Undergraduate Studies

Spring Courses

2018 Spring Semester

Below is the list of Undergraduate courses offered by the History Department for Spring 2018. Extensive course listings can also be found on the Undergraduate Catalog.

Click here to download the course descriptions in PDF form.

79-104 Global Histories

Lecture 1 Global Histories: History of Democracy
Lecture 2 Global Histories: Genocide and Weapons of Mass Destruction
Lecture 3 & 4 Global Histories: Global Empire: Commerce, Finance, and Naval Power in the Rise & Fall of the British Empire


Human activity transcends political, geographical, and cultural boundaries. From wars to social movements, technological innovations to environmental changes, our world has long been an interconnected one. Acquiring the ability to understand such transnational and even worldwide processes is an indispensable part of any college education. This course provides students with an opportunity to develop the skills and perspectives needed to understand the contemporary world through investigating its global history. A variety of sections are offered in order to give students the opportunity to choose between different themes and approaches. All sections are comparable in their composition of lectures and recitations, required amounts of reading, and emphasis on written assignments as the central medium of assessment. The sections all aim to help students: (1) master knowledge through interaction with the instructors, reading material, and other students, (2) think critically about the context and purpose of any given information, (3) craft effective verbal and written arguments by combining evidence, logic, and creativity, and (4) appreciate the relevance of the past in the present and future. For descriptions of specific sections, see “First Year Experience” at the Dietrich College General Education Website.
79-104/1 Global Histories: History of Democracy

Instructor Units Lecture 1: MW 12:30-1:20
R. Law 9 units Recitations on Fridays
By the end of the 20th century, the spread of democracy seemed all but inevitable as most nations in the world had established a version of it as their governing system. Even many of those that had not still adopted trappings of democracy such as popular elections, representative assemblies, constitutions, and terms of office. Yet the history of collective governance has shown repeatedly that its progress is not unstoppable or its continuation irreversible, and that democracies rose and fell just like other systems of government.

Nevertheless, the ideals of democracy remain a powerful inspiration today. How did democracy become such a widespread phenomenon? What are its features, strengths, and weaknesses? What factors determined whether a democracy would thrive or collapse? This Global History course will answer these questions by surveying the origins and developments of democratic systems in Ancient Rome, Revolutionary France, Weimar Germany, Taisho Japan, and others. By the end of the course, students will come to understand the importance of past lessons and the appeal and challenges of collective governance, and decide for themselves what role democracy should play in their lives.
79-104/2 Global Histories: Genocide and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Instructor Units Lecture 2, MW 1:30-2:20
R. Law 9 units Recitations on Fridays
Today, halting genocide and curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction rank among the top priorities in international relations. This understanding of world affairs, however, did not always hold true. In fact, if anything, in the last few centuries various individuals and institutions channeled much effort into the invention and refinement of new ideological, organizational, and technological means for mass murder or waging war. How and why did modern societies become so competent in inflicting death and destruction on fellow humans? What has been and can be done to prevent similar occurrences from happening again?

This Global History course will answer these questions by analyzing the causes of and responses to past incidents resulting in mass deaths or tools for armed conflicts. Through lectures, discussion, primary sources, and assignments, the course will examine events within the European encounter with the Western Hemisphere, Imperialism in Africa, the Holocaust, the atomic bombings of Japan, the Cold War, and decolonization and independence. By the end of the course, students will come to realize the historical significance of unintended consequences and the ambiguity of human progress.
79-104/3 & 4 Global Histories: Global Empire: Commerce, Finance, and Naval Power in the Rise & Fall of the British Empire

Instructor Units Lecture 3 MW 12:30-1:20 Lecture 4 MW 10:30-11:20
J. Roszman 9 units Section U Fridays 12:30-1:20 Section V Fridays 10:30-11:20
Great Britain at the height of its power controlled a quarter of the world’s population, a fifth of its dry surface, and mastery across its oceans. The British Empire operated as a vast network of people, institutions, commercial interests, and commodities that fueled Britain’s rising geopolitical importance and made London the financial capital of the world through the First World War. Often relying on the power of the Royal Navy, the Empire incorporated far-flung territories into this web of interconnectedness and unleashed what we now call “globalization.”

