Courses of Study
[HI106] Greek History Listed as Ancient History 158. Three or four credit hours. H.
HI111f Europe from the Classical World to the Religious Wars An interdisciplinary survey of European history from preclassical Greece to 1618. We will examine changing attitudes toward gender and sexuality; concepts of persecution, repression, and tolerance; religious conflict; reactions to disease; and economic disparity and slavery. Larger themes include the classical legacy; development of law codes; church and state; revival of cities; Crusades; the New World; and the Renaissance, Reformation, and religious wars. Focus is on the critical analysis of primary sources, class discussion, and development of writing skills. Four credit hours. H, I. Taylor
HI112s Europe Since the Seventeenth Century Does modern European history advance toward specific goals (such as democracy, freedom, rationalization, social equality, secularization, mass consumerism, integration)? How have mentalities, state forms, ways of living changed? What has set Europe apart from the wider world? An introduction to four centuries of an eventful and exciting history that has shaped not only Europe but the world of today. Seeks to promote understanding for, and appreciation of, different mindsets and social circumstances in an ethnically and culturally diverse, evolving environment. Four credit hours. H, I. Scheck
HI120Cf Spotlight on History: Genocide in Modern Europe What do the Armenian genocide, mass violence in the Stalinist Soviet Union, the Holocaust, and "ethnic cleansing" in Yugoslavia have in common? What differentiates them? How do we distinguish between genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and other atrocities? Focus on survivor testimony and historiansŉ debates on the motives of the perpetrators, the experience of victims, and ways of coming to terms with the past. Four credit hours. H, W1, I. Scheck
[HI120D] Spotlight on History: Becoming Chinese American In mines and factories, on plantations and railroads, Chinese immigrants helped build the United States. Driven abroad by turmoil in China, but often intending to return home, they found themselves caught between competing nations, their stories often wrapped in and erased by Orientalist discourses of exoticism, peril and deviancy. This process-oriented writing course explores the contested spaces of Chinese American history, with particular focus on the relationship between writing and the production of historical knowledge. Student research and daily writing will focus on archival and primary source materials including newspapers, congressional hearings, photographs, memoirs, and Chinese American literature. Four credit hours. H, W1, U.
[HI120E] Spotlight on History: World Revolutions World revolutions in the 20th century transmitted the energy of ideological fervor, violent iconoclasm and radical justice beyond the bounds of Europe. The great socialist revolutions in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America can be viewed as the diffusion through ideological and artistic forms of a utopian tradition that sought to change the world by reinterpreting it. Revolutionary activism was made accessible to the masses as visual art, political pamphlet, literary narrative, film and slogan. This process-oriented, archive and object-centered course foregrounds research with these primary sources, enabling student engagement with methodological questions of how we understand, historicize, and curate revolution as a global phenomenon. Global lab. Four credit hours. H, W1.
[HI120F] Spotlight on History: Mao's Red Guards China, 1966: Chairman Mao's Red Guards, student activists turned paramilitaries, spearheaded the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Sanctioned by Mao and protected by the People's Liberation Army, they embroiled the country in mob violence, political purges, iconoclastic destruction, and mass executions. Defined by loyalty to Mao, their ideological crusade saturated daily life, violently enforcing an orthodox interpretation of Mao's writings as the sole criterion of historical truth — before the Red Guards themselves faced reeducation as "sent down youth" in the countryside. This writing-intensive course explores these studentsʁ experiences, foregrounding the role of language, rhetoric, and genre in the Red Guards' formation, power, and identity. Four credit hours. H, W1.
HI120Gs What is Nature? Histories of Colonialism, Slavery, and Capitalism In this class, we pay attention to who is telling the story and how they define nature. We seek out interdisciplinary sources that allow for more voices to define nature. We learn about the historical processes and beliefs about the land that led to most Indigenous peoples being removed from their lands. We learn about how these white supremacist views shaped not only colonization, but also the system of chattel slavery, and even the development of the National Parks System at the end of the nineteenth century. This course engages deeply in interdisciplinary thinking and learning. This is necessary not only to understand the past and correct a white-washed version of history, but also to ask good questions and live and learn within the climate crisis. Four credit hours. H, W1, U. Jacobson
HI131f Survey of U.S. History, to 1865 This course surveys U.S. history through Reconstruction. We give special consideration to the central paradox of slavery and freedom in the U.S., as well as to conflicts between Indigenous and European peoples. It is impossible to “cover” all of U.S. history in this period. Instead, we follow a chronological trajectory and explore a theme each week. Themes include colonization, slavery, religion, labor, gender, and war. Throughout, we listen empathetically to voices from the past, and center marginalized voices who have not been the writers of historical narratives.
HI132s Survey of U.S. History, 1865 to the Present The rise of national power and its implications for American democratic values. Four credit hours. H. Weisbrot
HI138f America from the Roaring 20s to the Great Depression Why did racial, religious, cultural, and regional tensions tear at American society in the years after World War I, a time of soaring production, consumption, and living standards? Why did the nation's vaunted prosperity give way in 1929 to the greatest economic collapse in American history? How did people cope with hard times over the next decade? How did their responses transform American values, culture, and politics? Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Cinema Studies 138 and English 138. Elect Integrated Studies 138. Four credit hours. H. Weisbrot
[HI140] Sharia (Islamic) Law An introduction to how Islamic law functions and why it takes the shape that it does. We will explore the nature of religious, as opposed to secular, law. How is sharia formulated? Who has control over it? How is it applied and how have its applications changed over time? To answer those questions, we will consider different philosophies of law, explore a variety of approaches to the interpretation of law, and examine different institutional embodiments of law. We will see that the Islamic legal systems are pluralistic and see how they differ from the U.S. legal system. Four credit hours. H.
