History Department

Professors: Robert Brigham (Chair), Miriam Cohen, James H. Merrell ab; Associate Professors: Rebecca Edwards, Leslie Offutt; Assistant Professors: Nancy Bisaha b, Mita Choudhury, Maria Höhn, Jin Jiang, Lydia Murdoch, Michaela Pohl, Ismail Rashid, Joshua Schreier, Nikki Taylora; Adjunct Associate Professor: Michael Hanagan.

Requirements for Concentration: (Class of 2004, use 2001/02 Catalogue.) Beginning with the Class of 2005: 11 units, to include the following courses above the introductory level: 1 unit in European history; 1 unit in United States history; 1 unit in Asian, African, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history; 1 unit of pre-1800 history chosen from among History 215, 225, 230, 259, 262, 271, 274, 315, 325, 331, 332, 385; 1 unit from either of the two previous categories (Asian, African, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history; or pre-1800 history); History 202; 300; in addition to the Thesis, two 300-level courses. No cross-listed courses originating in another department may be used for distribution requirements. No more than two cross-listed courses originating in another department can count toward the history minimum requirement of 11 units.

Requirement for all juniors in residence: History 202 (Thesis Preparation).

Senior-Year Requirements: History 300 (Thesis) and at least one other 300-level course.

Recommendations: Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. Students planning to go on to graduate school should find out which language examinations are required for advanced degrees.

Advisers: The department.

Correlate Sequence in History Requirements: No fewer than 6 units in history, normally taken at Vassar. Ordinarily, this will include one course at the introductory level, at least three at the intermediate level, and at least one course at the advanced level. AP credit will not be accepted for the correlate sequence. No more than one (1) history course counted toward the correlate may be taken NRO. 

Students should apply to the Correlate Sequence Adviser in their sophomore or junior year after discussing their plans with their major advisers. No correlate sequence can be declared after the beginning of the senior year. The courses selected for the sequence should form a coherent course of study. The list of the courses proposed and a brief written proposal articulating the focus of the sequence must be submitted to the Correlate Sequence Adviser for approval prior to declaration.


I. Introductory

In format, these tend to be period courses, but they are not conventional surveys. Their purpose is less merely to "cover" a certain area and era than to provide a general introduction to the historian's craft. Relying heavily on primary sources that bring us face to face with the past, these courses acquaint students with the complexity, ambiguity, and excitement of that past.

 
112b. Modern Asia: Tradition and Transformation
(1)
An introduction to the history of modern Asia, with emphasis on Pacific East Asia. Since the seventeenth century, indigenous traditions and intrusion by a capitalist West have combined to shape this region. For many in the West, Asia has become an exotic or dangerous “Other”; the “real Asia” remains elusive. Examining a series of historical developments that transformed Asian societies and cultures, the course provides a geopolitical overview of the region and basic knowledge of its peoples. Ms. Jiang.
 
[116a. “The Dark Ages,” c. 400-900]
(1)
(Same as Medieval and Renaissance Studies 116) Was early medieval Europe really Dark? In reality, this was a period of tremendous vitality and ferment, witnessing the growth of Germanic kingdoms, the high point of the Byzantine Empire, the rise of the papacy and monasticism, and the birth of Islam. This course examines a rich variety of sources that illuminate the unfortunately named “dark ages,” showing moments of both conflict and synthesis that arose from the meeting of Classical, Christian, and “barbarian” cultures. Ms. Bisaha.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
121a or b. Readings in Modern European History
(1)
This course explores key developments in European history from the French Revolution in 1789 to the collapse of communism two centuries later. While roughly chronological, the class is not a survey. Readings explore the impact of the French and Industrial revolutions, the rise of nation states, World War I and the Russian revolution, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and Europe’s Cold War division and continuing, contested integration. The department.
 
123a. Europe at the Crossroads, 1500-1789
(1)
In 1500 Europe faced a series of profound challenges and hard choices. This course explores how European identity changed dramatically as a result of great religious, political, and social upheaval within Europe as well as the “discovery” of worlds beyond the continent. How did people—rich and poor, men and women—experience such wrenching change? Topics include witchcraft, reformation, encounters with America, Asia, and Africa, and the “revolutions”—political, intellectual, and social—that defined the period. Ms. Choudhury.
 
