Summer 2019

For the most updated list of courses offered and more information including course times, locations, and enrollments, please see SIS or Lou's List

Session 1: May 13 - June 18

HIEA 2031 – Modern China


At the turn of the 20th century, China was one of the poorest nations in the world. Its 2,000-year-old system of government was crumbling, large segments of its population were impoverished or starving, and the country seemed powerless to defend itself against repeated foreign intrusion. Once known as the “sick man of Asia,” China today is a global power with worldwide strategic, economic and political influence.

This course is about the people, personalities, and events that have given this remarkable transformation 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. From here we move on to the post-'49 period under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a period that has been described as the greatest attempt at revolutionary social transformation in world history. In the final weeks of the course, we will look at the post-Mao reform era and the issues facing China today after nearly a century of revolution.

HIST 3281 – Genocide


One of the defining features of the twentieth century was the repeated use of genocide and other forms of one-sided mass violence by states against internal and external civilian populations. In this course, we will explore these phenomena from a theoretical and historical point of view, with particular attention to the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the mass violence carried out by Communist regimes (e.g., Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia), and the “ethnic cleansings” and genocides of the post-Cold War era (e.g., in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda). While the experience of victims will be of central concern, we will also examine the experience and motivations of rank-and-file perpetrators, the explicit and implicit goals of perpetrator regimes, and the response -- or lack of response -- by members of the international community. Requirements include regular class attendance, participation in group discussions, timely completion of assigned readings, a midterm exam, and a final exam. The course is open to all undergraduate students and does not have any prerequisites.

The textbook for the course is Adam Jones, Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction (3rd ed.). Excerpts from the following books also will likely be assigned: Jean Hatzfeld, Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak (2005); Donald E. & Lorna Touryan Miller, Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide (1993); Donald L. Niewyk, ed., The Holocaust: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation (4th ed.); Elie Wiesel, Night (2006); and Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (2008). Likely films to be viewed include: The Armenian Genocide (dir. Andrew Goldberg); The Wannsee Conference (dir. Heinz Schirk); A Century of Revolution, Part II (dir. Sue Williams); S21 - The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (dir. Rithy Pan); and The Ghosts of Rwanda (dir. Greg Barker).

HIUS 3490 – From Motown to Hiphop


This course examines the role of popular music in African Americans’ historic push for self-definition, political power, and social recognition. It considers how musical expression has provided black women and men with an outlet for individual expression, community building, sexual pleasure, 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, Curtis Mayfield, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Public Enemy, Parliament-Funkadelic, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Kirk Franklin, Tupac, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyonce.

Session 2: June 10 - July 6

HIAF 2001 – Early African History


Studies the history of African civilizations from the iron age through the era of the slave trade, ca. 1800. Emphasizes the search for the themes of social, political, economic, and intellectual history which present African civilizations on their own terms.

HIEU 3101 – Early Medieval Civilization


In HIEU 3101: Early Medieval Civilization we will contrast the ideals of the nobility in the early medieval world with the social realities these nobles faced. We will explore these themes through epic literature, the lives of saints, and the firsthand witnesses of a devastating civil war. 

HIST 3452 – The Second World War


This course provides a survey of the greatest, most destructive war in human history. Perhaps 50 million people were killed in the Second World War, and the conflict reached every corner of the globe. Its political, social, and human consequences were vast and shape the world we live in today.

HIUS 2001 – American History to 1865


Get ready to re-interpret what you thought you knew about the first 250 years of America--in this course, we will use political, economic, race, and gender analysis to examine the history of early America and the young United States! We will study the development of the American colonies and their institutions, the Revolution, the formation of the Republic, the antebellum era, and the Civil War. We will supplement course materials with class trips to historical sites (such as Monroe's Highland and a Civil War battlefields).

Session 3: July 8 - August 2

HIAF 3051 – West African History

La Fleur

This course explores the history of West Africans in the wider context of the global past. Our course begins in very distant times, and traces currents of change from West Africans’ first attempts to make a living in ancient environments through their subsequent challenges and actions in the eras of the slave trades (domestic, trans-Saharan and Atlantic), colonial overrule by outsiders beginning in the nineteenth century, political independence in the late twentieth century, and ever-increasing globalization to 2019. Though the course focuses primarily on those people living in the region, we will follow a select few to their new places of residence in the Americas in the Atlantic era and to global capitals and their suburbs in our own lifetimes.

