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Amherst College History for 2010-11

03 Europe in the Twentieth Century

(Offered as HIST 03 [EU] and EUST 32.)  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. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Epstein.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2012

04 Early Modern Europe

(Offered as HIST 04 [EUP] and E{UST 48.)  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.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013

06 Introduction to Peoples and Cultures of Eurasia

(Offered as RUSS 20 and HIST 06 [c].) 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.

2013-14: 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 2010-11. Professor K. Sweeney.

2013-14: 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.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Saxton.

2013-14: Not offered
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. Spring semester. Professor Couvares.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2015

11 Black Diaspora from Africa to the Haitian Revolution

(Offered as HIST 11 [LAP/AFP] and BLST 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 2010-11. Professor Castro Alves.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

12 Black Diaspora from Emancipation to the Present

(Offered as HIST 12 [LA/AF] and BLST 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.

Spring semester. Professor Castro Alves.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012

13 Medieval Europe: From Charlemagne to Columbus

[EUP] The period from the rise of the Holy Roman Empire to the discovery of the New World has been rightly described as the "making of Europe." This course explores aspects of medieval institutions, society and culture from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia and beyond, looking at royal and aristocratic authority, the power of the papacy, and the emergence of urban classes. Attention will be drawn to agrarian and commercial revolutions, to technological advances and revivals of intellectual activity, letters and the arts, but also to warfare and religious conflict. We will discover how people lived, how they viewed themselves, and how their perceptions of the world changed.  Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 30 students.  Fall semester. Professor Shawcross.

 

 

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011

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

[LA] This course traces Latin Americans’ struggle for democracy from the Independence wars of the early nineteenth century into our own day. It follows the permutations of this Latin American saga, while considering the changing meanings of democracy. We will address the relationship between Liberalism and democracy in the nineteenth century; the broadening of democracy at the start of the twentieth century; the rise and fall of military dictatorships in the 1960s-80s and their corrosive impact upon civil society; clashes between pro-democracy advocates and the neo-Liberal economic technocrats and international financial institutions that took control of much of Latin America from the 1980s through the early 2000s; and the current neo-populist resurgence of the Left. Readings and discussions will focus on 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 by which individuals became inspired to take risks in their struggles for inclusion and against repression. Because the approach is thematic and chronological, some countries and regions will receive more attention than others. Meetings and readings will draw on secondary studies, historical documents, testimonials, music, images, and film. Two meetings per week.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor López.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2012

15 Chinese Civilization to 1800

(Offered as HIST 15 [ASP] and ASLC 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.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

16 Modern China

(Offered as HIST 16 [AS] and ASLC 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.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2014

17 Japanese History to 1700s

(Offered as HIST 17 [ASP] and ASLC 25 [J].) This is a writing attentive survey of Japan’s history from antiquity to the early-eighteenth century. It traces political, social, and cultural developments in order to provide basic literacy in pre-modern Japanese history and a basis both for comparative history and further course work in Japanese history.  Prominent themes include the rise of early polities, contact with the Chinese continent and Korean peninsula, the aristocratic culture of the Heian court and its displacement by medieval samurai rule, the role of Buddhist thought and institutions, the “warring states” period of the sixteenth-century and cosmopolitan contact with Christian Europe, the Tokugawa peace and its urban cultural forms.  Throughout, we will read a variety of sources, including eighth-century mythology, aristocratic literature, chronicles of war, religious and philosophical texts, as well as modern fiction and film.  Classes will combine lectures with close readings and discussions of the assigned texts.  Requirements include short response papers and topical essays. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Maxey.

2013-14: 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 HIST 18 [AS] and ASLC 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.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Maxey.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2012

19 Middle Eastern History: 600-1800

(Offered as HIST 19 [MEP] and ASLC 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.

