Topics and Crosslisted Courses

HIST 90.03

Nations and Numbers

Examines the intertwined histories of modern nation-states, numbers, and quantification, exploring themes and frameworks including race, gender, identity, discipline, pedagogy, citizenship, science, progress, imperialism, governance, and commerce. Develops contextual understandings of both nations and numbers, analyzing how they have been constructed as timeless points of reference. Designed to be challenging but accessible to those without extensive background in “nations” or “numbers,” as well as those with particular expertise and interests in either topic.

HIST 90.04; X-List: MES 2.01, JWST 44.01

The Making of the Modern Middle East

This panoramic course surveys major developments in Middle East history, politics, and society. Covering more than a two hundred year stretch, we will move across an expansive geography encompassing North Africa, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and parts of Central Asia. Throughout this journey, particular attention will be paid to five important themes: imperialism, modernization, nationalism, Islam, and revolution. In the process of navigating these seminal topics, we will develop a more nuanced understanding of the modern Middle East and a greater appreciation for the insights offered by primary sources, from poems and national speeches to songs and motion-pictures, into the region's dynamic past. We will begin with a basic question – what and where is the Middle East? – prior to exploring the impact, importance, and mechanics of empires (Ottoman, French, British). Once elucidating this imperial backdrop, we will study sweeping reforms, struggles for independence, and the fashioning of nation-states, before examining a series of revolutionary moments, America's presence in the Middle East, and the "Arab Spring" and its aftermath. Whenever possible, we will strive to illuminate ordinary people, as opposed to only elite actors, who contributed to the making of the modern Middle East. Dist: SOC, INT; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 90.05; X-list: JWST 11

The Jewish Atlantic

This course will examine the contribution of Jews, crypto-Jews, and Conversos to colonial enterprises in the transatlantic sphere, 15th-19th centuries. Focusing on the Iberian peninsula, we will examine Jewish settlements in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, including Jewish owned plantations in Suriname, Jewish involvement in the triangulated slave trade, and the impact of the Inquisition, the Age of Emancipation, and the Atlantic revolutions.

HIST 90.09; X-LIST: ASCL 54.10

Global South Asia

Home to some of the world's richest people and biggest companies, South Asia has been the source of countless stories of success. Yet there's more to these stories than meets the eye. What makes South Asia important globally and what is the history behind South Asia's recent rise? Global South Asia answers these questions by looking at the ways the region has been connected to other parts of the world throughout history. Open to all classes.

HIST 90.10

Liberalism and Its History: World War II to the Present

The 2016 election of Donald Trump, Brexit, and what appears to be a global turn to nationalism, have led to the publication of endless columns and myriad books proclaiming liberalism to be in a state of international crisis. Liberalism is not in its death throes, but what talk over a crisis of liberalism has initiated is a discussion about its historical origins, and how liberalism has evolved over time given new political contexts and challenges. The purpose of this course is to help you come to terms with today's political crisis by looking at challenges to liberalism—as an idea, sensibility and political program—from the Cold War until the present. Topics to be discussed include: Cold War Liberalism, Neoliberalism, the liberalism of John Rawls and his critics, Neoconservatism, Globalization, Liberalism and Religion, and the contemporary crisis of liberalism. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributive: US.

HIST 91.01; X-LIST: REL 33 and JWST 36

Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Age of the Crusades

This course will focus on the interactions of the three major religious communities of the medieval Mediterranean—Christians, Jewish, and Muslim—beginning with the First Crusade in 1096 and ending with the arrival of the Black Death in 1347. By examining topics such as pilgrimage, crusade, and jihad, the status of minority communities, and intellectual life, we will explore how Christians, Jews, and Muslims clashed, cooperated, influenced, and misunderstood each other. Open to all classes.

HIST 91.02

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

This course will focus on the interactions of the three major religious communities of the medieval Mediterranean—Christians, Jewish, and Muslim—beginning with the First Crusade in 1096 and ending with the arrival of the Black Death in 1347. By examining topics such as pilgrimage, crusade, and jihad, the status of minority communities, and intellectual life, we will explore how Christians, Jews, and Muslims clashed, cooperated, influenced, and misunderstood each other. Open to all classes.

HIST 92.01; X-List: AAAS 61

Caribbean History, 1898-Present

This course surveys the major issues that have shaped Caribbean society from the late 19th-century to the present, including: imperialism, urbanization, migration and globalization, struggles for national independence, the transition from plantation to tourism-based economies, and the global spread of Caribbean popular culture. Our readings and discussions will focus on the historical trajectories of Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and the Dominican Republic using historical scholarship, music, literature, film, and personal narratives. Dist: SOC, INT; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 92.02; X-list: AAAS 86, LACS 54

Nationalism and Revolution in the Caribbean

The islands of the Caribbean have seen two revolutionary upheavals of the modern era—the Haitian Revolution and the Cuban Revolution and have produced a diverse cadre of anti-colonial activists and intellectuals. Beginning with the uprising of enslaved laborers in Saint Domingue in 1791, the course explores the history of nationalist movements in the Spanish-, English-, and French-speaking Caribbean. We will analyze and compare the ideological underpinnings of nationalist movements, discuss ways in which nationalist leaders have attempted to mobilize popular support, and consider why violent revolutionary struggles erupted in some Caribbean territories but not in others. Dist: SOC, INT; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 92.03; X-List: AAAS 83.03

Slavery and Emancipation in Latin America and the Caribbean

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. Dist: SOC, INT; WCult: NW.

