Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

*The download on this page requires Adobe Reader for viewing and printing.

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Historical Studies


Gregory B. Moynahan (director), Richard Aldous, Myra Young Armstead, Leon Botstein, Omar Youssef Cheta, Christian Crouch, Robert J. Culp, Carolyn Dewald, Tabetha Ewing, Cynthia Koch, Cecile E. Kuznitz, Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Mark Lytle, Joel Perlmann, Miles Rodriguez, Gennady L. Shkliarevsky, Michael Staunton, Alice Stroup, Drew Thompson


The Historical Studies Program focuses primarily, but not exclusively, on political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of history. The program encourages ­students to examine history through the prism of other relevant disciplines (for example, sociology, anthropology, economics, philosophy) and different forms of expression (art, film, literature, drama, architecture). The program also introduces students to a variety of methodological perspectives used in historical research and to philosophical assumptions about men, women, and society that underlie these perspectives.

Areas of Study

Study plans can be divided into the following categories: national, regional, or local history (for example, American, European, Asian, Russian); period-oriented history (ancient, medieval, early modern, modern); and topical specializations (environmental history, urban history, diplomatic history, ethnic history, African American history, history of gender and sexuality, history of ideas, history of science and technology). Individual study plans may be further subdivided into specific areas of concentration.


In the Lower College, students are expected to take three or four history courses covering different regions and time periods and using a variety of research methodologies. Students are required to take a global core course before graduation, and preferably before Moderation. For Moderation, students are required to submit the standard two short papers and a ­sample paper on a historical subject. By the time of their graduation, students must have completed between six and eight history courses covering at least three world regions and one period prior to 1800. As part of the preparation for their Senior Project, juniors should take a Major Conference.

Recent Senior Projects

“Empowering the Individual: Rudolf Steiner, Social Threefolding, and the Failure of American Politics”
“The Professional Cherokee: Elias Boudinot and the Negotiation of Indian Political Identity, 1817–1839”
“Sacrificing Freedom: State Censorship in Imperial and Occupied Japan”
“Unfamiliar Homeland: The Global Historic Context of the Destruction of Jewish-Iraqi Relations”


The course descriptions that follow are presented numerically, beginning with 100-level introductory classes and continuing through 300-level seminars. Tutorials and Major Conferences are also offered regularly; recent examples include Anarchism, Critical Geography, and The Decision to Drop the Bomb. 

History 1001
cross-listed: asian studies, human rights
This course analyzes and compares some of the most iconic and influential revolutions in world history, including the French Revolution of 1789, the Bolshevik Revo­lution of 1917, and China’s Communist Revolution of 1921–49. Other revolutionary events examined include the German Peasant Revolt of 1525, China’s Cultural Revolution, the protests by students and intellectuals that rocked Europe in 1968, and the “velvet revolutions” and near revolutions that transformed state socialism in 1989.  

The Making of Europe to 1815
History 101
The second millennium opened a new era of European ascendancy. For 300 years, Northern Europeans improved agriculture and lived longer, and cities flourished as centers of commerce and culture. Then came a little ice age and the Black Death, followed by famines and epidemics. Yet the period also saw the rise of literacy, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the creation of a global empire. To understand the paradoxical making of Europe, students examine primary sources and modern ­analyses.

Europe since 1815
History 102
cross-listed: gis, human rights, res, victorian studies
The first half of the course, from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, covers such topics as the establishment of parliamentary democracy in Great Britain, the revolutions of 1848, and European imperialism. The second half focuses on the Great War, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depres­sion, the rise of fascism, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. 

Native Americans into American Natives
History 119
cross-listed: american studies
An introduction to major themes and events in American history, from the colonial era through the end of the Civil War and beginning of Reconstruction—a period of immigration, movement, and economic transformation not unlike what we are more familiar with after 1865. Topics include the contest over American continental “imperialism” between European and Indians, the production of an “American” identity, and the ramifications resulting from the transition of a household mode of production to a factory mode of production.

Modern Latin America since Independence
History 120  / LAIS 120
See LAIS 120 for a full course description.

20th-Century Britain
History 122
This introductory course starts with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and moves chronologically through the century. Particular emphasis is given to the multilayered experience of three great conflicts—the first and second world wars and the Cold War. The examination of this dramatic period in British history includes reading seminal texts by George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, Vera Brittain, Philip Larkin, and Martin Amis.

France and Empire in the Early Modern World
History 124
cross-listed: africana studies, french studies
The early modern world encompasses the histories of peoples and economies, and the circulation of ideas, products, and humans through long-distance oceanic travel. It helped to formulate the globalized, modern world we live in today. To study greater France is an opportunity to consider how the language of nation and empire overlays complex networks of contact, exchange, and identity between metropolitans, indigenous peoples, and those without states. 

Crisis and Conflict: Introduction to Modern Japanese History
History 127
cross-listed: asian studies
Japan in the mid-19th century was beleaguered by British and American imperialism and rocked by domestic turmoil. How, then, did it become an emerging world power by the early 20th century? Why did Japan’s transformations during the late 19th and early 20th centuries lead to the total war of the 1930s and 1940s, and what factors explain its postwar economic growth and renewed global importance? 

Origins of the American Citizen
History 130
cross-listed: american studies, human rights
The United States is often portrayed as emerging triumphantly in 1776 to offer inclusive citizenship and a transcendent, tolerant, “American” identity to all its indigenous and immigrant residents. Yet the reality of American history belies this myth. This course focuses on six moments that definitively challenged and shaped conceptions of “American identity”: the early colonial period, the Constitutional Con­vention, the Cherokee Removal, the era of internal slave trade and the “Market Revolution,” the Mexican-American War, and Reconstruction. 

