of the Jews: The Classcal Period (X-list: JWST 10)