History

Courses

Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information.

  • 16-014 World Civilizations to 1500
    The origins, development and character of the major world civilizations and their relationships to one another to 1500. (Biennially) (H) (IP) (WA)
  • 16-024 World Civilizations Since 1500
    The changing nature of the worlds civilizations and their increasing interrelations after 1500. (Biennially) (H) (IP) (WA)
  • 16-034 Empires & Empires of Mind in World Hist
    This course traces the evolution of a variety of empires (real or imagined), from the pre-Columbian indigenous, Iberian, French, British, and Dutch empires through the Age of Revolutions, the rise of industry, capitalism, nationalist movements, World Wars, and communism. We will conclude with the process of decolonization and the possible development of an American Empire and other new kinds of empires. Empires, very broadly construed, will be our lens to interpret world history. (Biennially) (H) (IP) (WA)
  • 16-074 Nations and Nationalism in World History
    This course investigates the development of national identities around the world and the nationalisms that describe or defend them. We explore how nations are defined, whether nations are natural expressions of human community, why nationalism has often led to violence, and what the future may be for the nation-state. Contributes to Race and Ethnicity Studies. (Biennially) (H) (IP) (WA)
  • 16-084 Disease, Health & Medicine in World Hist
    What is disease? How have different cultures experienced and responded to it? Using case studies from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas, this course examines global ecological changes and global human exchanges as a key factor in the spread of disease and the role of medical and scientific knowledge in the human responses to it. We explore the changing notions of the body's anatomy and physiology; the role of the environment; the interaction between healers, doctors, and patients; the nature of different therapeutic approaches; and the structure of health care institutions. Contributes to Environmental Studies. (Biennially) (H) (IP) (WA)
  • 16-204 Intro to Early Modern Europe
    This course explores and questions the concept of the early modern period of European history, from the close of the fifteenth to the dawn of the nineteenth century. Students will examine political, cultural, and intellectual developments from the period of feudalism to the modernity ushered in by Atlantic-wide Revolution. The course will examine Renaissance art and theory, Reformation and confessional tumult, sovereignty and expansion. (Annually) (H) (IP)
  • 16-214 Intro to Modern Europe
    This course surveys the history of Europe from the late eighteenth century revolutions through the creation and expansion of the European Union We explore social, political, intellectual, and cultural developments, paying particular attention to reform movements and revolutions. The course tracks shifting ideas of gender, race, and class, as well as examining Europe's role in the world and its relationships with peoples. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-224 Intro to US History: Colonies to Nation
    This course surveys the political, social, cultural and ideological history of early America, from the beginnings of European settlement to the Civil War. It focuses on several central issues that emerged in early American society and that continue to affect the United States today. These include the meaning of equality and freedom, ideas redefined over time in relationship to changing ideas about slavery, political authority, and the creation of governments, conceptualizing American identity, and constructing political authority. Citizenship, revolution, popular sovereignty, and the role of minority opinions in a democracy are major topics explored. (Biennially) (H)
  • 16-234 Intro to US Hist: Nation to World Power
    This course surveys major political, economic, social, cultural and diplomatic developments in the United States from the end of the Civil War to the present. Course topics include the role of the individual in the state and the state in society, the meaning of equality and freedom, and the United States' role in the world. (Biennially) (H)
  • 16-244 Intro to Ancient China
    An examination of ancient China from the rise of the earliest state through the classical era and the early empires of the Qin and the Han. This course will focus on intellectual, cultural and social history, including such topics as ancestor reverence, universal kingship, the mandate of Heaven, the writing and transmission of the classics, the formation of the Confucian and Daoist traditions, and the evolution of territorial states. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-254 Intro to Imperial China 589-1911
    A survey of the intellectual, cultural and social history of China from the reunification of the Chinese empire in 589 A.D. through the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties until the demise of the dynastic system in 1911. The nature of Neo-Confucianism, the Chinese scholar-official class, the examination system, the bureaucratic state, foreign influences and conquests, and the arts and literature of imperial China are the primary concerns of this course. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-264 Intro to African History
    This survey is an introduction to African cultures and history from pre-colonial times to the present, emphasizing Africa's variety and its connections to other parts of the world. Topics include: environmental challenges; pre-colonial social and political organization; the spread of Islam and Christianity; the impact of the Atlantic slave trade; conquest and resistance; social change under colonial rule; decolonization; neo-colonialism and postcolonial challenges. Contributes to Race and Ethnicity Studies. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-274 Intro to Japanese Civilization