Imperial Chinese History
History 135
cross-listed: asian studies
An introduction to the origins and transformations of the Chinese imperial order from the Neolithic period to the final decades of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). Among the topics explored are the founding and transformations of the imperial state, the emergence of the literati class, and late imperial period rural peasant society. The course considers the fluid and complex relations between Chinese states and their Central Asian neighbors, and assesses the impact of Buddhism on China’s Confucian and Taoist philosophical traditions.

The Mediterranean World
History 138
cross-listed: italian studies, lais
A historical journey to the Mediterranean world of the 16th and 17th centuries using the scholarship of Fernand Braudel as a vehicle. The class considers geography, demography, climate, and econo­mies; next, the formation of social structures; and last, politics, religion, and culture.

Introduction to Russian Civilization
History 140
cross-listed: medieval studies, res
An examination of the origins and evolution of Russian civilization from the founding of the first Eastern Slavic state through the 18th century, when Russia began to modernize by borrowing from Western culture. Among the topics considered are the ethnogeny of early Russians, the development of state and legal institutions, the relationship between kinship and politics, the role of religion in public and private spheres, economic organization, social institutions, popular culture, and the impact of the outside world upon Russian society.

20th-Century Germany and the Unification of Europe
History 141
cross-listed: german studies, gis, human rights
This course explores Germany’s pivotal place in the ideological divisions, political catastrophes, and theoretical, social, and scientific innovations of modern Europe. A guiding theme is the paradox that even as Germany is perhaps the most “modern” of European states, it has been haunted since its inception by its past. Topics include the impact of World War I, the political experiment of Weimar democracy, the Holocaust, the student protests of 1968, and the creation of a new German and European identity after 1989.

Britain since 1707
History 142
cross-listed: gis, victorian studies
This survey course examines 300 years of British history, asking how a small island off continental Europe spread its influence so successfully around the globe. Bringing together political, diplomatic, economic, social, and cultural history, and fully integrating England, Scotland, Wales, and the Irish experience, the class explores developments such as the growth of democracy, imperialism and decolonization, the two world wars, the expanding role of the state, and the reach of institutions such as the BBC.

The History of Experiment: Experiment, Experience, and the Scientific Method in Western Society
History 144
cross-listed: experimental humanities, sts
Although dating back in its modern form to the 16th century, the concept of the experiment as an attempt to find underlying continuities in experience has numerous origins stretching back to earliest recorded history. This course looks at the definition of experiment in several epochs, from the classical era to the present. Readings from Aristotle, Lucretius, da Vinci, Leibniz, Newton, Goethe, Darwin, Curie, Tesla, Einstein, Pasteur, Schrödinger, and McClintock.

American Revolution
History 149
cross-listed: american studies
Our founding was radical, virtually unimaginable, and, ultimately, what made us American. This course focuses on the Revolution—the events leading to the war, the war itself, and the articles constructed in its aftermath. Was our separation from Britain inevitable? How could our founders reconcile their cries for freedom on a nation built by slavery? What were the vices inherent in mankind against which our Constitution was intended to guard?

Under a Western Sky: The American West in Film, Fact, and History
History 150
cross-listed: american studies, film and electronic arts
An in-depth examination of one of the richest of American film genres, the Western. The films—which include such John Ford classics as Stagecoach and The Searchers, among others­—are studied from a number of perspectives, as characteristic examples of popular narrative cinema and as attempts to understand the complex dynamic of America’s westward expansion in the 19th century, the actual history of which provides a background for the screenings.

Diaspora and Homeland
History 153 / Classics 157
cross-listed: africana studies, human rights, Jewish studies
The concept of diaspora has gained widespread popularity as a way of thinking about group identity and group relationship to place. In this era of increasing globalization, more individuals than ever are emigrating to distant shores; as a result, “homeland” has taken on multiple complex meanings in the imaginations and lived experience of migrant populations. Students read recent theoretical works on diaspora and examine case studies of diasporic populations from ancient times to the present.

The History of Technology and Economics in the Modern Period
History 161
cross-listed: eus, gis, sts
The course considers how a separate domain of technology first came to be defined, in theory and practice, during the 18th century, and addresses how institutional forces such as law, academia, business, and government came to define and influence technological change and scientific research during the industrial revolution. Case studies ranging from the bicycle to the birth control pill help students generate “internal” accounts of the development of technology and science in conjunction with “external” accounts of the historical context of technologies. 

Africa South of the Sahara
History 178
cross-listed: africana studies, gis
Actual European colonial occupation of sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of South Africa, lasted a relatively short time. Yet the impact of European colonization on African religion, political organization, material culture, and gender relations was profound. How did Africans cope with, resist, and accommodate colonization, decolonization, and nation building? This course addresses those questions by using primary materials produced by Africans—political writings, fiction, autobiography, oral testimonies, and records of Africans’ actions and words as rendered by European colonial officials and missionaries. 

Jews in the Modern World
History 181
cross-listed: Jewish studies, religion
In the modern period Jews faced unprecedented opportunities to integrate into the societies around them, as well as anti-Semitism on a previously unimaginable scale. In response to these changing conditions they reinvented Jewish culture and identity in radically new ways. This course surveys the history of the Jewish people from the expulsion from Spain to the establishment of the state of Israel. It examines such topics as acculturation and assimilation, Zionism, the Holocaust, and the growth of the American Jewish community. 