Using the writings of historians, as well as primary sources such as newspapers, travel accounts, letters, and literature, “Global Empire” will follow the development of the British Empire from the sixteenth century to its demise after the Second World War. We will pay particular attention to the way Britain’s economic interests shaped its imperial project. Thus, the course will explore topics such as colonial commodities, slavery, imperialism, naval power, free trade, and war in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the British Isles. Ultimately, students will not only be able to recognize and assess the role of the British Empire in the development of “globalization,” but will also be able to identify the ways that economic interests shape state policy in the world we live in today.
79-200 Introduction to Historical Research & Writing: The History of Witchcraft and Witch-hunting

Instructor Units Lecture
A. Creasman 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
This course introduces students to methods and materials that historians use to study the past. Its goals are: first, to familiarize students with ways that historians think about their research, how they carry it out, and how they debate findings with other historians; second, to train students in "best practices" for doing historical research in primary and secondary sources. We discuss how to ask questions about the past and develop a one-semester research topic, find appropriate primary and secondary sources, take notes from those sources, and write a paper that answers an original question using skills we have studied. In the Spring 2018 semester, we will use the topic of the history of witchcraft and witch-hunting to focus the class.

Although Western beliefs in witchcraft and “devil worship” dated back to antiquity, the 16th and 17th centuries witnessed the “Great European Witch-Hunt,” which cost the lives of thousands across Europe and in its American colonies. Ever since, historians have struggled to explain why fears of witchcraft suddenly became so acute in this period. And although the witch-hunts in early modern Europe and its colonies gradually came to an end, beliefs in witchcraft persist into the modern era and, in many parts of the world today, continue to generate campaigns of popular violence against alleged perpetrators. In this course, we’ll examine both primary historical sources and secondary scholarship to explore competing interpretations of this complex historical puzzle. At the end of the term, students will submit a final 10-15 page research paper on a topic of their choice related to the themes of the course.
79-201 Introduction to Anthropology

Instructor Units Lecture
E. Grama 9 units MW 3:00-4:20
How do societies make meaning? Is culture a set of shared values or are these values continuously negotiated, altered, and adjusted? How do individuals and societies account for change and how do they aim to incorporate it into their values? This course introduces students to anthropological approaches to these questions. Readings will draw on case studies from very different settings: from a ruined city in Brazil to interethnic conflict in Cyprus, oil and chocolate in post-Soviet Russia, pyramid schemes in postsocialist Romania, and vampires stories in East and Central Africa. We will assess the advantages and pitfalls of comparing cross-cultural data, analyze the workings of power within and between societies, and consider the politics of cultural representations. We will also discuss the anthropologist's relationship to the people s/he studies, and the responsibilities inherent in that relationship. Throughout the course, students will learn the importance of a historical perspective on culture, looking at how and why societies change, and considering how we, as anthropologists, should assess these changes.
79-202 Flesh and Spirit: Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750

Instructor Units Lecture
A. Creasman 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
This course examines European history from the Black Death to the French Revolution, a period known to history as the "early modern" period. That is, it marks a period in European history that was not quite medieval, and yet not quite modern. Many features of modern society, such as the nation-state, free-trade economies, religious pluralism, scientific rationalism, and secular culture trace their origins to the early modern era, yet the period was also marked by important continuities with the Middle Ages. During this course, we will explore how Europeans re-imagined their world in its transition from the medieval to the modern. Topics to be considered will include the "renaissance" of the arts, the problems of religious reform, exploration and colonialism, the rise of science, and the expansion of the state. Through these developments, we will focus on Europeans' changing notions of the human body, the body politic, and the natural world, as well as their re-interpretations of the proper relation between the human and the divine, the individual and the community, and the present and the past.
79-209/A4/Mini The Art of Historical Detection

Instructor Units Lecture
L. Z. Eisenberg 6 units MWF 12:30-1:20
How do historians determine how and why episodes in the past transpired? This course takes students behind the scenes and acquaints them with the techniques by which historians practice their craft in interpreting historical events. Using dramatic case studies in American history, we will examine a wide array of tools and sources at the historian’s disposal, among them oral evidence, photographs and images, maps, official documents, memoirs, psycho-history, popular media, historical films and fiction, and television. Through in-class workshops and solo and group assignments, students will experiment with different methods of historical analysis using a variety of source material. Students will develop a familiarity with the historian’s toolbox and a new-found appreciation for the painstaking efforts that go into producing the history books they may otherwise take for granted.
79-213/A4/Mini The American Railroad, Past & Present

Instructor Units Lecture
H. Posner 6 units MW 9:00-10:20
Railroads in the USA are often considered as a subject for nostalgia or public sector failure, an image largely based on passenger service. However, the USA's private sector freight rail industry is considered a model for the world as the result of its renaissance following deregulation in 1980. This is a "stealth" industry whose history and economics are both intertwined and complex. Starting with the development of the first U. S. railroads, students will gain a basic understanding of the industry's history and economics, with special attention to the past half-century. In addition, students will participate in small group research projects in particular areas of special interest -- for example, economic history, industry culture, network economics, utility regulation or transportation policy.
79-215/A4/Mini The End of Colonialism and the Birth of Modern Africa, 1945-1975