Major distributives: <1700, <1800, AALAC.

HIST 92.06: X-LIST: RUSS 15

Russia and the West: From Early Times to the Present Day

In its thousand-year history, Russia has occupied a unique place between Europe and Asia, and both Russian and foreign observers have wrestled with defining its place vis-à-vis western (European) civilization. This course will explore Russia's place in world history, examining the complex and evolving relationship of Russia and Europe, and the Soviet Union and the West, from the middle ages to the present. Particular emphasis will be given to the complicated and fraught relationship of Putin's Russia with the United States today. The course, which is designed as an introductory survey class, will have both a thematic and chronological approach. Dist: SOC, INT; WCult: W.

Major distributive: EUR.

HIST 92.07; X-LIST: AAAS 61.05

Black Agrarian Democracy: Haitian History from Revolution to the Fall of the Duvalier Dictatorship

The course explores the historical struggle between democracy and authoritarianism in Haiti throughout its two hundred seventeen years of independence as a free black nation, which also makes the island one of the oldest sovereign countries in the Western Hemisphere. To understand the island's history, students are expected to read what historians and writers have written about Haiti; and to read the primary letters of frantic French planters, rebellious African slaves, egalitarian peasants, entreprenurial market women, conscientious revolutionaries, exuberant military generals, loquacious politicians, feared dictators, and dreaded militias through time. The course will, indeed, move through four important, though overlapping, historical moments. First, we begin with an examiniation of the 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution when enslaved Africans revolted against the French colonial planters to successfully abolish slavery and to achieve national independence. Second, we read through the formation of grassroots and institutional democratic traditions in the nineteenth century and how they were undone during the 1915-1934 US Occupation of Haiti, where US President Woodrow Wilson ordered the American military to invade Haiti and control the island for almost two decades. Third, we will explore how the undoing of democracy led to the rise of the François and Jean-Claude Duvalier dictatorship (1957-1971) and its dreaded militia called the tonton macout militia (often spelled in the following French orthography: tonton macoutes). Finally, we will conclude the class by looking at how and why the Haitian peasantry overthrew the dictatorship to replace it with the democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Arisitide (1991). Dist: INT, SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: AALAC.

HIST 94.3

Greek History: Archaic and Classical Greece

(Identical to CLST 14)

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. Open to all classes.

HIST 94.4

Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Kings

(Identical to CLST 15)

This course has two aims: (1) to establish a basic understanding of the history of Alexander the Great and of Greek-speaking peoples in the eastern Mediterranean during the fourth through first centuries BCE and (2) to explore the cultural, military, political, and economic innovations of what was a singular age of experimentation. May be taken in partial fulfillment of the major in History. Open to all classes.

HIST 94.5

Roman History: The Republic

(Identical to CLST 17)

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. May be taken in partial fulfillment of the major in History. Open to all classes.

HIST 94.06; X-List: CLST 18

History of the Roman Empire

This course is designed to survey the major events in the history of Rome from 31 B.C. (Octavian/Augustus' success at the battle of Actium) through the accession and rule of Septimius Severus. During this period, the Roman empire (signifying the territorial extent conquered by Roman armies and administered by Roman officials) became a political community extending throughout the Mediterranean and northwards into Europe as far as Scotland. This course considers the logic of the Roman system: the mechanisms promoting the political identity of diverse peoples as Roman, and the endurance of local traditions within the Roman world; the reasoning whereby the overarching leadership of a single individual was conceived as necessary and good, and the evolving relationship between the princeps and the Roman senatorial aristocracy with a tradition of competitive participation and self identity in politics at Rome; the definition of the Roman frontiers and the role of the army in the assimilation of non-Roman peoples. May be taken in partial fulfillment of the major in History. Open to all classes. WCult: W.

Major Distribs: INTER, <1700 <1800
 

HIST 94.7

Methods and Theory in Ancient History

(Identical to CLST 19)

This course is designed to introduce the student to the various types of documentary evidence available to the ancient historian and to the various perspectives for framing and answering historical questions. We consider the interpretive methodologies for each type of document (coin, inscription, papyrus) as well as the particular historical context in which these documents were produced. Topics include the function of coinage and economic thinking in the ancient world and the political significance of the publication of law. The final weeks of the term allow for in-depth consideration of a specific problem in ancient history. May be taken in partial fulfillment of the major in History. Open to all classes.

HIST 94.8

History and Culture of The Jews: The Classical Period

(Identical to JWST 10)

A survey of the history and culture of the Jews from the post-Biblical period to the Middle Ages.

HIST 94.9

History and Culture of the Jews: The Modern Period

(Identical to JWST 11)

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.

HIST 94.10

Jews & Arabs in Palestine-Israel: Past and Present

(Identical to JWST 40.04/GOVT 40.18/ AMES 41.11)

This course aims to study the modern history of Jewish-Arab relations in Palestine/Eretz Israel, aka the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is not an easy task, if only because of the wide gap between the national narratives and the contradictory historical views of the conflicting. We will try to take advantage of the existence of these contradictions and gaps, in order to explore the very creation of national narratives, the belief systems and perceptions of justice of both parties, their self-images and the way they try to present themselves to international audiences.