History Course Offerings – Spring 09
HI 115: East Asia Since 1800, Dr Richard Bohr
2-4-6, 11:20, HAB 128A
A survey of continuity and change in the modern transformation of China (including the PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan), Korea, Japan and Vietnam. This course examines each country’s role in the other’s development; the impact of Western imperialism on the “modernization” of the region since 1800; and the implications of the “Asian Century.”
HI 117: History of South Asia >1500, Dr. Brendan LaRocque
1-3-5, 9:40, HAB 128B
This class will trace the history of South Asia from the rise of the Mughal Empire to the advent and decline of the British Empire in South Asia. Important themes include the development of international trading networks, the effects of colonial ideology in the British context, and the lives of every-day people in South Asia during this period. We will explore the ways in which concepts of religion, gender, nationhood, and identity evolved and changed during this time.
HI 140: The European Experience, Dr. Elisabeth Wengler and Dr. Gregory Schroeder
1-3-5, 8:00 (BAC 109) and 9:40 (Q360)
A thematic survey of topics in European history since the Renaissance. Topics to be considered include the interaction of religions and society, the rise of nation-states, war and peace, political, social, intellectual and economic revolutions.
HI 152: The American Experience, Dr. David Bennetts
2-4-6, 8:00 (Q353) and 11:20 (Q360)
A thematic survey of United States History. Topics and period to be emphasized varies, but major developments in political, social, intellectual and economic history are examined.
HI 165: History Readings Group, Dr. Annette Atkins
In this course students and various members of the history faculty will read and discuss current and classic writings in the discipline. Topics will vary.
HI 200: Sophomore Colloquium: The French Revolution, Dr. Elisabeth Wengler
1-3-5, 1:00, B106
The ideas and events of the French Revolution continue to be hotly debated more than 200 years later. Was it a revolution of the bourgeoisie? What role did books and ideas play? Why did the revolution devolve into the Reign of Terror? Was the Revolution a success or a failure? Was women's position better or worse as a result? We will analyze these questions by using sources that include eye witness accounts of events, newspaper articles written from various political perspectives, philosophical texts, revolutionary songs, and artwork from the period.
Many college courses adopt, intentionally or not, a Socratic approach: the instructor guides students through discussion of difficult texts by posing questions. This class is different. Here students will play an elaborate game set in the past, lasting approximately 10 class sessions. You will attempt to recapture the experience of the French revolutionaries by assuming, researching, and reenacting the roles of key players and trying to achieve your characters' victory objectives in a recreation of the French National Assembly of 1791-2. After completing the game, you will continue to follow your characters through the rest of the revolution (from the Terror through the Napoleonic era) through an analysis of primary and secondary sources. The course culminates with an exhibit that educates the public about the variety of opinions and experiences of the French Revolution.
HI 300G: Gandhi, Non-Violence and Islamic Movements in India, Dr. Brendan LaRocque
1-3-5, 1:00, B104
This course will explore the life and times of one of the modern world’s
greatest leaders, Mohandas K. Gandhi. We will examine how Gandhi forged a
long-term movement, centered on the practices of non-violence and civil disobedience,
which helped bring down the mightiest empire in the world. The
period of Gandhi’s struggle was also a time when numerous other powerful
nationalist currents, including many based on Islamic ideas and symbols,
emerged in the Indian subcontinent. We will therefore look at the historical
forces and people which comprised these socio-political movements, in an
effort to understand the complex and intriguing ways in which Gandhi’s movement
intersected, combined, and conflicted with other nationalist trends. The
lives of a number of Gandhi’s contemporaries will be studied, as will topics
including the role of political violence and non-violence, conceptions of masculinity
and femininity, caste, class, and race.
HI 300H: From Books to Bytes, Dr. Theresa Vann
Wednesday Evenings, 6-9 p.m., Room-TBA
Books have served as a primary repository of human knowledge since their inception. Over the millennia, book technology has evolved from ancient papyrus scrolls to modern bits and bytes all the while proving the adaptability and longevity of the book form.
Using the collections and resources of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, this introductory course will examine the book both as an artifact and as an agent of cultural change. Students will learn the technology of the book; the innovations introduced by the book; and the book’s impact on human culture on a global basis.
The goal of this course will be to provide an introductory vocabulary and a structure for students who wish to explore the history of books and printing from the ancient to modern world. The course will be organized around the following topics: the technology of the book; the book in ancient society, focusing on the development of writing and the alphabet; the classical book; the people of the book; the medieval book; printing; and the digital book.
