Arab History at the Movies
This course uses cinema to study Arabs’ perspectives on their own modern history. We analyze movies in the context within which they were produced and ask why filmmakers chose to portray other historical moments (or their contemporary world) in a particular way. We also ask how movies spoke to concerns of spectators, created collective memories, reflected prevailing prejudices, and challenged the status quo. The films concern major historical themes of the 20th-century Arab world: colonial rule, revolution, war, exile, and the disruption of communal identities of nation, gender and class. We begin with Egypt, the first and still the most important center of Arab movie production. We watch a group of films on the theme of Egypt and Her Revolutions, including Nasser 56 and The Yacoubian Building. In the film’s second half, we look to regions of the Arab world that have suffered more profound dislocations, due to war. Movies include The Battle of Algiers, Bab El-Oued City, and West Beirut.
Students spend at least five hours per week outside of class to complete about 75 pages of reading, watch the assigned film, and prepare a 300-word log on it. Course requirements include class attendance and participation (20%), a weekly film log (10%), a midterm paper on Egypt (30%), and a final take-home exam (40%).
HIST 4591 (1)
Topics in United States History
“Grand Strategies in War and Peace”
This course explores the meaning of “grand strategy” in international politics over the past 2,500 years. The term “grand strategy” refers to the way that states define and pursue their interests. Much of the course focuses on the efforts of leaders and their peoples to achieve specific goals (‘ends’) for their societies, and their search for sufficient tools (‘means’) to achieve those goals. Many of the leaders whose lives and policy choices we will explore lived in extremely complex times, and faced unusually difficult sets of political, social, economic and geographical challenges as they set out to advance, or protect, the interests of their peoples. How did certain leaders in history navigate through such difficult terrain? Which leaders developed a coherent “grand strategy” to help guide them and their states as they passed through times of serious crisis and global transformation? Are there certain principles about war, peace, conflict, and human nature that we can extract from exploring these case-studies? And what lessons might we learn about own times by studying the past? These are the sorts of questions we will be discussing over the course of the semester. This course will meet weekly and students will discuss texts such as: Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War; Machiavelli, The Prince; Carl von Clausewitz, On War; as well as modern theorists of grand strategy. A long essay will be required.
HIUS 2061 / ECON 2061
American Economic History
This course concentrates on critical aspects of the history of American economic development. The issues covered include the nature and consequences of the colonial relationship to Great Britain, the political economy of the Constitution, the economics of slavery, the rise of the modern bureaucratic corporation, causes of the Great Depression, and the political economy of contemporary America. In addressing these issues, the course considers more general questions of what forces‑‑cultural, economic, legal, etc.--shape the pace and pattern of economic development in any society.
The required text for this course is:
Gary Walton and Hugh Rockoff, Economic History of the United States.
This will be supplemented by a course packet of readings. Readings will average c. 100 pages a week.
There will be two one-hour exams and a final.
Research Seminar in Early American History (to 1900)
This course offers graduate students an opportunity to research and write an article-length history research essay of publishable quality in American history from the colonial period through the 19th century. Research will be conducted with the guidance of the faculty dissertation adviser. A revised version of the essay can be submitted to fulfill the master's essay requirement for students in History. This course fulfills one of the two required research seminars for History graduate students. Prerequisite: Graduate students in History or permission of instructor.
"U.S. Grant and the Crisis of Reconstruction" Talk by Joan Waugh
The Historical Presidency Series
Date: 03/19/2014 - 3:30pm — 03/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Location: Miller Center
Historiography of Early Modern India
This course focuses on four questions.
1. How have historians of early modern India—both primary and secondary —conceived and expressed their purposes?
2. Are there types, schools, or categories of historians which help us understand not only how the period’s history was—and is—taught and written, but our own roles as students of history?
3. To what extent do social and political issues and controversies in today’s South Asia determine the writing and teaching of early modern Indian history?
4. What assumptions, biases and blind spots affect the methodologies of early modern South Asia historians?
“Early modern,” for our purposes, signifies the era beginning with the rise of the Turko Afghan capitals—India’s first large cities—with their salaried literati, extensive record keeping, proto-bureaucracies, evolving regional languages, and dissolving feudal relations. It includes Turkic raids and invasions, the Delhi Sultanate, its successor states including Vijayanagara, then the Mughal Empire, the flowering of 18th-century regional states and societies, and finally the construction of British colonial rule in the 19th century. Company Raj brought radical changes to the historical vision of India, with its plan of higher education, its use of English as official language, its attempt at a uniform legal system and administration, and the emergence of a sizeable middle class. The Raj also, and not incidentally, undertook to redefine 4,000 years of Indian history.
We begin by discussing a representative selection of historians of this era—c. 1200 to 1850—with the above questions in mind. Each student, in the next-to-last class week, will have researched and prepared to present a class project on a historian or small group of similar historians, again focusing on these questions. By turns, all class members, including the instructor, will evaluate and criticize each presentation; participation in discussion throughout will determine 50% of the course grade, the other 50% being based on papers.
Two calendar days before the beginning of examinations, each student will submit the penultimate draft of a paper of not more than thirty-five,double-spaced, 12-point font pages, with one-inch margins all around, on the writer or writers on whom she or he lectured. A final draft will be due at noon a week later, responding to instructor’s comments.
