History

Chair (Fall 2024): Jakobina Arch (on sabbatical, Spring 2025)

Chair (Spring 2025): Brian R. Dott

John Cotts

Sarah H. Davies

Nina E. Lerman

Camilo Lund-Montaño

Nassima Neggaz

Lynn L. Sharp

Catherine ʻĪmaikalani Ulep

Jacqueline Woodfork

 

About the Department

The History department engages in the “five C’s of historical thinking”: Context, Causality, Change over time, Complexity, and Contingency. These tools help students formulate both fact-based arguments drawing on primary sources and scholarly debates about the meaning of the past. The department offers courses in seven “geographical areas”: Africa/African Diaspora, Ancient Mediterranean, Asia, Europe, Islamic World, Latin America, and North America/United States. History majors choose a “Global” track, a “Thematic” track, or the combined major in Environmental Studies.

For first-year students, either 100-level or 200-level classes are the best place to start; very few History classes have prerequisites.

Learning Goals

Upon graduation, a student will be able to:

  • Develop depth of understanding and mastery of subject matter in a chosen field of history.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking in exploring the interconnections of the past to the present and the present to the past.
  • Understand, digest, and analyze scholarly historical monographs, with attention to the author's thesis, structure of argument, and use of evidence.
  • Deploy research skills and develop analytical understanding in sophisticated thematic projects.
  • Conduct substantial research in both primary and secondary sources. Write an extended analytical essay building on that research.
  • Construct and document a historical argument with attention both to the existing literature and to the use of historical evidence and its interpretation.

Distribution

For students who started at Whitman College prior to Fall 2024, courses in History count toward the social sciences distribution area; selected courses count toward either the social sciences or cultural pluralism areas.

For students who start at Whitman College in Fall 2024 or later, please refer to the General Studies section for a full list of courses that count toward each distribution area.

Programs of Study

Courses

Credits 4

North America at the turn of the 17th Century was home to more nations and languages than Europe. During the next several centuries, tiny European colonies began a long project of conquest and empire, swelling with settlers, importing enslaved workers, trading and fighting with neighbors, and remaking both landscape and political geography. The settler colonists of England and Spain eventually claimed nationhood, becoming the US, Mexico, and (later) Canada, creating new "national" policies about borders, neighbors, citizenship, government. In the 19th Century we will focus more on the nation-building project of the United States -- a "republic" of freedom and slavery, an imagined empire spanning the continent, vast immigration from unimagined places -- and its challenges confronting paradoxes of sovereignty, slavery, and Enlightened "equality." Our US exploration takes us through Civil War into the continued quest for empire and the new racializations bequeathed to the 20th Century (to around 1890).

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The purpose of this class is to study the development of American society from the end of Reconstruction to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the institutions, ideas, and movements that have shaped modern American society. Using both primary and secondary material, the course will not only discuss the chronological development and changes in American society, but also will discuss such topics as industrialization, urbanization, consumption, and popular culture, rise of mass society and mass politics, America as a world power, civil rights and women’s movements, Vietnam, and Watergate.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course considers selected moments in the early history of East Asia which have become the foundations for the identities of the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese peoples. We will critically assess both how common traditions linked these groups together, and also how the processes of reinterpretation, migration, and trade imbued these traditions with distinctive cultural flavors. We will examine the varied historical moments that have become the different origin points for the peoples of East Asia, along with the development and spread of some of the major innovations during early East Asian history such as agriculture, writing, and state formation. We will also consider the influence of systems of thought such as Confucianism and Buddhism on societies and cultures within East Asia. Readings include secondary texts, archaeological evidence, and primary sources in translation.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course examines the intertwining histories of Japan, Korea, China and Vietnam from 1600 to the present. We will focus both on the common characteristics as well as the differences between these cultures. We will look comparatively at these four societies, their struggles to preserve or regain their independence, to refashion their national identities, and to articulate their needs and perceptions of a rapidly and violently changing world. Topics for analysis will include nationalism, imperialism, modernization, westernization, democratization, the Cold War, Indigenous rights, and globalization. Assignments will include short papers and exams.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This survey course studies the history of Africa's modern period from the precursors to formal imperialism to the post-colonial era. We will examine colonial rule, looking at the ways in which European policies affected African political authority, economic systems, generational and gender dynamics, and cultural and ethnic identities as well as diverse African reactions to these changes. The period of political liberation movements and their results will be studied through the lenses of continued ethnic strife and neo-colonialism. The course is designed for first- and second-year students; previous experience in History 218 or an equivalent course is desirable, but not required. Assignments include written examinations, short papers, a map quiz, and a group research project and its presentation to the class.             

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4
Cross-Listed

“Mexican food” is a contested, global category cross-cut with Indigenous, Spanish, African, Middle Eastern, French, German, Filipino, and other influences. It is deeply intertwined with histories of nationalism, transnationalism, revolution, Indigeneity, environmental transformation, internal and external migrations, rural-urban transitions, international politics, identity, culture, and industrialization. In this class, students will explore Mexican food as an entry point to engage with these and other historical and political questions, always in relation to food's central role in constructing and reinforcing categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality. We will examine Mexican food at the level of consumption, production, ecology, and representation in Mexico and beyond. This class combines rigorous analysis of academic texts along with community-based learning. In the community-learning portion of the class, cooking, eating, and discussing Mexican food will deepen and expand students' understanding of the history, politics, and significance of Mexican food, while nurturing relationships between Whitman and Mexican-American communities in Walla Walla. May be elected as Politics 120.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course will examine the rise of Islam as a religion and as a political and cultural system, from the time of Muhammad (sixth century) to the early Ottomans (15th century). Attention will be given to Islamic dynasties and states from Central Asia to Spain, and to the spread of Islamic religion and culture to South Asia and Africa. Themes will include the interaction of nomad and sedentary societies, dissenting groups and minorities, relations between Muslims and Europeans, slavery and social organization, and developments in science and literature. The format will include lecture and discussion. Readings will include primary and secondary sources. Written work will include several response papers, a final exam, and participation in an email class discussion list.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course will examine the history of the Islamic World from the 15th century to the present. Attention will be given to the rise and spread of the Ottoman state, the Safavid dynasty and formation of Iran, European interactions with Islamic countries from Southeast Asia to West Africa, 19th century imperialism and reforms, and the emergence of nation states in the 20th century. Themes will include the paradigm of decline, Orientalism, fundamentalism and political Islam, the idea of the caliphate, secularism and nationalism, minorities and women, and developments in art and literature. The format will include lectures and discussions. Primary and secondary sources, film and slides will be used. There will be several response papers, a final exam, and an email class discussion list.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

These courses introduce students to history through first-year seminars designed to provide an in-depth exploration of a specific topic or problem. Courses will delve into primary sources to explore how historians ask and answer questions. Areas included might be Ancient Mediterranean, Africa, Latin America, Europe Medieval and Modern, U.S. early and contemporary, Asia, Middle East, Environmental. Courses will be primarily reading and discussion, with supplementary lectures. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Before germ theory, before genetics, before x-rays -- how did various Americans experience and understand bodily change, and diagnose signs and symptoms? Historical study of the realm we now call "medicine" or "health sciences" highlights the fundamental challenge of reading evidence left by people who understood their bodies through vocabularies, categories, and modes of meaning strikingly different from our own. In this course we will consider how ideas about wellness, illness and healing varied among people of different cultures and across time in the US from the late 18th century to around 1900. Topics may include specific diseases (such as smallpox or cholera), reproductive bodies and childbirth, and meanings of classificatory systems (such as type of fever or sweat, shape of nose, bumpiness of skull). Along the way we will begin to consider how Americans came to understand and deploy (or resist) the new explanatory frames of their era, ranging from microbes and heredity to new professions and spaces of bodily examination. Seminar readings include primary sources as well as recent scholarship.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course will focus on the ways in which the search for and use of natural resources has profoundly affected human history. We will examine the work of environmental historians along with primary sources relating to the history of conflicts over access to resources, resource extraction and transportation, and the resulting pollution (organic, chemical, and radioactive). Using these sources, we will discuss how historians ask and answer questions about the ways that resource availability has shaped human societies and cultures worldwide, as well as how particular societies have had dramatic impacts on the distributions of water, forests and other ecosystems, minerals, and plant and animal populations. While there will be some brief lectures, this course is primarily focused on reading, writing, and discussion. Assignments include analysis of primary sources, short papers, and a final paper project with presentation to the class.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

