Undergraduate-Level Courses
HIST 007 - Dagomar Degroot

For College students, all sections of HIST 007 or HIST 008 fulfill the core requirement in History for a broad introductory survey; these students complete the requirement by taking HIST 099.

Please note that if you receive AP/IB placement or credit, you cannot take HIST 007 (or 008 or 099) for credit.

The various sections of HIST 007 have different focuses; moreover, each instructor may develop or stress particular themes within her/his focus.  Students are urged to consult syllabi available on line or at the History Department.

Note: This course is one of many courses in the yearlong Core Pathway on Climate Change, open to all students. Each semester in the pathway consists of pairing two 1.5 credit 7-week courses focused on the complex problem of Climate Change. The other courses for this semester are as follows: CHEM-015, FMST-230, HIST-008-13, THEO-074, PHIL-127, and TPST-126. All courses in the Core Pathway on Climate Change are offered during the same timeslot TR: 2:00-3:15PM so that students can enroll in two over the course of the semester. To learn more about the courses and Core Pathways, visit www.corepathways.georgetown.edu.

HIST 008 - Intro to Late History: World II - Stefan Zimmers

For College students, all sections of HIST 007 or HIST 008 fulfill the core requirement in History for a broad introductory survey; these students complete the requirement by taking HIST 099.

The core requirement in History for COLLEGE students is as follows: 1 HIST Focus course: HIST 099, any section. 1 introductory History survey: 007, 008, 106, 107, 111, 112, 128, 129, 158, 159, 160, or 161. Note that students who receive AP or IB credit for History CANNOT take HIST 007, 008, or 099 for credit. Please note that HIST 099 must be taken at GU and cannot be transferred.

HIST 008 - Intro to Late History: Europe II - Susan Pinkard; James Shedel

For College students, all sections of HIST 007 or HIST 008 fulfill the core requirement in History for a broad introductory survey; these students complete the requirement by taking HIST 099.

The core requirement in History for COLLEGE students is as follows: 1 HIST Focus course: HIST 099, any section. 1 introductory History survey: 007, 008, 106, 107, 111, 112, 128, 129, 158, 159, 160, or 161. Note that students who receive AP or IB credit for History CANNOT take HIST 007, 008, or 099 for credit. Please note that HIST 099 must be taken at GU and cannot be transferred.

HIST 099 - History Focus: [Various Topics]

HIST 099 is one of the required core classes in History.  All sections of HIST 099 fulfill the same role, though each instructor will develop a specific topic.  Students are urged to consult syllabi available on line or at the History Department.

Please note that if you receive AP/IB placement or credit, you cannot take HIST 099 (or 007 or 008) for credit.

Please note that HIST 099 must be taken at GU and cannot be transferred.

The general aim of HIST 099 is to introduce students to various elements of historical work and thinking, within the context of looking at a particular historical period, event, or theme in some depth.  Though lectures and discussion will focus on particular topics, there will also be class exercises, assignments, and readings that will allow instructors and students to explore how historians identify, define, and employ primary sources of all types, how historians analyze those sources, how they formulate questions, how they engage with the work of prior historians, and how they aim to reconstruct various elements of the human experience in particular times and places.

Offerings for Spring 2019:
American Activism - Marcia Chatelain
Italian Renaissance - Tommaso Astarita
Protest in Postwar Europe - Anna von der Goltz
World War III - Toshihiro Higuchi

HIST 102 - Internship Tutorial Spring

Majors may petition to attach a 3-credit tutorial to an outside internship during the Fall or Spring semester.  Eligible internships will require at least 10 hours a week, and include substantial research and writing, in an area at least somewhat related to historical work.  The petition should include a description of the internship and a statement of how the student sees the internship fit with the student’s academic progress.  The internship tutorial will consist primarily of meetings with a faculty supervisor to discuss the progress of the internship research and work and to review work written for the internship, and of writing a reflection paper that, among other things, connects the internship experience with the student’s academic work.

HIST 106 - Atlantic World - Maurice Jackson; Adam Rothman

For College students all sections of HIST 106 fulfill the core requirement in History for a broad introductory survey; these students complete the requirement by taking HIST 099.  Atlantic World draws together the histories of four continents, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America, to investigate the new Atlantic world created as a consequence of the Columbian encounter in 1492.  The class traces the creation of this world from the first European forays in the Atlantic and on the coast of Africa in the fifteenth century to the first wars for colonial independence and the abolition of slavery. Topics include the destruction and reconfiguration of indigenous societies; the crucial labor migrations of Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans; and the various strategies of accommodation, resistance, and rebellion demonstrated by the many different inhabitants of the Americas.

HIST 107 - Pacific World - Michael Wall; Carol Benedict

For College students all sections of HIST 107 fulfill the core requirement in History for a broad introductory survey; these students complete the requirement by taking HIST 099.

Pacific World focuses on the Pacific Ocean world, which has historically been regarded as a vast and prohibitive void rather than an avenue for integration. Yet over the last five centuries motions of people, commodities, and capital have created important relationships between the diverse societies situated on the "Pacific Rim." This course examines the history of trans-Pacific interactions from 1500 to the present. It takes the ocean itself as the principal framework of analysis in order to bring into focus large-scale processes--migration, imperial expansion, cross-cultural trade, transfers of technology, cultural and religious exchange, and warfare and diplomacy. This "oceans connect" approach to world history brings these processes into sharp relief while also allowing for attention to the extraordinary diversity of cultures located within and around the Pacific.

HIST 111 - Africa I - Geoffrey Traugh

For College students, HIST 111 fulfills the core requirement in History for a broad introductory survey; these students complete the requirement by taking HIST 099.