[HI141] Genocide and Globalization: 20th-Century World History The terms genocide and globalization aptly describe the long 20th century in world history, which begins in the 19th century with the "opening" of China and Japan, German unification, and the onset of imperialism. By focusing on the roots and the context, the history of the 20th century as well as present tensions in the Middle East, Ukraine, South China Sea, etc. are easier to understand. The focus will shift from national (Germany, United States, China) to regional (Europe, Africa, Americas, Asia) to global perspectives. Introduces the major relevant ideologies and systems, such as nationalism, National-Socialism, fascism, communism, capitalism, social democracy, imperialism, decolonization, total war, genocide, and globalization. Four credit hours. H, I.
[HI143] Maritime History of the World Although humans may be terrestrial mammals, humanity as a whole is amphibian. This course explores the role of the sea in shaping the material and intangible aspects of human culture. Topics covered include the sea as a source of sustenance and resources, a means of communication and transportation, a site of spiritual devotion and artistic inspiration, and as a battlefield. Students will also analyze the gendered aspects of human interactions with the sea, the impact of pollution and climate change, and will examine especially closely the lives of littoral and maritime communities. Students will attend lectures, engage in class discussions, complete reading assignments and essays, and work with primary sources to put together a final research presentation. Previously offered as History 198 (Spring 2020). Four credit hours. H.
[HI144] Patterns in East Asian History, to 1600 A survey of East Asian history from antiquity to around 1600, concentrating on the development of a broad East Asian world system and the political, social, economic, and cultural negotiations that produced it. From the origins of human civilization in the region through the evolution of shared but contested cultural touchstonesŊincluding philosophical and religious systems, economic networks, and political rubricsƢEast Asia has been a dynamic driver of global history. It will provide students with basic literacy in East Asian history and cultures with a substantive emphasis on common systems, practices, and experiences across East Asia. Through it, students will gain the ability to assess and reevaluate the contested contours and multiple meanings of "East Asia" on a deep historical basis. Four credit hours. H.
[HI146] Modern East Asian History, 1600-Present A survey of East Asian history from around 1600 to the present, concentrating on the drastic changes that transformed the regional order and meaning of "East Asia" during the modern era. From the Manchu conquest in the seventeenth century through the Western "opening" of Asia in the nineteenth century to the violent conflicts and rapid development of the twentieth century, historical contingency and local contexts have shaped a distinct form of East Asian modernity. It will to provide students with basic literacy in modern East Asian history and cultures with a substantive emphasis on the interaction between global and local systems in East Asia. Through it, students will gain the ability to assess and reevaluate the meaning of modernity in East Asia on an informed historical basis. Four credit hours. H.
HI149s Modern Utopias: From the Satanic Mills to Silicon Valley Looking at England's "dark Satanic Mills" in the early 1800s, the poet William Blake proclaimed that he would not sleep "till we have built Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land." We will examine attempts to reshape states, economies, urban space, and individuals during the last two centuries. Topics will include early forms of "utopian" socialism, the modernization of 19th-century Paris, the New Town movement in Britain, Hitler's plans for Berlin, Soviet cities, industrial and agrarian utopias in post-colonial Africa, and Silicon Valley's techno-utopianism. Satisfies the Historical Studies (H) requirement. Four credit hours. H. Meredith
[HI154] Roman History Listed as Ancient History 154. Three or four credit hours. H.
HI158f History of Ancient Greece and the Near East Listed as Classics 158. Four credit hours. H. Taylor
HI162f History of the Atlantic World Explores the interconnected histories of Europe, North America, Latin America, and Africa through the lens of trade, migration, and the exchange of ideas, including revolutionary ideals. It begins with the reasons why Europeans sought out increasing trading connections with Africa and Asia, and how this drive impacted the so-called "discovery" and subsequent colonization of the Americas. Covered topics include genocide against Native Americans and land dispossession; the importation of African slaves; the growth of the plantation economy, especially in the Caribbean; and slavery. Also covers the Age of Revolutions, including the American, French, Haitian, and Spanish-American revolutions. The course ends with abolitionism and the rise of the mass indenture of South Asians in the 19th century. Four credit hours. H, I. Brignac
HI164s Africans and the Making of the Atlantic World Voodoo. Gumbo. Revolutionaries. The banjo. How did Africans shape the societies, cultures, and religions of the Atlantic World in the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade? To what extent did Africans bring their cultures with them to plantations in the Americas, and how did these practices shape life in these societies? Can we see these legacies today? Students will gain an understanding of the brutality of Atlantic slavery and the ways that Africans sought to survive it. Societies covered include Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and the U.S. Four credit hours. H, I. Brignac
HI173f History of Latin America, 1491 to 1900 Listed as Latin American Studies 173. Four credit hours. H, I. Fallaw
[HI183] History of the Premodern Middle East The history of the Middle East from the rise of Muhammad to the rise of the Ottomans and Safavids. The spread of Islam, the development and application of religious and political authority, the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties and their successors, the development of Islam in both its formal and more folk forms, the development of literature, art, science, and society. Gives a broad and deep understanding of the Middle East that will allow for more nuanced interpretations of current events grounded in an understanding of the long historical context. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI184f History of the Modern Middle East The history of the Middle East from the post-Suleymanic Ottoman Empire to the present. Examines the fall of the Ottoman and Safavid empires, the rise of Western dominance, the struggle for independence, attempts at reform, the Arab-Israeli conflict, oil, the Iranian revolution, the Gulf War, the rise of Islamist movements, and ongoing repercussions. Particular focus on the interplay between religion and politics and the nature of power and authority. Designed to give the historical background necessary for understanding current events in the Middle East in their proper context. Four credit hours. H, I. Li
[HI211] World of Ancient Egypt The history of ancient Egypt from the Old Kingdom (2700BCE) to Cleopatra, with an emphasis on mythology, the concept of death and the afterlife, political power, popular and wisdom literature, art and architecture, the role of the environment, and warfare and conquest. Focus will include the roles of women, skilled workers, and slaves. Four credit hours. H.
