History

Mary Renda, Chair

Holly Sharac, Academic Department Coordinator


309 Skinner Hall
413-538-2377
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/history

Overview and Contact Information

History is a critical and analytical method of inquiry into our collective past based on our cumulative experience, informed understanding, and careful judgment. It teaches us to look beyond appearance, to evaluate something with clarity and disinterest, to discover and investigate all the causes of an event and evaluate their relative importance. History teaches how to discern the relationship between cause and effect, to analyze motives, to determine agency and assign responsibility, and to understand change over time. These general habits of sorting through the past allow us to appreciate the profound differences between ourselves and others and to imagine (and to some degree experience) the world as people have in times now lost and in places we shall never see.

Faculty

This area of study is administered by the Department of History:

Daniel Czitrom, Professor of History

Lowell Gudmundson, Professor of Latin American Studies and History

Holly Hanson, Professor of History

Jeremy King, Professor of History

Lynda Morgan, Professor of History

Mary Renda, Professor of History

Christine DeLucia, Assistant Professor of History

Desmond Fitz-Gibbon, Assistant Professor of History

Lan Wu, Assistant Professor of History

Richard Chu, Five College Associate Professor of History

Priyanka Srivastava, Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 36 credits:

36 credits in History, comprising a course of study that meets all of the following requirements.36
The major must include:
One course each from three of the following different regions: Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe, Latin America, and North America.
One course with substantial content in a period prior to 1750.
A minimum of three 300-level courses, to include:
At least one 300-level research seminar, taken in the department (any course numbered between 302–394), and
Two additional 300-level history courses, of which only one may be HIST-395.
Four courses that comprise a topical, chronological, or geographical concentration within the major. 1,2
No more than half the 36 credits may be at the 100-level.
Total Credits36
1

One concentration course may be from a field other than history, if the student otherwise meets the requirement of 36 credits for history

2

The advisor must approve a statement of this concentration during the second semester of the student's junior year.

Additional Specifications

  • The department encourages students to pursue independent work at the 300 level during the senior year. Students who intend to pursue independent work in the senior year should plan to complete their research seminar during the junior year. Students interested in senior independent work, who also plan junior years at institutions other than Mount Holyoke College, will need to take special care to meet this requirement.

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 20 credits:

One research seminar, taken in the department (any course numbered between 302–394)4
Four other courses above the 100 level16
Total Credits20

Teacher Licensure

Students interested in pursuing licensure in the field of history can combine their course work in history with a minor in education. In some instances course work in the major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. For specific course requirements for licensure within the major of history, please consult your advisor or the chair of the history department. Further information about the minor in education and the Teacher Licensure program is available in other sections of the catalog, or consult Ms. Frenette in the psychology and education department.

Licensure also requires a formal application as well as passing scores on the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) in both the literacy component and the subject matter component.

Additional information about the Licensure Program, including application materials, can be found on the Teacher Licensure Program website.
 

Course Offerings

First-Year Seminars

First-Year Seminars taught by History faculty introduce history as a method of inquiry, analysis, and interpretation concerned with understanding the variety of past human experience and with communicating that understanding clearly. The limited enrollment of these course permits a concentration on the close reading and analysis of secondary and primary texts, and on the process of writing and revision. The substantial concentration on writing qualifies such seminars as writing-intensive courses. All first-year seminars are listed together under First Year Seminars.

100-Level Regional Surveys

The department’s 100-level survey courses are designed both for students seeking an introduction to a particular geographic area new to them and, equally, for students wishing to pursue intermediate or advanced work in a particular field. Students interested in pursuing American or European history, for example, are advised to take the pertinent survey as preparation for more advanced work, just as those interested in Africa, Asia, or Latin America should take the survey in their chosen area of interest.

HIST-111 The Making of the Modern Middle East

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Survey of the factors shaping principal political, economic, and social life in the Middle East and North Africa from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Topics will include but are not limited to: the integration of the Middle East into the world economy; the advent of imperialism and colonialism; the reforms of the nineteenth century; the transition from empires to nation-states; the World Wars and state formation; the rise of nationalisms and the consolidation of the state; the Arab-Israeli conflict; the role of the United States in the Middle East; and finally the most recent Arab uprisings.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
N. Sbaiti

HIST-124 History of Modern South Asia, 1700 to the Present

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will explore the history of South Asia between the eighteenth century and the present. Using a combined chronological and thematic approach and against a historical canvas that engages such diverse issues as gender, political economy, conquest, resistance, state formation, economic exploitation, national liberation, and identity politics, the aim of this course is to interrogate the impact of British colonialism and South Asian nationalisms on the state, society, and people of the subcontinent. Using primary and secondary sources, we will address both the most significant historical moments of modern South Asian history and the historiographical debates that surround them.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
The department

HIST-130 History of China through 1600

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

A survey of the social, political, and cultural world of premodern China. Emphasis will be placed on the evolution and contrasts of elite and popular culture and the nature of change in an agrarian state. Readings will be drawn from Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist traditions, classical poetry and fiction, and the history of social and political movements.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Wu
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-137 Modern East Asia, 1600-2000

Fall. Credits: 4

A comparative history of China, Japan, and Korea from the early seventeenth century to the present, with strong focus on regional interaction. After an introduction to early modern histories and cultures, we will examine the struggles of these countries to preserve or regain their independence and establish their national identities in a rapidly changing, often violent modern world order. While each of these countries has its own distinctive identity, their overlapping histories (and dilemmas) give the region a coherent shape. We will also look at how individuals respond to and are shaped by larger historical movements.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Wu
Notes: Required for East Asian Studies majors.

