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: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level American History course, or permission of instructor. 4 credits. Ms. Purcell
History 333.01 "The Civilizing Mission and Its Discontents."
This seminar examines how various institutions in nineteenth-century Britain and the Empire worked to emancipate and improve the human condition through missions, charity organizations, humanitarian campaigns, Parliamentary commissions, public health, and education. Since "progress" carried the potential for both empowerment and subjugation, we will also consider how marginalized groups responded to the Victorian imperative to civilize Britain and the world. We will therefore approach philanthropy and reform movements as cultural encounters that encompassed conflicting ideas of race, gender, sexuality, class, and religion. The shared readings will facilitate students' development of a research project later in the course. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and HIS 235, 236, 261, or 262, or permission of instructor. 4 credits. Ms. Prevost
History 342.01 "Stalinism."
This seminar will examine the political, social, and cultural history of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, with a particular focus on the 1930s. The first half of the course will feature a series of common readings on topics such as the rise of Stalin's dictatorship, the Great Terror of the 1930s, and the drive to collectivize Soviet agriculture and industrialize the economy; we'll discuss the nature of everyday life and social identity under Stalin, look at the impact of propaganda and revolutionary ideology on the values and mindset of the population, and debate whether Stalinism represented the continuation of the revolution or a divergence from its ideals. After looking at a set of representative primary sources (such as oral histories, memoirs, and diaries), students will then produce a research paper in the second half of the semester, delving into some aspect of Soviet society and politics under Stalin. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and HIS 242 or its equivalent. 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: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level history course, or permission of the instructor. 4 credits. Mr. Lacson
History 322.01 “American History as Family History.”
Students in this seminar will explore ways to trace 20th century American history by tracing the stories of individuals in two generations of one family. Students will be allowed–but not required–to choose their own family members as the subjects of their historical investigations. Most of the semester will be devoted to research on specific individuals’ life stories and on the social context that shaped and informed those life stories. This is not a genealogy class nor is it a course on psycho-history. This is a course on how a two-generational family history can be analytically entwined with larger themes, such as class, gender, ethnicity, religion, education, migration, and politics. Participants will be encouraged to meet as a group before Winter Break to discuss possibilities for conducting oral history research during Winter Break. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and HIS 220, 222, 227, or 228. 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. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and HIS 201, 202, or 204. 4 credits. Mr. Silva
History 336.01 "Representing the Metropolis."
This seminar examines the blossoming of new urban spaces in Europe from roughly 1850-1930, spaces characterized by unprecedented population density and diversity, radical shifts in architecture and infrastructure, and vertiginous social and cultural developments. We investigate London, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin (and occasionally elsewhere) and study political developments, social theory, the visual arts, film, literature, architecture, consumer culture, and music. Concentrating in particular upon the ways that artists and intellectuals grappled with the idea and the experience of the metropolis, we consider such themes as community and alienation, the fluidity of the self, spectacle and entertainment, disease and criminality, and gender and class. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level European history course, including British or Russian history, or permission of the instructor. 4 credits. Ms. Maynard
History 371.01 "Propaganda! The Modern Politics of Persuasion."
This seminar introduces students to political uses of media and culture in the modern age. How have new technologies transformed the possibilities inherent in mass movements? What is the link between communications research and the history of twentieth-century warfare? How can "education," "information," and "persuasion" be distinguished in the context of contemporary debates? Our approach to answering these questions will be to examine the phenomenon of modern propaganda from the perspective of theory, cultural artifacts, and interdisciplinary research. Beginning in the late-nineteenth century, we will explore a series of case studies including empire, advertising, revolution, wartime mobilization, and soft power–all of them pivotal moments in the emergence of propaganda as a widely-utilized solution to intractable political dilemmas, or alternative to the imposition of policy by military means. Final papers will draw on primary research conducted throughout the semester. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level history course, or permission of the instructor. 4 credits. Mr. Johnson
Please note seminars are subject to change. 2/18/2010