[HI212] Games of Thrones: Medieval England and France Thematic study of medieval England and France from 1000-1500, with topics including the Norman Conquest; the Anarchy; the Becket controversy; Marital and Familial Conflict; wars within Britain; Regicide and Revolt; Hundred Years War; and the Wars of the Roses. Four credit hours. H.
[HI217] Tudor England, 1485-1603 Focuses on the social, religious, political, economic, and nationalistic changes after the fall of the Plantagenet dynasty in 1485. After reading numerous biographies and primary sources, it will culminate in a research paper studying the history of one year based on primary sources from the period. Numerous out-of-class films will supplement class discussion and lectures. Previously listed as History 316. Four credit hours. H.
HI222j Europe and the Second World War An exploration of the origins of World War II, its military, civilian, and diplomatic aspects, and its effects. With a special focus on foreign occupations during the war and on the bloody aftermath of the conflict. Goal is to understand history in its dramatic and unsettling open-endedness - important, as the outcome of the war was initially hard to predict, leading many Europeans to make decisions based on expectations that turned out to be false. Although the focus of the class is on Europe, the global dimensions of the war receive ample consideration. Focus on critical reading skills and on understanding historical patterns of oppression, violence, and resistance. Previously offered as History 297J (Jan Plan 2021). Three credit hours. H, I. Scheck
HI224f Germany and Europe, 1871-1945 What went wrong with Germany from the first unification to the catastrophe of Nazism? Examining the question of German peculiarities within the European context and the debate on continuities in recent German history. Focus on critical reading and writing skills and on understanding historical processes including patterns of exclusion and intolerance. Four credit hours. H, I. Scheck
[HI225] Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital Explores how race has shaped the history and present of Washington, D.C., the city that best captures America's expansive democratic hopes and our enduring realities of racial inequality. We will examine how racial issues from slavery, Reconstruction, and civil rights to urban violence, the drug war, and education reform have shaped the nation's first black-majority city. Students will analyze and interpret primary and secondary historical sources, and they will learn to write and speak more confidently, clearly, and concisely. Three credit hours. H, U.
HI226j Cities from Scratch: A Global History of New Towns What does an ideal city look like? During the twentieth century, urban reformers believed that they could answer that question. They created holistic new towns that countered the sprawling, squalid, unjust, and polluted conditions of the metropolis. This course will explore the planners' goals for their cities and the messier realities, as well as how planned cities often became vehicles for political propaganda. Students will acquire a grasp of modern urban history, methods of analyzing both written and visual sources, and conduct a historical research project on a new town. Previously offered as HI297C (Jan Plan 2019). Three credit hours. H. Meredith
HI227f Russian History, 900-1905: Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality The cultural and social history of Russia. Topics include Kievan Rus', the rise of Moscovy, the westernizing influence of Peter the Great, and the development of serfdom and autocracy. Focus on Russia's self-identity as Western or Eastern and on the challenges of building civil society. Four credit hours. H, I. Olmsted McGraw
HI228s The Russian Empire: Soviet History and 20th-Century Revolutions The people of the Soviet Union lived through three revolutions (1905, 1917, 1991) and two world wars. Their leaders forced the pace of modernization and subjected their own citizens to class war, arrest, and execution. An exploration of the last days of Tsarism, of Leninism and Stalinism, and of the forces leading to the Gorbachev revolution and breakup of the Soviet empire. Four credit hours. H, I. Olmsted McGraw
HI229j America's Whitest State? Immigration in Maine, Yesterday and Today Maine is often called "America's whitest state," a term that obscures the state's rich history of immigration. In this interactive, discussion-based course, students will explore how the state and its residents have responded to and been shaped by various waves of immigration to the state, from English and French farmers in the early 19th century to Irish and French Canadian mill workers and Lebanese Christians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to Somali, Iraqi, and Syrian immigrants today. In addition to studying books, articles, and films, students will deliver an oral, multimedia presentation. They also will have the opportunity to meet many "New Mainers" as guest speakers and explore the diverse cultures of Waterville, Augusta, Lewiston, and Portland. Previously offered as HI297J (Jan Plan 2020). Three credit hours. H, U. Asch
[HI231] American Women's History to 1870 An examination of key themes in the varied lives of women in America from colonial times to the end of the Civil War, such as their relationship to the public sphere and politics; women's work in the contexts of household production, early industrialization, and slavery; women and citizenship in the new republic; and women, religion, and social reform. Four credit hours. H, U.
[HI232] American Women's History, 1870 to the Present An exploration of critical topics in the history of women in America from Reconstruction to the present, including the struggle for suffrage, black women in the aftermath of slavery, women and the labor movement, the impact on women of two world wars, birth control and reproductive freedom, women's liberation, the feminization of poverty, and the backlash against feminism. Four credit hours. H, U.
[HI233] Native Americans to 1850 Through readings, discussions, and films, students will examine how native peoples actively sought to preserve their lands, cultures, and identities and will consider their social and cultural contributions to American life. Topics may include pre-contact Indian societies; contact and conflict with explorers, traders, missionaries, and settlers; warfare and society; the struggle against early American expansion; Indian removal in the East; and the Trail of Tears. Four credit hours. H, U.
[HI234] Native Americans since 1850 Through reading, discussion, and film, students will examine how native peoples actively sought to preserve their lands, cultures, and identities and will consider their social and cultural contributions to American life. Topics may include warfare and removal in the West, cultural repression, boarding schools, Indian soldiers and code talkers, urban migration, termination, Indian activism and revival in the 1960s and 70s, and the ongoing struggle for sovereignty, recognition, and prosperity. Four credit hours. H, U.
