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Amherst College History for 2009-10

02 Europe in the Nineteenth Century: The Making of the Modern World, 1789-1914

[EU] The study of the history of Europe in the nineteenth century is vital to an understanding of the shaping of our world today. This course covers the major transformations in European politics, culture, philosophy, economy, art, and music from the French Revolution to the First World War. Topics will include: industrialization; the rise of modern nationalism and the ideologies of liberalism, conservatism, utopian socialism, Marxism, and feminism; city life and urban decadence; Victorian sexualities; racism and science; imperialism; social unrest and revolution; the rise of mass politics and culture; theories on population and the shifting roles of men and women; the invention of photography, and changes in notions of time and space. We will listen to operas; view modernist art and popular culture artifacts; and read, among other authors, Freud, Marx, Nietzsche, and Darwin. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Visiting Professor Shapira.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009

03 Europe in the Twentieth Century

[EU] This course offers a broad survey of European history in the twentieth century. It will cover events such as World War I; the Bolshevik Revolution and the ensuing Soviet experiment; the Spanish Civil War; Nazism, World War II, and the Holocaust; the Cold War in Europe; the collapse of communism; and the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. In addition, the course will focus on the broad themes of twentieth-century European history: the confrontation between liberalism, fascism, and communism; the role of nationalism; the development of the welfare state; the decline of Europe’s role in the world; the movement for European unity; and changing notions of race, class, and gender during the course of the century. Course materials will focus on primary documents, including films, memoirs, novels, political manifestos, and government and other official documents.

Limited to 60 students. Fall semester. Professor Epstein.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2012

04 Early Modern Europe

[EUP] This introductory survey covers Western, Central and Eastern Europe and the European parts of the Ottoman Empire during the period from approximately 1500 to 1800.  It looks at the main political developments of the period, with special attention to court culture, rebellions and revolutions, colonial expansion and contraction, and the clash of states and empires.  It examines new developments in long-distance trade, agriculture, industry, finance, warfare, media and the arts, and their impact on social life, politics and the environment.  It looks at the emergent slave systems of Europe and her colonies as well as the Ottoman Empire.  And it analyzes religious conflict and accommodation with respect to Catholics, Protestants, the Eastern Orthodox, Jews, Muslims and “non-believers.”  The course aims to uncover the political, ethnic and religious diversity of Early Modern Europe as well as to plumb the roots of present-day conflicts and controversies about the historical definition of “Europe” and “Europeans.” Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester.  Professor Hunt.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013

05 Britain and British Imperialism Since 1815

[EU] The course covers the historical transformations of the first modern, industrial nation with the largest empire in the world. We will examine the social, cultural, political, intellectual, and artistic developments in Britain and beyond since 1815. Topics will include industrialization and city life; Victorian culture, society, and sexuality; social reform; imperialism and colonial expansion; mass politics, democratization, and suffragette militancy; WW I, trench warfare and the home front; modernity and the 1920s; WW II and the Blitz; the rise of the welfare state; postwar culture and music; decolonization and post-colonial immigration; Thatcherism and New Labour, and the relationship between Britain and America. We will pay special attention to the history of marginalized people, including women, immigrants, and sexual, racial, and religious minorities. Course materials will include novels, newspaper articles, images, and films. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Shapira.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010

06 Introduction to Peoples and Cultures of Eurasia

(Offered as Russian 20 and History 06.) The space that had been known to the West as simply "Russia" (in the historical form of the Russian Empire/USSR) was in fact inhabited by a stunning diversity of peoples and cultures. This class is a team-taught course designed to introduce students to the diversity of historical experiences of different ethnic and national groups of Eurasia. The class will discuss the region shaped by the Russian Empire/Soviet Union, explore how different ethnic, national and confessional groups responded to imperial power, and become acquainted with the religious and cultural practices of the Eurasian peoples. The course will also examine how Russian intellectuals imagined "Eurasia," investigate images of "the Orient" in Russian literature, consider the processes of imperial expansion, and survey major hallmarks of Eurasia's past.

The course combines lectures, discussions, and colloquia offered by eight faculty members from the five campuses specializing in different aspects of Eurasian Studies, including history, literature, religious studies, linguistics and political science.

Spring semester.  Five College Professor Glebov.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011

08 Colonial North America

[USP] A survey of early American history from the late 1500s to the mid-1700s. The course begins by looking at Native American peoples and their initial contacts with European explorers and settlers. It examines comparatively the establishment of selected colonies and their settlement by diverse European peoples and enslaved Africans. The last half of the course focuses on the social, economic, political, and cultural conditions influencing the rise of the British colonies. Three class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor K. Sweeney.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2013

09 Nineteenth-Century America

[US] A survey of American history from the early national period to the turn of the century, with an emphasis on social history. The course will trace the growth of slavery, the dispossession of Native Americans, Civil War and Reconstruction, the rise of postwar large-scale industry, and big cities. Topics will include changing ethnic, racial, gender, and class relations, the struggles between labor and capital, and the emergence of middle-class culture. The format will include lectures and weekly discussions; readings will be drawn from both original and secondary sources. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Saxton.

2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2012

10 Twentieth-Century America

[US] The course traces United States political, social, and cultural history from 1900 to the present. Among the topics covered are the rise of the modern corporation, class conflict and the Progressive movement; immigration, ethnic pluralism, and the rise of mass culture; the Great Depression and the New Deal; World War II, the Cold War, and McCarthyism; the civil rights, women’s and environmental movements, the New Left, the New Right, and the continuing inequalities of race and class. Films and videos will regularly supplement class readings. Three class meetings per week.

