Department of History

Last updated: September 18, 2014 at 09:06 a.m.

Objectives

Undergraduate Major
Over the centuries, the study of history has stood at the heart of a liberal education. In the twenty-first century – as human societies the world over become ever more closely interconnected and historical time itself seems to accelerate – a well-informed and well-reasoned understanding of the past has become all the more vital.

In its sweeping subject matter and wide-ranging methodologies, history is an unusually robust field of inquiry. Historians employ methods as diverse as the kinds of evidence they study – from geological traces to the archival manuscripts of dynasties long gone to the digital information of the modern world. Whatever the subject, the study of history involves the student in all of the most essential elements of liberal learning, including the acquisition of knowledge, the development of critical thinking skills, and the strengthening of oral and written communication. Whether the past being examined is that of a foreign country or one’s own, history involves a recognition of the central importance of sequence and context – the crucial differences of time and place that shape the possibilities of human endeavor and the meanings of community. Reflecting a broader concern for human values and needs, historians seek the universal in the particular, the global in the local, the breadth of human experience in the details of the everyday.

The History major is flexible, enabling students to devise individual programs tailored to their specific needs and interests. In consultation with their faculty advisors, students should design a major that makes sense in terms of their other course work and career plans. The strategy will be different for each student. A student planning a professional career in history, for example, will certainly want to take a broad variety of courses, perhaps do an independent study (HIST 98a or 98b), write a senior thesis (HIST 99d), and master the foreign languages required for that area of specialization. Students interested in other careers, such as law or business, will design programs of study that complement their course work in other departments and programs (for example, legal studies or economics). The department strongly recommends that students acquire geographical and chronological breadth, which is best provided by our surveys in American, Asian, European, Latin American, and World history. Students should also select appropriate offerings from our more advanced courses that are thematic or national in scope and that permit more intensive analysis. The department is deeply committed to the development of writing and analytical skills, which are invaluable and transferable, regardless of future career—be it higher education, teaching, law, business, or public service. The advanced courses, with smaller class sizes, provide an ideal opportunity to develop those skills. Internships in History (HIST 92a) allow students to gain work experience and to improve their writing and analytical skills in real-world settings with faculty guidance.

Graduate Program in History
The graduate program trains students to research, write and teach history at the highest level. It emphasizes the need for broad perspectives on urgent problems, rooted in a thorough and in-depth knowledge of the past. Through courses supervised research and teaching fellowships, History faculty at Brandeis prepare future historians for the excitement and challenges of a career devoted to exploring and explaining the past.

Doctoral students receive tuition waivers and generous fellowships, renewable for a total of up to five years based on satisfactory progress. Students must maintain an average of A- or above. In their second and third years, students staff department courses as Teaching Fellows. Students also teach a University Writing Seminar in either the fourth or the fifth year of study, the specific timing to be arranged in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies in History and the Director of University Writing.

Learning Goals

The Brandeis History major seeks to provide students with a broad introduction to the development of the modern world. By design, the major is flexible, enabling students to devise individual programs tailored to their own specific needs and interests.

Knowledge:
Students completing the major in history will come away with a strong understanding of:

  • the cultures, economies, social structures, and governmental systems of past civilizations. To this end, the department’s flexible requirements for the major direct students to take courses covering the histories of the North America, Europe, and non-western countries
  • the diverse sources and methods that historians use to study the past
  • the perspective afforded by studying events, ideas, and actions in historical context and sequence
  • different forms of historical explanation, argument, and narrative

Core Skills:
The history major teaches core skills in scholarly research, critical thinking, oral communication, and written expression. The study of history teaches students to strive for a higher appreciation of the world around them, and to understand that to effectively address contemporary problems requires a full understanding of the origins and causes of those problems.

Upon Graduating:
A Brandeis student with a history major will be prepared to:

  • use the knowledge, perspectives, and skills gained from their historical studies to pursue (as many of our majors have done) careers in law, business, journalism, public service, or numerous other fields
  • organize, evaluate, and communicate a critical assessment of competing and often conflicting sources of information about the past
  • pursue graduate study and a scholarly career in history

The department is deeply committed to the development of writing and analytical skills that are invaluable and transferable, regardless of future career. And it is our belief that the knowledge and skills our major provides will lay the foundation for a fuller, more productive, and engaged life after college.

How to Become a Major

Students normally begin their studies with one of the general courses in historical studies and then go on to more advanced courses. To declare and design a major, the student should first see the undergraduate advising head; together they will select as advisor a faculty member who seems best suited to that student's areas of interest and future work. The advisor and student will then select a course of study that gives greatest coherence to the student's other course work and career plans.

How to Be Admitted to the Graduate Program

MA Program
The general requirements for admission to the Graduate School given in an earlier section of this Bulletin apply to candidates for admission. Students should have a strong undergraduate record that includes at least some history courses. The priority deadline for MA applicants is January 15; the final deadline is April 30.

PhD Program
The general requirements for admission to the Graduate School given in an earlier section of this Bulletin apply. Students with a sound preparation in history and who have demonstrated unusual imagination and critical insight will receive special consideration. Undergraduate majors in related fields in the humanities or social sciences, so long as they have good preparation in history, are welcomed. Students may enter the doctoral program with an MA degree (usually from another university), or earn an MA in history en route to the doctoral degree. Applicants should submit a sample of written work, preferably in history. Admitted applicants normally receive funded offers from the Graduate School. The deadline for PhD applicants is January 15. Admission decisions are based solely upon demonstrated achievement and scholarly promise, without regard to field, region, or method of study.

Faculty

David Engerman, Chair
History of American foreign policy. International and cultural history.United States intellectual history.

Gregory Childs
African diaspora, Latin America and Caribbean, African American, race and gender, political theory and history.

Abigail Cooper
19th-century America. Religious and cultural history. The American South. African American history and slavery.

David Hackett Fischer
Modern history. Social institutions.

Gregory Freeze, Undergraduate Advising Head
Russia, Central Asia, and Germany. Social history, religion, globalization.

Xing Hang (on leave spring 2015)
East Asian History.

Mark Hulliung
Intellectual, cultural, and political history—European and American.

Paul Jankowski
Modern European and French history. History of war.

William Kapelle
Medieval history.

Alice Kelikian (on leave fall 2014)
Modern history. Social and institutional history.

Naghmeh Sohrabi
Middle Eastern Studies. Cultural and political history

Govind Sreenivasan, Director of Graduate Studies
Early modern European history with an emphasis on Germany. World history.

Michael Willrich
American social and legal history.

Affiliated Faculty (contributing to the curriculum, advising and administration of the department or program)
Joyce Antler (American Studies)
Brian Donahue (American Studies)
ChaeRan Freeze (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)
Karen Hansen (Sociology)
Daniel Kryder (Politics)
Antony Polonsky (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)
Jehuda Reinharz (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)
Jonathan Sarna (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)
Eugene Sheppard (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Requirements for the Minor

All minors are expected to complete five semester courses in history from among the HIST and cross-listed offerings. The approval of one course transferred from study elsewhere is subject to the approval of the department's undergraduate advising head. No course grade below a C nor any course taken pass/fail will be given credit toward the minor. Students should declare the minor in history no later than the beginning of their senior year.

Requirements for the Major

All majors are expected to complete satisfactorily at least nine semester courses in history from among the HIST and cross-listed offerings. No course grade below a C nor any course taken pass/fail will be given credit toward the major requirement of nine courses.