HI235f A Shrimp Between Whales: The Making of Modern Korea, 1800-1945 A survey of transformations of life on the Korean peninsula through waves of foreign intervention in the 19th-20th centuries. From foreclosed internal reforms through the trauma of colonization, Korean society, politics, and culture changed in fundamental ways that persist today. This course rethinks the relationship between modernity, colonialism, and the formation of national identity, by examining how Koreans within and beyond the peninsula rejected, deflected, and even embraced various manifestations of modernity (missionary Christianity, Qing imperialism, Japanese colonialism, and American militarism) on the path to Korean modernity. Four credit hours. H, I. Diederich
[HI239] The Era of the Civil War A social, political, and cultural survey of the Civil War, its origins, and its aftermath. Was the war a watershed in American history, as historians have commonly suggested? And if so, what kind of watershed? Four credit hours. H, U.
HI243s History of the U.S. West This class considers how the West is a mythic place that has created many American icons and narratives, including the frontier, Hollywood, and the so-called Wild West. We will also investigate how the West is a historic place where conquest, violence, and convergences of unlikely people have all unfolded. This course will examine the historic and mythic West over the course of several centuries. Using novels, histories, first-hand accounts, visual art, and film, we will explore thematic topics that illumine how the West has changed over time, the diverse people who have called it home. Previously offered as HI297 (Fall 2019). Four credit hours. H, U. Jacobson
HI244s Brothers at War: The Two Koreas, 1945-Present Nukes in the north and K-Pop idols in the south. The two Koreas could not seem more different today, but their division is barely a generation old. Why was Korea split and how did the two halves come to diverge so drastically? To answer these questions, this survey explores inter-Korean relations and their global contexts from division through experiences of civil war, rapid development, and geopolitical rivalry through a range of readings and media. Throughout, North and South Korea have vied for peninsular primacy and global prestige on the one hand, while upholding a shared narrative of common but sundered Korean identity on the other. Four credit hours. H, I. Diederich
[HI245] Science, Race, and Gender Historical analysis of the concepts of race and gender in four different ways: their institutional basis, their scientific content, epistemological issues that surround notions of race and gender, and the cultural and social background of the scientists and science that developed from 1800 to the present. Consideration of importance of historical issues for contemporary society. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours. N, U.
[HI246] Luddite Rantings: A Historical Critique of Big Technology Adopting a technologically determinist argument, the instructor will subject to withering criticism the way in which Westerners, and in particular Americans, have embraced such technologies as automobiles, computers, reproductive devices, rockets, and reactors, with nary a thought about their ethical, moral, political, or environmental consequences. Students will be encouraged to argue. Four credit hours. H, U.
HI247f African-American History, from Slavery to Freedom Explores the experience of blacks in American society from colonial times through the present. Subjects focus on racism, slavery, the role of African Americans in shaping the nation's history, and the ongoing struggle for equality. In exploring these historical developments, the course aims to expose students to a range of primary and scholarly sources; to hone critical thinking and interpretive skills; to help students write clearly, concisely, and precisely; and to foster clear, logical, and informed exchanges of ideas. Four credit hours. H, U. Weisbrot
[HI248] Nuclear Visions, Environmental Realities Examines the environmental history of nuclear power, peaceful and military. Using a variety of materials from a variety of disciplines and genres of human expression, students will consider the impact of military and civilian nuclear technologies on the environment, including human, machine (nuclear technology), and nature interactions. In a strongly interactive approach, using such primary sources as films, maps, archival documents, political cartoons, letters to the editor, beauty pageants ("Miss Atom!"), and photographs, they will engage questions of energy, nature, and landscape. Environmental humanities course. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI249s A Shrinking Island? Britain since 1900 At the time of Queen Victoria's death in 1901, Britain was a superpower. It was the hub of a global empire that included nearly a quarter of the worlds population. A century later, Britains formal empire had evaporated and its financial and political primacy had long since been ceded to the United States. This course explores the political, social, and cultural history behind this transformation. Topics will include Britainƫs role in germinating ideologies like liberalism, social democracy, and neoliberalism; how colonial and postcolonial migration shaped British identity; and the experience, impact, and memory of the two World Wars. Four credit hours. H. Meredith
[HI250] History of Modern China: Everyday Life and Revolution Introduces students to the history of modern China from the Qing Dynasty to the present day, focusing on the changing relationship between revolution and everyday life. Lectures and discussions will introduce a big picture survey of Chinese history, as well as opportunities for in-depth investigation into select case studies that illuminate the everyday lives of Chinese people on the ground. Students will master the chronology of modern Chinese history and develop skills in critical historical analysis. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI255s Histories of Southeast Asia: Slavery, Diasporas, and Revolutions Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic economic and cultural regions in the world and central to Obama's pivot to Asia. Consisting of the modern states of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, the region has been a crossroads for people, cultures, flora, and fauna for millennia, making it one of the most diverse in the world. We trace its long history from the Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms that produced Angkor Wat and the Borobudur to the present by focusing on three cohesive themes: slavery, diasporas, and revolutions. Four credit hours. H, I. van der Meer
HI266f Introduction to African History,1800-1994: Cultural Artefacts inMuseums Traces themes of African history between the 19 and 20th centuries through the examination of cultural artefacts in museums, such as early European intervention, the spread of Islam, migration, intellectual property, and independence movements to reveal the dynamic nature of the continent. Analyzes issues of social, economic, and political development as a critical examination of historical events. Approaching via artefacts provides tools to understand current debates of restitution and exoticization of artwork and to reveal power dynamics established between Africa, Europe, and Asia. By analyzing artefacts and other sources, students problematize historical developments to challenge preconceived notions of the continent and to understand a range of different histories of societies. Four credit hours. H, I. Coulon
HI266Jj Introduction to African History,1800-1994: Cultural Artefacts inMuseums Traces themes of African history between the 19 and 20th centuries through the examination of cultural artefacts in museums, such as early European intervention, the spread of Islam, migration, intellectual property, and independence movements to reveal the dynamic nature of the continent. Analyzes issues of social, economic, and political development as a critical examination of historical events. Approaching via artefacts provides tools to understand current debates of restitution and exoticization of artwork and to reveal power dynamics established between Africa, Europe, and Asia. By analyzing artefacts and other sources, students problematize historical developments to challenge preconceived notions of the continent and to understand a range of different histories of societies. Three credit hours. H, I. Coulon
HI272f Mexican History: Justice, Rights, and Revolution Listed as Latin American Studies 272. Four credit hours. H, I. Fallaw
HI276fs Patterns and Processes in World History An introduction to patterns and processes in world history. Themes include the evolution of trade and empire, global balances in military and political power, impacts of disease, the evolution of capitalism, slavery and its abolition, global migrations, industrialization, imperialism, and decolonization. Students read essays and study maps of historical patterns and processes and write essays to hone their critical-thinking and writing skills. Four credit hours. H. Brignac, Diederich, van der Meer
[HI277] The Maya Listed as Latin American Studies 277. Four credit hours. H, I.
