Fall 2021

Fall 2021 Course Descriptions

For the most up-to-date list of courses offered and more information including course times, locations, and enrollments, please see SIS or Lou's List. Faculty information can be viewed in the Faculty Directory.

African History

HIAF 1501-001: Africa and Virginia, 1619 - Now

Instructor: James La Fleur

This course explores changes in relationships between Africa and Virginia in the very long run, from earliest arrivals of Angolans near Jamestown in 1619, through Jefferson’s view of the continent and its people, to mass emigration to Liberia after 1820, through dialogues and commerce during colonial overrule in Africa and after independence, and finally to the resurgence in trans-Atlantic families and experiences in the 21st century.

As an introductory seminar, this course uses a broad topic to provide opportunities to learn and improve skills – in research, analysis, and written and oral communication – broadly applicable towards success at the University and beyond. As a course in History, it emphasizes how people (and not just scholars) interested in the past think, how academic historians do their work with never-straightforward sources (or “evidence”), the contexts in which people have changed their views of the past (“historiography”), and the significance of those new understandings to their audiences. Participants will learn through doing, and this will surely include engagement with the kinds of “primary sources” (e.g., old books and private letters) typical of scholarly history. Depending on student interest and practicalities, it may also include some site visits to places of significance on Grounds and nearby, as well as interaction (or “fieldwork”) with fellow UVa students whose life experiences mock any notion of stark separation between “Africa” and “Virginia.”

No prior experience studying Africa is expected nor is previous college-level study of History required.

HIAF 1501-002: Seeing Africa in the American Century

Instructor: John Mason

Seeing Africa in the American Century is an undergraduate research seminar that blends African history, American history, and the history of photography to explore the ways in which images in popular media shaped the ways that Americans understood Africa during the Cold War era. Photography in popular magazines, such as Ebony, Look, and, especially, Life and National Geographic, played an important role in introducing Americans to African issues.

HIAF 2001-100: Early African History

Instructor: James La Fleur

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.

HIAF 3021-001: History of Southern Africa

Instructor: John Mason

Studies the history of Africa generally south of the Zambezi River. Emphasizes African institutions, creation of ethnic and racial identities, industrialization, and rural poverty, from the early formation of historical communities to recent times.

HIAF 3112-001: African Environmental History

Instructor: James La Fleur

This course explores how Africans changed their interactions with the physical environments they inhabited and how the landscapes they helped create in turn shaped human history. Topics covered include the ancient agricultural revolution, the “Columbian exchange” of plants and animals amid slave trading, colonial-era mining and commodity farming, the invention of 20th-century wildlife “conservation,” and the emergent challenges of land ownership, infectious disease, and climate change. These are expansive stories and ones varied and distinctive on the most local scale, so we will develop broad, interpretative themes to understand the sort of case studies we will be engaging. The course’s focus is on Africa, but the issues are global and comparative. Therefore, course learning about History as a discipline and Environmental History as a specialized subfield is applicable to other intellectual endeavors and active citizenship. Specific requirements include homework and participation (15% of course grade), four low-stress map exercises (10%), and three exams (25%, 25%, 25%) comprised of a mix of short-answer identification items and your choice among several pre-circulated essay prompts.

East Asian History

HIEA 1501-001: Culture & Society: Imperial China

Instructor: Cong Ellen Zhang

This seminar explores one of the most dynamic periods in Chinese history: the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The course will cover philosophical and religious traditions, elite culture, gender and family relations, popular beliefs and practices, and the everyday lives of ordinary people. This course fulfills the College’s Second Writing, Historical Perspectives, and Cultures and Societies of the World requirements. No previous knowledge of Chinese history is required.

HIEA 2011-001: History of Chinese Civilization

Instructor: Cong Ellen Zhang

This course surveys China’s long history from the earliest written records to the modern day, touching on the country’s intellectual traditions, imperial institutions, and key cultural and religious beliefs and practices, as well as how China met the challenges of the 19th and 20th centuries. The class fulfills the College’s Second Writing, Historical Perspectives, and Cultures and Societies of the World requirements. No previous knowledge of Chinese history is required.

HIEA 2031-100: Modern China

Instructor: Bradly Reed

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 world-wide 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.

Reading assignments, drawn from a survey textbook (TBA) as well as other secondary and translated primary sources, will average about 125 pages per week. Grades for the course will be based on a mid-term exam (25%), a final exam (30%), a 5 to7-page essay (30%) and attendance and participation in discussion sections (15%).