This course is a general survey and explores the rich history of people living in Africa from very early times through the 19th century. We will focus our attention on several regional case studies, including the early urbanism and medieval states of the West African Sahel, equatorial societies and kingdoms of the southern savannas, the Swahili coast and its hinterland in eastern and central Africa, and the Kongo Kingdom and Atlantic slave trade. We seek to understand transformations common to early human histories, such as the emergence of food production or the rise of centralized states, as well as the situational and contingent nature of ethnicity, slavery, gender, and wealth and poverty in the African context. We will also consider social achievements particular to Africans’ history, such as the multiple inventions of heterarchical forms of governance. We will study how persistent ideas from western cultures shaped what outsiders thought they knew about Africans and their histories at the same time that we try to understand what Africans themselves thought about their own actions and those of their ancestors. We will access these histories by analyzing a range of primary historical sources: archaeological artifacts and site reports, travelers’ accounts, art, oral traditions, photographs, the reconstructed vocabulary of dead languages, and many others.

HIST 120 - The Confucian World to 1800 - Howard Spendelow

This course examines the interconnected history of East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) from the dawn of human habitation through the end of the 18th century. It explores three main themes: intellectual and material exchange, differing modes of economic production, and political stability, both domestically and regionally. Since the "Confucian" model of ethics, politics, and social organization is often taken as a defining characteristic of societies in East Asia, we will start by tracing the development of this system in China and its export to, and transformation by, Japan and Korea. In addition, we will learn how people in each country responded to the introduction of Buddhism and Christianity, within the context of indigenous religious traditions. Also, we will investigate the shifting balances between those who make their living in the steppe, forest, or ocean, and those who cultivate fields or paddies. While each of these states experienced frequent domestic upheavals, relations among them remained remarkably tranquil (if not close). Only for a few decades in the 7th century, the Mongol invasion of the late 13th century, and in 1592-1598 were all three involved in mutual combat. We will look at the factors which promoted this stability, as well as those that occasionally overturned it.

Lectures and readings will present a chronological framework of the development of these three cultures, while much of our work in class will focus on a close reading of primary texts. There are no prerequisites, in terms of either background or language. The course has two basic goals: (1) to present a basic introduction to the traditions and legacies of the early histories and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea including conflicting, even contradictory, interpretations of these traditions/legacies; and (2) to use the specific study of this material as a means for developing more general skills in the discipline of historical analysis, as elaborated in the Department's statement of mission and learning goals.

HIST 123 - History of China II - Howard Spendelow

This course forms the first part of the Chinese history survey.  It is taught with a somewhat different time frame on the main campus and in Doha at SFSQ.

On the main campus: The course is introductory, has no prerequisites, and assumes no prior knowledge of China or its language. The organization of the course is basically chronological, but within that framework we will be approaching China from a wide range of viewpoints, taking up political, economic, social, religious, philosophical, and artistic developments. In the fall semester, we covered the formation of China's social, political, and philosophical culture(s), going as far as the consolidation of imperial autocracy in the Ming dynasty (14th-16th centuries).

This term we will cover roughly four centuries: 1580-1990. We start with both the resilience and weaknesses of China's imperial system during its final quarter-millennium, including the tensions between a "Middle Kingdom" vision of China as a unitary, advanced, and self-sufficient civilization and the realities of the Manchu Qing state as a multi-ethnic empire in growing competition with others. We then take up the challenge to China's traditions and stability posed by internal developments as well as external economic and cultural penetration by a number of "outsiders" in the 19th century. We conclude with China's 20th century experiments in forms of government and search for new directions in social and cultural development, so as to survive, and later thrive, in an increasingly interconnected global environment.

HIST 125 - History of Modern Japan - Jordan Sand

The history of modern Japan, from the 1850s to the present. The course is built around thematic readings in a wide range of topics, with emphasis on political and economic as well as social history. We will explore the universal and particular aspects of Japanese nation-state formation, imperialism, industrialization, and postwar democratization.

HIST 146 - Late Renaissance and Early Modern Italy - Elena Brizio (offered in Fiesole, Italy)

The course is conceived as an historical and anthropological survey of the main events and issues that characterized Early Modern Italy. This period, which starts with the Black Death (1348) and goes until the Enlightenment (ca. 1700), will be considered as a consistent and unitary section of history in which the merging of classical heritage and religious creed produced many of the elements which shaped European Civilization. Attention will be broadly focused on culture, politics, and religion in order to grasp the elements of specificity of the Old Regime. Special emphasis will be put on the princely court, and on ideas, manners, and art forms that were codified by this aristocratic environment, as one of the most relevant contribution of Renaissance and Baroque Italy to Western behavioral and cultural codes. Attention will also be put on the analysis of the lower ranks of Italian society, studying how the lower sectors of the Italian population (servants, prostitutes, and the desperately poor) were excluded from political power. In this regard, the course will examine Italian mentality in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and how minorities were commonly persecuted in trial in which judges and courts were commonly legitimized by biased political forces.

Offered in Spring at the Villa in Fiesole, Italy.

HIST 159 - Latin America I - Bryan McCann

This course explores the period from independence to the present. The course is divided into three sections. First, it discusses some of the salient issues of the nineteenth century in a thematic format, such as frontier societies, the role of the peasants, and the phenomenon of caudillismo. The second section provides an overview of the national political histories of most Latin American countries, whereas the third section returns to a thematic forma, providing analysis of important topics such as the role of women, U.S.-Latin American relations, structural adjustment policies, and the drug trade. The course uses as examples the lives of ordinary and extraordinary Latin Americans to illustrate the analysis.

For College students, HIST 158 fulfills the core requirement in History for a broad introductory survey; these students complete the requirement by taking HIST 099.

