Overview | Requirements | Courses | Faculty


History is one of the most vital and comprehensive subjects in the Occidental College curriculum. Our department offers a broad diversity of courses and approaches covering every time period, and cultures from all over the globe. Students will become familiar with intellectual, social, political, comparative and oral history, and may select from a wide spectrum of courses including such geographical areas as Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, the United States, and such topical areas as Women's History, the History of Science and Medicine, revolution and history in film. The faculty recognizes that students will develop their own perspectives on the material presented, and welcomes close interaction with motivated and involved majors. History is, after all, an exciting kind of detective work, finding and putting together the pieces of the puzzle to enhance our understanding of the past, but also of the present, and perhaps even the future. Some history majors go on to further studies in the field, but because of their wide exposure to various times and cultures, they are well prepared for almost any career. Besides providing a background for anyone interested in a truly liberal education, History helps prepare students for the fields of law, business, foreign service, librarianship, museum work, historic preservation, journalism, environmental studies, and teaching from primary and secondary through university levels.


MAJOR: The History major consists of a minimum of forty units, or ten four-unit courses. This includes two required courses (300 History Colloquium and 490 Senior Seminar) and three surveys from different geographical areas (United States, Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa/Middle East). Survey courses (the 100 series and some of the 200 series) cover a broad chronological time frame. Three of the remaining five classes should be additional upper division courses (in the 300 and 400 series). At least one course must deal with the pre-modern period. Students thus have the opportunity to sample a breadth of fields and periods. Of the ten required courses, at least seven must be taken in the History department, and no more than three will be accepted from other departments or institutions (see discussion of acceptable courses from other departments below).

Students with AP scores of 4 or 5 receive academic credit, but still need to take the requisite 10 courses for the History major. They may, however, be excused from one survey requirement, taking 2 rather than 3 area surveys, although we discourage this, believing as we do that our department courses are far more challenging and sophisticated than even the best high school AP class.

Students must have a grade of B- or better on the 15-page paper in History 300.

ACCEPTABLE COURSES FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS: The department occasionally accepts for history credit courses from such other departments as American Studies, Art History and the Visual Arts, Critical Theory - Social Justice, Diplomacy and World Affairs, English and Comparative Literary Studies, Philosophy, and Politics. These decisions are made on an individual basis in discussion with the student's advisor and/or the department chair. Courses that may be counted toward the major without petition are: American Studies 272, 280, 290, 295, and 390; ECLS 341. No more than three courses from other departments or transfer courses from other institutions (including study abroad courses) will be counted towards the History major.

MINOR: Five courses (20 units) in History from at least two areas, including History 300.

WRITING REQUIREMENT: Students majoring in History satisfy the final component of Occidental's college-wide writing requirement by successfully completing History 300. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major. See the Writing Program and consult the department chair for additional information.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT: Students meet their comprehensive requirement by taking History 490 in the fall semester of their senior year and writing for that course a 25-page paper that involves research and analysis of primary and secondary sources. They are required to turn in a 5-page prospectus of their project and attend several meetings in the spring of their junior year to prepare for History 490. Papers may concentrate on a geographical area or take a topical approach, such as History of Science and Medicine; Women's History; or Revolutions.

HONORS: Students with sufficiently high GPA (3.25) overall can write an honors thesis. Senior history majors pursuing honors will take the Senior Seminar in the fall and, if invited by the Senior Seminar instructors in consultation with thesis advisors, will extend their thesis work in the spring Honors Seminar. The honors thesis is a 40-page paper, which demonstrates excellence in historical research, writing, and analysis, written under the supervision of the Honors Seminar instructor, the thesis advisor, and a third faculty reader. Students planning to try for honors must make known their intentions in a written proposal early spring semester of their junior year. See the Honors Program for additional information.

DISTINCTION: Students are eligible for distinction if they receive an A or A- on their paper for History 490.

AWARDS: The R. Lee Culp Prize is awarded annually to a senior for the most outstanding senior thesis. The Edith Culp Prize is awarded annually for the best term paper or junior seminar paper. The Diana Culp Bork Prize is awarded annually for outstanding service to the department.


United States

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101 - United States Culture and Society

This course is an introduction to early North American/U.S. history reaching from colonization to the Civil War. Of particular interest in this course will be the theme of cross-cultural interactions in the midst of transforming economies, an expanding nation, and unequal power relations. We will combine a broad introduction to early American history with an in-depth look at five case studies of individuals and communities encountering each other across borders of nation, religion, race, gender, ethnicity, and class. Each case study offers a unique perspective on the question of how broad economic structures of colonization, slavery, and the market revolution shaped human encounters between natives and newcomers, captives and captors, slaves and slaveholders, northerners and southerners. Ultimately, these case studies encourage a critical rethinking of concepts of liberty, equality, and democracy, which have formed the bedrock of master narratives in United States history. Within the context of these broad, sweeping themes we will look closely at primary historical documents, produced by men and women of their time period and we will read carefully the arguments of historians in our own time. The class will emphasize history as a process of critical interpretation.


