T/TH 3:35 pm – 4:55 pm   
Professor Thomas

GEN ED:  AAI (Art, Aesthetics and Theories of Interpretation)
                 XPL (Experiential Learning)  

What is the past, and how is it remembered (or forgotten)? How have conceptions of “history” evolved over time? In what ways does history differ from other disciplines or modes of analysis? How have various notions of the past been used (or abused) to support specific policies or courses of action? Why should we study the past at all? In pondering these and other questions about the nature of history and the past, we will draw upon examples from American, European, and non-Western history. This class is designed to be both fun and informative and is open to both majors and non-majors alike.

T/TH 11:10 am – 12:30 pm
Professor Jewell
GEN ED:  HAC (Heritages and Civilizations)

This course is an introduction to the major historical developments in the history of Western society and its intellectual tradition.  Secondarily, it is also an introduction to the uses of history itself.  Our survey will consider ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the rise of nation-states in Europe.  To understand the history of the West in a larger context, we will examine it in relation to the history of the Middle East, particularly at points of contact such as the Crusades.

M/W 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm
Professor Mokhberi
GEN ED: G (Global Studies), HAC (Heritages and Civilizations) 

This course covers Europe and its connections with the wider world during the Renaissance (1300-1600). During this time, Europe underwent tremendous cultural, political, religious, technological, and military changes. Students will explore humanist thought, the rise of new military and printing technology, European explorations, court culture, the arts, witchcraft trials, and new religious ideas. Students will read and discuss some of the most influential Renaissance texts by Machiavelli, Erasmus, and Sir Thomas More and explore the meaning behind new forms of dance and art. Students will be expected to attend classes, participate in discussions of readings and films, and write several papers throughout the semester.

By Arrangement 

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


By Arrangement 

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

M/W 9:35 am – 10:55 am 
Professor Finger
GEN ED: USW (US in the World) 

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.

M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm
Professor Boyd
GEN ED: D, (Diversity), DIV (Multicultural Diversity in the US), USW (US in the World) 

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 the Atlantic world. The course will also examine the impact of slavery on gender roles and the black family, 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 9:35 am – 10:55 am 
Professor Woloson

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.


T/TH 11:10 am – 12:30 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, 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 2:00 pm – 3:20 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 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm

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/TH 9:35 am – 10:55 am
Professor Riley
GEN ED: G (Global Studies) 

In this course we will trace the history of the vast region of Latin America – consisting of more than twenty separate nations today – over the course of more than 300 years, beginning around the time of Columbus’s first voyage and ending with the era of the “wars of independence” in the early 1800s. We will explore how “Latin America” was born during the violent and confusing period of discovery and conquest; how contact among European settlers, native peoples, and enslaved Africans shaped social and political life in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies; how systems of labor as well as church and political institutions structured the lives of peoples in the region; and how political change and the “revolutionary moment” in the late 1700s resulted in the birth of more than twenty independent nations throughout the region by 1830. We will also explore, at the end of the course, how the colonial legacy continues to haunt Latin America even into the 21st century. By the end of the course, you will have gained an understanding not only of what happened in Latin America but also an understanding of why that history developed the way it did. 

By Arrangement 

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