Course

HIST 1001   Revolution

Professor

Robert Culp  /  Gregory Moynahan

CRN

15010

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     10:00 - 11:20 am   OLIN 202

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed:  Human Rights

What is revolution? Why does it happen? Where and when have revolutions occurred, and to what effect? This course addresses these questions by exploring a range of revolutions in Europe and Asia during the past five centuries. A primary focus of the course will center on analyzing and comparing some of the most iconic and influential revolutions in world history: the French Revolution of 1789, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1921-1949. In addition, we will analyze the causes and impact of a range of other revolutionary moments, including the German Peasant Revolt of 1525, the Taiping Rebellion, the Meiji Restoration, the 1905 Revolution in Russia, the 1911 Revolution in China, China's Cultural Revolution, the protests by students and intellectuals that rocked continental Europe in 1968, and the "velvet revolutions" and near revolutions that transformed state socialism in 1989. As we compare revolutions over time, we will try to discern links or lines of influence between revolutionary movements. We will also explore how particular revolutionary movements contributed to a shared repertoire of revolutionary thought and action. No previous study of history is necessary for this course; first-year students are welcome.

 

Course

HIST 102   Europe from 1815 to present

Professor

Gennady Shkliarevsky

CRN

15105

 

Schedule

Tu  Th  1:30 – 2:50 pm    ASP 302         

Distribution

OLD: C / D

NEW: History

Related interest: GISP, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Victorian Studies

The course has two goals:  to provide a general introduction to European History in the period from 1815 to 1990 and at the same time to examine a number of especially important developments in greater depth.  The first half of the course will range in time from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.  The following issues will be emphasized:  the rise of conservative, liberal and socialist thought; the establishment of parliamentary democracy in Great Britain; the revolutions of 1848; Bismarck and the Unification of Germany; European imperialism; and the origins of World War I.  The second half of the course will stress the following problems:  World War I; the Russian Revolution and the emergence of Soviet Russia; the Versailles Treaty; the Great Depression; the rise of fascism, especially Nazism; the Holocaust; the emergence of a new Europe with the "European Community"; the Cold War; the fall of communism in Eastern Europe; and the reunification of Germany.

 

Course

HIST 115   Race as a Variable in History: The African American Case

Professor

Myra Armstead

CRN

15140

 

Schedule

Tu Th          10:00 - 11:20 am   OLIN 203

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History / Rethinking Difference

Cross-listed:  American Studies, Africana Studies

This course explores the significance of race as a variable in history by using African Americans during slavery and freedom as a case study.  The course covers the colonial period through the present.  It will address the following questions:  What is “race”?  When and how did Africans brought to British North America first get “raced” or become a racialized people?  Who and what is responsible for the perpetuation of black racialization—people and forces outside the “black” community, and/or those within the black community?  To what extent have popular and formal conceptualizations of blackness as a racial category changed over time?  What has it meant to live inside the black community? To what extent have there been multiple ways of experiencing blackness, e.g., along class, ethnic, national, gender, and color lines?  And what have been the consequences of such intraracial differences?  To what extent has/does race serve(d) any purpose in American society?  While all of these questions will focus on African Americans, pertinent experiences of other groups (“ethnic” and “white”) will be considered as well.

 

Course

HIST 140    The Land of the Golden Cockerel: Introduction to Russian Civilization

Professor

Gennady Shkliarevsky

CRN

15462

 

Schedule

Mon Wed  3:00 – 4:20 pm         OLIN L.C. 118

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed: Medieval Studies, Russian and Eurasian Studies

This course examines the origins and evolution of Russian civilization from the founding of the first Eastern Slavic state through the eighteenth century, when Russia began to modernize by borrowing from Western culture. Among the topics to be considered are the ethnogeny of early Russians, the development of state and legal institutions, the relationship between kinship and politics, the role of religion in public and private spheres, economic organization, social institutions, family, gender relations, sexuality, popular culture, and the impact of the outside world (both Orient and Occident) upon Russian society. The sources include a variety of Russian cultural expressions (folk tales, literature, art, film, music), original documents, and scholarly texts.