HIEA 2072-100: Modern Japanese Culture and Politics

Instructor: Robert Stolz

An introduction to the politics, culture, and ideologies of modern Japan from roughly 1800 to the present. We will pay special attention to the interplay between Japan's simultaneous participation in global modernity and its assertion of a unique culture as a way to explore the rise of the nation-state as a historically specific form.

HIEA 2091-001: Korean Civilization to 1900

Instructor: Joseph Seeley

This course covers the history of Korean civilization from its archeological and mythical origins to the late nineteenth century. Together students will examine sources on premodern Korean warfare, society, sex, politics, religion, and culture to understand how this seemingly distant past continues to shape Korea's present and future. We will also explore the influence of Korean civilization on regional and global histories beyond the peninsula.

HIEA 3162-001: Historical China and the World

Instructor: Xiaoyuan Liu

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 used to be at the center of a “world order” of East Asia and often acted as the hegemon of that region in the millennia prior to the 19th century. 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 in finding 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.

This course 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 the “revolutionary” and “conventional” modes of China’s 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, midterm and final tests, and a short essay (9-12 double-spaced pages).

HIEA 3559-001: Borders, Maps, and Conflict in East Asia

Instructor: Joseph Seeley

This course examines the history of territorial disputes in East Asia by examining the demarcation, mapping, and policing of borders from the 1600s to the present. With case studies including eighteenth century Xinjiang, the Korean peninsula, and current territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, we will interrogate the social, political, cultural, and environmental factors that defined boundaries in East Asia historically and contribute to ongoing border tensions.

HIEA 4501-001: Cultural Revolution in China

Instructor: Bradly Reed

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, over a million people were persecuted, 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 thus ended amid fear, apathy and doubt as to the legitimacy of the Communist Party and the revolution which it had led. Today, fifty years after it began, the Cultural Revolution remains one of the most traumatic yet least understood periods of Modern Chinese History.

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.

For the first ten weeks, seminar participants will read and discuss an average of between 200 to 250 pages of primary and secondary material. The remainder of the semester will be devoted to 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%). All seminar participants are expected to have had some background study of China in the post-1949 era. Those without such background will need to have read Mao’s China and After, by Maurice Meisner prior to the beginning of the course.  This course satisfies the Second Writing Requirement and may be used as a capstone course for East Asian Studies majors.

HIEA 5050-001: International History of East Asia

Instructor: Xiaoyuan Liu

This seminar familiarizes graduate students with scholarships about relations among states, societies, and peoples of the Asia-Pacific region during the 20th century, and helps students refine their ongoing research projects or initiate new ones.  In applying rigorously methods of historical research to their projects, students produce scholarly works or research proposals that can meet expectations in actual scholarly fields.

European History

HIEU 2004-100: Nationalism in Europe

Instructor: Kyrill Kunakhovich

How did Europeans become Germans or Italians? When did people start thinking of themselves in national terms? Why did national identities become so powerful, and what might happen to them next? This course examines the history of nationalism in modern Europe, from the 1700s to the present day. We will consider the emergence and consolidation of European nation states in the eighteenth century; nationalist movements and the breakup of empires in the nineteenth; ethnic cleansing and nationalist violence in twentieth-century Europe; as well as the rise of the European Union and its challenges today. To explore different forms and varieties of nationalism, we will study films, poems, paintings, and musical sources in addition to scholarly texts. Through these sources, we will try to understand both the origins and the prospects of nationalist sentiment in Europe – and beyond.

HIEU 2031-100: Ancient Greece

Instructor: J.E. Lendon

Not for CR/NC.

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):

     The Landmark Herodotus (R. Strassler, ed.; Free Press)

     The Landmark Thucydides (R. Strassler, ed.; Free Press)

     Plutarch, Greek Lives (Oxford)

     Plato, The Apology of Socrates (Hackett)

     J. M. Moore, Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy (California)

     S. Pomeroy et al., Ancient Greece (textbook:  edition to be determined)

     a xerox packet (available at NK Print and Design on Elliewood Avenue

HIEU 2061-100: The Birth of Europe

Instructor: Paul Kershaw

This class covers the history of Europe from the third to the beginning of the thirteenth century. It moves from a Mediterranean world dominated by a Roman empire undergoing internal problems and external pressures to one characterized by complex interactions – military, economic, cultural, scientific – between multiple kingdoms and communities, faiths and systems of belief. As we move through these centuries of radical change and state formation we’ll explore political, social and institutional developments; literature, art, philosophy, and religion will also receive attention.

