United States (US)


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 8.04

History of Sexuality in America

How have historical processes produced distinct sexual practices and identities over time? This course engages 300 years of a history that often evaded the historical record or was deliberately purged from it and asks how more traditional topics of U.S. historical inquiry—immigration, citizenship, economic organization, intellectual and artistic production, racialization, formal politics, law, religious practice—can yield new insights when sexual history is included as a legitimate dimension of analysis. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributive: US.


The Age of the American Revolution

This course begins with an examination of relations between England and its American Colonies in the middle of the eighteenth century. It deals with the collapse of British authority in America, emphasizing the social and intellectual sources of rebellion. Treatment of the war years focuses more on the problem of political and economic adjustment than on military history. The final topic covered is the adoption of a federal Constitution. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributives: US, pre-1800.


The American Civil War

The American Civil War was a defining moment in American history. This course examines the causes of the conflict, the war itself, and the period of Reconstruction up to 1877. Topics to be discussed include the diplomatic conduct of the war, political developments in both the north and the south, military developments, the question of race and slavery, emancipation, the participation of African Americans in the war, the women’s rights movement and the involvement of women in the war, and medical advances. The social and economic aspects of the war will receive as much emphasis as military and political developments.


Planters Puritans Pirates

This course explores the many different forms of English colonialism in America. It considers their differences and similarities. It probes the ways they were shaped by shifting ideas back in Europe, the requirements of different American environments, and the influence of indigenous and enslaved people. It grapples with English America not as a precursor to the United States, but as a place where new ideas were tested and traditional hierarchies were broken down and reformed.


The Invasion of America: American Indian History, Pre-Contact to 1830

(Identical to Native American Studies 14)

This course surveys the history of the American Indians from contact with Europeans to c. 1830. It provides an overview of the major themes and trends in Indian history, supplemented by case studies from a number of regions and readings that illuminate particular issues. The overall context of the course is the conflict generated by the colonial drive of European nations and the U.S. and their citizens, but the primary focus is the historical experience of Indian peoples and their struggles to retain their cultures and autonomy while adapting to great changes in the conditions of their lives.


American Indians and American Expansion: 1800 to 1924

This course surveys the history of the American Indians from the year 1830 to the present day. It provides an overview of the major themes and trends in Indian history, supplemented by case studies from a number of regions and readings that illuminate particular issues. The overall context of the course is the expansion of the U.S., the 'Indian policies' adopted by the U.S. government, but the primary focus is the historical experience of Indian peoples and their struggles to retain the cultures and autonomy while adapting to great changes in the conditions of their lives. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributive: US.


Race and Slavery in U.S. History

(Identical to African and African American Studies 12)

This course deals with the African heritage, origins of white racial attitudes toward blacks, the slave system in colonial and ante-bellum America, and free Black society in North America. Specific emphasis will be placed on the Afro-American experience and on the relationship between blacks and whites in early American society.


Black America since the Civil War

(Identical to African and African American Studies 13)

This course is a continuation of History 16. Among the topics to be discussed are Black Reconstruction, segregation and disfranchisement, migration, nationalism, Blacks and the New Deal, the impact of war on Blacks, and the 1960s.


United States Political History in the Nineteenth Century

This course studies the growth of the American political system. It will examine the development of both formal and informal political institutions as well as the forces which have shaped these institutions. Among the topics considered are the growth of political parties, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian influences, sectionalism, and the breakdown of the political system, and the political effects of expansion, industrialization, immigration, and urbanization.


United States Political History in the Twentieth Century

This course defines politics broadly to include grass roots political activism, and dissident political philosophy, as well as governmental action and change. The course will trace the evolving relationship between the federal government and American citizens from the end of Reconstruction through 1984. Topics will include Black political participation in Reconstruction; immigrant, labor, and woman suffrage activism; the post-World War I Red Scare and the decline of Progressivism; domestic turbulence and the New Deal state; the Cold War and the decline of New Deal liberalism; national security agencies and covert action; the Civil Rights movement and the Great Society; Vietnam and the youth rebellion of the 1960s; Watergate and the unveiling of the imperial presidency; the rise of the New Right, the revival of the national security state, and the dismantling of the social welfare state.


American Thought and Culture to 1865

This course examines leading thinkers, writers, artists, and reformers as a way of understanding American intellectual and cultural history. Some of the issues explored include: the nature and meaning of American Puritanism; the impact of the Enlightenment; the evolution of American political thought; ideas about slavery and race; Transcendentalism and Romantic reform; the American Renaissance in literature; and the role of intellectuals in the Civil War. Almost all of the readings will be drawn from primary texts (including material by Franklin, Jefferson, Emerson, Fuller, Hawthorne, Douglass, and Lincoln).