Limited to 40 students. Fall semester. Professor Couvares.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

11 Black Diaspora from Africa to the Haitian Revolution

(Offered as History 11 [LAP/AFP] and Black Studies 21 [CLA/D].) This course maps the range of black experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean from the emergence of Atlantic slave-based economies in the sixteenth century to the 1844 slave conspiracy of La Escalera in Cuba. It treats the Atlantic Ocean as a crossroads of diverse cultures and as a point of reference for understanding the condition of Africans and people of African descent. Topics of discussion will include the rise of the transatlantic slave trade, slave and free black communities, the meaning of Africa and African culture, changing ideas of freedom, and forms of black activism. We will read Alejo Carpentier’s historical novel The Kingdom of This World (1949), slave narratives and monographic works on the British colony of Demerara (today Guyana), Mexico, Peru, Jamaica, Brazil, Haiti and Cuba. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Castro Alves.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

12 Black Diaspora from Emancipation to the Present

(Offered as History 12 [LA/AF] and Black Studies 33 [CLA/D].) This course explores the historical roots of contemporary racial formations in Latin America and the Caribbean. It focuses particularly on the black experiences, inter-ethnic conflicts and racial solidarities in Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and Puerto Rico from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Topics of discussion will include the struggles for emancipation from slavery, black notions of sovereignty, forms of black nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and political radicalism. We will examine a multiplicity of historical sources, including novels, music, film, personal testimonies, and historical monographs in order to understand the black diaspora as both an historical process and as a seedbed for various identities, racial cultures and political projects. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Castro Alves.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012

14 Struggles for Democracy in Modern Latin America, 1820 to the Present

[LA] This course will consider the historical struggle for democracy in various Latin American countries. Students will critically engage major themes and historical periods in modern Latin America. We cover the relationship between Liberalism and democracy during the 19th century; the broadening of democracy at the start of the 20th century; the rise and fall of military dictatorships in the 1960s-80s; and the current clashes between neo-Liberal economic programs and the neo-populist resurgence of the Left. Major themes that carry across these time periods include the ways broad economic and political shifts impacted individuals’ lives; how each economic class experienced these shifts differently; the way race and gender have shaped peoples’ experience with democratization and repression; and the personal processes of radicalization among slaves, workers, students, and peasants who rose up to demand inclusion and against repression. Discussion will draw on secondary studies, historical documents, testimonials, music, images, film, and media coverage. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10.   Professor Lopez.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2012, Spring 2014

15 Chinese Civilization to 1800

(Offered as History 15 [ASP] and Asian 24 [C].) A survey of Chinese history from ancient times to the eighteenth century. We will focus on texts and artifacts to explore the classical roots and historical development of Chinese statecraft, philosophy, religion, art, and literature. Using these media for evidence, we will trace the histories of inter-state relations, imperial institutions, global commerce, and family-based society through the ancient Han empire, the great age of Buddhism, the medieval period of global trade, and the Confucian bureaucratic empires that followed the Mongol world conquest. We will also compare these histories to those of European and other civilizations, considering Chinese and non-Chinese views of the past. Readings include the Analects of Confucius and other Confucian and Daoist texts, Buddhist tales and early modern fiction, selections from the classic Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), and Jonathan Spence’s Emperor of China: Self-portrait of Kangxi. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Dennerline.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

16 Modern China

(Offered as History 16 [AS] and Asian 46 [C].) A survey of Chinese history from the Manchu conquest of 1644 to the present. Beginning with the successes and failures of the imperial state as it faced global economic development, expanding European empires, and internal social change, we will study the Opium War, massive nineteenth-century religious rebellions, Republican revolution and state-building, the “New Culture” movement, Communist revolution, the anti-Japanese war, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and the problems of post-Mao reform, all with comparative reference to current events. Readings, which include a wide variety of documents such as religious and revolutionary tracts, eye-witness accounts, memoirs, and letters, are supplemented by interpretive essays and videos. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Dennerline.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2014

17 Japanese History to 1700

(Offered as History 17 [ASP] and Asian 25 [J].) This course surveys the history of the Japanese archipelago from pre-history to the early-1700s. We will examine critical themes in early Japanese history, including the rise of the Yamato court, influences from the Chinese continent and Korean peninsula, the aristocratic culture of the Heian court, the emergence of samurai rule, as well as the civil wars and cosmopolitanism of the sixteenth century.  We will conclude with the pacification of the realm under the Tokugawa shoguns in the seventeenth century and the rise of a vibrant urban culture in the early-eighteenth century. We will read eighth-century mythology, Heian court literature, chronicles of war, as well as religious and philosophical texts, asking how they refract the diverse experiences of early Japanese history. Classes will entail lectures coupled with close readings and discussion. Requirements include short response papers and topical essays. Three class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Maxey.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2015

18 Modern Japanese History from 1800 to the 2000s

(Offered as History 18 [AS] and Asian 47 [J].) This course surveys the modern history of the Japanese archipelago, from the late-Tokugawa period through the rise of the modern Meiji nation-state, colonial expansion and total war. We will conclude with the postwar economic recovery and the socio-political challenges facing the Japanese nation-state in the early-2000s. Through primary documents, fiction, and film, we will explore themes including the disestablishment of the samurai class, industrialization, imperialism, feminism, nationalism, war, democracy, and consumerism. Classes will consist of lectures along with close readings and discussions. Requirements include short response papers and topical essays. Three class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Maxey.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2013

19 Middle Eastern History: 600-1800

(Offered as History 19 [MEP] and Asian 26 [WA].) This course surveys the history of the Middle East from the outset of the Islamic period to the beginning of the modern period. It is divided into the following segments: the formative period of Islam, the classical caliphates, the classical courts, the Mongols, and the great empires of the Ottomans and the Safavids. The course is organized chronologically and follows the making and breaking of empires and political centers; however, the focus of the course is on the intellectual, social, cultural and religious developments in these periods. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Ringer.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

20 The Modern Middle East: 1800-Present

(Offered as History 20 [ME] and Asian 48 [WA].) This course surveys the history of the Middle East from 1800 to the present. The focus is on the political, social and intellectual trends involved in the process of modernization and reform in the Middle East. General topics include the Ottoman Empire and its “decline,” the impact of European imperialism and colonialism, programs of modernization and reform, the construction of nationalism and national identities, Islamism, development and contemporary approaches to modernity. This class is writing intensive. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Ringer.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

22 Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa

(Offered as History 22 [AF] and Black Studies 47 [A].) This is a history of Africa from the late nineteenth century to the present day. In the first half of the course, we will study the imperial scramble to colonize Africa; the broader integration of African societies into the world economy; the social, political and medical impact of imperial policies; Western popular images of Africa in the colonial period; the nationalist struggles that resulted in the independent African states; and the persistent problems faced by those post-colonial states. In the final half of the course, we will investigate three cases: Congo-Zaire and the state as a source of chaos through the Second Congo War; violence, liberation and memories of childhood in late colonial Rhodesia and postcolonial Zimbabwe; the political history of economic development programs and the advent of “resource conflicts,” particularly those involving diamonds. Three class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Redding.