Of these nine courses, at least one must be in U.S., another in European, and another in non-Western history. Courses approved for the non-Western distribution requirement in history also typically fulfill the University non-Western requirement. Additionally, at least one course, normally taken in the sophomore or junior year, must require independent written research work totaling 12 or more pages in length.

Students may double-count a single course toward the area, and the research paper requirements as long as it meets both of them.

Transfer students and those taking a year's study abroad may offer up to four semester courses taught elsewhere. To apply such transfer courses to the History major, a student must obtain the approval of the department advising head.

In addition, History offers a variety of independent study options, where a student's work is guided, in tutorial fashion, by a particular faculty member. HIST 98a and 98b (Readings in History) may be taken by students on a subject of particular interest to them that is not covered in the regular curriculum or as a supplement to work on the Senior Honors Thesis. One Internship in History (HIST 92a) may be taken for credit in the major. HIST 99d (Senior Research) counts for two course credits, which may be applied to the nine required history courses. Senior Research enables students to undertake an honors thesis and is required for degrees granted with distinction. Successful history theses can take multiple forms; recent examples include a documentary film and rigorously researched historical fiction.

The major can be combined with other programs of study, such as Latin American studies or Russian and East European studies. Students should consult their advisors to design a major that best complements the requirements of other programs.

Special Note About Courses

History and cross-listed courses that meet the area requirements:

US History
AAAS 70a, 160b, 168b; AMST 30b, 40a, 104bj, 105a, 150a; AMST/SOC 125a; HIST 10a, 51a, 51b, 56b, 115a, 116b, 144a, 151b, 152a, 153b, 155a, 158b, 160a, 160b, 161b, 164b, 166b, 168b, 169a, 169b, 171b, 179a, 189a, 189b, 195a, 195b, 196a; NEJS 142b, 162a, 162b, 167a; POL 113b

European History
CLAS 100a, 115b, 120a; ENG/HIST 118b; HIST 10a, 52b, 56b, 61a, 103a, 110a, 110b, 112b, 113a, 120a, 121a, 123a, 123b, 126a, 131a, 133b, 134a, 137b, 138b, 139b, 140a, 142b, 145a, 145b, 147a, 147b, 149b, 150a, 155a, 170a, 177b, 179a, 181b, 186a, 192b; NEJS 135a, 137a, 137b, 140a, 140b, 142a, 142b

Non-Western History
AAAS 18b, 85a, 115a; ANTH 119a; HIST 56b, 66a, 71a, 71b, 80a, 80b, 111a, 111b, 112a, 116a, 176a, 176b, 182b, 183a, 184a, 185a; IMES 104a; NEJS 142b, 145a, 185b

Research Courses
AAAS 168b; AMST 30b, 40a; ANTH 108b, 119a; HIST 65b, 115a, 131a, 133b, 134a, 137b, 139b, 140a, 142b, 145a, 145b, 147a, 147b, 149b, 150a, 152a, 155a, 160a, 160b, 161b, 164b, 168b, 169a, 169b, 170a, 172a, 176b, 177b, 180a, 181b, 183a, 183b, 185a, 186a, 192b, 195a, 195b, 196a; NEJS 137a, 137b, 142a, 142b, 162a, 162b, 167a; POL 113b

Combined BA/MA Program

Students who began their Brandeis undergraduate careers in fall 2010 or before may apply for the BA/MA program. Applications must be made no later than April 30 preceding the senior year. Only students with exceptional undergraduate records and significant scholarly promise will be admitted to the BA/MA program. Consultation with the advisor is highly recommended by the beginning of the sixth semester; transfer students should apply by the fourth semester of residence. All applications should include a proposed course of study, specifying how all degree requirements will be met. A consistent record of superior performance in history courses is required. The total number of courses required for completion of a BA/MA program is thirty-eight, of which at least four must be at the graduate level and not counted toward the major requirements.

Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

Master of Arts in History
This one-year full-time program is designed to provide students with a graduate-level understanding of the discipline of history and to enhance their mastery of historical research and writing.

Program of Study
A flexible program of study allows students to work closely with the faculty in ways that best suit the students' particular goals, whether for future doctoral study or for careers in writing, teaching, or public history.  In consultation with their advisors, students select a program of six courses at the 100- or 200-level that fall within their areas of historical interest. In addition to these six courses, the MA experience culminates in two capstone credits.  Various options exist for the capstone, a tutorial-supervised learning opportunity designed to advance the student’s particular career aims. Those considering doctoral work would complete the capstone with a double-credit primary-source-based Master’s Thesis advised by a member of the faculty in consultation with the director of graduate studies, or with two single-credit one-semester essays advised by two different supervisors. In the case of students who elect to write a year-long Master’s thesis there will be a thesis defense at the end of the year with a committee consisting of the thesis advisor and one other member of the department.

M.A. students must enroll in at least two graduate seminars over the course of their year at Brandeis.

Residency Requirement
Students admitted to the MA program must fulfill the Graduate School residence requirement of one full year of course work. The program may take an additional one or two semesters to complete as an Extended Master's student.

Language Requirement
There is no foreign language requirement for the terminal master’s degree.

The Joint Degree of Master of Arts in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies for Doctoral Students in History
During the course of their work toward the PhD, students in history may earn a joint MA with Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies by completing the following requirements in conjunction with program requirements for the MA:

A. WMGS 205a, the foundation course in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

B. One course in feminist research methodologies (WMGS 208b or the Feminist Inquiry course offered through the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies).

C. Two elective courses in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, one inside and one outside the history department. Normally, only one of these courses may be a Directed Reading course.

D. Joint MA Paper Requirement: Completion of a Master's research paper of professional quality and length (normally 25-40 pages) on a topic related to the joint degree. The paper will be read by two faculty members, one of whom is a member of the History department, and one of whom is a member of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies core or affiliate faculty. In consultation with the primary advisor, a student may register for WMGS 299, "Master’s Project." However, this course may not count toward the eight required courses.

Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History

Program of Study
The doctoral program in history embraces the eclectic nature of the discipline and the initiative of graduate students to design flexible courses of study that advance their unique interests. The first two years in the PhD program are devoted to coursework intended to provide the foundation of knowledge and experience necessary for embarking on a dissertation. Students normally take a total of sixteen semester courses over these two years. These courses include Directed Research, Regional Colloquia, Thematic Seminars, Field Courses, and Pedagogy. The specific requirements for coursework are minimal; in addition to their Directed Research, all students normally complete Introduction to Doctoral Studies in History, at least one Colloquium, and at least one Thematic Seminar.

The sine qua non of preparation for dissertation work is primary-source research, which is a central focus of the first year. Half of a student’s workload each semester that year consists of Directed Research, working with a Brandeis historian (chosen in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies) to complete an article-length essay analyzing primary sources.

All first-year doctoral students must take at least one 200-level course in addition to Introduction to Doctoral Studies. During their second year doctoral students must take at least two graduate seminars.

During the first or second year, each student typically takes at least one course designed to introduce major themes and scholarly approaches to historical study of a given region. These Regional Colloquia are currently offered in American, European, and World History.

Additional courses are selected in consultation with faculty members to best meet the specific needs and interests of individual students. These electives may include Field Courses devoted to in-depth study of a particular era or methodological approach, and Thematic Seminars, broad and transnational courses of interest to historians irrespective of regional specialization. In addition, students normally take at least one course outside the discipline of history, whether at Brandeis or within the Graduate Consortium.

