Turning Points in American History

Students in this course will analyze and evaluate a very select number of "pivotal moments" over the past four centuries of American history. As an introduction to historical thinking and argumentation, the course will combine close scrutiny of documents from the past with an awareness of  interpretive issues of contingency, determinism, and historical agency raised by leading contemporary historians. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributives: US, pre-1800.


#EverythingHasAHistory: Understanding America Today

This introductory course will explore the historical roots of current events in the United States.  This course demonstrates how history is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives and why understanding history is important for understanding the present and navigating the future.  We will focus on case studies—such as immigration and borders, computers and society, and race and whiteness—and expect the syllabus to evolve in real time depending on what is in the news during the quarter.  This class serves as an introductory course for History majors, but is open to all students. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributive: US.

HIST 3.01

Europe in the Age of Wonder

This course examines Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century through religious warfare in the 17th century, when society, economics, politics, and culture were guided by a sense of wonder, which held people in awe of their rulers and the divine. Wonder did not imply passivity: from the disintegration of the Roman Empire to the emergence of early nation states, through crusades, the expansion of trade, religious reformation, and advances in scientific thinking. Europeans drew on their experiences to develop new concepts of representative government, individual liberty, and religious meaning. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributives: EUR, pre-1700, pre-1800.

HIST 3.02

Europe in the Age of Discovery

This course introduces students to an age of discovery during which Europeans encountered worlds, real and imagined, far beyond the realm of the familiar. Between the latter half of the 14th century through the late 18th century European society, economics, politics, ideas, and culture were altered in ways that increasingly took on aspects of modernity. From the aftermath of a pandemic crisis through a period punctuated by religious reformations, civil wars, and revolutionary regicides, Europeans steadily adopted more modern attitudes to property, authority, community, work, family, the body, nature, and supernatural forces. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributives: EUR, pre-1800.

HIST 3.03

Europe in the Age of Violence

The last two centuries were an era of dramatic transformations and contradictions: while Europeans enjoyed unprecedented prosperity, technological advances, and social mobility, they also unleashed and experienced empire, terror, total war, foreign occupations, and mass murder. Throughout these 100 years, contrasting visions of a new society ushered in a range of different regimes—monarchical empires, liberal republics, murderous and racist dictatorships, Communist autocracies, and a democratic welfare states—yet these visions also led to the emancipation of women, the development of a new consumer society, the creation of environmentalist movements and new counter-cultures, and the transformation of everyday lives. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major Distributive: EUR.

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 4.02; X-LIST: MES 2.02

Introduction to the History of the Islamic Middle East

This course is a survey of the histories and cultures of the Islamic Middle East, starting in the era before the advent of Islam in the 7th century until the eve of the 20th century. This class will begin with the regional and global contexts in which Islam emerged, examining the history of the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'anic revelation, and the first community of believers. We will then look at the expansion of the "abode of Islam" over the course of several centuries, asking why so many people in so many different regions converted to Islam. We will also study philosophical, cultural, legal, political, and social trends in region now known as the Middle East and North Africa until the era of early European colonialism. Dist: INT, SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 4.03; X-LIST: MES 2.03

Introduction to the Modern Middle East and North Africa

The diverse nations and peoples that make up the Middle East and North Africa are of major significance in our contemporary world, at the same time that they are often misunderstood or given only superficial (albeit spectacular) popular attention. This lecture course is designed to give students a nuanced introductory overview of the modern histories of this region. Students will read a variety of primary and secondary materials designed to familiarize them with the historical, cultural, and social processes that have affected and transformed the region in question, and will learn to put these regional histories in a global framework. The course begins with a brief summary of the early modern Islamicate "Gunpowder" Empires—Mughal, Safavid/Qajar, Ottoman—and then moves through several topics of significance: the era of European colonialism; the establishment of the nation state; competing discourses of nationalism; the emergence of Third Worldist and anti-colonial movements; the Israeli- Palestinian conflict; debates over the politics of gender; the effects of the Cold War; the processes of decolonization and the establishment of post-colonial states; the rise of revolutionary Islamism; oil politics and policies; globalization and neoliberalism; 9/11, terrorism, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the Arab uprisings of 2010-2011; and the region's uncertain present and future. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 5.01; X-LIST: AAAS 14

Pre-Colonial African History

This course will examine the social and economic history of Africa to 1800. Several interrelated themes of social organization, the expansion of trade, rise of new social classes, the emergence and disintegration of various states and European intervention will be discussed. Through our readings, we will visit every major historical region of Africa (north, east, central, west and south) at least once during the semester to illuminate the various themes. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributives: AALAC, pre-1700, pre-1800.

HIST 5.03; X-LIST: ASCL 64.08

The History of China since 1800

This survey course traces China's social, political, and cultural development from the relative peace and prosperity of the high Qing period, through the devastating wars and imperialist incursions of the nineteenth century, to the efforts, both vain and fruitful, to build an independent and powerful new nation. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 5.04; X-LIST: ASCL 10.02

Introduction to Korean Culture

This course provides an introduction to Korean culture and history, examining Korea's visual and textual expressions from the pre-modern age to the twentieth century. What are the origins of Korean national and cultural identities? How have Korean claims of cultural distinctiveness been manifested and modified over time? Tracing answers to these questions simultaneously helps us to consider how and why Korea has entered America's consciousness. As Korean matters to the US not simply as a fact but as a project, this course avoids portraying Korea through any generalized statements or uncritical categories. Rather, students are encouraged to explore and perspectives on Korea and thereby unravel their own prejudices and agendas. No prior acquaintance with the Korean language is required. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Major distributives: AALAC, pre-1800.

HIST 5.05; X-LIST: ASCL 64.11

The Emergence of Modern Japan

A survey of Japanese history from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Topics to be covered include the building of a modern state and the growth of political opposition, industrialization and its social consequences, the rise and fall of the Japanese colonial empire, and the postwar economic 'miracle.' Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 5.06; X-LIST: LACS 10

Pre-Columbian and Colonial America

This course will examine the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Andes and Mesoamerica, the causes and consequences of the Spanish and Portuguese Conquests, and the establishment of colonial societies and economies. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributives: AALAC, 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 5.09

Colonialism, Nationalism, and Revolution in Southeast Asia

This course offers an overview of the political history of Southeast Asia from the early nineteenth century to the present. It examines the character of pre-colonial states, the development of European imperialism and the nature of colonial rule, the emergence of nationalism, the process of decolonization (with a focus on the Vietnamese Revolution), authoritarian and non-authoritarian regimes in post-colonial Southeast Asia, the mass killings in Cambodia and Indonesia, and movements for democracy in the Philippines, Indonesia and Burma (Myanmar). Open to all classes. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 5.11; X-LIST: ASCL 64.03

Gandhi: Twentieth Century India and the World

This course explores the history of modern India through the figure of Mahatma Gandhi. After exploring early developments in Gandhi's life and his philosophy of non-violence, we will examine the role of Gandhi and of his image in major political developments in India. We will also take up many key issues relating to Gandhian thought, including Hindu-Muslim relations, caste, gender and sexuality, and social equality. Finally, we will discuss Gandhi's legacy in India and globally. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 5.13; X-List: LACS 1.10

Modern Latin America

This course presents the histories of Latin American and Caribbean societies, peoples, and nations from the onset of the Haitian Revolution in 1791 to the present. By placing Haiti at the center of the Age of Revolutions, this course also locates the Caribbean region within the Latin American context. We will study the region's nation-building processes using an intersectional lens to explore how different people interpreted them through their own gendered, classed, and racialized identities. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.