The United States in the Middle East: A History
History 183
cross-listed: africana studies, american studies, gis, human rights, mes
This course explores American involvement in the Middle East, beginning in the early 19th century. Topics covered include the history of American merchants in the Mediterranean and Red Sea, the significance of American missionaries in the region during the European colonial period, U.S. interests during the Cold War, the 1958 Lebanon crisis, the emergence of an American-Israeli alliance, the Iranian hostage crisis, the histories of Arab communities in the United States, and the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

History of the Modern Middle East 
History 185
cross-listed: mes
This introduction to the history of the Middle East covers the period from the Ottoman conquest of the Levant and North Africa until the present. Students explore the social, political, and intellectual history of the region, drawing from a multitude of sources: Sufi poetry, modern novels, memoirs of political leaders, and treaties and works of Muslim reformers.

The Cold War
History 190
cross-listed: gis, human rights, res
Like two scorpions, the Soviet Union and the United States warily circled each other in a deadly dance that lasted more than half a century. In a nuclear age, any misstep threatened to be fatal—not only to the antagonists, but possibly to the entire human community. What caused this ­hostile confrontation to emerge from the World War II alliance? This course reconsiders the Cold War by simultaneously weighing both the American and Soviet perspectives on events as they unfolded.

Topics in Modern European History, 1789 – Present 
History 192
cross-listed: gis
This course employs methodologies and historiographies ranging from gender and demographic history to diplomatic and military history. It offers both an in-depth presentation of key aspects of modernity and a survey of ­contemporary historiography. Among the key issues discussed are the relation of the Industrial Revolution to the creation of new institutions of invention and patent, the role of institutional struture in diplomacy, and the effect of new mass media on citizenship.

James Bond’s World
History 2007
The character of James Bond has played a defining role in creating our understanding of what it means to be a spy and an Englishman. This course looks at the reality behind the fiction of one of Britain’s most glamorous and enduring exports, as well as the author who created him and the context of the postwar world. Background reading: Ian Fleming’s The Blofeld Trilogy and Simon Winder’s The Man Who Saved Britain.

Alexander the Great
History 201
cross-listed: classical studies
Alexander the Great changed the world more completely than any other human being, but did he change it for the better? How should Alexander himself be understood—as a tyrant of Hitlerian proportions, as a philosopher-king seeking to save the Greek world from self-destruction, or as a deluded madman? Such questions remain very much unresolved among modern historians. This course undertakes a thorough reading in the ancient sources concerning Alexander and examines as much primary evidence as can be gathered.

History of New York City
History 2014
cross-listed: american studies, eus
A history of New York City from its founding as a Dutch colony to the present postindustrial, post-9/11 era. Emphasis is on the 19th and 20th centuries, when the city was transformed by immigration and rose to prominence as a global economic and cultural capital.

Berlin and Vienna: The Science of Metropolis, 1890–1933
History 2017
cross-listed: eus, german studies, sts
Following a tour of central Europe in 1914, American reformer Frederic Howe marveled at how “administrative and industrial efficiency are a scientific study in which hundreds of thousands of the best minds of the state are engaged . . . scientific thought [is applied] to every process and every social and industrial problem.” The class examines this process and the reactions against it in the major metropolises of Berlin and Vienna, in part through the interrelated lives of sociologist Georg Simmel and novelist Robert Musil.

Wars of Religion
History 2035
cross-listed: gss, human rights
Religion and revolution have formed an unholy alliance at several distinct moments in history. The 16th and 17th centuries were a time in which religious revolution and new ways of ordering spiritual life exploded in a fashion that no one could have anticipated. This course traces the personal stories of real people during this period through Inquisition records, diaries and conversion tales, early pamphlets, and accounts of uprisings.

Global Europe
History 206
cross-listed:french studies, german studies, human rights, ics, italian studies, spanish studies
The historical narrative and the historical novel developed interdependently during the 19th century. Through a policy of aggressive expansion, the nation-states of Europe controlled over 85 percent of the world’s habitable land by 1900. How did expansion and the postcolonial reaction to it transform European culture and sensibility? How did a region defined by a millennium of continuous conflict find not only relative peace but, in the European Union, a new political form and model for global human rights? This seminar features contributions by a range of Bard faculty and incorporates films, musical performances, and public readings.

Early Middle Ages
History 2110
cross-listed: classical studies, medieval studies
A survey of seven centuries, from the Germanic invasions and dissolution of the Roman Empire to the Viking invasions and dissolution of the Carolingian Empire. Topics include early Chris­tianity, “barbarians,” the Byzantine Empire, Islam, monasticism, and the myth and reality of Charlemagne. Readings include Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne, and selections from Ammianus Marcellinus and Gregory of Tours.

The Arab-Israel Conflict
History 2122
cross-listed: human rights, Jewish studies, mes 
This course provides students with an understanding of this conflict from its inception to the present. Among the themes discussed are how the Jewish national movement that began in the late 19th century and the Arab national movement that arose to contest Ottoman and European rule of Arab peoples led to the emergence of the State of Israel and the Palestinian refugees in 1948. The course examines how the political character of the conflict has changed over the decades.

African Americans and U.S. Cities
History 2126
cross-listed: africana studies, american studies, eus
For African Americans, cities have been imagined as places of hope and opportunity to a far greater extent than for the general populace. At the same time, the experience of blacks in American cities has been mixed—as cities have been notably, if not disproportionately, salient sites of misery and violence. This course considers variations in African American urban life over time, and the reasons for such shifts.

Making of the Atlantic World
History 2133
The “Atlantic World” encompasses the histories of the peoples, economies, ideas, and products that interacted around the oceanic basin in the early modern period. This was an international arena that shaped or destroyed communities and developed as a result of voluntary and involuntary movement. Students consider the histories of the actors and agents who shaped or were shaped by Atlantic systems, as well as the implications of how we remember that history. 

