For the most up to date bulletin listing for the History Department programs and courses, please see below or download a copy here: History Bulletin Updates 16-17
One unit. Understanding who we are as members of the community, as citizens of a nation, or as inheritors of particular cultures and traditions, largely depends upon the information we have been told about or past. Statues, monuments, holidays, museum exhibits, walking tours, popular books, websites, films, and television programs are all means through which the public is educated about its past. Popular history tells us who or what should be included in our "collective memory" of the past events. Who decides who and what gets remembered? This course will introduce students to the professional studies of history by exploring public myths and memories about the past, in light of scholarly research, students will be taught how to take ownership of their own historical understandings, and to understand the purpose and origins of many popular myths and legends.
One unit. An introduction to the social, cultural, political, and economics history of the nation from the conquest and colonization of North America to the reunification of the United States at the end of the Civil War. Topics include: How did Europeans, Indians, and Africans give meaning to their experiences in the “New World” created by European colonization? How were the cultures of each group transformed by their interaction? How and why did the institution of slavery begin? How was the egalitarianism of the American Revolution reconciled with the reality of American slavery? What did “democracy” mean to the Revolutionary generation and which philosophical ideas most influenced the structure of government in the new nation? How did the rise of capitalism transform gender roles in American society? What has been the relationship between democracy and capitalism? How did the political controversy over slavery cause the American Civil War? Offered as required.
One unit. An introduction to the social, cultural, political, and economic history of the United States since the end of the Civil War. Topics include: Reconstruction; the New South; immigrant experiences; civil rights movements; urbanization; westward expansion; corporate capitalism; economic globalization; progressivism; the New Deal; the World Wars; the Cold War and McCarthyism; gender and society; countercultures and the American left; foreign policy. Offered as required
One unit. This course deals with the planting of the British colonies in North America, the interaction between the indigenous population, Europeans and Africans, the development of a colonial society with regional differences, and the creation of the British Empire. Offered as required.
One unit. British Imperial politics and the rise of American political thought; colonial protests leading to the Declaration of Independence; the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of 1787; the Federalist era; the roles played by Franklin, Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison will be stressed. Offered as required.
One unit. The Jeffersonians in power, the War of 1812, Jacksonian democracy and the rise of modern political parties, settling the West, the market revolution, religion and social reform, sectional controversy, and the Mexican American War. Offered as required.
One unit. Examines the American Civil War and its aftermath with an emphasis on the causes and consequences of the conflict between North and South. Topics include: How did slavery and capitalism compare as rival economic and social systems? What caused the Civil War to happen? What principles did the Confederate States of America stand for? Why did the South lose the war? What were the experiences of women during the war? What made the Civil War the first “modern war”? Why did Abraham Lincoln abolish slavery during the war? What were the experiences of former slaves after Emancipation? What have been the legacies of slavery? What were the goals of Reconstruction? Why did it fail? How have the Civil War and Reconstruction been remembered and interpreted in the century and a half since the war ended? Offered as required.
One Unit. A study of the formation of the American Republic from 1777 to 1801. The struggle to establish freedom and order, sovereignty, independence, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. The Confederation government; the "Critical Period"; popular rebellions; the controversies and compromises of the Philadelphia convention of 1787; the struggle between Federalists and Anti-Federalists over the Ratification of the Constitution of 1787; the Washington/Hamilton administration; the formation of the Federalist and Democratic-Republican political parties; the crises of the Adams administration; the contested election of Jefferson in 1800-1801.
One unit. The development of a slave society in the ante-bellum south and the emergence of a segregated, “Jim Crow” society in the twentieth century. Offered as required.
One unit. Urban-industrialism and the “New Immigration”; the “Robber Barons” and working class militancy; the Populist and Progressive reform movements; the rise of America to world power in the age of the “New Imperialism”; the Spanish-American War; and World War I. Offered as required.
One unit. Conservatism, the “New Era” and culture conflicts in the 1920’s; “isolationist” foreign policy; the Great Depression of the 1930’s; and the struggle for New Deal reforms. Offered as required.
One unit. A study of American involvement in the war against European fascism and Japanese imperialism, including military, political, diplomatic, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the conflict. Offered as required.