102 - United States Culture and Society II

This course provides an introduction to United States history from the Civil War to the early 21st century. Readings and lectures are structured around the core theme of American pluralism. They emphasize the changing demographics of the American population and consider the different strategies that Americans have used to negotiate this growing diversity over time. Topics covered include Reconstruction, Westward Expansion and Overseas Imperialism, Industrialization and the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression and New Deal, World War II and the Rise of Internationalism, the Cold War & Third World Decolonization, Immigration Reform & Comparative Civil Rights Movements, the Vietnam War and the Rise of Global Dissent, Conservatism and the “Reagan Revolution,” America’s Border Wars, and the Post-9/11 War on Terror. We will give particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, region, and class in the shaping of modern America. Other important themes include the expansion of federal power and government’s role in people’s lives, contests over national citizenship and identity, America’s changing role in the world and engagement with foreign peoples, and the demographic transformations wrought by international migration and conflicts.

206 - History of American Women

This course will examine the variety of female experiences in 19th and 20th century America by looking at the class, racial and ethnic dimensions that shaped women's lives. A second major concern will be to study women in the context of the historical developments of their time; reform movements, westward migration, industrialization and urbanization, will be examined in light of their impact on women's experiences and values. The course will also consider a number of themes, including popular images of women, women and sexuality, women and the family, women and work, women as consumers, and women as reformers.

208 - Immigrants in America, 1492 to the Present

What does it mean to say that America is a “nation of immigrants?” This course explores the creation of America through the arrival of diverse peoples from five continents over several centuries. Topics include the legal and political foundations of U.S. citizenship, the creation of the U.S.-Mexico border, the origins of illegal immigration, ethnic and diasporic identities, state power and resistance, popular culture, social movements, and the importance of race as well as gender and sexuality in shaping immigration policy and its enforcement. Special attention will also be given to exploring the diversity of immigrants’ experiences in America over time.

209 - The United States in the World since 1900

This course traces the United States’ rise to global superpower over the first half of the twentieth century; its engagement with and interventions in a decolonizing, Cold War world; and finally, its transition to its contemporary role as part of an increasingly multilateral and internationalist world order. Our investigation of US engagement with the wider world rests on the understanding that as America’s influence on the world grew, so did the world’s influence on America. Lectures and readings will cover America’s political and military dealings with other powers – that is, US diplomatic history as traditionally understood – but also address Americans’ cultural, social, economic, and intellectual interactions with foreign peoples both at home and abroad. Specific topics include US overseas imperialism, the US role in both world wars and the Cold War, the heightened significance of Asia and the Pacific World after 1940, internationalism and the creation of the United Nations, the emergence of the Third World and Washington’s ambivalent relationship to global decolonization, Americans’ involvement in the global revolutions of the 1960s, the economic upheavals of the 1970s, the end of the Cold War, and the politics of a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world.

210 - History of California

Oranges, Palm trees, earthquakes - California is so easily summarized by a few vivid images. Yet the history of the Golden State is even more active and vibrant than these iconic symbols suggest. In this course, we will witness the clash of colonial empires, and the effects on the people caught in the crossfire; we will trace the modernization and urbanization of the state, revolving around the dizzying rise of bawdy and wild San Francisco on the spoils of the Gold Rush; we will observe repeated clashes over resources and political will, following the paths of the utopians who wished to remake the society on the Pacific; we will visit the changing landscape of dreams and fantasy, from Hollywood to Disneyland; and we will ourselves engage with contemporary battles over public space, racial identity, and suburban sprawl. And, yes, there will indeed be oranges, palm trees, and earthquakes playing their roles in this complex and varied story as well. This survey course covers the entire sweep of the history of California, although it places particular emphasis on the past hundred years and on urban Southern California in particular.

213 - 19th c. Black Activism for Abolition and Equality

This course explores free Black political organizing from the American Revolutionary era through Reconstruction. Students will conduct original research into African American activism that stretched from New York to California, before and after the U.S. Civil War. We will explore the social networks and political institutions that nineteenth-century African Americans built to fight for civil rights, economic justice, and an end to chattel slavery. At the heart of the course is a digital humanities component that will involve students in researching the lives and ideas of individual Black activists. At the end of the course, we will contribute our collective research to the national website Colored Conventions. While engaged in original historical research, students will also be reading exciting scholarship on the rise of free Black communities in the U.S. and the emergence of African American institutions (churches, schools, press, political organizations). We will delve into questions such as: How did free African Americans from leadership to grassroots levels organize for racial equality, abolition, and community empowerment? How did class structures and gender ideology shape the dynamics of Black organizing? What transnational relationships and Diasporic identities did Black activists build in the protracted struggles for abolition and citizenship?