HIST-151 Modern and Contemporary Europe

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Surveys the major movements and developments in Europe during the era of European expansion and dominance--from the devastations of the Thirty Years War to the Second World War--and up to the current era of European Union. Topics include: the French Revolution and the birth of nationalism; the scientific and industrial revolutions; the modern history of international relations; imperialism, fascism, the Holocaust, the two World Wars, and the present and potential roles of Europe at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Fitz-Gibbon, J. King

HIST-155 History of Modern Britain, 1750 to the Present

Spring. Credits: 4

Britain has long been considered an exemplary modern nation, credited, for example, with the world's first industrial economy, modern institutions of representative politics, a vibrant public sphere, a powerful war and welfare state, and one of the largest empires in world history. Using a combination of primary and secondary source readings, classroom lectures and discussions, and various written assessments, this course will ask how modern imperial Britain was made and how this history relates to the broader currents of world history.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Fitz-Gibbon

HIST-161 British Empire and Commonwealth

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course is an introduction to the expansion, consolidation, and eventual disintegration of the modern British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will examine this history with an eye to understanding the causes of empire, and its effects. Themes include formal and informal imperialism, the emergence of anti-colonial nationalism, the roles of gender and culture, and the legacies of British colonialism. We will discuss British attitudes and policies toward empire, and toward particular colonies, what role empire played in the growth of the British economy, in short, how colonial ideologies and practices were shaped and in turn affected vast regions of the globe.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
The department

HIST-170 The American Peoples to 1865

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the diverse cultures and peoples--Indian, African, and European--that from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, through combat and cooperation, forged North American societies. Topics include the indigenous societies of the Americas; the age of colonialism; slavery; the American Revolution; the creation of the American political system; expansion and industrialization; and the coming of the Civil War.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
C. DeLucia
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-171 The American Peoples Since 1865

Spring. Credits: 4

This course introduces the history of the United States from Reconstruction to the present. Our themes include the nation's relationship to the world; the evolution of racial, gendered, and class hierarchies; the transformation of the federal government; and the changing forms of domestic life, work, consumer capitalism, politics, social protest, and cultural expression. How have the people of the United States struggled over such values as freedom, equality, prosperity, and progress? How have ideas about citizenship, manhood, and motherhood served to police the boundaries of national belonging? We will be concerned throughout with the role of storytelling in history.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Czitrom

HIST-180 Introduction to Latin American Cultures

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Examines the confrontation, assimilation, and transformation of Amerindian, African, and European cultures in Latin America from the sixteenth century to the present. Focuses on the processes in which distinctive self-images emerged in the region and how these images have been challenged and changed over time. Uses films, literature, and folk traditions to complement scholarly analysis of the emergence of a New World mentality.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-180
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Gudmundson, A. Pitetta

200-Level Courses: Themes and Periods

The department’s 200-level courses offer focused and intensive studies of particular times and places. They include a variety of courses, ranging from large survey courses to small, limited enrollment reading courses or seminars.

HIST-204 Issues in Islamic History

HIST-206 African Cities: Development Dreams and Nightmares in the Twentieth Century

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

African cities demonstrate the failure of models of development with the aim and ideal of industrialization. This course examines the empty promises of modernity through the lens of African urban history using fiction, film, and city archives. Beginning with Timbuctu and Cairo, the course explores the emergence and decline of trade entrepots, the rise of colonial cities, and the dilemmas of postcolonial economies and polities. Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Kampala, Kinshasa, Harare, Johannesburg, Lagos, Accra, and Dakar are among the cities studied. Designed for those seeking only an introduction to development as well as those with further ambitions, it assumes no previous knowledge of Africa.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-206
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
H. Hanson

HIST-214 History of Global Inequality

Spring. Credits: 4

Why are some nations so much richer and more powerful than others? This course demonstrates that global inequality is not natural; it has a history. Exploring patterns of exchange that developed among regions of the world over the past 600 years, we will ask about the role of power in the establishment of practices of production and exchange. We will explore how cross-regional productive systems benefited some participants at the expense of others. Having traced the consequences of unequal exchange over several centuries, we will ask how global trade and production would have to change for all participants to benefit equally. The course includes a community-based learning component.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
H. Hanson

HIST-222 Muslim Politics in Modern South Asia

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Taken together, Muslims in South Asia constitute the largest population of Muslims worldwide. This course will serve as an introduction to the political history of this diverse group of people. We will begin by considering religious conversion and the rule of Muslim kings in the premodern period. The bulk of the course will, however, concentrate on the modern history of the subcontinent, and especially on events and themes that continue to influence the countries and peoples of South Asia in the present, such as Muslim social reform, the rise of communalism, the partition of the subcontinent, and the influence of religion on contemporary politics.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
The department

HIST-223 Religion and Politics in Modern India

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The history of India has been singled out for its complex intermingling of religion and politics. This course will explore the constitution of religious identities in two of India's largest religious communities: Hindu and Muslim. Focusing primarily on the colonial period, we will discuss religious reform movements, communal violence, mass politics, and the partition of the subcontinent into the independent states of India and Pakistan. Throughout we will be interested in the ways that the colonial experience affected the religious thought and practice of Indians. Finally, we will explore the meanings of this history for the postcolonial workings of democracy and secularism in modern India.

Crosslisted as: RELIG-223
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
The department

HIST-224 The Busy Silk Roads: Cultural Exchange in Pre-modern Eurasia

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Centered on great powers in the web of the Silk Roads prior to the nineteenth century, this course seeks to present a history of incessant communication at a trans-regional level. Three vast empires dominated the heart of the Eurasian continent: the Tibetan empire (7th-9th centuries), the Mongol empire (1206-1370), and the Manchu Qing (1644-1911). Each of them cultivated and encouraged cultural exchanges in the landlocked regions that are now divided into many modern nation-states. Important questions include: is seaborne trade the only form of global circulation of knowledge? What roles did the great powers play in facilitating exchange and communication?

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
L. Wu
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement; all readings are in English

HIST-225 Athenian Democracy and Its Foes

Spring. Credits: 4

Democracy first took root in Athens in the late sixth century BCE and flourished, with only brief interruptions, until the city came under the power of Macedon in the latter part of the fourth century BCE. This course will trace the development of Athenian democracy and examine such topics as citizenship; the role of women, the family, and non-citizens in Athens; the legal system; education; and public entertainment. It will also compare democratic Athens with Sparta, its antithesis in the classical period. Sources will include Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, and others.

