History Course Descriptions
100 Introduction To Chinese History (CH, G)
A survey of Chinese society from ancient times to the present. Examines the premodern development of Chinese philosophy, arts, imperial state, and social structure. Also explores the decline of the Chinese empire, the impingement of Western imperialism, and subsequent efforts to strengthen China through reform and revolution. Offered each fall.
101 Introduction To Japanese History (CH, G)
A survey of Japanese society from ancient times to the present. Examines the premodern development of religions, continental influences, the arts, and feudal society. Also explores the modern rise and fall of Imperial Japan, the postwar US occupation, and the emergence of Japan as an East Asian economic power. Offered in alternate years.
120 The Ancient And Medieval West (CH)
A survey of Western Civilization from its origins in the ancient Near East, through Greece and Rome, to the late Middle Ages. Political history is balanced by social, cultural, and intellectual history with an emphasis on those elements which became part of the Western heritage. Offered annually.
121 Renaissance Reformation And Revolution (CH)
A survey of Western Civilization from the Renaissance to the French Revolution, emphasizing the changes in politics, society, economics, science, art, and thought that transformed Western values from “medieval” to “modern.” Offered each semester.
122 Modern Global History (CH, G)
This course focuses on a selected number of topics to make clear the historical roots of the contemporary world. Such topics include: the nation-state, warfare and diplomacy, modern ideologies, and Western imperialism and its anti-Western response. Emphasis is on 20th century global affairs. Offered annually.
151, 152 The United States (CH, U)
From the colonies to the present, a study of the growth of the nation, emphasizing major interpretative problems in America’s social, economic, political and cultural experience. The spring semester work involves the period beginning about 1877. Either semester may be taken separately. Offered each semester.
160 Latin America (CH, G)
A survey of Latin American history from Columbus to the present that focuses primarily on Mexico and Argentina and addresses key historical issues: conquest, colonialism, independence, racial relations, dependency, economic development, urbanization, militarism, nationalism and relations with the United States. Offered annually.
170 Studies In History
Courses designed to introduce the beginning student to the skills and challenges involved in the disciplined study of the past. Each course is an examination of a particular topic in history which will be announced in advance. May be repeated for credit when topic varies. See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills general education requirements. Offered occasionally.
202 World War II In The Pacific (CH)
Explores the origins and consequences of Japanese militarism in Asia, 1931-1945. Examines domestic and international factors behind the war, assesses responses to Japanese expansion by East Asians, Southeast Asians, Americans, and the Japanese people themselves, and evaluates the use of nuclear weapons at war’s end. Offered in alternate years.
210 Emperors And Revolutionaries: Chinese History Through Travel
May Term travel course hosted by the History Department at Peking University. Explores China from pre-historic to recent times, focusing on the imperial state and the Communist revolution. Visits historic locations in cities and countryside, including well-known sites and those off the beaten path. Lectures by top Chinese historians and interaction with Chinese students at PKU. Prerequisite: 100, 300, PSCI 214, or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years, May Term.
212 Greek Civilization (CHC)
This course focuses on cultural and historical change in the Greek world beginning with the Bronze Age and continuing until the death of Alexander the Great (1300-323 BC). Emphasis is placed on the interconnection of Greek historical themes with literature, art, and architecture. Offered in alternate years.
214 Roman Civilization (CH)
Charts the political, social, and cultural development of the Roman state from the foundation of the city to the conversion of the emporer Constantine to Christianity (ca. 753 BC-AD 312). Emphasis will be placed on the multiplicity of peoples and cultures that constituted the Roman state, religious experience and change, the evolution of political institutions, and the variety of sources necessary for our reconstruction of the Roman past, from the literary to the art historical. Offered in alternate years.
215 Medieval Europe (CH)
An introduction to the major political, religious, and social institutions of the European Middle Ages (c. 400 C.E.-1400 C.E.). Emphasizes how Christianity redefined society, shaped a new royal ideology of sacral kingship, and influenced relations between Europe and the Middle East. Offered occasionally.