Jewish Women: Gender Roles and Cultural Change
History 2137
This course draws on historical and memoir literature to examine the lives of Jewish women and men and their changing social, economic, and religious lives across the medieval and modern periods. It considers the status of women in Jewish law and discusses the forms of women’s religious expression, the differing impact of enlightenment and secularization on women in Western and Eastern Europe, the role of women in Zionist and labor movements, and other related issues.

Perpetual Peace: War, Pacifism, and Utopia in German History
History 2138
Immanuel Kant began his famous essay “Perpetual Peace” by noting that for the cynic the topic of his essay could only apply to a graveyard. Yet he proposes that through a better constitution of human institutions a realistic alternative, and a real peace, could be developed. Can it? In this course, students examine the dialectic of war and peace in Germany, and later the European Union, from the Thirty Years War to the present.

Zionism and Jewish Nationalism
History 2141
cross-listed: human rights, Jewish studies, res
This course explores the historical context for Zionism and other Jewish national movements, with a focus on European movements. Also considered are the answers proposed by each movement to questions such as: What is the most effective means of securing the rights of Jews as a stateless minority? How should Jews relate to the other groups among whom they live? Do Jews need a territory of their own?

Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, and the Contemporary Middle East
History 215
cross-listed: mes
Over the past four decades arguably no two international forces have had more impact on the Middle East than neoliberalism, an economic philosophy that played a critical role in fomenting the Arab uprisings that began in 2010, and neoconservatism. This course traces the development of both ideologies in their U.S. and Middle Eastern contexts and explore their many intersections. Students read exemplary works by neoconservative and neoliberal thinkers, think tanks, and institutions as well as by their critics.

The Progressive Era in U.S. History
History 217
cross-listed: american studies
This course surveys the period between 1890 and 1930 for the social and cultural politics of reform that it spawned. Topics include cross-Atlantic exchanges that informed an American progressive consciousness, competing historical interpretations of progressivism, and the legacy of progressivism for later 20th-century liberalism. In addition to the recognized reform movements of the period, the class considers other contemporary developments—for example, the rise of educative exhibits and exhibitionism, racial accommodationism—as reflections of progressive thought.

Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World
History 2191 / Classics 2191
cross-listed: classical studies, gss
The course explores the gendered relations of men and women in the ancient Greco-Roman world, focusing on literary and historical sources, in order to understand the social history of ancient sexuality and its complex manifestations. Topics include women’s lives in classical Athens; Greek homoerotic relationships; sexuality as part of Greek drama, religion, and mythology; women in Roman myth, literature, and history; and differences in Greek and Roman sexual/social bonds.

Mexican History and Culture
History 220
cross-listed: lais
This course focuses on events that have changed and defined Mexican culture, from the apex of the Aztec civilization to the fall of the revolutionary ruling class in contemporary Mexico. Topics include the role of gender and race in colonial Mexico, ideologies of nation-building after the War of Independence, and representations of cultural identity that emerged from the Revolution of 1910. Influential artistic and intellectual voices considered include Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Diego Rivera, Juan Rulfo, and Octavio Paz.

The Politics of the Postcolonial Middle East
History 2203
cross-listed: africana studies, eus, gis, human rights, mes
This course draws on literature produced by historians, political scientists, and anthropologists to explore topics such as the impact of the Cold War and the rise of third worldism, the role of women’s movements, the coalescence of political Islam, the Arab-Israel conflict, the Lebanese Civil War, the impact of oil production, the Iranian Revolution, and the wave of revolutions that have swept the Middle East in the past year.

Anthropology and History of Brazil and Mexico
History 222 / Anthropology 222
See Anthropology 222 for a course description.

Decolonization and Postcolonial Africa
History 2236
cross-listed: africana studies human rights
This course provides an overview of the recent history of sub-Saharan Africa, moving beyond conventional “crisis narratives” to look deeper into a history filled with momentous changes and great possibilities as well as problems and continuities. Among the topics discussed are the dynamics of late colonialism and the roots of national liberation movements, Pan-Africanism and African socialism, the rise and impact of neoliberalism, and the changing position of Africa in the world.

Conquest, Empire, and Revolution in the Ottoman Middle East
History 2252
cross-listed: mes
A history of the Ottoman Empire, with a focus on the Arab provinces it acquired through conquest in the 16th century. Among the questions that the course addresses are: How did regional conflicts shape the history of the empire? How were communities structured within the Ottoman realm? What was the role of religion in organizing the empire? Why did the Ottoman Empire come to an end?

Ecological History of the Globe
History 2253
cross-listed: eus, sts
Human technology and population growth have damaged the Earth through deforestation, erosion, salinization of soil, and species loss. Where our moral sensibilities look to repair or reduce ecological damage, our study of historical and evolutionary processes helps identify those processes, from political to ecological, most likely to succeed in that endeavor. The course examines case studies from prehistory to the present to reconsider human institutions, cultures, and choices in ecological context.

Confucianism: Humanity, Rites, and Rights
History 229
cross-listed: asian studies, gss, human rights, philosophy, religion
This course explores the transformations of Confucian philosophy, social ethics, and political thought, from its ancient origins through the present, focusing on five key moments of change. Close readings in seminal texts provide a foundation in the earliest Confucian ideas of benevolence, rites, and righteousness. The course also considers how Confucian thought shaped Western ideas of rights; how Confucian concepts of humanity, relational ethics, and social responsibility offer alternatives to Euro-American rights discourse; and the contemporary Confucian revival. 

China in the Eyes of the West
History 2301 
cross-listed: asian studies, gis, human rights
European Enlightenment thinkers viewed the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) as the world’s most enlightened despotism, but by the turn of the 20th century most Western thinkers considered China to be the “sick man of Asia.” This course reconstructs the visions of China formulated by Europeans and Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries, and explores how those visions changed over time. Texts include popular histories, news reports, travel writing, academic works, novels, photographic essays, films, websites, blogs, and list-serves.