One Unit. A study of the United States' confrontation with the Soviet Union for world hegemony; the Anti-Communist crusade at home; the struggle for racial justice; the Great Society liberal reforms; the Vietnam War; the Protest Movements of the 1960s and the breakdown of the Liberal Consensus.
One unit. This course explores the history of New York City from the founding of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to present day. Because of its broad historical sweep, the course does not touch upon every aspect of the city’s history, but rather introduces students to major issues of each era and examines some selected topics in greater depth. Special emphasis will be placed upon the experiences of different social classes and ethnic groups. Issues addressed in this course include: What has been unique about New York’s urban environment? How have ethnic, racial, class divisions shaped the history of the city? How have immigrants been central to the history of New York City? What has been the relationship of New York to the rest of America? What contributions has New York made to America’s political, economic and cultural traditions?
One unit. An introduction to the history of gender relations in America, including a discussion of feminist theories, gender in contemporary culture, and the politics of gender. Offered as required.
One unit. An exploration of Vietnamese history and culture; French imperial rule in Indochina; American intervention into southeast Asia; the war and its impact upon American and Vietnam; and the role of the international community. (This course is also listed in the Asian History section.) Offered as required.
One unit. A tumultuous era when Americans challenged authority and tradition and changed the world — the Civil Rights Movement, the New Left and the New Right, the Free Speech Movement, Student Activism, the Pro- and Anti-War Movements, the Counterculture, Brown Power, Women’s Liberation, Gay Rights, and Environmentalism. Offered as required.
One Unit. A study of United States relations with the Middle East from the Barbary Wars in the earliest years of the American Republic. The focus will be on the period from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1919 to the present. Topics will include the competition for the control of oil; Zionism; the Arab/Israeli wars and failed peace efforts; the US/Soviet Iranian crisis of 1946; the US overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953; the Suez crisis of 1956; OPEC and the oil crisis of 19731974; the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-81; the Soviet/Afghan war of 1979-1989; the Iraq/Iran war of 1980-1988; the Gulf War of 1991-92; the continuing U.S. wars in the region since 2001.
One Unit. This survey course will examine the history of the North American continent from a “facing east” perspective, in which the history of the region will be explored through the eyes of the native population. It will explore American Indian cultural identity before the European invasion and pan-Indian movements of the 19th and 20th centuries from the Ghost Dance movement to the Red Power movements of the 1970’s. This will provide both the historic background for the problems confronting American Indians today, as well as challenging the way we understand and define U.S. history. Offered as needed.
One unit. This course will examine the key events, figures, philosophies, tactics and consequences of the modern civil rights movement the freedom struggle in an earlier era and the effect of the movement on recent American history also warrant investigation. This course will use primary source documents, film interpretive literature, and music in order to fully study the most powerful mass protest movement in modern US history. Special emphasis will be given to the centrality of religion in the movement and the liberal social ethics, which motivated key participants. In addition, this course will concentrate on the powerful role played by whites, both in the North and the south, who fiercely resisted the black freedom struggle.
One unit. Focuses on the island nationals of the Caribbean. An examination of the region is conducted as students explore the history and culture of the Greater and Lesser Antillean islands. Students are introduced to the colonial powers that have influenced and shaped the area from the 15th century to the present. The British, Dutch, English, French and Spanish islands are examined using a variety of sources. In addition to an overall overview of the area, specific attention to the history and culture of the following island nations is given. Major topics include: European colonialism and its impact on the area, the influence of African slavery, human geography, challenges of independence, the Caribbean in today’s world order.
One Unit. For more than three centuries, millions of Africans endured captivity and forced transpiration into brutal labor in the plantation complex of the Americas. This course provides and introduction to the early history of Africans and African descendents in North America. Using historical scholarship film, nineteenth-century slave narratives, and other primary documents, we will consider the momentous transformations in African American history from enslavement to emancipation. Far from a homogeneous experience, this diverse history reaches from colonial outposts in South Caroling, to the antebellum cotton plantations of the Deep South, from the towns and farms of the upper South to the urban communities of the North. Four main themes of community, cultures, religion, and resistance form a foundation for our investigations. We will ask how Africans of diverse nations and cultures formed African American communities how families and congregations constituted themselves for mutual support and daily survival; how identities and cultures were transformed in the process. We will explore the development of the institution of slavery and the racial ideology that reinforced it.
