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 311.01 "Politics in the Early American Republic."
Students in this seminar will discover and debate recent developments in the study of political history by focusing intensely on one of its most exciting periods, the early American republic. During the years 1789-1820, the American political system first took shape as federal and state governments established themselves, as the country experienced its first era of party conflict, and as philosophical ideas about the structures of American power and concepts such as "republicanism" and "democracy" were put to the test. The seminar will analyze traditional topics of political interest in this period such as political party formation and interaction among the "founding fathers," and it will also explore the many ways that recent historians have broadened their view of politics to include such factors as political culture, female involvement in politics, the politicization of everyday life, and the global context of U.S. politics. Students will write in-depth research papers on some aspect of politics in the period. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level American History course. 4 credits. Ms. Purcell
History 327.01 "Labor in Twentieth-Century Latin America."
During the twentieth century, Labor Movements helped transform many Latin American countries socially, politically, and economically. Organized workers have played key roles in the Mexican Revolution, the rise of Peronism, and the recent political triumphs of Brazil's Worker's Party. The common readings for the seminar will include some of the classic works and then move to more recent studies. These readings raise questions about the effect of employer paternalism on workers; the impact of special privileges on workers; and the role of women in the home, in the shop and in the union. In the second half of the course students will then write a major research paper on labor in twentieth-century Latin America. A reading knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is helpful but not required. Prerequisite: Any 100-level history course and History 201, 202, or 204. 4 credits. Mr. Silva
History 335.01 "Crusades and Crusaders." TENTATIVE
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: Any 100-level history course and History 233. 4 credits. Mr. Wei
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 312.01 "Race in Early America."
This course examines the social construction and significance of race during the colonial and early national periods in North America. In what ways did the concept of race in early America differ from our twenty-first century assumptions about race? How did Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans understand race? How did their experiences with one another shape their ideas about race? The readings are meant to introduce students to the various ways in which historians have examined race. Each student will be challenged to develop a historical question related to race. Students will then write a research paper to answer that question. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level American History course. 4 credits. Mr. Lacson
History 322.01 “American History as Family History.”
Students in this seminar will explore ways to trace twentieth 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 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. Over the course of the semester students will complete substantial individual research projects on any topic related to the European metropolis. Prerequisites: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level European history course, including British or Russian history. 4 credits. Ms. Maynard
History 361.01 "Sacred and Secular History in the Modern Middle East."
At the turn of the twentieth century, communities across the Middle East began to call for independence from the Ottoman Empire, European colonial authority, or both. That they did so on the basis of national identity and self-determination signaled a profound transformation in how these communities understood the nature of history and, as a result, how they "did history." This transformation specifically, the development of secular historical narratives about the nature of community had tremendous implications for the place of religion in society, the political economies of communities in the Middle East, and the nature of government in the region. This course will begin with readings providing a common foundation in historiographic traditions in the Middle East and the appearance and contestation of nationalisms in the region. Students will then pursue research projects on a range of topics. Possibilities include (but are not limited to) comparison of sacred and secular historiographic traditions, particular nationalist histories, economic development programs, critiques of secular historical narratives from within the Muslim community, and the place of colonialism and international institutions in the emergence of nationalism in the Middle East. Prerequisite: Any course on the history of the Middle East. 4 credits. Mr. Elfenbein
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. 4 credits. Mr. Johnson
Please note seminars are subject to change. 2/24/2010