[HI285] Foundations of Islam A comprehensive introduction to the Islamic religious tradition focusing on the formative early period (seventh-11th centuries CE) and to contemporary interpretations and adaptations. Explores the nature of religion, religious knowledge, practice, identity, law, gender, and the nature of the divine. Analyzes the foundational beliefs, diversity, and social constructions within Islam by examining the early texts (the Qur'an, hadith/sunna), their interpretations, and their application through time. No prior knowledge expected. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI298As China and the Middle East: Commodities, Ecology, Infrastructure How did cellulose fiber paper become a globally circulated technology after its invention in Han China? How did Islam spread out from the Middle East to Central and East Asia? What role does infrastructure play in the contemporary rejuvenation of the Silk Road? This course opens up a new perspective of transnational history between China and the Middle East as interconnected and mutually constituted entities. Moving chronologically from the Ancient Silk Road to the contemporary Belt and Road Initiative, depicting a grand picture of long-durȢe communications between two regions, it focuses on the contours of material exchanges, technology transfers, long-distance travel, and the spread of ideas and religious beliefs. Global Lab course. Four credit hours. H. Li
HI298Bs Slavery in Africa Explores the history of slavery and forced labour in Africa. While plantation slavery is often studied in the context of North America and the Caribbean, this course compares and contrasts experiences of slavery in Africa in the 19th century. The course provides an understanding of the institution of slavery, and especially plantation slavery, in Africa. It examines how enslaved Africans were active agents who tried to resist their enslavement. Based on primary sources and scholarly debates, students will consider the reality of slavery in Africa in the nineteenth century and how it operated. Students will investigate the diversity of experiences and forms of coerced labour and how they were resisted. Themes such as resistance, occupations, religion, and emancipation will be addressed. Four credit hours. H, I. Coulon
[HI313] Healers, Martyrs, Intellectuals, Revolutionaries: Women in Premodern Europe The history of women from late antiquity to the early modern period, challenging the traditional view that the centuries before 1800 in Europe constituted a 'dark age' for women. Focus will be on the power women wielded in many different spheres: as healers, martyrs, empresses/queens, soldiers, saints, lovers, intellectuals, writers, and revolutionaries. Four credit hours. H.
[HI314] Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Venice from Beginning to End From its beginnings as a republic, Venice faced the challenges posed in the Book of Revelation: Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. A major political, economic and cultural power from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance, its marginalization began in the 17th century with the Ottoman Wars and its inability to compete with other European colonial powers. With the fall of the republic after the Napoleonic invasion, VeniceƩs cultural influence continued unabated, but because of its unique geography it now faces a lethal crisis caused by environmental issues, corruption, and over-tourism that has decimated its population. Four credit hours. H.
HI319s Sexuality in Premodern Europe An exploration of the attitudes toward the body from late antiquity to the end of the 19th century. We will focus on the attitudes of church, state, and ordinary people toward sexuality. How were men and women judged differently? How did medieval and early modern people conceive of their bodies in relation to others and to God? What were attitudes toward homosexuality, prostitution, and non-marital relations? How did law treat what they saw as sexual offenses? We will also study the growth of medical faculties at universities, diseases, gynecology, contraception/abortion, and childbirth. Four credit hours. H, I. Taylor
[HI320] Joan of Arc: History, Legend, and Film A critical examination of one of the most famous figures in history within the context of 15th-century French history and particularly the Hundred Years War with England. Focus will be on the role of narrative and interpretation in the understanding of history from the time of Joan of Arc to our own through extensive reading of primary sources. Four credit hours. H, I.
[HI321] The First World War Covers the origins of the war, its impact on European societies, the experience of soldiers and of civilians on the home front, and the war's long-term legacy in Europe and the wider world. Focus on the meaning of total war, patterns of intolerance and persecution, the crusading spirit, and the sheer scale of violence. Includes an individual research component. Prerequisite: A W1 course. Four credit hours. H, W2, I.
