PERSPECTIVES ON HISTORY
Guatemala in the Cold War
T/TH 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm
This course trains history majors in the craft of reading and writing history. In most of our reading and writing in this course, we will focus on a tumultuous period in Guatemalan history, the coup of 1954, in which the role of the cold war-dominated United States—its State Department, its Central Intelligence Agency, and major shareholders of the United Fruit Company—was substantial. Using both primary sources (newspaper articles and declassified CIA documents) and secondary sources (which illustrate the changing interpretations of historians over time), we will investigate the motivations for the coup, how it was planned and executed, and what impact it had both in Guatemala and in the United States. Students will spend much of the semester mastering three sets of skills: how to assess the ways historians have analyzed the past using archival sources; how to perform close readings of documents themselves; and how to write clearly and persuasively about historical interpretations of a variety of sources. Students will practice connecting these skills in a 15 page final paper analyzing the origins, outcomes, and impact of the coup. Course requirements also include a variety of short writing assignments that build up to the larger piece of writing, and formal and informal presentations of source analysis.
INTERNSHIP IN PUBLIC HISTORY
Supervised work experience in a public history office or private institutional setting, involving project work for one semester or a summer.
WESTERN CIVILIZATION I: 843AD to 1715
THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY
M/W 2:05 pm – 3:25 pm
This course traces Europe’s exciting transformation from the end of the Roman world to the political and scientific revolutions of the seventeenth century. Students will discover how Europe evolved from a feudal system to a dominant force through changes at home and contact with the rest of the world. It will examine major developments such as medieval learning and architecture, the Crusades, the Plague, explorations of the world, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the witch-hunt, rebellions against the state, and the Scientific Revolution. To pass this course, students must attend lectures and do all the readings and will be required to write several short papers.
GEN Education Requirements: Civilizations & Heritage (C), Global Communities (GCM), Global Studies (G)
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND NAPOLEON
M/W 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm
In 1789, Frenchmen stormed the Bastille and shocked the world by killing their king in 1793. France entered a period of turbulent political change that put it at war with other European countries and culminated in the empire of Napoleon. In this class, students will learn about the changes in ideas, culture, and politics that swept Europe into the modern age. Students will analyze the new philosophies of the age, the experiments in government, as well as the events of the French Revolution and the rise and fall of Napoleon.
GEN Education Requirements: Global Communities (GC)
INDEPENDENT STUDY HISTORY
Independent reading under the supervision of a member of the department.
DEVELOPMENT OF US II
T 9:35 am – 10:35 am
The Course Initiative for Student Success (or CISS) program provides students with an extra one-credit class in addition to their regularly scheduled, 3-credit Development of US II survey class. Students enrolled in the CISS session will meet for one hour, once a week in addition to their regular attendance in the larger USII course. CISS is a small group review session led by the USII graduate student/teaching assistant that provides students with individualized attention, extra review and guidance, and skills to improve their critical reading and writing skills in college.
DEVELOPMENT OF U.S. I
M/W 9:35 am – 10:55 am
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 the 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.
GEN Education Requirements: US in the World (USW)
DEVELOPMENT OF U.S. II
T/TH 11:10 am -12:30 pm
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 II
M/W 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm
This course covers the history of Black or African American people in the United States from the Civil War to the present. Emphasis is given to the philosophies of W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X, and to the black freedom struggle (civil rights movement). The course also examines the growing class divide between the college educated, suburbanized, white-collar black middle class and the one-fourth of black people who live in poverty and are trapped in inner city ghettos.
U.S. CONSUMER CULTURE
M/W 9:35 am – 10:55 am
What did Americans buy and why? How did purchasing habits change over time, and what can those changes tell us about changes in how Americans lived their lives and thought about themselves individually and collectively, from the first settlers to the present? This course covers a broad sweep of American consumer culture over four centuries, using consumption as a way to better understand broader aspects of American history and life, such as prevailing standards of living and economic conditions; politics; technological innovations; regional, national, and global commerce and emerging marketplaces; and individual and collective aesthetic sensibilities.