 

Course

HIST 141   A Haunted Union: Twentieth-Century Germany and the Unification of Europe

Professor

Gregory Moynahan

CRN

15460

 

Schedule

Tu Th          1:30 -2:50 pm       OLIN 201

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed: German Studies, GISP

The development of modern Germany has been at the center of nearly every dystopian reality and utopian aspiration produced by twentieth-century continental Europe. This course will examine the history of Germany from its 1871 unification to the 2002 constitutional convention of the European Union, paying particular attention to Germany's troubled relation with broader European society and identity. Using an array of primary documents, including bi- weekly films, we will examine Germany's pivotal place in the ideological divisions (traditionalism / modernism, fascism / liberal democracy, capitalism / communism), political catastrophes, and -- more optimistically -- theoretical, social, and scientific innovations of modern Europe. As a guiding theme, we will use the paradox that even as Germany is perhaps the most 'modern' of European states, its definition - and with it the identity of its citizens - has been haunted since inception by its past. Topics of particular importance will include: the multiple 'unifications' of Germany (as a state, as a racist 'greater' Germany, as a reunified power within the European Union), the impact of World War One, the political experiment of Weimar democracy, the role of 'German' and 'European' identity in Nazi propaganda and expansion, the Holocaust, daily life in capitalist west and communist east Germanies, the consolidation of the European Union since 1951, the student protests of 1968 and the critique of the U.S., and the creation of a new German and European identity after 1989. No previous courses in history are required, but if space is limited preference will be given to history majors or potential majors.

 

Course

HIST 164   Hooke's Micrographia

Professor

Alice Stroup

CRN

15144

 

Schedule

Tu Th          10:00 - 11:20 am   OLIN 308

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

A monument of natural philosophy and scientific illustration, Robert Hooke's Micrographia (1665) was the first laboratory manual in microscopy.  A great experimentalist, Hooke developed his research as a Fellow of the newly founded Royal Society of London.  Hooke and his colleagues intended the work to be a manifesto of experimental method and faith in progress.  They also hoped Hooke's observations would lend credence to atomism, a notorious ancient philosophy that was being rehabilitated in the seventeenth century.  The work's descriptive and experimental language suggests objectivity, as does the author's recourse to geometric principles.  Yet Hooke's treatise is also permeated with a theological agenda.  We will read the Micrographia, examining its philosophical antecedents and experimental foundations.  We will also investigate Hooke's life and work, his association with the Royal Society and contemporary savants, as well as the links between science and society during the Scientific Revolution.

 

Course

HIST 166   US History since World War II

Professor

Andrew Needham

CRN

15142

 

Schedule

Tu Th          11:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 204

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

This class provides a topical and thematic approach to post-1940 United States history, including Cold War politics and culture, the rise and decline of New Deal liberalism, the power shift to the suburbs and Sunbelt, social movements of the Left and the Right, the triumph of marketing and consumer culture, and the era of globalization and its discontents. The main emphasis of the course is the intersection of politics, culture, and society in recent U.S. history.  We will engage questions such as:  Why did consumerism triumph in postwar America? What happened to the power base of organized labor?  How did the Cold War reshape American political culture and popular culture?  How have civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, the Christian Right, and other grassroots movements/interest group politics changed American society?  Why is the "war" metaphor so popular in American domestic policy?  Were the Seventies more important than the Sixties?  How did the ideology of American Exceptionalism overcome the "Vietnam Syndrome"?  Where did your shoes actually come from?  How are Latinos and other new immigrant groups changing contemporary politics?  Are the "culture wars" finally over?  Did the 1990s really mark the triumph of the "new economy"?  What global arrangements have replaced the Cold War framework? Class materials will include primary and secondary historical sources as well as short fiction, films, and documentaries.