[141a. Tradition, History, and the African Experience]
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 141) From ancient stone tools and monuments to oral narratives and colonial documents, the course examines how the African past has been recorded, preserved, and transmitted over the generations. It looks at the challenges faced by the historian in Africa and the multi-disciplinary techniques used to reconstruct and interpret African history. Various texts, artifacts, and oral narratives from ancient times to the present are analyzed to see how conceptions and interpretations of the African past have changed over time. Mr. Rashid.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
151a. British History: James I (1603) to the Great War
(1)
This course explores the central developments in Britain from the age of Shakespeare to the age of total war. We study the political and scientific revolutions of the seventeenth century, the eighteenth-century rise of commercial society and the “British” nation, and the effects of industrialization on Britain’s landscape, society, and politics. The course concludes by exploring how the First World War transformed British society. Ms. Murdoch.
       Section .01 fulfills the Freshman Course requirement. It is open to freshmen only.
       Section .02 is open to all classes.
 
160a or b. American Moments: Readings in U.S. History
(1)
This course explores some of the pivotal moments in American history, from the late colonial era to the late twentieth century. While roughly chronological, the course is not a survey. Rather, it focuses on selected events, people, and texts that illuminate particularly crucial periods in America’s past. Topics include the process of nation building, racial and ethnic relations, gender roles, protest movements and the growth of the regulatory state, the Cold War, and the paradox of class formation in a “classless” society. The department.
       Section .01 in a-semester fulfills the Freshman Course requirement. It is open to freshmen only.
       Other sections are open to all classes.
 
162a. Latin America: The Aftermath of Encounter
(1)
This course adopts a thematic approach to the development of Latin American societies, treating such issues as cultural contact and the development of strategies of survival, the development and regional distribution of African slavery, the quest for national identity in the early nineteenth century, the impact of United States imperialism in Latin America, and the revolutionary struggles of the twentieth century. As an introductory course both to the discipline and to multidisciplinary studies, it draws, among other sources, on chronicles (both European and indigenous), travelers’ accounts, testimonial literature, and literary treatments to provide the student a broad-based preparation for more advanced study of the region. Ms. Offutt.
 
174b. The Emergence of the Modern Middle East
(1)
An exploration of the Middle East over the past three centuries. Beginning with economic and social transformations in the eighteenth century, we follow the transformation of various Ottoman provinces such as Egypt, Syria/Lebanon, and Algeria into modern states, paying careful attention to how European colonialism shaped their development. We then look at independence movements and the post-colonial societies that have emerged since the middle of the twentieth century, concluding with study of colonialism’s lingering power—and the movements that confront it. Mr. Schreier.
 
180a. Globalization in Historical Perspective, 1850 to the Present
(1)
Commentators tell us that we live in "a global age," but dramatic increases in worldwide contacts-economic and social, political and cultural-are not unique to our time. In the late nineteenth century, for example, steamships, telegraphs, railroads, and even movies fostered an increase of interaction across national boundaries and across oceans that was every bit as remarkable as today's. Using such sources as novels, maps, and picture postcards from the Aran Islands to Senegal, this course explores the modern roots and historical development of globalization. Mr. Hanagan.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 

II. Intermediate

The prerequisite for courses at the 200-level is ordinarily 1 unit in history.

 
202b. Thesis Preparation
(1/2)
The department.
       For second-semester juniors in residence only.
 
214a. The Roots of the Palestine - Israel Conflict
(1)
(Formerly History 284) An examination of the deep historical sources of the Palestine - Israel conflict. The course begins some two centuries ago when changes in the world economy and emerging nationalist ideologies altered the political and economic landscapes of the region. It then traces the development of both Jewish and Arab nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries before exploring how the Arab and Jewish populations fought—and cooperated—on a variety of economic, political, and ideological fronts. It concludes by considering how this contest led to the development of two separate, hostile national identities. Mr. Schreier.
 