HI 300L: Public History, Dr. Julie Davis
2-4-6, 2:40, Q344
What, exactly, is public history? What do public historians do? And how do we make history that matters in public life? This course will address these questions as we learn about the definitions, theory, methods, and practice of public history. We also will explore various career possibilities and
consider what it might be like to work as a public historian.
Students will read, analyze, discuss, and write responses to course
readings. Course work also requires students to co-lead class discussion and participate in a group project that engages them in the process of
HI 317: Peoples Republic of China, Dr. Richard Bohr
2-4-6, 1:00, H128A
An evaluation of China’s socialist revolution since 1949. Explores the rise of Communism in China; the China of Mao, Deng and beyond; and U.S.-China relations since 1972. Previews the integration of the PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan into a post-communist “Greater China” during the coming “Pacific Century.”
HI 319: Modern Japan, Dr. Richard Bohr
2-4-6, 2:40, H128A
This course traces Japan's modern transformation from feudal kingdoms to economic superpower. Beginning with the Meiji Restoration of 1868, we will analyze the role of domestic change and international forces in the political, social, intellectual, cultural, and economic aspects of Japan's dramatic emergence on the world stage. Through biographies, novels, newspaper articles, and videotapes, we will pay careful attention to Japan's relationships with its Asian neighbors, its interchange with the West, and the development of Japan's unique form of capitalism and economic security.
HI 333: Gender and Society in Western Europe, Dr. Elisabeth Wengler
1-3-5, 11:20, B107
This course examines the images, roles and experiences of women in Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution, and how these changed over time. While the focus will be on women, we will be studying the historical construction of both male and female gender roles.
Students will consider how gender can alter and deepen our understanding of the social, economic, political, religious, and cultural developments in medieval and early Modern Europe. Particular emphasis will be placed on the Renaissance and Reformation period.
Topics to be considered include: ideas about gender in medieval and early modern society; family, marriage, and sexuality; women, work and culture; women, religion, and authority; women on the margins of society; women, politics and power.
HI 335: Medieval Institutions and Society, Dr. Theresa Vann
2-4-6, 1:00, Pengl 244
This course will focus on the themes of medieval history from 1000 to 1350, emphasizing the development of independent kingdoms in Europe after the decline of the Roman Empire in the West. During this period the papacy emerged as the first dominant state in the West, able to create emperors and call Crusades. But gradually, strong feudal monarchies emerged whose centralized organization was borrowed from the church and Roman law and bolstered by lawyers trained in the new universities. Their expansion swallowed up their less powerful neighbors. Arts and culture flourished in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, encouraged by these powerful patrons. Eventually, they challenged the papacy and the whole idea of papal monarchy, creating a European ideal of independent nations that has lasted until the end of the 20th century.
The course will provide the student with the background of the Germanic invasions into the Roman empire, their gradual assimilation into Roman society, and the formation of the early Church. With the rise of feudal monarchies the student will encounter such notable medieval personalities as Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Western European civilization and intellectual life will be compared with the higher civilizations found in Byzantium and the Muslim world, and the exchange of ideas and technology will be demonstrated. The Crusades and the idea of papal monarchy will also be discussed in detail. The student will learn about communal medieval life in the university and the monastery. The course will conclude with the Black Death and its influence upon European civilization. Throughout the course, the student will obtain hands-on experience through primary readings, and contact with the manuscripts.
HI 346: Cold War Europe, Dr. Gregory Schroeder
Tuesday Evenings, 6-9 p.m., Q353
This course traces the political, economic, social, and cultural development of Europe after the unprecedented destruction and chaos caused by the Second World War. The topics under study include postwar recovery, the end of European overseas empires, the Cold War division of Europe, cultural and
intellectual dissent, and the end of communist regimes. The course covers both western eastern Europe. Course materials will include a basic textbook, monographs, literature, films, and primary sources. Students will be evaluated on the basis of discussion and several essays.
HI 348: History of Ireland, Dr. Bernard Carpenter
Thursday Evenings, 6-9 p.m., H107
Few countries in the world have such a compelling, individual, and stirring history such as Ireland. This course will examine the shifting patterns of settlement and colonization, the recurrent religious strife, and the establishment of new political entities. The traditional perspectives on Irish history have been swept away in recent years because of the new research of historians and because of the tragic events in Northern Ireland, and this course will offer the most current views on timeless Irish themes. Careful attention will be paid to the interaction of Irish history and literature, including folklore, and while political matters will be interwoven, the stress will be on the social aspects of people’s lives. Through a discussion of politics, culture, and economics, we will explore how Ireland is a hybrid of culture and peoples.