 

Course

HIST 181   Jews in the Modern

World 1492 - 1948

Professor

Cecile Kuznitz

CRN

15129

 

Schedule

Tu Th          10:00 - 11:20 am   OLIN 306

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History / Rethinking Difference

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies

This course will survey the history of the Jewish people from the expulsion from Spain until the establishment of the State of Israel. It will examine such topics as the expulsion and its aftermath; social, intellectual, and economic factors leading to greater toleration at the start of the modern period; the varying routes to emancipation in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Islamic world; acculturation, assimilation, and their discontents; modern Jewish nationalist movements such as Zionism; the Holocaust; the establishment of the State of Israel; and the growth of the American Jewish community.

Course

CLAS / History 201   Alexander the Great and the Problem of Empire

Professor

James Romm

CRN

15136

 

Schedule

Tu Th          1:30 2:50 pm        Olin 202

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed: Classics, Human Rights

Alexander the Great changed the world more completely than any other human being, but did he change it for the better? How should his project of extending western power into Asia be regarded, especially in light of recent attempts by the U.S. to project power into the same regions once conquered by the Macedonians?  And how should Alexander himself be understood -- as a tyrant of Hitlerian proportions, or as a philosopher-king seeking to save the Greek world from self-destruction, or as an utterly deluded madman?  Such questions remain very much unresolved among modern historians.  In this course we will attempt to find our own answers (or lack of them) after reading thoroughly in the ancient sources concerning Alexander and examining as much primary evidence as can be gathered.  Students hopefully will attain insight not only into a cataclysmic period of history but into the moral and ideological complexities that surround the issue of empire, whether in antiquity or in the modern world.  No Prerequisite, but students will be greatly helped by some familiarity with Greek history or prior exposure to Herodotus and/or Thucydides.

 

Course

HIST  2010   The Ancient History of History

Professor

Carolyn Dewald

CRN

15141

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     1:30 -2:50 pm       OLIN 205

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

This course is designed to be the early (western) history of history.  We will begin with the early cultures of the Mediterranean Near East, and how they conceived of the past and preserved it, both before becoming literate and then in the writing systems of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Near Eastern kingdoms, including Israel.  (We will look at priestly record-keeping, royal propaganda, the cultural implications of scribal classes employed in the service of elites, and the breakthrough represented by the Hebrew Bible.) We will move on then to the Mycenaean Greeks, the Greek dark ages and the rise of epic poetry, Homer, and the widespread use of the alphabet.  We will consider the kinds of recordkeeping and stories about the past that appeared in the eighth century BCE, and how the late archaic and early classical periods in Greece developed and modified the paradigms of Homer.  We will end with the father of history, Herodotus, studying why history as a genre and intellectual discipline came into its own specifically in fifth-century Athens.

 

Course

HIST 2037   France from the Dreyfus Affair to the Vichy period (1894-1944)

Professor

Vincent Giroud

CRN

15128

 

Schedule

Tu Th          1:30 -2:50 pm       OLIN 308

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed: French Studies

The course will focus on this crucial 50-year period of French

history, beginning with a survey of France in 1894, with particular emphasis on the socio-economic and political roots of the Dreyfus Affair, and continuing with the Affair itself and its aftermath; France in the so-called "Belle Époque"; France in the First World War; prosperity and problems in the 1920s; the rise of the extreme-right and the advent of the Popular Front (1929-1936); the twilight of the Third Republic and the defeat of 1940; and, finally, the Nazi occupation and the Vichy regime. In addition to political and economic aspects (including colonialism), the course will pay due attention to the exceptional artistic and literary flowering which characterizes France during that period as well as to scientific progress. Assignments will include oral class presentation and one substantial essay on a topic relating to the period. To be taught in English. Knowledge of French helpful but not required.