One Unit. This course will introduce students to the major themes and events in African-American history since Emancipation. We will examine Reconstruction, the creation and establishment of Segregation, the migration of African-Americans from the South to the North, the Cultural Politics of African-Americans, the growth of Black Protest organizations, and the modern Black Freedom Struggle. In this course we will study the women and men who were leaders during these periods, but we examine the lives of ordinary women and men also. Some of the themes we will encounter throughout the course are gender roles in the African American community, the threat of lynching's and violence, color consciousness, children and poverty and race pride. The analysis of primary documents will be one emphasis of the class, although contemporary interpretations by historians are included. We will look to the African Americans of the period to guide us in our investigation of the complexities of this era of African American history. Class time will be given to lectures and other activities, as well as class discussions on issues raised by your assigned reading and selected videos.
One unit. The development of American society from a pre-capitalist colony to the Civil War. Class, race, sex, and ethnic relations provide the framework within which socioeconomic change will be studied. Offered as required.
One unit. The development of American society from the Civil War to the present. Class, race, sex, and ethnic relations provide the framework within which socioeconomic change will be studied. Offered as required.
One Unit. Slavery has been a feature of human societies since the beginnings of human society. The form of chattel slavery pioneered by Europeans who brought Africans to the New World, though, occupies a unique place in the institution's long story. The course examines the rise and demise of New World slavery; its founding, central practices, long-term consequences as well as the social and human toll of the institution. The culture of African slaves in the Diaspora will also be examined. This course will further explore slavery as it developed throughout the Atlantic basin, focusing particularly on parts of South America, the Caribbean, and mainland North America from the 17th to the 19th century.
One unit. This course is designed to examine the history of stereotypical images of minorities in film and the mass media. We will study how ideas of race and culture were formulated or shaped from the early 19th century to the present. Students will consider how minorities in the U.S. are represented as outsiders in American society. Students will read about and define derogatory or stereotypical images of minorities and discuss why these caricatures are enduring and, in some cases, very popular. Images that present African Americans as sambas, mammies, jezebels, beasts and darkies will be examined. We will also consider the image of Asian Americans as evil, simple, illiterate, and/or dragon ladies in the mainstream media. The popular image of Native Americans as savages, unworthy, and un-American will also be deconstructed. Students will be asked to read recent scholarship on gender, race and American culture and asked to consider the question of why we (themselves included) still accept and enjoy these unflattering images (i.e. how does their viewing, buying and listening habits either stop or create greater demand for minority stereotypes).
One Unit. Listen to the voices of the "huddles masses yearning to breathe free" who have chosen the five boroughs of New York City as their destination. This course will explore how and why diverse peoples were drawn to and built one of the world's most important global cities. Students will compare the waves of immigrants who came to America in the era of mass immigration from 1880-1924 to those arriving since 1965. We will study the struggles and contributions of immigrants at movement. Students will have the opportunity to explore positions around immigration debates, past and present, as well as their own cultural background. In visits to local museums and class readings, student participate in reenacting the feelings of those first coming to our shores.
One unit. A survey of Ancient Greece and Rome from the Trojan War to the decline of the Roman Empire. We will examine politics and culture in Classical Athens; Greek philosophy and art; Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age in the Mediterranean; the development of the Roman Empire and life during the “Pax Romana”; the beginnings of the Christian church; and the slow decline and transformation of Rome during the Late Antique period. Offered as required.
One unit. What institutions — both religious and secular — were developed to control and organize medieval and early modern lives? Who exercised power over whom and how? We will investigate the changing cultural practices and assumptions of these men and women, their political behavior, their social life and family organization, the ideas they cared about, the wars they fought, and the problems they faced. We will read myths, plays, letters, poetry, law codes, philosophical and religious works, listen to music, and see films. Students will explore how historians do history — by dealing directly with the primary sources that have survived from this long, creative period in Europe — as well as what life was like in the past for men and women, peasants and town dwellers, kings and commoners. Offered as required.