2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

24 World War II in Global Perspective

[C] This course will explore World War II in global perspective. Historians of Europe, Japan, and the United States will join together to teach the history of the world’s most destructive war. Topics include the rise of militant regimes in Germany and Japan; German and Japanese aggression in the 1930s; the attack on Pearl Harbor; famous battles of the war; the Holocaust; German and Japanese occupation practices; civilian life in the Allied and Axis countries; and the later memory of the war. The course will also address moral controversies raised by the war, including the Anglo-American firebombing of Germany and the decision to drop the atomic bomb. Texts for the course will include film, memoirs, government documents, graphic and other novels, and secondary accounts of the war.  Class will consist of two lectures and one discussion section per week. 

Spring semester.  Professors Epstein, Maxey, and K. Sweeney.

2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2014

26 Environmental Issues of the Nineteenth Century

Offered as History 26 [C] and Environmental Studies 20.)  This course considers the ways that people in various parts of the world thought about and acted upon nature during the nineteenth century. We look historically at issues that continue to have relevance today, including: invasive species, deforestation, soil-nitrogen availability, water use, desertification, and air pollution. Themes include: the relationship of nineteenth-century colonialism and environmental degradation, gender and environmental change, the racial dimensions of ecological issues, and the spatial aspects of human interactions with nature. We will take at least one field trip. In addition, we will watch three films that approach nineteenth-century environmental issues from different vantage points.  Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Professor Melillo.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

27 Global Environmental History of the Twentieth Century

[C] This course examines the environmental history of the world since 1900 with a particular focus on Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and China. We will use books, articles, four films, and a range of online media to illuminate the comparative and interdisciplinary possibilities of global environmental history. In addition to studying the past, we will explore how to use historical knowledge in the formulation of policy recommendations and grassroots initiatives for addressing contemporary environmental issues.  Two class meetings per week.

 

Fall semester. Professor Melillo.

 

 

 

 

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

29 The Reformation Era, 1500-1660

[EUP] The course begins with writings by the great reformers (Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, and Loyola), using them as a basis for examining the relationship between religious ideas, individual temperament, and social, political, and cultural change. It then takes up the connection between Protestantism and the printing press, the role of doctrinal conflict in the evolution of urban institutions, the rise of antisemitism, the significance of the Reformation for urban women, the social impact of the Counter-reformation, contemporaneous developments in Judaism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam, and the role of religious millenarianism in the German Peasants’ Revolt of 1525, the English Revolution of 1640, and the Thirty Years’ War. Readings include several classic interpretations of the Reformation as well as recent works in social history, urban history, women’s history, and the history of popular culture. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Professor Hunt.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010

30 The European Enlightenment

[EUP] This course begins with the political, social, cultural and economic upheavals of late seventeenth-century England, France, and the Netherlands. The second part of the course will look at the Enlightenment as a distinctive philosophical movement, evaluating its relationship to science, to classical antiquity, to organized religion, to new conceptions of justice, and to the changing character of European politics. The final part will look at the Enlightenment as a broad-based cultural movement. Among the topics discussed here will be the role played by Enlightened ideas in the French Revolution, women and non-elites in the Enlightenment, scientific racism, pornography and libertinism, orientalism, and the impact of press censorship. Readings for the course will include works by Descartes, Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Hume, Adam Smith, Choderlos de Laclos, Kant and others. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Hunt.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2012

32 The Era of the French Revolution

[EUP] The history of France during the thirty turbulent years separating the start of the ill-fated reign of Louis XVI in 1774 and the imperial coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Bezucha.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009

34 Nazi Germany

[EU] This course will explore the history of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. It will examine the emergence of Hitler and Nazism in Germany, Nazi ideology and aesthetics, Nazi racial policies, daily life in the Third Reich, women under Nazism, resistance to the Nazis, Nazi foreign policy and World War II, the Holocaust, and the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. Class participants will also discuss themes that range beyond the Nazi case: How do dictatorships function? What constitutes resistance? How and why do regimes engage in mass murder? Texts will include films, diaries, memoirs, government and other official documents, and classic and recent scholarly accounts of the era. Three class meetings per week.

Limited to 60 students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Epstein.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

37 Material Culture of American Homes

(Offered as History 37 [USP] and Art 33.) Using architecture, artifacts, visual evidence and documentary sources, the course examines social and cultural forces affecting the design and use of domestic architecture, home furnishings, and domestic technology in the eastern United States from 1600 to 1960. In addition to providing a survey of American domestic architecture, the course provides an introduction to the study of American material culture. Field trips to Historic Deerfield, Old Sturbridge Village, Hartford, Connecticut, and sites in Amherst form an integral part of the course. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2009-10.  Professor K. Sweeney.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

39 Native American Histories

[USP]  This course examines selectively the histories and contemporary cultures of particular groups of American Indians. It will focus on Algonquian- and Iroquoian-speaking native peoples of the east in the period from 1600 to 1800; Indians of the northern plains during the 1800s and 1900s; and the Pueblo and Navajo peoples from the time before their contacts with Europeans until the present day. Through a combination of readings, discussions, and lectures, the course will explore the insights into Native American cultures that can be gained from documents, oral traditions, artifacts, films and other sources. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor K. Sweeney.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Fall 2011

41 African American History from the Slave Trade to Reconstruction

(Offered as Black Studies 57 [US] and History 41 [US; or may be included in AF concentration, but not AF for distribution in the History major].) This course is a survey of the history of African American men and women from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through the Civil War and Reconstruction. The content is a mixture of the social, cultural, and political history of blacks during two and a half centuries of slavery with the story of the black freedom struggle and its role in America’s national development. Among the major topics addressed: the slave trade in its moral and economic dimensions; African retentions in African American culture; origins of racism in colonial America; how blacks used the rhetoric and reality of the American and Haitian Revolutions to their advancement; antebellum slavery; black religion and family under slavery and freedom; the free black experience in the North and South; the crises of the 1850s; the role of race and slavery in the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War; and the meaning of emancipation and Reconstruction for blacks. Readings include historical monographs, slave narratives by men and women, and one work of fiction.

Combined enrollment limited to 50 students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Moss.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2013

42 African American History from Reconstruction to the Present

(Offered as Black Studies 58 [US] and History 42 [US; or may be included in AF concentration, but not AF for distribution in the History major].) This course is a survey of the social, cultural, and political history of African American men and women since the 1870s. Among the major topics addressed: the legacies of Reconstruction; the political and economic origins of Jim Crow; the new racism of the 1890s; black leadership and organizational strategies; the Great Migration of the World War I era; the Harlem Renaissance; the urbanization of black life and culture; the impact of the Great Depression and the New Deal; the social and military experience of World War II; the causes, course and consequences of the modern civil rights movement; the experience of blacks in the Vietnam War; and issues of race and class in the 1970s and 1980s. Readings and materials include historical monographs, fiction, and documentary films.