Spring semester. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Fall 2012

20 The Modern Middle East: 1800-Present

(Offered as HIST 20 [ME] and ASLC 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.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

21 France in the Twentieth Century

(Offered as HIST 21 [EU] and EUST 19.)  This course will examine the major events and themes of twentieth-century French history, engaging with critical issues of war and society, empire, gender, citizenship, immigration, and the politics of memory. Topics will include the impact of the First World War on the French state and society; the political radicalization of the interwar period; the emergence of anxieties surrounding gender roles; the fall of France in 1940 and subsequent German occupation, with a particular focus on the politics of collaboration and resistance; the impact of colonialism and decolonization; the strikes and protest movements of 1968; and debates over immigration and multiculturalism in the 1980s and 1990s, including the rise in popularity of the extreme right-wing National Front and the activism of second-generation French citizens of North African descent.  Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Edwards.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010

22 Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa

(Offered as HIST 22 [AF] and BLST 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.

Spring semester. Professor Redding.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

23 The French Empire (1830-1962)

(Offered as HIST 23 [EU] and EUST 23.)  The conquest of new territories beginning in the early 19th century led to the creation of a new French empire, one which incorporated culturally, linguistically and politically diverse regions in Southeast Asia, North and West Africa. This course will study empire from both chronological and thematic perspectives, in order to provide insight into the imperial relationships typical of the French empire. We will discuss both conquest of empire and its maintenance, through analysis of such topics as colonial authority, the structure of colonial society, and the role of colonies in European conflicts. Thematic analysis will focus on the culture of empire, concepts of racial difference and métissage, colonial medicine, and urban planning. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Visiting Professor Edwards.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

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.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011

25 The Wild and the Cultivated

[c] For thousands of years, wild and domesticated plants have played crucial roles in the development of cultures and societies. Students in this course will consider human relationships with plants from a global-historical perspective, comparing trends in various regions and time periods. We will focus on the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution, seed-saving practices, medicinal plants, religious rites, food traditions, biopiracy, agribusiness, and biofuels. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Melillo.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

26 Environmental Issues of the Nineteenth Century

(Offered as HIST 26 [C] and ENST 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.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, 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.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

29 The Reformation Era, 1500-1660

(Offered as HIST 29[EUP] and EUST 29.)  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.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Hunt.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010

30 The European Enlightenment

(Offered as HIST 30 [EUP] and EUST 53.)  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 2010-11. Professor Hunt.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2012

33 Poland: Heart of Europe's Twentieth Century

(Offered as HIST 33 [EU] and EUST 71.) Few places experienced the drama of Europe’s twentieth century as did Poland—a country imagined before World War I, created anew in 1918, and shifted west after World War II.  This course will cover the legacy of Poland’s eighteenth-century partitions; World War I; the Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1921; the interwar Polish state; World War II (including the Katyn massacre, the Holocaust, and the Warsaw Uprising); the imposition of communism after World War II; the growth of Solidarity; and revolution and the transition to post-communist society after 1989.  Themes will include nationalism and state-building; the role of Catholicism in Polish society; Poland’s attempts to assert itself against both Germany and Russia; and ethnic relations between Poles and Germans, Jews, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians.  Throughout, we will explore historical controversies surrounding these events and themes. Sources will include films, novels, memoirs, eyewitness accounts, government and other documents, and secondary sources.  Two class meetings per week. 

Spring semester.  Professor Epstein.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

34 Nazi Germany

(Offered as HIST 34 [EU] and EUST 54.)  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. Fall semester. Professor Epstein.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012

35 Fascism

(Offered as HIST 35 [c] and EUST 72.) This course addresses the vexing questions of what fascism is, whether it was a global phenomenon, and whether it has been historically banished. The first part of the semester will consider the conceptual issues related to nationalism, modernity, and fascism. Next we will address case studies, noting comparative continuities and regional peculiarities. The countries that will receive the most attention are Italy, France, Argentina, Britain, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Mexico, with additional attention to Portugal, Japan, China, New Guinea, Chile, Turkey, Palestine and Australia. This will be followed by an examination of gender and fascism, including the role of women as agents of this radical ideology. The course will close with two recent works of scholarship, one on transnational fascism in early twentieth-century Argentina and the other on the applicability of the term “fascism” to contemporary movements in the Middle East. Two meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Professor López.