One unit. The making of modern Europe — its economy, culture, politics, and peoples — in relation to the United States and the World. How have science and technology transformed modern life? Why did French revolutionaries abolish slavery? How did imperialism generate conflict and creativity in international markets and in the arts? Can the lessons of World War II and the Holocaust be applied to contemporary genocides? Students become informed citizens, able to debate current events around the world. Arts, novels, films, political tracts, and other sources will be analyzed. This course includes a trip to see a historical play, such as Cabaret, on Broadway. Offered as required.
One unit. A survey of four cities at particularly creative times in their history: Classical Athens, Imperial Rome, Medieval Paris, and Renaissance Florence. Each city is compared the New York City at particularly relevant moments in the New York’s history and development. The class visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Museum, and the Morgan Library. This course is only taught as part of a freshman learning community. Offered fall semester.
One unit. Changes is at the heart of cities around the world. This course will study the dynamic environment in selected cities at unique moments of their cultural creativity and historical significance. We will explore the political, cultural or industrial revolutions in cities from 18th century Paris to 21st Century Tehran. Other cities selected for study may include Vienna, Berlin, New York, Beijing and Dakar. Within the urban environment have taken place the greatest achievements of human energy and talent, yet also environmental despoliation and economic exploitation. Films, literature, music and walking tours will enhance our understanding of the importance of cities.
One unit. Students will explore exemplary models of leadership through case studies of political and civic issues that have mobilized communities in the US and around the world in the Twentieth Century. The struggles of notable activists, including youth in the American civil rights movement, and Nelson Mandela in South Africa, offer insight into making effective choices in complex and ethically challenging situations. Case studies will also include business and sports leaders, environmental activists, US Presidents and other heads of State. Theories of leadership will also be analyzed in relation to outcomes. Students will be challenged to explore their own leadership goals and strategies, including pre-professional goals, civic-mindedness and their sense of global citizenship.
One unit. From the 9/11 Memorials in New York City to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, significant, provocative or sensationalist art and history exhibits draw crowds even as they challenge national identity and personal memory. How do museums decide what to exhibit and how to shape their message to the public? The purpose of this course is to examine the relationship between museums, historic sites, professionally trained and public historians, curators, marketing executives and communities. Among museums to be studied are the Jewish museum in Berlin, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, the Museum of Chinese-American History in New York and others. Students will be required to visit and analyze exhibits at several local museums or historic sites.
One unit. This course will trace the development of urban civilizations in the ancient Mediterranean basin, beginning with the impact of successive waves of settlers – Egyptians, Hebrews, Minoans, Mycenaean, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. We will then focus on life in Roman cities, using both Rome and Pompeii as examples. How do modern historians use archeology, literary evidence and art to reconstruct ancient urban life? We will study social class, gender and urban politics, theater and spectacle, food and gastro politics, and evolving civic ideals as Rome exported its powerful urban paradigm throughout the empire. Offered alternate years as needed.
One unit. This course will focus on Western Europe at a time of intense creativity, expansive growth, and significant interactions with non-Christian, non-Western neighbors. Topics will include the Viking expansion, El Cid, Saladin, the Templar’s, the Islamic response to Western Crusaders, cathedral and castle-building, pilgrimage, Venice and Byzantium, Marco Polo, and Jewish communities in the Mediterranean. Class trips to the Cloisters and to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Offered as required.
One unit. A survey of European society during the four centuries following the arrival of the bubonic plague. Topics to be discussed include the psychological and spiritual impact of recurring epidemics, forms of popular revolt, carnival, changing gender roles, witchcraft, the organization of peasant villages, the growth of cities, and efforts to improve public health. Offered as required.
One unit. This course traces the development of “male” and “female” from the ancient world through the nineteenth century, focusing on the impact of gender on culture and on political and social organization. Changing scientific and medical ideas about sexuality will be discussed. Topics will include attitudes toward chastity, prostitution and childbirth, the history of costume and cross-dressing, conflicting notions of “honor,” the use of gender for political and social commentary, and the impact of the Enlightenment on the “gendering” of state and society. The course will also compare the gendered model of the Western nuclear family to non-Western examples. Offered alternate years as needed.