In antiquity, the fall of Troy marked the beginning of history: a universal point from which all subsequent cities and communities could anchor their own stories of the past. Over 2,700 years later, the narratives of Troy and the Trojan War continue to accumulate significance, as successive generations have used them to work through their own experiences of war, the shape of history, the rise-and-fall of greatness, and in the end, what it means to be human. This course is an exploration of these layered encounters between past and present, in both written and material culture. It begins by considering the traditions of the Iliad and Odyssey in their geographic, poetic, and historical settings, and it then traces the myriad inflections of these traditions in the subsequent “worlds” of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. All the while, it investigates the site of Troy as the locale for the ancient imagination: a place of memory and of the framing of history. The course then considers subsequent receptions of Troy and the Trojan War, in the wake of the fall of Rome, and leading up to the modern “epic” of searching for the “lost” Troy. It surveys the 19th-century search for historical “truths” that gave rise to early classical archaeology, to Schliemann’s controversial activities at Hisarlik and Mycenae, the decipherment of Linear B, and to 20th and 21st -century discussions of war and trauma, cultural heritage, and the place of “antiquity” itself in modern and post-modern arenas. May be taken for credit toward the Greek and/or Roman history elective requirement of the Classics major.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

On a fall day in 79 CE, the Roman city of Pompeii was engulfed by a catastrophic eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius. Over a millennium later, this once unremarkable small city began to be rediscovered, and it quickly captured the imaginations of early archaeologists, collectors, travelers, and writers of the Grand Tour era. To this day, Pompeii remains one of the most popular, informative, and yet vastly misunderstood archaeological sites. For Pompeii is more than a city entombed, a time capsule buried in one moment, to be uncovered in another, and then preserved for eternal display. This course explores what lies beyond this immediate image of Pompeii. It reveals the many layers with which the remains from the site tell of multiple phases in the city’s history and multiple geologic events both prior to and during the 79 eruption. At the same time, it highlights the history of intervention at the site as emblematic of some of the deepest problems inherent in the archaeological acts of excavation, interpretation, and preservation. The course then considers the extent to which Pompeii constitutes a “typical” Roman city, by on the one hand studying what its remains can reveal about Roman society, culture, and daily life, while on the other hand viewing those remains in both a regional and an empire-wide context. We will explore the streets, homes, shops, sanctuaries, and tombs of Pompeii but with an eye looking outward, not only to the complexities of the ancient Roman world but also to an ongoing, ever fluid history of engaging with the past. May be taken for credit toward the Greek and/or Roman history elective requirement of the Classics or Classical Studies major.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course takes a self-conscious approach to what has long been asserted (and weaponized) as a “foundational survey” of the “Ancient” histories of Western Asia and the lands bordering the Mediterranean. As such, it calls attention to, while reading against the grain of, a “civilizational” narrative that has hitherto privileged certain assumptions regarding “progress,” sought to engrave a teleology (“from Ancient Near East [sic] to Egypt to Greece to Rome”) used to underpin and define “Western modernity,” and which actively manipulates, marginalizes, and dehumanizes millions of peoples – past and present – through its imperial/colonial framework. This course explores the contours of these interlocking processes, while also tracing the fractures, interstices, and ongoing struggles in the “surviving” evidence, usually boxed into categories of disciplinary “knowledge,” literary as opposed to oral, voices heard over the silenced, and/or the archaeological/artifactual/art-historical – all of it curated by modern geo-politics. Spanning thousands of years, a broad geography, and a diversity of worldviews, this course seeks to dispel oppressive myths inscribed as “universal,” be they linearities drawn from “Prehistory” to “History,” discourses surrounding “Agricultural” and “Urban/Industrial” “Revolutions,” “Empires” as cyclical inevitabilities, or essentializing narratives regarding humanity, social hierarchies, gender identities, place, and the peoples of a place (with an exploration across the labels of “Mesopotamia, Egypt, Levant, Greece, north Africa, Europe, the Roman Empire”). On a weekly basis, we will unpack the historicizing of hegemonic structures that have ‘splained “Antiquity,” while then countering those edifices with perspectives “traditionally” unseen in the textbooks.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course examines the creation of “Europe” starting with Rome’s slow disintegration in the third century and ending with the formation of a new medieval synthesis by the middle of the 14th century. It explores continuing tensions between local and central interests in religion, politics, and culture, including the development of feudal social and political structures, the transformation of free peasants into serfs, the growth of church authority, and the rapid expansion of towns and trade. Medieval people reacted to these changes in many ways, including widening the scope of intellectual exploration, reassessing social status, and engaging in warfare and in the Crusades. The course requires short analytical papers, exams, and historical analysis of primary sources.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course introduces students to Early Modern Europe, a period that began with the Renaissance in the 14th century, was torn by the Reformation and war in the 16th century, secularized by the rise of the modern state, and challenged by the 18th century Enlightenment. Topics discussed include the beginnings of European economic and political expansion, the development of modern diplomacy and the state system, and the foundations of modern western society. The course emphasizes reading and a variety of historical analysis; assignments include short papers and exams.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The French Revolution introduced concepts of liberty and equality that helped shape much of the 19th and 20th centuries as people struggled to achieve them — or to reject them. This course studies Europe from 1789 to the end of the Cold War and the fall of Communism in 1991, exploring the increasing importance of “the people” in shaping modern European politics, culture, and society. Industrialization and socialism rested on the working people; new cities and mass popular culture on the expansion of literacy and population. The growth of capitalism and the spread of nationalism contributed to European imperialism and the overwhelming destruction that characterized World War I, Nazism, and World War II. The course emphasizes reading and historical analysis of primary sources including literature and popular culture without neglecting ideologies and politics. Assignments include short papers and exams.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Latin America often exists in the North American popular imagination as a series of colorful stereotypes — suave Latin lovers, peasants sleeping under sombreros, wild-eyed revolutionaries in banana republics. This class will replace those myths with a view of the Latin Americans as people, not stereotypes. We will look at shared social, political, and economic problems while also appreciating the diversity of the region by examining the specific cases of various nations. The class, which covers the 19th and 20th centuries, beginning with independence from Spain, will be conducted by lecture and discussion.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Europe’s Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals are not simply important architectural achievements but the products of a complex nexus of intellectual and social developments during the High Middle Ages. This course explores the intellectual history of the period that produced these buildings, including “high culture” (philosophy, theology, and science), as well as vernacular literature and oral traditions. Broader cultural issues such as the rise of literacy, the development of lay piety and heretical religious movements, and the origins of universities will also be considered. Readings will include the thought of such philosophers as Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, as well as examples of Arthurian romance, Norse sagas and literary monuments like Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course surveys the formation of modern Syria from the Ottoman period, the French mandate, national independence, to civil war. Students will learn about the country’s ethnic and religious diversity and how sectarianism and imperialism assisted the rise of military dictatorships culminating in a half-century of Asad rule. Special attention will be given to Syria's major cities (Aleppo, Hama, Homs, and Damascus) and how siege warfare, indiscriminate killing of civilians, and urbicide—deliberate violence against the city—characterized the last decade of fighting. From autonomous Kurdish Rojava to the rise of the Islamic State and experiments with democracy in Idlib province, students will analyze the origins and outcomes of the Syrian war. The course finishes with the restoration of the regime and the struggle to rebuild post-war Syria. Course materials are a mix of historical texts, media and human rights reports, and documentary films. Assignments include presentations, short papers, and a final paper. May be taken for credit toward the South Asian and Middle Eastern studies major or the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor. Formerly History 302-may not be taken if previously completed 302.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course will examine human-environment interaction within the large, diverse area known as East Asia (approximately covering modern China, Korea and Japan). We will begin with pre-agricultural history and then focus on environmental topics within three broad time periods. The first period will cover from approximately 1000 BCE to 1300 CE, the period in which intensive rice cultivation spread through East Asia; the second period covers the early modern era, broadly defined as ~1300 CE to the mid-1800s, a period of imperial expansion outside and within East Asia; the final period covers the modern industrial era and its particular impacts on the environment. This course assumes no familiarity with East Asian history. If you are familiar with some East Asian history, the focus on the environment should provide you with a new perspective on what you know. Class will be conducted in a combined lecture/discussion format.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course explores how Europeans interacted with and thought about the natural world between the end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Industrial Age. We will trace this interaction from the early medieval migration period through the changing demographic patterns of the central and later Middle Ages, and conclude with the industrialization of the late eighteenth century. Archaeological evidence, along with primary and secondary sources will allow us to discuss climactic shifts, the active changes humans made to the landscape (such as reclamation and deforestation), and changing cultural attitudes toward nature. We will continually consider how this history can inform contemporary debates about the environment and its degradation.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course traces the development of European thought and culture from the early Italian Renaissance to the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution. We will explore not only such high cultural elements as philosophy and science but also the development of popular culture, the impact of print, and the reception of religious ideas by ordinary Europeans. Among the topics to be considered are the Italian and northern “renaissances,” the development of Reformation thought, the use of vernacular languages, and the theory and practice of science.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Spanish Americans? Hispanics? Latina/os? Latinx? For over two hundred years, the “Latino” identity in the United States has been forged, imposed, fragmented, and reclaimed. This course examines the social, cultural, and political trajectories of Latin American communities from the US-Mexico War of 1847 to the presidential election of 2020. With a combination of primary and secondary sources, we will approach different communities and their relationship to the land, the history, and the politics of the United States. For instance, how did legal policies encourage practices of exclusion or assimilation? What impact did specific waves of immigrants and exiles have at the local and national levels? How did different communities coalesce or build their own civil rights movements? What are the contrasts between Chicano nationalism and Puerto Rican nationalism? And in what ways did cultural and artistic representations shape their social and political identities? Furthermore, the course will explore the nuanced positions of the Latinx communities towards US foreign policy as well as the different modes of marginalization of indigenous and folks of African descent within the “Latino” identity frameworks. May be taken for credit toward the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Religion has been a central component of cultural, political, social, and economic life in Latin America since before the Conquest. This class will cover pre-Columbian beliefs and practices, introduction and institutionalization of Catholicism, syncretic religious beliefs, African-based religions (santería, candomblé), the challenge of Liberation Theology, the rise of Evangelical Protestantism, and the treatment of minority religious practices.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in African history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