 

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

36 The Italian Renaissance

(Offered as HIST 36 [EUP] and EUST 49.)  This course provides an introduction to Renaissance Italy and its Mediterranean setting during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Against a background of endemic plague, religious turmoil and chronic warfare, we’ll focus on such diverse Italian cities as Florence, Venice, and Ferrara, considering how people not unlike us dealt with increasingly complex, challenging times. We’ll also look beyond the peninsula to the Eastern Mediterranean and the immense challenge to European rulers, diplomats, and thinkers posed by the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (1453) and the spread of Islam into the Balkans. Readings and discussions will also devote close attention to developments in literature, philosophy, and the visual arts, so as to examine the validity of the concept of “renaissance.” Generations of scholars have labored mightily to jettison terms like “medieval” and “renaissance.” But the old vocabulary has proven resilient. What accounts for the vitality of the idea of rebirth? What developments in economics, politics, and the arts and sciences does it help us understand, or serve to conceal? How may it mislead or distract us from equally or more important continuities? Because this field routinely yields impressive scholarship in English, extensive readings in primary sources will be supplemented by some of the best current work.  One class meeting per week. 

Fall semester.  Croxton Lecturer Gundersheimer.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010

37 Material Culture of American Homes

(Offered as HIST 37 [USP] and ARHA 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.  Spring semester.  Professor K. Sweeney.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

38 The Crusades

[EUP] Immortalized in modern books and on film, the Crusades were a central phenomenon of the Middle Ages. This course examines the origins and development of the Crusades and the Crusader States in the Islamic East. It explores dramatic events, such as the great Siege of Jerusalem, and introduces vivid personalities, including Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. We will consider aspects of institutional, economic, social and cultural history and compare medieval Christian (Western and Byzantine), Muslim and Jewish perceptions of the crusading movement. Finally, we will critically examine the resonance the movement continues to have in current ideological debates. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Shawcross.

 

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

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.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor K. Sweeney.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Fall 2011

40 Immigration, Integration and Citizenship in Europe

(Offered as HIST 40 [EU] and EUST 33.)  Immigration, integration, and citizenship challenges are not new to Europe, and in today's European Community, they have sparked heated debates over such issues as headscarves in public schools, "ethnic ghettos," and citizenship for immigrants and their descendants. This course will present a comparative analysis of successive immigration policies and nationality laws from the late nineteenth century to the present, with a particular focus on Britain, France and Germany. In addition to the legal and political aspects of immigration and citizenship, we will also address theories and policies of assimilation and integration, debates over secularism and religious symbols, immigrant experiences and notions of multiculturalism. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Edwards.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010

41 African American History from the Slave Trade to Reconstruction

(Offered as BLST 57 [US] and HIST 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 2010-2011.  Professor Moss.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008

42 African American History from Reconstruction to the Present

(Offered as BLST 58 [US] and HIST 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. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Moss.

2013-14: 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 2010-11. Professor Saxton.

2013-14: Not offered

45 Women's History, America: 1607-1865

(Offered as HIST 45 [USP] and WAGS 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 2010-11.  Professor Saxton.

2013-14: Not offered

46 Women's History, America: 1865 to Present

(Offered as HIST 46 [US] and WAGS 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.

Spring semester. Professor Saxton.

2013-14: 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.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Fall 2010

49 Case Studies in American Diplomacy

(Offered as HIST 49 [US] and POSC 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.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012

50 Post-Cold War American Diplomacy

(Offered as POSC 55 and HIST 50 [US].)  A 1992 still-classified Pentagon Defense Policy Guidance draft asserts that America’s political and military mission in the post-cold war era will be to ensure that no rival superpower be allowed to emerge in world politics. This course will examine American foreign relations from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present. We will study the similarities and differences in the styles of statecraft of all post-cold war U.S. administrations in producing, managing and sustaining America’s unrivaled international position, which emerged in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.  While examining the debates between liberals and neoconservatives about America’s role in the world both preceding and following the 9-11 attack, we will also discuss the extent to which these debates not only have shaped American foreign policy but also how they have influenced our domestic politics and vice versa. Among the other main themes to be examined:  the strategic, tactical and humanitarian uses of military and other forms of power by each administration (e.g., towards Somalia, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan); U.S. policy towards NATO and towards the world economy; U.S. policy towards Russia, China, the Middle East and Latin America; human, economic and political costs and benefits of American leadership in this period.

