HIUS 1501 (1)
Introductory Seminar in United States History
"Giving in America -- A History"
American philanthropy is far more than an act of generosity writ large. As practiced in the United States, philanthropy is a critical means for enlarging democracy and for engaging a broad portion of the citizenry in ideas and decision making. Taken together, monies collected from endowments and bequests, large and small, gifts solicited through fundraising campaigns, return on a variety of philanthropic investments, as well as income earned from not-for-profit activities add up to an annual philanthropic budget equal to that of the Pentagon. It represents an integral part of America’s daily life, shaping the ways we practice active citizenship, acquire knowledge, solve problems, govern ourselves, and project our image abroad. For these reasons, philanthropic and nonprofit institutions in the United States have not only been highly visible actors in education, science, social services, the environment, and the arts, they also have helped shape public and foreign policy. The students will learn this chapter of history, barely touched on in history books, in the setting of a small seminar, through discussion of selected readings and sources.
The basic mission in this course is to approach historical thinking with philosophical intent. Our specific frame will be Brazilian history from independence (1822) to roughly today, but our chief concern will be to think through large ideas, such as nationhood, development, modernity, political mythologies, globalization and how different ways of life take shape. The course will be a hybrid lecture-discussion course throughout, with no sharp boundaries between the two. Students will read for each meeting and write two 10-page papers during the semester.
Approaches to Historical Thinking
This course will explore diverse perspectives on how historical knowledge is produced, conveyed and debated. We will read classic works, innovative newer books, theory and historiography. We will meet weekly to discuss readings. Students will write reaction papers and one longer paper at semester’s end.
History of the Middle East and North Africa, ca. 570-1500
This survey course explores the history of the Middle East and North Africa (broadly construed—our focus will range from Iberia to Central Asia) from the origins of Islam to the rise to superpower status of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century.
Topics include the spread of Islam; the establishment and subsequent fragmentation of the caliphate(s); the historical development of Islamic social, legal, and political institutions; inter-confessional relations; the impact of invaders (Turks, Crusaders, Mongols); and much more. There will be two 75-minute lectures per week and a mandatory discussion section. Evaluation will be based on short reading response papers, a midterm exam, a final exam, participation and attendance. There are no prerequisites.
HIME 1501 (1)
Introductory Seminar in Middle Eastern History
"Pirates of the Mediterranean"
The success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the resurgence of piracy off the Horn of Africa have catapulted maritime raiding back into the public consciousness. Books, movies, and news articles have proliferated in recent years that cater to this new interest, and some commentators have sought context for the Somali phenomenon in the early modern Mediterranean. This course examines Mediterranean piracy in its own right, from the proxy battles for supremacy in North Africa in the sixteenth century to the U.S. naval interventions there in the nineteenth. We will pay special attention to the political, social, religious, legal, and economic ramifications of both Christian and Muslim sea raiding. Piracy in the early modern Mediterranean was a universal threat that affected East and West, North and South, Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It left its mark on the political geography of the coasts, impacted the development of international law and the conduct of diplomacy, and provided the pretext for both Ottoman and European imperial expansion. It mobilized the rhetoric of intractable religious conflict, popularized new genres of literary expression, created new networks of trade and destroyed others, and led thousands into lives of captivity. Its legacy is still with us today.
Beyond familiarizing you with the history of piracy in the Mediterranean, our goal in this course is to develop your ability to read critically, analyze sources, and deploy evidence to back up your arguments. Readings will be a mix of scholarly works and primary sources--including captivity narratives, diplomatic reports, court cases, fiction, and selections from the autobiography of an Ottoman corsair. There are no exams. Evaluation will be based on class participation and a series of short and medium-length papers that you will have the opportunity to revise. No previous knowledge of Mediterranean history or pirates is required.