[215b. The High Middle Ages, c. 950-1300]
(1)
This course examines medieval Europe at both its cultural and political height. Topics of study include: the first universities; government from feudal lordships to national monarchies; courtly and popular culture; manorial life and town life; the rise of papal monarchy; new religious orders and spirituality among the laity. Relations with religious outsiders are explored in topics on European Jewry, heretics, and the Crusades. Ms. Bisaha.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[216a. History of the Ancient Greeks]
(1)
(Same as Classics 216)
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
217a. History of the Ancient Romans
(1)
(Same as Classics 217) Mr. Lott.
 
222a. Modern China
(1)
The 1911 abdication of Puyi, the last emperor of China, signaled the collapse of a dynastic system that had existed for over ten millennia. Since then, China has been on a course of upheaval and transformation, marked by war, revolution, and sweeping social, political, and economic changes. This course surveys major political and social changes in China from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, focusing on the conflict between a self-centered China and an imperial West; the rise and fall of the Nationalist regime; the origins and development of Chinese communism; and the rise of women in modern China. Ms. Jiang.
 
224a. Modern Japan
(1)
An introduction to contemporary Japanese society, culture, and foreign relations from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. The course searches for an internal logic of change behind the transformation of Japan from a feudal society to a modern economic power. We also examine how relations with the West and with neighhoring Asian nations, especially China and Korea, have influenced Japan’s path to modernization. Ms. Jiang.
 
225a. Renaissance Europe, c. 1300 - c. 1525
(1)
A study of the forces of continuity and innovation—social, political, and cultural—in Western society from the age of Dante to that of Erasmus and More; consideration of the ideas of “rebirth’’ and “reform’’ as they affected religion, philosophy, learning, and the arts. Ms. Bisaha.
 
230a. From Tyranny to Terror: The Old Regime and the French Revolution
(1)
Eighteenth-century France was a society in transition, a society in which social and cultural ideals and realities were increasingly at odds. The tensions within society and the state finally erupted into the cataclysmic French Revolution, which paved the way for modern political life. Using primary and secondary sources, this course focuses on topics such as the social structure of the Old Regime, the Enlightenment, and the volatile political climate preceding the revolution. We examine different interpretations of what caused the French Revolution as well as the dynamics of the Revolution itself between 1789 and 1799. Ms. Choudhury.
 
[231b. France and its “Others”]
(1)
Over the last two centuries, France has had a complicated relationship with difference. This course traces modern French history with a particular eye towards the place of various “others” in the nation. Of special interest are Jews, Muslims, women, and Africans. In addition to certain central texts, the course considers writing by French revolutionaries, feminists, colonialists, and racists to get a better idea of how various people have framed debates about difference. We conclude in recent times, using films, novels, and music to sketch the contours of multi-cultural France. Mr. Schreier.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
234b. Imperial France, 1830-1962
(1)
“If France were not in Algiers, in Dakar, in Hanoi, one might wonder if she would [still] be in Paris.”—Maurice Reclus, 1931. This class takes seriously Reclus’s suggestion that the colonies were central to the existence of European France. We explore how the cultural, social, and intellectual developments in French colonies played a central role in the formation of national identity in France. Topics include attempts to export notions of “civilization,” citizenship, and equality to colonies in Africa and the Middle East as well as efforts to “make French” domestic “others” such as Jews, peasants, and workers, who were compared to overseas “savages.” We give particular attention to the idea of a “civilizing mission,” and to how various republican governments justified the coercive policies that colonial domination required. Mr. Schreier.
 
236a. Germany, 1740-1914
(1)
This course covers the history of the German lands from 1740 to the eve of World War I. Aside from providing a chronological political narrative, assigned readings focus in greater detail on a number of themes to illuminate the specific character of German history. Topics include: the demise of the universalist idea of the Holy Roman Empire; the German Enlightenment and the legacy of enlightened absolutism on state/society relations; the impact of the Napoleonic revolution; the failures of 1848; the Prussian-led unification; the legacy of Bismarck’s domestic policies on German political culture and social life; Wilhelmine “Weltpolitik.” Ms. Höhn.
 