From the first shots of the First World War to the release of African POWs in Germany in 1945, this course will investigate how Europe’s need for manpower and resources fettered Africans and at the same time opened up new opportunities for them to effect their interactions with colonialism and themselves. With forced agricultural production, commercial sex work, and young men sent to battlefronts in Africa and Europe, the World Wars changed Africa and Africans in numerous ways. While the course will address traditional aspects of military history, it will also investigate the social, cultural, and political changes that took place as intended and unintended outcomes on the part of European rulers as well as colonized Africans. May be taken for credit toward the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor. 

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

How have categories of sexuality and gender been defined, maintained, and/or contested in Muslim societies?  This course will highlight debates concerning sexuality and gender as they relate to prescribed gender roles, the role of transgender bodies and same sex intimacy, and the construction of the category of illicit sexuality in classical and modern Islamic thought. This close study of gender and sexuality begins in the early Islamic period with primary texts about the Prophet Muhammad and his female companions.  Gender roles and sexuality found in legal, medical, and sexual advice manuals will be studied.   Students will learn how modern veiling debates in both the Middle East and France have taken shape in light of the emergence of Arab feminism, Muslim women’s responses to Islamic conservatism, and immigration debates.  The course will address Orientalist representations of “Oriental sex” in art and literature and how Muslim women have critically responded to that tradition.  The format will be a combination of lecture and discussion. Materials for the course are scholarly monographs, articles, primary source documents, films, and art. Students will write a final research paper on a related topic of their choice. May be taken for credit toward the South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies major, the Gender Studies major or minor, or the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in the history of the ancient Mediterranean world. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

After the Second World War, the winds of change blew across Africa. Africans sought to end instead of reform the colonial project, and European nations lost the will and the financial wherewithal to maintain their African empires. This course examines the end of empire in Africa, investigating the ideologies that drove independence movements as well as the myriad of challenges these new nations faced, including the role of African “tradition” in the face of “modernity,” the economic structure of the nation, citizenship, international relations, mitigating the effects of the colonial presence, and the “success” of decolonization. Reading assignments, discussion, a research paper and its presentation to the class are required.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This survey course provides an introduction to the history of Africa from its earliest days to 1885. From this vast swath of time, select examples will be used to examine Africa's internal workings as well as its engagement with the wider world. Emphasizing continuity amidst change, the course’s major themes include migration, trade systems, religious and cultural change, and the methods of studying the distant African past. The course is designed for first- and second-year students with no previous exposure to African history. Assignments include written examinations, short papers, and a map quiz. May be taken for credit toward the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major. 

