The Harem and Beyond in the Middle East
The harem (seraglio) occupies a particular significance in western perceptions of Muslim sexuality and gender relations. Yet, the myth of harem life in travelogues, musicals, paintings, and fiction do not reflect accurately the historical realities of this important institution. Rather than an accurate historical depiction, they represent the changing power relations between Europe and the Ottoman empire and the growing western preoccupation with Ottoman and Muslim decadence, oppression of women, and sexual impropriety.
This course will first examine the actual history of the institution of harem, its political function and evolution in the Middle East. The second part will discuss western narratives of the harem by European men and women, paintings, musicals and modern fiction. The harem became a metaphor for absolutism and oppression to the enlightenment authors.
The final part will review a sample of writings and autobiographies representing indigeneous feminist voices from the harem in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries calling for an end to this institution.
Requirements: Short response essays, midterm, paper
Leslie Peirce, Imperial Harem, Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
Jenny White, The Sultan's Seal
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
Non-topical research, taken before an M.A. advisor has been selected. Can be taken for 3,6,9, or 12 hours; is graded S(atisfactory) or U(satisfactory). Does not count towards the number of courses needed for a degree (a "filler" or "dummy" course).
History of the University of Virginia in the 20th Century
We hear much about "Mr. Jefferson's University" in its nineteenth century beginnings, but little about how it evolved toward the nationally and internationally prominent institution it is today. How did this evolution occur? What 19th century values are still recognizable? How did tradition and change intersect throughout the 20th century? Who were the individuals who helped to lead this university, and what were their pressing concerns? How does this university compare to others in the region and in the nation at specific moments in time? These are some of the questions we will explore. To fully understand this university, however, it will be necessary to know something about the context of the growth of higher education in the United States. Issues of administration, student culture, academic culture, and state and federal initiatives in higher education will be integrated into the course.
Course readings/assignments include the following:
Christopher Lucas, American Higher Education: A History
Susan Tyler Hitchcock, The University of Virginia: A Pictorial History
Course packet at Brillig Books (ca. 300 pages)
Web-based readings of primary documents, student papers, exhibits
Use of alumni surveys by Lawn residents and women before 1970 (both in Special Collections and on database)
Oral history project based on database created from oral history collection or analysis of new material for the UVA Oral History Archives.
Written assignments will include an evaluation of alumni questionnaires (ca. 5 pages), a mid-term take home paper (5-7 pp.), an oral history project and paper (ca. 5-7 pages), and a final paper (ca. 10-12 pages). There will be no in-class exams.
This course meets the second writing requirement, and will be of interest to students in American History, American Studies, Women's Studies, African-American History, Education. The course will use discussion of assigned readings extensively.
African American Culture to 1865
This reading seminar examines how African American cultures and societies developed in the north and south. How did forcibly transported Africans respond to the different agricultural economies, the conditions of enslavement, and European and native American cultures that they encountered during the colonial period? The course will begin in the early period during which large numbers of Africans arrived in British North America. It will then shift its focus to mature African American communities in which the vast majority of persons were American born. We will examine issues of African ethnicity and geography; family and kinship; religious practice; and diverse forms of aesthetic expression. Readings may include selections from: Robin Blackburn, The Making of New World Slavery; Sidney W. Mintz and Richard Price, The Birth of African-American Culture: An Anthropological Perspective; Ira Berlin, Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves; W. Jeffrey Bolster, Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail; Anthony E. Kaye, Joining Places: Slave Neighborhoods in the Old South; Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life inside the Antebellum Slave Market; and Dylan Penningroth, The Claims of Kinfolk: African American Property and Community in the Nineteenth-Century South.
THE CONFLICTS OVER VIETNAM: 1776 TO 1986
The History of Everyday Life
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY
NATURE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AMERICAN HISTORY