HIST 161 - Middle East II - Mustafa Aksakal

The course outlines the factors that have shaped the political and social features of the modern Middle East from 1500 to the present. Its geographic scope comprises the central provinces and territories of the former Ottoman and Safavid empires: Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Arabia, and Iran. The syllabus emphasizes three analytical themes: first, the historical evolution of "Middle Eastern" polities from dynastic and religious empires in the 16th century to modern "nation-states" in the 20th; second, the impact of industrial capitalism and European imperial expansion on local societies and their modes of production; and third, the socio-cultural and ideological dimensions of these large-scale transformations, specifically the rise of mass ideologies of liberation and development (nationalism, socialism, rights movements, political Islam), and the emergence of structural and social imbalances (economic polarization, cultural/ethnic conflicts, demographic growth, urbanization).

HIST 171 - History of Russia II - Gregory Afinogenov

This lecture-based course is a survey of Russian and Eurasian history from the post-Napoleonic era to the present, covering the Russian Revolution, Stalinism, the Cold War, and the collapse of communism. It emphasizes the global connections of Imperial Russian history as well as the role of women, sexuality, and national minorities

HIST 173 - East European History I - Patricia Tillman

About 1800 to the Present. Nineteenth-century nationalism, industralization, the euphoria of independence. Parliamentarism and democracy. Attempts at industrialization. Decline of democracy and resurgence of traditional conservatism and native fascism. The cauldron of World War II. The fate of the Jews. Sovietization. Titoism. Socialist society in Eastern Europe. The unraveling of Communism.

HIST 181 - US History since 1865 - Katherine Benton-Cohen

This course traces the past 150 or so years of American history, covering the nation’s development from the end of the Civil War through the recent past. Over the past century and a half, the United States has undergone myriad social, political, economic and cultural transformations, and has assumed a decisive role in international affairs. This semester, among other topics, we will examine the United States’ development of an industrial economy, its forays into imperialism, its embrace of reform, its experiences of economic catastrophe and war, and its career as Cold War-era superpower. We will also look at how various groups of Americans have struggled for rights and equal treatment, attempting to get the United States to live up the promise of its founding ideals. The United States has been in many ways defined by Americans’ basic disagreements over the meaning of founding American principles – liberty, equality, freedom – and in this class we will consider the ways in which Americans’ conflicting definitions of these principles have defined the nation’s history.

HIST 209 - The Atomic Age - Kathryn Olesko

The Atomic Age refers to the era of human history that began with the detonation of the first atomic bomb weapon in 1945 and is still with us today. Early on the era shaped a generation trained in the art of civil defense, spawned a culture now regarded as kitsch, and reconfigured the globe according to who possessed nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how, nuclear materials, nuclear energy, and nuclear radiation. The course will begin with the Manhattan Project and the detonation of the first atomic weapons over Japan. It will then turn to the multifarious dimensions of the culture of the Atomic Age.

HIST 223 - History of Pakistan - Tamara Sonn

Though Pakistan’s heritage is ancient, it is one of the world’s youngest countries. Established by the partition of Pakistan in 1947, it is one of only two countries established as a homeland for a specific religious community. And it was established as a progressive democracy. But today it is characterized by conflict and deep conservatism. This course examines the context for Pakistan’s establishment, the impact of global geopolitics on its development, and diverse responses to its contemporary challenges.

HIST 226 - History of Korea in Northeast Asia - Christine Kim

The aim of this course is to introduce Korean history to those students with little or no exposure to Korea and to challenge commonly held assumptions by those who do. The course will explore the cultural, political, and social impact of Korea’s internationalization from early modern times to the contemporary period. The first part of the course will explore the turbulent interplay between Choseon Korea, dynastic overthrow in China, civil war in Japan, and the threat of Western imperialism. The second part of the course will focus on twentieth century Korea – the colonial experience, division, war, and relations between the two Koreas, Japan, China, Russia, and the United States.

HIST 231 - Middle Ages: The Millennium to the Black Death - Jo Ann Moran Cruz

In the period between 1000 and 1450, Europe was transformed from a provincial backwater into one of the most dynamic regions of the world. This course will explore how this transformation took place. It will provide a survey of the second half of the Middle Ages, concentrating on the political, economic, social, ecclesiastical, artistic and intellectual developments of the period. We will examine how some of the most important institutions of western civilization--representative assemblies, universities, and the nation-state, to cite a few examples--developed in this period. Classes will contain a mixture of lecture, discussion, and structured exercises (such as debates and re-creations of historical events), with a focus on analyzing primary sources in their historical context.

HIST 240 - The Reformations in Europe - Amy Leonard

This course will study major issues and developments in Christian life and thought during the Reformation era. It will begin by examining problems of Church and theology on the eve of the Reformation, and will trace the development of the Reformation in the theology and actions of the major Protestant reformers. Similarly, it will examine the currents leading up to the Council of Trent and its reforming impact on Catholic religious life. Finally, it will deal with the consequences of the Reformation on Christian life in general, including its effects on popular culture, women, gender, and sexuality. Readings include a mix of primary and secondary sources, covering the history, theology, politics, and culture of the sixteenth century.

HIST 241 - History of International Law - Edward Kolla

By employing an historical perspective, this course aims (1) to provide an overview of the different legal regimes or paradigms that have existed in western international relations since the “Age of Discovery”; (2) to examine when, how, and why changes occurred in international legal thinking and practice; and, most critically, (3) to explore the contingency and indeterminacy of international law—the values, expectations, and implicit norms that have developed over time and come to undergird international affairs today.