One unit. Darwin, Marx and Freud changed the world. Their ideas, methods and techniques affected the way we understand, practice and study: biology, medicine, human evolution, human societies, human minds and cultures. Their insights and theories changed our language and have led to social revolutions. In this course we will explore Darwin, Marx and Freud’s basic insights and theories. We will carefully read and discuss significant portions of their work as well as some interpretive texts. The class will be run as a seminar combining lectures and class discussions but the emphasis will be on the latter. There will be a required class trip to the American Museum of Natural History and we will use films and documentaries as supplementary material. (for First Year Honors students only)
One unit. A study of the making of modern France and its contacts with other cultures from 1871 to the present. Topics include: the transformation of peasants into Frenchmen; popular culture, sports, avant-garde art, and urban life; socialism, nationalism, and the Dreyfus Affair; war and imperialism; American expatriates in Paris; labor and the Popular Front; Vichy France, Charles DeGaulle, and the Algerian War; the student revolt of 1968; Existentialism; relations with Africa and the Arab World; the New Europe; and contemporary issues. Offered as required.
One unit. The Revolutions of 1905 and 1917; Leninism; Stalinism; the Great Patriotic War; the Cold War; the reforms of Khrushchev and Gorbachev; the collapse of the Soviet Empire; and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Offered fall semester of even-numbered years.
One unit. How have gender roles changed over the past century and why? How have sexuality and sexual identities changed? Through comparisons among different countries, religious and ethnic groups, and classes, this course will address how industrialization, imperialism, and war challenged definitions of womanhood and manhood and produced shifts in priorities in home, workplace, and political arenas. Topics include: campaigns for equal rights, the cult of domesticity, dueling and male honor codes, prostitution, trench warfare and male bonding, homosexuality, fashion, and feminism. Offered as required.
One unit. This course offers students the two-fold opportunity to gain a better understanding of the history of the twentieth century and to become cultural critics of the cinema. Beginning with the invention of motion pictures in 1895 to the present, the course will trace the evolution of technology, style and meaning in mass entertainment in Europe, the U.S. and throughout the world. Films will be examined as cultural artifacts of their society, with particular attention to gender, sexuality, class, and ethnic and national identities. Works by major twentieth century directors, including such films as The Blue Angel (Germany, 1930) and Bicycle Thief (Italy, 1948), will be critiqued. Students will visit the Museum of the Moving Image and other independent cinema venues in New York City. Offered as required.
One Unit. This course offers students the two-fold opportunity to gain a better understanding of the history of the twentieth century and to become cultural critics of the cinema. Beginning with the invention of motion pictures in 1895 to the present. the course will trace the evolution of technology, style and meaning in mass entertainment in Europe, the U.S. and throughout the world. Films will be examined as cultural artifacts of their society, with particular attention to gender, sexuality, class, and ethnic and national identities. Works by major twentieth century directors, including such films as The Blue Angel (Germany, 1930) and Bicycle Thief (Italy, 1948), will be critiqued. Students will visit the Museum of the Moving Image and other independent cinema venues in New York City. Offered as required.
One unit. Study of the Nazi movement in Germany and Europe, from the post-World War I era to the Holocaust. Topics will include: Hitler’s ideas on race, religion and gender and their appeal; experiences of men and women in the Nazi State; the role of the church and big business; comparisons with Italian Fascism and Vichy France; Nazi persecutions, collaboration, and resistance; the Final Solution and the Jews. We will also analyze recent debates over the representation of this era in film, literature (including the comic book Maus), museum exhibits, and commemorative monuments. The course includes a trip to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Offered as required.
One Unit. We will focus on the production, consumption, distribution and cultural perception of food and drink from the Ancient World to the present, concentration on the Mediterranean basin, Western Europe, South Asia and the Americas. The common readings for the course will link the cultural history of food to economics, politics, anthropology, psychology, film and literature. Students will be encouraged to do a wide range of independent research on the “foodways” of historical periods of particular interest to them. Alternate years as needed.
One unit. The period of great wealth and cultural magnificence in Italy that was fostered by rapid growing city-states such as Florence and Venice. the course will focus on Renaissance music, literature, art, and architecture, as well as political life, the culture of the laboring classes, the roles of women, and the rise of highly sophisticated urban aristocracy. Offered as required.