Combined enrollment limited to 50 students. Fall semester. Professor Moss.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2012

44 The Old South, 1607-1876

[USP] This course will examine southern culture, politics and economic life from its origins up to the Civil War. Primary and secondary readings will cover issues including Indian slavery and the roots of African slavery, the development of a distinctive Afro-American culture, the rise of a planter aristocracy based on staple crop cultivation, and the evolution of a westward expanding backcountry acquired from Native people. The course will focus on the growth and expression of southern ideas of freedom as they played out in the Revolution, Indian removal, and the sectional crisis. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Saxton.

2015-16: Not offered

45 Women's History, America: 1607-1865

(Offered as History 45 [USP] and Women’s and Gender Studies 63.) This course looks at the experiences of Native American, European and African women from the colonial period through the Civil War. The course will explore economic change over time and its impact on women, family structure, and work. It will also consider varieties of Christianity, the First and Second Awakenings and their consequences for various groups of women. Through secondary and primary sources and discussions students will look at changing educational and cultural opportunities for some women, the forces creating antebellum reform movements, especially abolition and feminism, and women’s participation in the Civil War. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Saxton.

2015-16: Not offered

46 Women's History, America: 1865 to Present

Offered as History 46 [US] and Women’s and Gender Studies 64.) This course begins with an examination of the experience of women from different racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds during Reconstruction. It will look at changes in family life as a result of increasing industrialization and the westward movement of settler families, and will also look at the settlers’ impact on Native American women and families. Topics will include the work and familial experiences of immigrant women (including Irish, Polish, and Italian), women’s reform movements (particularly suffrage, temperance, and anti-lynching), the expansion of educational opportunities, and the origins and programs of the Progressives. The course will examine the agitation for suffrage and the subsequent splits among feminists, women’s experiences in the labor force, and participation in the world wars. Finally, we will look at the origins of the Second Wave and its struggles to transcend its white middle-class origins. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Saxton.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011

48 Historical Perspectives on Criminal Justice and the U.S. Economy

[US] This course will look at the development of our penal system and place it in the context of the economic and political development of the U.S. We will begin with the introduction of the penitentiary in the antebellum period at a time of extraordinary economic expansion and optimism about social institutions. After the Civil War we will look at changing ideas of criminal control as rapid industrialization in the North and large waves of immigration produced labor unrest and unprecedented urban poverty. We also explore the convict-lease system in the post-emancipation “New South” after the abandonment of hopes for Reconstruction. We will look at Progressives’ creation of the juvenile justice system at the turn of the century as well as ideas linking criminality with heredity. The course will conclude by examining the current boom in prison populations and place this growth in the context of our post-industrial economy and growing economic inequality. The course will be conducted inside a correctional facility and enroll an equal number of Amherst students and residents of the facility. Permission to enroll will be granted on the basis of a questionnaire and personal interview with the instructor. Amherst students studying the philosophical and material development of the penal system within the Northampton jail in the company of incarcerated men will get the benefit of their fellow students’ personal experience of that system. The setting creates the unique pedagogical opportunity to bring together the two perspectives. One class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor.  Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Professor Saxton.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Fall 2010

49 Case Studies in American Diplomacy

(Offered as History 49 [US] and Political Science 46 [AP, IR].) This course will combine the methods of diplomatic history and political science in examining critical moments and themes in American diplomacy. Our overall aim is to better understand the evolving position of the United States in world politics as well as domestic controversies over the character of America’s global role. Specifically, we will assess the combined influence of racism and ethnicity as well as of religious and secular values and class interest on American diplomacy. We shall also investigate the major domestic political, social, economic and intellectual trends and impulses, (e.g., manifest destiny, isolationism and counter-isolationism, and containment) that have shaped American diplomacy; analyze competing visions for territorial conquests and interventions as advocated by various American elites; examine the methods used to extend the nation’s borders, foreign trade and international influence and leadership; and seek to understand the impact of key foreign policy involvements and controversies on the character of the Presidency, Congress and party politics. Among the topics to be considered are the Federalist/Anti-Federalist debates over the scope of constitutional constraints on foreign policy, the Monroe Doctrine, the Mexican War, the imperialist/anti-imperialist debate, the great power diplomacies of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR, as well as key moments of American diplomacy during the Cold War (e.g., the origins of the Cold War, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the end of the  Cold War. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 35 students. Fall semester. Professors G. Levin and Machala.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012

52 The Caribbean

(Offered as History 52 [LA] and Black Studies 61 [CLA].)  A survey of the history of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico from the fifteenth century to the present.  Topics include conquest and settlement, independence and colonialism, North American intervention, twentieth-century dictators, and political and social revolution.  Comparisons will be drawn among the islands and between the Caribbean zone as a whole and continental Latin America.  Three class meetings per week. 

Not open to first-year students.  Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Rausch (University of Massachusetts).

 

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009

53 Popular Revolution in Modern Mexico

[LA] Few countries are as well known, yet so poorly understood, as is Mexico among North Americans. Stereotypes of illegal immigration, violence, and drug smuggling often take the place of real understanding. As a result, few North Americans appreciate their neighbor’s historical struggles to achieve political stability, democracy and economic prosperity. The goals of the course are two-fold: (1) to provide students with a general overview of the course of Mexican history, focusing not only on the dominant narrative, but also on the experience of subaltern groups (including women, indigenous peoples, peasants, and those from the periphery); and (2) to grapple with the question of what social revolution looks like, how it unfolds, and to what degree it has been attained in Mexico. Discussions and secondary readings will be supplemented by original documents, testimonials, movies, images, music, and art. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10.  Professor López.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012

54 Environmental History of Latin America

[LA] Environmental history has taken off in exciting new directions. Lamentations about the felling of the trees have given way to larger questions that connect environmental history with social, political, and economic issues. What links exist between environmental problems (such as environmental degradation, desertification, soil salination, species extinction, biotic invasions, deforestation, and animal grazing) and human problems (such as declining subsistence, income inequality, scientific racism, regional underdevelopment, incomplete capitalist transformation, social marginalization, and political violence)? Taking environmental history seriously forces us to revise our understanding of social changes, the rise and fall of civilizations, and contemporary problems of political instability. And putting current environmental debates into historical context enables us to ask: What models of environmental activism have worked in Latin America, and which have not? Why? Can history guide us in our current efforts to develop a sustainable approach to the environment that helps the land and its fauna but does so in a way that brings greater justice and self-determination to the people who live there, while at the same time balancing the interests of the state and of investors? Discussion and secondary readings will be supplemented by original documents, testimonials, on-line materials, movies, images, and art. One meeting per week.