HI322s Europe and the Second World War Seeks a deeper understanding of the origins of the war, its military, civilian, and diplomatic aspects, and its effects. Focuses on Nazi-dominated Europe and the dynamics of repression, resistance, collaboration, and accommodation. Includes debates on crucial aspects of the war and a strong research component. Goal is to understand historical processes in their dramatic and unsettling openness—important, as the outcome of the war was initially hard to predict, leading many Europeans to make decisions based on false expectations. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours. H, W2, I. Scheck
[HI324] History of Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity This seminar will focus on ideals and realities of gender and sexual roles in the classical tradition of Greece and Rome and the impact of Christianity in its first four centuries. In the classical world, how were masculine and feminine roles defined? How did society deal with transgression of gender norms? How did philosophers, playwrights, satirists and commentators address pederasty, same-sex relations, and heterosexual behavior? In the first two centuries of Christianity, women had a prominent role that became circumscribed as the Church Fathers delineated the 'proper' roles of men and women and increasingly emphasized virginity and chastity as the desirable goal for Christians. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI326s Constantinople: 330-1453 Discussion based seminar that will focus on the foundation and development of Constantinople in 330 to its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Specific topics will include the idea of the New Rome, exchanges between East and West, religious controversies, the achievements and failures of Justinian and Theodora, conflict between Eastern Christians and Muslims, the Crusades, colonization by Italian city-states, and the fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Four credit hours. H. Taylor
[HI327] Daily Life under Stalin Many workers and peasants, and of course political elites, supported the Stalinist system, overlooking, discounting, or even justifying the great human costs of collectivization, industrialization, and the Great Terror as needed to create a great socialist fortress. An examination of the nature of regime loyalty under Stalin, making extensive use of primary sources. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours. H.
[HI328] Daily Life Under Putin Most students know of Vladimir Putin through American mass media and consider him to be undemocratic. Yet they know little of his domestic and foreign policy, or the sources and rationale behind them. Based on close reading and discussion of primary and secondary sources, we shall examine the importance of the Soviet cultural and political heritage for Putin and Putinism, Putin's efforts to recreate a new Russian superpower, and the sources of public approval for his rule. We will examine continuity and change in economic programs, institutions, political culture, and Russian values and beliefs. Four credit hours. H.
[HI330] Global Histories of Food How do we write the history of food? Not only does food encompass a range of activities and ideas, but it is also intertwined with how we construct identities, formulate relationships, and organize societies. This course focuses on how food is implicated in the making of gendered, racial, and ethnic identities, and particularly in the contexts of imperialism and nationalism, slavery, nineteenth- and twentieth-century migration, and industrialization. Provides students with an overview of some themes in food history, and will teach them how to think with food. Students will also learn how historians conduct research. Four credit hours. H, I.
[HI331] Slavery and Capitalism Grapples with the debate begun by E. Williams in his 1944 book Slavery and Capitalism: what is the relationship between slavery/abolition and capitalism/industrialization? Introduces the economics of slavery in the Atlantic world, inclusive of the N. Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the S. Atlantic. Examines the European merchant houses that funded the trans-Atlantic slave trade; the commodities and profits generated by enslaved labor; the extent to which this capital filtered back to Europe, including British industrialists; and the relationship between economics and morality in the push to abolish the slave trade and slavery. Underlines the extent to which slavery and the slave trade helped form contemporary business practices and banks, including life insurance, and management practices. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI334f The Great Depression: America in the 1930s The Depression of the 1930s was the most devastating economic collapse of modern times. How did it happen? The 1920s had been the most prosperous time in American history, and many forecast ever-higher living standards. Instead the economy went into a tailspin that affected every group and region and posed a crisis of faith in capitalism. How did Americans cope and how did the experience shape their values and behavior? In what ways did the federal government respond, to what ends, and with what consequences? In exploring these questions, the course will also help students to read critically and to write clearly, concisely, and precisely. Four credit hours. H, U. Weisbrot
[HI338] History in Reverse: Backwards through the Records from Now to Then Professional historians are often drawn to the field by their interest in or concern about current affairs, whose historical roots they seek to understand. Similarly, we will begin by focusing collectively on a contemporary issue, problem, or development (such as the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton or the collapse of the paper industry in central Maine), and then trace backwards through the relevant historical records for evidence of causation and contingency. Students will then choose a topic of interest and repeat the process, developing skills in effective research, clear and precise writing, critical source analysis, and oral presentation. Four credit hours. H.
[HI339] South African Women's Memoir We trace South African womens involvement in the struggles against segregation and apartheid, paying attention to womens use of memoir as a powerful tool not only for inserting themselves into histories of national liberation, but also for challenging nationalist visions of the state and nation. The course has two goals: first, students will be introduced to South African womens history; second, they will be introduced to the genre of memoir as a primary source available to historians, which has the potential to open up histories of people often marginalized in mainstream accounts of the nation and liberation movement. Four credit hours. H, I.
[HI341] U.S. Empire Thomas Jefferson famously described the U.S. as an "Empire of Liberty," to distinguish the U.S. from negative examples of imperial power. Yet, scholars have shown how the U.S. was and is an empire — and not just Jefferson's exceptionalist version. This course will interrogate and explore the U.S. as an empire, in both its continental expansions in the nineteenth century and its global expansions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will explore interpretations of the U.S. as empire through multiple case studies, including what is now the U.S. West, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Hawaii. Special attention will be paid to the central role of culture, religious and humanitarian impulses, the environment and public health, and traditional political concerns. Previously offered as History 398C (Spring 2020). Four credit hours. H, U.