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Weigel 6 units MWF 9:30-10:20
From 1945 to 1975 conflict and hope in Africa went hand in hand. Africans fought to be free of European rule. Then they struggled to shape a new political order. Entangled in the US-Soviet Cold War, postcolonial states sought the favor of one side or the other. At the same time they experimented with capitalism or socialism. Everywhere Africans aimed at a better material life. Join us to examine these exciting events through primary sources and books and articles by leading scholars.
79-230 Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1948

Instructor Units Lecture
L. Z. Eisenberg 9 units MW 3:00-4:20
This course begins in 1948 with the establishment of the State of Israel, the Palestinian dispersal and the first of many Arab-Israeli wars, and continues up to the present time. The examination of the many facets of the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts is accompanied by attention to the search for peace and its frustration. We will also situate this conflict within the framework of the war, chaos and religious extremism currently consuming the Middle East. The course culminates in an extended role-playing game in which students conduct simulated Arab-Israeli negotiations. For the role-playing we will be partnering with students from the Middle East: real-time negotiations will take place via Facebook and continue via various social media. The simulation game experience constitutes an exciting pedagogical experiment and an opportunity for delving deeper into the topic material than regular coursework allows.
79-235 Caribbean Cultures

Instructor Units Lecture
S. Alfonso-Wells 9 units TR 9:00-10:20
This course will examine the cultures and societies of the Caribbean focusing on their colonial past, their current positioning in the world, their social structure, cultural patterns and current transnationalism. Using social history, film and music we will explore the topics of race, class, family, gender, religion, national identity and underdevelopment. Comparative research projects will provide concrete instances of the differences and similarities between the Anglo-Caribbean, Franco-Caribbean, and Hispanic Caribbean. This course is open to all students.
79-239/A4/MiniThe Great Depression in America, 1929-1941

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Suzik 6 units TR 6:30-7:50pm
Until the "Great Recession" of 2008, it had become virtually unthinkable that the United States would ever again experience a financial downturn coming close to that which followed the stock market crash of 1929; and we likely still haven't. Lasting for more than a decade, the Great Depression affected American life and culture in ways that were both pronounced and profound. This course looks at the multiple and complex manner that American life changed in the decades between the two world wars. It assesses social, cultural, political, economic, and technological changes that, in the midst of deprivation and economic uncertainty, ultimately brought "modernity" to everyday American life. Relating to the Great Depression itself, students will evaluate varying political approaches to the complex financial and social issues wrought by economic downturn, comparing and contrasting Herbert Hoover's local and regional relief focus with Franklin Roosevelt's massive, federally-funded New Deal initiatives. In addition, students will analyze first-person narratives from everyday Americans describing their day-to-day experiences. Finally, the course will explore how the Depression became a near-constant cultural focus in this era, reflected in popular movies, music, and works of fiction.
79-242 African American History: Reconstruction to the Present

Instructor Units Lecture
D. Glave 9 units Wednesdays 6:30-9:20pm
This course explores the transformation of African Americans from Reconstruction to the present in the contexts of social, cultural, and political histories. Historical periods include Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, World War II, Civil Rights, and the Age of Barack Obama. From African American perspectives, the issues and themes include: social and political ideologies, cultural development, post-enslavement freedom, citizenship, inter- and intra-racial dynamics, and global connections.

Students will improve the following skills: test-taking, essay writing, and communication. Teaching methods combine: 1. student-centered learning based on facilitation and class participation, and 2. digital access including a class website.
79-249 20th/21st Century U.S. History

Instructor Units Lecture
R. Oppenheimer 9 units MWF 9:30-10:20
[Note: students who have already taken this course under its former title 79-249, 20th Century U.S. History may not enroll.]

The twentieth century marked the rise of the United States as a global power. By the end of the century, the United States had achieved economic, military, and political dominance. The United States also made great strides in expanding political and civil rights for workers, women, African-Americans, and gays and lesbians. This course explores the social and cultural implications of these developments on the generations of American people who came of age in the twentieth century. It assesses both the triumphs and tribulations of twentieth-century life. We will analyze continuities, contradictions, and conflicts in American history, especially in regard to the nation's dueling political ideologies: conservatism and liberalism. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between movements for social change and the maintenance of law and order. Topics include: the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, Civil Rights, Vietnam, and the New Conservatism.
79-260 Adolf Hitler