HIEU 2071-100: Early Modern Europe and the World

Instructor: Erin Lambert

What do we mean when we say that we live in the modern world? Historians have long told us that modernity arose between 1500 and 1800, during what we call the early modern period, and that the history of its development is a European one. But what if there is more to the story? How might we tell it differently if we approached this period not simply from a European perspective, but also from a global one?

This semester, we will consider these questions through an exploration of the history of Europe and its global connections from c. 1450 to c. 1800. Over the course of these tumultuous centuries, Europeans experienced changes in virtually every aspect of life, from what they ate to their modes of government, and from what they believed about God and the cosmos to the trade routes they traveled. By working closely with primary source documents and considering the contributions of scholars who are crafting new, more inclusive histories, we will ask how such traditional narratives in European history were, in fact, global stories. How, for example, was the development of Protestantism related to European encounters with indigenous religions? What did the Dutch tulip trade and the trade in human beings have to do with one another? Asking such questions about the past will help us to define new ways of thinking about our present, because in ways both large and small, as we engage in debates about human rights or put sugar in our coffee, we continue to live with the legacies of global early modernity every day.

HIEU 2111-100: England, Britain, Empire, 1500-1800

Instructor: Paul Halliday

This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history as Britain developed from a European  backwater into a global power. We will focus on four major transformations: the Reformation and changing religious life under the Tudor monarchs; new political ideas that arose during the Civil Wars of the 1640s and a revolution in the 1680s; the unification of England, Scotland, and Ireland into a single kingdom; and the beginnings of a global empire in North America and South Asia. We will thus be concerned not only with England, but with its place in the world. Students will write some out-of-class essays and a take-home final exam. Readings may include: Eamon Duffy, The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village; Alison Games, The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitans in an Age of Exploration, 1560-1660; Mark Kishlansky, A Monarchy Transformed: England, 1603-1714; and Linda Colley, Britons.

HIEU 2121-001: France in the Age of Revolutions, 1789-1871

Instructor: Jennifer Sessions

Introduction to French social, political, and cultural history from 1789 to 1871. Examines political struggles from the French Revolution to the Paris Commune, and considers how industrialization, urbanization, mass culture and imperial expansion reshaped relationships between men and women, rich and poor, city and country, artists and audiences, and metropole and colony. Traces changing ideas of nation, citizenship, and democracy.

HIEU 3321-001: The Scientific Revolution, 1450-1700

Instructor: Karen Parshall

This course examines the development of scientific thought and institutions in Western Europe during the critical period—known as the Scientific Revolution—from 1450 to 1700 .  Because those engaged in scientific pursuits during this period were very consciously reacting to the thought of their predecessors, the course opens with a survey of developments in science—then called natural philosophy—from classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages.  With the reintroduction throughout the early modern period of ancient Greek and Roman texts, natural philosophers both adapted and rejected classical thought in formulating their own interpretations of the phenomena observable in the natural world around them.  As a result of their efforts, “new” versions of “old” approaches emerged, and areas such as astronomy and astrology, chemistry and alchemy, mathematics and number mysticism, physics and natural magic, coexisted within the accepted body of knowledge of the natural world.

Open to all undergraduates, this course—primarily in the history of ideas—requires no prior training in the sciences or in European history.

Classes will be conducted in a lecture/discussion style. Readings will average 100 pages each week and will consist of a combination of primary and secondary sources.  The course satisfies both the Historical Studies and satisfies the Second Writing Requirements.

HIEU 3372-001: German Jewish Culture and History

Instructors: Gabriel Finder and Marcel Schmid

This course provides a wide-ranging exploration of the culture and history of German Jewry from 1750 to 1939.  It focuses  on the Jewish response to modernity in Central Europe and the lasting transformations in Jewish life in Europe and later North America. Readings of such figures as: Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Rahel Varnhagen, Franz Kafka, Gershom Scholem, Martin Buber, Karl Marx, Rosa Luxembourg, Walter Benjamin, and Sigmund Freud.

HIEU 3390-100: Nazi Germany

Instructor: Manuela Achilles

This course examines the historical origins, political structures, social dynamics, and cultural practices of the Nazi Third Reich. Fulfills the historical studies and second writing requirements. No prerequisites.