Modern American Thought and Culture

This course examines leading thinkers, writers, artists, and reformers as a way of understanding American intellectual and cultural history. Some of the issues explored include: the impact of Darwinism; social science and the modern university; responses to industrialization; the tension between self and society; debates over democracy; the challenge of civil rights and feminism; and recent debates over multiculturalism. Almost of all the reading will be drawn from primary sources (including material by Mark Twain, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., W.E.B. DuBois, John Dewey; Langston Hughes; Lionel Trilling; Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Malcolm X).

HIST 22; X-LIST: AAAS 80.06

Civil Rights in the United States in the 20th Century

This course examines movements for civil rights, broadly defined, in the 20th century U.S. Students explore concepts of American citizenship, considering struggles for political inclusion and efforts to participate fully in the nation's social and cultural life. We focus on women's and gay rights and the struggles of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asians, examining how these and other groups have envisioned and pursued full American citizenship.


United States History since 1980

This course examines American history during the era of rapid globalization. It focuses on the continued ideological power of the American Dream and the diminishing opportunity to actually live that Dream; conflicts between groups struggling to achieve genuine equality for all men and women and other groups determined to maintain traditional hierarchies based on class, race, and gender; and the contested meaning of the actions of the world's sole military superpower.


The Cold War and American Life

This course will examine the diverse ways that the Cold War changed how Americans lived, understood, and experienced their lives at home and abroad from 1945-1968. It will explore issues like the rise of the national security state; the impact of the Cold War on thinking about race, gender and sexuality; Cold War consumerism; nuclear cultures; the Cold War and higher education; conflicts in Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam; and new concepts of American internationalism.


The United States and the World

This sequence of three courses surveys the history of the United States' relations with the world from the colonization of North America to the present. In addition to examining war, diplomacy and U.S. foreign policy, these courses will also explore the many ways in which Americans' dealings with other nations have been shaped by economic, social and cultural interactions. Key themes include empire, race, citizenship, revolution, modernization and globalization.

25.01. The United States and the World from the Colonial Era to 1865.  This course examines the colonial origins of the Unites States and the ways in which Americans perpetuated, challenged and transformed empire in their dealings with non-American nations and peoples between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Key topics include U.S. relations with Indian nations, the Mexican-American War, the pursuit of informal empire in East Asia and the Pacific, and the colonization of Liberia.

25.02. The United States and the World, 1865-1945. This course explores America's interactions with the world and its emergence as a global imperial power in the decades after the end of the U.S. Civil War. Key topics include the conquest of the Great Plains, the War of 1898, U.S. colonialism in the Philippines, Wilsonianism and the U.S. embrace of "total war" during World War II.

25.03. The United States and the World since 1945. This course examines U.S. relations with the wider world during the Cold War and the post-Cold War era. In addition to America's global rivalry with the Soviet Union, students will investigate American responses to decolonization, globalization and the emergence of global norms of human rights. They will also study U.S. interventions in "Third World" nations such as Cuba, Guatemala and Vietnam, as well as U.S. efforts to exercise unprecedented forms of global hegemony in the post-Cold War period.


Gender and Power in American History from the Colonial Period to the Civil War

(Identical to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 23.1)

This course examines the history of men and women from the period of colonial set-tlement to the achievement of woman's suffrage. We will explore the construction of gender particularly as it relates to social, political, economic, and cultural power. Topics will include: the role of gender in political thought and practice, the intersection of gender with categories of class and race; gender in the debate over slavery and the Civil War; and the rise and evolution of the woman's rights movement.


American Women's History, Civil War to the Present

(Identical to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 23.2)

This course is a multi-cultural multi-media history of American women from the Civil War to the present. We will discuss race and class tensions in the woman suffrage movement; women, labor and radicalism from the 1910s through the 1940s; civil rights, welfare rights, the rebirth of feminism in the 1960s and 70s, and backlash politics from the 1950s to the 1980s.


Women and American Radicalism Left and Right

This course will trace the involvement of U.S. women in radical political movements from the mid-nineteenth century to the present including: Abolitionism; Anti-lynching; Socialist Trade Unionism; the Ku Klux Klan; the Communist Party; the National Welfare Rights Organization; the Civil Rights Movement; the New Left; the New Right; the direct-action wing of the anti-abortion movement; Earth First; and the neo-Nazi American Front. It will also examine the relationship between feminist ideologies and non-gender-specific radical political ideologies centered on race, class, and other social identifiers. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Major distributive: US.

HIST 31.02; X-LIST: LACS 40.10

Migrant Nation: Immigration and Racialization in the Making of the United States

Current public discussions of immigration are deeply rooted in centuries-long conversations about who is allowed into the country and what it means to be an American. Drawing explicitly on the collective work of the "hashtag syllabus" movement, this course seeks to contextualize current debates over immigration reform, integration, and citizenship by considering migration from multiple perspectives—not just Ellis Island, but the Rio Bravo, Angel Island, Congo Square, and the Spirit Lake Dakota Indian Reservation.