An Introduction to the History of Ancient Greece
History of Ancient Greece from the Homeric period to the death of Alexander the Great. Development of the city-state, Athenian democracy, and the nature of Greek politics; the conflict between Greece and Persia, and between Sparta and the Athenian naval empire; consequences of the latter conflict--the Peloponnesian War--for subsequent Greek history; finally, the Macedonian conquest of Greece and Persia.
Lecture and weekly discussions; midterm, final, seven-page paper, and occasional quizzes in section. Readings will average between 100 and 125 pages a week, to be taken from the following (students are not responsible--for exam purposes--for the entirety of any of these, although they will have to read all of either Herodotus or Thucydides for the paper):
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
Plutarch, Greek Lives
Plato, The Apology of Socrates
Aristophanes, Three Comedies
J. M. Moore, Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy
Pomeroy, Burstein, Donlan, and Roberts, Ancient Greece
a xerox packet
Greece in the Fifth Century
Prerequisite for undergraduates: HIEU 2031 or equivalent; or instructor permission
This course examines the political, military, and social history of Greece from the end of the Persian Wars (479 BC) to the end of the Peloponnesian War (404 BC). This is the age of the creation of Athenian democracy and Athenian Empire, as well as of the growing tensions with Sparta that eventually resulted in the Peloponnesian War. Understanding these developments is crucial to understanding all Greek history. This class will proceed by discussion, including discussion of three five-page papers written by each student (due variously throughout the term) distributed before the class in which they will be discussed. There will also be two exercises (on working with ancient evidence) and a final exam. Reading is substantial, averaging approximately 200 pages/week, and will be drawn from the following:
- The Landmark Thucydides (R. Strassler, ed.; Free Press)
- Plutarch, Greek Lives (Oxford World Classics)
- J. M. Moore, Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy (California)
- Diodorus of Sicily, Library of History vols. 4-5 (Loeb/Harvard)
- Xenophon, Hellenica (Penguin)
- C. Fornara, Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War (Cambridge)
- Other readings posted to collab.
History of Southern Africa
HIAF 3021 is a lecture and discussion course on the history of southern Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with an emphasis on the country of South Africa.
The course begins with a look at the precolonial African societies of the region, before moving on to a study of conquest, colonialism, the rise and fall of apartheid, and the recent rebirth of African independence.
By the end of the nineteenth century, all of the African peoples of southern Africa had been conquered by European powers and incorporated into Dutch, British, Portuguese, and German colonial empires. Conquest had not come easily. Every society in the region resisted European domination fiercely, sometimes for many decades before being finally defeated. Colonialism and African responses to it dramatically reshaped societies in southern African, transforming political and economic systems, gender and class relations, even religious beliefs.
Resistance to colonialism assumed new forms in the twentieth century, as Africans began to bridge ethnic divisions to create multi-ethnic trade unions, churches, political parties, and liberation movements. Particularly in South Africa, African nationalism was influenced by nonracialism, uniting blacks and progressive whites in the ultimately successful struggle against apartheid.
Course materials include biographies, memoirs, fiction, music, and films, as well as academic studies. Students will take periodic quizzes on the readings and write two blue-book exams, a mid-term and a final.
The Practice of History
This course, a requirement for all third-year Ph.D. students in History, combines a dissertation prospectus workshop with faculty-led discussions of college teaching, journal publication, grant writing, and conferences proposals.
The Colonial Period in American History
This course examines the origins and development of colonial British America. Lectures focus on geography, politics, culture, economy, and society in North America and the Caribbean, ca. 1584-1783. Readings offer first-hand accounts of colonial experiences as well as historical models of analysis and interpretation. We study the emergence of regions and work to understand how each place fits into a wider Atlantic world populated by Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans. Students will learn to see early America with new eyes as a dynamic space that spanned islands and continents with a special focus on early American maps. Topics include first colonial foundings, plantation slavery, criminal justice, transatlantic trade, agriculture and environment, imperial competition, Anglo-Indian frontier war, material culture, and the origins of the American Revolution.