HIEU 3452-001: Jewish Culture and History in Eastern Europe

Instructor: James Loeffler

This course is a comprehensive examination of the culture and history of East European Jewry from 1750 to 1935. Course cross-listed with YITR 3452.

HIEU 3462-001: Neighbors and Enemies in Germany

Instructor: Manuela Achilles

A biblical injunction, first articulated in Leviticus and then elaborated in the Christian teachings, stipulates that one should love one’s neighbor as oneself. This course explores the friend/enemy nexus in German history, literature and culture. Of particular interest is the figure of the neighbor as both an imagined extension of the self, and as an object of fear or even hatred. We will examine the vulnerability and anxiety generated by Germany’s unstable and shifting territorial borders, as well as the role that fantasies of foreign infiltration played in defining German national identity. We will also investigate the racial and sexual politics manifested in Germany’s real or imagined encounters with various foreign “others.” Most importantly, this course will study the tensions in German history and culture between a chauvinist belief in German racial or cultural superiority and moments of genuine openness to strangers. In the concluding part of this course, we will consider the changing meanings of friendship and hospitality in a globalizing world. Fulfills the historical studies and second writing requirements. No prerequisites.

HIEU 3501-001: Early Modern Bodies

Introductory History Workshop

Instructor: Erin Lambert

The human body might seem like a constant that unites people across the centuries, but historians recognize that the body has a complex history. This seminar explores conceptions of the body, health, and disease c. 1500-1800, a period in which understandings of the body changed drastically. We will explore the body in Europe and the wider world from the perspectives of multiple historical subspecialties, including histories of medicine, religion, gender, race, and colonialism. We will also grapple with questions about illness in the past. Should we use insights from modern medicine to explain historical illnesses, even if those explanations would not make sense to people in the past? Is it possible to write a history of an experience as personal as pain? And to what extent is the body a biological reality versus a cultural construct? Through the history of the body, students will become familiar with the types of questions historians ask in their work, as well as the challenges that historians face in reconstructing the past. This course also encourages students to think of themselves as historians. We will focus on the development of essential skills for working with primary sources, and using sources in Special Collections and online archives, students will put these skills to work in a research project.  

HIEU 3501-002: Crime, Scandal, & Politics in Fin-de-Siècle Europe

Introductory History Workshop

Instructor: Jennifer Sessions

Explores the uses of crime for understanding the past, with a focus on European society, culture, and politics in the period around 1900. We will study spectacular, scandalous, and ordinary cases that shed light on issues such as nationalism and anti-Semitism, race and empire, gender and sexuality, urbanization and mass culture at time of rapid change, and explore the methods historians have used to analyze them. Students will apply the methods they learn in collaborative research projects focused on one specific case.

HIEU 3692-001 / HIEU 3692-002: The Holocaust

Instructor: Gabriel Finder

This course aims to clarify basic facts and explore competing explanations for the origins and unfolding of the Holocaust (the encounter between the Third Reich and Europe's Jews between 1933 and 1945) that resulted in the deaths of almost six million Jews.

HIEU 3802-001: Origins of Contemporary Thought

Instructor: Allan Megill

This class examines the work of four thinkers who have been massively important in modern thought: Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Martin Heidegger. The span is from Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) to Heidegger’s philosophically path-breaking Being and Time (1927), but issues of contemporary relevance will be kept firmly in mind, and these thinkers will all be connected to the wider intellectual and cultural contexts that they reflected and in part also created.

There is *very* heavy emphasis in the class on students’ own reading of the material. After students seriously attempt to grasp the reading (which is often difficult, but never impossible), the instructor explicates it in class. By the end of the semester, students will have a quite good idea what the central views articulated by Darwin et al. actually were. They will also be more skilled at reading complex texts. Students’ prior struggle is a prerequisite for understanding both readings and lectures.

Goals (in brief): (i) to model skill at reading theoretical texts and at thinking conceptually; (ii) to impart knowledge of some theories, and the assumptions underlying them, advanced by Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger; these theories are of continuing relevance and, in some cases, use; and (iii) to impart knowledge of the place of these theories, concepts, and assumptions in modern and contemporary thought. 