237b. Germany, 1890-1990
(1)
This course covers German history from 1890 to the 1990 unification that ended the post–World War II split of German society into East and West. Aside from familiarizing you with a narrative of German political, social, and cultural history, the readings also explore some of the so-called “peculiarities” of German history. Did Bismarck’s unification from above and the pseudo-constitutional character of the Second Reich create a political culture that set the country on a Sonderweg (special path) of modernization ending in the catastrophe of Auschwitz? Why did Weimar, Germany’s first experiment with democracy, fail, and why is Bonn not Weimar? Finally, what road will the new Germany take within Europe and the world? Ms. Höhn.
 
242a. The Russian Empire, 1552-1917
(1)
This course introduces major events and issues in the history of the Russian empire from the conquest of Kazan to the February revolution, 1552-1917. What effect did expansion have on Russia and what role did non-Russians play in this multi-ethnic empire? Why did autocratic rule last so long in Russia and what led to its collapse? Using primary sources—including documents in translation and ethnographic accounts—and drawing on new ways of seeing the imperial experience, we explore not only sources of conflict, but points of contact, encounters, and intersections of state and social institutions. Ms. Pohl.
 
243b. The Soviet Union and the Rebirth of Russia, 1917-Present
(1)
This course examines the history of Russian and non-Russian peoples in the Soviet Union, focusing on the Bolshevik revolution, the Stalin period, and the difficulties of reforming the system under Krushchev and Gorbachev. Using sources including oral history and ethnographic accounts, we explore how Soviet society was shaped by the imperial legacy, Communist ideology, modernization, and war. Special attention is paid to the collapse of the Soviet Union and to the nature of change in the post-Soviet era. Ms. Pohl.
 
248a. Out of the Ghetto
(1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 248 and Religion 248) Ms. Moore.
 
249a. The Jewish Experience in the Twentieth Century
(1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 249 and Religion 249) Ms. Moore.
 
251b. A History of American Foreign Relations
(1)
An historical analysis of the foreign relations of the United States, emphasizing the social, economic, and ideological forces involved in the formulation of foreign policy. Major topics include: the City Upon a Hill; manifest destiny; a continental empire; the Open Door; the struggle between isolationism and internationalism; American entry into the World Wars; the origins of the Cold War; the Korean and Viet Nam War; and detente. Mr. Brigham.
 
254b. Victorian Britain
(1)
This course examines some of the key transformations that Victorians experienced, including industrialization, the rise of a class-based society, political reform, and the women’s movement. We explore why people then, and historians since, have characterized the Victorian age as a time of progress and optimism as well as an era of anxiety and doubt. Ms. Murdoch.
 
[255a. The British Empire]
(1)
This course is an introduction to British imperialism from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, with particular attention to Britain’s involvement in Ireland, the Caribbean, India, and Africa. We examine British motives for imperialism, the transition from trade empires to more formal political control, and the late nineteenth-century “scramble for Africa.” Other main topics include responses to colonialism, the growth of nationalism, decolonization, and the effects of an increasingly multi-cultural domestic population on Britain. Throughout the course we explore the empire as a cultural exchange: the British influenced the lives of colonial subjects, but the empire also shaped British identity at home and abroad. Ms. Murdoch.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
259b. The History of the Family in Early Modern Europe
(1)
This course examines the changing notions of family, marriage, and childhood between 1500 and 1800 and their ties to the larger early modern context. During this period, Europeans came to see the family less as a network of social and political relationships and more as a set of bonds based on intimacy and affection. Major topics include: family and politics in the Italian city-state, the Reformation and witchcraft, absolutism and paternal authority, and the increasing importance of the idea of the nuclear family. Ms. Choudhury.
 
260b. Women in the United States to 1890
(1)
An examination of women’s social, economic, and political roles in colonial America and the eighteenth and nineteenth century U.S. The course emphasizes varieties of experience based on race, ethnicity, class, and region. Major issues include the household and other workplaces, changes in society and family life, slavery and emancipation, and women’s growing influence in public affairs from the Revolution to the Gilded Age. Ms. Edwards.
 