HIST 244 - The French Empire since 1600 - Elizabeth Cross

From the 1600s to the 1950s, France – as both a monarchy and a republic – governed many colonial and European empires, embracing (at different times) territories as diverse as Haiti, Algeria, Vietnam, India, and Canada. This course will trace the French Empire’s extraordinary rises and falls from its seventeenth-century origins to the era of decolonization in the mid twentieth-century. How did the French Empire come into being? Who ran it and how? How did French rule affect its colonial subjects overseas? And how did the French at home respond to imperial challenges and opportunities? Although the Age of Empires has gone, we will trace its political and cultural legacies as they are stamped across our world today.

HIST 249 - Central Europe - James Shedel

Central Europe is both a geographical expression and a cultural concept that, over time, has meant different things to the various peoples who have inhabited it. At the same time, it has often been defined by geographers, observers, politicians, and historians who were not themselves Central Europeans. Finally, its multi-national and multi-cultural composition of Germanic, Slavic, and Hungarian peoples existing in tribal, imperial, and nationalistic forms has determined that Central Europe is characterized by overlapping histories that tend to defy a unitary approach. Still, a region that troubled the Romans, created empires, started two world wars, and was at the heart of the Cold War is of such historical importance to Europe and the world that understanding it as a whole should be attempted and that is what this course will do.

HIST 267 - Modern North Africa - Osama Abi-Mershed

The course is an introduction to the modern history of former French North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) from the establishment of the Ottoman Regency of Algiers in the early sixteenth century until national independence and the post-colonial period. Topics of study include: the Ottoman-European contest in the Western Mediterranean; its impact on North African societies, states, and economies; European (Portuguese, Spanish, French) imperial expansion and North African modes of resistance; the consolidation of the French North African empire; the socio-economic, political, ideological and theoretical dimensions of colonial rule and administration; the rise of modern North African anti-colonialism and nationalism; and the different paths to independence taken by Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

HIST 283 - The US in the World since 1945 - David Painter

What factors have influenced the U.S. government’s and Americans’ interactions with the rest of world? Who has shaped these encounters? What has the relationship been between these relations and U.S. domestic affairs? How have foreigners responded to U.S. actors and influence? We will analyze U.S. foreign relations, a broader category than simply foreign policy by examining the political, military, economic, religious, and cultural influence of the U.S.

In particular, we will discuss the U.S. as a global power following World War II through topics such as the Cold War, the Vietnam Wars, human rights, and globalization. We will also consider the different ways historians have sought to explain U.S. foreign relations. This course focuses on trends and ideas, focusing on critical thinking and events rather than attempting a comprehensive account of U.S. foreign relations.

HIST 296 - Civil War and Emancipation - Chandra Manning

The Civil War emancipated four million slaves, shifted the balance of wealth and power in the United States (at least temporarily) from the South to the North, killed roughly 700,000 Americans, and changed the lives of all who survived it. It overturned institutions, political habits, and the role of government for everyone in the nation. It raised fundamental public questions about the meaning of citizenship, loyalty, and dissent in democratic governments, and fundamental personal questions about what it meant to be a man or a woman. The war abruptly eliminated the basic social structure that defined and ordered every aspect of life in one part of the nation while dictating foreign policy for the whole country, and it neutralized one of the nation’s greatest sources of sheer wealth: slaves. At the same time, the Civil War, emancipation, and Reconstruction left unanswered questions and ambivalent legacies with which we still wrestle. In this course, we will explore the causes, progress, controversies, and consequences of the Civil War and emancipation, constantly challenging ourselves to ask and answer the question, “How do we know what we know about the Civil War and emancipation?”

HIST 305 - Global History: Frontiers - Erick Langer

Processes of historical change have become increasingly global during recent centuries. This seminar explores diverse approaches to historical globalization: political, diplomatic, economic, ecological, cultural. In addition, it examines the relations between globalizing processes and history as it is experienced, discussed, and debated in nations and communities. It asks why historical understandings have focused on national developments, while the forces of change have operated on ever larger scales.

IHIS majors in SFS must take one section of HIST 305, preferably near the beginning of their major program. College History majors and other interested students are welcome. On the main campus, the course will be taught by different instructors with different emphases, and students may take it more than once in different versions. See section descriptions for specifics of how each instructor will approach the course.

HIST 315 - Environmental History of Africa - Geoffrey Traugh

In this course we will explore the relationship between human practices and the natural world in African history. The course inquires into the ways that people and plants, animals and microbes, and ideologies and physical landscapes have shaped the African environment. Our objective for the course is to understand the complicated histories behind contemporary environmental issues impacting Africa and the globe.

We will begin with deep histories of the African environment. We will look at how historians have drawn on sources from the natural world—waterways, rainforests, plants, and pests—as a window into the local and global dimensions of the continent’s distant past. In the second unit of the course we will examine environmental conquests. We will consider how ecological traumas of colonization shaped European and Africans ideas and interactions with the environment. Next we analyze contemporary African environmental issues in historical perspective, including battles between poachers and rangers in wildlife preserves, agricultural development and degradation, and conflicts over natural resources. The course concludes with a session on the future of African environments and global climate change.

Our readings and discussions will center on several key questions: How do we understand the relationship between humans and the natural world? How might we take apart the category of “nature”? How have local environments been shaped by regional and global encounters? What can local histories tell us about global environmental change? How does colonialism shape contemporary debates about preservation, degradation, and overpopulation in Africa?

HIST 328 - The US and East Asia - Toshihiro Higuchi

This course is an introduction to the historical development of U.S. relations with East Asia from the 19th century to the end of the Cold War. Arriving at the Pacific coast through westward territorial expansion and maritime access to China market, the United States initially entered East Asia as an outside power. Unlike many European countries, however, U.S. relations with East Asia quickly extended to all dimensions of social life through the trans-Pacific exchanges of people, goods, and ideas. These interregional interactions beneath and beyond the governmental levels reflected and also reinforced government policies and geopolitical events such as wars and treaties. This mutual constitution of the "political" and the "social" integrated the United States into East Asia as its full member. In this course, we will seek to understand the close linkage between inter-governmental and inter-social relations, and between "hard" and "soft" power, behind the rise of the United States as a Pacific power. A geographical focus will be placed on the region's core (China, Japan, and Korea), but will be also extended to other parts of the Pacific world to situate America's growing regional presence in a larger context.