Requirements (in brief): It is crucial for students to do the reading alertly and on time. Students will (i) answer ca. 7-8 short “think questions” (TQs) on time; (ii) take a 75-minute midterm exam in class on Oct. 15, 2020; (iii) take a 75-minute ending exam in the last regularly scheduled class, on Nov. 24, 2020; (iv) write a “restricted term paper” of six single-spaced pages, based on assigned class reading (not additional outside reading), due on Dec. 10, 2020; and (v) complete online evaluations of the class. Two make-up classes (potentially asynchronous) are scheduled for Dec. 1 & 3. TQs count for 10% of grade; midterm for 15%; ending exam for 30%, and term paper for 45%. However, Quality and Coverage also factor strongly into the final grade.

BOOK LIST: We read crucial parts, and sometimes all, of the following: Darwin, The Origin of Species; Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, Genealogy of Morality, Portable Nietzsche; Freud,  Interpretation of Dreams and civilization and Its Discontents; and Heidegger, Being and Time. A secondary reading is Allan Megill, Prophets of Extremity: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida. There is also a course packet, from N. K. Print and Design (7 Elliewood Ave.), which costs around $19.50.Info on book editions should be visible on “overview” tab of the Course COLLAB site; or if you cannot find that or can’t see it, e-mail me at megill@virginia.edu. I can also make available the Detailed Course Description.

HIEU 4502-001: Europe and the World

Instructor: Kyrill Kunakhovich

Europe’s history and culture have been defined by its encounters with the wider world. This course considers some of those encounters, including migration, colonialism, war, and trade, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rather than focusing on one country, we will examine how such forces have shaped the idea of Europe itself: what it means to be “European,” whether for individuals, cultures, or states. Topics include European imperialism and decolonization; cultural exchange and scientific advances; the Cold War and the Iron Curtain; and the European Union and its discontents.

This course also functions as an introduction to the emerging field of European Studies. We live in an age of heightened mobility and resurgent nationalism. In this environment, scholars, governments, and business alike are trying to unpack the role and meaning of “Europe.” Doing so requires a deep appreciation of European history and culture, as well as an awareness of the many forces that are shaping the continent’s future. European Studies trains students to think across disciplines and cultures, applying a diverse array of methodologies to the study of Europe in a global framework.

HIEU 4502-001: Stalinism

Instructor: Jeffrey Rossman

What was it like to live in Stalin's USSR?  One way to answer this question is to study how those who lived through the Stalin era -- workers, peasants, youth, women, national minorities, officials, members of the creative intelligenntsia, Gulag prisoners, etc. -- represented their experiences in letters, diaries, memoirs, and works of the imagination.  In this course, students will draw upon these and other primary sources to write a 25-page research paper on everyday life under Stalin.  During the first six weeks of the semester, readings of about 200 pages per week will provide students with background on the Stalin era (1928-53) and introduce them to the range of possible topics and available English-language sources.  Students will then carry out independent research on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the instructor.  A draft of the paper will be due in November, and the final draft will be due several days after the last class meeting, during which students will give an oral presentation of their findings.

IMPORTANT: This capstone seminar fulfills the history thesis and second writing requirements.  Enrollment is capped at twelve and restricted to History Majors who have previously taken college-level courses in Russian/Soviet history. Students who enroll in the course must choose a research topic that is directly connected to the theme of the seminar -- viz., everyday life under Stalin. All topic choices are subject to instructor approval. Possible texts for the first six weeks of common reading include:  Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution and Everyday Stalinism; Chris Ward, Stalin’s Russia; J. Bardach, Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag; Maurice Hindus, Red Bread; Viktor Kravchenko, I Chose Freedom: The Personal & Political Life of a Soviet Official; N. Novak-Deker, ed., Soviet Youth:  Twelve Komsomol Histories; and William K. Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students.

HIEU 4511-001/HIEU 5021-001: Greece in the Fifth Century

Instructor: J.E. Lendon

Prerequisite:  HIEU 2031, CLAS 2010 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 four 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-three exercises (on working with ancient evidence) and a final exam.

Undergraduates are permitted to take this class as a graduate class or for 4511 credit.

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)

and readings on the Collab course website

HIEU 4511-002: Emperor, Queen & Caliph: the Mediterranean, C7-C10

Instructor: Paul Kershaw

This course explores the diverse polities and cultures of the early medieval Mediterranean, and the forms on interaction in both war and peace between the Latin, Byzantine and Islamic world in the eighth through to the late tenth centuries. Warfare, travel, trade and belief will all be explored, as we look comparatively at the distinctive societies of the early medieval Mediterranean.