HI342s Crisis and Reform: American Society and Politics in the 1960s The utopian hopes for government during the Kennedy and Johnson years, both in solving social problems and in containing communism around the world. Readings focus on the shaping of federal policies, their domestic and global impact, and the cultural and political legacy of this era. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours. H. Weisbrot
HI348f U.S. Environmental History We will consider nature's role in shaping history. How do our stories change when we include microbes, pigs, and the climate, alongside subjects like presidents, wars, and ideas? We will also ask what nature has meant to a range of people including the Comanche on the Great Plains, settler-farmers in New England, and coal miners in Colorado. The aim is that you begin to think about nature differently: how ideas about nature have changed, how nature surrounds & nourishes us and has been used to justify violence & racism, and how nature impedes on our lives. Four credit hours. H, U. Jacobson
HI351f Desiring Asia: Gender and Sexuality in East Asia Explores comparative formations of gender, sexuality, and race in East Asia and Asian diasporas from the early modern era to the present. Examines the development of gender identity and cultures of sexuality at the intersection of patriarchy, colonialism, Orientalism, and nationalism, and military imperialism. Topics include "traditional" female entertainers (Japanese geisha and Korean kisaeng), the Janus-faced figures of the "new woman" and "modern girl", the Good Wife, Wise Mother paradigm in the modern nation-state, sex work and military imperialism, Orientalism and Asian fetish, and Queer cultures. Students will consider how Asian bodies have been shaped by gender narratives, practices, and cultures of sexuality, and critically analyze the co-production of gender, sexuality, and race. Four credit hours. H, I. Diederich
HI353f Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Atlantic Slavery How did women shape the history of slavery and freedom in the Atlantic world? We often imagine that enslaved men did the bulk of the labor on plantations and that white men, not women, enslaved people. Recent research suggests that Black women were disproportionately represented in field labor, and they performed the reproductive labor of having and caring for children. In this Critical Race course, students will learn about the ways Black women used to survive slavery, white womens roles in perpetuating slavery, and how Black women defined freedom after slavery's end. Places covered include Haiti, Brazil, Senegal, Barbados, and the United States. Critical Race Collaborative course. Four credit hours. H, I. Brignac
[HI356] Cultures and Identities of the British Empire Asks students to examine the construction, maintenance, and blurring of the boundaries of culture and identity within the British Empire over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Explores how empire not only produced new, allegedly stable ethnic and racial identities, but also how these were constantly undermined and challenged, and were subject to change over both time and space. The course will do this by reading and discussing a series of novels written over the course of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries—both during empire, in other words, and in its wake. Boundaries and Margins humanities theme course. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI357f Culture Wars: The Global Cold War During the Cold War, Soviet and American leadership waged a culture war that paralleled nuclear proliferation, the space race, and proxy wars. This course will highlight Soviet and American competition in other countries, including the Eastern bloc, Cuba, India, and the DR Congo. We'll explore how television, music, books, advertisements, and consumer goods had a profound impact on culture worldwide and the ways in which acceptance of, and resistance against, international hegemons shaped the twentieth-century world. Previously offered as History 397 (Fall 2021). Four credit hours. H. Olmsted McGraw
HI358s Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Russia Traces the evolution of gender roles and sexual identities in Russia from the early modern period to the present. Through monographs, novels, images, and film, we will explore Russian understandings of the gender roles of men and women in the context of Orthodoxy, autocracy, serfdom, revolution, World War II, and the Cold War. We will address topics such as witchcraft, female seclusion, feminism, free love, the new "Soviet man and woman", and the contemporary LGBT movement. Four credit hours. H, I. Olmsted McGraw
[HI359] History of Chinese Feminism Investigates the history of Chinese feminism through the interconnected histories of female sexuality, family and cultural politics from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE) through the late empire (Ming and Qing 1368-1911) and into the modern nation state. Studying sex and gender as historical categories, we explore the political power and cultural authority of the Chinese female body as it shifted over time, emerging at the turn of the 20th century as a site for working out the modernist discourses of individualism, citizenship and revolution. Using case studies of famous Chinese women, we illuminate how Chinaɩs engagement with a purportedly global discourse of female empowerment and equality emerged from and developed in radically divergent forms from its western counterparts. Four credit hours. H, I.
[HI362] History of Egypt Focus on the cultural, social, and political development of Egypt from the seventh-century conquest to the fall of Mubarak. Particular points of focus are state formation, development of nationalism, definition of religious and political identities, power relations, the struggles for control over resources and for independence, and Egypt's place in the power matrix of the Middle East. Through reading primary sources and secondary scholarship, students will come to a deeper understanding of the nature of history and historical processes. They will learn how to critically assess the arguments of history and the deployment of historical memory and how to articulate their assessments through writing papers and sitting exams. Four credit hours. H, I.
[HI377] Imperialism, Decolonization, and Modernity in Southeast Asia Explores the fascinating multicultural history of Southeast Asia—crossroads of the world and one of the fastest growing economic and cultural regions in the world today—from the 18th century to the present. By studying the processes of exchange beginning in the period of colonialism and imperialism, students will trace the emergence of Southeast Asian states—foremost Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—and their hybrid national cultures through decolonization into our contemporary era. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI378s U.S. in Latin America: Intervention, Influence, Integration Listed as Latin American Studies 378. Four credit hours. H, I. Fallaw
[HI381] Women and Gender in Islam A comprehensive introduction to the construction of gender in the Islamic Middle East. Puts the lives of contemporary Muslim women and men into a deeper historical perspective, examining the issues that influence definitions of gender in the Islamic world. Through monographs, essays, novels, stories, and film, examines the changing status and images of women and men in the Qur'an, hadith/sunna, theology, philosophy, and literature. Traces changes and developments in those constructions of identity beginning with the rise of Islam and continuing through contemporary understandings. Four credit hours. H, I.
