Featured History Courses for Fall 2022


Featured Courses for Fall 2022

Map of Central Asia
HISTORY 105 - Old Worlds/New Histories, 500-1500 CE 
Vasant Kaiwar
Mon/Wed 3:30-4:45 pm

New approaches to history of the world from ca. 500 to 1500 CE. Examines the world before European hegemony. Topics may include nature of autonomous centers of production around the globe; characteristics of trade, empire, science, technology, and high culture across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas; diffusion of inventions, ideas, cultures and religions through travel, trade, state and empire building. Readings and films explore diverse cosmopolitan worlds before the coming of modernity.  Curriculum Codes: CCI, CZ, SS

Woman holding sign that says "We the people take back our country"
HISTORY 120 - A History of American Democracy: Everything You Need to Know about US History in One Semester
Reeve Huston
Tues/Thurs 3:30-4:45 pm

This course explores the sweep of US history, from the colonial period to the present, through the complicated, conflicted topic of democracy. It takes a broad view of democracy, which includes different people’s hopes for their own lives and their visions of the social order as well as public policy, governing institutions, and political participation. In this course, we approach democracy as a moving target, not a well-defined destination. Not only did conceptions of democracy change over time, but Americans also disagreed—often violently—over its meaning. We are still living with the implications today.  Curriculum Codes: CCI, CZ


Donald Trump and the TikTok symbol
HISTORY 124 - History of the Present
James Chappel & Calvin Cheung-Miaw
Tues/Thurs 12:00-1:15 pm

How did we get here? To a world of Black Lives Matter, TikTok, Donald Trump, and the possibility of a Third World War? This history course begins where many end, exploring American  history since Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement. It will give you the tools you need to understand your world, and your place in it.  Curriculum Codes: CCI, CZ, R

Indian statue
HISTORY 219S - Indian Civilization
Rich Freeman
Tues/Thurs 3:30-4:45 pm

Who are the people who gave rise to Indian civilization, and where did they come from? What is the nature of this civilization, and how did it persist through the rise and fall of various kingdoms and the religious developments of Vedicism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism? From the populations' origins and earliest urban centers of the Indus Valley, through the major classical and medieval kingdoms, down to the advent of Islamic cultures, this seminar draws on the archeological, literary, linguistic, art-historical, and anthropological evidence to explore the history and diversity of Indic peoples, and to chart their complex social, religious, and caste organization into the flourishing states and empires that made up pre-modem India. The course will highlight the flows and interactions of peoples, technologies and ideas both within the Indic cultural sphere, and between this sphere and wider world of Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It can be optionally paired with a half-credit Digital India Lab, where students can explore and develop other resources or topics to enrich their class-experience or pursue related interests. Curriculum Codes: CCI, EI, W, CZ, SS

Drawing of war in Early Modern Europe
HISTORY 257 - Religion, Reform & Violence
Thomas Robisheaux
Mon/Wed 3:30-4:45 pm

Discontent!  Reform!  Radicalism!  Religious violence and war!  A media revolution that upends communication!  Young reformers eager for change . . .   !  New roles for women & persecuted minorities. . . ! Warring ideologies and inspiring new identities!  All with global consequences . . .

These challenges – even sharper than the ones we face in the western world today – swept across Europe in the sixteenth century.    This course follows the sweeping consequences of the era of religious discontent and reform that opened unprecedented new possibilities across the social and political spectrum.   Did these changes set the patterns that shaped the modern western world that we experience today?  Curriculum Codes: CCI, CZ

Equal Rights, Welfare, Uprising, Gender Identity, Slavery
HISTORY 374 D - Women, Gender, and Sexuality in U.S. History
Juliana Barr & Sarah Deutsch
Tues/Thurs 12:00-1:15 pm

Major questions relating to women and women's place in society over the course of U.S. history, broadly defined, from the colonial period to the present: How did different groups of women see themselves as women? How did views of women's sexuality change? How did men's and women's relationships and roles change? How did women understand their connections to the larger society? How did race, ethnicity, and class shape all those issues? Course uses a variety of materials, including novels, movies, images, and music to explore the ethical contours of women's lives in the past, following change over time to better understand women's position today. Curriculum Codes: CCI, CZ, EI, SS, W

young men holding sign that reads Shell own up. pay up. clean up.
HISTORY 390S.01 - Nature and Technology in Africa
Sara Katz
Tues 1:45-4:15 pm

How has technological change influenced major historical developments across Africa? While Western media often imagines Africa as a wild place lacking technology, this course explores the historical and social impact of a range of technologies and their environmental impact. Topics covered will include: agriculture, medicine, mining, urbanization, oil, photography, recycling, the Internet, and more.

Ukraine Flag and Hitler
HISTORY 390S.02 - Writing Yourself into History
Kristen Neuschel
Wed 1:45-4:15 pm

Struggles in the US, wars abroad; the pandemic and climate crisis all around: we do not stand outside of history. This course invites you to think about yourself deeply as an historical being – an individual shaped by circumstance and context - through reading examples of historical thinking, through considering the conditions that have shaped your life, and through writing personal essays, where your historical awareness and your personal experience meet. Curriculum Codes: CZ, W

people sitting gin room
HISTORY 390S.04 - The Enlightenment: An Intellectual History of the Eighteenth Century
John J. Martin
Tues 7:00-9:30 pm

What was the Enlightenment? Were its leading thinkers really so enlightened? And to what degree did they contribute to the shaping of the modern world? Why, finally, has this period become a flashpoint for major debates about the very nature of intellectual and political history? Did the Enlightenment really give birth to instrumental forms of reason that have primarily served the technologies of empire and repression? Or is there still a case to be made that at least some Enlightenment philosophes developed new forms of social and political criticism that contributed to the emergence of the public sphere, along with democracy and notions of religious and intellectual tolerance?

In this seminar – which will combine short lectures with discussion – we will explore Enlightenment thinkers and their networks throughout Europe and the Atlantic world. We will give particular attention to the role of women in the shaping of the intellectual culture of this period. And students will have an opportunity to work with an original Enlightenment text in the Rubenstein.


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