American Legal History
Directed research in selected areas of American legal history.
Graduate student Jonathan Cohen founds journal for study of Springsteen
HIEU 1502 (1)
Introductory Seminar in Post-1700 European History
"Revolutions of 1989"
This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of revolutions that transformed the map of Europe. In June 1989, Poland held democratic elections for the first time in half a century; in November, East Germans were allowed to cross the Berlin Wall; in December, Romania’s longtime dictator was overthrown and hanged. Within the space of a year – sometimes called the “year of miracles” – East European communism collapsed, foreshadowing the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Yet 1989 was not just an end but a beginning: the beginning of democratic reforms, the emergence of a unified Germany, the start of a civil war in Yugoslavia. This seminar looks at the causes and consequences of the Revolutions of 1989, in Eastern Europe and beyond. Using eyewitness accounts, novels, films, paintings, and scholarly works, we will consider why the revolutions happened when they did, whether they could have been avoided, and how they have shaped the world we live in today.
Introductory Seminar in History
"Oceans in History"
Undeterred by the absence of information about Malaysian Airlines flight 370, news commentators chose a likely participant in its disappearance -- the oceans, which, they reported with alarm, are very large and very deep. Coverage often took on a scandalized tone: even in this day and age, things and people can be lost at sea.
This course examines those bodies of water that are very large and very deep and their role in human history. We will move thematically from oceans as places of myth and magic to oceans as places of migration (both forced and voluntary) to oceans as a source of economic prosperity. Using a combination of primary sources and scholarly commentaries, we will examine the ocean both as something that had to be mastered through exploration and technology and as a cultural presence that figured in songs, stories, and religion. Finally, we will discuss contemporary attitudes toward the ocean. When we consider films like Finding Nemo, fantasy cruises, Shark Week, and the coverage of oil spills, sea ice, and even unexplained airline disasters, what impressions of the ocean will emerge?
During the semester, students will be introduced to different approaches to writing history and to different types of scholarly writing through reading assignments and papers, including a book review, historiographical essay, and the analysis of primary sources. Students are expected to come prepared to participate in class discussion.