Crosslisted as: CLASS-225
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Debnar
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-226 Bread and Circuses: The Politics of Public Entertainment in Ancient Rome

Spring. Credits: 4

Bread and circuses (panem et circenses) was a catchphrase in the Roman empire that described the political strategy of controlling an unruly populace through free bread and public entertainment. Against a backdrop of Roman social and political institutions, this course focuses on the imperial ideology, aristocratic ethos, and cultural practices that underpinned this catchphrase, as well as questions concerning the careers of entertainers--gladiators, charioteers, and actors--who were at once celebrities and social outcasts; the rules of spectatorship at the games; the use of these games as a form of social control; and the logistics of feeding the city population.

Crosslisted as: CLASS-226
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Sumi

HIST-227 Ancient Greece

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will trace the emergence and expansion of Greek civilization in the Mediterranean between the Bronze Age and Alexander the Great. Among themes to be explored are political structures, trade, slavery, gender relations, and religion, as well as the contributions of ancient Greeks to literary genres (drama, rhetoric, historiography, philosophy) and to the visual arts. Throughout we will consider how the history of the ancient Greeks can speak to modern concerns. Sources will include works of ancient Greek literature and history (e.g., Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plutarch) as well as archaeological and epigraphic evidence.

Crosslisted as: CLASS-227
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Debnar
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-228 Ancient Rome

Fall. Credits: 4

Ancient Rome and its empire can be viewed both as a measure of human achievement and a cautionary tale of the corrupting effects of unbridled power. This course covers the history of Ancient Rome from its mythologized beginnings (753 BCE) to the rise and spread of Christianity under the Emperor Constantine (312 CE). Topics include the creation and development of Rome's republican form of government as well as its eventual transition to monarchy, the causes and consequences of the acquisition of empire, the role of the army in administering the provinces and defending the frontiers, the image of emperor, the economy, and religion.

Crosslisted as: CLASS-228
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Sumi

HIST-229 The Tyrant and the Gladiator: Bad Roman Emperors from Caligula to Commodus

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Caligula was a god (or so he thought); Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Commodus dressed as a gladiator and fought man and beast in the arena. The history of the Roman empire is replete with scandalous stories about eccentric and even insane emperors whose reigns raise questions about the nature of the emperor's power and his role in administering the empire. In this course a close study of Roman imperial biography and historiography--the source of so many of these stories of bad emperors--will be weighed against documentary and archaeological evidence in order to reveal the dynamic between the emperor, his court, and his subjects that was fundamental to the political culture of imperial Rome.

Crosslisted as: CLASS-229
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Sumi
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-230 History and Law

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

An introduction to the study of history through law, using a comparative approach to group rights. Case studies, rooted in landmark court decisions and legislation, concern racial segregation in America before the civil rights era ('separate but equal') and in Europe during the Nazi era (the Nuremberg Laws, German 'national groups' in the East), as well as affirmative action in America and attempts at promoting equality among national groups in Austria before the First World War.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. King

HIST-232 Special Topics in Medieval History

HIST-232CC Special Topics in Medieval History: 'Conquered and Colonized Christianities: 150-1650 CE'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course offers an introduction to a constellation of Christianities that were eventually conquered or colonized, broadly construed. As such, we will cover writings from the early, medieval, and early modern periods originally written in a vast spectrum of languages, including, but not limited to, Greek, Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, Old Slavonic, and western European vernaculars. These readings will be supplemented with theoretical literature drawn from postcolonial and poststructuralist thinkers.

Crosslisted as: RELIG-225CC, MEDST-217CC
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Salés

HIST-232RW Special Topics in Medieval History: 'God Save the Queen: Ruling Women from Rome to the Renaissance'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will explore female rulership in Europe from the late Roman empire to the age of Elizabeth I. Our discussion of various texts and images (most of them primary sources in translation) will reveal the role of queens within their societies, their relationship to broader social and cultural institutions such as the Christian Church, and the ways in which queens were celebrated, criticized, and imagined by writers and artists of their time.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-234 The Atlantic World

Spring. Credits: 4

Early Americans inhabited an interconnected world through which people, beliefs, and objects circulated. This course explores the 'Atlantic World' as both a place and a concept: an ocean surrounded by diverse communities and empires, and an imagined space of shared or competing affiliations. Moving from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, it examines ecological, cultural, political, economic, intellectual, and religious exchanges among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans. It will introduce both conceptual dimensions of this Atlantic paradigm and case studies that investigate its human subtleties, with the goal of examining early American history through a transnational lens.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
C. DeLucia
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-235 Native American History through 1865

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course surveys Native American history from ancient times through the U.S. Civil War, tracing the ways that tribal communities have shaped North America. Beginning with the diverse indigenous societies that inhabited the Americas millennia before Columbus's arrival, it discusses the cultural complexity of Native peoples, nations, and worldviews rooted in particular ecosystems and homelands. It moves through the early modern era of European scientific exploration and 'discovery' of a New World, and the pivotal violences of the 'Indian Wars' of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries.

Crosslisted as: ENVST-237
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
C. DeLucia
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-238 The Qing Empire

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The most populous contiguous state on earth, the Qing Empire ruled much of East Asia for nearly 300 years (1636-1912). Its 17th and 18th century conquests created the shape and extent of modern China. Its powerful commercial economy and skillful artisans drew merchants from all over the world to its great trading cities. This course will survey the Qing's rule, focusing on the Manchu military and political elite, the enormous and diverse population over which it ruled, and the international contexts of its rise, flourishing, and fall. Students will read works of the 'New Qing History,' as well as primary sources, and will undertake both group and individual research projects.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
The department

HIST-239 Topics in Asian History

HIST-239MC Topics in Asian History: 'Borderlands and Ethnicity in Modern China'

Fall. Credits: 4

This seminar investigates the processes through which borderlands were imagined and ethnicities were made in twentieth-century China. Drawing from texts and films about and by the people living on the borderlands, students in the seminar are to explore the intersecting relation between the two pressing issues and how Chinese states dealt with them. Furthermore, how did all these concerns originate? To that end, the seminar begins by examining how the central state in early modern China formed a multicultural empire in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Wu
Notes: All readings are in English.