[261a. History of Women in the United States Since 1890]
(1)
Traces the changes in female employment patterns, how women combined work and family responsibilities, how changes in work and family affected women’s leisure lives from the late nineteenth century through the development of postindustrial America. The course also explores the women’s rights movements of the twentieth century, and how class, race, and ethnicity combined with gender to shape women’s lives. Ms. Cohen.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[262a. Early Latin America to 1750]
(1)
This course examines the pre-Columbian worlds of Mesoamerica and the Andean region, then turns to a treatment of the consequences of contact between those worlds and the European. Special emphasis is placed on the examination of mindsets and motives of colonizer and colonized and the quest for identity in the American context (both issues intimately related to questions of race and ethnicity), the struggle to balance concerns for social justice against the search for profits, the evolution of systems of labor appropriation, the expansion of the mining sector, and the changing nature of land exploitation and tenure. Ms. Offutt.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
263a. From Colony to Nation: Latin America in the Nineteenth Century
(1)
This course treats the transition from colony to nation in Spanish and Portuguese America. In part a thematic course treating such topics as the Liberal/Conservative struggles of the early nineteenth century, the consequences of latifundism, the abolition of slavery, and the impact of foreign economic penetration and industrialization, it also adopts a national approach, examining the particular historical experiences of selected nations. Ms. Offutt.
 
264b. The Revolutionary Option? Latin America in the Twentieth Century
(1)
This course investigates why certain Latin American nations in the twentieth century opted for revolution and others adopted a more conservative course. It examines the efforts of selected Latin American nations (Mexico, Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala) to address the tremendous social and economic cleavages affecting them, with special attention paid to material, political, class, and cultural structures shaping their experiences. Ms. Offutt.
 
[265a. African-American History to 1865]
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 265) This course traces the lives of captives from Africa across the Atlantic and explores their experiences in North America. It addresses not only how bondage brutalized African Americans but also the strategies they devised to counter slavery, including religion, resistance, and the development of a distinctive African-American culture. Other topics include free black communities, black abolitionists, and African Americans’ role in the Civil War. Ms. Taylor.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
267b. African-American History, 1861-Present
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 267) This course surveys the major themes, events, and people in modern African-American history, with an emphasis on the continuing struggle for full citizenship, equality, and justice. Beginning with the Civil War, the class explores the different modes and degrees of racism that have shaped the black experience. But more than simply revisiting the oppression, the course portrays African Americans as central actors in their own history. In this vein, we examine tactics of protest and activism, and methods of self-definition and self-assertion. Topics include migration, culture, religion, feminism, and nationalism. Ms. Taylor.
 
271a. Perspectives on the African Past: Africa Before 1800
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 271) A thematic survey of African civilizations and societies to 1800. The course examines how demographic and technological changes, warfare, religion, trade, and external relations shaped the evolution of the Nile Valley civilizations, the East African city-states, the empires of the western Sudan, and the forest kingdoms of West Africa. Some attention is devoted to the consequences of the Atlantic slave trade, which developed from Europe’s contact with Africa from the fifteenth century onwards. Mr. Rashid.
 
272b. Modern African History
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 272) A study of the major political, economic, social, and intellectual developments in the unfolding of the African experience from the early nineteenth century to the present time. Attention is directed to the broad spectrum of contacts of Africa with the outside world in trade, diplomacy, etc., prior to the advent of full-scale European imperialism and colonialism in the late nineteenth century. The course focuses on the rise of the Pan-African movement, African nationalism, the decolonization process, the emergence of independent African states, and the dilemmas of postcolonialism: neocolonialism, development issues, and post-independence politics. Mr. Rashid.
 
[274a. Colonial America, 1500-1750]
(1)
The world colonial Americans—European, African, and Indian—fashioned for themselves and bequeathed to us: their migrations, their religions, their social values and social structures, their political culture, and their rebellions. Mr. Merrell.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[275b. Revolutionary America, 1750-1830]
(1)
The causes, course, and consequences of the American Revolution. Themes include how thirteen disparate colonies came to challenge, and defeat, Great Britain; the social effects of the War for Independence; the creation of republican governments; the search for stability at home and security abroad; the development of national identity; and the experience of those Americans excluded from the phrase “All Men are Created Equal.” Mr. Merrell.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
276b. House Divided: The U.S., 1830-1890
(1)
Beginning with regional economies and social changes in the antebellum years, this course examines the causes and conduct of the Civil War and the aftermath of that conflict in the Gilded Age. Special emphasis is given to slavery and post-Emancipation race relations, conquest of the American West, and the rise of an American industrial order. Ms. Edwards.
 