Omitted 2009-10.  Professor López.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

55 Japan as Empire, 1895-1945

(Offered as History 55 [AS] and Asian 45 [J].)  As Japan pursues a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council today, its past as a multi-ethnic empire looms large in East Asia. Japan acquired its first colonial territory following the Sino-Japanese War of 1895, and until its defeat in 1945 the acquisition and administration of a colonial empire shaped Japanese life at all levels. Post-1945 history has tended to sequester the experience of empire as an aberration that belonged only to the domain of international relations. Challenging such a view, this course asks how imperialism was intimately related to Japan’s modern politics, economic development, and cultural production. We will first consider the origin and acquisition of an empire, then examine how securing and administering that empire produced its own logic for expansion. Throughout, we will ask how a colonial-empire, with its complex identity politics, shaped the Japanese experience. Course materials will include literature and film, as well as scholarship and primary documents. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Maxey.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007

56 Afro-Latin America

(Offered as History 56 [LA] and Black Studies 44 [D, CLA].) This course explores the historical experiences of Afro-Latin populations since Independence within and outside the nation-state. The course asks how and why one might study those whose governments define them not as peoples of African descent but as part of a mixed-race majority of Hispanic cultural heritage, who themselves may often have supported this policy, and who may have had compelling reasons to avoid official scrutiny. Materials include early 20th-century racialist theorizing in Latin America; historical works using census, economic, criminal, and marriage records; analysis of race in the textual and musical representations of peoples, regions and nations; as well as autobiographical works. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Visiting Professor Gudmundson (Mount Holyoke College).

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010

57 China in the World, 1895-1919

(Offered as History  57 [AS] and Asian 49 [C].)  In 1895 the emergent Japanese empire imposed a humiliating defeat on the declining Qing empire in China, began the colonization of Korea and Taiwan, and set in motion the reformist and revolutionary trends that would shape the political culture of the Chinese nation in later times. In 1919, concessions by the Chinese warlord regime in Beijing to Japan at Versailles sparked the student movement that would further radicalize the political culture and ultimately divide the nation politically between Nationalist and Communist regimes. This course focuses on the intellectual, cultural, political, and economic issues of the era in between, when, despite the weakness of the state, the creative visions and efforts of all informed people were in line with those of progressives throughout the world. We will explore these visions and efforts, with special reference to national identities, civil society, and global integration, and we will consider their fate in wartime, Cold War, and post-Cold War Asia. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Dennerline.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

58 Religion, Society, and Politics in Greater China

(Offered as History 58 [AS] and Asian 50 [C].) This course will introduce the student to Chinese religions, but the focus is less on religious doctrine or sacred texts than on religious beliefs, related social practices, and politics in Chinese communities past and present. We will read, think, talk, and write about ancient and modern Chinese world views, the development and interactions among the main religious traditions in China over time, local cults, family rituals, spirit possession, popular culture, Christianity, Maoism, and new religions in social and political context. We will engage in theoretical and interpretive discussions about these subjects with the help of historians, anthropologists, religious scholars, and political theorists. The course title refers to “Greater China” because our subject will not be limited to the Chinese mainland but will include Chinese and culturally mixed communities in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and the U.S. as well. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Dennerline.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008

60 Early Islam: Construction of an Historical Tradition

(Offered as History 60 [MEP] and Asian 55 [WA].)  This course examines in depth the formative period of Islam between c. 500-680. Using predominantly primary material, we will chart the emergence, success, and evolution of Islam, the Islamic community, and the Islamic polity. The focus of this course is on understanding the changing nature over time of peoples’ understanding of and conception of what Islam was and what Islam implied socially, religiously, culturally and politically. We concentrate on exploring the growth of the historical tradition of Islam and its continued contestations amongst scholars today. This course will familiarize students with the events, persons, ideas, texts and historical debates concerning this period. It is not a course on the religion or beliefs of Islam, but a historical deconstruction and analysis of the period. This class is writing intensive. Two class meetings per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2009-10.  Professor Ringer.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Fall 2014

61 The History of Israel

[ME] This course will survey the history of Israel from the origins of Zionism in the late nineteenth century to the present. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor G. Levin.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

62 Women in the Middle East

(Offered as History 62 [ME], Asian 63 [WA], and Women’s and Gender Studies 62.) The course examines the major developments, themes and issues in women’s history in the Middle East. The first segment of the course concerns the early Islamic period and discusses the impact of the Quran on the status of women, the development of Islamic religious traditions and Islamic law. Questions concerning the historiography of this “formative” period of Islamic history, as well as hermeneutics of the Quran will be the focus of this segment. The second segment of the course concerns the 19th- and 20th-century Middle East. We will investigate the emergence and development of the “woman question,” the role of gender in the construction of Middle Eastern nationalisms, women’s political participation, and the debates concerning the connections between women, gender, and religious and cultural traditions. The third segment of the course concerns the contemporary Middle East, and investigates new developments and emerging trends of women’s political, social and religious activism in different countries. The course will provide a familiarity with the major primary texts concerning women and the study of women in the Middle East, as well as with the debates concerning the interpretation of texts, law, religion, and history in the shaping of women’s status and concerns in the Middle East today. This class is conducted as a seminar. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Ringer.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

63 Africa Before the European Conquest

(Offered as History 63 [AFP] and Black Studies 48 [A].) The African continent has been called by one historian the social laboratory of humanity. Art, trade, small-scale manufacturing, medical knowledge, religion, state systems, history and legend all flourished before the formal political take-over of the continent by European powers in the late nineteenth century and continue to have a decisive impact on African societies today. It is this varied and sometimes difficult to access history of states and cultures in the period before 1885 that this course will examine. Initially, we will investigate the notion of “tribe” and its relationship to language, political affiliation and identity. The largest segment of the course will examine historical myths and their impact on the research and construction of historical narratives on precolonial Africa while discussing four topics in depth: domestic, local slave-ownership and the impact of the slave trade; the interaction of religion and power on the rise and fall of the kingdom of Kongo and of the states along the southern border of the Sahara (the sahel); the genesis of the Zulu state in southern Africa and the creation of the legend of Tshaka; and the changing roles of women as economic, political and social actors in the period before 1885. We will also discuss some of the differences between oral historical narratives and written ones while we analyze primary documents and histories written by scholars over the past half-century to understand both the history of the people living on the continent as well as the active process of constructing that history. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Redding.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2013