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Most Latin American nations won their independence from Spain and Portugal in the early1800s and spent most of the century struggling with the task of creating new nations. This class will begin with the independence wars and cover the political, economic, and cultural struggles over national structures and identity.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Blending traditional study of history with a sprinkle of politics and popular culture, this course is an unconventional survey of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1918) from its inception, expansion, and eventual collapse. Students will learn the history of the Ottomans while tracing the phenomenon of Ottomania—a neologism for the positive and negative memories of empire that continue to influence Turkish society, culture, and politics. Framed diachronically, the social and political histories of the empire are placed in dialogue with the political and cultural deployment of the Ottoman past. The course finishes with the formation of modern Turkey through state violence against its Greek, Kurdish, and the Armenian minorities and how those events are both remembered and forgotten. Assignments include readings, film and television program viewings, and an individually-designed final research project. May be taken for credit toward the South Asian & Middle Eastern studies major or the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in Middle East history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course explores the art, architecture, and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Beginning with the Bronze Age and ending with the Roman Imperial period, we will examine the material evidence for key areas in Greek and Roman society and history, from class and socio-political change, to cultural identity, religious practice, and daily life. We will consider the nature of the surviving archaeological record, from public monuments to works of sculpture and pottery, to coins and other remains. All the while, we will highlight the ways in which the visual heritage of a “classical” and “Greco-Roman” past have been and continue to be exploited in the construction of subsequent self-images and claims to supremacy. In this light, we will not only encounter the histories of “classical” archaeology and art history, but we will also emphasize the ways in which the material cultures of ancient Greece and Rome have been manipulated – both in antiquity and modernity – for a wide array of cultural and ideological aims. May be elected as Art History 224 or Classics 224.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Fine Arts (FI DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt (69¬-30 BCE), has long intrigued the imaginations of her onlookers. She has been dubbed the “world’s first celebrity,” and her name and many guises have been immortalized in everything from perfume to cigarettes to the silver screen. And yet Cleopatra remains hidden in what has been called a “fog of fiction” – a multiplicity of meanings that the queen herself encouraged, but which have also resulted in a tangled profusion in her images and stories. At times a glamorous seductress, at others, a self-indulgent victim, a tragic romantic, or a power-crazed visionary, Cleopatra has been at once a worldly and alluring manipulator of men, the ruination of the last Hellenistic kingdom, and an inspirational rebel. This course explores the many “Cleopatras,” from her own times to the present. It introduces the worlds of Hellenistic Egypt and Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome, and considers the ways in which the Ptolemaic queen constructed her own legend, as well as how her contemporaries responded in both writing and material culture. It examines the gendered nature of cultural politics between Egypt and Rome, as well as between Romans, in the wars between Pompey and Caesar, and Antony and Octavian. The course then reviews subsequent receptions of the Cleopatra legend, from later Greek and Roman authors to modern gendered, Orientalist, and racialist versions of “Cleopatra,” as she continued to evolve as an icon of the exotic, enigmatic, and ill-fated woman-in-power. May be taken for credit toward the Classics or Classical Studies major or minor or the Gender Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course surveys the history of the Greek-speaking world, from Bronze Age beginnings to the Roman occupation. Using a range of ancient sources, both archaeological and literary, we will examine the many definitions of “Hellenic” identity – from the Minoan and Mycenaean worlds, to the rise of the polis and the phenomenon of Greek colonization, to Alexander’s conquests and “globalizing” visions of pan-Hellenism. At the same time, we will consider the reception of these Hellenic identities – not only in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, but also in the modern world, in the often-problematic framing of what it means to be male, female, human, beautiful, “civilized,” or “democratic.”

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course presents an overview of Roman history, from early beginnings to the fourth-century CE. We will examine how a humble city-state became an international empire; how that empire evolved over centuries of interaction and tension between social classes, political powers, and vastly different cultures; and how particular ideals, philosophies, and technologies both shaped the “Roman” story and made an enormous impact on the modern world. Throughout the semester, we will follow a chronological core of political and military events, while continuing to ask the question of Roman identity: what did it mean to be “Roman”? We will do so by investigating social, economic, and cultural trends, focusing not only on the successes and failures of empire, but also on the negotiations of everyday life.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The history of international relations in the Middle East is the primary focus of this course as it examines the impact of U.S. and European foreign policy from the 19th century to the present. The course also pays special attention to the foreign policy of regional players in the Middle East. Course coverage includes the creation of the modern Middle East map, oil diplomacy, the diplomatic negotiations after World War I, and the influence of U.S. Cold War policy in the Middle East, particularly as it applied to Israel, Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq. Case studies of contemporary “hot spots” will vary; past case studies have included Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria and an examination of nonstate actors and the phenomenon of suicide bombing. Assignments include media analyses, primary source analyses, as well as a short final paper.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Even though oceans cover approximately 70% of the earth's surface, environmental historians have focused most strongly on the terrestrial environment. The maritime environment influences human life in many ways, from regulating the global climate to changing or eroding the land we live on; from offering connections between far-flung areas to providing a source of food and entertainment. By examining the history of the marine environment, and the political, economic, and cultural influence of the sea, we can better understand environmental problems covering the entire globe. The course is a mixture of discussion and lecture.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Environmental history asks four main questions: what was the environment like in the past, how did it affect people, how did people affect it, and what did people think about it? This course will consider the answers to these questions by introducing major themes in environmental history. We will be looking at the ways that various landscapes around the world have shaped human history, and also how people have shaped these landscapes to better suit their needs and desires. Topics include the history and impact of agriculture, fire regimes, water use, urbanization, population growth, pollution, and energy regimes. We will also discuss the importance of changing perspectives of the terrestrial environment and the rise of environmentalism. Class will be conducted in a combined lecture/discussion format.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The current wave of protests sweeping the Middle East inspires this critical examination of the historic roots of revolt. While mapping the sites of protest-Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, and lesser known protests in Turkey and Iraq-students will examine the individual modern histories and politics prompting these revolutions. The course will also compare the economic, political, and social factors that have inspired the so-called Arab Spring. Students will study academic arguments about the origins of authoritarianism in the Middle East, the role social media plays in creating new sites of social protests, and the impact of neoliberal economic policies in creating the conditions for the revolution. Students will also be introduced to the cultural politics of the Arab World, including new forms of religious expression, contemporary hip-hop, and revolutionary art found in both Islamist and post-Islamist cultural spheres. Assignments include critical analysis of media coverage, short papers, and a final paper project.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course explores English culture and society from Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain through civil wars of the 15th century. Readings include primary source documents, contemporary chronicles, as well as scholarly interpretations of such phenomena as the development of a pre-capitalist economy, the growth of English law, and medieval origins of the modern nation state. We also will consider the development of Christianity from the earliest missions through the English reformation, patterns of migration and population, the impact of the Black Death, and the formation of English traditions in literature and the arts.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This class will trace the important socioeconomic, political and cultural developments in Japan from prehistory up to 1600. We also will examine evolving gender roles, the development of various schools of Buddhism, and their interactions with indigenous Shinto religion. We will discuss a variety of sources to become familiar with early Japanese views of their society and with modern scholars’ interpretations of Japan’s cultural and historical development. Offered in alternate years. May be taken for credit toward the Japanese minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

From the collapse of samurai society in 1868 to the collapse of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, from the rise of the Japanese empire to the global spread of the Japanese entertainment industry, the modern history of Japan presents one of the more striking transformations in the interconnected history of the modern world. This course will explore how people in Japan have dealt with some of the major issues of modern global history: the fate of modern imperialism, the social upheavals and transformations of capitalism and democracy, the experience of total war, and the spread of mass consumer culture. Class meetings will be divided between lecture and discussion of primary and secondary texts. May be taken for credit toward the South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies major or Japanese minor. Formerly History 346 may not be taken if previously completed 346.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

How did transformative cultural changes such as introductions of new crops, fluctuating pilgrimages, and new works of drama and literature influence the lives of Chinese from 1500-1900?  Topics include the introduction of the chili pepper, shifting meanings of pilgrimage sites, cultural practices reflected in literature, and beliefs of groups fomenting uprisings such as the Taipings and Boxers.  Throughout the semester, we will link these topics to themes such as class and gender.  Readings for the course will include recent scholarly writings as well as a variety of primary (original) sources, including religious texts, plays, novels, art works, calendars, illustrated books, and diaries.  Classes will be discussion-based with some lecturing.  Assignments will include presentations and papers. May be taken for credit toward the Chinese major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course examines the history of China from ancient times up to 1600. We will explore Chinese society, culture, and religion through a variety of sources and media. The course is structured to move away from the traditional historiography, which focused predominantly on emperors and dynasties. While these political aspects of Chinese history will still be addressed, we also will look at groups and individuals outside of the central power structure, and at longer socioeconomic trends which transcended dynastic changes. Offered in alternate years.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines topics in Asian history. Distribution area: cultural pluralism. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