Preference given to students who have taken one of the following courses: Political Science 13, 30, 46, 50; History 49.  Limited to 30 students. Not open to first-year students.  Spring semester. Professors G. Levin and Machala.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2014

53 Popular Revolution in Modern Mexico

[LA] In September 2010 Mexicans will commemorate the centennial of their popular revolution of 1910-1920, and in October they will celebrate the bicentennial of Miguel Hidalgo’s famous 1810 “Grito de Dolores” that launched a decade of bloody wars for liberal government and independence from Spain. In this year of weighty commemorations, we will take stock of 200 years of struggle among Mexico’s popular classes. Few countries are as well known, yet so poorly understood, as is Mexico among North Americans. Headlines about illegal immigration, street violence, and drug smuggling often take the place of real understanding. As a result, few North Americans appreciate their neighbor’s historical odyssey in search of political stability, national unity, democracy and economic prosperity. This course provides a general overview of the dominant narratives of Mexican history, while challenging those narratives through an examination of the experience of subaltern groups (including women, indigenous peoples, peasants, and those from the periphery). We also will grapple with the question of what genuine social revolution looks like, how it unfolds, and to what degree it has been attained in Mexico. Original documents, testimonials, movies, images, music, and art will supplement discussions and secondary readings. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester.  Professor López.

2013-14: 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. Lament over the felling of the trees has given way to larger questions that connect environmental history with social, political, and economic issues. In this course we will focus on the unexpected links that exist between environmental impacts (such as environmental degradation, desertification, soil “exhaustion,” species extinction, genetic simplification, oil extraction, biotic invasions, deforestation, pesticide contamination, and animal grazing) and human problems (such as colonial and imperial domination, declining subsistence, defense and violation of civil rights, income inequality, scientific racism, regional underdevelopment, incomplete capitalist transformation, social marginalization, and political violence). Questions we will engage include: How have environmental changes contributed to, or otherwise conditioned, processes of conquest and domination? How have these processes of conquest, domination, and resistance, in turn, altered the environmental? What models of environmental activism have worked in Latin America, and which have not? Why? What about the Latin American context is typical and what is unique? 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? The class will introduce students to classic texts in Latin American environmental history (including the foundational studies by Warren Dean and Elinore Melville), as well as some of the newest scholarship. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Professor López.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

55 Japan as Empire, 1895-1945

(Offered as HIST 55 [AS] and ASLC 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 consider the origin and acquisition of an empire and 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 2010-11. Professor Maxey.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007

57 China in the World, 1895-1919

(Offered as HIST  57 [AS] and ASLC 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.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

60 Early Islam: Construction of an Historical Tradition

(Offered as HIST 60 [MEP] and ASLC 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 2010-11.  Professor Ringer.

2013-14: 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 2010-11. Professor G. Levin.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

62 Women in the Middle East

(Offered as HIST 62 [ME], ASLC 63 [WA], and WAGS 62.) The course examines the major developments, themes and issues in woman’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. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

63 Africa Before the European Conquest

(Offered as HIST 63 [AFP] and BLST 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.

Fall semester. Professor Redding.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2011

64 Introduction to South African History

(Offered as HIST 64 [AFP] and BLST 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.

Spring semester. Professor Redding.

2013-14: Not offered
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.

Fall semester. Professor Servos.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2012

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.

2013-14: 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.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Servos.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Spring 2015

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 2010-11. Professor Moss.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008

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.

Omitted 2010-11.  Professor Melillo.

 

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2014

74 Method and Theory in Historical Research

[c] This seminar teaches students to think creatively about how to design and execute a successful independent research project. We will experiment with strategies for analyzing forms of evidence that range from written documents to maps, photographs, paintings, botanical illustrations, gardens, museums, and even landscapes and built environments. Particular attention will be paid to how collections of sources have been constituted, and how this shapes the ways historians have asked questions and how it might open possibilities for asking new kinds of questions. Readings include works by Michel Foucault, James Scott, Stuart Hall, Edward Said, Chandra Mukerji, Carla Yanni and Greg Grandin. Regional coverage mainly is on the Americas and Europe, but students are invited to direct their own research toward any part of the world that interests them. This is a hands-on research methodology course that requires several field trips, including a day-long hike in the Holyoke Range and visits to Mead Art Museum, Archives and Special Collections, the Smith Botanical Garden, downtown Amherst and Historic Deerfield, plus time outside of class in the archives. By the end of the course, each student will produce a 20-page original historical research paper based on primary evidence. Two meetings per week.