64 Introduction to South African History

(Offered as History 64 [AFP] and Black Studies 49 [A].) South African history is undergoing radical shifts in the way it is being written, read and interpreted, and this course will explore established and emerging themes in the history of this intriguing country. The time period covered will span the precolonial indigenous cultures and move on to study the initiation and expansion of white settlement and its early dependence on slave labor. The course will also investigate African resistance, both in its political and cultural forms, as well as the social effects of gold-mining and migrant labor. African nationalism, including the ANC, the Black Consciousness Movement, and the United Democratic Front, will be the focus of our study of the responses to apartheid and the ultimate collapse of the apartheid state. The course will end with discussions of recent events in South Africa, particularly the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its aftermath as well as the developing AIDS epidemic and the growing problem of crime. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Redding.

2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

66 Disease and Doctors: An Introduction to the History of Western Medicine

[C] Disease has always been a part of human experience; doctoring is among our oldest professions. This course surveys the history of Western medicine from antiquity to the modern era. It does so by focusing on the relationship between medical theory and medical practice, giving special attention to Hippocratic medical learning and the methods by which Hippocratic practitioners built a clientele, medieval uses of ancient medical theories in the definition and treatment of disease, the genesis of novel chemical, anatomical, and physiological conceptions of disease in the early modern era, and the transformations of medical practice associated with the influence of clinical and experimental medicine in the nineteenth century. The course concludes by examining some contemporary medical dilemmas in the light of their historical antecedents. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2009-10. Professor Servos.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2013

67 Turning Points in the History of Science

[EUP] An introduction to some major issues in the history of science from antiquity to the twentieth century. Topics will include the genesis and decay of a scientific tradition in Greco-Roman antiquity, the reconstitution of that tradition in medieval Europe, the revolution in scientific methods of the seventeenth century, and the emergence of science as a source of power, profit, and cultural authority during the past century. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Servos.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

68 Science and Society in Modern America

[US] A survey of the social, political, and institutional development of science in America from the Civil War to the present. Emphasis will be on explaining how the United States moved from the periphery to the center of international scientific life. Topics will include the professionalization of science; roles of scientists in industry, education, and government; ideologies of basic research; and the response of American scientists to the two world wars, the Depression, and the Cold War. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Servos.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Spring 2015

70  A World of Cities: Urban History in Global Perspective

[C] This course will offer students a global introduction to the development of cities around the world. Readings will include case studies of cities in North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia, as well as at least one field trip to a small regional city (Holyoke). The course will emphasize the movement of people, capital, and ideas among very different cities around the globe. In addition to city-specific readings, the course will explore different theoretical approaches to urban history and urban planning. It will focus on differences among cities, while also asking whether universal patterns are discernible in urban development across ages and cultures. The location of class meetings alternates yearly between Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts. Three class meetings per week

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2009-10. Professors Couvares and Page (University of Massachusetts).

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008

71 Experimental History

[US] This course focuses on the craft of historical writing. It asks students to consider how people write about the past and to experiment with different narrative strategies themselves. By reading, discussing, and critiquing recent works of experimental history, we will explore, for example, the boundaries between fact and fiction, and ask how historians can best make use of historical speculation, particularly when telling stories from multiple, and often conflicting, points of view. Through a wide range of historical readings, primarily though not entirely American, we will explore various authorial strategies that journalists, novelists, filmmakers, and professional historians employ to recover the past, and focus on how we might write better history ourselves. Above all, this course places an emphasis on doing. Through a series of structured writing assignments, students will experiment with different ways of writing about the past. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Moss.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008

72 The History of Childhood

[EU] This class explores the changing history of childhood in Europe. We will examine what childhood came to represent in different periods and cultures. As historical category of analysis, childhood is still emerging. We will discuss the latest scholarship on topics of child psychology; childhood as a site for state and expert intervention; popular and scientific practices of childrearing; theories of parenthood; the construction of childhood as a period of education rather than labor; children in democratic, dictatorial, and colonial regimes; juvenile delinquency; children and consumerism; children in war and ethnic conflicts, and children and human rights. We will analyze primary texts such as images, films, and autobiographies, and draw on secondary sources that examine the history of private life, gender, selfhood, the family, war, and nationalism. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Visiting Professor Shapira.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009

73 Spain and the Pacific World, 1571-1898

[CP/AS] This course explores the historical relationship between the Spanish Empire and the peoples and environments of the Pacific Ocean region. We will begin in 1571 with the opening of Manila as a Spanish trading port and end in 1898 with the Spanish-American War. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss the trans-Pacific silver and silk trades, the function of Catholic missionaries in shaping the Pacific World, environmental exchanges between the Americas and Asia, indigenous resistance to imperialism, and the role of Pacific peoples in the development of the world economy.  Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Professor Melillo.

 

2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2014

74 Topics in the History of Sex, Gender and the Family

(Offered as History 74 [C] and Women and Gender Studies 20.) The topic changes from year to year. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Hunt.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008

75 Seminar on Modern European History

[EU] The topic changes each time the course is taught. In fall 2009 the general focus will be on European overseas expansion and empire. During the first half of the semester we will compare and contrast the historical experience of Great Britain and France between the Seven Years War (1756-1763) and the Great War (1914-1918). Lectures and discussion of topics such as the politics of anti-slavery in London and Paris, the consolidation of British colonial rule in India, the French conquest of Algeria, and the development of settler societies in New Zealand and Australia. Attention will be given to recent trends in scholarship, as well as to the current public debate over the heritage of European colonialism and imperialism. Each student will design an individual project and write a research paper during the second half of the semester. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Bezucha.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009

76 Topics in European History: The Politics of Memory in Twentieth-Century Europe

[EU] This course will explore the role of historical memory in the politics of twentieth-century Europe. It will examine how evolving memories of major historical events have been articulated and exploited in the political cultures of England, France, Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union/Russia. Topics will include the politics of memory surrounding World Wars I and II, Vichy France, the Holocaust, Soviet Stalinism, and Eastern European communism. Seminar participants will also discuss general issues concerning collective memory: why societies remember and forget historical events, how collective memories resurface, the relationship between memory and authenticity, and the pitfalls of politicizing historical memory. Finally, seminar participants will analyze different sites of memory including film, ritual, monuments, legal proceedings, and state-sponsored cults. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first year students. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester.  Professor Epstein.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2014

77, 77D, 78, 78D Senior Departmental Honors

Culminating in one or more pieces of historical writing which may be submitted to the Department for a degree with Honors. Normally to be taken as a single course but, with permission of the Department, as a double course as well.