When British colonists arrived on the North American continent they met an array of people who made the French and the Germans look familiar, so different were their cultures, material practices, and social and political systems. Within decades, people from a third continent were added to the mix, as the trade in African chattel slaves became a standard feature of trans-Atlantic commerce and colonial economies. We will explore various encounters between Europeans, Africans, and original Americans, asking how they interacted with, adapted to, and influenced each other, and compare experiences both within and between these complex groups (poorer and richer Englishmen; Catawbas and Pequots and Algonkians; people enslaved in Pennsylvania or Virginia; more). Finally, we will examine the growth, government, economy, institutions, and social structures of British North America in the 18th Century, the changes and continuities of Revolutionary America, and the making of the “new” United States, the nation emerging from this complex colonial past.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4
Faculty
Lerman

The United States is known as a nation of consumers, of people who fill their lives with lots of “stuff,” and who rely on an extensive technological infrastructure in creating what they think of as a normal lifestyle. But the particular material configurations we aggregate under terms like “stuff” and “infrastructure” have intended (and unintended) uses, users, costs, origins, and histories; they carry associated meanings and embed some set of human relationships. Thinking critically about things demands thinking simultaneously about their social and cultural context, and about the ways people make (and constrain) choices about the material dimensions of their experience. Using historical examples and museum artifacts, this course will explore the relations and techniques of production and consumption; the ways physical objects and social categories like gender, race, and class are intertwined both materially and symbolically; and changing ideas about disposability, convenience, waste, work, and energy.

Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in U.S. history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This class explores human interactions with the environments they inhabit, asking a set of interrelated questions in a range of historical contexts: How have physical environments influenced human choices? How have human choices, assumptions, and cultural practices shaped physical environments? How have people at different places and times understood “nature” and their relationship to it? When do they see “nature” and when “natural resources” and when “technology”? What modes of control of the world around them have they found acceptable or problematic, why, and who should make the choices? The "people" we will attend to inhabit a continent of indigenous nations, colonizing settlers and imperial dreamers, forced migrants and voluntary ones, and (eventually) the full range of citizens primarily of the United States. We will interrogate vocabularies, such as: land, landscape, backcountry, rural, urban, wilderness, park, industrial park... and we will inevitably need to problematize the categories: how do we conceive of the slashes between people/nature/technology, and how does our historical vocabulary shape the questions we ask? This course will make use of primary and secondary sources, and will emphasize reading, writing, and discussion as well as lecture.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Over the last two centuries food production moved from peasant subsistence level to our contemporary factory farms and mass production of food.  How and why did this happen? What role did urbanization, expanding markets, and globalization play? How important was the US in shaping European agriculture norms? This course explores the shift from an agricultural to an industrial economy and its impact on food, farms, and national food cultures. Concentrating on France and Great Britain, we’ll look at the relationship between factory farms and artisanal production.  We’ll parse the powers of technology, the state, producers, and consumers.  From agricultural science to back to the land movements to European Union regulations and how these shape farmers’ choices, we’ll explore how modern developments changed farming, eating, and the land.  Based in the reading and discussion of primary and secondary sources, this seminar requires class presentations, short papers, and a final short research project. May be taken for credit toward the core requirement for the History-Environmental Studies major.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

As the 21st-century adoption of "non-binary" as a label suggests, gender ideologies in the US have mostly presumed a binary: two categories, most often with a clear boundary separating them. If we instead approach historical materials in a spirit of interrogation, we can re-explore the old field of "women's history" with attention to the gender ideologies, intersectionalities, and identity spaces expected and creatively carved out in different contexts, for various and varied people called "female." May be taken for credit toward the Gender Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course looks at the dynamics between the United States and Latin America from the turn of the Twentieth century to the free trade agreements of the 1990s. We will focus on the transnational connections between communities and individuals, through the discussion of topics such as race, class, gender, imperialism, nationalism, globalization, migration, consumerism, social movements, and political ideologies. What perceptions did local and foreign people have of each other? How did they change over time? What interactions did migrants, exiles, artists, businessmen, and tourists have with local communities? Were the communities shaped or changed with these new arrivals? In what ways did different commodities, cultural practices, and political ideas travel and translate between the different countries? What role did national-level diplomatic and economic relations play in these histories? Throughout the semester, students will read a broad array of primary and secondary sources that will help them engage critically with these questions and will provide different ways to historicize and contextualize these transnational relationships.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)

This course examines the history of the United States, from Reconstruction to the present, through the lens of social movements. Analyzing a combination of primary and secondary sources, the class looks at significant moments and aspects of the Black Freedom Struggle, feminism and women's liberation, the labor movement, indigenous struggles for self-determination, antiwar and anti-imperialist organizations, Chicanx and Puerto Rican nationalisms, the empowerment of LGBTQ communities, as well as the environmental and climate justice movements. The course explores these movements' ideologies, goals, and strategies as they challenged and were shaped by US political and social developments. We will analyze intersections of race, class, and gender, focusing on the formation of movements and the interactions between national leaders, grassroots organizers, and state institutions. Assignments will include primary source analyses, book discussions, and a short research paper. May be taken for credit toward the Gender Studies major or minor. May be elected as Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies 267.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Throughout the history of the United States, there have been people "already here" and people coming and going. Studying the histories of groups and (im)migrants, the experiences of movers and stayers, the ways people have defined themselves and understood others... is studying US history, and its various regionalisms and connections to other peoples and places. This course situates relocation and immigration through historical study of intersecting “big” issues: citizenship, freedom, democracy; race, ethnicity, labor systems; inclusion, exclusion, removal, integration; biology, culture, heritage. The focus will be on 19th and 20th centuries, concluding with a chance to consider 21st century issues in this long historical context.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

By 1900 the small island group of Great Britain ruled over one-fourth of the world’s land mass and one-fifth of its people. How and why did Britain and other European states seize power over much of the world in the 19th and 20th centuries? Why did they think they had the right (or duty) to do so? What did this mean for Europe? For the people in the colonized lands? What is the legacy of European imperialism for the contemporary world? Did decolonization create truly independent states? Centering on British and French imperialism, the course seeks to answer these questions through intensive reading of primary and secondary sources. The course begins by studying theories of empire, then looks at how imperialism impacted history via a variety of themes, including geopolitics, capitalism, and expansion; the empire at home; gender and empire, and nationalist and racist visions of the world. Formerly History 335-may not be taken if previously completed 335.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Europe: Global Dreams, National Nightmares.  From 1871 to 1945 the major nations of Europe battled for position and power, first competing for dominance across the globe, and later at home through two World Wars spreading across their sprawling empires. The year 1871 saw the formation of a new German Empire and a reborn French Republic, both vying with England for imperial dominance. By the end of the nineteenth-century nationalist and democratic ideas spread, destabilizing older Empires such as Austria and Russia. Socialism and Feminism matured and took their place on the European stage; anti-Semitism flared; Fascism, Soviet Communism, and Nazism were born. Together these movements upended norms and destroyed nations. New philosophies of the human emerged as art, music, and culture wrestled with and embraced new theories of the unconscious and questioned the Enlightenment vision of human reason as paramount.  Course includes primary sand secondary source readings, in-depth discussion, analytic papers; research paper option available. May be taken for credit toward the German Studies major.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The French Revolution undermined the legitimacy of traditional monarchs and terrified elites across Europe.  The industrial “revolution” completely upended the economy, created a new working class, and set off a race for world markets.  From 1789-1871 ideas of liberty, equality, nation, race, merit, and free trade came to define European norms and cultures. Europeans and others carried these outward to much of the world.  From the Fall of the Bastille to the Paris Commune; from Napoleonic Empire to German Second Reich, from nationalism to feminism, this course looks at the ideas and events that established modern European states and capitalist economies as the basis of our world today. Discussion-based with supplementary lectures; assignments include short papers, presentations, and exams.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4
Faculty
Staff