Any of the following is suitable as a subject, although this is not a complete list:
Abul Fazl K. M. Ashraf M. Athar Ali Barani Isami
al-Beruni ` Ashin Das Gupta K. K. Datta Alexander Dow Grant Duff
John Dowson Tapan Raychaudhuri Sir Henry Elliot Ferishta Irfan Habib
M. Elphinstone Ghulam Husain Khan Peter Hardy Wm Irvine Khafi Khan
H. G. Keene K. S. Lal James Mill John Malcolm Peter Marshall
W. H. Moreland K. A. Nizami M. Mujeeb S. A. A. Rizvi J. N. Sarkar
H. K. Sherwani Sikh historians H. H. Wilson P. Spear C.E.Bosworth
T. B. Macaulay Robert Orme W. W. Hunter Alfred Lyall G. S. Sardesai
N. K. Sinha R. Palme Dutt P. C. Gupta C. H. Philips P. Moon
P. Woodruff C. A. Bayly S. Subrahmanyam B. Stein A. Embree
Barun De Historians of 1857-8 Historians of Punjab Historians of Hastings
Bernard Cohn J. F. Richards Holden Furber K. N. Chaudhuri
Om Prakash S. N. Gordon Frank Perlin Harbans Mukhia
David Kopf Malcolm Darling K. Ballhatchet Eric Stokes S. Lane-Poole
K. N. Majumdar R. E. Frykenberg D. Washbrook S. P. Gupta André Wink
Hugh McLeod J. S. Grewal B. R. Grover Stephen Blake John McLane
Muzaffar Alam John Correia-Afonso Shireen Moosvi A. Jan Qaisar Simon Digby
Charlotte Vaudeville Michael N. Pearson Asim Roy Richard M. Eaton
Marc Gaborieau Historians of Akbar Historians of Vijayanagara
Iqtidar Husain Siddiqui Historians of Sufism David Shulman Munis Faruqui
Environmental historians (Chris V. Hill, John Richards, Ramachandra Guha)
Peter Jackson S. P. Verma Michaei Bednar Purnima Dhavan
HIEA 1501 (1)
Introductory Seminar in East Asian History
"Culture and Society in Imperial China"
This is a discussion-oriented class. Through an introduction of scholarly work and a variety of primary sources commonly used by historians of China, this course explores the forces that shaped the society and culture of imperial China at various historical stages and the ideas, values, masterpieces, and personalities that have come to be associated with China’s cultural heritage. Major topics of the class include intellectual foundation, daily life for the elite as well as the ordinary people, gender and family relations, institutional and popular religions, and urban culture. Requirements for the class include active class participation, a presentation, and four 5-page papers. The assigned reading includes The Analects by Confucius, The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (trans. by Robert Van Gulik) and a large course reader. This course fulfills the College’s second writing, non-Western, and historical perspective requirements.
Chinese History to the Tenth Century
This class introduces Chinese history from the beginning through the end of the 10th century. Its goal is to explore what makes Chinese civilization specifically Chinese and how the set of values, practices, and institutions we associate with Chinese society came to exist. Political, social, cultural, and intellectual history will all be treated, though not equally for all periods. Major themes of the course include intellectual developments, empire-building efforts, religious and popular beliefs, and Chinese interaction with other cultures and peoples. Required reading includes a variety of primary sources, book chapters, and articles. Final grades will be based on four quizzes, a term paper, and a take-home final. This course fulfills the College’s non-Western and historical perspective requirements.
HIEA 5559 (1)
New Course in East Asian History
"Historical China and the World"
The course traces the evolution of China’s external relations from antiquity to our own times. Situated in the geographic environment of the Asian Continent and being the birthplace of one of the world’s oldest living civilizations, China was the center of a “world order” of East Asia and often acted as the hegemon of that order in the past millennia. China’s centrality in its own world was lost in the mid-19th century when Western powers brought drastic changes to the Asia-Pacific region. In the next hundred years many Asian countries came under the Western colonial system; China also went through an arduous process of transformation from a “celestial empire” to a national state. During the first half of the 20th century, China struggled with its imperial legacies and for a new national identity while continuously enduring setbacks from domestic divisions and foreign aggressions. After 1949, China, now under a communist system, reclaimed most of the territorial domain of the Qing Empire and began to challenge the Western world order as a revolutionary power. In the post-Cold War years a reformed China reentered the international society. In the meantime, the suspenseful “rise of China” has posed many questions to our times.
The class identifies conceptions, practices, institutions, and relationships that characterized the inter-state relations of the so-called “East Asian world order,” and considers the interactions between “Eastern” and “Western,” and “revolutionary” and “conventional” modes of international behavior. The students attend lectures and read major scholarly works on ancient and modern Chinese external affairs. The student’s grade is based on participation, a midterm test, a final exam, and a short essay.
HIEA 4511 (1)
Colloquium in East Asian History
"Chinese External Relations"
Either when occupying a central position of East Asia or when being marginalized by the modern international system, China never ceased keeping an intricate relationship with the outside world. There was a time when power holders in China did not differentiate “domestic” and “foreign” affairs, and there were also times when the political authorities of China was challenged by intertwined situations between China’s familiar frontiers and inter-state diplomacy of global ramifications. In its many life cycles, China engaged its foreign counterparts as a civilization, an empire, and a national state.
This colloquium examines Chinese perspectives and practices in its external relations during a long timespan. Students read and discuss major scholarly works in the field in three clusters: Sinocentric world; Qing and modern transformation; re-rise of China. Evaluation of the student’s performance in the class is based on participation, weekly book reviews, and a historiographical essay.