Instructor Units Lecture
D. Harsch 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
Who was Adolf Hitler? What motivated him? What did he believe? Why did Germans support him? How did he rise to power? How did he use his power? This course covers the biography of Hitler, placing his life in the political and economic context of his era. Through a combination of lectures and discussion, the class will consider: Hitler and his political movement, Hitler and his people, Hitler and his enemies, Hitler and his war, Hitler and his crimes, Hitler and his place in history. We will discuss his upbringing, personality, and strengths and weaknesses as a political leader and military strategist. We will study his worldview, including his ethno-nationalism, antisemitism, and anti-Communism. We will examine his role in the origins and implementation of the Holocaust. Readings will include works by historians, excerpts from Mein Kampf, and the writings of his fellow Nazis and other contemporaries. The class will also analyze the portrayal of Hitler in documentary and feature films. Students will write three papers: two papers of 5-6 pages each, based on in-class readings/films, and a final research paper of 12 pages, based on six outside readings.
79-266 Russian History: From Communism to Capitalism

Instructor Units Lecture
W. Goldman 9 units TR 1:30-2:50
This course covers a broad sweep of Russian history from the socialist revolution in 1917 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Spanning almost a century of upheaval and transformation, the course examines the October revolution in 1917, the ruthless power struggles of the 1920s, the triumph of Stalin, the costly industrialization and collectivization drives, the battle against fascism, and the "wild west" capitalism and collapse of the social welfare state. The course provides essential background for anyone interested in understanding Russia's place in the world today and its relationship with the West.
79-273 Jews and Muslims in History

Instructor Units Lecture
M. Friedman 9 units MW 1:30-2:50
What is the history of Muslim-Jewish interaction beyond the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the images of violence in the Middle East that permeate the media? The overarching goal of this course is to explore this question through close study of the history of Jews and Muslims who lived as neighbors, in cooperation as well as in conflict in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, from the rise of Islam in the seventh century to the present day. Our sources will include works of scholarship, primary source texts such as religious queries and government documents, journalistic materials, memoirs, and films.
79-275 Introduction to Global Studies

Instructor Units Lecture
P. Eiss 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
"Globalization" is a familiar term that is often used to invoke the idea that places around the world are rapidly becoming more interconnected. This is so, but it is also true that this is far being from a simple or harmonious process. Rather, "globalization" involves a wide range of uneven and disputed cultural, political, economic, and social developments that often influence one another but vary markedly in their significance, impact, and intensity. Economic crisis, impoverishment, rising inequality, environmental degradation, pandemic disease, and militant ethnic, religious, and nationalist movements are just as much a part of the contemporary global landscape as are technological innovation, instantaneous communication, shifts in the global division of labor, the creation of new wealth and knowledge, the promotion and defense of human rights, and the rise of cosmopolitan values and perspectives. This course introduces you to important ways of thinking about globalization and will acquaint you with the kinds of research, evidence, and information upon which these kinds of thinking rely. It serves as a foundation for further study of the contemporary world in advanced Global Studies courses.
79-278 How (NOT) to Change the World

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Theriault 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
Everyone, it seems, wants to “change the world.” Aspiring to enact positive change is what motivates me as a professor and, I suspect, what has drawn many of you to pursue higher education. But what form do our noble aspirations take in practice? What assumptions do we bring with us when we set out to change the world and with what (unintended) consequences? How do others go about pursuing change and how might we engage with their efforts? In this course, we will critically examine a diverse set of attempts to bring about change, taking time to interrogate the cultural assumptions and social formations that underpin them. These will include some of our own engagements (e.g., campus activism, volunteering abroad), those of nearby communities (e.g., regional environmental-justice activism), and some that may be more distant from our everyday lives (e.g., Indigenous resurgence). Applying concepts from anthropology and critical social theory, we will examine case studies from around the world while engaging with diverse perspectives, including those of scholar-activists in the fields of Indigenous studies, feminism, critical race theory, and more.
79-280 Coffee and Capitalism

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Soluri 9 units MW 10:30-11:50
[Note: students who have taken the mini course, 79-280, Brewing Revolution? Coffee and Social Change from Adam Smith to Starbucks, may not enroll.]