 

Course

HIST 2122   The Arab-Israel Conflict

Professor

Joel Perlmann

CRN

15134

 

Schedule

Tu Th          4:30 -5:50 pm       OLIN 202

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed: GISP, Human Rights, Jewish Studies

This course is meant to provide students with an understanding of this conflict from its inception to the present. Considerable attention will be given to the present; nevertheless, the conflict is simply incomprehensible without a solid understanding of its evolution – incomprehensible not merely in terms of details, but in terms of broader themes and aroused passions.  Among the themes to be discussed are the following. A Jewish national movement arose in the late nineteenth century to oppose the conditions of Jewish life in Europe, and an Arab national movement (as well as a specifically Palestinian movement) arose to oppose Ottoman and European rule of Arab peoples.  Out of the clash of these movements emerged the State of Israel and the Palestinian refugees in 1948. The political character of the conflict has changed over the decades: first it involved competing movements (before 1948), then chiefly a conflict of national states (Israel vs. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, etc), and now it is conceived as chiefly a conflict between Israeli military rule of territories (occupied since the 1967 war) and an insurgent Palestinian independence movement.  Military realities also changed greatly, as did the accusations about the role of “terror” as a tactic (from the Jewish Irgun to Hamas).  And not least, the conflict has been shaped by strategic and economic considerations of the great powers (Ottoman, British, American/Soviet, hegemonic American) as well as by considerations of domestic political culture in Israel and in the Arab world.

 

Course

HIST 2391   Reason and Passions

Professor

Alice Stroup

CRN

15055

 

Schedule

Tu Th          11:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 308

Distribution

OLD: C / D

NEW: History

What is the good life?  In hard times, is it better to serve or to flee society?  What power does reason have over the passions? Descartes and Pascal, Molière and Racine, Fontenelle and Foigny debated these fundamental questions during seventeenth-century hard times. Optimists and pessimists alike developed their views in philosophical treatises, plays, fables, utopias, and other genres designed to reach a large Francophone audience.  We will sample their writings, exploring the influences – ancient and modern, religious and libertine, scientific and political – on their thought.

 

Course

HIST 2505   Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

Professor

Caleb Carr

CRN

15493

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     7:00 – 8:20 pm      OLIN 204

Distribution

OLD: C  

NEW: History

This course will examine the evolution of insurgencies – that is, unconventional armed uprisings against established imperial and national authorities – from ancient time to the present, culminating in an examination of the Iraqi insurgency (or insurgencies) as well as an analysis of the efforts by various high-ranking officials within the American government to reclassify the “global war on terrorism” as a “global Islamist insurgency”. This topic will lead to the final query: Have insurgency and counterinsurgency, in the modern world, actually replaced “war” as we have known it for centuries? Only a few representative examples from the ancient and medieval periods will be covered: the course will accent the centuries following the establishment of the great European empires, and focus most intensely on the post-World War II world. Texts will include historical works, as well as classic insurgency tracts from China, Vietnam and official American, British and French counterinsurgency manuals. The course is open to those who have taken HIST 2500, as well as to those willing to read several of the basic texts of that course over winter break.

Course

HIST 2701   The Holocaust, 1933-1945

Professor

Cecile Kuznitz

CRN

15112

 

Schedule

Tu Th          3:00 -4:20 pm       OLIN 310

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History / Rethinking Difference

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies, Human Rights, German Studies
This course will provide an overview of the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jewish people during the Second World War. We will examine the background of modern antisemitic movements and the aftermath of World War I; the experience of German Jews during 1933-1938; the institution of ghettos and the cultural and political activities of their Jewish populations; the turn to mass murder and its implementation in the extermination camps; and the liberation and its immediate aftermath. Emphasis will be on the development of Nazi policy and Jews’ reactions to Nazi rule, with special attention to the question of what constitutes resistance or collaboration in a situation of total war and genocide. Previous coursework in Jewish and/or European history helpful but not required.