A social, cultural, and political history of Europe from World War I through the Fall of Communism in 1989. This course looks at the “Dark Century” of Europe: its (self) destruction in the First and Second World Wars and the Holocaust; its experiments with fascism, Nazism, and communism, and its attempts to overcome the past after 1945. The course looks at why Europeans were seduced by violence in the pre-1945 era and at how the post-1945 welfare state tried to answer earlier tensions. Significant time is spent on the early Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, but we also will look at social and cultural change in the post-1945 era, including decolonization and the rise of immigration to Europe. The class ends with a brief exploration of the Revolutions of 1989.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in European history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Credits 4
Cross-Listed

This course introduces the ways in which ancient Greeks and Romans defined themselves and represented various “others” in their understandings of human difference. From categories today defined under the labels of gender, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status, this course explores the nature of diversity and identity in the Greek and Roman worlds and seeks to highlight groups traditionally silenced or marginalized in ancient and subsequent modern narratives. We will analyze ancient literary, archaeological, and iconographic evidence in our search, and in the process, we will not only uncover the ways in which various groups were “other-ized” and oppressed, but also find examples of resistance and self-empowerment. In the end, we will come to comprehend how much the “Classical” world was far from monolithic and thus cannot belong to any one group of people, past or present. May be taken for credit toward the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor. May be elected as Classics 280.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in Latin American history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course explores the history of Mexico since independence. Throughout the semester we will focus on some of the transformative events of the country — the Mexico-US War of 1847, the liberal reforms of the late 19th century, the Mexican Revolution, and the end of the one-party rule in the early 2000s — while also examining the ongoing processes of class relations, gender dynamics, complexities of racial and ethnic identities, cultural and artistic movements, rural and urban oppositions, and the close yet turbulent relationship with the United States. The course will use primary and secondary readings, as well as fiction, and will be conducted by lecture and discussion. May be taken for credit toward the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The quincentenary of the conquest of the “New World” has focused new interest on Spain and Brazil’s actions in what is now Latin America. The focus of this class will be to put the conquest in perspective and to place the indigenous people within this history, not merely as victims, but as actors in a 300-year process of cross-culturation that created a new society, forged in the language, culture, and structures of both the conqueror and conquered. The course will include primary and secondary readings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The 20th century in Latin America has been characterized by the struggle for social, economic, and political change. The key dispute has been between those who believe change can be made by reforming existing structures, and those who believe that revolution is the only effective way to create change. This class will explore movements for change, including the revolutions in Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The 19th century was a time of great change in the United States. From the launching of the “Republican Experiment” of the new nation through expansion, developing sectionalism, civil war, reconstruction, and the consolidation of nation and empire at the end of the century, Americans wrestled not only with the nature of their government but also with the transformations of expansion, industrial capitalism, urbanization, immigration, race relations, the role of the household, definitions of citizenship, religion, and secularism.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

An introduction to the methods, techniques, and concepts used by historians. The main emphasis will be on methods of historical research and analysis, including specific problems confronting historians in dealing with evidence, interpretation, and theory in differing chronological and geographic settings. Reading assignments, discussion, and a major research paper using primary sources are required. Required of the history major. Prior completion of at least one history course at Whitman strongly recommended.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Writing Across Contexts (WAC)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

In this seminar, we will explore Chinese gender roles in theory and practice over the past millennium, focusing on the Song, late imperial and modern periods (960-present). Our readings will include scholarly monographs and essays, memoirs, biographies, and fictional writings by men and women. Paintings and films, both documentary and feature, also will provide important sources as we examine the changing visual images of women and men throughout this period. Assignments include a variety of short writing exercises, presentations, and a longer research paper. Offered in alternate years.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Many people think that history has to be focused on humans. Furthermore, the modern era can seem like a period of minimal cohabitation with animals. But many of the dramatic changes in the nineteenth-century world in the transition to modernity were irrevocably linked to the ways that humans interacted with, used, and thought about other animals. By investigating human history around the globe with an eye to the nonhuman actors within it, you will learn more about the different ways that humans relate to other animals and the importance of other living beings in human lives in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. This course considers the factors that shaped some of the most important trends in modern history, including: more extensive and faster transportation networks, modern urban design, scientific research, how nature is used as a resource, and the global increase in mass extinctions and invasive species. Class will be discussion-based, including in-class debates and a presentation of your final research paper. May be elected as Environmental Studies 307, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 307 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in African history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4
Cross-Listed

This interdisciplinary class crosses the borders of history and literature, considering the genres of literature, testimony, oral history, and visual representation as ways of knowing.  The focus will be on the late twentieth-century dictatorships of Guatemala and Argentina. While both countries are in Latin America, they are dramatically different: Guatemala is a poor, underdeveloped nation with a majority indigenous population, while Argentina is more highly developed and prides itself on a majority European population. Yet both countries were ruled by dictatorships that carried out gruesome torture against their own citizens. The class questions how and why these dictatorships came to power and were able to operate with impunity. We will also explore how the history of the period can be known and its horrors expressed in meaningful ways. Readings include theoretical approaches regarding testimony and oral history as methods, truth commission reports, memoirs, fictionalized accounts, and filmic representations. Course taught in English.  May be elected as Hispanic Studies 456. Course may count toward the Latin America geographical area, and the Comparisons and Encounters major requirement in History, but must be taken as History 313 for it to apply toward the major in History. This course satisfies the Narrative/Essay or Visual Cultures requirement or the film/theatre requirement for the major in Hispanic Studies.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The colonial era was a brief period (c. 1885-1990) in Africa’s long and complex past, but it is the era that defines the continent’s major historical periods. In examining the colonial period, we will seek to complicate our notions of resistance and complicity, looking at how Africans negotiated their lives, constantly trying to preserve what mattered most while adapting to the realities of life under imperial rule. For Europeans, Africa was often as much a fantasy as a reality, a playground built on shifting sands of fear and control. Europeans were not omnipotent conquerors, but rather interlopers who had to cajole and reach deals with Africans to achieve results (which were sometimes not what they had intended). Of particular concern is what people thought and learned about each other and how they used what they knew to create policies and regulate interactions. We will investigate theories of colonial rule, the reactions of Africans to imperialism, sites of interaction including the household and the bedroom, and the end of the colonial era. Reading assignments, discussion, a research paper and its presentation to the class are required. Offered every other year.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in the history of the ancient Mediterranean world. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course will analyze the diversity of experiences of women in Africa, focusing on how religious practices, colonialism, work, and social class have impacted their lives. We will examine how people construct and reinforce notions of gender and how women function in social systems such as the family. We also will study issues concerning reproduction and the control of the bodies of women and girls. The goal is to restore women to the history of Africa, looking at them not as accessories to the historical process, but as veritable actors and agents of change. A research paper and its presentation to the class are required.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