Shanghai and Hong Kong: China’s Global Cities
History 2302
cross-listed: asian studies, gis
Shanghai and Hong Kong are cities with long cosmopolitan pasts. This course explores the history of their current economic, social, and cultural dynamism, and in doing so probes the historical roots of globalization. It analyzes how 19th- and early 20th-century colonialism and semicolonialism both drove and conditioned, in somewhat different ways, the development of these two cities.

Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Modern China
History 2306
cross-listed: asian studies, gis, gss
The point of departure for this course is the ­traditional areas of focus for scholars of gender and sexuality in China: footbinding, the cloistering of women, and the masculinization of public space; the transformations of Confucian age-sex hierarchies within the family; the women’s rights movements of the early 20th century; and the Communist Revolution’s ambivalent legacy for women in the People’s Republic of China. 

The American Dream
History 2307
cross-listed: american studies
“But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be ­better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” These words from James Truslow Adams summarize the optimism and sense of exceptionalism that have defined much of Ameri­can experience. This course considers the various articulations of the Dream and the ideological and structural supports for it, and how these have changed over time. 

China’s Environment in Historical Perspective
History 2308
cross-listed: asian studies, eus, gis
The fate of the global environment arguably depends on how China’s environmental crisis develops over the next half century. This course analyzes the historical roots of China’s current environmental condition and confronts the challenges posed to current efforts at environmental protection. In addition to regular papers, the class works on a group project to formulate a comprehensive environmental policy for China during the coming decade.

Margaret Thatcher and Her World: Britain in the 1980s
History 2311
When the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was asked what she had changed about British life, she answered: “Everything.” This course looks at a transformational period in British politics, culture, and society, examining seminal contemporary texts by writers such as Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Nick Hornby, Alan Clark, and Margaret Thatcher herself.

From Classicism to Modernism: Music, Politics, and Society in the Long” 19th Century
History 2313
cross-listed: victorian studies
Music is not written in a vacuum; it is both a “mirror and a prophecy” for its time. This course examines European music in the “long 19th century,” from the French revolution to the eve of World War I. By using individual case studies—e.g., Mozart’s Don Giovanni; Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring—students explore the political, commercial, philosophical, material, and circumstantial influences surrounding each composition, and the impact of these works on their own times and ours.

Global Victorians
History 2319
cross-listed: victorian studies
They went everywhere and did everything. Long before “globalization,” the Victorians imagined the world universally. In their voyages of discovery they set out to achieve mastery of others and themselves, as well as attempting to map and understand the natural world around them. The course focuses on this project of empire, both from within and without, using texts on exploration and discovery. Authors studied may include Charlotte Bronté, Joseph Conrad, Sir Richard F. Burton, Rudyard Kipling, Anna Leonowens, and Winston Churchill.

American Urban History
History 232
cross-listed: africana studies, american studies, eu
A study of urbanization in America as a social process best understood by relevant case studies. Topics include the establishment of the nation’s urban network, the changing function of cities, the European roots of American city layout and governance, urban social structure, the emergence of urban culture, and American views of cities.

Peasant Commune, Renaissance, and Reformation in the German and Italian Worlds, 1291–1806: Inventing Modernit
History 2341
cross-listed: german studies, italian studies
Using Jacob Burckhardt’s The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy as its starting point, this course examines the role of the drastic upheavals of the early modern period in defining the origins of such modern institutions as capitalism, political individuality, religious freedom, democracy, and the modern military. Also addressed is the historiography and politics ­surrounding the “invention” of the Renaissance in the late 19th century and Burckhardt’s relation to von Ranke, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche.

Native Peoples of America
History 2356
cross-listed: american studies, human rights
An overview of the history created by and between Native peoples, Europeans, and Africans, from the initial colonial exchanges of the 15th century up through the 20th century. Students focus on primary sources from the Northeast, South­west, and Southeast and the ways in which those sources have been manipulated over time. The changing cultural and political self-understanding of Native peoples is examined in conjunction with the appropriation of their culture and agency by both the federal government and scholarship.

Jerusalem: History, Theology, and Contemporary Politics
History 2357
cross-listed: gis, human rights, Jewish studies, mes
This course surveys past events that contributed to the making of the history of Jerusalem; the theologies that make it a Holy City for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and the Israeli and Palestinian national narratives that make it a contested capital. In addition to Israeli policies regarding Jerusalem and Palestinian responses, international initiatives and third-party plans that present solutions to the problem of Jerusalem are discussed.

The Sixties
History 237
cross-listed: american studies, eus, human rights
This course examines the irony of increasing political dissent and violence in an era of relative prosperity. It touches on such topics as civil rights, media and politics, the Cuban missile crisis, popular culture, and the feminist movement. It takes an in-depth look at John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon, and at the most disruptive crisis of the post–World War II years, the war in Vietnam.

Czarist Russia
History 241
cross-listed: res
This survey explores Russian history from Peter the Great to the 1917 revolution within a broad context of modernization and its impact on the country. Among the topics covered are the reforms of Peter the Great and their effects; the growth of Russian absolutism; the position of peasants and workers; the Russian revolutionary movement and Russian Marxism; and the overthrow of the Russian autocracy. Readings include contemporary studies on Russian history and works by 19th-century Russian writers.

The American Civil War: A History
History 254
cross-listed: american studies
No event looms larger in American historical consciousness than the Civil War, and yet questions remain about why the war was fought and what it meant to those who fought it. Was it war over slavery or to preserve the union? Did the North win or the South lose? Why did Union and Confederate forces meet at Gettysburg and how did that clash affect the war’s outcome? This course takes up these and other questions.