221 The Holocaust (CH)
The course seeks to understand the Holocaust and examines the process of extermination from its religious cultural antecedents through the wartime process of ghettoization, open-air mass execution, and the employment of gas in fixed chambers. Among sources examined are laws and directives emanating from the German bureaucracy, eyewitness testimony and memoirs of survivors from the ghettos and camps, and film. Offered annually.
223 The Two World Wars
The course focuses on the diplomatic and military origins of these two global conflicts, war and the popular imagination, the soldiers’ experience, the literary testimony of combatants and non-combatants, the effect of the wars on the status of women, mutiny and revolution, the American struggle with Japan, and the unleashing of war against civilian populations. Offered in alternate years.
224 Century Of Genius (IT)
This course focuses on the revolutionary ideas in western Europe during the 1600s that challenged traditional views of the physical universe, human nature, social relations, politics, and virtue. Figures studied include Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, and Locke. Offered in alternate years.
225 The Enlightenment (IT)
The Intellectual history of the late 17th and 18th centuries, otherwise known as the Age of Reason, through a close examination of key texts by such authors as Locke, Montesquieu, and Voltaire and key ideas about natural law, natural rights, political liberalism, laissez-faire economics, deism, progress, and reason. Offered in alternate years.
240 Slavery, Antislavery, And Reform (CH, U)
A study of the origins and development of slavery in North America and of slave culture. This course will also treat the organization and arguments of the anti-slavery movement, the role of women leaders in abolition, and the origins of the women’s rights movement. Offered in alternate years.
241 Depression America (CH, U)
Concentrated study of Depression-era United States. Topics include rise of welfare state, Hoover and Roosevelt administrations, class conflict, racial tensions, alternative political ideologies such as communism and socialism. Study Americans’ diverse experiences by analysing how those experiences are depicted in literature, films, memoirs, and other historical artifacts and documents. Offered occasionally in May Term.
242 The Civil Rights Movement (CH, U)
A study of the development of the civil rights movement in the United States during the twentieth century, emphasizing the emergence of local black leadership, techniques of mass protest, ideologies of black liberation during the 1950’s and 60’s, and the aftermath. Offered each spring.
243 Colonial Identity In The Atlantic World (CH, U)
This course explores the emergence and evolution of identities based on race, nation, gender, and class in the colonial Americas. Readings will include biographical texts on individual subjects as well as surveys of British North America, the Caribbean, and New Spain. Students will be asked to situate and interpret personal experience and identity within particular social contexts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Offered occasionally.
244 Women And The American Experience (CH, U)
A survey of women’s history in America that explores how women of varying class, racial, and ethnic backgrounds have lived their everyday lives, what they thought about those lives, and how others believed they should conduct themselves. Offered annually.
245 Individualism And Community In American History (AV, W)
Studies the tensions between individualism and community in American History regarding religion, business, politics, culture and the economy and nature. Examines the values of individualism and community embedded in these arguments. Explores the consequences of implementing the social and economic practices. Offered in alternate years.
246 “By Force, By Famine, And By Fabled Story”: Irish Emigration To The U.S. (CH)
Between 1815 and 1920, five and a half million Irish emigrated from Ireland to the United States. This emigration had an enormous impact on American society, of course, but it had just as significant an impact on Irish society, both demographically and culturally. In a two-week stay in Ireland at the Allihies Language and Arts Centre, Beara Peninsula, County Cork, students live with host families and study together the historical, cultural, musical and literary impact of Irish emigration on both the Irish in Ireland and in the United States. Offered occasionally in May Term.
247 American West (CH,U)
An introduction to the history of the American West. Particular attention will be paid to the clash of peoples and cultures that resulted from territorial and economic expansion, the significance of ideas and myths about the frontier in American history, and the changing social relationships and patterns of land use that accompanied the economic development of the West. Offered in alternate years.