What role has coffee played in connecting people and places to capitalist markets and consumer cultures? What are the economic, social, and environmental consequences of these connections? How did espresso change from an “ethnic drink” to something served at McDonalds? Why do college students (and professors!) hang out at coffee shops? This course will answer these questions and more by using the history of coffee to think about the changing nature of capitalism, and the history of capitalism to understand changes in the coffee world. We will follow the spread of coffee and capitalism across the globe, with excursions to places where people grow coffee (Ethiopia, Yemen, Indonesia, Brazil, and Costa Rica), and also where they drink coffee (Seattle, Tokyo, Seoul, New York, and Berlin). In the process, we will confront global problems linked to economic inequality, trade, gender relations, and environmental degradation. Course meetings will combine interactive lecture and group discussions. Assignments will include journal responses, short quizzes, and a final project in which students will write a script that tells a story about coffee and capitalism.
79-281 Introduction to Religion

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Gilchrist 9 units MW 12:00-1:20
Religion can be viewed from the "outside," through the academic lenses of history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, etc., and from the "inside," listening to the experiences and reflections of those who practice various faiths. The course will examine major religious traditions from several perspectives, and begin to explore such topics as the relationship between religion and science, faith and reason, and religion in public life. For students with a general interest in religion as well as those contemplating a religious studies minor.
79-283 Hungry World: Food and Famine in Global Perspective

Instructor Units Lecture
A. Owen 9 units TR 12:00-1:20
The science and technology of the Green Revolution in the second half of the 20th century were heralded as a miracle. Agricultural science promised seeds, peasants, companies, governments, scientists, economists, exporters, and planners would work together to support growing populations, especially in the post-colonial world. The human population on Earth reached 6 billion by the year 2000; 7.6 billion were estimated around 2017. The United Nations predicts 8.6 billion by 2030. Awareness of living in this unique period of human history brought new debates among scholars, practitioners, and planners thinking about the critical role of agriculture and development on Earth. How can we conceptualize, hope, and plan for best possible outcomes for a human population that depends on agriculture and development? How has the legacy of the Green Revolution encouraged (or betrayed) public enthusiasm for innovative fixes? This interdisciplinary course will use methods and case studies drawing on History, Historical Demography, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Regional Studies, Geosciences and Agricultural Sciences, and International Economic Development. If students wish to pursue a particular thematic or regional interest, there will be room in this course to explore particular cases in depth.
79-287/A3/Mini The Mummy’s Curse: Uses and Abuses of Archaeology

Instructor Units Lecture
L. Herckis 6 units MW 12:00-1:20
Popular representations of ancient civilizations often present fantastical versions of the past. This course will examine popular topics such as cursed mummies, ancient aliens, lost cities, and other alternative archaeologies to understand how they intersect with academic understandings of archaeology and human history. Students will explore how archaeologists and others answer questions about the past, and how we can evaluate competing interpretations.
79-298 Animal Planet: An Environmental History of People and Animals

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Soluri 9 units MW 1:30-2:50
Why do modern societies go to great lengths to protect some animals and slaughter others? How do people use animals to demarcate boundaries among themselves and between "humans" and "nature?" What are the environmental ramifications of domestication? What role do animals play in visual culture? These are some of the questions that we will seek to answer as we explore the role of human--animal relationships in making the modern world (ca. 1400-present). We will pay particular attention to visual representations of animals across time and cultures. Evaluation will be based on active participation in class discussions, submission of weekly field notes, and a final assignment focused on visual representations of people and animals.
79-302/A4/Mini Killer Robots: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons System

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Aronson 6 units TR 10:30-11:50
[Note: students who have already taken this course under its former title 79-302, Drone Warfare and Killer Robots: Ethics, Law, Politics, and Strategy, may not enroll.]

Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) have become a central feature of the United States' global counterterrorism strategy since September 11, 2001, and autonomous weapons systems (often called “killer robots” by critics) are increasingly being integrated into military arsenals around the world. According to proponents, drones and autonomous weapons systems are much safer than manned systems, so accurate that they can be used to target individuals and detect threats in real time, and efficient and inexpensive enough to be used for long-term surveillance and protection missions around the globe. According to critics, the use of such systems is problematic because of the obfuscation of historically accepted chains of accountability and responsibility, and the difficulty of translating complex ethical decision making processes into computer code. This course will evaluate these issues through the lenses of law, politics, morality, history, and military strategy.
79-319 India through Film

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Slate 9 units TR 1:30-2:50, W 6:30-9:20pm film screening
Bollywood films attract hundreds of millions of viewers, not just in India but throughout the world. The name "Bollywood" makes it seem that the Indian film industry is a junior partner, merely an echo of Hollywood. But more films are made in Mumbai every year than in Los Angeles. And Mumbai is only one of many film hubs in India. The rich diversity of Indian cinema speaks to the equally rich history of India itself. This course uses Indian movies to examine several key themes in India's history. We will focus on the twentieth century and on questions of democracy, diversity, and development. This course includes a mandatory film screening on Wednesday evenings beginning at 6:30pm.
79-320 Women, Politics, and Protest

