M/W 2:05 pm – 3:25 pm  
Professor Thomas

Most people think they already know what history is: it’s whatever happened in the past—the names, dates, and events that fill textbooks and high school classes. But what actually happened in the past is not always clear. The past is the subject of intense conflicts—from “history wars” among academics and politicians to actual military confrontations between nations.  History, then, is not about memorizing facts.

It is about asking questions about the past, finding clues, sorting evidence, and piecing those clues and evidence together into compelling stories. Telling these stories forces us to make choices about what to put in and what to leave out; about main plots and subplots; about lead and supporting characters; and about how to connect the dots with our imaginations when information is lacking.

Does this mean history is fiction? Who gets to decide history—whose stories should we listen to and accept as true?  How are ideas and practices of history different in different parts of the world?  How do political struggles, in the United States and around the globe, shape the way people see the past and use it in their everyday lives?  Can history predict or improve the future, and it is not, what is history for?  Must histories only be written in books, or can myths, movies, music, art, or fairy tales fulfill a similar purpose? 

This course will introduce you to the various ways in which scholars and societies in different global contexts have approached the past.  But above all, it will teach you new ways of thinking critically about the world you live in-its past, present, and future. n pondering these and other questions about the nature of history and the past, we will draw upon examples from U.S., Latin American, European, and nonwestern history. We will develop our understanding of the actual practice of making history, including analyzing historical sources and developing a historical narrative. We will ponder the fundamental nature of history at the intersections of science, art, and daily life. In addition, we will learn a variety of practical skills for conducting historical research and other kinds of research applicable to all majors and interests.

By arrangement
Professor Mires

Interested students, please contact Dr. Charlene Mires, cmires@camden.rutgers.edu.
Get your hands on history: This is an individualized opportunity to gain knowledge of local and regional history while contributing to a public history project based at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers-Camden. The options include historic house research and curatorship for the Cooper Street Historic District and research and digital publishing for The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. In addition to readings in local and regional history, students will be provided with training and ongoing supervision and feedback while working approximately six hours per week on-site on their selected projects. This course is by arrangement, with permission of the instructor, and is open to juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 and above.

Professor Woloson

A supervised internship, usually unpaid, at a museum, historical society, archive, or library.


M/W 12:30 pm -1:50 pm  
Professor Marker

This course explores the development of modern politics, society and culture in Europe and beyond from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. With such a vast time span under consideration, this course is not intended to be an exhaustive survey of modern European history. Rather, we will use a combination of lectures and primary texts as points of entry into the major historical events and trends of the era—the Enlightenment, the rise of capitalism, the French Revolution, industrialization, nationalism, imperialism, the World Wars, and decolonization. Coursework includes attending lectures, participating in discussions, analyzing primary sources, writing short papers, completing daily homework assignments, and taking a final exam.

M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm
Professor Perry

At the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE, Gaius Octavius (better known as Augustus, the first emperor) finally conquered the last of the Greeks—and the Romans as well. This course explores the rise of Rome and its empire in the provinces on either side of this watershed moment. From the emergence of Rome as a Mediterranean power in the late 200s BCE with the defeat of the Carthaginian empire, down to the early principate of the Roman emperors, students will study the major developments in Roman imperialism in this course. In addition to a chronological survey, students will discuss the impact of Roman rule on social, religious, economic and legal developments throughout Europe, Northern Africa, and the Near East, as well as interactions with regions beyond Roman control (e.g. India). Special consideration will be paid to how life differed for people in the empire according to their region and place (e.g. urban vs rural), local pre-Roman culture, social and legal status (e.g. slave, free or freed), religion, gender, racial difference and other factors. Students will engage closely with primary sources, such as art, architecture, archaeology and texts in translation, as well as some modern scholarship. 

T/TH 11:10 am – 12:30 pm 
Professor Mokhberi

This course provides a general overview of the dynamic changes in European ideas, politics, and culture during the 17th and 18th centuries. We will examine monarchies, such as France, Prussia, England, and Russia, and the commercial and dynastic competitions that resulted in great wars. France under Louis XIV served as the model of strong kingship but critics of the French state abounded. Enlightenment intellectuals called Philosophes, challenged traditional institutions, and called for reform, raising issues of religious tolerance and freedom from injustices that resonate today.