IHIS majors in SFS must take one section of HIST 305, preferably near the beginning of their major program. College History majors and other interested students are welcome. The course will be taught by different instructors with different emphases, and students may take it more than once in different versions.

In Fall 2018, Professor Carol Benedict will teach the seminar under the title: Empire, Nation, World: What do we make of globalization as a paradigm at a time when resurgent nationalisms appear to be over taking global interdependency? Is globalization at a crossroads? Is the present moment different in kind from past eras or only different in degree? This course is designed not only to enhance student knowledge of themes, concepts, and methods of international and global history but also to help students better understand the forces that govern our world today. Focusing on theories and histories of imperialism (empire), nationalism (nation states), and globalism (world) from 1500 to the present, it explores the tension between historical developments that operated on a global scale, political systems and ideologies that focused on the nation, and social and cultural developments that remained deeply local. Core readings will cover interactions between several major world regions (Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America). Historical eras of fragmentation and de-globalization (e.g. WWI and after) will be studied along with periods of accelerated integration (e.g. European expansion and imperialism; WWII and after; post-Cold War period).

HIST 335 - Food: The Industrial Age - Susan Pinkard

This course will investigate the complicated relationship of industrialization to the foodways of Europe and North America since the middle of the nineteenth century. Not so long ago, all food was organic. That is to say, crops were grown without artificial fertilizers or pesticides and animals were raised on pasture eating diets they had evolved to digest. Most foodstuffs were consumed in the locale where they were produced and they were often prepared according to traditional methods that had evolved over time and carried rich cultural meanings. The industrial economy, changes in transportation, increasing urbanization, and even modern scientific techniques have come to be widely seen as undermining this culinary Eden. As early as the 1930s, George Orwell criticized a world in which more and more people (including well-to-do members of the middle class) actually preferred processed edibles to real food. Working class people had little choice in the matter: processed foods were what they could afford. But there was also a crisis of taste. People had become habituated to what Orwell called “the modern industrial technique which provides you with cheap substitutes for everything.” Taste buds, which had served humans as a reliable guide since the early phases of the evolutionary process, had atrophied, with results that had yet to be reckoned: “We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine gun,” he wrote.

Many of Orwell’s suspicions about industrial food were prescient, as subsequent developments have made clear. Meanwhile other critics have raised important concerns about such things as the environmental effects of industrialized food production, the cruelty to animals that it involves, and the cost to human health entailed in the heavy use of antibiotics, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers. We will explore these themes during the semester. We will also probe the degree to which the culinary Eden that preceded the rise of industrial production was reality or myth. Arguably it was the half century after 1890—the very period in which the industrial food paradigm became established—that saw the biggest gains in the richness and diversity of popular diets and the emergence of national cuisines that involved ordinary people as well as elites.

HIST 346 - The History of History - Tommaso Astarita

In this seminar course we will read some of the major classics in the field of history from antiquity to the present, covering a variety of topics, from international politics to society and gender. By the end of the class, students will be familiar with the major developments in history as a form of inquiry and writing, and as a scholarly discipline. History as an intellectual practice is not simply the retelling of past events, but their analysis and the development of a coherent examination of their significance; indeed, history as a discipline begins by questioning the process itself of reconstructing past events. The aim of this course is to introduce students to historical methodology and interpretation, as they have developed over the centuries since the ancient world. Our topics will include the definition and use of different types of sources, the question of objectivity, the definition of proper subjects for historical investigation, the changes in the larger issues considered important by historians and affected by their work, the development of different genres of history writing, the evolution of different ideas of causality, and changes in the image, character, and role of historians as intellectuals. We will do this primarily through a critical reading of the works of several historians from the ancient world to the present day.

HIST 362 - Sexuality and Gender in the Middle East - Stefan Hock

Why is sex important to society? It’s more complex than it seems! Does sex mean the same thing now as it meant in 1500, or in 1900? How do people in different times and places understand the goal(s) of sexual intercourse in similar or different ways? In what ways is sexual activity regulated and policed? How do societies determine what constitutes a sexual transgression? To what extent do ideas about sexuality affect social relations and perceptions of gender? This course examines these and other questions in the context of the Middle East between 1500 and the present. We will cover a broad geographic range, with readings centering around the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Israel and Palestine, and North Africa, among others. Topics that we will specifically examine include: same-sex love, prostitution, medical discourses on sexuality, sexual violence, and transsexuality. We will begin by discussing theoretical and methodological approaches to the history of sexuality both within and outside the Middle East. We will then analyze how early-modern writers and jurists thought about sexuality and situate them into their proper historical context. Transitioning to the modern period, we will examine how and why Middle Eastern encounters with Europe and the rise of modern states gave rise to new techniques of regulating sexual behavior. We will conclude by exploring the region’s recent history, thinking about how sexuality and gender shape and were shaped by events like the rise of ISIS and how present-day Islamic feminists interpret religious texts.