Instructor Units Lecture
L. Tetrault 9 units TR 1:30-2:50
This course examines the history of women's rights agitation in the United States from the early nineteenth-century to the present. It investigates both well-known struggles for women's equality--including the battles for women's voting rights, an Equal Rights Amendment, and access to birth control--and also explores the history of lesser-known struggles for economic and racial justice. Because women often differed about what the most important issues facing their sex were, this course explores not only the issues that have united women, but also those that have divided them.
79-322 Stalin and the Great Terror

Instructor Units Lecture
W. Goldman 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
Joseph Stalin has been vilified and praised, damned and worshipped. He left behind a mixed and complex legacy. He created an industrialized modern economy in the Soviet Union and won a great and painful victory over the Nazis. At the same time, he built a police state, sent millions to labor camps, and destroyed the possibilities for socialist democracy. When he died, thousands of Soviet citizens wept at his funeral. This course will combine elements of biography and social history to examine Stalin, the man, and Stalinism, the phenomenon. Using history and film, we will explore one of the most complicated and influential dictatorships of the 20th century.
79-325/A4/Mini U.S. Gay and Lesbian History

Instructor Units Lecture
T. Haggerty 6 units TR 3:00-4:20
U.S. Gay and Lesbian History offers an overview of the changing context and circumstances of sexual minorities in American culture. From early constructions of moral opprobrium, criminal deviance or medical pathology, the LGBT community emerged in the twentieth and twenty-first century as a political constituency and a vital part of contemporary society. Students should be aware that this course will necessarily address issues of intimate relations and sexuality as well as broader historical issues.
79-328 Photographers and Photography Since World War II

Instructor Units Lecture
D. Oresick 9 units Mondays 6:30-9:20pm
Invented in 1839, photography was a form of visual expression that immediately attracted a large public following. Starting around 1900, photography was practiced with two dominant strands. One of these firmly believed in the power of photographs to provide a window on the world, and was led by Lewis Hine, whose documentary photographs for the National Child Labor Committee helped to ameliorate living and working conditions for thousands of immigrant children. The other strand adhered to the philosophy of Alfred Stieglitz who adamantly affirmed that photographs were first and foremost reflections of the soul and were art objects, equal to painting, drawing and sculpture. These two schools of thought guided photographers throughout the twentieth century. This course explores in depth the tremendous range of photographic expression since World War II and examines in particular the contributions of significant image-makers such as Helen Levitt, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Charles "Teenie" Harris, Cindy Sherman, Carrie Mae Weems, Nan Goldin, James Nachtwey, and many others. Classes include a slide lecture, student presentation, and video segments that introduce a focused selection of images by major photographers in an attempt to understand their intentions, styles, and influences. In Spring 2017, students will be expected to make one or more visits to photography exhibitions on view in Pittsburgh (locations to be announced at the first class in January.)
79-329/A3/Mini “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”: The Constitution and Impeachment

Instructor Units Lecture
K. Allen 6 units TR 12:00-1:20
A few years ago, the word “impeachment” drew talk of President Bill Clinton, White House interns, and definitions of the word, “is”. Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration in early 2017, the prospect of impeachment charges has become a regular media concern.

In this course, we will examine the basis for the option of impeachment - the Constitutional power of the legislature to remove the President or other federal officials from office for “treason, bribers, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." While Presidents may be the most high-profile subjects of impeachment, we will also examine the other 17 federal officers that have been impeached in the past, as well as a number of state officials who have been impeached, including Louisiana Governor Huey Long in 1929 and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2009. We will also discuss the potential for, and implications of, an impeachment of President Donald Trump.
79-334/A4/Mini Climate Change and Climate Justice: Global Perspectives

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Theriault 6 units TR 9:00-10:20
There remains no credible doubt that human activities are a leading cause of climate change, but profound questions persist over what measures to take, whom to hold accountable, and how to help those affected. What does an effective and just response look like when those who are most responsible for climate change are also often the most protected from its consequences? Who gets to participate in international negotiations and whose cosmologies or values are recognized there? How do debates about climate change relate to those concerning social policy? In this mini-course, we will examine these questions through the lens of Climate Justice. Both a transnational movement and an analytical orientation, Climate Justice compels us to consider how climate change reflects (and exacerbates) systemic inequalities within and between societies. Our exploration will engage case studies and perspectives from different parts of the world, including climate-related health disparities in the US, Indigenous Peoples’ calls for climate reparations, island nations facing displacement, and efforts by various parties to influence scientific and popular knowledge.
79-335 Drug Use and Drug Policy