HIEU 7031-001: Proseminar in Ancient Studies

Instructor: Anthony Corbeill

The aim of this course is to acquaint students with various facets of the study of Greek and Roman antiquity; to show students a range of approaches to ancient materials; and to introduce students of antiquity to each other and to the affiliated faculty in different departments (Classics, History, Art, Religious Studies).

Middle Eastern History

HIME 2003-100: Economic History of the Islamic World

Instructor: Fahad Bishara

This course is designed to introduce students to the economic history of the Islamic World - a broad region stretching from West Africa to Indonesia - over the duration of roughly 1300 years of history. We explore the ideologies, institutions, and practices of commerce in Muslim society, paying close attention to the actors, artifacts, and encounters, that gave it shape over the course of a millennium, ending with the onset of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century. We will explore the relationship between Islamic law and commerce, Muslim engagement with an expanding world of trade, and how the forces of global capitalism shaped (and transformed) Muslim society. To do this, we will combine broad sweeps of events in Islamic and world history with fine-grained analyses of primary documents and close readings of secondary sources. No prior knowledge of Islamic history or economic history is assumed. We usually read 40 pages or so of primary/secondary sources per week, and students are asked to produce a paragraph of reflections on the reading every week. Other assignments include two 3-4 page papers over the course of the semester, five quizzes over the course of the semester, and a take-home final.

HIME 2012-001: Israel/Palestine 1948

Instructor: TBD

This course explores the dramatic Arab-Israeli war of 1948 in Palestine from the UN partition resolution of November 29, 1947 to the cease-fire agreements in early 1949. It covers the political, military progression of the war, within international and decolonization contexts, while paying special attention to the two major outcomes of the war and how they came about: Jewish independence and Palestinian dispossession.

HIME 4501-001: Remembering Palestine/Israel: History, Memory, Method

Instructor: TBD

What is the relationship between history and memory? How does collective memory take shape, and who has the right to remember? In this course, we will probe these questions using the case study of twentieth-century Palestine/Israel. Through close readings of memoirs, oral histories, photograph collections, and films (with translations provided as necessary), we will explore the advantages and challenges of using memory-based sources to write the history of this contested region. 

South Asian History

HISA 2003-100: History of Modern India

Instructor: Neeti Nair

Surveys 200 years of Indian history from the mid-18th century to the present, focusing on the imperial/colonial encounter with the British Raj before Independence, and the social and political permutations of freedom in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka since.

HISA 4501-001: India’s Partition: Politics, Culture, Memory

Instructor: Neeti Nair

The 1947 Partition of the Indian subcontinent and the creation of the new nation-states of India and Pakistan have spawned a rich historiography on its causes and still-unfolding consequences. This course aims to provide students with a deep background of communal relations in British India, an overview of the negotiations and tensions that eventually necessitated the partition, and an examination of a few of the transformations that were among its lasting consequences: the wars over Kashmir and the creation of Bangladesh are cases in point. Students will spend the latter half of the semester working on 20-page research seminar papers.

General History

HIST 2214-100: The Cold War

Instructor: William Hitchcock

An exploration of the geopolitical and ideological conflict that shaped world affairs from 1945 to 1990. Topics include: the origins of the cold war; the division of Europe; the 'hot wars' in Asia; the rise of the Third World; the impact of the cold war on the home front, from McCarthyism to Civil Rights; the rise of dissident movements; the unraveling of the cold war order; and the meaning of the cold war today.

HIST 3281-100: Genocide

Instructor: Jeffrey Rossman

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 lecture 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 attendance at lecture, active participation in weekly section meetings, weekly readings of about 100-150 pages, the viewing of several films, three short (2-page) writing assignments based on required readings/films, 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).

HIST 4400-001: Topics in Economic History

Instructor: Mark Thomas

Comparative study of the historical development of selected advanced economies (e.g., the United States, England, Japan, continental Europe).  The nations covered vary with instructor.  Cross-listed with ECON 4400.

HIST 4890-001: Distinguished Majors Program-Special Colloquium

Instructor: Sarah Milov

This seminar is open only to students admitted to the Distinguished Majors Program. The purpose is to introduce students to different tools, methods, and ways of knowing and writing about history. Assigned texts will vary widely in methodological approaches, interpretive frameworks, and chronological and geographical focus. By the end of the semester, students will have produced a prospectus and grant application for their DMP thesis. 