HIST 364 - Revolutionary Thought in Islam - Yvonne Haddad

The course will investigate the revolutionary message of the Qur'an and how it has been interpreted and utilized by a variety of Muslim revolutionaries throughout fourteen and a half centuries. It will cover the model of the Prophet Muhammad as a revolutionary, early Shi`ite and Abbasid revolutions, the jihads of West Africa and the Sudan as well as the modern Islamic movements: Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian Revolution, Takfir wa Hijra, Islamic Salvation Front, Hamas, Hizbullah, Jihad Islami, Taliban, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

HIST 365 - Society and Politics in Modern Turkey - Mustafa Aksakal

The Republic of Turkey has transformed itself from a remnant of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire into a nation-state. This course examines the major political, social, and cultural expressions of that transformation, in law, architecture, fiction, film, TV, and music. Readings focus on the First World War and the violence amidst which the Turkish state was first established, the state- and nation-building projects under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and on the struggles for empowerment of women, Kurds, and migrants.

HIST 372 - From Serfdom to Gulag - Andrey Gornostaev

This course examines the phenomena of unfree labor, bondage, and resistance in Russia both in the tsarist and Soviet periods. We will pay close attention to the development of coercive forms of labor organization, such as serfdom and collective farms, and penal practices, such as galley labor, exile to Siberia, and the Gulag. Drawing parallels and continuities, we will investigate how the reliance on different forms of unfree labor influenced Russia’s social, economic, and cultural development, as well as helped the state to maintain a stable political order. At the same time, a part of the course will explore the life of ordinary people who existed, worked, strove, and resisted in the imperial and Soviet regimes. To understand the specificity of Russia’s forms of unfree labor, we will often consider them from a comparative perspective, e.g. serfdom vs. American slavery or the Gulag vs. Nazi slave labor camps; and we will situate them in broader historical debates over the efficiency of unfree vs. free labor, violence, and modernization.

HIST 382 - US Capitalism 1929-2008 - Benjamin Feldman

This number will be used for seminars devoted to specific subjects in the area of American history. Students may take more than one of the courses offered under this number. Each course will be announced in the course schedule and receive its own sub-title.

HIST 397 - Cold War Lessons and Legacies - David Painter

The Cold War dominated world politics for 45 years, and its many legacies continue to shape the contemporary world. Scholars, students, policymakers, politicians, and others often look to the history of the Cold War for lessons to guide current policies. This course will examine the origins, persistence, and end of the Cold War, explore its key legacies, and analyze the lessons different groups draw from its history.

HIST 406 - Ancient Climate Changes - Dagomar Degroot

Course description: When you hear the words “climate change,” you probably think of global warming: the recent rise in Earth’s average temperature, caused by human greenhouse gas emissions. Yet for billions of years, natural forces – from volcanic eruptions to comet impacts – have changed Earth’s climate. In this course, we will explore how natural climate change shaped the fortunes of pre-industrial societies. We will begin by learning how natural scientists and environmental historians work together to detect climate changes in the very distant past. Next, we will investigate three key moments in which natural climate changes intervened in human affairs. First, we will consider how falling solar activity and a series of violent volcanic eruptions imperiled ancient empires in the fifth and sixth centuries CE. Second, we will examine the fate of diverse communities, from the Arctic to central America, as the warm medieval centuries yielded to volcanic cooling. Finally, third, we will explore the frigid sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as sudden cooling provoked crisis and spurred adaptation around the globe. You will discover how scholars combine disciplines to look at our past in an entirely new way, one that has much to tell us about our present and future.

HIST 409 - Senior Seminar: History Honors - Katherine Benton-Cohen; Alison Games

HIST 408-409 form a two-semester study of History as an intellectual discipline. Enrollment is by invitation of the Department. Fall: Readings and discussions with departmental faculty on the various methods, concepts, and philosophies of history, and the development of a research prospectus with a faculty mentor. Spring: Research seminar under the guidance of the mentor and Seminar Director. (Enrollment only by permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies). Students must commit themselves for the full two semesters.

HIST 427 - Empire, Nation and Diversity in China - James Millward

Empire, nation and diversity in China: East Asian worldviews and identity, past and present. Many contemporary issues involving China, from its vaunted Belt and Road Initiative to the status of Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan, turn upon questions rooted in the past: What is China? Who is Chinese? Is there a traditional “Chinese World Order” or Tianxia? Have China and East Asia exhibited a form of international relations different from that of other parts of the world? Sweeping from past to present, this course will consider Chinese thinking about identity and diversity within Chinese polities and between Chinese polities and other peoples, with an eye to understanding both separatism within China and China’s efforts to integrate with, or promote its own, world order.

HIST 431 - Outer Space: From Plato to Pluto - David Collins

Human beings, regardless of when and where, have looked to the skies and pondered, “what’s up there”. Answers and speculations have found their way into religious texts, scientific books, and the canon of world literature. Some reflections highlight the differences between the world above and the world we live in, others on connections and similarities. But from tide tables to horoscopes, a common conviction linking Antiquity to the present is that the world(s) above influences the world below. The subject of this seminar is ideas about and reflections upon what in the pre-modern West, from Greek Antiquity to early modern Europe (seventeenth century), has been variously called “outer space,” “the heavens,” “the celestial sphere”. An upper-level history seminar, there will an emphasis on the analysis of primary materials, but the course is constructed to accommodate students with a variety of academic backgrounds and interests. Thus, while a background in pre-modern western history will at times be an advantage, so too will basic knowledge in physics, theology, and literature. In this respect, the seminar will benefit from the variety of strengths and interests the students collaboratively bring to the table. Research papers will be required rather than examinations

HIST 434 - Sex and Celibacy in Early Modern Europe - Amy Leonard

From the beginning of the Christian church in Europe, the roles of sex and celibacy have been highly contested and debated areas. The development of a celibate clergy, the role of sex within marriage, and the relative merits or not of virginity have formed a core part of the development of Western culture. By studying the debates over sex and celibacy from the perspective of two specific groups of women (nuns and prostitutes) who were intimately defined by these categories, this course analyzes their role in society and history. The course begins with a discussion of sex and celibacy in general, as well as theological debates about their place in society in late Antiquity. It then looks more specifically at the role of nuns and prostitutes in premodern Europe, through the sixteenth-century Reformations: their social utility, religious justifications, and changing role in culture. Nuns and prostitutes were often conflated, in large part because of their sexualized identity – either shunning sex or wallowing in it – and desires to control or reform these groups crossed religious, geographical, political, and chronological boundaries. Readings are a mix of primary and secondary sources addressing the history and culture of sexuality in premodern times.

