Majors must take two seminars (or their equivalent) in two different geographic areas: Asia, Europe, Latin America, Russia, or the U.S. Seminars with a broader geographic focus, such as HIS 328, can be sorted into one of these categories based on the focus of your research paper.
History 326.01 "History of 19th Century American Popular Culture."
Students in this seminar will examine the creation and expansion of American popular culture in the nineteenth century as they focus on diverse cultural forms: dime novels, newspapers, music, sports, cartoons, material culture, theater, minstrel shows, magazines, etc. The seminar will focus particularly on how ideas and structures of race, class, and gender were changed and reinforced by American popular culture. Research papers will analyze popular culture in a historical context to consider how popular culture created or changed power dynamics in American society. Prerequisites: History 111 plus any 200-level American History course or permission of instructor. 4 credits. Ms. Purcell
History 333.01 "The Civilizing Mission and its Discontents."
Nineteenth-century Britain witnessed the birth of modern social action through various public and private institutions. The middle-class faith in progress and perfectibility, the social problems of an industrializing economy, and the expansion of British global influence all sparked a moral imperative to emancipate and elevate the human condition. Yet these lofty Victorian ideals often replicated the inequalities the reformers sought to transform, and alienated the beneficiaries they hoped to rescue. This seminar examines the development of the "civilizing mission" through various arenas in Britain and the Empire, including missionary work, charity organizations, humanitarian campaigns, Parliamentary commissions, education, medicine and public health, suffrage movements, and popular culture. Since social action carried the potential for both empowerment and subjugation, we will also consider how marginalized groups responded to this growing imperative to civilize Britain and the world. We will therefore approach philanthropy, social justice, and reform movements as cultural encounters that encompassed conflicting ideas of race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and empire. The shared readings will facilitate students' development of a research project later in the course. Prerequisites: History 236, 295 (British Empire), 295 (Sub-Saharan Africa), 295 (Disease and Public Health in Europe) or permission of instructor. 4 credits. Ms. Prevost
History 338.01 "Histories of Leisure in Modern Europe."
From well-heeled British travelers visiting Rome on a "Grand Tour" in the early 19th century to contemporary spectators attending the final match of the Champions League soccer competition at the Stade de France in Paris, "leisure" - in its many guises - has constituted an increasingly central part of the European social and cultural historical experience. This seminar will examine the development and transformation of leisure in Europe over the past two centuries, focusing particularly on the contested massification of three types of leisure pursuits: consumption, travel and tourism, and sport. The first half of the course will be devoted to common readings designed to familiarize students with these topics; students will then research and write a major independent paper during the remainder of the semester. Prerequisites: Two 200-level History classes, preferably one in modern European history, or permission of the instructor. 4 credits. Mr. Lewis
History 352.01"Film and Historiography: The Cinematic Representation of the Past."
Many historians have been harshly critical of the ways that movies portray the past. In this seminar, our goal will not be to discuss how "good" a film is or to point out the historical errors within it, but to ask a series of broader questions about the possibilities and drawbacks of producing history for the silver screen. In the first half of the course, we will look at historical films from around the world, ranging from Eisenstein's "Ivan the Terrible" to Beatty's "Reds," paying particular attention to critiques written by historians who specialize in the films' subject matter. In the second half of the course, each student will write a 20-30 page analysis of a historical film or films, discussing the historiographical and theoretical issues we discussed in the first seven weeks of the seminar. Prerequisites: Two 200-level History courses. 4 credits. Mr. Cohn
History 321.01 "Colonial Encounters in North America: A Comparative Approach."
This seminar will examine Spanish, French, and British encounters with the native peoples of North America from 1492-1821. Students will grapple with three comparative questions: 1) What common attitudes and behaviors marked the European colonizers? 2) How did European colonists differ in their reactions to, and actions toward, the native peoples? 3) What was the range of native responses to the three different European empires and their colonists? Students will use the course common readings to propel them towards their own research project. Prerequisites: History 105 or 111 and any 200-level U.S. History course (History 211, 212, 214, 221, 222, 227, or 228) or permission of the instructor. 4 credits. Mr. Lacson
History 323.01 "The Art of Biography."
This seminar explores the complex blend of objective and subjective elements that necessarily comprise the writing of biography. The purpose of the seminar is to weigh the reliability of different types of evidence and explore the choices that biographers must make about weaving evidence into a coherent narrative. Students will be asked to consider issues of ethics and literary style, as well as questions of veracity and logic when exploring various approaches to writing biography. In the spring of 2009, we will take advantage of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth to focus our discussions on Lincoln biographies. The Lincoln literature allows us to explore a wide array of issues related to writing biography while also allowing us to appreciate the challenge of mastering the story of just one American life. For their own research, students will have the opportunity to conduct biographical research on any American figure on whom there are accessible primary and secondary sources. Prerequisites: History 112 or 200-level American history course. 4 credits. Ms. Brown
History 329.01 "Latin America and the United States."
As the saying goes, Latin America lies too far from God and too close to the United States. This proximity has affected Latin, American economics, demographics, culture, and politics. The seminar will begin with common readings. This year those common readings will focus on US attempts-both official and unofficial-to democratize and modernize the region. Students will then write a research paper using primary documents. These papers could focus on anyone of a number of issues that were central to US-Latin American relations such as hemispheric security, economic affairs, democracy, and socialism. A reading knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is helpful but not required. Prerequisite: History 201, 202, or 204. 4 credits. Mr. Silva
History 375.01 "Mao Zedong (1893-1976): Portraits of the Chairman."
This seminar will examine the various stages of the life of Mao: his childhood, his rise to prominence in the revolution, and his roles first as Chairman of the Communist Party and later as the undisputed ruler of the People's Republic. Themes for this course will include Mao's family life and his struggles against rivals both inside and outside of the Party; this course will also consider his thoughts on peasant organizations, guerrilla warfare, intellectuals and elites, literature and art, mass will and energy, and the continuing revolution. As well, the course will analyze changing depictions of Mao both by himself and by other individuals of differing political persuasions. Readings will include Mao's early autobiographical account, selected biographies published in the West over the past decades, and portions of Mao's speeches and writings relevant to our themes. Prerequisites: History 275 or 276. 4 credits. Mr. Hsieh
History 33X.01 "Crusades and Crusaders."
This research seminar will introduce students to modern debates and research into the crusades. In the first seven weeks, students will read extensively in the primary sources of the first four crusades and choose a research topic. Class discussion will focus on understanding these written texts as both literary works and historical sources. Weeks 8-13 will be devoted to special topics and students' research projects. A different student/group of students will be responsible for structuring class discussion in each of these remaining weeks and assigning (short) readings for the rest of the class. This exercise will help students become familiar with their classmates' research area and teach them how to understand and frame their own research within a broader context. Prerequisite: History 233 or the permission of the instructor. 4 credits. Mr. Wei
Last updated: 03 April 08