The Victorians: British History and Literature, 1830–1901
History 255 / Literature 255
See Literature 255 for a full course description.

Joyce’s Ulysses, Modernity, and Nationalism
History 2551
cross-listed: ics, sts, victorian studies
Although it concerns only one day in 1904, each chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses is written in a radically different style. This course complements Joyce’s stylistic innovation by using ­multifarious contemporary documents and ­historical texts to unfold the historical context and resonance of each of Joyce’s chapters. Among the key issues addressed are the function of historical and mythical time in everyday life and the effect of politics and mass media on personal experience. 

Capitalism and Slavery
History 2631 / Human Rights 2631
 Scholars have argued that there is an intimate relationship between the contemporary wealth of the developed world and the money generated through 400 years of slavery in the Americas. Is there something essential that links capitalism, even liberal democratic capitalism, to slavery? This course examines the development of this linkage, focusing on North America and the Caribbean from the early 17th century through the staggered emancipations of the 19th century. Contemporary issues (e.g., reparations, the “duty” of the Americas to Africa) are also considered.

Encounters in the American Borderlands
History 269
cross-listed: africana studies, american studies, eus, human rights
Frontiers and borders have threaded across the Americas like a spiderweb from the late 15th century until the present. What did it mean to have an encounter in these borderlands—between Native Americans and Europeans or Africans? Are borderlands exclusively a physical space or are they imagined as well? This course provides an overview to borderlands in North America from the Columbian Exchange (1492) to the late 20th century, and considers the possibilities and perils for those living in the zone between empires and nations.

The Holocaust, 1933–1945
History 2701
cross-listed: german studies, human rights, Jewish studies, sts
This course examines modern anti-Semitic movements and the aftermath of World War I; Nazi rule and the experience of German Jews from 1933 to 1938; the institution of ghettos and the cultural and political activities of their Jewish populations; the turn to mass murder and its implementation in the extermination camps; and the liberation and its immediate aftermath. Special attention is paid to the question of what constitutes resistance or collaboration in a situation of total war and genocide.

Liberty, National Rights, Human Rights
History 2702
cross-listed: gis
Both the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the successor conventions that ultimately formed the International Bill of Human Rights were created in reaction to the problems of genocide and mass population transfers during World War II. Topics include the creation of national rights from the treaty of Westphalia through the British, American, and French Revolutions, the relation of these rights to colonial administrations, and the postwar institutions of human rights, among others.

The Other Europe: East Central Europe after World War II
History 279
cross-listed: gis, human rights, res
After a brief history of East Central Europe before and during World War II, the course concentrates on the region’s evolution since the war. Turning points in that evolution (e.g., the Berlin uprising of 1953, the Hungarian revolution and reforms in Poland in 1956, the “Prague Spring” of 1968, the Solidarity movement in Poland, and the revolutions at the end of the 1980s) are examined, as are topics such as political systems, economic organization, ethnic conflicts, and gender relations.

American Environmental History I
History 280A
cross-listed: american studies, eus
Since the Old World first encountered the New, a battle has raged over what this New World might become. For some, it meant moral and spiritual rejuvenation. For most, it meant an opportunity to transform material circumstances. At no time have those two visions been compatible. This course examines attempts to fashion a scientific or aesthetic rationale for the use and abuse of natural resources, to subdue or preserve the wild­erness, and to understand the relationship between humans and nature.

American Environmental History II: The Age of Ecology 
History 280B
cross-listed: american studies, eus
This course investigates the history of Americans’ interaction with their environment from roughly 1890 to the present. It considers how the role of the federal government has changed from the “conservation” to the “environmental” eras, why the Dust Bowl occurred, how chemical warfare changed the life span of bugs, whether wilderness should be central to the environmental movement, and other topics that address how we live in the world. 

The History of International Institutions
History 2812
cross-listed: political studies
This course traces the history of international institutions from the Concert of Europe to the World Trade Organization. Topics include the factors that led to the demise of the League of Nations and the rise of the United Nations; the Dumbarton Oaks, Yalta, and San Francisco Conferences; the rise and consequence of the international financial institutions created at Bretton Woods; and the major successes and failures of these institutions over the last 200 years.

History 282
cross-listed: africana studies, american studies
This course explores the connections between the American Civil War and the subsequent Reconstruction project in the former Confederate states, and the life of its own acquired by that project after the war’s end. Also examined: the competing understandings of the war’s goals by contemporaries; the experiences of various participants (Northerners, emancipated slaves, Southern whites) in Reconstruction; political and extrapolitical opposition to Reconstruction; and the institutional and constitutional legacy of the project.

Environmental Politics in East Asia
History 283 / Political Studies 283
cross-listed: asian studies, eus, sts
China, Japan, and South Korea have all undergone rapid economic development in recent decades, leading to dramatic changes in the livelihoods of their people. But rapid development also had steep environmental costs. This course explores the similarities and differences in the ways that each country has approached the environment, from historical themes in the culture, society, and religion of each place, to more modern domestic and international concerns over pollution, waste, energy and food security, population growth, resource degradation, public health, and social justice.

FDR and the Birth of the Modern Presidency
History 2832
cross-listed: american studies
This course examines Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s response to the global crisis of 1933 to 1945 with a view toward gaining a greater understanding of how his policies transformed America, the world, and the office of the U.S. presidency during these critical years. Also addressed are the long-term consequences of his policies and the ways they continue to fashion the world we live in today.