HIST-239ME Topics in Asian History: 'Cities in Modern East Asia'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course asks: what are cities in the history of modern East Asia? Cities were cosmopolitan, centers of commerce, and sites of social movements in late imperial China, Tokugawa Japan, and late Chosǔn Korea. How did the roles of cities change in the nineteenth century when East Asia became more integrated into the global system? How was urban life affected in the first half of the twentieth century when the central states dealt with domestic turmoil and external pressures? How did the state work to redefine cities and urban culture in the postwar era? To answer these questions, this seminar encourages students to position cities historically and comparatively.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
L. Wu

HIST-240 The Holocaust in History

Fall. Credits: 4

An attempt at understanding the Nazi-led assault on Europe's Jews. Course units include an exploration of origins, both German and European; an analysis of the evolving mechanics of genocide (mobile killing squads, death camps, etc.); comparisons (Germany proper vs. Poland, the Holocaust vs. other instances of state-sponsored mass murder); legal dimensions; and an introduction to the politics of Holocaust remembrance since 1945.

Crosslisted as: JWST-240
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. King

HIST-243 Rural Prosperity in the African Past

Fall. Credits: 4

This course seeks to understand what relationships engendered rural prosperity in African communities in the past, and what processes of change have led millions of rural people to abandon their homes and livelihoods to join flows of migrants to cities and other nations. We examine African patterns of production over the long term and the transformation of African agriculture in the last two centuries, considering famine, the social and political organization of access to productive resources, and the relationship of rural and urban communities. We ask how rural prosperity might be recreated in the 21st century.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-243, ENVST-243
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
H. Hanson

HIST-244 European Public Policy, West and East

Fall. Credits: 4

In 1968, the USSR commenced a strategy of consumerist depoliticization in its European satellites. Around the same time, states on the other side of the Iron Curtain saw the postwar era of rapid economic growth and social consensus close. This course, reaching across the revolutionary break of 1989 up to the present, raises questions of convergence and continuity in European public policy, West and East. Paired case studies from a variety of countries in fields such as energy, the environment, minority rights, and housing serve to clarify rules and patterns to the politics of policy, from Cold War to European Union and beyond.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. King

HIST-246 20th Century Europe

Spring. Credits: 4

A survey of European events, themes, and trends between 1900 and the new millennium, centered on discussion of a rich mix of primary sources that include fiction and film. Students will range from the Balkans to the Baltic, from the Urals to the United Kingdom, from death camps to the welfare state, from Bolshevism to neoliberalism, from European civil and cold war to European Union. This course complements History 151, does not repeat high school history, and pays close attention to developing historical consciousness and analytical skills.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. King

HIST-248 Science, Revolution, and Modernity

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Introduces critical analysis of science and technology by tracing the historiography of the Scientific Revolution. The significance of this extended intellectual episode has been assessed in radically different ways throughout the intervening centuries. As such, it provides a fertile ground on which to pose and answer important questions about science and its role in society. What does it mean to regard science as 'revolutionary'? How are scientific developments shaped by, and how do they shape, the social, economic, and political worlds in which they are embedded? How is our contemporary understanding of science and technology influenced by the stories we tell about the past?

Crosslisted as: CST-248
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Cotter
Restrictions: This course is limited to the sophomore and junior classes.
Notes: Gateway course for minor in Conceptual Foundations of Science

HIST-252 History of Money and Finance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

What is money? Is it the same in all times and places? If money could speak, what stories would it tell of the past? This course is about the history of money and money as an object of history. Using primary and secondary sources, students will learn about the social, political and cultural meaning of money at different times in the history of the western world. In addition, students will interpret the history of money using a variety of coins and money-related objects held in the MHC Art Museum. This is a course on the history of money, not the economics of money, but it will be of interest to anyone curious to learn more about the meaning of money in the past and today.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
D. Fitz-Gibbon

HIST-255 Ideas and Society in Modern Europe

HIST-256 Environmental History

HIST-256HC Environmental History: 'The Columbian Exchange: Global Perspectives on History, Culture, and Nature, 1492 to 1914'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Studies the material and cultural consequences of the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the interconnecting of Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas. Topics include the expansion of globalizing trade networks, empire building, the expansion of agriculture and industry, environmental change, and differing ideas of nature in different cultures as expressed in historical documents, art, and literature. Readings include Charles Mann, 1493: Uncovering the new World Columbus Created, and Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-257 Research Methods in History, Environmental Change, and Public Health

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

An introduction to interdisciplinary research methods in history, social science, and the digital humanities, using environmental change and public health as themes for investigation. Topics include the collection, organization, and analysis of information from on-line databases and research collections as well as bibliographic management. Computer-assisted analysis of textual information and GIS will be introduced to study agricultural change, industrialization, and public health during the 19th and early 20th centuries with data on Great Britain. Research projects for the U.S. are possible but limited by less abundant digital data on public health.

Crosslisted as: ENVST-257
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

HIST-260 Topics in the Recent History of Europe

HIST-260TW Topics in the Recent History of Europe: 'World War I and the Making of the Twentieth Century'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

World War I (1914-1918) was arguably the transformative event of the 20th century. It destroyed four empires, enabled the Russian Revolution, reconstructed the political geography of Central Europe, strengthened independence movements in European possessions overseas, and facilitated the rise of fascism and a second world war 91939-1945). This course explores this history by examining the war's origins, nature, and manifold consequences from 1890s to 1939 in Europe and in global perspective. Readings include Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth, and Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring. The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department

HIST-262 Stalinism in Central Europe

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course explores the use of revolutionary terror by the state. More specifically, it examines policies of terror pursued by Communist dictatorships in Hungary and Czechoslovakia during the early years of the Cold War. Who did what to whom, and why? What insights do secret police work and public propaganda, knitted together in macabre show trials, allow us into Stalinist rule, European politics, and maybe ourselves? How did memories of terror shape politics after Stalin's death? Students should deepen their understanding for the discipline of History, improve their reading and writing, and develop a working knowledge of Central European politics at the middle of the twentieth century.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. King

HIST-264 German History in the Modern World

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course pushes beyond cliches and simplistic images about Germans, into the world-shaping and humanity-stretching German past. Beginning with the Napoleonic Wars and the emergence of German nationalism, students will follow developments up to the present--using primary sources that range from sublime to depraved and that concern politics, literature, music, and more. Themes include the roots of Nazism and of German democracy and the responsibility of individuals for social outcomes.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. King

HIST-271 Place and Power in the American West and Pacific World

Spring. Credits: 4

The vast region of North America between the Mississippi River and Pacific Ocean has been a site of many migrations, conflicts, political transformations, and environmental changes. This course examines dynamic histories of Native American tribes, Euro-American "explorers" and colonists, cowboys and miners, Asian immigrant laborers, and mariners, all of whom helped create interior and oceanic worlds. It focuses on natural and human changes in specific locales, and also explores how public histories at these places shape the present and future.