The Life, Death and Rebirth of Great American Cities

This course takes a thematic and multi-media look at the history of four iconic American cities: New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Two are old cities, centuries old, that grew in fits and starts organically over a very long time. Two are new cities, each of which mushroomed dramatically after World War II. Two are cities that have come to characterize American creativity and diversity. One of these is a city that has largely created and marketed American popular culture nationally and globally. One of these cities was America's fastest growing city for half a century and now is one of the hardest hit places in the U.S. by the 2008 crash and ensuing Great Recessions. There is no way to do justice to the history of four such complex cities, Instead, we examine and compare how key issues in the lives of these cities played out over time and space: founding and growth, enslavement, immigration and migration, labor and politics, arts and counterculture, sexuality, disaster and recovery.

HIST 33.01

Walmart to Wall Street: Excavating American Capitalism since 1970

This course takes on fundamental transformations in economic life from the end of the Bretton Woods system to the crisis of 2008. Rather than a chronological survey, it is an historical excavation of three key trends in the period: technological innovation; globalization; and financialization. Readings and lectures will contextualize each of these developments in the specific history of the post-Bretton Woods United States, and then trace their longer intellectual, political, and social origins. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributive: US.


Building America: An Architectural and Social History

(Identical to Art History 52)

This course draws upon recent scholarship in anthropology, archaeology, material culture, social history and architectural history in its review of five centuries of American architecture. Course lectures not only emphasize America’s principal architects and their designs, but also summarize the social and cultural forces that shaped the country’s built landscape.


Health Care in American Society: History and Current Issues

This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of critical issues in health care through the study of the historical development of the United States health care system. The course illuminates the influence of historical forces and cultural factors on the delivery of health care and on the discourse about health care reform in American history. By studying the components and relationships within the American health care system, students are enabled to acquire an understanding of the relationship between American history and the health care system, and also enabled to obtain a working contextual knowledge of the current problems of the American health care system and their proposed solutions. Each topic is presented from an historical perspective. Through an historical investigation of health, disease, and medicine students should be able to understand and discuss the changing organization of health care delivery in American history, the changing methods of financing of health care, the distinctive role of technology in health care, primary ethical issues in health care, comparative features of health care systems of other cultures, the historical changes in public health precepts, images of health care in popular culture, and the process of health care reform in American history.


Black Radical Tradition in America

(Identical to African and African American Studies 24)

Throughout the history of the United States, African Americans have offered alternative visions of their nation’s future and alternative definitions of their nation’s progress. Not limited to reforming the worst social ills, these discourses have called for a fundamental restructuring of our political, economic, and social relations. A radical tradition provided the intellectual continuity and ideological coherence of these critiques, and it allowed African Americans to cultivate and pass on a legacy of social resistance.

HIST 38.1

First Americans and the First President: The Indian World of George Washington

George Washington’s life intersected constantly with Native America. He surveyed and speculated in Indian lands. He fought Indians in three wars, made Indian treaties, and built a nation on Indian land. His conduct of Indian affairs shaped the authority of the president in war and diplomacy. By restoring Indians to the life of the first president, this class will restore their role in shaping the new nation and counter their erasure from America’s historical memory.

HIST 38.02; X-LIST: NAS 38

American Odysseys: Lewis and Clark, American Indians, and the New Nation

In 1804-06, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark completed a remarkable odyssey, from St. Louis to the Pacific, and back. They wrote more than one million words, describing the country, and paid particular attention to the Indian nations they met. This class will use the abridged edition of the journals to examine the context, experiences, and repercussions of an expedition that initiated journeys of discovery for both the young United States and the Native peoples of the American West. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Major distributives: US, pre-1800.


Twentieth Century Native American History

Serving as the final course in a three-quarter survey of Native American history, this class reviews Native history from the late 19th century to the present, focusing on the interplay between large institutions and structures – such as federal and state governments, or the US legal system – and the lived, local experience of tribal communities. The major themes followed throughout the course of the term include: historical narrative (and what it justifies or explains), place and space (how local and national entities define territories), and indigeneity (indigenous identity). Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major Distributive: US.

HIST 96.04; X-list LACS 80

Seminar: Ethnic Los Angeles

This course will focus on the history, culture and literature of Los Angeles, California, the second largest city in the United States. We will briefly examine its founding in the eighteenth century as a Northwest outpost of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and its origins and evolution as a Mexican pueblo and U.S. city in the nineteenth century. The majority of our attention will be on the historical and contemporary struggles of people of color in metro-Los Angeles throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Major distributive: US.

HIST 96.28

Seminar: America in the 1970s

Formerly dismissed as the decade when "it seemed like nothing happened," the seventies are increasingly understood as a decisive period when a new political economy took shape, new forms of citizenship competed for influence, and new cultural forms emerged. Even disco has gotten a second look. By shedding light on a significant incident, movement, art form, cultural phenomenon, debate, organization, or development of the era, you will contribute to this ongoing project of historical reassessment. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Major distributive: US.