277a. The Making of the “American Century”: 1890-1945
(1)
Focuses on major social, political, and cultural developments during the decades when the United States emerged as the preeminent industrial power. The changes in the social and political institutions which emerged out of the crises of the 1890s, the Great Depression, and World War II. The growth of mass consumption and mass leisure in this very diverse society. Ms. Cohen.
 
[278b. Cold War America: The United States Since 1945]
(1)
An examination of the political, social, economic, and cultural changes in the United States since 1945. Major topics include: McCarthyism; suburbanization; the Civil Rights Movements; the Kennedy Years; the war in Viet Nam; the anti-war protest; and the growing nuclear threat. Mr. Brigham.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[279a. The Viet Nam War]
(1)
(Formerly History 351) An examination of the origins, course, and impact of America’s involvement in Viet Nam, emphasizing the evolution of American diplomacy, the formulation of military strategy, the domestic impact of the war, and the perspective of Vietnamese revolutionaries. Mr. Brigham.
       Students who have taken History 351 cannot register for History 279.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
290. Field Work
(1/2 or 1)
Individual or group field projects, especially in local, state, or federal history. May be taken either semester or in summer. The department.
       Prerequisite or corequisite: an appropriate course in the department. Permission required.
 
298. Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)
Permission required.
 

III. Advanced

Prerequisite for advanced courses is ordinarily 2 units of 200-level work in history, or by permission of the instructor. Specific prerequisites assume the general prerequisite.
 
300a. Senior Thesis
(1)
 
315a. The World of the Crusades
(1)
The Crusades, conceived by Latin Christians as a military enterprise to conquer the Holy Land from its Muslim rulers, created a complex relationship between East and West. It brought Latins, Greeks, Muslims, and Jews together in unprecedented ways, allowing for fruitful exchange and long periods of coexistence between periods of violence. This course examines holy war in the Near East, Spain, and the Ottoman Empire, but it also dwells on related issues including trade and travel, cultural attitudes and relations, religious interactions and conflicts between faiths, and literary and artistic developments. Ms. Bisaha.
       Prerequisite: History 215 or 116 or by permission of instructor.
 
[324a. Politics and Wars in East Asia]
(1)
This course covers international relations and military conflicts in East Asia that have influenced the formation of modern nation-states (mainly China, Japan, and Korea) and the course of diplomacy in that region. Starting with the Opium War in 1840, we move on to focus on the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Cold War. We also consider the deep U.S. involvement in the region, as well as how wars and their legacies have helped shape national identities in these countries. Ms. Jiang.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[325b. Renaissance Italy]
(1)
The Italian Renaissance occupies an almost mythical status as a time of great intellectual and artistic achievement and the rise of nationalism and modernity after the “dark” Middle Ages. In recent decades, scholars have rightly challenged such sweeping assumptions, pointing to the heavy presence of religion and magic in the Renaissance as well as intolerance and repression. They have also given a voice to long-silent groups such as the poor, the uneducated, women, and minorities. This course examines the above complexities and tensions in definitions of the Renaissance. Another theme of the course is the ways in which the Renaissance differed throughout Italy: specifically papal Rome, the republics of Florence and Venice, and the princely courts. Finally, we consider how Italians viewed the world outside their peninsula. Ms. Bisaha.
       Prerequisite: History 225 or by permission of instructor.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
332b. The Enlightenment
(1)
The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement of great power and scope. Seeking to overhaul society completely, a diverse group of thinkers examined all aspects of human existence, from religion, politics, and science to crime, sex, and art. However, the Enlightenment was much more than merely a philosophical exercise. These thinkers did not just articulate new ideas; they redefined “the intellectual” as an active participant in society. To what extent were their ideas truly revolutionary? To what extent were they successful in effecting change? What legacy did they leave for the architects of the French Revolution and, more generally, the modern era? Ms. Choudhury.
 
337a. The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany
(1)
This course explores the Third Reich by locating it within the peculiar nature of German political culture resulting from late unification and rapid industrialization. Readings explore how and why the Nazis emerged as a mass party during the troubled Weimar years. The years between 1933 and 1945 are treated by focusing on Nazi domestic, foreign, and racial policies. Ms. Höhn.
       Prerequisite: History 236 or 237; or by permission of instructor.
 