Crosslisted as: ENVST-271
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
C. DeLucia
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-274 Black Abolitionists: American Revolution to Reconstruction

Fall. Credits: 4

Slavery existed throughout the U.S. at the time of the American Revolution; afterwards, gradual emancipation plans freed the children of the formerly enslaved in the northern states. Runaways from the South increased their numbers. These nineteenth-century African Americans built the first edifices of freedom, chiefly through the institutions of family and religion, and furnished both leaders and foot soldiers for the abolitionist movement. They acted in the hope that their efforts would end slavery and bring full citizenship for black people. We will examine their unique contributions to the history of freedom, and the many obstacles they faced as they mobilized for emancipation.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-241BN
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
L. Morgan

HIST-276 U.S. Women's History Since 1890

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to the major themes of U.S. women's history from the 1890s to the present. We will look both at the experiences of a diverse group of women in the U.S. as well as the ideological meaning of gender as it evolved and changed over the twentieth century. We will chart the various meanings of womanhood (for example, in relation to motherhood, work, the domestic sphere, and sexuality) along racial, ethnic, and class lines and in different regions, and will trace the impact multiple identities have had on women's activism.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-206US
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Renda

HIST-278 Deportation Nation: from Chinese Exclusion to World War II

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course focuses on immigration will begin with in the nineteenth century with the anti-Chinese movement and proceed through to World War II. It will include an outline of the basic patterns of migration to the United States; their relationship to settler colonialism and U.S. imperialism; US racial formation; citizenship and family reunification; immigrant labor; 'illegal' immigration; and struggles for migrant justice. Throughout, we will analyze the relationships between gender, sexuality, race, class and nation, and the ways in which these become points of struggle over identity, community, and belonging.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
S. Reddy

HIST-280 Topics in North American History

HIST-280AA Topics in North American History: 'African American Women and United States History'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

How is our understanding of U.S. history transformed when we place African American women at the center of the story? This course will examine the exclusion of African American women from dominant historical narratives and the challenge to those narratives presented by African American women's history through an investigation of selected topics in the field.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-241FW, GNDST-206FW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Renda

HIST-280DD Topics in North American History: 'Diversity, Inclusiveness, and Daily Democracy in United States History'

Fall. Credits: 4

A recent history calls our era "the age of fracture," a time when Americans are deeply divided from one another. History and American Studies provide ways to understand such division. How have Americans -- and those contending with America -- handled conflict while envisioning and reaching for more inclusive communities, in earlier eras and in our own? We will consider racism, citizenship, wealth, poverty, land ownership, gender, sexuality, dissent, and other axes of exclusion through studies of community, individual experience, and cultural struggle in the arts and public humanities. What can we learn about the possibilities for creating and sustaining democracy through daily life and culture?

Crosslisted as: CST-249DD
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Renda

HIST-281 African American History, Precolonial to Emancipation

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will examine the cultural, social, political, and economic history of African Americans through the Civil War. Topics covered include the African background to the African American experience, the Atlantic slave trade, introduction and development of slavery, master-slave relationships, the establishment of black communities, slave revolts, the political economy of slavery, women in slavery, the experiences of free blacks, the crisis of the nineteenth century, and the effect of the Civil War.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-241HS
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-282 African American History from Emancipation to Obama

Spring. Credits: 4

This course will examine the social, cultural, political, and economic history of African Americans from emancipation and Reconstruction through the present. Emphasis will fall on postwar southern social and economic developments, the rise of segregation, northern migrations, black class stratification, nationalism, the twentieth-century civil rights movement, and current trends in African American political, social, and economic life.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-282
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan

HIST-283 Topics in the Recent History of the United States

These courses are designed for students with a background in American history who wish to focus attention on developments since the late nineteenth century.

HIST-283MC Topics in the Recent History of the United States: 'We Didn't Start the Fire: The United States Since WW II'

Fall. Credits: 4

The United States emerged from the Second World War as the most powerful nation on earth. This course explores American political, cultural, and social life in the postwar era, with an eye toward helping students gain a firmer understanding of contemporary issues and conflicts in our nation and around the world. Topics include birth of the national security state, the Cold War at home and abroad, popular culture and consumer society, the civil rights struggle, the political and cultural rebellions of the 1960s,the resurgence of conservatism, and America's changing relationship to the world in the post Cold War era. Students will have the opportunity to do a research paper on the topic of their choice.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Czitrom

HIST-283RA Topics in the Recent History of the United States: 'Reel America: History and Film'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course is an introduction to the social and cultural history of the American film industry since the 1890s. The course surveys the evolution of Hollywood cinema from the silent era through the so-called classical period and through the post-World War II breakup of the studio system.