Instructor Units Lecture
A. Tallaksen 9 units TR 9:00-10:20
This course examines the use of psychoactive drugs in American history, as well as medical, scientific, and policy responses to that use. Drugs we will consider include alcohol, heroin, marijuana, tobacco, and cocaine. We will examine changing theories of addiction, ethnographic studies of drug using groups, and the cultural meanings of drug use. We will also consider drugs as commodities in international trafficking. Although the primary focus is on the U.S., we will look at policy approaches to drug use in other countries as well, to put American drug policy in a comparative perspective.
79-339/A4/Mini Juvenile Delinquency and Film: From “Soul of Youth”  (1920) to “West Side Story” (1961)

Instructor Units Lecture
S. Schlossman 6 units MW 3:00-4:20
How have American films portrayed juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system? What does filmmakers' portrayal of juvenile delinquency tell us about American culture and society? Do films vividly capture or badly distort the "realities" of crime and the operations of the justice system? This course uses feature films (to be viewed in advance of class) from the 1920s to the early 1960s, as well as various sociological, psychological, and historical readings, to explore these issues. The course is run as a colloquium, with students playing central leadership roles in launching and guiding class discussions.

The course will have a take-home midterm exam, a final exam (in-class or take-home are optional), and a few short, written assignments linked to students’ oral presentations.
79-341 The Cold War in Documents and Film

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Kats 9 units MW 3:00-4:20
This course is based on use of historical documents and films to study problems that reshaped the world during and after the Cold War. We will examine how documentary and feature films depicted the most important events of the Cold War, such as the Korean War, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban missile crisis, and others. In addition to films, sources will include documents, lectures and readings.
79-344/A4/Mini Public History: Learning Outside the Classroom

Instructor Units Lecture
A. Masich 6 units W 2:30-5:20
Museums and other non-academic institutions reach large audiences with an array of history offerings, including exhibitions, films, publications, performances, oral history, workshops, lectures, events, research, reenactments, lectures, social media, webinars, online, radio and television programming. These educational tools are calculated to engage diverse audiences. Museums and educational nonprofits are also actively collecting and preserving artifacts and archival materials.

This course will focus on Pittsburgh history as students examine best practices in Public History. The class will study the inner workings of a large history museum's collection, exhibition, conservation and education programs. Students will participate in field trips and behind-the-scenes tours, virtual explorations, and "hands-on history" outside the classroom at the Heinz History Center and other Pittsburgh attractions. This course will especially interest students considering non-traditional careers in history, education, communications, and nonprofits.

Maximum enrollment is 15.

All classes will be held once per week off campus, starting at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District (1212 Smallman Street). Professor Masich is the History Center's CEO.
79-345 Roots of Rock & Roll

Instructor Units Lecture
S. Sandage 9 units TR 1:30-2:50
This course is about open source, collaborative innovation and the impact of social and technological change on American music. We will spend the first 8 weeks on early "remix" music (slave songs, Anglo-Appalachian ballads, ragtime, and Depression era blues and country). After studying Bessie Smith, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Hank Williams, and other early artists, we'll spend the last 7 weeks on revolutionaries like Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. The format is informal lecture and discussion. Assignments include reading two books plus some articles, weekly music listening, short papers, and a final project. NB: This course may be taken pass-fail (with submission of appropriate form).
79-351 Germany & the European Union

Instructor Units Lecture
S. Brockmann 9 units TR 1:30-2:50
This course offers an overview of contemporary Germany, its problems and its promise, with a particular focus on German politics, the German economy, and Germany's role in the European Union and in the world system. Primary topics include: 1) Germany on the World Stage; 2) Germany and the Past; 3) the German political system; 4) the German economic system; 5) the European Union, its challenges, and Germany's role in it; 6) Germany, the EU, and multiculturalism and ethnic and cultural pluralism, including the role played in Germany and Europe by ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities. Each of these topics will take about 2-3 weeks of the course. Students in the course will be required 1) to complete all required course readings (the equivalent of about three books in English, although in most cases we will be reading chapters from books rather than entire books, plus about five separate articles in English), 2) to take five short fifteen-minute quizzes on the some of the various themes of the course, 3) to do a book review of a book of their choosing dealing with contemporary Germany and/or the European Union and to make a presentation about that book in class, 4) to write three short (four page) papers on the themes of the course, and 5) to participate in two debates about A) Germany's response to the past; and B) Whether or not Germany and the EU should be more open to ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
79-355/A4/Mini Fake News: “Truth” in the History of American Journalism

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Gilchrist 6 units MW 1:30-2:50
Scandal, conspiracy, and partisan propaganda have been among the stuff of media ever since newspapers first appeared in America 200+ years ago, and now they figure prominently in electronic media as well. The question "What is truth?" is not just a matter of philosophical speculation, but an essential issue at every level of American life, from individuals on social media to citizens, journalists, and politicians responsible for sustaining a democratic society.