216 - American Jewish History

This course begins in the Colonial period and focuses on the unprecedented growth of the American Jewish community throughout the modern era. Historically, Jews have sought refuge and greater prospects in the United States from Spanish, Portuguese, Germanic, and Dutch lands, as well as from Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. By using a diverse framework of analysis, we will cover topics such as: the early settlers, Jews and the American Revolution, the German migration, the influx of Jews from Poland and Russia, New York City and the rise of the Jewish Lower East Side, the Jewish labor movement and politicization, Yiddish culture, suburbanization, the plight of Soviet Jews, the growth of insular ultra-religious communities, and disenchantment and hipster Jewish life today. Readings will consist of primary and secondary material.

277 - Women and Community Health

This course explores the history of women as promoters of community health in the diverse cultures of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States. Although women have not traditionally held power in mainstream biomedical occupations and institutions, women have nevertheless been critical to health and healing in local communities as caregivers, activists, and even scapegoats for disease. Furthermore, women's role in community health has been heavily shaped by gendered constructions of the body, disease, and wellbeing. Thus, while the focus of the course is on the social history of women's health and healing, the theoretical framework of the course also aims to explore how ideologies of gender, race, class, and sexuality shape the women's relationship to community health as both caregivers and health-seekers. The course is organized by a set of common themes that cut across time, space, and racial/ethnic boundaries in U.S. History. Themes include: spirituality and healing; work and health; sexuality and reproduction; activism for health justice.

295 - Topics in American History

American Frontiers
The Frontier is backcountry, ghost town, cowboys and Indians, prairie 
and homesteaders, ranchers and sodbusters. It is more than these 
familiar images, though: the American Frontier is the encounter of the 
Americas and the Americans - native and immigrant, from Europe, Asia, 
and Africa - with the rest of the world, a historical development that 
began in 1492 and is still going on today. Although this is a 
transnational phenomenon, this course is primarily concerned with the 
Frontier in North America and particularly in the American West and in 
California, viewing it simultaneously as place, process, and myth. In 
this course, we will also be doing our own original research in the
 Occidental Library's John Lloyd Butler Special Collections on 
Railroading, so students will have a chance to make their own mark 
upon the American Frontier.

Modern America: US History 1945 to Present
In this course we will examine the emergence of the U.S. as a world power, along with the challenges and realignments that ensued: the persistence and then erosion of the New Deal order, with its replacement by a politics more skeptical of a welfare system; the triumph of consumer culture; the growth of social diversity, both as an ideal and a reality; and the roles played by social movements, especially the civil rights movement, the women's movement, and the conservative movement. We will use a combination of primary and secondary sources as texts and students in addition will view a number of films from the era. Prerequisite: 1 course in history

U.S. Intellectual History Since 1865
This course examines major themes in the history of thought and culture in the United States since the late nineteenth century. Among other topics, we will consider the modern liberal-progressive tradition and its radical and conservative critics; the uneasy status of religion in a secular intellectual culture; cultural radicalism and feminism; consumer culture and its interpreters; the implications of American ethno-racial pluralism for national identity; the responses of intellectuals to hot and cold wars, the Great Depression, and the upheavals of the 1960s. In addition, course readings and lectures will introduce students to ongoing debates about the public role and responsibilities of intellectuals as a distinct social group. American intellectuals have long struggled to define their vocation as inquirers and critics. In the process, they have sought to understand how that vocation might best respond to the demands of a broader public sphere. Their efforts to balance intellectual integrity with civic engagement provide an opportunity to reflect on your own experiences as students and interpreters of the United States and its culture.

Women and American Politics A little under one hundred years ago, American women were denied the vote. Now women make up 53 percent of the electorate, women hold a record proportion of Senate and House seats, and the nation has nearly elected a woman president. The change is meaningful, yet the U.S. still ranks just 55th on the World Economic Forum’s index of women’s empowerment. This course will examine the history of women in American politics from 1920 to the present, with a focus on 1960 to today. Topics will include: the politics of sexual revolution, women in elections as candidates and voters, liberal and conservative women’s movements, women and gender in the political parties, feminism, the intersection of race, class, and gender in U.S. national politics, and public opinion on women’s issues. Most class sessions will include film, guest speakers, or group projects.

Sport and Society in the Americas Organized sport offers a literal and figurative arena in which national, racial, and gendered borders are often reinforced or undone. This course explores the ways sports constitute and disrupt social understandings of nation, race, gender, and sexuality within specific national contexts. Students will examine the cultural impact of a range of national pastimes across the Americas: from soccer in Argentina to baseball in Cuba, from cricket in Trinidad to college football in the United States. Students will be encouraged to examine these case studies in ways that move beyond comparative nation-based approaches to the study of sports and nation and instead analyze the ways sports operate as transnational phenomena. Students will also consider the impact of sports "beyond the playing field," including the political economy of stadium construction, the representation of sport in film, and the politics surrounding the persistence of Native American mascots in college and professional sports in the United States. Course materials include works by historians, geographers, social theorists and journalists who have also been key contributors to the burgeoning field of sports studies.