One unit. A study of the theory and practice of Marxism and related leftwing movements in the Western world from the early nineteenth century to the present, including non-Marxian socialism, anarchism, revolutionary Marxism, communism, and Euro-communism. Cross-listed w/GOV 372. Offered as required.
Non-Western and Global Perspectives
One unit. This course traces the history of modern world beginning with the European expansions in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The main focus is to analyze the interdependence between the world regions and sustained contribution of the non-westerns world in making of the modern world. In conceptualizing global histories as interconnected the course also brings out the social, cultural, economic and ecological implications and diversities to understand the global imbalances in various aspects. Most importantly the course intends to give a comprehensive understanding of the present through the lens of the past.
One unit. (Also listed in the American history section. See that section for the course description.)
One unit. This course provides an overview of politics in China, Japan, and Korea from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. It deals with political history, institutions, the political process, political economy, and culture. Cross-listed w/GOV 234. Offered as required.
One Unit. This course examines the changes in natural environments and human societies beginning in the late fifteenth century with the European invasion of the New World. Colonialism brought political control of Asian, African, North American, and Latin American world as a series of events with environment consequences. It introduces literary and cultural writings of various ecological movements along with their histories, which are offering alternative concepts to the increasing destruction of the nature.
One unit. This course is an introduction to South Asian history from the collapse of the Mughal Empire to the departure of British from the continent. We will explore the nature of pre-colonial South Asian society and economy; impact of colonialism both in terms of ideas and institutional structures; the nature of British colonial rule; the structure of the colonial economy and colonial modernity; the development of anti-colonialism and Indian nationalism. The course examines the various facets of the anti-colonial struggles in Indian subcontinent and critically engages with the leadership of Gandhi and how Gandhi succeeded in integrating diverse communities and contexts into a broader nationalist struggle on non-violent path. Offered alternate years as needed.
One unit. This course provides an overview of the political, economic, and social history of Africa with a view towards understanding the challenges which have developed in creating the image of Africa and its peoples. An early historical survey will be given which sets the tone for an examination of such topics as the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, and African resistance to imperialism. Equally important, a focus on the political forces influencing contemporary African regimes such as the emergence of modern forms of African nationalism, democratization, and the constraints to development in the post-independent era will be highlighted. Cross-listed w/GOV 242. Offered as required.
One unit. This course examines post-1492 political events and movements, as well as historical processes and themes, in at least two of the following areas: the Caribbean, Central America, South America. Specific topics include colonialism, indigenous peoples, U.S. military intervention, authoritarianism, political mobilization and revolution, gender relations, and the current movement toward more democratic political institutions and increasing economic integration. Cross-listed w/GOV 247. Offered as required.
One Unit. Islam both as a religion and a cultural system has often been misunderstood and misinterpreted in the modern world by conservative and progressive forces alike. This course attempts to relook at Islam from a historical perspective tracing the roots of modern astronomy, medical science and military technology to Islamic cultural and religious practices. It also explores the socio-cultural universe of Islam and studies various initiatives in social reform, cultural philosophies and architectural models. While re-evaluating the perceived notions of Islam as a backward religion, this course points out how historically Islam propagated peace and progress in societies it came in contact with.
One unit. The construction of a modern sense of national, racial, and ethnic identity resulted from the conquest of three-quarters of the globe by Europe and the U.S. It found expression in poetry and power relations, the literary canon and the military cannon. How did these technological, economic, and cultural exchanges contribute to the exceptional creativity and devastating violence of the twentieth century? Why did sexuality and gender roles become part of the marketing of Empire in advertisements, films (like Tarzan) and children’s literature? Did the “civilizing mission,” economic, or political interests motivate the U.S. annexation of Hawaii or the British raj in India? We also compare and contrast examples of nationalist resistance and its legacy in such cases as Irish rebellion, Gandhi’s campaign for non-violence, African independence movements, the partition of the Middle East, and Vietnam. Offered as required.
One unit. Gandhi, in the history of modern world, stands out as an intriguing personality about whom Albert Einstein once remarked: “Generations to come…will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon the earth”. As an apostle of non-violence and the champion of anti-colonial movement in South Asia he inspired generations of humans across the world towards the paths of struggles for liberation. Gandhi was essentially a product of modernity and its encounter with the ‘other’. Ironically, standing on the shoulders of modernity, he tried to challenge modernity and render its influences as illegitimate. The course, while tracing the cultural and intellectual origins of Gandhi, his ideas, mission and struggles, tries to contextualize his relevance to the contemporary world. Offered every two years.