Experience studying Africa and/or any of the course themes is welcomed. This may include foundational work in HIAF 2001 or HIAF 2002, or achieved through other courses, including those offered in other departments and disciplines, that approach Africa, Africans, and African diasporas. But there are no pre-requisites. Other students will bring life experiences or intellectual curiosities about the topics and thereby enrich our work. The course’s focus is on Africa, but the issues are global and comparative, and therefore course learning is broadly applicable to other places and people. Specific requirements include homework and participation (20% of course grade), three low-stress map exercises (5%), and three exams (25%, 25%, 25%) comprised of a mix of short-answer identification items and your choice among several pre-circulated essay prompts.

HIAF 3051 qualifies for the College of Arts & Sciences graduation requirements in the traditional curriculum in Non-Western Perspectives and Historical Studies; and in the New College Curriculum as Historical Perspectives and Cultures & Societies of the World.

HIEU 2112 – The Emergence of Modern Britain, 1688-2000


In the American imagination, Britain is often seen as a land of tradition and insularity, an assumption buttressed by pop-culture imagery of country houses, bowler hats, royal weddings, and afternoon tea. This course argues instead that British history is the story of a preeminently modern and global society. We consider the state-building, overseas expansion, and conspicuous inequality of the Georgian years; the industrialization, urbanization, and increasingly assertive imperialism of the Victorian era; and the ruptures of war and decolonization in the twentieth century. Central themes include the evolving meaning of British identity, the complexities of the class system, the ambiguities of liberalism, and the domestic impact of war and empire. We consider the lives of ordinary servants, soldiers, and workers alongside iconic figures like Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, and Winston Churchill. We also draw on a wide range of primary sources, from diaries, paintings, and films to classic texts by Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, and George Orwell.

HISA 3003 – Twentieth-Century South Asia


When was the map of the world drawn? By whom? Maps of countries don’t come as facsimiles from heaven. International borders that we see today have been negotiated, fought over, and redrawn repeatedly by political actors, and much of what we see today is a result of relatively recent historical processes. This course focuses on these processes in 20th century South Asia, and traces the evolution of modern states in the world’s most populous region comprising contemporary India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan.

We grapple with three big questions: How was the current political map of South Asia forged in the 20th century? How did political community get organized along nationalistic lines? What might we learn from “intractable problems” that face contemporary states?

HIST 2212 – Maps in World History


The map is a fundamental artifact of human culture. It documents how individuals understood the spaces in which they lived, the relationships between societies and nature, and the shape of the encompassing world. This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the history of maps and mapping (also known as the history of cartography) that ranges across the globe from oldest surviving images painted on cave walls to GIS systems of the present day. It approaches map history from a number of perspectives, regarding maps as scientific objects, expressions of power, tools for navigation, reflections of culture, and artistic creations. We will visit Special Collections to view rare, original maps. Students will also learn to create digital atlases using MapScholar, an online digital humanities visualization tool (no computer science experience necessary). Our core reading will be Jerry Broton's A History of the World in Twelve Maps.

HIUS 3071 – The Coming of the Civil War


This course will examine the economic, political, social, and cultural roots of the American Civil War, as well as the war itself and its aftermath. Through readings, lectures, and group discussion students will become familiar with the major events and historical debates of the antebellum period and beyond. The class materials draw upon a range of primary sources – including political speeches, slave narratives, and newspapers – as well as the extensive secondary literature to address some of the most critical issues in American history.

HIUS 3171 – US Since 1945: People, Politics, Power


US History Since 1945: People, Politics, Power uncovers the links between long range social and economic phenomenon and the political movements, election results, and state policies of the last half century. We will cover diverse topics such as the Cold War, the long black freedom struggle, labor and consumption, feminism and gay liberation, suburbanization and urban decay, mass incarceration, and the War on Terror using a variety of sources including movies, podcasts, articles, songs, advertisements, and more.