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.
The Birth of Europe
This class examines the social, political and cultural history of Western Europe from the collapse of Roman authority over the course of the fifth century to the dawn of the Renaissance. Political and institutional developments, social organization and political ideas, art, architecture, literature, philosophy and religion will all receive attention.
Over the course of the semester we will study the emergence of the earliest post- Roman kingdoms, the Frankish kingdom of Clovis, the rise and fall of the Carolingian empire, the rise of Islam, and the so-called ‘transformation’ of Europe in the years spanning AD 1000. The Crusades, the twelfth-century ‘renaissance’, the growth of western Europe kingdoms, papal authority, and the survival of the Byzantine Empire, will also all be explored. How did life, thought and belief change in these centuries? How did Europe’s relations with the wider world themselves develop across time?
Students will read some of the most important and interesting sources for the Middle
Ages, including the writings of Einhard and Notker from the ninth century, first-hand accounts of the early Crusades, the Song of Roland, and others. We will also read legal texts, letters, political polemics, and touch upon the contributions of art history, archaeology and architecture to our historical understanding of the medieval centuries.
Distinguished Majors Program Special Seminar
This is a year-long course of directed research and writing for the fourth-year thesis. It is open only to participants in the departmental program for Distinguished Majors. For information on the program, contact the director of the Distinguished Majors Program, Mr. Christian McMillen by e-mail at email@example.com.
HIEA 4501 (1)
Seminar in East Asian History
"The Cultural Revolution in China"
In 1966, Mao Zedong launched his last great mass campaign by calling upon the youth of China to “practice revolution” and rebel against established authority. The tumultuous response to Mao’s summons opened a ten year period in which political and social order were nearly destroyed and countless lives were ruined. With the death of Mao in 1976, a movement that had begun as an effort to keep China firmly on the path to socialism was thus brought to a close amid fear, apathy and doubt as to the legitimacy of the Communist Party and the revolution which it had led.
This seminar attempts to get at the meaning and significance of the Cultural Revolution by examining it as a multi-faceted period that cannot be adequately understood through any single analytic framework. Through the reading and discussion of secondary literature and translated primary sources, we will consider a number of issues: the movement’s political and ideological roots, the role and culpability of Mao, the significance of the Cultural Revolution as a youth movement, the causes of social violence, the impact of the movement on rural areas, and the influence that this “decade of violence” has had on Chinese government, society, and culture since the death of Mao.
The seminar will consist of weekly readings averaging between 200-250 pages, discussions, and the completion of a substantial research paper of 20-25 pages. Evaluation will be based on the quality of both the seminar paper (50%) and attendance/participation in weekly discussions (50%). Although there are no prerequisites for this seminar, all students are expected to have read Mao’s China and After, by Maurice Meisner prior to the beginning of the course.
This course is about the revolutionary transformation of the world's oldest empire into the world's largest socialist state. It is about the people, personalities, and events that have given Modern Chinese history its dramatic and sometimes tragic tone. It is also about the social, political, and cultural currents that lay beneath these more visible manifestations of change and the profound effect these forces have had on the Chinese people.
Following a brief consideration of the political and social institutions of the last imperial dynasty (the Qing, 1644-1911), we will examine the interaction of foreign aggression and domestic social crises that led first to the fall of the imperial order and the establishment of a Republic in 1911 and then to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The final month of the semester will then be devoted to the post-'49 era under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a period that has been described as the most thoroughgoing attempt at revolutionary social transformation in world history. We will close with a look at the post-Mao reform era and the issues facing China today after nearly a century of revolution.
Reading assignments, drawn from a survey textbook (R. Keith Schoppa, Revolution and its Past, 2nd edition) as well as other secondary and translated primary sources, will average about 150 pages per week. Grades for the course will be based on a mid-term exam (30%), a final exam (30%), a ten-page essay (30%) and attendance and participation in discussion sections (10%).
HIEU 3692 / GETR 3692
In this course we study the encounter between the Third Reich and Europe’s Jews between 1933 and 1945. This encounter resulted in the deaths of almost 6 million Jews. The course aims to clarify basic facts and explore competing explanations for the origins and unfolding of the Holocaust—in Hebrew, Shoah. We also explore the fate of persecuted non-Jewish groups under Nazism, survivors’ memories after the Holocaust, and the universal implications of the Holocaust.
This course is intended to acquaint students with the historical study of the Holocaust and assumes no prior training in the subject. We will read studies by important historians, including Saul Friedländer and Christopher Browning, contemporary documents, and memoirs, including Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Course requirements include three written assignments and conscientious participation in class discussion.
This course explores the war of 1948 in Palestine from the UN partition resolution of November 29, 1947 to the cease-fire agreements in early 1949. The narrative thread of the course is the voices of Jewish, Arab, and British contemporaries taken from diaries and letters from the period. We seek to capture the human element in this event, marked by such different outcomes as redemption and catastrophe, while telling a story of commingled Jewish and Arab histories.