HIST 435 - Americanization of Europe - Richard Kuisel

This colloquium will be a historical inquiry into the following questions: Has Europe been Americanized? Have Europeans in the course of the 20th century been Coca-colonized or McDonaldized? Have Americans and Europeans grown increasingly alike with respect to adopting mass culture, consumer society, and market economies? If so why? What is the explanation for the seemingly irresistible power of Americanization? When did this process begin and what has America's role been in this process? Or, conversely, is Americanization an illusion? Has there been appropriation and resistance so that national identities and diversity have been sustained and even intensified? Has it provoked a search for identity in national or ethnic difference? Above all what does this transformation mean?

HIST 437 - Film and the French Revolution - James Collins

The French Revolution has been a favorite subject of filmmakers, beginning with the inventors of film, the aptly named Lumière brothers, who made L’Assassinat de Marat in 1897 [38 seconds], continuing on to D.W. Griffith’s Orphans of the Storm (1921) through Jean Renoir’s La Marseillaise (1938), and on to Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006). Watching a selection of these films, we will look at the relationship between the actual events of the Revolution, as related by eyewitnesses and analyzed by historians, and the memory of it constructed through films. One of our points of comparison will be the contrast between French films about the Revolution and English-language films about it.

HIST 458 - Mexico, Mexicans, and the United States - John Tutino


HIST 464 - The Mediterranean and the World - Osama Abi-Mershed

he course is designed to familiarize students with the general history of the Mediterranean world from the classical period to the early modern. It begins with the emergence of the Mediterranean as a unified polity under imperial Roman rule in the first century BCE, and concludes with the “consecration” of the Sea as the tangible cultural frontier between Europe and the Orient by the late sixteenth century. The readings will concentrate on the political, economic, and cultural consequences of the transformation of Rome’s “internal lake” into the “sea of two religions” following the rise of Islam in the seventh century. They will introduce perspectives from the disciplines of history, political economy, geography, archaeology, and architecture to explore the degree to which multiple ethno-linguistic and cultural interactions with and across the Sea may have forged a collective or transnational Mediterranean identity. Finally, the course will examine the historical coherence of a Mediterranean present defined by the enduring movement of peoples, goods, capital, and ideas across the Sea

HIST 495 - History and Biography - Chandra Manning

Biography is the most ancient form of history writing (at least writing using words). Why are we so fascinated with the stories of individual human lives? What elements make up a biography? What are the advantages and disadvantages of biography as an approach to learning about the past? This class will explore all of these questions first by reading and discussing biographies in an array of styles about a broad range of subjects. Then in the second half of class, students will dive even deeper into the genre of biography by writing an original biographical study on a subject of the student’s choice based on primary sources. In short, members of this class will become a community of readers and writers together considering what we can learn from the study of a human life.

Graduate-Level Courses
HIST 504 - Global and International History - James Millward

This is the second required course in for the MA in Global, International, and Comparative History and is open only to students enrolled in this program. This is a methods and research seminar for first-year MA students. Students will explore how historians frame their research questions, analyze primary sources, and place their work into conversation with other historians. Over the course of the semester, students will identify a research project that will form the basis of their capstone paper in their second year. Course assignments include weekly reflection papers and a final prospectus.

For the first five weeks, students will read and discuss common texts. The remainder of the semester will be devoted to identifying and exploring relevant primary sources, analyzing a body of historiography around those sources, and reading and critiquing each other’s emerging work.

HIST 523 - Pacific Empires - Jordan Sand
HIST 612 - African and the History of Capitalism - Geoffrey Traugh

This course asks what it would mean to write a history of capitalism in Africa, and whether we would want one to begin with. In recent years, a new field of capitalism studies has grown out of a loose collection of work mainly by historians of the United States and the Atlantic World. Thus far, historians have largely been concerned with explaining the origins of capitalism, particularly in relation to slavery, and the rise of finance capital since the nineteenth century, reflecting the preoccupations of their wider fields. In search of a genealogy and of more expansive studies, these scholars have since looked south to Asia, Latin America, and Africa for new histories of capitalism. Looking at this conversation from the African angle, this course will explore what is gained and what is lost in an approach that puts capitalism at the center of the story. We will start by returning to two groups of classic studies that set the analytic and political terms for earlier debates in African studies on capitalism and economic change since the transatlantic slave trade era. From there, we will examine recent work by historians on economic culture, colonial economies, the development drive, wage-work and commercial agriculture, and the effects of neoliberalism. Our questions for the course include: In what ways did African cultures shape regional and global commercial networks? Is capitalism something that happened to Africa, or does it have its roots in local economic practices as well? Did capitalism look the same everywhere on the continent before or after colonialism? Can capitalism capture the diversity of the development framework? What can the African experience say about the limits of capitalism in transforming workplaces, landscapes, and the social world? Does a history of capitalism leave enough room for the history of Africa?