Pedagogy courses are taken in the second year, accompanying students’ work as Teaching Fellows.

Residency Requirement
The residency requirement for doctoral students in History is three years.

Language Requirement
All students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in at least one foreign language by the end of their second year.  Many specializations require proficiency in two or more foreign languages.  Proficiency is normally tested by a written translation exam, offered each semester.  Students may use alternative means of demonstrating proficiency on petition to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Comprehensive Examination

Outside Field

Before taking the oral exam, all doctoral students must obtain a certificate from a Brandeis professor confirming that they have taken a course in either (a) a discipline outside of history that complements historical studies, such as anthropology, sociology, or literary studies, or (b) the history of a country or region outside of their main research focus. The certifying professor may also require that the student prepare a reading list or a proposed course syllabus. The selection of course and professor should be made in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Major Field

After completing the certification of an Outside Field, students must pass a comprehensive oral examination in their major field of historical interest. Within the major field the candidate will be examined by two professors in two broadly conceived subfields, to be determined by the student in consultation with the examiners and the Director of Graduate Studies, for 30-45 minutes each. Frequently these subfields will be defined chronologically but sometimes a student may wish to focus on a thematic or a methodological field. Each examining professor will ask the student to prepare a list of some 50 to 75 books that are crucial to the student’s field of inquiry. Normally students must pass their exam by the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth semester. Students with compelling reasons to make different course arrangements before the general examination may petition the graduate program to do so.

Teaching Requirement
Doctoral students must teach during five of their ten funded semesters, normally in years two through four. Typically, a student will serve four times as a teaching fellow in a History course, one time as the instructor in a University Writing Seminar.

Dissertation
After completing the qualifying examination, students begin research on their dissertation. Working with a primary advisor and a second reader (both from the Graduate Faculty in History unless approved by the Director of Graduate Studies), students prepare a proposal of 15-30 pages describing the dissertation's topic, source based, and historical significance.  The prospectus will be presented publicly to the faculty and graduate students in the History Department. After the proposal is presented and accepted, the student will be considered advanced to candidacy.

When ready to defend their completed dissertation, students consult with their primary advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies to constitute, formally, the dissertation committee. Normally that committee includes the primary advisor, the second reader, and an outside reader drawn from the faculty of another university. With the approval of their committees, students arrange a public dissertation defense.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

HIST 10a Not Even Past: History for the Global Citizen
[ ss ]
Applies historical thinking to a wide range of past and present human concerns. Each of its four concentric units of analysis centers on an issue of contemporary importance: "The Self," "The Life," "The Community," and "The World." Usually offered every year.
Ms. Cooper and Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 50b American Transformations: Perspectives on United States History, Origins to the Present
[ ss ]
Investigates U.S. history in a wider world, from its origins to the present, starting with the premise that American History itself is a construct of modern empire. Only by investigating the roots of power and resistance can we understand the forces that deeply influence our world as we live it today. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Cooper

HIST 51a History of the United States: 1607-1865
[ ss ]
An introductory survey of American history to the Civil War. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 51b History of the United States: 1865 to the Present
[ ss ]
An introductory survey of American history from the Civil War to the present. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 52b Europe from 1789 to the Present
[ ss ]
Analytical introduction to modern European history considering such issues as the French Revolution, economic and social modernization and the Industrial Revolution, the evolution of modern nationalism, imperialism and socialism, development of the world market, imperialism, diplomacy and war in the twentieth century, Bolshevism and the decline of liberalism, modern totalitarianism, World War II, decolonization, the Cold War, the revival of Europe, and the revolutions of 1989. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Jankowski

HIST 56b World History to 1960
[ nw ss ]
An introductory survey of world history, from the dawn of "civilization" to c.1960. Topics include the establishment and rivalry of political communities, the development of material life, and the historical formation of cultural identities. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 61a Cultures in Conflict since 1300
[ ss wi ]
Explores the ways in which cultures and civilizations have collided since 1300, and the ways in which cultural differences account for major wars and conflicts in world history since then. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Freeze and Mr. Jankowski

HIST 65b College 101: American Higher Education in Historical Perspective
[ ss wi ]
Studies one of the most important institutions in modern America: the university. Students examine the current organization and orientation of higher education in historical and sociological perspective, using nonfiction accounts, memoirs, and fiction about the college experience. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Engerman

HIST 66a History of South Asia (2500 BCE - 1971)
[ nw ss ]
Introduces South Asian history from the earliest civilizations to the independence of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Surveys the formation of religious traditions, the establishment of kingdoms and empires, colonialism and its consequences, and post-independence political and economic development. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 68b Crime and Punishment in History
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FYS 32b in prior years.
This seminar aims to help first-year students sharpen their skills in critical reading, thinking, writing, and oral expression — vital tools of a liberal arts education and a rich intellectual life. Our common substantive project will be to develop an informed historical perspective on crime and punishment. Immersing ourselves in an eclectic mix of texts and genres — criminal codes, pardon tales, trial records, political essays, memoirs, true-crime journalism, history books, urban sociology, novels, and films — we will examine how Western Europeans and Americans of different eras have defined, represented, and punished crime.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 71a Empire and Its Discontents: Latin America from Conquest to Independence
[ hum nw ss ]
Introduction to the historical foundations of Latin America: Amerindian civilizations, Spanish conquest, colonial economy and society, independence movements, and their aftermath. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Fernandez

HIST 71b Latin American History, 1870 to the Present
[ hum nw ss ]
Modern Latin America, with stress on the interactions of economics, politics, and external dependency in the region. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HIST 80a Introduction to East Asian Civilization
[ hum nw ss ]
A selective introduction to the development of forms of thought, social and political institutions, and distinctive cultural contributions of China and Japan from early times to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hang

HIST 80b East Asia: Nineteenth Century to the Present (China and Japan)
[ hum nw ss ]
The civilization of East Asia at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the impact of the West, the contrasting responses of China and Japan to the confrontation, and the development and nature of their present societies. Usually offered every year.
Mr. James

HIST 92a Internship in History
History internships allow students to gain work experience and to improve their writing and analytical skills. Although non-credit internships are an option, students seeking course credit must obtain approval from the History internship supervisor in advance, and normally complete some written work under the supervision of a faculty sponsor. Students may count one HIST 92a toward completion of the major or minor. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HIST 98a Readings in History
Usually offered every year.
Staff

HIST 98b Readings in History
Usually offered every year.
Staff

HIST 99d Senior Research
Seniors who are candidates for degrees with honors in history must register for this course and, under the direction of a faculty member, prepare an honors thesis on a suitable topic. Usually offered every year.
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

ENG/HIST 118b London from Restoration to Regency: People, Culture, City
[ hum ss ]
Sponsored by the Mandel Center for the Humanities as part of its thematic focus on 'The Human and the Inhuman'.
Explores the history and culture of London from the Great Plague of 1665 to the onset of the industrial age. Topics include the natural and built environments, the city's changing population, and its literary, visual, and musical cultures. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Kamensky and Ms. Lanser

HIST 103a Roman History to 455 CE
[ hum ss ]
Survey of Roman history from the early republic through the decline of the empire. Covers the political history of the Roman state and the major social, economic, and religious changes of the period. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Kapelle

HIST 106a The Warren Court and Social Justice
[ ss ]
Tracks the relationship between law and society by examining the Warren Court's attempts to transform both in the 1950's and 60's. Core concepts include desegregation, First Amendment freedoms, criminal procedure and access to legal and political institutions. Special two-time offering, spring 2012 and fall 2014.
Mr. Bowman