This course examines the historical experiences of people of African descent in the Americas from slavery to the present. The guiding questions of this course are: What is Afro-America? Where is it? How can we write the histories of African descended peoples in the region throughout the region? Can the histories of Africans and their descendants be contained within the confines of “nation”? Are there alternative frameworks (transnational and/or Diasporic) that can better enhance our understanding of these histories? While the course will begin in the slavery era, most of our attention will focus on the histories of Africans and their descendants after emancipation. Topics we will explore include: the particularities of slavery in the Americas, the Haitian Revolution and its impact on articulations of race and nation in the region, the emergence of racial segregation (legalized and informal), debates on “racial democracy,” the relationship between gender, race, and empire, and recent attempts to write Afro-American histories from “transnational” and “diaspora” perspectives. While historians have written most of the work we will read in this course, we will also engage the works of anthropologists and sociologists who have also been key contributors to this scholarship.

America in the Middle East
This course is a history of American Foreign Policy in the Middle East from the First World War to the present day.

304 - The American Revolution, 1760-1815

This course considers the American Revolution as a broad social transformation whose origins preceded the conflict over British taxation and whose consequences stretched beyond the ratification of the Constitution. We will explore the cultural and social origins of American independence and recognize the role of Native Americans and enslaved Africans in shaping the political and military conflict. The course will devote significant attention to the early republic and the effort of diverse Americans to find a meaningful freedom in the new nation.

306 - The Emergence of Modern America: the United States 1919-1945

This course will cover the domestic history of the U.S. from 1919 to 1945 and the social, cultural, and political changes accompanying America's evolution into a modern society. Themes include: developments in work, leisure, and consumption; impact of depression and war on the organization of the public and private sectors; persistence of traditional values such as individualism and the success ethos in shaping response to change; and the diversity of America's people and American experience. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of at least one American Studies or History course.

307 - Happy Days? America 1946-1963

This course concentrates on the 1950s and encourages students to move beyond the stereotypes of Happy Days. Using movies, music, television, and written texts, the class will explore the tensions of the Fifties, the era of overt repression and covert rebellion stretching from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. Themes include the Cold War and McCarthyism, early rock 'n roll, the Beats, the Bomb, civil rights protests, HUAC, the "feminine mystique," sexuality, and cultural icons such as Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of at least one American Studies or History course. CORE REQUIREMENT MET: UNITED STATES

309 - Slavery in the Antebellum South

This course examines the southern region of the antebellum United States as a "slave society", that is, a society in which slavery was central to the region's economy and a powerful slaveholding minority held the reigns of political power. We will examine the rise of a "peculiar" institution of southern slavery and the impact of chattel slavery on southern households, political institutions, and cultural practices. How did the institution of slavery shape the lives of southerners differently depending on race, class, gender, and geography? In what ways did the centrality of an institutionalized system of human property shape the social relations and lived experiences of enslaved African Americans, common whites, slaveholding planters, and Native Americans of the South? How did these groups of Southerners draw upon religion, violence, and ideologies of sex and race both to challenge and reinforce the southern social order? Finally, what did the South as a region come to mean to other antebellum Americans as sectional conflicts heightened in the 1850s? Students will explore the social and cultural history of the antebellum South through primary documents, first-person narratives, film, fiction, music, and extensive secondary scholarship.

390 - Research Seminar in History

History of Consumer Culture in the US 1880-1980
The consumption of goods, services, and experiences has been an important element in the history of the United States, from the seventeenth century to the present. However, the century beginning in 1880 transformed the nation into a modern consumer society. This research seminar provides a lens through which to explore such issues as the impact of mass media on society; the gendered, racial, ethnic, and class issues that shape the experience of consumption; the role of the United States in the global development of modern consumption; and the ways in which the intersections of consumption, production, and politics shaped the nation. This seminar has two focal points. First, reading contemporary historical scholarship provides both models for students' own research and ways of understanding issues such as the power relationships that undergird a consumer society and the moral challenges consumption has posed. Second, as the semester proceeds, attention will increasingly turn! to original research projects that draw on the widest variety of sources, such as visual culture, novels, newspapers and magazines, and the literature of social protest.  What is the intellectual justification of the course? This course examines the rise and significance of consumer culture in the U.S. It will introduce students to important secondary works on consumer culture in the U.S. and will teach research methods and skills. Prerequisite: Satsifactory completion of at least one History course.