HIST 4990-001: Distinguished Majors Program-Special Seminar

Instructor: Sarah Milov

Analyzes problems in historical research. Preparation and discussion of fourth-year honors theses. Normally taken during the fourth year. Intended for students who will be in residence during their entire fourth year.   Prerequisite: Open only to students admitted to the Distinguished Majors Program.

HIST 5130-001: Global Legal History

Instructor: Paul Halliday

Examines European legal regimes as they moved around the globe and considers those regimes' interactions with one another and with non-European legal cultures from 1500 to the twentieth century. Themes include: empire formation and legal pluralism; conflicting ideas of property; interaction of settler and indigenous peoples; forced labor and migration; the law of nations; and piracy and the law of the sea.

HIST 5501-001: Working with Historic Maps

Instructor: S. Max Edelson

This workshop introduces advanced undergraduate and graduate students to digital research featuring geospatial data. With the assistance of the Scholars’ Lab’s GIS specialists, we will introduce you to the industry-standard ESRI suite of geographic information systems tools--ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS StoryMaps. Through a series of tutorials designed for historical research, you will learn to build geospatial layers and create interactive digital visualizations. You will apply what you have learned by creating GIS content that advances your particular research projects. We will also review compelling digital scholarship and read about the art and science of visual design as we become proficient in creating dynamic maps of the past. This course counts as an elective for the Graduate Digital Humanities Certificate program.

HIST 5559-001: Reading Marx's Capital

Instructor: Robert Stolz

This seminar will be a semester-long close reading of Marx’s Capital volume one. After the course students will have developed not only deeper reading habits and strategies, but have gained an entirely new critical vocabulary that opens the door to an immense school of theory, thought, politics, economics, and literature. Mainly discussion based with short papers during the semester and a final take-home paper for the final.

HIST 7001-001: Approaches to Historical Study

Instructors: Allan Megill and Fahad Bishara

This course is designed as an introductory seminar for graduate students in all fields and periods of history. It is required of all first-year doctoral students in the History Department. It aims to introduce students to the process of researching and writing history at a professional level.

To this end, it will proceed in part by having students read (or re-read) historical works that can be regarded as exemplars of historical research and writing. Some of these works are relatively short and can be pretty much read in toto; others are longer and will require selective reading.

These works will come from a variety of fields and genres of history. They are intended to be read, however, not for what they tell us about, say, the English working class, peasants in sixteenth-century France, the geography of the Mediterranean, trade in the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic world in the eighteenth century, or the United States in the twentieth, but for what they tell us about ways of researching and writing history.

We find it important that neophyte historians learn to read historical works not only for the facts they report but also for those things that lie hidden behind the cascade of facts. These include: the enabling assumptions, often unstated, that make such and such a work possible; the relation of the work to the extant and previous “state of play” in the discipline or the sub-field; how the author managed to say something that was original and interesting, as distinguished from simply being correct, in their work; and how the author managed to convey something of their own voice and commitments, while still producing a work that could be praised as a contribution to the science of history.

HIST 9026-001: Tutorial in 20th Century International History

Instructor: William Hitchcock

Readings in modern international history: topics will include war, peace-making, diplomacy, the role of non-governmental organizations in world politics, refugees, human rights, decolonization, and transnational ideologies.

United States History

HIUS 2001-100: American History to 1865

Instructor: Christa Dierksheide

Studies the development of the colonies and their institutions, the Revolution, the formation and organization of the Republic, and the coming of the Civil War.

HIUS 2061-001: American Economic History

Instructor: Mark Thomas

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.

HIUS 3071-100: The Coming of the Civil War

Instructor: Elizabeth Varon

Through a close examination of the interrelationships among economic change, cultural and political developments, and the escalating sectional conflict between 1815 and 1861, this lecture course seeks to explain what caused the outbreak of the American Civil War in April 1861. Students should note that this period also encompasses the Jacksonian era of American history, and most of the lectures in the first half of the course will be devoted to examining it, with a focus on party politics and debates over slavery. Grades will be based on class participation and on three written assignments: a midterm exam; an 8-10 page term paper; and a comprehensive, take-home final examination.