HIST 108b The Corporation in American History
[ ss ]
Examines the evolving scope and influence of corporations across four centuries of American history. Topics range from industrialization to outsourcing and from small religious and municipal organizations to international conglomerates. Special one-time offering spring 2015.
Mr. Bowman

HIST 110a The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages
[ ss ]
Survey of medieval history from the fall of Rome to the year 1000. Topics include the barbarian invasions, the Byzantine Empire, the Dark Ages, the Carolingian Empire, feudalism, manorialism, and the Vikings. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Kapelle

HIST 110b The Civilization of the High and Late Middle Ages
[ ss ]
Survey of European history from 1000 to 1450. Topics include the Crusades, the birth of towns, the creation of kingdoms, the papacy, the peasantry, the universities, the Black Death, and the Hundred Years' War. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Kapelle

HIST 111a History of the Modern Middle East
[ nw ss ]
An examination of the history of the Middle East from the nineteenth century to contemporary times. Focuses on political events and intellectual trends, such as imperialism, modernity, nationalism, and revolution, that have shaped the region in the modern era. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Sohrabi

HIST 111b The Iranian Revolution: From Monarchy to the Islamic Republic
[ nw ss ]
An examination of the roots of the Iranian revolution of 1979, the formation of the Islamic Republic, and its evolution over the past 30 years. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Sohrabi

HIST 112a Nationalism in the Middle East
[ nw ss ]
Seminar examining the history of nationalism in the modern Middle East. Covers divergent theories and practices of nationalism in the region, and explores the roles of gender, memory, historiography, and art in the formation and articulation of Middle East nationalisms. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Sohrabi

HIST 112b The Crusades and the Expansion of Medieval Europe
[ ss ]
Survey of the relationships between medieval Europe and neighboring cultures, beginning with the decline of Byzantium. Topics include a detailed look at the Crusades, the Spanish reconquista, the Crusader kingdoms, economic growth, and the foundations of imperialism. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Kapelle

HIST 113a English Medieval History
[ ss ]
Survey of English history from the Anglo-Saxon invasions to the fifteenth century. Topics include the heroic age, the Viking invasions, and development of the English kingdom from the Norman conquest through the Hundred Years' War. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Kapelle

HIST 113b Encounters with Islam: From Muhammad's Revelations to the Syrian Civil War
[ ss ]
Covers important themes in the interaction between Muslim and non-Muslim communities between the 7th and 21st centuries. This course emphasizes encounters and exchanges in the landscape that has recently become known as the "Middle East," defined sociologically rather than geographically as the space between two or more identity groups. Over the semester, we will travel along the long arc of Islamic history, observing Muslims and non-Muslims as they collaborated to shape their many identities. Special one-time offering, spring 2015.
Mr. Shakow

HIST 115a History of Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations
[ ss ]
Explores and understands the origin and nature of racial and ethnic differences in the United States, South Africa, and Brazil. Explores how theoreticians explain and account for differences, and how race and ethnicity relate to economic class and social institutions. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 116a Black Homeland: West Africa
[ nw ss ]
Surveys the history of the ancestral land of most African Americans from the rise of the great African empires through the period of the slave trade and colonialism. Traces the rise of African nationalism up to 1960. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 116b The History of Black/Jewish Relations in America
[ ss ]
Explores the origins of Black/Jewish cooperation and conflict from the Slave Trade through the Civil Rights Movement and on to debates on the "ownership" of hip-hop. Analyzes the formation of, and interplay between, "race" and "ethnicity." Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 120a Britain in the Later Middle Ages
[ ss ]
Exploration of the critical changes in government and society in the British Isles from the late fourteenth to the sixteenth century. Topics include the Black Death, the lordship of Ireland, the Hundred Years' War, the Scottish War of Independence, economic change, the Tudors, and the Reformation. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Kapelle

HIST 121a Breaking the Rules: Deviance and Nonconformity in Premodern Europe
[ ss wi ]
Explores the ways in which "deviant" behavior was defined and punished by some, but also justified and even celebrated by others in premodern Europe. Topics include vagrancy, popular uprisings, witchcraft, religious heresy, and the status of women. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 123a The Renaissance
[ ss ]
Culture, society, and economy in the Italian city-state (with particular attention to Florence) from feudalism to the rise of the modern state. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Kapelle

HIST 123b Reformation Europe (1400-1600)
[ ss wi ]
Survey of Protestant and Catholic efforts to reform religion in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Topics include scholastic theology, popular piety and anticlericalism, Luther's break with Rome, the rise of Calvinism, Henry VIII and the English Reformation, the Catholic resurgence, and the impact of reform efforts on the lives of common people. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 126a Early Modern Europe (1500-1700)
[ qr ss ]
Survey of politics, ideas, and society in Western Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Focuses on the changing relationship between the emerging modern state and its subjects. Topics include the development of ideologies of resistance and conformity, regional loyalties and the problems of empire, changing technologies of war and repression, and the social foundations of order and disorder. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 131a Hitler's Europe in Film
[ ss wi ]
Takes a critical look as how Hitler's Europe has been represented and misrepresented since its time by documentary and entertainment films of different countries beginning with Germany itself. Movies, individual reports, discussions, and a littler reading. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Kelikian

HIST 133b Rights and Revolutions: History of Natural Rights
[ ss wi ]
An examination of the doctrine of national rights, its significance in the contemporary world, its historical development, and its role in revolutionary politics. The English and French Declarations of 1689, 1776, and 1789 will be compared and contrasted. Usually offered every second or third year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 134a The History of Great Britain, 1756-1956
[ ss wi ]
Examines British cultural, social, economic, political and imperial history during the period of that nation's greatest influence, from the start of the Seven Years War to the aftermath of the Second World War. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hopper

HIST 137b World War I
[ ss wi ]
Examines the opening global conflict of the twentieth century. Topics include the destruction of the old European order, the origins of total war, the cultural and social crisis it provoked, and the long-term consequences for Europe and the world. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Jankowski

HIST 138b Coping with Defeat: Germany and Japan after 1945
[ ss ]
Comparative seminar on the memory of military defeat(s) in the Second World War across the political and cultural landscapes of Japan and the "two Germanys" from 1945 to present. Intensively engages current scholarship and wide-ranging primary documents, particularly films. Special one-time offering, spring 2014.
Mr. Walding

HIST 139b Fascism East and West
[ ss ]
Traces the origins of authoritarianism in Europe, Asia, and Latin America during the twentieth century. It first looks at Germany and Italy. Additionally, it examines right-wing regimes in Japan, China, and Indonesia and their non-western political traditions. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Pieragastini

HIST 140a A History of Fashion in Europe
[ ss wi ]
Looks at costume, trade in garments, and clothing consumption in Europe from 1600 to 1950. Topics include sumptuous fashion, class and gender distinctions in wardrobe, and the rise of department stores. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Kelikian

HIST 142b History of Sexualities in Europe
[ ss ]
Formerly offered as HIST 55b.
Explores a social history of sexualities in Europe from early modern to contemporary times. Topical emphasis on changing patterns in kinship, child rearing, gender differentiation, immodesty, and marriage. Usually offered every 3 years.
Ms. Kelikian

HIST 143b European Imperialism, 1870-1914
[ ss ]
Explores the imperial sentiments and actions that increasingly colored the political, economic, social, and cultural dynamics of Europe before WWI, and which left a lasting legacy not only for Europe but for the wider world. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hopper