395 - Special Topics in American History

Reading and Writing Los Angeles. Major urban centers such as Los Angeles have always been evocative locations for cultural representation. The densely packed topographies, rich and diverse social interactions, and complex hierarchies of power and influence situated in these exemplary places lend them an air of excitement and mystery. These same factors that inspire intriguing urban literature, film, and journalism also make cities exemplary subjects for historical investigation. In this course, we will employ a strategy of documentary archaeology to reconstruct the relations of power, race, gender, and ethnicity embedded in the historical landscapes of Los Angeles during the twentieth century. Through archival research (in Occidental College's Special Collections and elsewhere), close reading of cultural artifacts, and careful exploration of scholarly works, we will seek to uncover something of the fabric of everyday social history in the noir megalopolis.

Life in the Mosaic: 160 Years of Jews in Los Angeles.  The story of Jews in Los Angeles is both familiar and unique. Familiar because it is a story of the growth of Los Angeles and the mobility of its citizens. Unique because Jews have been at both the center and the margins of influence in the political, social, and cultural movements that have created contemporary Los Angeles. This course explores, from the beginning of the American era to the present day, the pivotal roles Jews have played in the shaping of Los Angeles, and the reshaping of Jewish identities, communities, and perspectives by the opportunities and challenges found in Los Angeles. By examining how Jews have negotiated, and continue to negotiate, the complexities of life in Los Angeles, the course offers students an opportunity to consider the processes of social incorporation, marginalization, and fragmentation against the backdrop of urban development. Using the perspective of one of the many diverse groups that have transformed the region, it anchors historical change in a comprehensible narrative. By considering how the place and myth called Los Angeles has shaped Jewish identities, the course offers students an occasion to reflect on their own notions of self-identity, community, and society in the twenty-first century. The course themes and topics are derived from an exhibition to be mounted at the Autry National Center in Spring 2013. Through course assignments and related activities, students will be able to contribute to the development of the exhibition with their original research, as research and editorial interns, and through analytical critiques of various elements of the exhibition. The combination of class and field work will allow students to acquire experience in historical research, interpretation, and public presentation.

The US Since 1945This readings course will focus on the cultural, social, and political dimensions of the history of the United States, from 1945 to the present. Among the topics under consideration will be race, ethnicity, gender, consumer culture, religion, social movements, as well as the intersection between politics, culture, and globalization. The texts studies will be major books by historians, political scientists, sociologists, and non-fiction authors. Prerequisite: One History course

California Since 1940. California Since 1940 Before World War II, California was in many ways an agricultural settler society, far removed from the global currents, which propelled it to world prominence in previous centuries. But the war transformed the Golden State into an industrial powerhouse and brought dramatic social changes, which would define the nation throughout the twentieth century. In this class, we begin with the Depression and War to witness the birth of a new, noir California, particularly in Los Angeles, and trace the intersection of military/technological expertise and leisure culture as it produced the counterculture, Internet, and personal computer revolutions that would once again place California at the center of the world. Prerequisite: One history course

The Arts and Public Life in Modern America
An exploration of the ways in which the arts have influenced public life in the United States since the early 20th century and have, in turn, been shaped by competing visions of democratic citizenship. In addition to examining the public interventions of artists, we will study the history of institutions ranging from museums and government cultural agencies to local community arts groups.  The course combines seminar meetings with visits to area sites and organizations.

Transportation and Place in American History. How have our ways of moving through the world affected our understandings of familiar spaces around us? Can we think of transportation technology as a form of mass media that has changed over time, thus altering perceptions of even the most familiar landscapes? In this course, we will explore several historical modes of perceiving and navigating the landscapes of American cities, and particularly greater Los Angeles, ranging from the pedestrian city to the metropolis of railroads and streetcars (including the famous Pacific Electric system) to the sprawling megalopolis of automobiles and freeways. We might even speculate what a transit and pedestrian Los Angeles of the future might look like - will it be a return to the past, or betoken new ways of understanding, and organizing, our everyday urban spaces? Central to this exploration will be extensive research in the college's John Lloyd Butler Special Collections archives on railroads and their history and on Southern California in the twentieth century. In this process, students will carry out original archival research, culminating in a significant paper reflecting both their own research discoveries in the archives as well as their new perspectives on American urbanism in Southern California and elsewhere. Prerequisite: One history course. Same as UEP 395

History of the Early American Republic. The early American republic has a nebulous scope or more accurately, a loose endpoint. It refers to the historic period starting just after the American Revolution, and its endpoints range from the War of 1812, the election of Andrew Jackson and in its current and most expansive form, the start of the Civil War. Regardless of dates though, the overarching narrative defining this field is the formation of the first American Federal Union replete with the seeds of its own unraveling. This seminar will examine seminal moments and topics of the early republic including republican ideologies, the contested construction of a federal system, the growth of party politics, westward expansion, changing views and contests over slavery, the dynamic politics and social identities of Native peoples, the rise of industrial capitalism, and concomitant new ideas and social reform movements about religion, labor, race and gender. Taken together, the specific topics addressed also will reveal broader transformations in political ideologies and social custom from the commercialized, patrician-governed Atlantic world of the 18th century to the more proto-liberal, isolationist democracy of the mid-19th century United States.