    This course is a survey of the history and culture of Japan from the rise of the Yamato state in the sixth century A.D. to the Meiji Restoration in 1868. The course will examine indigenous institutional and cultural developments and the nature of stimuli and influences from the East Asian continental cultures and from the United States and Europe. Heian aristocratic society, Japanese feudalism, Japans late traditional state and society and the Meiji Restoration will be studied. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-294 Topics in History of Science, Tech & Med
    ThThese courses investigate the historical relationship between humans and nature. Each course topic emphasizes a different geographical area, chronological period and/or specific area of scientific, technological, or medical interest. Every version of the course will emphasize how broader historical contexts have shaped human knowledge of nature, exploring the changing interrelationship between scientific knowledge, society, and culture across time and space. May be repeated with change in topic. (Biennially) (H)
  • 16-344 Real Game Thrones: Medieval Era History
    This course will chart the development of European society, culture, and politics from ca. 1000 to 1500, from British, European, Atlantic and Global perspectives. We will study the combination of legend and history manifest in contemporary and modern appraisals of an era when lines between reality and lore, truth and superstition, secular and spiritual were blurred. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-354 The Tudors: Politics & Culture
    This course examines the Tudor dynasty in an age of personal monarchy, tyranny, national consolidation, imperial expansion, patriarchy and the rule of wealthy courtiers. Students will explore how the Tudor-Stewart revolution in politics and culture fundamentally transformed Britain and Ireland, with great consequences for the world beyond its borders, between the accession of Henry VII and the death of Elizabeth I. Also Feminist Studies 04-784. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-364 Intro to Colonial Latin America
    A time of collisions, encounters, submissions, and rebellions, Colonial Latin America explores the individual, social, cultural, and political experiences of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans between the apogee of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas and the Creole wars of independence of the 19th century. By examining pre-Colombian states, early European explorations, la conquista, the settlement of mostly Spanish but also Portuguese and other European colonies, and the responses of a diverse group of local inhabitants, this course explores the complex societies that resulted from the growth and end of global empires and that shaped the future of this diverse region. Also Latin American and Border Studies 06-674. Contributes to Race and Ethnicity Studies. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-374 Intro to Modern Latin America
    After their independence in the early 19th century, Latin American countries faced the challenge to become nations. This course surveys the many paths that these countries followed, including the rise of nationalism and its overcoming by the neocolonial order, the revolutionary option in Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua during the 20th century, the authoritarian responses to national discontent, and the rise of neoliberalism. It also explores how these trends transformed the society, culture, economy, and policies at the local level in response to both national and international influences. Also Latin American and Border Studies 06-684. Contributes to Race and Ethnicity Studies. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-384 History of Human Rights
    This course places contemporary human rights debates within a long historical context, from Classical and religious traditions, through the Enlightenment, the abolition of slavery, and the growth of socialism, to the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the present day. We track the gradual expansion of notions of rights, as well as changing understandings of who counts as human. The course includes discussions of political rights, social and economic rights, women's rights, minority rights, cultural rights, and environmental rights (among many others). Also Feminist Studies 04-384. (Biennially) (H) (SJ)
  • 16-394 Witch, Queen, Prostitute, Wife
    This course explores the multifaceted experiences of women in the British World, from the medieval era to the present. We consider how gender and sexuality have been constructed differently over time and space; the role of churches, states, and empires in defining and proscribing sexual activity, masculinity, and femininity; the social and political expectations placed upon men and women; cultural representations and manifestations of gender and sexuality; the intersection of gender and other categories of difference; and how pivotal, transnational historical events like the Reformation and decolonization affected women and notions of gender. Also Feminist Studies 04-354. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-404 Modern France and Empire
    This course investigates French history from 1789 to the present: charting political, social, and cultural developments within France and determining the extent to which these altered, or were influenced by, events outside the borders of the hexagonin the Empire or in foreign relations. The course pays particular attention to attempts to define French identity within a global context. (Biennially) (H)
  • 16-454 Slavery & Freedom in the Atlantic World