248/Environmental Studies 261 American Environmental History (CH)
Overview of American environmental history from pre-colonial days to the present. This course examines the relationship between social and ecological change, focusing on the impact of native American societies, Western colonialism, and market forces on land-use patterns, biodiversity and the development of the contemporary environmental movement in the United States. Offered in alternate years.
249 Revolutions In American Childhood And Family Life (CH, U)
No aspect of American Life is as shrouded in myths and misconceptions as the history of the family. This course examines childhood and family in American culture from the colonial era to the present, providing historical perspective and understanding regarding these primary institutions of American life. Though the course is roughly chronological, we will compare family structures across both time and space, examining the changing and divergent meanings of motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood through such sources as advice manuals, popular journalism, fiction, art, and film. Offered in alternate years.
250 Special Project
A research project under the supervision of a member of the department on a topic mutually agreed upon. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Offered as needed.
251 The Vietnam Wars (CH)
Explores the origins, expansion, and repercussions of the Vietnam Wars (1945-1975) within the context of Vietnamese history. Uses film, interviews, and documents to examine this historical context and events of the war. Analyzes support for and resistence to war among the Vietnamese and American peoples. Offered in alternate years.
252 The Sixties: Sex, Drugs, And Rock & Roll? (CH, U)
An in-depth look at America in the 1960’s that explores the myths and realities of the Civil Rights Movement, the counterculture, the sexual revolution, rock music, and the student, feminist, gay rights, and antiwar movements. Offered occasionally in May Term.
253 The Beatles And Their World (CH, U)
Examines the impact of the most popular recording artists of all time. The Beatles influenced rock music as well as attitudes toward fashion, religion, war, and drug use, among others. Moreover, this influence was global in scope, crossing gender, racial, generational and political boundaries. Sometimes offered as a travel course. Offered occasionally.
260 Spanish North America
Explores the region that today comprises Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean from the conquest to the present. Examines major social, political and economic issues including: conquest and resistance; indigenous, European and African; economic development; and relations with the United States.
270 Studies In History
Open to all students, these courses explore a specialized topic of historical study at an intermediate level, requiring focused and extensive reading but not necessarily a significant research project. May be repeated for credit when topic varies. Consult current Program of Classes to see if any particular course fulfills general education requirements. Offered occasionally.
290 Seminar In The Theory And Writing Of History (W)
A seminar emphasizing research, conceptualization, and writing skills. Subjects given special attention are methodological debates within the profession and philosophical questions regarding the nature and purpose of historical study. Open only to history majors. Offered each semester.
300 The Chinese Revolution (CH, G)
Examines the conditions of 20th century China that gave rise to revolution and Communism. Uses fiction, documents, and film to explore the decay of Confucianism, the impact of imperialism, the plight of urban and rural areas, the rule of Chiang Kai-shek, the victory of Communism and “continuing revolution” under Mao Zedong, and the “reforms” of Deng Xiaoping. Offered each spring.
301 Modern Japan, 1800-Present (CH, G)
Explores the fall of the feudal order and Japan’s emergence as a world power since 1868. Focus on the social impact of this political and economic transformation. Topics include “Restoration,” the state and democracy, dissent, militarism, war, the postwar “reinvention” of Japan by the U.S., and the rise to economic preeminence in Asia. Offered in alternate years.
303 China: The Cultural Revolution
Explores the tumultuous Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976). Originally hailed as a progressive social experiment in education, health care, women’s rights, sports, and the work-place, the movement was later condemned for its fanaticism, violence, and vilification of intellectuals. Evaluates the complex issues and conflicting appraisals of the upheaval and assesses its impact on recent Chinese history. Prerequisites: 100 or 210 or 300 or Political Science 214 or consent of instructor. Offered occasionally in May Term.
311 Art And Architecture Of The Roman World (AR)
This course follows the development of the forms and ideologies of Roman art from the republic to late antiquity. The issues to be discussed will include public and private and civic and religious art and architecture, urban planning, and the interaction of Roman art forms and provincial cultures in the forging of identity. Offered occasionally.