History of North American Borderlands. Frontiers” of Northeastern America, “Borderlands” of southwestern America, both terms refer to contested terrain—spatially, economically, politically, culturally. Frontiers/borderlands describe regions on the periphery of states, on the edges of empires, colonized places where private violence and extractive economies are common characteristics. Hybridity and cultural contingency also typifies frontiers/borderlands; they are places where “cultures meet” and change in the process. In this seminar, we will examine different cases of North American borderlands in order to compare and contrast the specific conditions that create and sustain these dynamic lived spaces that defy dominant geo-political identities. The course will focus primarily on North American borderlands over the 17th-19th-centuries, and thus it also takes up broader European and American imperial histories. For each colonial culture, we need to take into account, among other things, the specific geographies, timing, imperial policies, and the local cultural beliefs and politics among diverse groups of inhabitants. The texts for this course, however, not only explore the stories of different borderland regions, but they also highlight specific themes and the central historical question of what constitutes a “borderland;” what aspects define this phenomenon? Additionally, we will consider the evidentiary problems particular to borderland histories, both through our own readings of primary texts and by comparing the methodologies and arguments made by historians.



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121 - Antiquity to 1700: Europe and the Middle East

A survey of multiple Western civilizations and their interrelationships. Among ancients, we shall study Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Hebrews, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. In medieval times, we shall examine Catholic Europe, Greek Orthodox Byzantium, Islamic Civilization, and their interrelationships. We shall consider the treatment of women and of minorities, and shall highlight travelers between civilizations. We shall conclude with the European Renaissance and Reformation, Turkish hegemony in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the shift in trade from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean as modern science and enlightenment challenge traditional civilizations.

122 - Europe 1700 to the Present

The course emphasizes the political, social and economic implications of the "twin revolutions," the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution. Themes include the rise of nationalism, new nation-states, urbanization, the emergence of the workers' and women's movements, and the crisis of liberalism. We trace the political, social and economic legacies of the 18th and 19th centuries through to Fascism and the post-World War II era. Discussion sections to be arranged.

220 - Ancient Athens and Renaissance Florence

This course provides an opportunity to vicariously "live" in historical cities considered to be creators of democratic or representative forms of government as well as of great literature and art. Historian Thucydides, comic Aristophanes, and philosopher Plato draw us into Athenian politics and culture; likewise, Lorenzo de' Medici and Machiavelli inform us of Florentine politics and culture. Monumental architecture and sculpture continue to serve to decorate and sustain the individuality of each city. By examining documents of daily life (including court cases) and the luxury products of the diverse crafts, we increase our knowledge of the controversial behavior and productivity of a wide spectrum of women and men. By focusing on two cities in their "golden age," the class will emphasize the shared positive, as well as negative, characteristics of ages historians have designated as "golden." Students may petition for 300-level credit for this class with the completion of additional work arranged with the instructor.

223 - Rise of French Culture

History of France and of French creativity in literature and in the visual arts from the High Middle Ages to the Age of Enlightenment (12th to 18th centuries). Students may petition for 300-level credit for this class with the completion of additional work arranged with the instructor.

224 - Marco Polo to Machiavelli

Italian Renaissance & Exploration This course offers a chance to come to know a variety of individuals who lived in and travelled from the Italian peninsula in the 1300s, 1400s, and 1500s. We shall journey to the Far East with Marco Polo, meet peoples of the Mediterranean, and "visit" the republics of Venice and Florence, the papal court of Rome, and the ducal courts of Urbino and Mantua. We shall enjoy distinctive creations in literature, education, philosophy, and the arts, and read letters about S. American peoples from Amerigo Vespucci. Diplomat Machiavelli witnessed independent Italian city-states fall to French and Habsburg conquests and described such realistic politics; courtesan Veronica Franco successfully practiced her sexual trade while writing poems celebrating her true love as well as her mercantile city-state. Students may petition for 300-level credit for this class with the completion of additional work arranged with the instructor.

226 - The Age of Encounters

As the early modern network of trade shifted from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean, the Portuguese, the Spanish, the French, the Dutch, and the English competed for trade and for colonization of peoples newly encountered. We shall evaluate Renaissance arts and letters, traveler reports and images of peoples of South America, and Protestant Christianity and the Catholic Counter-Reformation with subsequent competition among missionaries and European states for converts around the globe. We shall discuss amusing short satires by the most famous Northern humanist and humorist Erasmus, A Short Account of the Devastation of the Indies by protester of cruelty Las Casas, and empirical scientist Bacon's scientific utopia New Atlantis. Students may petition for 300-level credit for this class with the completion of additional work arranged with the instructor.