Creating History
History 300
cross-listed: classical studies
The word “history” comes from the first sentence of the Histories of Herodotus, written in the fifth century b.c.e. This course looks at how history as a field of inquiry came about and the way early Greek historians—Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon—shaped its identity. The class considers how these first historians thought about such things as data (when is it trustworthy?), narrative structure (does it inevitably distort data?), and depiction of character (what role does the individual play in shaping events?).

The Age of  the Roosevelts
History 301
cross-listed: american studies, eus
The course covers the period of Franklin Roosevelt’s public life, with emphasis on the Depression era and World War II. Students take advantage of the rich body of private papers and public documents in the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park and learn how to do basic research in a presidential archive. Research topics extend to other public and New Deal figures, such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins, and to relevant topics in cultural, social, military, and other fields of history.

Environmental Diplomacy
History 302
cross-listed: gis
Diplomatic historians have long looked at territorial disputes, imperial ambitions, and dynastic competition as causes for war. They have generally ignored the environment as a factor in international relations. Yet, future wars may well be fought over pollution, scarce resource destruction, and overpopulation. This course invites students to look at peoples, events, and issues in which the environment has played a central role, and affords them an opportunity for research and writing that prepares them for their Senior Projects.

Political Ritual in the Modern World
History 3103
cross-listed: anthropology, asian studies, gis, human rights
Bastille Day, the U.S. presidential inauguration, and rallies at Nuremberg and Tiananmen Square: political ritual has been central to nation-building, colonialism, and political movements over the last three centuries. This course uses a global, comparative perspective to analyze the modern history of political ritual. Among the topics covered are state ritual and the performance of power, the relationship between ritual and citizenship in the modern nation-state, and the ritualization of politics in social and political movements.

Fugitives, Exile, Extradition
History 3107
cross-listed: human rights
This course studies the picaresque case histories of runaway wives, fugitive slaves, dissident pamphleteers, anti-imperial revolutionaries, and others confronting extradition by foreign governments or sovereigns. It covers the period from the rise of European states (when rulers effectively kidnapped their subjects from foreign territories) to the birth of the modern extradition system. Prerequisite: History 102, Political Studies 104, or Sociology 242.

Dewey and His Contemporaries
History 3109
This course deals with the social history of ideas at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, mostly in the United States, with a focus on the emergence of progressivism in politics, social policy, the arts, and education. The class explores the lives and ideas of such significant American social thinkers as Jane Addams, John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, William James, and George Herbert Mead.

History 3112
cross-listed: gis, human rights, medieval studies
The cry “Plague!” has struck fear among people around the world, from antiquity to the present. What is plague? How has it changed history? Starting with Camus’s metaphorical evocation of plague in a modern North African city, this Upper College seminar examines the historical impact of plague on society. It focuses on bubonic plague, which was epidemic throughout the Mediterranean and European worlds for 400 years, and which remains a risk in many parts of the world.

The High Middle Ages
History 3117
cross-listed: french studies, medieval studies
The High Middle Ages is an era of cultural flowering, population growth, and political consolidation, occurring between the two cataclysms of Viking invasions and bubonic plague. Students read modern analyses of medieval inventions, heretics in Southern France, the plague, and women’s work. Also examined are medieval texts—anticlerical stories, epic poetry, and political diatribes—that offer a contemporary perspective on values and issues.

Jewish Power and Politics
History 3131
cross-listed: Jewish studies, political studies, res
This course examines modern Jewish political movements, such as Zionism and Diaspora Nationalism, as well as attitudes toward power and powerlessness in Jewish culture. Students scrutinize the answers proposed by each movement to the problems of anti-Semitism and assimilation, and also address the question: Does combating powerlessness require Jews to have a state of their own? The course focuses on European movements and thinkers, but also considers how these ideas played out in the United States and Israel.

History of U.S. Urban Schooling
History 3132
cross-listed: american studies, eus, human rights
This course reviews the history of urban schooling within the context of major social developments from the early national period to the 21st century: industrialization, immigration, unionization, suburbanization, and the woman’s suffrage and civil rights movements, among them. The first section traces the development of urban schools through the first half of the 20th century; the second focuses on more contemporary problems of school reform.

Biography and U.S. History
History 3135
cross-listed: american studies, eus, human rights
Students survey the ways in which life stories can convey multiple and often opposing understandings of the past. Biographies can reinforce “Great Man” understandings of history, recover the role of ordinary people, confirm the idea of individual agency, highlight the power of context in framing individual decision making, precisely locate and define extraordinary actions and actors, render history in human terms, and suggest rightly or wrongly a coherence to the past. This course serves as a Major Conference.

Capitalism, Rural Society, and Peasant Rebellions in the Arab World, 1800–1939
History 3136
cross-listed: mes
Throughout the 19th century and beyond, the reorganization of peasant production and livelihood in the Middle East had uneven effects on local societies and spurred a variety of responses, including direct and indirect rebellion. What do these rebellions tell us about local societies and politics in the Middle East? How did the emergence of modern state structures and the growing reach of capitalism affect the region’s peasantries? This course looks at these and other questions about the Arab world in this period. 

Urban Disasters and Catastrophes in U.S. History
History 3137
cross-listed: american studies, eus
Natural disasters and traumas to the physical infrastructure and built environment—great fires, epidemics, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, blackouts, riots—are conventionally viewed as abnormalities in the flow of a functioning city. At the same time, such calamities can reveal shockingly institutionalized patterns of unevenness and gaps/oversights in urban management. Through several case studies, the class investigates these issues by considering fictional, first-person, and other primary literature on American cities as well as pertinent monographs. For moderated students only. 