HIST 144a Mapping Boston’s Religions: A Digital History Seminar
[ ss ]
Studies a history of religion in the nineteenth-century United States, looking especially at interactions between diverse religions. Students will create a collaborative, student-directed digital history project as the main work for the course. Special one-time offering, spring 2014.
Mr. Mullen

HIST 144b The Cold War Era in East Asia
[ nw ss wi ]
Prerequisite: HIST 80b or permission of the instructor.
Examines the political, social, economic, and cultural history of Japan, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia from the end of World War II to the present with a focus on primary sources, including literature, music, propaganda, and above all, film. Special one-time offering, fall 2014.
Mr. Pieragastini

HIST 145a War in European History
[ ss ]
Introduces students to the changing nature of war and warfare in European history since the Middle Ages. Explores the reciprocal influence of armies and societies and the ways in which wars reflect the cultures of the polities waging them. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Jankowski

HIST 145b Introduction to Modern France
[ ss wi ]
Explores French politics and society from 1789 to the present. Emphasis on the shocks from which it has had to recover, including revolutions, wars, and foreign occupation, the implantation of stable institutions, and the continuing role of intellectuals in French society. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Jankowski

HIST 146b Hitler, Germany, and Europe
[ ss wi ]
Hitler's personality and politics in their German and European context, 1889-1945. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 147a Imperial Russia: From Westernization to Globalization
[ ss wi ]
Examines the processes and problems of modernization--state development, economic growth, social change, cultural achievements, and emergence of revolutionary and terrorist movements. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 147b Twentieth-Century Russia
[ ss wi ]
Russian history from the 1905 revolution to the present day, with particular emphasis on the Revolution of 1917, Stalinism, culture, and the decline and fall of the USSR. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 149b Russian Women in Politics, Society and Culture
[ hum ss wi ]
Examines how the status, identity, and aspirations of women from medieval Russia to the post-Soviet era. It relies primarily on documents produced by women themselves (memoirs, autobiographies, diaries and novels), complemented by laws, archival files, and films. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 150a Russia in World War II
[ ss ]
Examines the Soviet role in defeating Nazism in World War II, but the main focus is on the war's impact on domestic politics, society, economy, culture, and national identity. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 151b The American Revolution
[ ss ]
Explores the causes, character, and consequences of the American war for independence. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 152a American History, American Literature
[ ss ]
Readings and discussions on the classical literature of American history, the great books that have shaped our sense of the subject. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 153b Slavery and the American Civil War
[ ss ]
A survey of the history of slavery, the American South, the antislavery movement, the coming of the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 154a Stalin Revolution: Foundations of Modern Russia
[ ss wi ]
Examines the systemic transformation engineered by Stalin, the aim being accelerated modernization. The course examines the strategy, politics, and the results of the "Stalin Revolution," focusing mainly on newly available archival documents. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 155a Thinking with Witches: Witchcraft in England and New England
[ hum ss ]
Examines the history, literature, and scholarly debate surrounding witchcraft in England and New England from 1500-1700. Readings include accounts of witchcraft trials and testimonials; contemporary plays, poems, woodcuts, and novels; anthropological and historical texts; and several important films. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Kamensky and Ms. Targoff

HIST 156b Copley's World: A Humanities Research Lab
[ hum ss wi ]
An interdisciplinary humanities lab centered on the life, work, and contexts of the artist John Singleton Copley (1738-1815). Explores Copley's complex life and revolutionary times through primary sources, using the questions and methods of history, art history, and biography. Students will publish an online exhibition of their research. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Kamensky

HIST 157a Labor and Class Conflict in America, 1676-2012
[ ss ]
Despite the persistent ideal of a "classless" society, questions of class and the nature of labor have informed much of America’s history. Beginning in the colonial period, this course explores the idea that a job is never just a job; it is also a social signifier of great value. Topics include slavery and servitude, race and gender in the workplace, household labor and its meanings, working-class political movements, the role of the state in shaping patterns of work, and modern debates over economic inequality. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Bowman

HIST 157b The Secret Life of Slaves: African-Americans and the Writing of History
[ ss ]
Seeks to understand not only the system but the inner lives and cultures of slaves within that system. This course is a reading-intensive seminar examining both primary and secondary sources on American slaves. Focuses on the American South but includes sources on the larger African diaspora. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Cooper

HIST 158b Social History of the Confederate States of America
[ ss ]
An examination of the brief life of the southern Confederacy, emphasizing regional, racial, class, and gender conflicts within the would-be new nation. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Cooper

HIST 160a American Legal History I
[ ss ]
Surveys American legal development from colonial settlement to the Civil War. Major issues include law as an instrument of revolution, capitalism and contract, invention of the police, family law, slavery law, and the Civil War as a constitutional crisis. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 160b American Legal History II
[ ss ]
Survey of American legal development from 1865 to the present. Major topics include constitutionalism and racial inequality, the legal response to industrialization, progressivism and the transformation of liberalism, the rise of the administrative state, and rights-based movements for social justice. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 161b American Political History
[ ss ]
Development of American party politics, the legal system, and government. Special attention paid to the social and cultural determinants of party politics, and economic and social policymaking. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 164b The American Century: The U.S. and the World, 1945 to the Present
[ ss wi ]
America's global role expanded dramatically in the aftermath of World War II. Explores key aspects of that new role, from the militarization of conflict with the Soviets to activities in the Third World. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Engerman

HIST 166b World War II
[ ss ]
Focuses on the American experience in World War II. From the 1920s to the early 1940s, totalitarian regimes were widely believed to be stronger than open societies. The outcome of World War II demonstrated the opposite. By combining the methods of the old military and political history with the new social, cultural, and economic history, examines history as a structured sequence of contingencies, in which people made choices and choices made a difference. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 168b America in the Progressive Era: 1890-1920
[ ss ]
Surveys social and political history during the pivotal decades when America became a "modern" society and nation-state. Topics include populism, racial segregation, social science and public policy, the Roosevelt and Wilson administrations, environmental conservation, and the domestic impact of World War I. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 169a Thought and Culture in Modern America
[ ss wi ]
Developments in American philosophy, literature, art, and political theory examined in the context of socioeconomic change. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Engerman

HIST 169b The Radical 1950s: Politics and Culture in Postwar America
[ ss ]
This advanced seminar examines social criticism by the supposedly complacent Americans of the 1950s, looking for links to the turmoil that followed. Topics include foreign policy, treatment of African-Americans, roles for women, and the alienation of mass society. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Engerman

HIST 170a Italian Films, Italian Histories
[ ss wi ]
Explores the relationship between Italian history and Italian film from unification to 1975. Topics include socialism, fascism, the deportation of Jews, the Resistance, the Mafia, and the emergence of an American-style star fixation in the 1960s. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Kelikian

HIST 171b Latinos in the U.S.
[ ss ]
No longer writing intensive beginning spring 2013.
History of the different Latino groups in the United States from the nineteenth century when westward expansion incorporated Mexican populations through the twentieth century waves of migration from Latin America. Explores the diversity of Latino experiences including identity, work, community, race, gender, and political activism. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 172a 20th Century Social Movements in the Americas
[ ss ]
Examines social movements in Latin America in the 20th and 21st centuries, covering feminism, labor activism, ethnic mobilization, peasant rebellion, environmental defense, resistance to dictatorship, anti-imperialism, and related topics. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 173a World War II in East Asia
[ nw ss ]
Traces the origins and outcomes of World War II in East Asia with a focus on military and political history. Also looks at the war's effect on society, economy, and culture, as well as individuals' experience and memory of war. Special one-time offering, spring 2015.
Mr. Pieragastini