Open to juniors and seniors. Fall semester. The Department.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

82 Topics in African American History: Race and Educational Opportunity in America

(Offered as History 82 [US; or may be included in AF concentration, but not AF for distribution in the major] and Black Studies 67 [US].) This seminar is an interdisciplinary exploration of the relationship between race and educational opportunity in American history. Students will gain a historical understanding of the divergent educational experiences of various groups within American society. The course is divided into four units: ethnicity and educational access in early America, education and segregation in Jim Crow America, desegregation (implementation and opposition) after Brown v. Board of Education, and contemporary discussions over race and access to education. In the first section of the course, students will pay special attention to trends including northern and southern resistance to African American education, education as assimilation, and vocational vs. classical education. Next, they will delve into twentieth- and twenty-first-century issues involving race and education. For example, they will examine how specific communities-northern, southern, and western-grappled with the desegregation process. Finally, students will assess the extent to which desegregation has been achieved and the transformative effects of this policy on public schools. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Moss.

2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

82 Topics in African-American History: Slavery and the American Imagination

(Offered as History 82 [US; or may be included in AF concentration, but not AF for distribution in the major] and Black Studies 67 [US].) This interdisciplinary seminar explores how Americans have imagined slavery over time. Drawing from works of history, fiction, and film, this course examines depictions of the “peculiar institution” to uncover connections between America’s racial past and its racial present. Specific discussion topics include the origins of American slavery; the slave narrative; the emergence of radical abolitionism and pro-slavery ideology; the invention of the South; the politics of slavery in the Civil Rights era; the “discovery” of slave society; the “Roots” of black power; agency and resistance; slavery in contemporary fiction; and slavery and autobiography. Weekly readings will span a wide array of primary sources including poetry, short essays, novels, and slave narratives. There will also be occasional film screenings. Two class meetings per week. 

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Moss.  To be offered as First-Year Seminar in 2009-10.

2015-16: Not offered

83 The Era of the American Revolution

[USP] This seminar, focused on the period from 1760 to 1815, examines the origins, development and more immediate consequences of the American Revolution. The course looks at the founding of the American republic as an intellectual debate, a social movement, a military conflict and a political revolution. By offering an overview of these developments and introducing the historiographic debates surrounding them, the seminar provides students with the necessary background to examine in depth a topic of interest by writing a research paper. The course will also provide instruction in writing such a research paper using the rich and readily accessible primary sources from the period. Two class meetings per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 20 students.  Fall semester. Professor K. Sweeney

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

87 Seminar on Race and Nation in the U.S.-Mexican Borderland

[LA or US] The U.S.-Mexican borderland has been the site of intense struggle and even violence over race and nation. These tensions have a long history within the region, and they have had important consequences both for the region and for the rest of Mexico and the U.S. Most studies tend to focus on either the U.S. Southwest or northern Mexico, but in this course we will attempt to unite the study of these two regions and their people. Within this land short on ecological resources, whites, Native Americans, and mestizos (mixed bloods) competed violently over politics, economics, and culture. We will discuss these conflicts along with the similarities and differences between U.S. and Mexican understanding of race and nation. Central themes include race, gender, violence, state and nation formation, industrialization, colonialism and imperialist expansion, popular politics, and environmental change. In addition to secondary readings, the class incorporates original documents, music, images, and visits to the archives. Two meetings per week.

Requisite: One course in either U.S. or Latin American history, Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor López.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2012

88 Latin America and the Caribbean in the Age of Revolution

(Offered as History 88 [LAP] and Black Studies 41 [CLA].)  This seminar examines in historical perspective the complicated transition of several Latin American and Caribbean countries from colony to independent nation-states during the Age of Revolution. It focuses particularly on the role of working people in the making of modern nation-states in Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, and the Andean region (Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador). How did the subaltern classes view the colonial order? What are the causes of popular protest? Is there such a thing as popular nationalism? What is the meaning of postcolonialism in Latin America? Overall, the seminar's objectives are threefold: to make students more familiar with the historical development of Latin America and the Caribbean during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; to introduce the themes and issues in the current historiography of anti-colonialism and postcolonialism; and finally, to guide students to write their own research papers. In the first two weeks, readings will include theoretical texts on nationalism, state formation, and popular discontent. In the remaining weeks, we will read historical studies, documents and literary texts, which discuss various aspects of popular political activism from 1789 to 1850. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Castro Alves.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010

89 Black Marxism

(Offered as History 89 [C] and Black Studies 51 [CLA/D].) The seminar traces in historical perspective the relationship between Black radicalism and Marxist thought. Since the late nineteenth century, Black diasporic intellectuals have found in Western Marxism, particularly its internationalist discourse, theory of class formation, and historical materialist analysis, the recipes for critical inquiry and radical politics. Their engagement with Marxism and socialist theory, however, has not precluded tensions and new theoretical resolutions. Black intellectuals from various generations have questioned “classical” Marxism’s economic reductionism, simplistic understanding of peasant politics, and dismissal of political struggles outside metropolitan regions. For writers such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, Frantz Fanon, and C.L.R. James, Western Marxism has failed to account for the racial character of capitalism or to provide a historical narrative of blacks’ emancipatory politics. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of Marxist theory, and a historical understanding of Black Marxism by analyzing the works from two generations of intellectuals: the modernist and Pan-Africanist generation (Du Bois, Wright, James, Oliver Cromwell Cox, and Eric Williams), and the New Left generation (Frantz Fanon, Amiri Baraka, Amilcar Cabral, Walter Rodney, Stuart Hall, Angela Davis, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o). One class meeting per week.

Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Castro Alves.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

90 The History and Memory of the Asia-Pacific War

(Offered as History 90 [AS] and Asian 62 [J].)  The varied names given to the fifteen years of war conducted by Japan-the Pacific War, the Great East Asian War, the Fifteen-Year War, World War II, and the Asian-Pacific War-suggest a number of conflicting perspectives arise from that war. How has the experience of a fifteen-year war during the 1930s and 1940s shaped memory and history in Japan, East Asia, and the United States? This seminar begins with this broad question and pursues related questions: How are the memory and history of war intertwined in both national and international politics? What forms of memory have been included and excluded from dominant historical narratives and commemorative devices? How does critical historiography intersect with the politics and passions of memory? We will use oral histories, primary documents, film, and scholarship to guide our thoughts and discussions. We will begin with a history of Japan’s Fifteen-Year War and move on to prominent debates concerning the history and memory of that war. A reading response journal, short response papers, and a research paper will be required. Students will also serve as discussion initiators. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Maxey.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014

91 Commodities, Nature and Society

[C] Participants in this seminar will explore the environmental and social histories of nine commodities: sugar, silver, silk, coffee, tobacco, sneakers, microchips, units of bandwidth, and the human body. Each of these commodities represents a complex array of linkages among producers, consumers, and intermediaries over time and space. Readings draw upon the disciplines of history, ecology, anthropology, and geography to place these commodities in their social, environmental, and spatial contexts. One of our aims is to understand the changing roles of natural systems and the divisions of labor that underlie the long-term processes of globalization.  One class meeting per week.

Limited to 15 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Melillo.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Spring 2015

92 Riot and Rebellion in Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa

(Offered as History 92 [AF] and Black Studies 50 [A].) There were numerous rebellions against the colonial state during the period of European colonial rule, and violent resistance to state authority has continued to characterize political life in many post-colonial African states. This seminar will examine the development of several outbreaks of violence in Africa in the colonial and post-colonial periods. We will look at the economic, social, religious, and political roots of these disturbances, and we will discuss the problems historians face in trying to narrate and analyze these often chaotic events. The events studied will include the Maji-maji rebellion in German-controlled Tanganyika; the first (1896-1897) and second (1960-1980) Chimurengas (revolts) in southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe; Hutu extremism and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda; the widespread revolt in the 1980s and 1990s in South Africa against the white-supremacist apartheid regime; and the rebel movements led by Alice Lakwena and then Joseph Kony in northern Uganda beginning in the late 1980s. We will also discuss the legends and rumors that often develop both before and after violent revolts and their role in the creation of historical narratives. Students will each write a 20-page research paper on an individually chosen topic. One class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2009-10.  Professor Redding.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

93 Seminar on Middle Eastern History: Modern Turkey--Modern Iran: From Authoritarian Modernization to Islamic Resistance

(Offered as History 93 [ME] and Asian 64 [WA].)  In the early twentieth century Turkey and Iran seemed to be on similar trajectories towards modernization. Turkey and Iran today, however, evidence very different societies, political systems, and relationships to religion and the West. This course will examine the programs of the authoritarian modernizers of the twentieth century in historical context and seek to illuminate the basis of their very different political, cultural and social legacies. Why does Turkey follow a secularism that is intolerant of sartorial freedoms and cultural and religious minorities? Why, in such a secular state, is Turkey experiencing a rise of Islamist movements? Conversely, why does Iran follow an Islamic government that is likewise intolerant of sartorial freedoms and religious minorities? Both claim to be democratic; how and why are these claims validated? What are the roots of their visions of the modern world and where are these societies headed? One class meeting per week.

Preference given to students who have taken at least one course regarding the Middle East.  Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Ringer.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009

94 Middle Eastern Court Culture

(Offered as History 94 [ME] and Asian 65 [WA].)  Middle Eastern court culture--the culture of the royal courts of both pre-Islamic and Islamic kings and royalty--has long been esteemed as an inspiration of visual arts, heroic epics, and poetry. Court culture is also widespread, forming an important shared element in Persian, Arab and Turkish dynasties throughout the centuries. What has been insufficiently appreciated, however, is court culture’s rich contribution to political theory, ethics and the role of women in society. This seminar will illuminate these contributions from the pre-Islamic, classical and early modern Middle Eastern court cultures, using both visual arts and texts. The emphasis will be on exploring both their complementarities and tensions with “Islamic” culture as together they form the principle pillars of arts, ethics and political theory in the Middle East. One class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor Ringer.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009

95 An Introduction to Military History: War in the Modern World

[C] This seminar will introduce students to the study of military history by examining topics ranging from 1500 to the present. While the focus will be on Europe and America, the seminar will also look comparatively at the impact of gunpowder during the early modern era, nineteenth-century imperial wars, global warfare in the twentieth century and wars of national liberation. Among the topics to be considered are the Western Way of War, the Military Revolution, an American Way of War, the modernity of the American Civil War, the strategic impact of airpower, and modern guerilla warfare and counterinsurgency. Reading assignments will be generous. In addition to two book reviews, participants will write a twenty-page research paper and report orally on their projects. One meeting a week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2009-10. Professor K. Sweeney.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008

96 Madness to Prozac: The Sciences of the Self in the Modern Era

[EU] This seminar will explore the emergence of sciences of the self in the West from the late eighteenth century to the twenty-first century. We will concentrate especially on psychiatry and psychology and how they have shaped and remade modern selves. Using interdisciplinary scholarship from history, critical theory, sociology, and psychology, we will examine the following topics: the birth of modern psychiatry and psychology; theories of madness; the rise of the asylum; colonial psychiatry; sexology; the medicalization of gender and ethnic difference; the emergence of neurosis and trauma; psychoanalysis and talking cure; hysteria; shell shock and post-traumatic stress disorder; human sciences and the welfare state, and the rise of the “Prozac Nation.” One class meeting per week.

Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Shapira.

2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010

97, 98, 97H, 98H Special Topics

Independent Reading. Full course.

Fall semester.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

99 Proseminar in History: Writing the Past

This course offers an opportunity for history majors to reflect upon the practice of history. How do we claim to know anything about the past at all? How do historians construct the stories they tell about the past from the fragmentary remnants of former times? What is the connection of historians’ work to public memory? How do we judge the truth and value of these stories and memories? The course explores questions such as these through readings and case studies drawn from a variety of places and times. Two class meetings a week. Required of all history majors.

Not open to first-year students.  Fall semester: Professor Epstein. Spring semester: Professor Servos.

2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

Related Courses

AMST-12 Religion, Democracy and American Culture (Course not offered this year.)
COLQ-19 American Diplomacy in the Middle East from the Second World War to the Iraq War (Course not offered this year.)
ECON-28 Economic History of the United States, 1600-1860 (Course not offered this year.)
ECON-29 Economic History of the United States, 1865-1965 (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-38 Law and Historical Trauma (Course not offered this year.)
 

Chapin Hall