230 - European Intellectual History

This course is a critical survey of some great ideas that have shaped Western civilization. We will consider, among others, Homer, Sophocles, the Presocratic philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, Cato, Marcus Aurelius, The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, the Scholastics, Machiavelli, Luther, Copernicus, Galileo, Bacon, Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Condorcet, Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir.

234 - The Crisis of Interwar Europe

The class examines the political, social and economic crises which shook the nations of Europe in the two decades following the First World War. In particular, we address the character of the crisis, the varied European responses to it and the challenges represented by the end of the First World War, Depression, Fascism, the Second World War and the Holocaust. While assessing the nature of the social, political, economic crisis of interwar Europe, we will also pay close attention to historiographic debates on the rise and nature of Fascism and the origins of the Second World War. We focus strongly on primary sources, such as the novels, film and art of the era. Topics include the "Lost Generation," the Weimar Republic, the Spanish Civil War, and the Popular Front in France.

235 - Cultures of Violence in Twentieth Century Europe

This course examines the history of modern Europe with a focus on popular and state-supported ideologies of exclusion and violence in the long twentieth century, 1890-2011. Central to this course is a focus on the discursive boundaries of civil society based on race and class. Throughout the course we situate European developments in a world-historical framework as a way to understand the increasingly interdependent political, social and economic relationships between Europe and the colonial periphery. We begin in fin de siècle Europe and trace the polarization of national politics and the development of the contending state ideologies of fascism and communism. We explore the consequences of various programs of decolonization as well as the popular revolts against cultural diversity and post-colonial immigration to the metropole. The course also investigates the origins and consequences of the neo-liberal "revolution" of the 1980s, the ethnic violence stemming from the disintegration of the Soviet Union and eastern bloc nations, and the return of the radical right throughout Europe in the 1990s. Our course readings combine secondary and primary sources, literature, as well as a wide range of cinematic and musical sources in order to understand the evolution of European notions of race, national belonging and political violence.

236 - Jewish Life in Europe

This course covers the ruptures and changes which characterize Jewish life in Europe for over two thousand years. However, we will focus on the social, political, religious, and economic encounters between Jews and other European peoples in the modern period. To this end, the course will encompass topics such as: early migrations under the Roman Empire, Medieval scholarship and persecution, efflorescence in the Muslim Iberian period, the birth of Ashkenaz, the Spanish Inquisition, shtetl life, Jewish Enlightenment, urbanization, secularism and the rise of nationalisms, Hasidism, the Holocaust, and postwar Jewish life up to today. Readings will consist of primary and secondary material.

237 - History of Feminism

This course will trace the development of feminism in Europe and the United States and will consider policy issues in applications of feminism in contemporary American law and within the global human rights movement. In early modern times, popular conceptualizations of the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and class divided women from each other just as feminism emerged from a debate on women's nature to a debate on opportunities for women: to be educated, to write, to speak out, to preach, to express one's individuality in dress and demeanor, to work in one's chosen occupation. For the transformation in political theory from Lockean family representation to Suffragette individual representation in the state, we shall explore the literature on "rights" from Wollstonecraft to United Nations declarations on Women's Rights. Participating in contemporary feminism, students will debate alternative viewpoints on issues such as abortion, violence against women, and discrimination; and we shall also experience together a diversity of feminist films.

271 - Herstory: Women in European Culture

This seminar will focus on the various ways exceptional women made their mark over the course of Western civilization. We will examine women in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Romantic period, and the 20th century. Examples of outstanding female contributions will be drawn from literature, the arts, the sciences, philosophy and politics. We will do intensive readings of primary texts by and about these women. Students will choose particular individuals to study and research in depth and in the context of their period. Open to sophomores and juniors only.

328 - Age of Enlightenment

Ideas, politics and society in 18th Century Europe, especially France, where challenges to authority and tradition boosted confidence in reason and progress and eventually exploded the Old Regime. Particular attention will be given to the "republic of letters" of the philosophes whose mission was to bring about reform by "changing the common way of thinking." The role of women in this "salon" society will be examined, as will such controversial works as Dangerous Liaisons and the writings of the Marquis de Sade. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of at least one History course.

330 - The French Revolution and the Birth of Haiti

The Storming of the Bastille, the Great Fear, the Women's March, War with the rest of Europe, the September Massacres, the King's trial and execution, Robespierre's Republic of Virtue, the Reign of Terror, the Thermidorian reaction, the rise and fall of Napoleon, the impact of the rhetoric of revolution overseas, the end of slavery in France's colonies, the transformation of French colonial Saint Domingue from slave colony into the new nation of Haiti, and the meaning of "liberty, equality, fraternity" for our own time.

336 - Modern Italy, 1789 to the Present

This course traces the creation and development of the modern Italian nation state. We will study Italian politics and society as Italy moved from a group of separate states toward a unified government and culture. Starting in the late 18th century, the course covers themes such as, the character and legacy of Italian unification, the Southern Question, Fascism, postwar parliamentary democracy. Prerequisite: one European history course.