315 Pagan And Christian Historical Writing In Ancient Rome (CH)
Cross-listed with Religion 315. Students will read and discuss various forms of historical writing among pagans and Christians in the Roman world from the first century BC to the fifth century AD. During this time historians recounted the past, sometimes according to traditional forms of historical writing, sometimes pioneering ways of conceptualizing the past completely at odds with the canons of earlier historical writing. Offered in alternate years.
316 The World Of Alexander The Great (CH)
This course sets the life of Alexander the Great (ruled 336-323 BCE) against the backdrop of the politics, society, culture, and religion of his times. Special attention is paid to the peoples that Alexander encountered in his march eastward into India and the results of this contact on the development of the histories and cultures of both the east and west. Offered occasionally.
317 Late Antiquity (CH)
A survey of the period from 200 C.E. to 800 C.E. which witnessed the division of the Roman Empire into East and West. Emphasizes how the process of Christianization created new imperial ideologies and political elites while preserving much of he intellectual and cultural heritage of the classical world. Offered in alternate years.
320 History Of Christianity
See Religion 321. Offered occasionally.
321 Tudor-Stuart England (CH)
England in the 16th and 17th centuries, emphasizing the turbulent reign of Henry VIII, religious persecution, political revolutions, the world of Shakespeare, the birth of modern science, and the family. Offered in alternate years.
322 Love And Death In Freud's Vienna
Simultaneously one of the most politically explosive and artistically creative urban centers in Europe at the turn of the century, Vienna was a battleground of reaction and modernism. The course focuses on the leading intellectual and artistic movements of the day: Freud and psychoanalytic theory; modernism in art, architecture, and music; the drama of Schnitzler, and the creative insights and social criticism. Offered annually.
323 Sex, Gender, And Power Under King James (CH)
This course uses the politics, writings, personal affairs, and scandals of King James’s reign in Scotland and England (1567-1625) to explore early modern attitudes about sex, gender, and power. Offered in alternate years.
325 Modern Germany
A social, economic, and cultural history of Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include the formation of national identity, Prussian ascendancy, the creation of empire, the role of women, the rise of the working class, war and revolution, and the refashioning of state, society, and culture after 1945. Offered annually.
326 Modern Russia/Soviet Union
A survey of Russian/Soviet history since 1861, emphasizing the collapse of the Tsarist regime, the Leninist and Stalinist revolutions, and problems in the Soviet Union and after. Offered occasionally.
340 Sailors, Pirates, And Passengers: Seafaring In The Atlantic (CH, U)
This course explores the history of seafaring in the Atlantic world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We will study those who crossed the ocean as immigrants (settlers, convicts, and slaves) as well as those who labored at sea (sailors, marines, and pirates). Offered occasionally.
341 The Americas In The Age Of Revolution, 1760 To 1825 (CH)
This course explores the causes, patterns, and consequences of revolutions throughout the Americas. Students will be encouraged to make comparisons between the imperial conflicts and social upheavals of British, French, and Iberian colonies. Particular attention will be given to examining the contested meanings of liberty and independence within societies comprising such diverse groups as Indians, settlers, creoles, and slaves. Offered occasionally.
342 White Power/Black Leadership, 1880-1920 (CH, U)
How African American leadership grew out of the severe economic, social and political hardships, even terror, imposed in the post-Reconstruction South as a caste system developed based upon the power of white supremacy. Men and women worked out ideas, programs, tactics and institutions for progress, while many moved to the urban North. Extensive reading in the works of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells and W.E.B. Du Bois. Offered annually.
343 United States Immigration History (CH, U)
Survey of immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries. Focuses on the ways race, ethnicity, gender, class, and national ideals shaped the lives of immigrants during this period. Also explores the dynamic and creative ways that immigrants and ethnics have confronted and shaped American culture and society. Offered in alternate years.
344 Reconstructing America, 1865-1900 (CH, U)
An examination of the transformations in American life and culture from 1865 to 1900. Emphasizes the conflicts and contradictions of American life for various racial, ethnic, class, regional and gender groups, focusing particularly on the new industrial city; the growth of commercialized leisure; the “civilizing” of the West; and African Americans in the New South. Offered occasionally.
