Gender and Empire in Victorian Britain.
This course will examine the centrality of women, gender, and sexuality to British colonialism in the "long nineteenth century." The first half of the course will focus on three related investigations: women's historical experience in the empire through travel, emigration, and philanthropy; the role of imperial identity in shaping metropolitan feminist and reform movements; and the gendered dynamics of both colonial encounters abroad and British imperial culture at home. We will also consider the impact of poststructuralist and postcolonial theory on studies of gender and empire. The shared readings will facilitate students' development of an independent research project. Prerequisite: History 236, 262, 295 (British Empire), or 295 (Disease & Public Health in Europe), or permission of instructor.
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.
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.
Representing the Metropolis.
This seminar investigates cities such as Paris, Vienna, London, and Berlin by exploring the visual arts, film, literature, architecture, consumer culture, and music since the late 19th century. Our study of inherent qualities and tensions in the modern urban experience will include community and alienation, the fluidity of the self, spectacle and entertainment, disease and criminality, gender and class. Final papers will apply course themes to primary source research topics. Prerequisite: Any 200-level European history course, including Russian or British history.
This seminar will concentrate upon the major historiographical divide over Stalinist Russia and evaluate the evidentiary bases that sustain these interpretations. Traditional historiography of this era has concentrated upon the "totalitarian" model, and has depended upon official documents, as well as the memoirs and public statements of major figures and Ð¹migrÐ¹s. More recent interpretations have sought to complicate the story, and give voice to more ordinary historical actors-as preserved in the archives of the secret police, in private diaries, and in the collections of unprinted denunciations and letters to the editors of Soviet publications and Soviet leaders. Through scrupulous reading of some major representatives of these views, as well as through careful consideration of representative examples of the various sources, participants in the seminar will develop a better understanding of the historiographical issues and the way that these issues inform historical research. The first part of the seminar will depend upon our common reading, but students will also select a project of their own on which to work the entire semester, culminating in a written paper and oral presentation to the seminar. Prerequisite: History 242 or its equivalent.