The Modern World: Global History Since 1760
This is a survey of modern world history for students, beginning or advanced, who wish to understand how the world got to be the way it is today. In order to understand modern history, a global perspective is essential. This is true whether you are interested in economics, warfare, philosophy, politics, or even pop culture.
This course can be essential for students in many fields. It is one of the four core required courses for students who are pursuing the interdisciplinary major in Global Studies in any of its tracks.
This course is a broad survey. Therefore it is classified as a 2000-level course with no prerequisites. That does not mean it is an easier than more tightly focused courses offered at the 3000 or 4000-level. You will have to juggle many different narratives and topics.
Class size is relatively small. The course blends both video presentations from the instructor (on the Coursera platform) and then review and further discussion of the course material, including the readings, with the instructor in class. Grades are determined by performance on weekly online quizzes, in-class reading quizzes, class participation, and two exams.
Required readings include Jeffry Frieden, Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century; significant excerpts from R.R. Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolution: The Challenge; and Odd Arne Westad, Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750. Most of the readings are articles, chapters, or book excerpts that will be in a History 2002 Sourcebook.
HIEA 1501 (2)
Introductory Seminar in East Asian History
"War and Memory in Japan"
What is the status of the past? In other words what is the point, if there is one, of studying history? In the end or even in the moment does it matter? If it does, how and why does it matter? These are big, basic questions we will be asking as we study the ways in which WWII is remembered, or forgotten, in Japan. Like all historians we will, of course, be interested in getting the facts of the past right, but as we will quickly learn, much of the interesting work starts once the facts are known. This suggests that history is by its very nature much more than a detective story, that there may be inevitable political and ethical aspects to the study and writing of history. We will take on these huge issues at the level of both theory, and everyday life, as a way to deepen our senses and alert us to the presence of the past in present politics, identities, and even embedded in our everyday language.
Grading is based on participation, in-class writing, two papers, a group project, and an individual assignment exploring topics for further research beyond this class. There will be no in-class mid-term or final.
When did the samurai become Japanese? It’s not as absurd a question as it seems. No good samurai would have considered himself “Japanese” in 1100, or 1400, or even 1700. A loyal servant of a one’s lord or a member of a warrior family, perhaps, but surely not “Japanese.” In fact, a good case can be made it was not until 1899 when the book Bushido, The Soul of Japan was published that the samurai became Japanese. Even stranger, this means that the samurai became Japanese three decades after the last one ceased to exist. How—and why—did this happen? The secret lies in the ideology and practice of the nation-state, a new form of identity so powerful that once it starts it, reaches back into the past and rewrites it in its own image, telling the story of itself to itself. In the process even those good samurai of 1100, 1400, and 1700 became Japanese. And this is just one of the nation-state’s many tricks. We’ll study this trick specifically in week nine. Before and after that we’ll have many chances to uncover and reveal other hidden historical accidents, mistakes, slippages, and contingencies in something so seemingly natural and obvious as national identity. One more from week four: Why is it so important to serve beef prepared according French recipes when the Duke of Edinburgh is coming to visit?
Using Japan’s transformation from the samurai warrior government to a modern nation-state in 1868, we will constantly move back and forth between general theories of nationalism and national identity and the concrete experience of Meiji Japan as a way to interrogate the rise of both the nation-state of Japan and its location within a global system of nation-states. In the process we will explore the concepts of national borders, the idea of national progress, the invention of national culture, forms of government and representation, the struggles over national identity, managing populations, and the role played by coincidence, contingency, accidents, ideology, and violence in the whole process.
There will be occasional in-class writing, a review paper, another short paper, a group bibliography project, and a final take-home paper.
HIST 5559 (2)
New Course in History
"Emotions, Violence, Memory"
This seminar explores the relations among three key topics in recent historical writing: how the notions of emotions, violence, and memory have been used by hisorians in terms of method, theory and interpretation in order to gain access to people in the past, and, especially, in what way their commingling opens up new possibilities of historical writing. We shall discuss, among others, broad range of topics, read across continents and periods, and consider history alongside literature.
HIEU 1502 (2)
Introductory Seminar in Post-1700 European History
"Russian History through Film"
In this introductory seminar, first- and second-year students will become familiar with some of the major events and eras in the history of Russia and its empire through detailed analysis of some of the most important films produced in and about Russia in the past century. Besides being an introduction to Russian history and culture, the seminar aims to get students thinking about the fundamental problems historians grapple with as they reconstruct and represent the past.
We will be asking two different sets of questions about the interaction between history and film in Russia. 1) First, how have films acted as secondary historical sources, i.e. to portray historical reality and disseminate it to a broad public (not only within Russia but internationally)? What are the principal challenges of making and interpreting films about past eras and major historical events? Is there a discernible line between the educational and propagandistic uses of historical films? 2) Second, how can films (not only “historical” films but more broadly) be used as primary sources for understanding Russia’s 20th- and 21st-century history? What exactly can they tell us about Russian/Soviet society that other sources cannot, or not as effectively?
The dozen or so films we focus most closely on will include several of the following, many of which are considered masterpieces of world cinema: Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovskii, 1966); Ivan the Terrible (Sergei Eisenstein, 1944-1945); War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk, 1967); The Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925); Agony/Rasputin (Aleksey Petrenko, 1975); Doctor Zhivago (David Lean, 1965); Bed and Sofa (Abram Room, 1927); Circus (Grigorii Aleksandrov, 1936); The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kolotozov, 1957); Burnt by the Sun (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1994); Siberiade (Andrei Konchalovskii, 1979); Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Vladimir Menshov, 1979); Repentance (Tengiz Abuladze, 1987); Little Vera (Vasilii Pichul, 1988); Brother (Aleksei Balabanov, 1997); and The Vanished Empire (Karen Shakhnazarov, 2008). For historical context, we will be using Paul Buskovitch, A Concise History of Russia; Birgit Beumers, A History of Russian Cinema; and articles on specialized topics.