Crosslisted as: FLMST-220RA
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Czitrom

HIST-287 Topics in Latin American Studies

HIST-287AF Topics in Latin American Studies: 'Afro-Latin America: From Slavery to Invisibility'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Exploration of the history of Afro-Latin American populations since Independence within and outside the nation-state. We will question why and how to study those whose governments define them not as peoples of African descent but as part of a mixed-race majority of Hispanic cultural heritage, who themselves may often have supported this policy, and who may have had compelling reasons to avoid official scrutiny. Readings include early twentieth-century Latin American racialist theorizing; research using census, economic, criminal, and marriage records; autobiographical works, and analysis of race in textual and musical representations of peoples, regions, and nations.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-260, AFCNA-241AF
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Gudmundson

HIST-288 Modern Mexico

Fall. Credits: 4

An analysis of the modern Mexican nation-state organized around three major themes: the conflictive yet symbiotic relationship with the United States, from the war of the 1840s through NAFTA most recently; the succession of reformist and revolutionary upheavals in 1810-1821, 1856-1867, 1910-1917, the 1930s, and again today, seeking to resolve both problems of the colonial past and new conflicts traceable to the very reforms generated by earlier political and social struggles; and the meaning of Mexican nationality from different ethnic, gender, and class perspectives. Readings include autobiographical and literary works, historical studies, and films.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-288
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Gudmundson

HIST-289 Slavery in the Americas

Spring. Credits: 4

A course, organized topically rather than geographically or nationally, that offers a comparative analysis of African American slavery as a dominant social system in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the U.S. South. Topics include: why slavery?; sugar and slavery; historical demography; culture and the law; kinship and family; long-run economic development; patterns of race relations; master class and racist ideologies; resistance to slavery; and abolition and its aftermath. Readings include historical and anthropological studies, as well as a major documentary collection on slavery in Brazil.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-289, AFCNA-241AW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Gudmundson

HIST-291 Education and Development in Africa: History and Ethnographic Research Methods

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

What knowledge will allow us to realize the potential of education to facilitate progress for Africa, and how do we generate that knowledge? The historical component of this course explores the deliberate use of education to hold people in servitude as well as African experiences of empowering education, and asks why the immense efforts expended on education in recent decades are not yielding prosperity for the citizens of African nations. The methods component of the class develops the core skills of ethnographic fieldwork: participant observation, interviewing, making fieldnotes and writing ethnography. We collaborate with the Springfield Renaissance School ninth grade.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
H. Hanson

HIST-296 Topics: Women in History

HIST-296AF Women in History: 'African Women: Food and Power'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course uses archival records, fiction, film, life histories and outstanding recent scholarship to investigate African women's actions in a century that encompassed women's loss of power and authority despite their continuing centrality in food production. We study the erosion of women's autonomy and the loss of women's work of governing at conquest, in the early colonial period, and as a consequence of Africa's subordinate place in the world economy. We examine women's efforts to sustain productive activities in the face of opposition and the gendered tensions these efforts provoke. No previous Africa coursework required. Optional collaboration with African immigrants in our region.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-206AF
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
H. Hanson

HIST-296AW Women in History: 'African Women's Work'

Spring. Credits: 4

The power to produce food and reproduce society gave women significant public voice in African societies in the past. But over 200 years they lost that public voice and control over subsistence. Why, when women are still producing food and people, is the social and political voice of women so much less significant than it was before? We explore African womens' work of governing, production, and social reproduction across the tumultuous changes of the 20th century. The class seeks to provide an achievable yet challenging set of learning experiences for those who have no prior experience studying Africa, but also for those who have substantial previous engagement with African issues.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-241AW, GNDST-206AW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
H. Hanson

HIST-296ME Topics: Women in History: 'Women and Gender in the Middle East'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course is designed to provide students with a nuanced historical understanding of issues related to women and gender in the region defined as the area from Morocco to Iran. After an introduction to the main themes and approaches in the study of women and gender, we will examine the development of discourses on gender and the lived experiences of women from the rise of Islam, through the Ottoman Empire, and up to the twentieth century. Topics: the politics of marriage, divorce, and reproduction; women's political and economic participation; Islamist movements; the new field of masculinity studies; and the highly contested topics of homosexuality and transsexuality in the Middle East.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
N. Sbaiti

300-Level Colloquia

A colloquium is a 300-level class concentrating on advanced readings in secondary sources and on the analysis and construction of an historical argument. A colloquium may be centered on a broad historical theme, issue, or problem that is likely to affect the world into which current students will graduate. Regardless of topic, they share the common course number History 301. Please note that admission to some 300-level history courses is by written application and permission of the instructor. Students may apply online.

HIST-301 Colloquia

HIST-301AB Colloquium: 'The Abolition Movement'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will examine the maturation of North American slave regimes after the American Revolution and the diverse activities of people who worked to abolish slavery. The assorted motives of white opponents of slavery and the actions of both free and enslaved African Americans to achieve freedom will be highlighted. We will analyze the mechanics of biracial coalition building and assess the historical legacy of these activists for subsequent social movements.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-301
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan

HIST-301EM Colloquium: 'The Age of Emancipation'

Spring. Credits: 4

This colloquium examines the causes and the course of the Civil War, its social, economic, and political results during Reconstruction, and the early roots of both de jure segregation and the civil rights movement. It will examine the process of emancipation from the perspective of social history. Violent conflicts over free labor, the establishment of sharecropping, and the political and economic policies pursued by various groups--freedpeople, ex-masters, northern policymakers, wage laborers, and African American women, for example--will be covered. African American viewpoints and histories will receive particular emphasis.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-341EM
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
L. Morgan

HIST-301FH Colloquium: 'Food and Hunger in the Modern World'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

At a time when rapidly rising food prices are causing distress, starvation and food riots around the world, we will focus our enquiry on the creation of markets for food and the industrialization of agriculture. What changed when food become a commodity traded over long distances? What changed when food began to be produced using industrialized methods? What are the social consequences of these transformations? What was the role of colonial rule in the loss of food security in Africa? What factors explain famine, and people's responses to it? We will explore these questions globally, with a focus on Africa, using recent and classic scholarship, and historical and current primary sources.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
H. Hanson

HIST-301HE Colloquium: 'History of Energy'

Spring. Credits: 4

We live in an age of energy crises, in which the future of energy is questioned in countless headlines and Twitter feeds. Often our energy agony accompanies other assumptions about energy's past, in particular the idea that social change invariably follows the discovery of new energy technologies. From food to fuel cells, this colloquium charts a more complicated and interesting history, a history in which people have continually shaped and made meaningful the energies that fuel the modern world. It will be of particular interest to students in history and environmental studies and to those interested in the social study of science and technology.