The class will draw from both secondary readings and primary source documents, and we will consider everything from 18th-century backcountry dry goods stores to e-commerce. Subject areas of focus will include, among many other things, consumer activism (including boycotts and patriotic purchasing), the development of advertising and marketing, and the rise of department stores, malls, and other sites of shopping. In addition, we will explore the meanings of shopping itself over time and also the shifting roles of the goods we’ve bought, from being expressions of self-fashioning and status to repositories of intense emotion and desire.
This is a writing-intensive course: several essays drawing on primary and secondary source material will be required, in addition to a final exam.
CIVIL WAR & RECONSTRUCTION
T/TH 9:35 am – 10:55 am
This course explores the era spanning 1848-1877, a time when Americans plunged in to, fought, and attempted to shape the results of civil war. Equal time will be given to the pre-war, wartime, and post-war periods. The role played by pre-war economic and political ideologies in determining events and outcomes throughout the era will weigh heavily in the course.
SPECIAL TOPICS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Growing Up in Modern America
T/TH 3:35 pm – 4:55 pm
What does it mean to reach adulthood in the United States? Has reaching “the age of independence” changed over the last 150 years? Have new technologies, politics, public attitudes, the expansion of formal education, along with shifts in popular culture influenced the experiences for young people coming of age in the United States? Examining the diverse lives and general trends among American youth can help to answer that question and frame fundamental debates about who has “independence” and “rights” in the modern United States. Students will use a variety of hands-on learning experiences including oral history, digital research, and other materials to undercover the story of the transition from youth dependency to independent adulthood in the modern United States. There are no prerequisites for this course. Students from all majors are welcome.
GEN Education Requirements: Engaged Civic Learning (ECL)
SPECIAL TOPICS IN AMERICAN HISTORY:
War and the US, 1898-Present
M/W 2:05 pm – 3:25 pm
World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan: War has been central to modern US history. The nation currently spends about $700 billion a year on its military, or more than the next seven nations combined. Even when the United States is nominally at peace, its military power reaches across the globe. There was not a single year in the 20th century that the United States did not have forces fighting or stationed overseas.
Why did war become so important to the United States? How has the growth of US military power affected its position in the world? This course attempts to answer those questions. It begins with the United States’ first major overseas conflict, the Spanish-American War of 1898, and continues through the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will study battles and generals, as well as the evolution of military institutions, labor markets, doctrine, technology, finance, logistics, and culture. Throughout, we will explore the relationship between Americans and their military in war and peace.
INDEPENDENT STUDY AMERICAN HISTORY
Independent reading under the direction of a member of the department.
INTRODUCTORY TOPICS IN WORLD HISTORY
France, Africa, and the Caribbean
T/TH 11:10 am – 12:30 pm
Today there are some three hundred million people who speak French around the world, even though the population of European France is only 65 million. That French is the tenth most spoken language in the world today is the result of four hundred years of French empire-building and colonial rule. By the late nineteenth century, France possessed a vast empire that included significant parts of Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. In this course, we will focus on the complex web of French relations with Africa and the Caribbean, where French activity overseas started earliest and where French influence lasted longest. Indeed, close to half of the world’s French-speaking population today lives in Africa, and there are parts of the Greater Caribbean that are still completely integrated parts of France, just like Hawaii and Alaska are parts of the United States. This course will explore tensions between the development of European France’s unique political culture of revolutionary republicanism, individual and social rights, and secularism on the one hand, and the history of imperial expansion, slavery, racism, and colonial violence in the French Afro-Atlantic World on the other. Although the core of the course will examine the colonial period, we will also consider the legacies of French colonial rule since the 1960s and the relationships between France, Africa and the Caribbean today.
M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm
This course will examine the history of China and the Chinese people from the collapse of the Ming Dynasty to the present time, including political, social, economic, and cultural developments. We will examine the rise of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, the partition of China into “spheres of influence” following the Opium War, the nationalist and communist revolutions of the 20th century, the disasters of Maoist rule, and China’s recent reemergence as a world-beating economic powerhouse.