T/TH 9:35 am – 10:55 am
Professor Shankman

This course has just about everything: Henry VIII and all six of his wives, Catholics killing Protestants and Protestants killing Catholics, Elizabeth the virgin queen, Shakespeare, bishops clipping the ears off of ministers, the English people clipping off the head of their king, communists and naked Quakers, the first truly modern revolution in world history, and, oh yes, the origins of almost all of American government and the political and economic ideas that shaped the United States. More specifically: this course will examine the years from the late 1400s to the late 1700s to discover how tiny, insignificant, and peripheral England became the dominant global power between the late fifteenth century and the mid-eighteenth century.

By Arrangement, Staff

Independent reading under the supervision of a member of the department.


By Arrangement, Staff

Independent reading under the supervision of a member of the department.

Development of the United States I: U.S. Survey I

M/W 9:35 am – 10:55 am
Professor Holliday

This course traces the path of American history from before European colonization through the colonial period, the Imperial Crisis, Revolution, Civil War, and Reconstruction. We will examine the most important political, economic, social, and cultural developments of the 17th – 19th centuries, and observe how different groups of people shaped and were affected by such developments. Learning about the past involves a careful effort to understand the ideas and beliefs that motivated people to act in certain specific ways, within particular historical circumstances. Development of U.S. I is an introductory course, intended to acquaint students with various ideas, events, and people from this particular segment of America’s past, and to introduce students to some of the questions and debates that animate the study of early American history.

Development of the United States II

T/Th 9:35 am – 10:55 am
Professor Reilly

This course examines the political, economic, social, and military history of the United States from the 1860s through the 1970s. The course will also examine the roles played by ethnicity, race, gender, class, the development of a national market economy, and the emergence of a powerful national state in shaping ideas about American identity and its place in the world.

African-American History I

T/Th 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm
Professor Boyd

African American History I explores the history of black people from the time of ancient African origins up to the Civil War-Reconstruction period. It examines the cultural,economic and epidemiological factors that contributed to the rise of the Atlantic slave system and the use of Africans as slaves in the United States and and the Atlantic world. The course will also examine the impact of slavery on gender roles and the black family, and resistance to slavery and the rise of the abolitionist movement. Finally, the course will look at the role of black activists such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, and the slave revolts and conspiracies.

M/W 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm 
Professor Thomas

The U.S. has long defined itself as a “nation of immigrants.” How did that description develop and change over time, and what has it come to mean by the 21st century? During the first half of this course, we will look at how racial and ethnic groups have been historically constructed over the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States. We will analyze a variety of ideas about race and ethnicity – including “foreignness,” “whiteness,” “blackness,” and various forms of “otherness” – and discuss how those ideas have changed as a result of shifting economic, political, and social contexts.

During the second half of the course, we will focus on debates over immigration, migration, race, and ethnicity in the last 50 years. Students will collaborate on compiling sources on various topics related to immigration in recent decades, with the end goal of sharing reliable resources and analysis on the political and historical impact of immigration in the U.S.  


T/TH 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm
Professor Epstein

Massive inequality.  Racial divisions.  Empire.  The United States of today looks a lot like the United States between the Civil War to World War I, the period when modern US history really began.  If you want to understand the forces that still shape Americans’ debates over income distribution, racism and sexism, and the armed forces, you need to understand the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. This class will provide students with a better informed perspective on today’s world, a firmer understanding of US history during a pivotal period, and a foundation for more advanced study. It will focus on the following events and themes: Reconstruction; the emergence of industrial capitalism; the labor movement; Populism; changes in the armed forces; the establishment of Jim Crow; gender relations; the transformation of the United States from a continental to a global power; Progressivism; and the experience of world war. As much as possible, students will learn about this period from the people who lived through it—ex-slaves, industrialists, farmers, factory workers, immigrants, presidents, Native Americans, Supreme Court justices, suffragettes, and others. In so doing, they will improve their ability to evaluate information, to write, and to think critically about issues of great historical and contemporary importance.