[342b. Stalinist Civilization]
(1)
This seminar explores a turbulent and violent period in Russian history and a system that provoked both admiration and revulsion throughout the world. Readings investigate the Stalinist society and state by focusing on the impact of terror, dislocation, and compressed economic transformations on specific national groups (including Russians, Ukranians, Kazakhs, and Chechens) and on the organization of social structures, property relations, political practice, and language. Topics include Stalinís ideology and vision of the Soviet people, collectivization and industrialization, the experiences of the “enemies of the people,” resistance and dissent, terror and famine in the borderlands, and achievements and legacies. The course concludes with an examination of post-Soviet public memory and discussion of the Stalinist past. Ms. Pohl.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
343b. Youth in Russia, 1880-Present
(1)
This seminar explores the history of youth culture in Russia. We examine how youth and teenagers were “discovered” and defined as an age group through ethnographies, sociological accounts, and memoirs, and explore the youth experience as depicted in films and documentaries. Topics include experiences of youth during periods of reform, youth legislation, youth institutions, youth and Stalinism, and the experience of girls. The course concludes with an exploration of contemporary Russian teen culture, focusing on music and its role in the 1980s and 1990s. Ms. Pohl.
 
[355a. Childhood and Children in Nineteenth-Century Britain]
(1)
This course examines both the social constructions of childhood and the experiences of children in Britain during the nineteenth century, a period of immense industrial and social change. We analyze the various understandings of childhood at the beginning of the century (including utilitarian, Romantic, and evangelical approaches to childhood) and explore how, by the end of the century, all social classes shared similar expectations of what it meant to be a child. Main topics include the relationships between children and parents, child labor, sexuality, education, health and welfare, abuse, delinquency, and children as imperial subjects. Ms. Murdoch.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
357a. The First World War
(1)
For many, the First World War marks the beginning of the modern age. After examining the debate about the conflict’s causes, this seminar takes the social and cultural history of the war as its subject. Topics include the methods of mechanized trench warfare, the soldiers’ experience, the effects of total war on the home front, and the memory of the Great War in film and literature. The primary focus is on European combatants, but we also explore the role of colonial troops and the impact of the war on European empires. Ms. Murdoch.
 
359a. The Kennedy Years
(1)
This seminar explores U.S. domestic and foreign policy during John F. Kennedy’s years in the White House. It also examines major social and cultural attitudes that helped shape one of America’s most turbulent decades. Topics include the Cold War, the space program, civil rights, government spending, formation of the Peace Corps, education reform, the Test Ban Treaty, and the creation of “Camelot.” Mr. Brigham.
 
[361b. Varieties of the Latin American Indian Experience]
(1)
This course treats the Indian world of Latin America as it responded to increased European penetration in the post-1500 period. Focusing primarily on Mesoamerica and the Andean region, it examines the variety of ways indigenous peoples dealt with cultural dislocation associated with the imposition of colonial systems and the introduction of the modern state. The course treats as well the Indian policies of the state, and how those policies reflected assumptions about the role of indigenous peoples in the larger society. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the process of negotiation of identity—what it meant to be Indian in an increasingly European society, and how the interpenetration of the two worlds, and the response of one to the other, reshaped each world. Ms. Offutt.
       Prerequisite: 200-level Latin American history.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
362b. The Cuban Revolutions
(1)
Questions of sovereignty and issues of inequality have roiled the surface of the Cuban Republic since its founding in 1902; during the past century there were two major upheavals, the revolutions of 1933 and 1959. This course examines the context out of which those revolutions emerged and the manner in which post-revolutionary governments addressed (or failed to address) the concerns that prompted Cubans to choose the “revolutionary option.” We pay particular attention to the relationship between Cuba and the United States, the legacies of slavery and racism, and the shaping of Cuban society after 1959. Ms. Offutt.
       Prerequisite: History 264.
 