 

Course

HIST / REL 282   America and the Muslim World

Professor

Nerina Rustomji

CRN

15005

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     11:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 201

Distribution

OLD: A / C

NEW: Humanities/ Rethinking Difference

Cross-list:  Religion, Human Rights, American Studies

The first Muslims in America were West African slaves. Since then American encounters with Islam have been far richer and more complex than the popular metaphor “Clash of Civilizations” suggests. How have the American understanding of Islam and the consumption of “Oriental” products shaped American culture? This course explores the perceptions of Islam in America and how they have influenced culture and politics. Our examination will begin by tracing patterns of consumption from Muslim slaves to the fashionable oriental carpets. In this section, we will prepare a class study of Frederick Church’s home Olana in Hudson, New York. We will then examine the presence of Muslim communities and concerns in politics from nineteenth century discussions about the prophet Muhammad to the rise of organizations like the Nation of Islam in the twentieth century. Finally, we will study contemporary images of Muslims and Arabs in American culture. We will end by exploring twenty-first century perceptions of America held by Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East. Texts for the course include historical monographs, primary sources, material culture, film, and public image “polls.”

 

Course

HIST 3102  Research Seminar in US Urban History

Professor

Myra Armstead

CRN

15145

 

Schedule

Mon             10:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 308

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed:  American Studies

Ideally, students in this course will have taken History 232, American Urban History, although this is not required.  The course will provide an opportunity for students to pursue specialized study and research in American urban history.  Students interested in urban space and its meanings, urban planning and design, new urbanism, suburbanism, the postmodern city, urban politics, urban infrastructure, and urban culture are especially invited in this course to bring their individual topics to the table, although additional subjects can be imagined. The class will initially consider a common set of readings having to do with urban historiography.  Class organization will then shift to focus on individual student research projects, and the literature and methods informing them. All students will produce a long research paper. 

 

Course

HIST 3115   Japan: From Feudal Isolation to Modern Democracy

Professor

Ian Buruma

CRN

15481

 

Schedule

Mon             4:00 – 6:20 pm     OLIN 201

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed:  Asian Studies

This course will take Japan as an example of modernization in the non-Western world. The main question to be explored is to what extent modernization means Westernization, or democratization. This would contribute to the discussion today about the possibility of building liberal democratic institutions in the Middle East, and other parts of the non-Western world. Starting with the arrival of Commodore Perry's "black ships" in 1854, and ending with the state of Japanese democracy today, we will look at various stages of the Japanese confrontation with a dominant West. This will take in the establishment of Japan's Asian Empire - following European examples; the wars with Russia and China; the civil rights movements of the late 19th century; the budding democracy of the 1920s; the Japanese varieties of fascism, the war with the West, and the US occupation. Japan, given different Western models to follow, often opted for the least liberal ones, as was true in other countries. But this was not inevitable.  Post-war Japanese democracy was largely home-grown and not an American imposition. Throughout the course, we will look at Japan in comparison with other parts of the non-Western world, including South Asia and the Middle-East. Course material will include history, as well as novels, films, and further examples from popular culture.  Not open to first-year students.

 

Course

HIST 3121   The Case for Liberties

Professor

Alice Stroup

CRN

15139

 

Schedule

Mon             1:30 -3:50 pm       OLIN 308

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Related interest: French Studies, History & Philosophy of Science, Human Rights

What is tyranny?  When is rebellion justified?  What defines a nation?  Given human nature, what is the ideal government?  Is there a human right to free trade?  Is commerce compatible with art and philosophy?  Such questions prompted Netherlanders in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to carve a Dutch Republic out of the Spanish Empire, and to create a "Golden Age" of capitalism, science, and art.  We will supplement monographs on Dutch history with paintings, scientific treatises, and the literature of rebellion and republicanism (including Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise).