Crosslisted as: ENVST-301
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
D. Fitz-Gibbon

HIST-301MC Colloquium: 'Premodern Christian-Muslim Encounters'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course explores the multidimensional nature of Christian-Muslim social, religious, economic, and political relations before, during, and briefly after the Crusades in the modern-day territories of Palestine, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, the Balkans, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula. Most of the readings in this course were originally penned in Syriac, Greek, Arabic, and Castilian, though we will read them in English translation. We will also investigate the impact of the Crusades on Middle Eastern society in the past and will assess their relevance for the present by applying the critical resources of postcolonial and feminist theories.

Crosslisted as: MEDST-300MC, RELIG-337MC
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Salés
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

HIST-301ND Colloquium: 'The Indian Ocean World'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

In recent years, the Indian Ocean has become an exciting field of historical scholarship, contributing to new understandings of Indian and world history. This colloquium explores trade and travel, conquest, religious conversion, and migration across a large area, from East Africa to the islands of Southeast Asia. Its purpose will be to understand a complex and integrated commercial system, pivoted on the Indian subcontinent, by considering movements of goods and people across the Indian Ocean.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
The department
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.

HIST-301NY Colloquium: 'Reading the New York Times: Journalism, Power, History'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the political and cultural power of the New York Times in the American past and present. Students will analyze the NYT today through daily reading, study its evolution as an institution, and research its coverage of critical historical events over the past century. We will also explore several larger issues: the history of news and newspapers; the relationship between journalistic practice and writing history; tensions between news organizations and government; the blurred boundaries between news and entertainment; the emergence of various ideological critiques of 'the media.'

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Czitrom
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: 4 credits of US history.

HIST-301RG Colloquium: 'Race, Gender, and Empire: Cultural Histories of the United States and the World'

Spring. Credits: 4

Recent cultural histories of imperialism--European as well as U.S.--have illuminated the workings of race and gender at the heart of imperial encounters. This course will examine the United States' relationship to imperialism through the lens of such cultural histories. How has the encounter between Europe and America been remembered in the United States? How has the cultural construction of 'America' and its 'others' called into play racial and gender identities? How have the legacies of slavery been entwined with U.S. imperial ambitions at different times? And what can we learn from transnational approaches to 'the intimacies of empire?'

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333GG
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Renda
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in History, or 4 credits in History and 8 credits in Gender Studies, or permission of the instructor by application to the History department.

HIST-301SA Colloquium: 'Women and Gender in Modern South Asia'

Fall. Credits: 4

This colloquium will explore the history of South Asia as seen from women's perspectives. We will read writings by women from the ancient period to the present. We will focus on the diversity of women's experiences in a range of social, cultural, and religious contexts. Themes include sexuality, religiosity, rights to education and employment, violence against women, modernity and citizenship--in short, those issues central to women's movements in modern South Asia. In addition to the textual sources, the course will analyze Indian popular film and the representation of women in this modern visual genre.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333SA
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
P. Srivastava
Instructor permission required.

HIST-301WF Colloquium: 'Women and the Family in Imperial China'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines the lives of women in imperial China (221 BCE-1911). How did Confucian didactic texts define women and their place in the family? Seen as the core of the family in a patrilineal, patrilocal, and patriarchical society, men prescribed women's roles in family life. How did women understand and respond to the social expectations imposed on them? What changed over the long history of imperial China? Students consider writings by and about women alongside the evidence of material culture.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333WF
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
L. Wu
Prereq: One course on East Asian history, culture, politics, or language.
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

Research Seminars

A 300-level class requiring students to engage in primary and secondary source research in the history of particular times and places, resulting in a substantial piece of historical writing. The research seminars are the History courses numbered between 302–394.  Please note that admission to some 300-level history courses is by written application and permission of the instructor. Students may apply online.

HIST-317 Perspectives on American Environmental History

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

We explore the history of human-environment interactions in North America from precolonial times to the present from different cultural perspectives. How have such human activities as migration, colonization, and resource use depended on or modified the natural world? How have different cultural perceptions of and attitudes toward environment shifted through time and helped to reshape American landscapes? Case studies include ecological histories of Native America and Euro-America, slavery and land use, wilderness and conservation, and environmental racism and social justice. Our approach entails historical review of scientific studies, literature, visual records, and oral tradition.

Crosslisted as: ENVST-317
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
L. Savoy
Instructor permission required.

HIST-323 Germans, Slavs, and Jews, 1900-1950

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course explores relations among Germans, Slavs, and Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before, during, and after the First and Second World Wars. Emphasis lies on tracing continuities and ruptures in nationalist and racist ideologies and policies, from late imperial Germany and Austria through the interwar republics and then on to the Third Reich and the post-Nazi regimes. Topics covered include the Holocaust, Nazi treatment of Poles, and the expulsion of millions of ethnic Germans from Poland and Czechoslovakia after 1945, but also mutual accommodation, assimilation, liberal group rights, and the ambiguities of who was German or Slavic or Jewish in the first place.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. King
Prereq: 8 credits in History or International Relations.

HIST-326 Comparative History of Early Modern Empires

Spring. Credits: 4

This research seminar examines the history of Qing China (1644-1911), the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922), and the Russian Empire (1721-1917) in the early modern era. The course is organized thematically and introduces important conceptual frameworks in historical inquiries. Students are to explore emergent research in state formation, economic development, social changes, and cultural dynamics. The central questions to be considered include the role of the state as well as its negotiation with varied ruling mechanisms within each of the three expansive landmass empires. Comparisons are to be drawn with maritime empires when needed to address the issue: what we talk about when we talk about empire.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
L. Wu
Prereq: Students must have taken at least one 100-level introductory course in either Asian or European history.
Notes: Fulfills the pre-1750 requirement.

HIST-331 Topics in Asian History

HIST-333 Research Seminar in American Women's History

HIST-333ML Research Seminar in American Women's History: 'Mary Lyon's World and the History of Mount Holyoke'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

What world gave rise to Mary Lyon's vision for Mount Holyoke and enabled her to carry her plans to success? What local and global circumstances subsequently shaped the institution and the women who passed through it? How did Mount Holyoke women attempt to fashion the worlds they encountered in and beyond South Hadley and what came of their efforts? We will inquire into the historical arrangements of power--involving race, class, gender, religion, culture, body politics, and colonialism--that formed Mount Holyoke and the world in which it has operated. Students write a substantial research paper based on primary and secondary sources.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333ML
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Renda
Prereq: 8 credits of History.
Advisory: Prior fulfillment of the multicultural requirement is required.