[363b. Revolution and Conflict in Twentieth-Century Latin America]
(1)
(Formerly 386) (Same as Latin American Studies 363) Revolution has been a dominant theme in the history of Latin America since 1910. This course examines the revolutionary experiences of three nations—Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua. It examines theories of revolution, then assesses the revolutions themselves—the conditions out of which each revolution developed, the conflicting ideologies at play, the nature of the struggles, and the postrevolutionary societies that emerged from the struggles. Ms. Offutt.
       Prerequisite: by special permission of instructor.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
364b. Readings in Modern Black Feminist Thought
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 364 and Women’s Studies 364) This course explores Black feminist thought from 1960 to the present. Tracing the development of Black feminist consciousness against the backdrop of rapid social change in American society, we not only examine the themes and issues (education, civil rights, welfare, poverty, child and health care) that have been—and still are—important to Black women, but also the strategies these women have employed in their multi- textured struggle for liberation. Since Black women’s activism is often rooted in their lived experiences, we also study how the activist tradition has informed Black feminist thought during these decades. We examine the works of Black authors such as Assata Shakur, Tom Cade, and Audre Lorde. Ms. Taylor.
 
[365b. “A Resistant Spirit”: Black Mississippi, Jim Crow, and Grass Roots Activism, 1877-2000]
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 365) Perhaps nowhere in modern America can the racial contest between white and black be more fruitfully studied than in the state of Mississippi. Using white supremacy and black activism in Mississippi as its focal points, this seminar explores the Civil Rights movement from the end of Reconstruction to the present day. We examine the mechanisms of racial violence, segregation, and political repression, while also tracing how black Mississippians mobilized, organized and finally empowered themselves. In addition, the course critiques various types of sources—including oral testimony, biography, local studies, and state surveys—in order to better understand this chapter in American race relations. Ms. Taylor.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[366a. Studies in Native American History]
(1)
The Indian response to the invasion of America, focusing on the native peoples east of the Mississippi River prior to their removal during the Jacksonian era. Topics include the value of ethnohistorical methods for understanding the Indian experience, the biological and cultural consequences of contact between Old World and New, the development of stable patterns of intercultural relations, and the road to Indian Removal. Mr. Merrell.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[367b. Peoples and Environments in the American West]
(1)
(Same as Environmental Studies 367) This course explores the history of the trans-Mississippi West in the nineteenth century and its legacies in modern America. Themes include cultural conflict and accommodation; federal power and Western politics; and humans’ negotiations with their environments. The course considers the history of the frontier as a process; the Western U.S. as a geographic place; and the legendary West and its functions in American mythology. Ms. Edwards.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
369b. Themes in Twentieth Century Urban History: Social Reform and the Evolution of the Welfare State
(1)
Examines the growth of labor reform, school reform, and social insurance, beginning with the Progressive Era through the New Deal, the war years after, to the Great Society and the present. Explores how the development of the welfare state affected Americans of different social, racial, ethnic backgrounds, and gender. Focuses on how these various groups acted to shape the evolution of the welfare state as well. Ms. Cohen.
       Prerequisite: History 261 or 277 or 278; or by permission of instructor.
 
[373b. Slavery and Abolition in Africa]
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 373) The Trans-Saharan and the Atlantic slave trade transformed African communities, social structures, and cultures. The seminar explores the development, abolition, and impact of slavery in Africa from the earliest times to the twentieth century. The major conceptual and historiographical themes include indigenous servitude, female enslavement, family strategies, slave resistance, abolition, and culture. The seminar uses specific case studies as well as a comparative framework to understand slavery in Africa. Mr. Rashid.
       Prerequisite: standard department prerequisite or by permission of instructor.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
384a. Modern Islam and Islamic Modernity
(1)
The contemporary media often pose questions that are variations on a theme: How can Islamic society be reconciled with modernity? Are we headed for a “clash of civilizations”? This course investigates whether Islam and modernity (usually associated with “The West”) really are distinct, opposed cultural blocs. After familiarizing ourselves with some of the major themes in Islamic history, we study the origins of this idea of an Islam-West divide through classic accounts by colonial officials and other “experts.” We then revisit these works in light of texts by influential Islamic thinkers of the last two centuries. Having examined recent works by anthropologists and historians that supplement these primary source readings, the course concludes with discussion of the intellectual and social roots of the current Islamicist movement. Mr. Schreier.
 
399a or b. Senior Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)
Permission required.