 

Course

HIST 3125   A Research Seminar: Immigration and American

Society 1880-1930

Professor

Joel Perlmann

CRN

15135

 

Schedule

Wed             2:00 -4:20 pm       OLIN 307

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed:  Africana Studies,  Asian Studies, SRE

This course will explore the experiences of the immigrants to the United States -- how and why they came, and how they adjusted to and transformed American society, to its economy, culture and politics.   During these years, new immigrant groups – Slavs, Italians and Jews in particular – came in unprecedented numbers.   How Americans conceived of their absorption – in terms of assimilation or cultural pluralism for example – and how indeed Americans came to racialize these immigrants will be important themes.   By the 1920s racialization, social science, sentiment and politics all worked to create very restrictive anti-immigration laws aimed to preserve the older ethnic balance of America, and this dynamic will also be an important theme of the course.   At the same time, in the West and Southwest the experiences of Asians (especially the Chinese) and Mexicans will command our attention.   Beyond the class readings, each student will focus on a particular research topic that will culminate in a term paper.   Enrollment limited to 12.

 

Course

HIST 3126   Negotiation and Conquest as Native American History

Professor

Andrew Needham

CRN

15143

 

Schedule

Wed             1:30 -3:50 pm       OLIN 306

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History / Rethinking Difference

This class will explore the history of interactions and negotiations between Native Americans and European Americans from contact to the present. It will emphasize that conquest was a complicated process of both violence and negotiation with results that continue to shape relations between Native and Euro-Americans. Rather than developing a linear narrative from contact to the present, the course will examine episodes in which new social organizations between multiple Indian and white groups developed and the historical consequences of these episodes. The course will be especially interested in asking how power differentials between various groups shaped interaction and negotiation. Above all, the course will investigate attempts by both Indians and Euro-Americans to shape and to control the space around them in the face of larger social forces. The course will have a reading load of approximately 200-300 pages per weekly meeting. Its written requirements include weekly reaction papers and two papers.

 

Course

HIST / JS 315   The Culture of Yiddish

Professor

Cecile Kuznitz

CRN

15130

 

Schedule

Wed             10:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 304

Distribution

OLD: D

NEW: History

For nearly one thousand years Yiddish was the primary language of European Jewry and its emigrant communities. This class will explore the role of Yiddish in Jewish life and the rich culture produced in the language. Topics will include the sociolinguistic basis of Jewish vernacular languages; medieval popular literature for a primarily female audience; the role of Yiddish in the spread of Haskalah (the Jewish Enlightenment); attempts to formulate a secular Jewish identity around the Yiddish language; the flourishing of modern Yiddish press, literature, and theater and their intersection with European modernism; contemporary Hasidic (ultra-Orthodox) culture; and the ongoing debate over the alleged death of Yiddish. All readings will be in English translation. Familiarity with the Hebrew alphabet and/or Jewish history helpful but not required.

 

Course

HIST 3230   Infrastructure: Topics in the History of Modern Economics, Technology, and Science from Standard Time to the Internet

Professor

Gregory Moynahan

CRN

15104

 

Schedule

Mon             1:30 -3:50 pm       OLIN 305

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed:  GISP

This research course will use the history of infrastructures -- such as those of communication / information, transportation, energy, and military organization - to introduce pivotal themes in the contemporary history of science and technology, economics, and social-institutional history.  Infrastructure will be defined broadly to include both the explicit set of practices, systems, and technologies that provide the conditions for the possibility of modern social life and the implicit contexts (environmental, cultural, psychological) that these planned structures reveal. Using the history of infrastructure, we will assess recent historiographical responses to the long-standing debate between 'social constructivism' (society determines technology / science) and 'technological determinism' (science / technology determines society), particularly those which attempt to define a third 'hybrid' reading in which technological and social choices reciprocally define each other. General themes will include the increasing place of ethics in constructing infrastructures, the role of economics in both 'big science' and massive technological projects, the development and role of the military-industrial complex, and the problem of complexity in contemporary historiography. Specific infrastructures studied as examples will include those centered around the railroad, the modern financial system, the urban newspaper, the concentration camp, the electrical grid, nuclear missile guidance technologies, and the Arpanet / Internet. Authors read will include Edwards, Habermas, Haraway, Hughes, Latour, Luhmann, Rabinbach, and Simmel.  Students will be expected to complete a 30-35 page original paper using primary sources.