By the age of thirty-three, Alexander III of Macedon had done the unthinkable: through a startling combination of violence, propaganda, and sheer showmanship, he had "claimed mastery" over regions and peoples extending from Athens to Asia Minor, from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to Egypt, and across western Asia as far as Bactria and India. In doing so, he captured the giddy imagination of "Big Man History," supercharging debates, both ancient and modern and in multiple traditions, regarding imperial power and the role of the individual in society. And although Alexander’s myth has continued to loom large -- with a myriad of interpretations, from the celebratory to the moralizing to the subversive and condemnatory -- Alexander himself did not live to do more than "conquer." At his death, his titanic project fractured, re-emerging more than twenty years later as four kingdoms interlocked by competing visions of "global" power. It was this world -- known to scholars as the "Hellenistic" -- that experienced new dynamics of power/knowledge, from brutal wars and colonial displacements to international libraries and monumental museums leveraging cultural capital, to challenges to old forms of authority and the peculiar advent of a new geo-political force, Rome. This course examines the full range of these stories and their many receptions, from the meteoric career of Alexander to the last stand of Cleopatra. At once book-ended and punctuated by large-scale personalities, this course also explores the profound importance of social, political, and economic trends, using a combination of literary, archaeological, art-historical, and theoretical analyses to re-read a three-hundred-year period of rapid change. May be taken for credit toward the History requirement of the Classics majors.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This interdisciplinary and interdivisional course will provide an integrative exploration into the environmental history and ethnobiology of peoples along various branches of the trading routes across Asia known as the silk roads, with an emphasis on China prior to 1400. Topics focus on how local environments shaped how people lived, including: how, where and why people moved; what goods and technologies were traded; how trade impacted agricultural, social and religious practices; what key biological features underlay the movement along the silk road of items such as foods, beverages, fibers, animals, and diseases. May be elected as Environmental Studies 321.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

What are the origins of the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis? This course will present several perspectives on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It will examine the origins of the conflict in 19th century Zionism, the conditions of the late Ottoman Palestine, and World War I diplomacy. The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 resulted in the first Arab-Israeli War and several other wars followed such as the Suez War (1956), the Six-Day War (1967), and the Yom Kippur War (1973). In addition to these wars, the course will examine the peace process, rising Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation during the Intifada, and Israeli peace movements. The course will finish with the current status of the conflict. Student assignments will include media analysis of the conflict, document analysis, a final research paper and participation in a peace conference to be held during the final examination period of the course. It is recommended that students take at least one course in Middle Eastern history prior to taking this course.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in Middle East history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course looks at the Revolution of 1789 as a political, social, and cultural experiment in politics and perfection. Beginning with the still-hot argument over causes, we explore the French Revolution from its inception to its expansion throughout Europe and its (former) colonies; we end by exploring the Empire and asking the question whether Napoleon continued the revolution or was the first modern dictator. The French Revolution was a key moment in the development of modern thought on politics and rights. From the discourse of rights that encouraged the early revolutionaries to the attempt to create the perfect citizen under Robespierre — and to guillotine those who betrayed that ideal — French men and women struggled with and for freedom. Understanding those debates and struggles is key to understanding modernity. Reading of primary and secondary texts, papers and discussion required.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

On the Ides of March, 44 BCE, the Roman world stood at a crossroads. Its newly minted dictator-for-life, Julius Caesar, lay dead, publicly slain by a group of senators, who declared that the Republic had been freed and restored. And yet, over the next few decades, the Roman state and the broader Mediterranean world continued to be racked by turmoil. Out of this crucible, a new “Republic” and world-imperium emerged, one headed by a “first citizen”: the nephew and heir of Caesar, Octavian-Augustus. Over the millennia, it has proven overwhelmingly seductive to view Caesar and Augustus, and their “Roman Revolution” from a teleological perspective, with these men inevitably marking both the “fall” of the Republic and the rise of a Roman “Empire.” This course seeks to explore the ancient origins of this teleological perspective and to delve more deeply into a remarkably complex chapter that shaped the history of a “Western” world. Using a combination of archaeological, art historical, literary, and epigraphic evidence, this course will investigate the dramatic transformations of political and social life in the Roman world, from second century BCE to first century CE.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course explores the epic rivalry and long history of interaction between the ancient cities of Carthage and Rome, from earliest beginnings to the Punic Wars, and from imperial age through late antiquity. The contest between these two cities attained monumental status in the ancient world, and it continues to intrigue. There was – and is – an abiding sense that the collision course between Carthage and Rome largely determined the trajectory of the western Mediterranean world. However, there is much more to the story than mere animosity, and to better grasp the complexities of exchange, this course will investigate the development of Carthage (the defeated) in negotiation, discord, and assimilation with that of Rome (the victor). Class discussions will focus on the interplay between ancient texts and archaeological evidence, and on ancient and modern views regarding Carthaginian and Roman cultures. May be taken for credit toward the History requirement of the Classics majors.

Credits 4

Medieval and early modern Europe was not a monolithic or entirely isolated civilization but an uneasy synthesis of alternative cultural possibilities. This course considers moments of cross-cultural contact, conflict, and negotiation during the millennium up to and including the “age of discovery” that was inaugurated by Columbus’ voyages. Topics to be studied include the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the Norse expansions into the Atlantic, and various forms of interaction between Western Europe and the neighboring Byzantine and Islamic civilizations, with special attention to the Crusades. The course will conclude with the European response to the exploration and colonization of the “New World.”

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Liberté, fraternité, égalité were the watchwords of the Revolution of 1789.  Revolutionaries believed that equality and liberty were universal values, applicable to all people and societies. Yet it took at least three more revolutions and substantial bloodshed to even begin to implement this vision. This course explores the ongoing struggle in France and its colonies over who could claim the supposedly universal rights of equality and why -- peasants? workers? women? colonial subjects? immigrants? We will also ask how French visions of human rights were woven into the history of Europe as whole and have helped determine our contemporary definitions of democracy. Topics include social and cultural struggles as well as political ones, acknowledging the breadth of what liberty, fraternity, and equality meant to historical actors.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

More than any other Western European nation, Germans have struggled to identify what it means to be a citizen of a nation. The course begins with a look at central Europe prior to 1848, when “Germany” was a collection of minor states fought over by Prussia and Austria. We will look at liberal nationalism as a unifying force and explore the way Bismarck created a nation while bypassing that same nationalism, then move to explore the nation that Germany became. From struggles over socialism in the late 19th century, through World War I, revolution, and struggles over culture and fascism in the early 20th century, German people and government often saw themselves as striving to maintain and/or create a powerful nation. The last segment of the course explores both East and West Germany after World War II, as the East turned to Communism, and the West surged to the forefront of the European Union during the Cold War. We end with a glance at reunited Germany as it emerged in 1990.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

From the late nineteenth century, China underwent major political and social change. Nationalist revolutionaries destroyed the imperial system; amidst the ensuing instability, communist revolutionaries arose. This course explores national and international politics but also pays close attention to the acute social and cultural changes that shook Chinese society in terms of expected familial, social, gender, ethnic, and class roles. Chinese communists attempted to remake society through mass campaigns, to make intellectuals into peasants, and everyone into comrades. Contemporary China has seen the thriving of socialism with “Chinese characteristics.” While many of these themes will be examined at the national and international level, we will also explore a number of the issues at the local level. Work will include several analytical papers, the final one being a research paper.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Diverse and often contradictory attitudes toward gender and sexuality informed most of the important spheres of medieval European culture. This course will explore how these attitudes operated in a wide range of sources with a view to three main issues: the status of women in society and the determination of sex roles; medieval attitudes to sex and sexuality; and the changes in religious symbolism relating to gender throughout the Middle Ages. Assigned readings will include primary and secondary sources (at a fairly advanced level), and students will be expected to carry out some independent research.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