Limited to 15 students.  Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2010-11.  Professor López.

 

 

2013-14: Not offered

75 Seminar on Modern China: The People and the State

(Offered as HIST 75 [AS] and ASLC 70 [C].) Political thinkers and activists inside China and throughout the world today puzzle over the relationship between the people and the state.  Where do state functions and state control begin and end?  How do the global economy, China’s increasing regional hegemony, internal migration, NGOs, rural protest, and the internet influence the relationship between the people and the state?  Fundamental questions about the relationship between the people and the state have occupied thinkers and activists since the beginning of the twentieth century.  Reformers in China tried to transform the imperial state into a constitutional monarchy, revolutionaries tried to create a Republic, Nationalists tried to build a “corporatist state,” and Communists tried to create a Socialist one.  At each stage, the state-makers “imagined” the people, mobilized them, categorized them, and tried to control them.  The people became subjects, citizens, nationals, and “the masses.”  They divided themselves by native place, region, language, ethnicity, political party, class, and educational status.  Chinese people in Southeast Asia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, have imagined themselves in relation to both “the ancestral land” and the colonial or national states under which they live.  The process is by no means over.  This seminar will focus on the problem of “imagining” and mobilizing people in China and these other states over the past century.  General topics will include the ideas, the intellectual and educational context, and the mobilizations of urban and rural communities, commercial and religious groups, and NGOs.  Research topics will depend on the interests of students.  One class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students.  Spring semester.  Professor Dennerline.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2013

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

(Offered as HIST 76 [EU] and EUST 57.)  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. Omitted 2010-11.  Professor Epstein.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2012

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.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

79 History of the Pacific World, 1898-Present

[c] In recent decades, historians have begun to study the cultures and environments of the Pacific Ocean Region from a transnational perspective. Participants in this seminar will build upon such approaches when examining the Pacific World from the Spanish American War (1898) to the present. Themes and topics will include: immigration, anti-colonial movements, the emergence of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the recurring idea of a “Pacific Century.” We will also focus on the history of four regional environmental issues: nuclear waste disposal, fisheries regulation, deforestation, and the effects of rising sea levels on coastal communities. Although there is no prerequisite for this seminar, it is the companion course to History 73: “Spain in the Pacific World, 1571-1898.” One class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of instructor. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Melillo.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010

80 Inside Iran

(Offered as HIST 80 [ME] and ALSC 59 [WA].)  This seminar explores contemporary Iran from a historical and interdisciplinary perspective. The aim of the course is both to provide an overall understanding of the history of Iran, as well as those key elements of religion, literature, legend, and politics that together shape Iran's understanding of itself. We will utilize a wide variety of sources, including Islamic and local histories, Persian literature, architecture, painting and ceramics, film, political treatises, Shiite theological writing, foreign travel accounts, and U.S. state department documents, in addition to secondary sources.  Two class meetings per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students.  Not open to first-year students.  Spring semester. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

81 War and Remembrance: Comparing the Algerian and Vietnam Wars

(Offered as HIST 81 [C] and EUST 76.)  This seminar will explore the creation and transmission of collective memory through a comparison of two particularly traumatic conflicts: the French-Algerian war and the U.S.-Vietnam war. We will begin by studying the similarities between these "undeclared" wars: the use of guerrilla tactics and the targeting of civilians, the use of torture, consequences for colonial populations that sided with French or American forces, protest movements, refugee crises, and the experiences of veterans. We will then examine representations of these conflicts through analysis of commemorative activities and monuments, film, memoirs, and literature. One class meeting per week.

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

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

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

(Offered as HIST 82 [US; or may be included in AF concentration, but not AF for distribution in the major] and BLST 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.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

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

(Offered as HIST 82 [US; or may be included in AF concentration, but not AF for distribution in the major] and BLST 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 2010-11. Professor Moss.  To be offered as First-Year Seminar in 2010-11.