Violent Cultures and Material Pleasures in the Atlantic World
History 314
cross-listed: africana studies, american studies, human rights, lais
Emeralds, chocolate, sugar, tobacco—precious, exotic, sweet, addictive. Like human actors, commodities have stories of their own. They shape human existence, create new sets of interactions, cross time and space, and offer a unique lens through which to view history. This course explores the hidden life of material objects that circulated from the early modern Atlantic into the rest of the world. Readings introduce historical methods and strategies to reclaim history from objects found in different parts of the Americas.

History 3145
cross-listed: american studies
In this course students first learn various methodologies and approaches used in writing early American history, and then apply these strategies in their own research papers. The first half of the course examines current historiographical approaches to the topic of the English settlement of Jamestown; the second half provides an intensive investigation of primary source materials, which form the core of the research papers that students generate at the end of the semester.

Environmental History of the Middle East and Africa
History 3146
cross-listed: africana studies, eus, human rights
This course explores the particular and general questions that shape the portrayal of the environment in each regional historiography, such as: How has agriculture evolved and what changes in agricultural practice have proved most transformative? What role has the “natural” environment played in the development of nationalism and political conflict? How does the urban, “built” environment interact with rural and agricultural spaces?

Education and Social Policy in the United States, 1954–2002
History 315
cross-listed: social policy, sociology
This seminar explores the history of education and social policy in the United States from Brown v. Board of Education (1954) to passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (2002). It examines the roles of institutions (notably, research and advocacy organizations, think tanks, and philanthropic foundations), social movements and political parties, the mass media, and individual men and women in the shaping of public policy.

Anti-Semitism: A Comprehensive Examination 
History 320
cross-listed: human rights
This course considers one of the oldest and most persistent forms of hatred, asking, among other questions: How is anti-Semitism part of the family of bigotries, prejudice, and discrimination, and how is it unique? How has it manifested itself in different eras, regions, political systems, economies, and cultures? Why does it exist in some countries that do not even have Jews? How can it be combated?

A Sociological Classic: Middletown and America  
History 322 / Sociology 322
See Sociology 322 for a full course description.

The History of American Horticulture for Nongardeners 
History 3236
cross-listed: american studies, eus, sts 
Horticultural history, especially when considered in a broadly Anglo-American Atlantic context, provides a unique approach to learning about the history of science/agriculture, aesthetics, a particular economic vision for the country, labor relations, the gendering of avocations, and the cultural dimensions of all of these things. This course explores these topics in colonial American and U.S. history with particular emphasis on the period from 1700 to 1900. 

Making Space in the Colonial and Postcolonial World
History 3237
cross-listed: africana studies
anthropology, eus, gis, human rights 
Over the past two centuries, rapid urbanization, postcolonial development projects, and dramatic shifts in agriculture have radically transformed the spaces we now consider the postcolonial world. In addition to a rigorous engagement with historical, political, and anthropological case studies, which focus primarily on the Middle East and Africa, this course critically examines a body of theory associated with the production of space.

Race, Ethnicity, and Assimilation in American Thought
History 324 / Sociology 324
For a long period, immigration to the United States and other Western countries was more or less unrestricted (and in some cases strongly encouraged). But around the turn of the 20th century the “open door policy” ended. This course considers the changing American context within which these changes in policy came about. Though it focuses primarily on the United States, comparisons to developments in immigration restriction made by other countries is also considered.

The French Revolution
History 327
cross-listed: french studies 
After considering theories about political revolutions generally and reading about the French Revolution itself, the class examines French history during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Topics include shifting social structures, economic problems, the development of royal absolutism and opposition to it, and religious and intellectual controversy.

Enlightenment in France
History 328
cross-listed: french studies 
The Enlightenment in 18th-century France represented a great burst of intellectual confidence in man’s capacity to change the human condition. This course surveys characteristic literary forms (from the novel to the encyclopedia) and such key Enlightenment themes as gender, race, and human nature; the natural world and the city/civilization; the colonies; politics and economy; and epistemology and the progress of human reason. Readings from Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau, and from contemporary best-sellers by La Mettrie, Buffon, Graffigny, and Quesnay.

Culture and History of Food
History 329
cross-listed: eu
This course takes a historical and cultural look at the relationships between who we are and what we eat. What can we understand about a culture by looking at its food? How do people construct relations to their bodies, other people, their histories, animals, and their environment through food? Students consider such themes as food’s role in organizing gender relations, religious practice, debates over taste and pleasure, cultural and national identity, and environmental impact and sustainability.

The Politics of History
History 340
What are the origins of history as a modern discipline? How have particular modes of history developed in relation to nationalism, imperialism, and the emergence of the modern state? How have modern historical techniques served to produce ideology, and how have these same techniques provided tools for challenging different forms of domination and the ideologies that help to perpetuate them? This course addresses these questions through theoretical readings, including works by Foucault, LaCapra, Scott, White, and theorists active in the subaltern studies movement.

20th-Century Russia: A Country in Turmoil
History 350
cross-listed: gis, res
The process of modernization, initiated by the revolution in France and the English industrial revolution, resulted in many societies being transformed beyond recognition. This seminar addresses the effects of modernization on Russian society, from the reforms of 1861 to the 1930s. Topics include the 1917 revolution and the establishment of Stalin’s regime, economic developments in pre‑ and postrevolutionary Russia, and social transformation in the position of the peasantry and women.

Russian Intellectual History
History 365
cross-listed: res
Following a brief introduction dealing with the modernization of Russia and the origin of Russian secular thought and the intelligentsia, this seminar focuses on the major trends and personalities in 19th-century Russian secular thought. Topics include continuity and change in Russian culture, debates between Western­izers and Slavophiles, revolutionary populism, and socialism. Readings include works by Chaadayev, Chernyshevsky, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Lenin, and Tolstoy, and contemporary studies of the Russian intellectual tradition.