HIST-341 Topics in African History

HIST-341PW Topics in African History: 'Power and Exchange in the African Past'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Did African nations become poorer in the 20th century because development initiatives were badly executed? inherently exploitative? ill-timed? Looking beyond the caricatures of evil colonial officers, lazy peasants, or greedy elites, who do we see engaged in productive activity and what are they doing? What concepts and categories illumine our understanding of their actions? How does a careful exploration of the nature of exchange and production in Africa revise our perception of the global economy in the present? We will explore three centuries of exchange in Africa and elsewhere: students may focus their research on the history of a market in any part of the world.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-341PW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
H. Hanson
Prereq: 8 credits of history or other significant preparatory coursework relevant to the topic.

HIST-361 Topics in Modern Europe: The Nineteenth Century

HIST-361DA Topics in Modern Europe: The Nineteenth Century: 'Darwin'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course looks at the scientific content and intellectual context of Darwin's theory of evolution - his facts, metaphors, hypotheses, and philosophical assumptions. Readings from Darwin and his sources, and examination of the organisms he studied. A background in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century history or whole organism biology is recommended.

Crosslisted as: BIOL-308
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
S. Rachootin
Prereq: BIOL-226 or HIST-248.

HIST-365 Topics in Modern Europe: The Twentieth Century

HIST-373 Cartography and Exploration in Early North America

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the history of mapping: what maps show, and what places the practice of cartography tends to erase, distort, or conceal. It focuses on the landscapes of early North America, where the representation and use of space was hotly contested by Natives, European settlers, and Africans. The course's topics include indigenous mapping traditions and concepts of sacred space, European navigational strategies during the 'Age of Discovery,' early urban planning, and scientific/military depictions. The course will teach strategies for employing maps as primary sources, and ways of understanding the historical and ideological circumstances of their production and circulation.

Crosslisted as: ENVST-377
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
C. DeLucia
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-374 The Afterlives of Objects: Revisiting Early American and Indigenous Histories through Material Culture

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Material culture studies examine relationships between people and objects. Tangible artifacts like furniture, clothing, ceramics, tools, and buildings give insight into communties' identities, aspirations, and struggles. This course approaches early American and indigenous histories through objects, and considers how interdisciplinary methodologies can reveal alternative understandings of the past. The course traces changing theories and practices of preservation, curation, and display; shifting conceptions of 'heritage' among diverse peoples; and ethical challenges posed by Native American items held in museums.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
C. DeLucia
Prereq: 8 credits in History.
Advisory: 8 credits in United States history required; consult instructor if seeking an exemption
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

HIST-375 Topics in American History: The Middle Period

HIST-381 Topics in Recent American History

HIST-381HM Recent American History: 'The 1960s As History and Myth'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This research seminar offers an in-depth opportunity to explore the 1960s. To what extent was it a unique historical era? Does it make sense to think of a "long 1960s," beyond that decade? We will focus on several political and cultural movements, including civil rights, the anti-Vietnam war struggle, the counter culture, the emergence of feminism and gay rights, and the conservative backlash. How do the political, cultural, and intellectual conflicts of that day continue to shape American life today? Each student will write a seminar research paper based on intensive engagement with primary and secondary sources from the era.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Czitrom

HIST-381RD Recent American History: 'American Radicalism'

Spring. Credits: 4

This research seminar will explore a variety of Left radical traditions in the United States from the late nineteenth century through the end of the twentieth. What does it mean to be "a radical," and how have definitions changed over time? What impact have American radicals had on electoral politics and the larger society? We will pay special attention to the connections between political and cultural radicalism, as well as to government and private campaigns aimed at suppressing radical movements. Topics: Gilded Age labor movements; Eugene Debs and American socialism; bohemian radicalism; African American radical movements; the American Communist Party; peace activism; radical feminism.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Czitrom
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: 4 credits in U.S. history.

HIST-386 Central America: Reform, Reaction, Revolution

Spring. Credits: 4

This seminar explores the diverse experiences of Central American nations in the twentieth century. From a common basis in an export-oriented agriculture, social and political alternatives ranging from social democracy to recurrent military rule, neofascist regimes, and revolutionary socialism have emerged in the isthmus. The course uses materials ranging from autobiography and literature to historical and anthropological studies to understand how this came to be. In addition to national cases, we consider the unique experiences of the area's indigenous and Atlantic-coast peoples within and outside the nation-state framework.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-386
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Gudmundson
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in Latin American Studies or related field.

HIST-387 Special Topics in Latin American Studies

This course offers advanced students an opportunity for intensive study of a problem with careful attention to research methods and to presenting their work in oral and written form.

HIST-388 The Original Other: Post Modernism and Latin America

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

For many the 'discovery' of America opened the modern era. Its closing may also have been foretold in Latin America's confounding of diverse theories of modernization and development in recent times. This seminar will introduce the student to a number of both classic and more recent works on Latin America (in English) that advance along postmodernist lines, ranging from cultural contact and conflict, language, meaning, and power in the sixteenth century, to the invention of national identities in the nineteenth century, to discourses of ethnicity, class, gender, and reason in the twentieth century.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-388
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Gudmundson
Prereq: 8 credits from Latin American Studies.

HIST-389 Agrarian America: Sugar, Cotton, Coffee, Bananas, and Wheat

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Explores societies generated in the Americas by several widely distributed export crops. Multinational and cross-cultural comparisons holding constant the crop itself allows a focus on the possible variations by time and place in each commodity's technologies, labor systems, farm sizes, and social structure; their political and social dynamics; the problematic features of capitalism in agriculture, or if, how, and when do peasants become farmers and farming agribusiness? Particular focus on family and household relations under so-called "peasant to farmer" agricultural transitions and environmental implications of single-crop and export agriculture.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-389
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
L. Gudmundson
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits from Latin American Studies or related field.

Independent Study

HIST-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

HIST-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.