HIST 175a Topics in Latin American History
[ nw ss wi ]
Course may be repeated for credit.
Examines a major theme or problem in Latin American history. Topics very from year to year. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 175b Resistance and Revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean
[ nw ss ]
Focuses on questions of race, gender and modernity in resistence movements and revolutions in Latin American and Caribbean history. The Haitian Revolution, Tupac Amaru Rebellion, and Vaccination Riots in Brazil are some topics that will be covered. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Childs

HIST 176a The Emergence of Modern Japan
[ nw ss ]
A general introduction to Japan's modern transformation from a late feudal society into a powerful nation-state capable of challenging the Western powers. Particular attention is given to feudal legacies, rapid economic growth, nationalism and ultranationalism, the "Pacific War" between Japan and the United States, the meaning of defeat, issues of postwar democracy, and the workings of the postwar political economy. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. James

HIST 176b Japan and Korea in Modern World History
[ nw ss ]
Investigates the long and problematic history of interactions and exchanges between Japan and Korea from early times to the present. Topics include language, migration, art, architecture, material culture, popular culture, propaganda, and warfare. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. James

HIST 177a The Politics of Soviet Cinema, 1921-1953
[ ss ]
Examines the role of politics in Soviet film-making, from the early 1920's to Stalin's death in 1953. It includes the screening of twenty major films, class discussions, and lectures on major themes and issues in Soviet cinema history. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 177b Modern Germany: Rise of a Global Power
[ ss wi ]
Offers a systematic examination of modern Germany from 1815 to the present, with particular attention to Germany's role in globalization. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 179a Labor, Gender, and Exchange in the Atlantic World, 1600-1850
[ ss ]
An examination of the interaction of cultures in the Atlantic World against a backdrop of violence, conquest, and empire-building. Particular attention is paid to the structure and function of power relations, gender orders, labor systems, and exchange networks. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 180a The Global Opium Trade: 1755-Present
[ nw ss ]
Investigates the history of the opium trade from early times to present. Coverage will include the Anglo-Indian opium trade, the Opium Wars; the political economy of the legal trade; and the complex ramifications of its prohibition. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. James

HIST 181b Red Flags/Black Flags: Marxism vs. Anarchism, 1845-1968
[ ss ]
From Marx's first major book in 1845 to the French upheavals of 1968, the history of left-wing politics and ideas. The struggles between Marxist orthodoxy and anarchist-inspired, left Marxist alternatives. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 182a Mao: The Man, the Myth, and the Milieu
[ nw ss wi ]
Examines the life of Mao Zedong, arguably twentieth-century China's paramount leader, visionary, and autocrat. We further place him within the tumultuous political, social, and intellectual history of modern China since 1840 and ponder his legacy for today's world. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hang

HIST 182b Modern China
[ nw ss ]
Surveys Chinese history from the Ming to Mao, with an emphasis on political, social, cultural, and literary trends; and attention toward ethnic minorities and overseas communities and diaspora. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hang

HIST 183a Empire at the Margins: Borderlands in Late Imperial China
[ nw ss wi ]
Explores Ming and Qing China's frontiers with Japan, Korea, Inner Asia, Vietnam, and the ocean from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, examining the role of borderlands in forging the present-day multiethnic Chinese state and East Asian national identities. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hang

HIST 183b Community and Alienation: Social Theory from Hegel to Freud
[ ss ]
The rise of social theory understood as a response to the trauma of industrialization. Topics include Marx's concept of "alienation," Tönnies's distinction between "community" and "society," Durkheim's notion of "anomie," Weber's account of "disenchantment," and Nietzsche's repudiation of modernity. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 184a Silk, Silver, and Slaves: China and the Industrial Revolution
[ nw ss wi ]
Examines why industrial capitalism, which underpins the current world order, first developed in Western Europe rather than China. Comparative treatment of commercialization, material culture, cities, political economies, and contingencies on both ends of Eurasia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hang

HIST 185a The China Outside China: Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Diaspora in the Making of Modern China
[ nw ss wi ]
Studies the history of Chinese outside Mainland China, from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Siberia and Africa, from fifteenth century to present day. Ambivalence to ancestral and adopted homelands made these communities valuable agents of transnational exchange and embodiments of Chinese modernity. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hang

HIST 186a Europe in World War II
[ ss wi ]
Examines the military and diplomatic, social and economic history of the war. Topics include war origins; allied diplomacy; the neutrals; war propaganda; occupation, resistance, and collaboration; the mass murder of the Jews; "peace feelers"; the war economies; scientific warfare and the development of nuclear weapons; and the origins of the Cold War. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Jankowski

HIST 189b Reading and Research in American History
[ ss ]
Advanced coordinated research from primary materials. Students will engage in a common project in American social history. Topics vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 192b Romantic and Existentialist Political Thought
[ ss ]
Readings from Camus, Sartre, Beckett, and others. Examination and criticism of romantic and existentialist theories of politics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 195a American Political Thought: From the Revolution to the Civil War
[ ss ]
Antebellum America as seen in the writings of Paine, Jefferson, Adams, the Federalists and Antifederalists, the Federalists and Republicans, the Whigs and the Jacksonians, the advocates and opponents of slavery, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 195b American Political Thought: From the Gilded Age through the New Deal
[ ss ]
Topics include the Mugwumps, Populists, Progressives; Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson; the New Nationalism and the New Freedom; the continuities and discontinuities of the New Deal and the Progressive Era. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 196a American Political Thought: From the 1950s to the Present
[ ss ]
Covers the New Left of the 1960s, its rejection of the outlook of the 1950s, the efforts of liberals to save the New Left agenda in the New Politics of the 1970s, and the reaction against the New Left in the neoconservative movement. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hulliung

(200 and above) Primarily for Graduate Students

HIST 200a Colloquium in American History
Topics vary from year to year. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 200b Colloquium in American History
An examination of major themes in the historiography of modern America. Topics vary from year to year. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 201a Major Problems in American Legal History
An advanced readings seminar on major interpretive issues in the field of American legal history. The seminar examines the different ways historians have interpreted law, political culture, and governing institutions, and their historical relationship to broader social, economic, cultural, and political processes. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 202b Modern American History from a Global Perspective
Note: Open only to MAT students.
Examines recent scholarly works that situate American history in a broader transnational framework, with a focus toward how the books challenge central and reshape narratives of American history. Focus for summer 2009 is on twentieth-century U.S. history. Usually offered every summer.
Mr. Engerman

HIST 203b Colloquium in Modern World History
Designed to introduce students to the methods, sources, and writing about global and non-Western histories of the late 20th century, and era of extraordinary conflict and change. Topics include decolonization, economic transformation, and the global implications of American-Soviet antagonism. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Engerman

HIST 204b Writing History
This course may not be repeated for credit by students who have taken HIST 188a in previous years.
This reading seminar and writing workshop explores the changing nature of the historian's craft in an age when notions like "objectivity," authors' control over texts, even the possibility of verifiable truth have come under attack. Explores theoretical writings on postmodern narrative, but focuses mainly on practice: reading and writing history that engages these concerns. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Kamensky