[HI389] History of Iran Focus on the cultural, social, and political development of Iran from the rise of the Safavid dynasty to the election of Muhammad Khatami in 1997. Particular points of focus: state formation, the influence of the West on 19th-century economic and intellectual development, 20th-century internal struggles between the religious and political elite, the effects of oil and great power intervention, the rise of activist Islam and the revolution, the war with Iraq, and life after Khomeini. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI397Af Dark Matters: Technology and its Discontents in the Middle East While technologies allow human societies to achieve unprecedented progress, they also induce multiple forms of political and social inequality. Consequently, unethical uses of those same technologies not only hit mediaÚs headlines for public attention, but also cause legal disputes among secular professionals and religious scholars throughout the Middle East. This course focuses on innovative yet parasitical and troubling usages of technology, including drug smuggling and addiction, theft and sabotage regarding infrastructure, assisted reproductive technologies, and so forth. Drawing from interdisciplinary perspectives, this course aims to approach technology as more than invented objects, but as situated within larger frameworks of politics, socio-economy, and culture of the Middle East. Four credit hours. H. Li
[HI397B] Digital Archives and the British Empire Digital archives offer new approaches to history. Opening with their ethical, practical, and moral problematics, we encounter questions about ownership, access, and dissemination. Divided into major themes like land ownership, colonial expansion, independence movements, and gender dynamics, each unit analyzes one Endangered Archives Programme project (British Library), and other digital humanities projects. Students critically think about the social dynamics of 19 and 20th century Empire and dissect Euro-centered contemplations of global imperialism. Focusing on online archives of the British Empire, students attempt to recover voices of individuals often silenced, exposing them to new ways of doing history that develop digital literacy, historical examination, and critical thinking. Four credit hours. H, I.
HI398As Bandits, Terrorists, and FreedomFighters: A Global South History Examines interlinked categories of bandit, terrorist, and freedom fighters to understand insurgency as a politically and socially constructed concept throughout modern history of the Global South. It approaches specific instances of illegal use of force in their sociopolitical and historical settings, and builds toward a consideration of insurgency from "the actors' points of view." Through the categories of bandits, terrorists, and freedom fighters, it considers broader issues in history and international relations, such as structure and agency, state power and sovereignty, and definitions of legal and illegal uses of force. This course provides an analytical framework to understand violence and its intentionality, and to think critically about the (il)legitimacy of violence. Four credit hours. H, I. Li
HI398Bs Women in African History Explores the history of Africa through the lens of women and gender. This course focuses on the cultural, social, religious, political, and economic experiences of women in Africa. It looks at the everyday life of women in various African countries. Focusing on gender roles across the 19th and 20th centuries, students will recover voices of individuals often silenced. Examining sources held across various archives in Africa and made available online by the British Library Endangered Archives Programme, students consider power dynamics based on gender and study how women were active participants in their own histories. Degrees of autonomy and dependence are scrutinized through themes that include access to land and property, slavery, colonization, and decolonization. Four credit hours. H, I. Coulon
HI414f Research Seminar: History of Fear in Europe, 1300-1900 An exploration of how fear and different forms of communication or rumor influenced the course of European history in the medieval and early modern period. Case studies involve instances of anti-Judaism and anti-Islam, reactions to leprosy and syphilis, misogyny and demonology, xenophobia, and fear of death in all its forms from 1321 to 1888. Explores how changing communications from oral to semiliterate to journalistic culture influenced and changed history, marginalizing those outside the religious, gendered, ethnic, medical, and socioeconomic norms of society at a given time and place. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing; prior course in ancient, medieval, or early modern history recommended. Four credit hours. H. Taylor
[HI415] Plague: Death and Disease in Premodern Europe Discussion-based seminar on the historical responses to the plague in ancient and premodern Europe. We will focus on the plagues of later Rome, the Black Death, and later incarnations of Y. pestis. We will focus on medical knowledge/treatments, attitudes to death and dying, scapegoating/pogroms, and civic and religious responses to the unknown that ranged from quarantines to isolation to attitudes of Ɣeat, drink and be merry.ƭ We will then study societies in the aftermath of catastrophic outbreaks of contagious diseases. The course will begin with a study of how contemporaries have dealt with COVID-19. Prerequisite: Junior or senior status. Four credit hours. H.
HI421s Research Seminar: Debating the Nazi Past Explores the political and social dynamics of the Third Reich, the charisma and importance of Hitler, the choices of ordinary Germans, the genesis and execution of the Holocaust, and the problems of postwar Germans in dealing with the Nazi past. Focus on critical research, reading, and writing skills, and on understanding historical processes including patterns of exclusion and intolerance and charismatically underpinned violence. Includes major individual writing project. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. Four credit hours. H, W3, I. Scheck
[HI424] Research Seminar: Death in the West: A History This seminar will explore historical attitudes to death, burial and the afterlife from ancient Egypt to early modern Europe, comparing and contrasting beliefs about the body after death, folklore about the undead and ghosts, ideas of rebirth and resurrection, heaven, hell and purgatory [in Christianity] and rituals associated with the dead, including relatives, saints and sinners. We will examine changing attitudes toward dissection, preservation of the body, and capital punishment. As science ǳprogressedǾ in the early modern period, we will look at the practice of body snatching for medical purposes and the popularity of anatomical theatres. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours.
[HI435] Research Seminar: The American Civil War An in-depth study of the Civil War in America, with a series of common readings on the war, including its causes, its aftermath, significant military and political leaders (e.g., Grant, Lee, Longstreet, Sherman, Lincoln, Davis), the experiences and impact of the war for women and African Americans, the impact of defeat on the South, and the ways in which Americans remember and reenact the war. Four credit hours. H, U.
HI438s Research Seminar: Global Commodities The history of mundane commodities as coffee and spices offers an insightful prism for the study of world history. Commodity histories illustrate the increased interconnectedness of the human experience by stressing interactions across and between societies. Global commodity histories illustrate the importance of trade, empires, technology, the exchange of flora, fauna, and diseases, and consumerism. These histories also demonstrate the constructed nature of identities—racial, gender, and national—and their transformation over time. These histories are not about regions or states, but interconnections and shared experiences. Seminarians will create a digital interactive map or timeline that captures the intricacies of a commodity history. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. Four credit hours. H. van der Meer
HI483Jj History Honors Program Noncredit. van der Meer
HI491f, 492s Independent Study Individual projects in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. One to four credit hours. Faculty