One unit. Global cities in the world such as New York, London, Tokyo and Bombay are the epicenters of the phenomena of globalization. These global cities act as transnational connectivity nodes in terms of flow finance capital and cultural media such as film and art. The migration of labor from different continents and cultures add a distinct flavor to these cities, while posing new challenges in terms of reconstituting the meaning and scope of metropolis. This course attempts to understand the way in which global cities accommodate the flow of citizens from different cultures and continents. This course attempts to recapture the city space through the lens of cinema and literary texts. Offered every other spring.
One unit. This course provides an overview of the political, economic, and social histories of the Middle East since the nineteenth century with a view towards understanding the challenges which have developed in creating the image of the region and its peoples. Special emphasis is placed on colonialism, the resistance to imperialism, intra-Arab relations, the Arab-Israel conflict, and the role of the great powers in contemporary Middle Eastern politics. Cross-listed w/GOV 354. Offered as required.
One unit. Discussion and analysis of regions, peoples, and problems not covered in the standing courses of the department; content varies in accordance with special interests of faculty and students. The course may be taken more than once, depending upon the topic. Offered as required.
One unit. This course develops some of the skills important in the study of history and politics such as students’ critical analytical and writing abilities and increases their understanding of and ability to conduct historical and social science research. Topics may include evaluating primary sources, logical fallacies, Internet and library research, and citation methods. This is a required course for both history and political science majors. It should be taken in the sophomore year. Offered fall semester.
One unit. Take your skills into the field! You can work with experts at cultural institutions, museums, or historical societies (e.g., Ellis Island) on a project of your choice. No more than two internships may be taken towards the bachelors degree. Consult the department chair for further information. Senior Reflective Tutorial: Going Global: Autobiography and History. One unit. Explores the dynamic fashion in which cultural and intellectual identities—including our own identities—are shaped within specific socio-political contexts by looking critically at autobiographies. The use and abuse of personal narratives reveals disjunctions and connections between truth and memory, past and present, academic and experiential learning. Touching, shocking, infuriating but essential sources, autobiographies remind us of the possibilities and dangers inherent in looking at the world from a single perspective. In our global age, it is both challenging and imperative to try to understand national, civic, religious, ethnic and gendered identities. You will also have the opportunity to explore and craft your own cultural and intellectual autobiography as a 21st century citizen and imagine your own past, present and future. As part of the senior learning community, the RFT will offer a broader theoretical context and support for the senior research thesis. It will also provide opportunities for applied learning—on the job market, in public debate and in personal decision-making.
One unit. Touching, shocking, infuriating, but essential sources, autobiographies remind us of the possibilities and dangers inherent in looking at the world from a single perspective. By looking critically at autobiographies, this course explores the dynamic fashion in which cultural and intellectual identities --including our own-- are shaped within specific socio-political contexts. The use and abuse of personal narratives reveals disjunctions and connections between truth and memory, past and present, academic and experiential learning. Students craft their own cultural and intellectual autobiography as a 21st century citizen. As part of the senior learning community, the RFT will also provide opportunities for applied learning -- in a senior practicum, on the job market, in public and in decision-making.
One unit. As a capstone seminar for history majors, this course offers history majors new insights into the craft of writing history and culminates in the research and writing of a substantive senior thesis. Reading seminal works in our field, we search for answers to fundamental questions such as: Who decides what is history? Who makes history and why? We look at the evolution of historical writing and thinking -- a field known as historiography -- as a contested terrain. The course navigates between colonial and postcolonial methods and periods to help the students to capture the changing nature of historical inquiry. Over the course of the semester students select their own research projects, lead class discussion about their work-in-progress and visit archives and libraries for research materials for their thesis.
One unit. An opportunity for the more advanced student to pursue an independent research project developed by the student and supervised by a history faculty member. The project must result in a research paper approved by the department chair and the supervising faculty member. Prerequisite: approval by the department chair