HIST 632 - Divided Germany - Anna von der Goltz

The total military and moral defeat of Hitler’s Empire in 1945 left Germany militarily and morally defeated. The two German states that were founded in 1949 – the capitalist liberal-democratic Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the Socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR) – were built on the ruins of a genocidal dictatorship. This graduate seminar will examine how the two states negotiated their common past and constructed competing political and social orders in an era of Cold War bipolarity. After surveying the general trajectories of both states from the late 1940s until the 1980s, we will examine German-German history thematically to tease out comparisons and contrasts between both societies. The themes covered include, but are not limited to, experiences with Soviet and U.S. occupation; political leadership in East and West; competing memories of war and the founding myths of anti-fascism and anti-communism; the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall; negotiating diversity and difference in the wake of genocide; popular culture and consumption; gender and sexuality; the environmental history of both German states; surveillance regimes in East and West; protest movements and political opposition; and overcoming the ‘wall in the heads’ after unification. Students will gain a thorough understanding of West German history beyond the redemptive tale of a smooth transition to liberal-democracy after ‘zero hour’ and insights into how to evaluate the ‘second German dictatorship’. Throughout the semester we will pay special attention to the manifold and resilient entanglements between both states across the Cold War divide. While providing an in-depth look at a key chapter in German history, divided Germany will thus also serve as a case study for thinking about comparisons, transfers, and linkages ‘across the blocs’ more generally. Course Goals As a graduate seminar, the class aims to combine empirical reconstructions about a wide range of topics with methodological and conceptual discussions that should benefit you in your future study and research. As part of our weekly seminar we will discuss and practice how to evaluate and contextualize a broad range of primary sources. In addition, we will explore themes such as transnational – or rather trans-bloc – and comparative history writing, and probe the usefulness of categories such as gender, memory, generation, class, and ethnicity as tools with which to interpret the histories of both German states after 1945. While the course is focused on the two Germanies, approaching the subject from different historiographical perspectives will enable you to engage critically with some of the broader concepts used to study postwar Europe as a whole. You will be expected to present your arguments clearly in class presentations and in written form and to carry out and present original research. This will help you to develop your analytical abilities, your writing skills and your research and presentation skills. By the end of the semester you should be able to interpret and analyze German division through different conceptual lenses and to speak and write confidently about the comparisons, contrasts, and entanglements between the FRG and GDR.

HIST 633 - The Magic of History - David Collins
HIST 642 - Europe and the Early Modern World - James Collins and Elizabeth Cross
HIST 652 - Economic History of Latin America - Erick Langer
HIST 655 - Power and Culture in Modern Mexico - John Tutino

Readings in core themes of Mexican history from the era of national independence through the transformations of the 20th-century revolution. Focus is on changing economic structures, state organizations, and social relations, along with related cultural constructions, conflicts, and transformations.

HIST 662 - Europe and the Middle East in the 19th Century - Kevin Martin

Throughout the nineteenth century Ottoman state and society sought to cope with – or take advantage of – an unprecedented rise in European military, economic, and technological power. In the process, the Middle East experienced radically new forms of political and social organization from the Balkans to the Arabian peninsula. We explore some of the most recent historiography that treats this transformation and that seeks to explain the wave of European military interventions that swept across the Middle East in this period.

HIST 684 - Readings in African-American History - Maurice Jackson

The study and historiography of African American history and its interaction with American and world society, as a whole, will be the mission of this class. History, politics, culture (music, literature, theater, art, poetry and the aesthetics) will be our guide. Political and philosophical debates about the nature of the Black struggle for equality will be issues that we explore. Each week we will have a central theme (slavery, anti-slavery, emancipation, labor, civil rights, women’s equality, urban studies, decolonization and foreign affairs, race/racism, Blacks in the Americas) will be topics of concern. Where relevant and possible we will be joined by subject specialist in the GU history department.

HIST 686 - US Political Economy - Joseph McCartin
HIST 689 - Gender and Sexuality in the US - Marcia Chatelain

Gender and Sexuality in US explores the theoretical texts that have shaped the history of gender and sexuality, and how these texts have influenced the ways historians write about identity and politics. Students will also engage with how interdisciplinary texts are used in the service of writing of history. Students will consider how discourses on psychology, feminism, intersectionality, capitalism, and race provide historians with frameworks for studying notions of the family, human rights, sex, gender, power, and the state.

HIST 706 - Global Age of Revolutions - Edward Kolla

This graduate reading seminar examines the late-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century "Age of Revolutions" in global context. Since at least the time of R. R. Palmer's Age of Democratic Revolutions, historians have debated the correlations and causation between these various, tumultuous events. Arguably, revolutionaries themselves recognized both theoretical and practical connections between the revolutions of their era. We will engage with these discussions, following a series of revolts and rebellions in sequential (though sometimes overlapping) order from the American War of Independence until the American Civil War. Not only is the content of this course global in expanse, but we will also investigate the idea of the “global turn” in history and its applicability to the history of revolutions.

HIST 723 - 20th-Century China - Carol Benedict
HIST 772 - Imperial Russian Culture - Gregory Afinogenov

This graduate seminar examines current scholarly debates in the history of Imperial Russia, focusing on key themes like religion, Enlightenment, gender, and liberalism.

HIST 801 - Environmental History - John McNeill

This one-semester course acquaints graduate students (both M.A. and Ph.D.) with the scope, methods, concerns, and, to a modest extent, literature of environmental history. Most of the times, places, and themes emphasized will be tailored to the registered student population. Students will choose among a range of possible writing assignments.

HIST 801 - Research Seminar: Omnibus - Alison Games

HIST 809 serves as the second semester of the doctoral program's required Research Seminar. The seminar is itself field non-specific and is foreseen as the complement to a field-specific seminar that any enrolled student has already taken in the immediately preceding Fall Semester. The goal of the seminar is for enrolled students to bring to completion a research project that they have begun in that fall-semester field-specific seminar. Students should consult with their mentors and with the instructor before the first seminar meeting of the semester. Other students interested in enrolling must receive the permission of the instructor.