Students will write graded essays both on assigned films and a film of their own choice, and will be expected to engage in seminar discussion. No exams will be given. No previous knowledge of Russian history, culture, or language is required.
Russia from Peter the Great to Lenin, 1700-1917
Want to understand the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, and what lies behind Vladimir Putin's behavior? Many of the answers lie in Russia's imperial past, when it ruled over not only Ukraine but also Poland, Finland, Georgia, Armenia, Central Asia, etc. We will begin with the reign of Peter the Great, and cover two centuries in which the Romanov dynasty struggled to bring Russia into the ranks of European and world powers by pursuing its economic, social, and cultural transformation, and by conquering ever more territories and populations. At the same time the tsars insisted on preserving many of Russia's traditional and distinctive features, including autocratic rule itself. This precarious situation ultimately led to social and political revolution, but almost as soon as tsarist rule ended in 1917, Russia and much of the empire were taken over by a new dictatorship, that of the Bolsheviks (Communists) under V. I. Lenin.
About half the course will be devoted to the last sixty years of the imperial (tsarist) period, from defeat in the Crimean War and implementation of the so-called Great Reforms (beginning with the abolition of serfdom), concluding with close analysis of the revolutions of 1905, February 1917, and October 1917. Special attention will be paid to the tsarist social hierarchy and the governance of diverse ethno-national populations.
Students will read from 100 to 150 pages per week. The overview text will be A History of Russia: Peoples, Legends, Events, Forces, by Evtuhov, Goldfrank, Hughes, and Stites. Primary source readings will include Russian literary classics such as the theatrical farce The Government Inspector (Nikolai Gogol) and the novels Fathers and Children (Ivan Turgenev) and Hadji Murad (Lev Tolstoy), and memoirs written by a peasant and a terrorist. Graded work will include a take-home midterm, one short paper, brief quizzes, and a comprehensive final exam. The class size is limited to 40 to allow for discussion of readings.
Modern German History
There are few countries that demonstrate the Janus-face of Western modernity more dramatically than Germany. Unprecedented scientific, economic and cultural growth went hand in hand with radical social and political polarization. Democracy was possible; but so were dictatorship, war, and genocide. It was only after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 that the so called German Question found its definite answer. Germany today is a prosperous, peaceful, and diverse country, firmly rooted in the European Union and a staunch ally of the United States. And yet, the shadows of the past linger on. Recent expressions of deep seated fears about Germany's power and ambitions range from debates over the conduct of the national soccer team to invocations of a new German Question in the context of the euro crisis.
This course explores German history from the founding of the German Empire in 1871 to the present. Among the themes that we will study are the repeated radical transformations of Germany’s political structures in the 20th century, the place of dictatorship, war and genocide in German history and memory, as well as the country’s shifting position within Europe and the world. We will also examine some of the major debates in German historiography, such as the idea that the Nazi Third Reich resulted from a flawed pattern of modernization that disconnected economic liberalism from political democracy. Throughout this course, we will pay particular attention to the ruptures and continuities in modern German history, and to the meanings of a traumatic past for the construction of German national identity. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, two essays, as well as a midterm and final examination.
HIUS 3559 (2)
New Course in United States History
"Motown to Hip Hop"
This course explores black modern music from the Civil Rights era to the present. Looking specifically at the genres of soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop, it takes a bold, sweeping look at the role of popular music in African Americans’ push for self-definition, political power, and social recognition. Students will consider how musical expression and consumption have provided black women and men with a vehicle for entertainment, community building, political organizing, and economic uplift. Some of the artists that we will explore in-depth include but are not limited to James Brown, Sam Cooke, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Public Enemy, Earth, Wind and Fire, Parliament-Funkadelic, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and D’Angelo. Through an engagement with these and other artists’ sonic and visual representations, students will address larger questions surrounding the political power of music in American society.
History of Modern India
A survey course, major topics include conflict and accommodation in the Indo-Islamic world; change and continuity under colonial rule; competing ideas on the shape and substance of a new India; and the Partition of the subcontinent in 1947.
The following textbooks will be available in the bookstore: Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy and Joseph Lelyveld, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle with India.
Other required readings consisting of primary and secondary sources will be placed on collab. Films will also be used.
Course requirements include attendance and active participation in class (15%); a book review (20%); a midterm exam (25%); and a final exam (40%).
In HIEA 2101 we shall focus on social, cultural, political, economic, and intellectual developments on the Korean peninsula from the late 19th century into the second decade of the 21st century. We shall trace those developments as they unfolded through the final decades of the Joseon (Choson) Period (i.e., the Yi Dynasty, 1392-1910); the period of Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945); liberation, division, and war (1945-1953); the similar then divergent routes followed in the north and the south in the aftermath of the armistice in 1953; relations between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; and prospects for reunification.
Reading material will include excerpts from such books as The Making of Modern Korea; Korea: A Religious History; Sources of Korean Tradition; Creative Women of Korea; Bipolar Orders: The Two Koreas since 1989; Inter-Korean Relations: Problems and Prospects; The Real North Korea; and Protestantism and Politics in Korea; and articles from The Journal of Korean Studies and other journals.
The course grade will be based on two take-home examinations in the form of two 2-3 page essays on topics chosen from a list provided by the instructor (25% each), and two one-hour quizzes (25% each).
HIEA 2101 will meet on Thursday afternoon, 3:30-6:00. Each class will include at least one 10-15 minute break. The length of the break(s) will depend on the amount of material to be covered on a given day.