    The Atlantic slave trade (AST) and the systems of slavery that it fueled in the Americas were among the most important processes in the shaping of the modern world. Europe, Africa and the Americas were linked through the AST, as well as through the movement to abolish slavery. This course will consider various systems of slavery in the Atlantic basin and changes in those systems over time, as well as examining the economic and ideological links among slave systems in Africa and the Americas. Contributes to Race and Ethnicity Studies. Also Feminist Studies 04-774. (Biennially) (H) (SJ) (IP)
  • 16-504 The History of the U.S. West
    This course focuses on the history of the U.S. West as both frontier and region, real and imagined, from the mid-19th century onward. It considers topics such as Indian Removal, wars of conquest, immigration and migration, urban frontiers, environmental change, and the myth of the frontier. It especially highlights the intersections of race, gender, class, nationality and the environment. Course objectives include learning to interpret varied forms of historical evidence and fostering analytical, reading, discussion and synthetic skills that will help students think and communicate critically about historical and contemporary society and politics. Contributes to Environmental Studies. (Biennially) (H)
  • 16-514 Muslims in Europe
    This course traces the history of Muslim presence in Europe from the early Islamic empires in Andalusia, through European imperial experiences with Muslims in Africa and Asia, to the more recent reception of Muslim migrants on European soil. The course questions the intellectual and political utility of defining populations of such cultural, linguistic, and geographical breadth solely by their religion; discusses the development of a European Islam; and debates the existence of a clash of civilizations or a shared Mediterranean culture. Contributes to Race and Ethnicity Studies. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-524 History of the British Isles Since 1688
    This course examines the British Isles since the Glorious Revolution via political, social, cultural, and intellectual themes, integrating imperial and oceanic perspectives. It explores how its inhabitants formed, developed, and governed four distinct nations (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) as part of a single kingdom, constructing the most powerful empire of the modern age, leaving a profound legacy in a globalized, post-colonial world dominated by former sites of British imperial activity. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-534 Topics in British Culture
    Cultural history seeks to understand how people have attached meanings to their lives through the expression of ideas, art, science, performance, consumption, sport and other cultural forms. This course examines various aspects of Great Britains cultural history to try to understand British identities, and how Britons have understood the meanings of their everyday lives. May be repeated with change in topic. (Biennially) (H)
  • 16-564 Intro to Modern Chinese History
    A study of the fall of the Chinese dynastic system, cultural and revolutionary movements, the establishment of the Peoples Republic, and the continuing transformations in contemporary China. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-584 Modern Japanese History
    A study of the intellectual, social and institutional origins of modern Japan, its role in World War II in the Pacific, its post-War transformations and recent trends. (Biennially) (H) (IP)
  • 16-654 Latin American History in Film and Literature
    Latin America is a complex territory and a state of mind suspended between the extremes of despair and unbound hopefulness. Telling its history poses many challenges to the academic historian, and often the history of the land and its people is better expressed in the work of artists, writers and filmmakers. This course ventures into the labyrinthine relationships between the artist and that enigmatic territorial and spiritual landscape extending from the Rio Bravo to Tierra del Fuego. Also Latin American and Border Studies 06-654. (Biennially) (H)
  • 16-664 The Mexican Revolution
    The Mexican Revolution was a fiesta of bullets that transformed Mexico and launched the 20th century. Using the Mexican Revolution as the event that shaped Mexican history throughout the 20th century, this course examines the conditions that mobilized Mexican such as Madero, Zapata, and Villa into a civil war in 1910 and that ended up with a new Constitution in 1917, the challenges, successes, and failures to create institutions that implemented the revolutionary values during the 1920s and 30s, and the value of the Revolution to promote social and political change in the second half of the 20th century. Also Latin American and Border Studies 06-664. (Biennially) (H) (IP) (SJ)
  • 16-754 Texas History
    This class explores major social, political, economic and cultural developments in Texas, emphasizing the 19th and 20th centuries. A major theme will be the interactions of various immigrant and indigenous groups with each other and with successive political powers, including the Spanish empire, independent Mexico, the Republic of Texas and the United States. Also Latin American and Border Studies 06-694. (Biennially) (H)
  • 16-854 Historiography
    A study of the concept of history, the history of historical writing, the major schools of historical interpretation today and the relation of history to the philosophy of history. Prerequisite: 16-014, 16-024, 16-034, 16-074, or 16-084; and must have junior status or permission of instructor. (Fall)(H)(WA)
  • 16-864 Research Seminar
    Topics, which change from semester to semester, include: History and Memory, Transnational Histories, and Science, Society, and the State. Prerequisite: History 16-854. (Spring)(H)(WA)