HIUS 3281-001: Virginia History to 1900

Instructor: George Gilliam

This three-credit course looks at Virginia's social, political, and economic history from early colonization until the end of the Gilded Age. The class will consider the following broad questions: (1) Why was the rise of an ideology of liberty and equality in Virginia accompanied by the rise of slavery? (2) How did wealthy planters and "common" people alike develop the radical political ideas that led them to revolution? (3) What roles did government play in the state economy? (4) What efforts did Virginians make to rid their state of slavery, and make the electorate as well as legislative representation more democratic, prior to the Civil War? (5) How did Virginians let themselves get drawn into the Civil War? (6) How did some Virginians work toward emancipation of enslaved African-Americans and liberal political reconstruction of the state in the 19th century while others tried to thwart such efforts? The course will devote the first three weeks of the class to the colonial period, and the balance of the semester to a deep-dive into the statehood period 1776-1900.

Readings will average fewer than 125 pages per week. The principal readings will include: excerpts from Ronald L. Heinemann, et al., Old Dominion/New Commonwealth: A History of Virginia, 1607-2007; portions of Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery/American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia; Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832; William A. Link, Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia; and Elizabeth R. Varon, Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War.

There will be a short-answer mid-term exam and a single-essay final exam. There will be a short (2-3 page) writing exercise early in the semester to acclimate students to writing history based upon primary archival sources, such as those housed in the Special Collections Library. A major portion of each student's final grade will be based a 10-12 page term paper based on original research in primary source documents on a topic of the student's choice. Students will submit multiple drafts of the term paper during the final four weeks of the semester to obtain advice and guidance from the instructor.

The class will meet twice each week. At each meeting, about an hour will be devoted to lecture and 15 minutes will be devoted to guided class discussions of the readings and other material.

HIUS 3490-100: From Motown to Hip-Hop

Instructor: Claudrena Harold

This course examines the sonic, political, and commercial evolution of African American popular music from the late 1950s to the present. Some of the artists we will explore include James Brown, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Public Enemy, PFunk, Whitney Houston, Missy Elliott, Kirk Franklin, Tupac, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, OutKast, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé.

HIUS 3611-100: Gender & Sexuality in AM, 1600-1865

Instructor: Caroline Janney

Studies the evolution of women's roles in American society with particular attention to the experiences of women of different races, classes, and ethnic groups.

HIUS 4501-001: Gender History of Civil War Era

Instructor: Elizabeth Varon

This seminar examines the construction and contestation of gender roles—definitions of womanhood and manhood—during the Civil War era (from the 1830s through the 1870s). We will explore how the gender conventions of the North and South diverged during the antebellum era, and assess how that divergence shaped sectional tensions; re-envision the Civil War as a crisis over gender roles, in which men and women in each section struggled to fulfill—and at times openly rebelled against—the prevailing definitions of women’s sacrifice and of manly heroism; and reveal the gendered dimensions of slave resistance, emancipation and the contest over citizenship during Reconstruction. The course aims to furnish you with the tools to craft an article-length (25 page) research paper, by semester’s end. Students will identify topics, pertaining to our course themes, in consultation with the instructor; in the last four weeks of the course, we will focus on the research and writing process.

HIUS 4501-002: Maps and Empire in Early America

Instructor: S. Max Edelson

In this seminar, you will learn about the maps that shaped early America, ca. 1500-1800, as well as the methods of map historians. This work will take us to the Small Special Collections Library to examine its remarkable cartography collections and consult its many key reference works. Each of you will write an essay that analyzes and interprets maps as primary sources to shed light on colonization, war, slavery, trade, science and technology, Native society, or another topic.  In addition, you will learn to create a basic digital “tour” of your maps using ArcGIS Online and Storymaps.

HIUS 4559-001: Democratizing the Past: A Hands On Approach to Oral History as a Practice and Method

Instructor: Grace Hale

Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about people, important events, and everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of interviews with individuals having personal knowledge of past events. This course utilizes a hands-on, studio approach to oral history as a practice that enables us to create more democratic archives and understandings of the past. Students will use existing oral histories about the history of racial segregation at UVA and in Charlottesville and the surrounding area to create local history timelines and short podcasts. They will also work on their own oral history project by interviewing their fellow UVA students about a topic chosen by the class.

HIUS 5000-001: African-American History to 1877

Instructor: Justene Hill Edwards

This seminar will introduce graduate students to major trends in African-American history, from the colonial period to the end of Reconstruction. Important themes and debates will be highlighted, including the political, economic, social, and cultural experiences of people of African descent in the colonies that would become the United States of America. In this course, students will read major, new, and provocative work, including the scholarship on women and gender, economic history, legal history, and the history of the African diaspora. This seminar will help students define specific interests within the field and aid in preparation for examinations. Students will spend the semester writing a 15-20 page historiographical essay.