HIST 205b Introduction to Doctoral Studies
Examines major problems in history. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 206a Christianity in the Modern World, 1750-1914
Explores key issues in the development of Christianity from the mid-eighteenth to the early twentieth century, with an emphasis on transnational and transconfessional dimensions and processes (primarily but not exclusively in Europe and America.) Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 206b Twentieth-Century Christianity: Secularization and Globalization
Examines the fundamental dynamics, issues, and findings recent scholarship on the transformation of Christianity in the twentieth century, with particular attention to the impact of war, secularization, and globalization. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Freeze

HIST 207b The Event in History; The History of the Event
Asks what is an "event" in history? Why do historians study some subjects and not others? And how has the answer to these questions evolved as historians have engaged with other fields that approach this subject from other angles? Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Sohrabi

HIST 214a Eurasia in the Early Modern World
Places China and Europe in a comparative framework, examining their distinctive values, structures, socioeconomic systems, and contingencies from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Students will critically analyze a wide range of historiographical topics on both ends of Eurasia. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hang

HIST 215a World History
Designed to introduce students to the methods, sources, and writings about global and non-Western histories. Taught collectively by specialists in Latin American, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern history. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 215b Teaching World History
Open only to MAT students.
Focuses on the rational and content of world history as a teaching subject. Explores whether the "case" for world history is simply that more material must be somehow be better, or whether a global perspective offers genuine analytic and interpretive gains. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sreenivasan

HIST 221a Colloquium in European Comparative History since the Eighteenth Century
Designed for first-year graduate students. Comparative examination of major historical issues in Europe from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Jankowski

HIST 300e Directed Research for PhD Students
Students will normally elect one research topic in the fall term and the spring of the first year. Each is designed to provide experience in designing, researching, and writing a substantial essay of a monographic character, based on extensive use of sources. Each is the equivalent of two full courses. Specific research topics are selected by the student in consultation with the adviser. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HIST 301d Directed Research for MA Students: Master’s Thesis
Year-long research project designed to provide experience in designing, researching, and writing a substantial essay of a monographic character, based on extensive use of primary sources. Students select a specific research topic in consultation with the adviser. The course covers two semesters, with one course credit given in each term. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HIST 302a Directed Research for MA Students: Master’s Essay
Semester-long research project culminating in a Master’s essay. Students select a specific research topic in consultation with the adviser. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HIST 320a Readings in History
Usually offered every term. Specific sections for individual faculty members as requested.
Staff

HIST 320b Readings in History
Usually offered every term. Specific sections for individual faculty members as requested.
Staff

HIST 340a Teaching in History
Usually offered every term. Supervised graduate teaching in history.
Staff

HIST 340b Teaching in History
Usually offered every term. Supervised graduate teaching in history.
Staff

HIST 401d Dissertation Research
Usually offered every semester. Specific sections for individual faculty members as requested.
Staff

Cross-Listed in History

AAAS 18b Africa and the West
[ nw ss ]
Focuses on the relationship between Africa and the "West" from the time of the ancient Egyptians to the postcolonial period. It also assesses the dilemma neocolonialism poses for the West. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

AAAS 70a Introduction to Afro-American History
[ ss ]
A survey of the Afro-American experience from the era of slavery to the present. Topics include the rise of a distinct community and its institutions, reconstruction and segregation, the contributions of blacks to American society, and the struggles for freedom and equality. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Williams

AAAS 85a Survey of Southern African History
[ nw ss ]
Explores the roots of segregation and apartheid in South Africa, the development of a regional political economy dominated by South Africa, labor migrancy and land alienation in southern Africa, and the rise of African and Afrikaaner nationalisms. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

AAAS 115a Introduction to African History
[ nw ss ]
Explores the history of African societies from their earliest beginnings to the present era. Topics include African participation in antiquity as well as early Christianity and preindustrial political, economic, and cultural developments. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AAAS 155b Hip Hop History and Culture
[ ss ]
Examines the history of hip hop culture, in the broader context of U.S., African American and African diaspora history, from the 1960s to the present. Explores key developments, debates and themes shaping hip hop's evolution and contemporary global significance. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Williams

AAAS 160b African American Military History
[ ss ]
Examines the role war and the military has played in the history of African Americans from slavery to the present. We will explore themes of violence, freedom, citizenship, manhood, internationalism and civil rights. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Williams

AAAS 168b The Black Intellectual Tradition
[ ss wi ]
Introduces broad historical themes, issues and debates that constitute the black intellectual tradition. Examines the works of male and female black intellectuals from slavery to present. Will explore issues of freedom, citizenship, uplift, gender, and race consciousness. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Williams

AMST 30b American Environmental History
[ ss wi ]
Provides an overview of the relationship between nature and culture in North America. Covers Native Americans, the European invasion, the development of a market system of resource extraction and consumption, the impact of industrialization, and environmentalist responses. Current environmental issues are placed in historical context. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Donahue

AMST 35a Hollywood and American Culture
[ ss ]
This is an interdisciplinary course in Hollywood cinema and American culture that aims to do justice to both arenas. Students will learn the terms of filmic grammar, the meanings of visual style, and the contexts of Hollywood cinema from The Birth of a Nation (1915) to last weekend's top box office grosser. They will also master the major economic, social, and political realities that make up the American experience of the dominant medium of our time, the moving image, as purveyed by Hollywood. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Doherty

AMST 40a Women in American History
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took AMST 123b in prior years.
Examines the private and public experiences of women-family life, sexuality, work, and activism-as reflected in historical and autobiographical sources, fiction, and many films. The diverse experiences of women of different races, ethnicities, and classes are highlighted. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Antler

AMST 104bj Boston and Its Suburbs: Environment and History
[ ss ]
Advanced seminar follows the development of the cultural landscape of Boston, Waltham and the western suburbs from glacial retreat to urban sprawl. Employs ecology and history to better understand and address contemporary environmental issues. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Donahue

AMST 105a The Eastern Forest: Paleoecology to Policy
[ ss wi ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.
Can we make sustainable use of the Eastern Forest of North America while protecting biological diversity and ecological integrity? Explores the forest's ecological development, the impact of human cultures, attitudes toward the forest, and our mixed record of abuse and stewardship. Includes extensive fieldwork. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Donahue

AMST 150a The History of Childhood and Youth in America
[ ss ]
Examines cultural ideas and policies about childhood and youth, as well as child-rearing and parenting strategies, child-saving, socialization, delinquency, children's literature, television, and other media for children and youth. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Antler

AMST/SOC 125a History of U.S. Feminisms in a Global Context
[ ss ]
An investigation of the development and politics of women's rights in the United States. Explores the internal and external coalitions and conflicts at the nexus of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and religion. Examines the transnational shift to organizing for human rights. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Antler and Ms. Hansen

ANTH 68b Conquest: Archaeology and Colonialism
[ ss ]
Explores the cultural interactions between colonizing and colonized groups over the past 5,000 years, with particular attention to material expressions of power, resistance, and individual/group identities. Applies insight gained from examining case studies from past societies to our contemporary world. Special one-time offering, spring 2014.
Mr. Parno

ANTH 108b History, Time, and Tradition
[ ss ]
Explores topics relating to the historical dimension of societies in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives: the cultural construction of the past, temporal and calendrical systems, the invention of tradition, ethnohistorical narrative, cultural memory and forgetting, historical monuments, and museums. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Parmentier

ANTH 119a Conquests, Resistance, and Cultural Transformation in Mexico and Central America
[ nw ss ]
Examines the continuing negotiation of identity and power that were at the heart of tragedy and triumph for indigenous peoples in colonial Mexico and Central America, and which continue in the modern states of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Golden