345, 346 Social And Cultural History Of The United States
The major ideas which have shaped American culture, public policy, social institutions and religion from the colonial period to the present. Either semester may be taken separately. Offered in alternate years.
347 Artisans, Workers, And Robber Barons: The Commercial And Industrial Transformation Of The United States (CH, U)
An exploration of the historical consequences of the commercial and industrial transformation of the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, focusing predominantly on people, however rather than on the process itself: immigrant and native artisans and wage workers, the new captains of industry, women and children, shop girls and the new leisure class. Offered in alternate years.
349 History Of Religion In The United States
See Religion 349. Offered in alternate years.
350 Women, Work And Leisure, 1890-1930 (CH, U)
This course examines the transformation of ideas about women and gender roles at the turn of the century.We will focus on how women of all classes played a central role in changing these ideas and reshaping family, work, and leisure practices in the context of a rapidly changing industrial society. Offered in alternate years.
351 Modern America, 1900-1945 (CH, U)
Provides students with a firm foundation in the social, cultural, and political history of early twentieth century. Topics include Progressive-era reforms, domestic “culture wars”, home front during world wars, jazz age, Great Depression, birth of mass culture and motion picture industry. Analyze written texts, documentaries, films. Offered in alternate years.
352 Recent United States (CH, U)
The American experience since 1945. Emphasis is on the impact of the Cold War at home, the baby boom,Vietnam, 1960’s protest movements, and the crises of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Offered in alternate years.
353, 354 History Of United States Foreign Relations (CH)
The conceptual formulation of America’s attitudes and actions in the world from colonial times to 1914; the United States as a world power since the First World War. Either semester may be taken separately. 353 offered each fall; 354 offered each spring.
360 Modern Brazil, 1825-Present
An in-depth study of Brazilian history and culture from the independence period to the present. Brazil is the most populous Latin American nation with the world’s eighth largest economy and fifth largest area. Offered in alternate years.
361 Central America And The Caribbean (CH, G)
An in-depth study of the Central American and Caribbean region that will focus on the post-World War II period, but will also analyze the colonial and independence periods, as well as the early twentieth century. Offered occasionally.
370 Studies In History
Courses treating a specialized topic of historical study at an advanced research level. May be repeated for credit if the topic matter is different. See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills general education requirements. Offered occasionally.
380 Emperors And Revolutionaries: Chinese History Through Travel
A travel course to China, hosted by the History Department at Peking University, covering the country’s political history in both ancient and modern times. Students visit and study prehistoric, dynastic-era, and modern revolutionary sites throughout the country. Explorations include both famous historical sites and lesser-known but historically significant locations off the beaten track-all enhanced by discussions with Chinese scholars, students, and common people. Research conducted on changes in rural life since 1949. Prerequisite: 100, 300, or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years, May Term.
390 Seminar In Asian History (CH, G)
In-depth study of selected topics in Asian history. Emphasis on reading and discussion, with several short papers to facilitate reflection on the material. Prerequisites: one other course in Asian history, or consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.
397 Internship In Public History
A work experience intended as an introduction to the field of public history. The exact activities will vary, depending on the abilities and interests of the intern and the needs of the organization. Possibilities include accessioning and cataloging artifacts; making calendars and inventories; preparing exhibits; conducting outreach programs; researching and writing; and collecting oral histories. This course is limited to students seriously interested in careers in public history. Internships offered only on a credit/no credit basis. Prerequisites: 290, and consent of departmental internship supervisor. Offered as needed.
450 Special Project
A research project under the supervision of a member of the department on a topic mutually agreed upon. Prerequisite: 290 and consent of the instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of two course units. Offered as needed.
490 Seminar In History (W)
Intensive study of a specific historical era, figure, event, or movement, emphasizing the production of an original research paper. A research paper is required. Enrollment limited to history majors or special permission of the instructor. Offered annually.