2013-14: 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. Omitted 2010-11. Professor K. Sweeney

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Fall 2014

84 Back to the Future: A History of Prophecy

[c] Does understanding the past help us to predict the future?  We will examine several prominent attempts at prophecy in the past, including works by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Alexis de Tocqueville, Edward Bellamy, and George Kennan.  We will seek to identify the distinguishing characteristics of accurate and inaccurate predictions in the past, then apply what we have learned to our current controversial topics in order to develop our own historically grounded prophecies. This semester our contemporary topics will be: global warming, race, American hegemony, and war. Students will each write a 20-page research paper on an individually chosen topic.  One class meeting per week.     Limited to 15 students.  Not open to first year students.  Spring semester.  Visiting Professor Ellis (Mount Holyoke College).

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

85 The Therapeutic Revolution and Modern Medicine

[C] Physicians often say that medicine became truly effective only in the mid-twentieth century when an avalanche of new remedies became available, first in Europe and North America but soon thereafter around the world.  Collectively dubbed "the wonder drugs," these products included sulfa drugs and antibiotics for bacterial infections, cortico-steroids for arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, tranquilizers for mental illness, and diuretics for hypertension.  The new medicines offered millions of patients relief from dread diseases and physicians long-awaited validation of the effectiveness of scientific medicine.  For a generation that came of age in the 1940s and 1950s, they supplied powerful testimony to the creative and beneficent powers of science.  The "wonder drugs" also gave pharmaceutical firms lucrative new products and governments complex new regulatory challenges.  Many of our current debates over drug development, testing, marketing, and pricing commenced in the 1950s, as newly-introduced drugs helped reshape health care.

This seminar will treat the history of these "wonder drugs"--their origins in biomedical research, their production and distribution, and some of the medical and political issues that are associated with their cost and safety.  All participants in the seminar will be required to write a research paper of at least 20 pages involving the use of primary sources. One class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of instructor.  Not open to first-year students.  Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Servos.

 

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2013

86 Ideas and American Foreign Policy 

[US] This course examines not policy as such but the ideas underpinning U.S. foreign policy and informing the foreign policy debate. Some (affirming) ideas inspire or explain or justify actually existing policy. Other (dissenting) ideas call into question or challenge government actions or priorities while advancing alternatives. The course takes a chronological approach. It begins with the founding of Anglo-America and concludes with the period since 9/11. Students will write a research paper of at least 20 pages. One class meeting per week. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. McCloy Professor Bacevich.2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010

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 2010-11. Professor López.

2013-14: 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 HIST 88 [LAP] and BLST 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. Fall semester. Professor Castro Alves.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010

89 Black Marxism

(Offered as HIST 89 [C] and BLST 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 2010-11. Professor Castro Alves.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

90 The History and Memory of the Asia-Pacific War

(Offered as HIST 90 [AS] and ALSC 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-reflect the conflicting perspectives that 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 brief history of Japan’s Fifteen-Year War and move on to prominent debates concerning the history and memory of that war. Short response papers and a research paper will be required. One class meeting per week.

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

2013-14: 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.  Omitted 2010-11.  Professor Melillo.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2015

92 Riot and Rebellion in Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa

(Offered as HIST 92 [AF] and BLST 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 2010-11.  Professor Redding.

2013-14: Not offered
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 HIST 93 [ME] and ALSC 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. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009

94 Middle Eastern Court Culture

(Offered as HIST 94 [ME] and ASLC 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 2010-11. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: 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 2010-11. Professor K. Sweeney.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008

97, 98, 97H, 98H Special Topics

Independent Reading. Full course.

Fall semester.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, 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 Couvares. Spring semester: Professor Maxey.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
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 2014, Spring 2015

Related Courses

CLAS-33 History of Rome (Course not offered this year.)
ECON-29 Economic History of the United States, 1865-1965 (Course not offered this year.)
POSC-48 Cuba: The Politics of Extremism (Course not offered this year.)
RELI-19 Religion in the United States (Course not offered this year.)
RELI-45 History of Christianity--The Early Years (Course not offered this year.)
 

Chapin Hall