This course is literally "ripped from the headlines," examining contemporary conflicts over credibility in print and online, in the context of historical experience. My goal is to help you think in new ways about how to assess - in both past and present -- when news really is "fake" and when it's just "an inconvenient truth"?
79-375 College Students, Politics, and Protest: Student Activism Since World War II

Instructor Units Lecture
D. Busch 9 units TR 12:00-1:20
Can college students change the world? We will attempt to answer this question by delving into the history of student activism in the United States and around the world since 1945. The course will use select case studies to: 1) examine the philosophies and tactics of student activists; 2) analyze the relationship between shifting conditions of higher education and student activists’ ideas of political action and; 3) evaluate where student movements have succeeded and failed in achieving their social and political goals.

In the spirit of the student activists we study, there is also an experiential component to the course. We will “apply” the lessons of these case studies to contemporary campus activism. Such activities will prompt students to reflect upon their ideas of citizenship and activism. By taking this course, students will develop their own historical interpretations of student activism and the modern university and draw out relevant lessons for today’s world.
79-387/A4/Mini General Francisco Franco: Fascism and its Legacies in Spain

Instructor Units Lecture
M. Friedman 6 units MW 10:30-11:50
Francisco Franco was Europe's longest-ruling dictator. He ruled over Spain from 1939 to 1975. This course will examine the social and cultural context of the rise of Fascism in Spain. We will focus especially on Franco's seizure of power during the Spanish Civil War; the decades of his lengthy dictatorship; the social and cultural politics in transitioning Spain to democracy after his death; and the legacy of Spanish Fascism and Franco’s dictatorship in contemporary Spain.
79-396 Music and Society in 19th and 20th Century Europe and the U.S.

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Kats 9 units Mondays 6:30-9:20pm
This course will explore the interrelations between society and classical and popular music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Europe and the United States. We will examine the importance of different musical forms in the life of society and how music contributed to the making of political consciousness, especially in the twentieth century. In addition to reading assignments, seminar discussions, and research papers in the history of music, students will be taken to the performances of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, and Chamber Music Society. A supplemental fee of a minimum of $275 will be charged to subsidize part of the considerable expense of purchasing tickets for concerts and performances. Prerequisite: Availability to attend musical events on several Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
79-400 Global Studies Research Seminar

Instructor Units Lecture
E. Grama 12 units TR 9:00-10:20
This research seminar is the capstone course for Global Studies majors. The course is designed to give you a chance to define and carry out a research project of personal interest. The first few weeks of the course will be devoted to developing a research topic and locating sources. We will then work on how to interpret and synthesize sources into a coherent and compelling thesis before you begin drafting your paper. Your research may be based on in-depth reading of a body of scholarly work, field notes from ethnographic observations, archival research, analysis of literary or visual media, or some combination of these sources. Incorporation of some non-English language sources is strongly encouraged where possible. Independent work, self-initiative, participation in discussion, and peer evaluations are required. There are several interim deadlines that will be strictly enforced in order to ensure successful completion of the course. Prerequisites: 79-275 and Theoretical and Topical Core must be complete or concurrently enrolled. Corequisite: 79-275.
79-419 Topics in Russian Language & Culture: 20th Century Russian Masterpieces

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Kats 9 units MW 1:30-2:50
This course is a chronological introduction to one of the world's greatest cinema traditions: German cinema. It moves from the silent cinema of the 1910s to the Weimar Republic, when German cinema represented Hollywood's greatest challenger in the international cinema world. It then addresses the cinema of Hitler's so-called "Third Reich," when German cinema dominated European movie theaters, and moves on to the cinema of divided Germany from 1949-1989, when cinema in the socialist east and cinema in the capitalist west developed in very different ways. In the final week of the semester, the course will address German cinema in the post-unification period, which has experienced a revival in popularity and interest. The two historical foci of the semester will be the Weimar Republic, the classic era of German cinema, and the era of the so-called "New German Cinema" of the 1970s and 1980s, when major German directors developed radical new approaches to cinema and critiques of Hollywood. Among the great directors focused on in the course of the semester will be Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Fritz Lang, Leni Riefenstahl, Wolfgang Staudte, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. No knowledge of the German language is required for this course. Most of the films will be in German with English subtitles. The course will be cross-listed in the departments of Modern Languages, English, and History. Students will be required to attend class, including all film screenings, to actively participate in discussion, to write a term paper on a topic related to German cinema history, and to take two midterm examinations.

Updated on 11-2-17