T/TH 11:10 am – 12:30 pm
Professor Boyd

The Civil Rights Movement will examine the Black Freedom Struggle led by individuals such as W.E.B. Du Bois, A. Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Stokely Carmichael; and associated with organizations such as the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The course will thoroughly examine the efforts to end involuntary servitude, lynching, segregation, and the denial of the right to vote, as well as housing and job discrimination. We will examine the major accomplishments of the classic civil rights era (1954-1974), and contemporary efforts to combat unequal educational opportunity, racial profiling, police brutality, stop-and-frisk, and mass incarceration.  We will examine the relationship between the traditional civil rights movement and the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement. There will also be an opportunity to conduct oral history research into the civil rights movement in Camden, NJ.

T/Th 3:35 pm – 4:55 pm
Professor Epstein 

Students who have taken Command History in the past generally regard it as difficult, rewarding—and hard to describe.  Taught seminar-style (rather than lecture-style), the course seeks to probe the similarities and differences between military command and the study of history.  This may sound like a weird analogy, but it serves as a springboard for us to think through, as a class, some of the cognitive challenges and ethical dilemmas that characterize both activities, as well as (on a smaller scale) everyday life.  Like commanders, historians hold lives in their hands, and they can be responsible for the death of people’s reputations much as commanders can be responsible for people’s physical deaths.  Thus military command and the study of history both involve power, responsibility, and the infliction of violence.  Who lives, who dies, and why—on the battlefield and in the book?  To answer these questions, we will read a mixture of texts from the disciplines of history (mainly military history), philosophy, religious studies, and literature.

The course is meant to be useful, in the sense of giving students new ways to think about what they encounter in their daily lives.  Overwhelmed by conflicting partisan takes on the news of the day?  You’re not so different from military commanders or historians, who have to make decisions about life and death—physical and reputational—in the face of uncertain, excessive, and inconsistent information.  Not sure how to meet all the demands on your time and energy from people you want to do right by?  Again, welcome to being a commander or historian, who try to achieve some level of moral decency when moral perfection is impossible.  This is hard stuff, but a liberal arts education is about equipping yourself to tackle hard stuff, and this course aims to help you do so.

M/W 2:05 PM – 3:25 PM 
Professor Woloson

This course explores the intersections of crime and vice, law and order in 19th-century urban America. We will cover topics including the changes in law enforcement and imprisonment over time; the intersections of crime, poverty, and emerging industrialization; the development of organized policing; social reform movements; and the origins of the modern carceral state.

We will read the stories of gamblers, prostitutes, pickpockets, thieves, conmen, and corrupt politicians, while considering the various social, political, economic, and cultural factors that encouraged their criminal activities. In addition, we will examine various responses by the state to control the urban underworld, including enacting legislation, establishing police forces, and launching reform efforts. Students will be asked to examine various primary and secondary sources, actively engage in class discussion, and write both short and long responses to the questions raised.

T 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Mires

This seminar-style course provides an opportunity explore the ways that history is studied and communicated in settings such as museums, historic sites, and archives, and in the digital realm. Readings and discussion will include controversies such as the display of the Enola Gay at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and the creation of the President’s House site exhibit in Philadelphia. The course also will examine how civic engagement techniques and the interpretation of diverse, multiple narratives of history have come to the forefront of public history practice. (This course meets concurrently with the graduate seminar Issues in Public History. Undergraduates will build familiarity with public history through independent field visits to area historic sites and exhibits. The course also will provide an introduction to public history career options and advice on additional training necessary to enter the field.) Interested students are invited to email the professor at cmires@camden.rutgers.edu to request a draft syllabus. A reading list will be posted during the summer at https://charlenemires.camden.rutgers.edu.

50:510:499:01, Section 02, Section 03

By Arrangement, Staff

Independent reading under the supervision of a member of the department.

Internship in Public History
By Arrangement
Professor Woloson

Supervised work experience in a public history office or private institutional setting, involving project work for one semester or a summer.

M/W 2:05 pm – 3:25 pm 
Professor Kapur

In this course, we will examine the history of Japan from the earliest times up to the Meiji Restoration in 1868, including the rise of the samurai class, the emergence of the imperial state, and the development of traditional Japanese culture, including religion, literature, and the arts. Along the way, we will consider the extent to which myths and legends about the samurai are true or false, as well as the role played by women in the making of Japanese culture.  This course falls under the following History concentrations: Business, Finance, & Economics; Culture, Literature, & Art; Gender, Sexuality, & Society; Law, Politics, & Government; Religion, Philosophy, & Ideas; War, Peace, & Diplomacy; World Cultures & Civilizations; China, Japan, & Asia.