Students will learn to distinguish between myth and reality in a brief examination of ancient Gaelic Ireland. Through a careful examination of the political and the cultural evolution of 18th and 19th century Ireland, students will have a firm understanding of the issues of independence which have consumed the island in the 20th century. Students will comprehend the role that such emotional issues as the Great Famine and massive emigration have played in shaping this nation.
HI 353: Civil War and Reconstruction, Dr. James Fischer
1-3-5, 2:40, Guild Hall
"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect and defend' it."
Thus did the new President, Abraham Lincoln, issue his challenge to the South in 1861. The challenge was followed by the rapid secession of those southern states which would war against the Union for four long years.
What brought the nation to the point where a duly elected President would have to invoke the powers of his office to defend the Union against its own citizens? Was it the crisis of slavery? Lincoln said no! Was it the denial of constitutional rights? Lincoln thought not! Was it the work of extremists (abolitionists and secessionists) on both sides? The evidence suggests that they were a small and almost universally despised minority in both camps. What then, causes the Civil War? Our search for the causes of the war will include an examination of the crisis in the American two party system, the abolitionists, the uniqueness of Southern Society, the professed "failure" of the nation's political leadership, and the willingness of the American people to resort to violence to settle their differences.
This course also covers the war itself, with an emphasis on the way in which developments "behind the lines" influenced what happened on the battlefields. Our discussions of the war years will center on the two related questions: How did the North win the War, and how did the South manage to avoid defeat for four years. Finally, we will examine the nation's successes and failures in its effort to heal the wounds of war and restore the Union while securing the rights of former slaves.
HI 357: US From WWI to 1960, Dr. Derek Larson
2-4-6, 2:40, New Sci 140
Political, cultural and social change at home from World War I through 1960. Topics include the impacts of major wars (WWI, WWII, Cold War, Korea) on civilian society, cultural conflict in the 1920s, economic changes and the Great Depression, the evolving role of the Federal government, currents in popular culture, the influence of technology, and the roles of race, gender, and other individual factors influencing the American experience during the period.
HI 360: US Environmental History, Dr. Thomas Huffman
2-4-6, 8:00, Q349
Environmental history is the study of the relationship between humans and nature over time. This course examines the changing American understanding of nature in the 19th and 20th centuries with particular attention to the development of public policies toward natural resources and wildlife, the emergence of a new set of ideas recognizing non-utilitarian values in nature, and to the evolution of the conservation and environmental movements. Intellectual, political, economic, scientific, and social evidence will all be examined in the process of placing nature back into the human history of North America.
HI 361: American Women to 1920, Dr. Martha Tomhave Blauvelt
1-3-5, 9:40, BAC 109
“Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less,” Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote in her aptly titled paper, The Revolution. How did Victorian society produce such radical sentiments? Women’s history from the mid-eighteenth century to the vote in 1920 charts not only astonishing oppression but extraordinary activism. This course has two aims: first, to explain how and why women’s rights changed during this period; and, second, to explore the tremendous variety of women’s experience: the range of images (from Eve to saintly mother); their diverse economic, political, and social roles; and the differences stemming from class and race.
A majority of this course’s readings will be primary sources by women of this period, so that they can speak for themselves. Possible readings are Anzia Yezierska’s The Bread-Givers, a novel of Jewish immigrant life; Sherna Berger Gluck, From Parlor to Prison (interviews with former suffragists); Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland: a Lost Feminist Utopian Novel.
Class requirements emphasize active participation in discussion and three essays. There are no in class exams.
HI 364: American Religious Cultures, Dr. Martha Tomhave Blauvelt
1-3-5, 11:20, B109
Mormons to Muslims, immigrant Catholics to Fundamentalists, African Methodist Episcopal to Zen, American popular religion is a sea of competing faiths, providing more variety and more intense religious commitment than any other Western nation in the world. This course is not a history of church structure or theology, but an analysis of the changing cultural meaning and experience of popular religion in America. We will consider why American religious experience has been so diverse and passionate; how spirituality has shaped our society and vice versa; how our concept of the family of God reflects and shapes changes in American families, the role of religion in combating oppression; and the current role of religion in politics. The primary focus of the course is the twentieth century.