CLAS 100a Survey of Greek History: Bronze Age to 323 BCE
[ hum ]
Surveys the political and social development of the Greek city-states from Bronze Age origins to the death of Alexander. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Walker

CLAS 115b Topics in Greek and Roman History
[ hum wi ]
Topics vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor. Topics include the Age of Alexander the Great, the Age of Pericles, the Greekness of Alexander, and Imperialism in Antiquity. See the Schedule of Classes for the current topic. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Walker

CLAS 120a Age of Caesar
[ hum wi ]
The life and times of Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) viewed through primary texts in a variety of genres: from Caesar himself to contemporaries Cicero and Catullus and biographers Plutarch and Suetonius. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Walker

ENG/HIST 118b London from Restoration to Regency: People, Culture, City
[ hum ss ]
Sponsored by the Mandel Center for the Humanities as part of its thematic focus on 'The Human and the Inhuman'.
Explores the history and culture of London from the Great Plague of 1665 to the onset of the industrial age. Topics include the natural and built environments, the city's changing population, and its literary, visual, and musical cultures. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Kamensky and Ms. Lanser

IMES 104a Islam: Civilization and Institutions
[ hum nw ]
Provides a disciplined study of Islamic civilization from its origins to the modern period. Approaches the study from a humanities perspective. Topics covered will include the Qur'an, tradition, law, theology, politics, Islam and other religions, modern developments, and women in Islam. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Lumbard

NEJS 135a The Modern Jewish Experience
[ hum ]
Themes include Enlightenment, Hasidism, emancipation, Jewish identity in the modern world (acculturation and assimilation), development of dominant nationalism in Judaism, Zionism, European Jewry between the world wars, Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel, and contemporary Jewish life in America, Israel, and Europe. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Freeze or Mr. Sheppard

NEJS 137a The Destruction of European Jewry
[ hum ]
Open to all students.
Why did the Jews become the subject of genocidal hatred? A systematic examination of the anti-Jewish genocide planned and executed by Nazi Germany and the Jewish and general responses to it. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Polonsky

NEJS 137b A History of the Jews in Warsaw, Lodz, Vilna, and Odessa
[ hum ss ]
Examines the history of the four largest Jewish communities in the Russian Empire from the earliest settlement through the Holocaust to the present, comparing internal organization, different political and cultural allegiances, and relations with the majority population. Usually offered every fourth year.
Ms. Freeze

NEJS 140a Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages
[ hum ss wi ]
Surveys Jewish political, social and intellectual history in the domains of Islam and Christianity from the rise of Islam (622) to the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1497). Topics include the legal status of Jews, Jewish communal organization, persecution and response, inter-religious polemics, conversion, the origins of anti-Judaism, and trends in Jewish law, philosophy, literature, and mysticism. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Decter

NEJS 140b Early Modern Jewish History
[ hum ]
Examines Jewish history and culture in early modern Europe: mass conversions on the Iberian peninsula, migrations, reconversions back to Judaism, the printing revolution, the Reformation and Counter Reformation, ghettos, gender, family, everyday life, material culture, communal structure, rabbinical culture, mysticism, magic, science, messianic movements, Hasidism, mercantilism, and early modern challenges to Judaism.
Mr. Sheppard

NEJS 142a Modern History of East European Jewry
[ hum ]
A comprehensive survey of the history (economic, sociopolitical, and religious) of the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe from the middle of the eighteenth century until World War II, with emphasis placed on the Jews of Poland and Russia. Usually offered every fourth year.
Ms. Freeze

NEJS 142b Secular Jews: Lives and Choices from 1750 to the Present
[ hum ]
A survey of the lives of Jews who since 1750 have seen their identity in new ways, either as individuals without religious faith but still identified as Jews or as adherents of ideologies which provided alternative definitions of Jewish identity. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Polonsky

NEJS 145a History of the State of Israel
[ hum ]
Examines the development of the State of Israel from its foundation to the present time. Israel's politics, society, and culture will be thematically analyzed. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Troen

NEJS 162a American Judaism
[ hum ss wi ]
American Judaism from the earliest settlement to the present, with particular emphasis on the various streams of American Judaism. Judaism's place in American religion and comparisons to Judaism in other countries. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Sarna

NEJS 162b It Couldn't Happen Here: Three American Anti-Semitic Episodes
[ hum ]
A close examination of three American anti-Semitic episodes: U.S. Grant's expulsion of the Jews during the Civil War, the Leo Frank case, and the publication of Henry Ford's The International Jew. What do these episodes teach us about anti-Semitic prejudice, about Jews, and about America as a whole? Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sarna

NEJS 167a Twentieth-Century Jewish Immigration to the United States
[ hum ss ]
Open to all students.
A historical survey of twentieth-century Jewish immigration to the United States, including East European, Sephardic, Cuban, Persian, Mizrahi, and Soviet Jewish immigrations. Regular readings will be supplemented by primary sources, immigrant fiction, and film. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sarna

NEJS 185a Conflict and Consensus in Israeli Society; Topics in Israeli Social History
[ hum ]
Not recommended for first year students.
Focuses on key topics in the shaping of the Israeli experience, including Zionist colonization; absorption of immigrants; shaping Jewish identity, personal and national, in a secular sense; and homeland/Diaspora relations. Comparative perspectives are employed. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Troen

NEJS 185b The Making of the Modern Middle East
[ hum nw ss wi ]
Open to all students.
Discusses the processes that led to the emergence of the modern Middle East: disintegration of Islamic society, European colonialism, reform and reaction, and the rise of nationalism and the modern states. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

POL 113b The American Presidency
[ ss ]
Philosophical and historical origins of the presidency, examining the constitutional role of the chief executive. Historical development of the presidency, particularly the emergence of the modern presidency during the twentieth century. Contemporary relationships between the presidency and the electorate, as well as the other branches of government. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Kryder

SAS 155b Cinema and Society: History, Film, and Visual Culture in Pakistan
[ nw ss ]
Explores the rise, fall and reprise of the Pakistani film industry against a backdrop of the country's tumultuous past and present. Films, throughout, will be studied alongside history as complex works of art; as mirrors and construction-sites of national identity; as discourses generating and disciplining sexualities and genders; as expressions of desire and disavowal; anxiety and transgression. The course will increase students' knowledge of Pakistan and its film history; of cinema as a cultural form and mode of critical and artistic expression; and of cinema culture and cinephilia as part of Parkistan's visual and media landscape. Special one-time offering, spring 2014.
Mr. Ahmad

SAS 164b Pakistan: History, State and Society
[ nw ss ]
Introduces the unsettled history and contemporary predicament of Pakistan. Theses examined include: Muslim nationalism in South Asia, contending perspectives on the country's origins, the complex relationship between U.S. imperialism and the post-colonial state, controversies associated with the so-called War on Terror, the escalation of sectarian attacks against minorities, and progressive public discourse and activism. The course asks: Is Pakistan a democracy in substantive terms? Will it survive, and what are the implications of this survival for its people and those living in neighboring countries? It concludes with a discussion of why the study of Pakistan has particular importance for America, which has historically invested heavily in fighting Communism and now Terrorism in South Asia and beyond. Through the study of primary and secondary texts, news media, school textbooks, and video clips, we pay special attention to history as it has unfolded against official discourse and in everyday lives. Special one-time offering, spring 2014.
Mr. Ahmad