In this comparative course we will examine political, social, economic and cultural conditions following the establishment of the Manchu Qing Dynasty in China and the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan in the seventeenth century. In both regions the elite were initially warriors—the samurai class in Japan and the Manchu ethnic group in China. Both regimes restructured society, placing themselves at the top—yet neither group could rule without support from other segments of the society. In addition to examining differences and convergences in the areas of state institutions and social organization, we will also explore changing gender roles and shifting economic conditions, as well as local conditions. Assignments will include several analytical papers, the final one being a research paper.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in Asian history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

From aboriginal shore-based hunts to modern factory ship whaling, the pursuit of whales has drawn people together and set them at odds with each other, particularly since the rise of the environmental movement. This seminar will look at the history of whaling throughout the Pacific Basin, from the west coast of the Americas to Japan and Australia, and all the waters in between. Using a mixture of primary and secondary sources, we will consider in particular the environmental impact of whaling in different areas of the Pacific, as well as the role of environmentalism in changing attitudes towards whaling in the twentieth century. This course is discussion-based, with paper and presentation assignments.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

Africa, the Americas, and Europe came together during the 15th century in ways that drove the world economy and engendered enormous cultural change. The collision of cultures, in their fracturing and recreation, gave birth to new religions, intellectual discourses, culinary and musical forms, as well as new ways of acquiring and wielding power. In the often-uncomfortable spaces created by the intersection of imperialism, capitalism, and race, competing narratives of political and economic growth were tempered by the realities of violence, coerced labor, and racial taxonomies. The people who ceaselessly toiled in sugarcane and cotton fields as well as the people who kept them there created voodoo, gumbo, jazz, and the political and social revolutions that forever affected the three corners of the Black Atlantic. Reading assignments of primary and secondary sources, discussion, a research paper and its presentation to the class are required. Offered every other year.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This course will explore technological, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of the industrial transformation of the United States from the primarily agrarian America of the early 19th century to the recognizably industrial nation of the early 20th century. We will examine the choices Americans made about the makings of their material world, and the implications, seen and unseen, of the development of industrial capitalism. This course will make use of primary and secondary sources, and will emphasize reading, writing, and discussion.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Prerequisites

At least one prior course in U.S. history at the 200-level; or consent of instructor.

Credits 4

Covering the waning and the aftermath of the Cold War, the class will discuss the changes in diplomatic relations and foreign policy in the Americas, and the development of transnational networks of non-governmental organizations and individuals. Topics include the rhetorical and practical uses of human rights, the expansion and effects of neoliberalism and economic globalization, the expansion of religious organizations and NGOs, and the development of local and international social movements. The course will also analyze the ideologies, goals, and internal dynamics of armed and political struggles from the guerrilla forces against military dictatorship in the Southern Cone to the Quebec sovereignty movement in Canada. A constant theme of the class will be the flow of people in different immigration contexts, of goods and services through the creation of free trade zones, and of ideas with new communication technologies. The seminar will focus on the discussion of primary and secondary sources, movies and music, and assignments will include short essays, and creating an interactive map and timeline. May be taken for credit toward the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

This class explores the uses and meanings of gender categories and understandings of sexualities in the history of the United States. It explores how gender categories have been deployed in a multicultural nation, and in what ways people of the past understood what we would call sexuality. It also asks in what ways other kinds of social and geographic boundaries –for example race, class, region, ethnicity, citizenship –have shaped gendered and sexual experience, and when. In the past half-century, constructing and rewriting histories of binary categories and silenced experiences has led to an interrogation of gender categories and boundaries and layers of rethinking sexuality. More recent histories add intersections with other ways of delineating difference and power. We will explore histories of ideologies and experience in a range of contexts from the 18th through the 20th centuries. May be taken for credit toward the Gender Studies major or minor or the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

From the forced migrations of the Atlantic slave trade, through the negotiations and survival strategies of chattel slavery, to the strategies of living as free citizens in a nation whose commitment to “freedom” has often been racially contingent, the history of Africans and African Americans in North America is central to the history of the United States. This course explores constructions of racial categories and the experience, agency, resistance, and struggles for equality of people identifying themselves as — variously — colored, Negro, black, Afro-American, and African American. We will begin around the time of the protection of slavery in the U.S. Constitution and end with an inquiry into the workings of race in the United States after the Civil Rights overhaul of the 1960s. Readings include primary and secondary sources; papers and discussion required.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in U.S. history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in European history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines selected topics applied across geographical boundaries or chronological periods. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

The Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions are arguably the two most important post-World War II events/processes in Latin America. Cuba’s 1959 revolution became a model for the Left in Latin America, a rationale for repression on the Right, and an obsession for the United States. In 1979, the Sandinistas brought a different kind of revolution to Nicaragua, reflecting domestic realities as well as changes in the international community. Nonetheless, it too was a model for the Left, a rationale for the Right, and an obsession for the United States. Using primary and secondary documents, combining discussions and lectures, this class will focus on the causes and results of the revolutions, and explore what they mean for the specific countries, the region, and the United States. Offered in alternate years.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 1 Max Credits 3

Directed study and research in selected areas of history. The problems are designed by the student with the help and consent of an instructor in the department. The problems can grow out of prior coursework and reading or may be designed to explore areas not covered in the curriculum. Students are expected to follow the agreed course of study. Problems may be done with any consenting instructor in the department but are coordinated by the chairperson.

Prerequisites

Consent of instructor.

Credits 2 Max Credits 4

A course which examines special topics in Latin American history. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

A seminar in a selected topic in the history of Ancient Mediterranean. In-depth readings and discussions. Assignments include a semester-long research project on a topic of your choice. Not open to first-year students. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

A seminar in a selected topic in the history of Medieval/Early Modern Europe. In-depth readings and discussions. Assignments include a semester-long research project on a topic of your choice. Not open to first-year students. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

A seminar in a selected topic in the history of Modern Europe. In-depth readings and discussions. Assignments include a semester-long research project on a topic of your choice. Not open to first-year students. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

A seminar in a selected topic in the history of Africa/African Diaspora. In-depth readings and discussions. Assignments include a semester-long research project on a topic of your choice. Not open to first-year students. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

A seminar in a selected topic in the history of Islamic World History. In-depth readings and discussions. Assignments include a semester-long research project on a topic of your choice. Not open to first-year students. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 4

A seminar in a selected topic in the history of Asian History. In-depth readings and discussions. Assignments include a semester-long research project on a topic of your choice. Not open to first-year students. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Credits 4

A seminar in a selected topic in the history of North American. In-depth readings and discussions. Assignments include a semester-long research project on a topic of your choice. Not open to first-year students. See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 3

Limited to and required of senior history majors, this course will explore a number of broad themes common to a variety of civilizations, comparing and analyzing these themes as they develop or are played out in chronological and geographical perspective. Examples of such themes include slavery, imperialism, industrialization, nationalism, the patterns of political reform, the role of women in society, and the impact of technological change on society. Readings, discussions, and two short papers. Required of, and open only to, senior History majors.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 1

This course provides space for senior majors to work one-on-one with a primary capstone advisor (plus occasional meetings with a “second reader”) to complete a senior capstone essay. This essay may be either an integrative essay (bringing together coursework completed in their Track) or a research essay (conducting further research on a topic related to their Track). Required of, and open only to, senior History majors.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 3

Internships are designed to provide an opportunity for students to gain firsthand experience working as an historian with primary materials in an off-campus organization. Department approval in advance is required. Students accepted in the department's summer historical internship program are required to take this class the following fall.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)
Credits 3

Designed to further independent research or projects leading to an undergraduate thesis or project report. The thesis may be done under the direction of any consenting instructor in the department, but projects are coordinated by the chairperson. Required of, and limited to, senior honors candidates in history.

Prerequisites

Admission to honors candidacy.