337 - The Great Depression

The Great Depression of the 1930s was the most significant crisis of capitalism in modern history. It was global in its reach, decreasing economic output and production and bringing international trade and finance to a halt. Businesses and households suffered from banking crises, the restriction of credit, as well as the loss of employment. In the recent 2008 financial crisis, the memory of the Great Depression has often been invoked as a possible worst-case scenario. In this course, we will study the economic and historical circumstances that led to the instability of the economies in the 1920s and the devastating crash that followed. We will learn about the underlying economic models that explain the devastating economic collapse and analyze the political, social, and cultural ramifications of the widespread economic crisis. These include the political challenges to the existing systems of parliamentary democracy embodied in Fascism and Nazism, as well as those from the left. We will examine the social implications of massive unemployment and mass poverty, including homelessness, family dissolution, and "hoboism." We will look at cultural responses to the crisis, including attempts to realistically represent the crisis, as in the "New Realism" movements, and efforts to offer distraction from the devastation, such as the Shirley Temple and Busby Berkeley Hollywood films. We will also discuss the role of the interwar Gold Standard in propagating the crisis and look at policy measures taken to stimulate economic activity. Last we will analyze the macroeconomic lessons that have been learned from the Great Depression and look at their implementation and effectiveness in fighting the current economic slump. We will focus on the United States and selected European nations. Prerequisite: Economics 101 or 102. Same as Economics 337. 

345 - The Holocaust: History, Testimony, and Memory

The Holocaust: History, Testimony, and Memory will be a research seminar which confronts the history of the Holocaust through in-depth investigations into survivor testimonies and commemoration and memorialization. The course will examine the genocide of the European Jews by the National Socialist regime, introduce students to the history of Europe from 1919 to 1945, and raise questions about the moral and ethical legacies of the Holocaust. During the semester, we will use a variety of visual and written sources to document and analyze the systematic and bureaucratic murder of European Jews by the Nazis. Using the survivor testimonies archived at the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and the museum installation at the Museum of Tolerance, we will interrogate the emerging fields of witnessing and testimony in relationship to the memory of the Holocaust and the phenomenon of Holocaust commemoration and memorialization. We will ask questions about how individuals and society assimilated the experience of genocide: what narrative choices, what linguistic choices, and what visual choices did survivors and the larger culture make when remembering and commemorating the Holocaust? In this way, the course will be interdisciplinary combining the methods and sources of history, Jewish Studies, cultural studies, and art history. Prerequisite: One course in History



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141 - East Asian Survey Since 1600

A survey of Chinese, Japanese and Korean societies from the late 16th century to the present. The focus will be on the transformation of their traditional order from relative isolation to the confluence of East-West history. Several themes to explore include the clashing of cultural values, maritime trade, persistent Confucian values vs. rising forces of imperialism, nationalism and revolutionary ideologies, contrasting roads taken by each society in order to meet the challenges of modernity, cultural debates over gender and generational issues, and contesting appeals of western ideologies, from liberalism to fascism and communism. Finally a review of the post-WWII era: opposing alignments in the U.S.-led Cold War, socialist state building and experimentations, military rule, democracy Asian-style, fundamental societal changes, including youth and mass culture, successive economic "miracles," and China's re-emergence as a global power.

242 - Imperial China

A chronological and thematic survey of the Chinese civilization from neolithic times to about 1600. Major themes will include the nature of the Chinese world order, family and lineage, gender issues, philosophical and religious transitions, political authority and its ideological underpinnings, dynastic cycles and broader patterns in socio-political movements, interactions with other civilizations, and the impact of technological and demographic changes through time. We shall use the comparative approach on specific themes to illuminate contrasts and similiarities between Chinese and western societies, and take note of recent archeological finds and new scholarly interpretations to better understand its dynamic past and rapidly changing present.

243 - Modern China: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Revolution

Chinese history from about 1600 to the present: encounter with the West, maritime trade, the growth of the domestic economy, the rise of the Manchus and territorial expansion, internal decline, rebellions, imperialism, and revolution. Modernization efforts, ideological struggles, and the cultural and economic transformations under the People's Republic.

245 - China and the World

This course will look at the relationship of China to the world over the last 600 years. It will emphasize the global flow of trade goods and commodities, ideas and ideologies, and religions and people. And it will look at the shifting position of China within modern international relations, including a critical investigation of the Cold War, Thirdworldism, the environment and development, and neoliberal globalization. Students will gain a working knowledge of both Chinese and world history. They will be encouraged to question the narratives we tend to tell ourselves about world history and China’s role in it. This is particularly important as the interaction of China and the U.S. has been increasing markedly over the past few decades. We will call into question narratives of the “rise of the west,” just as we will call into question the contemporary discourse on the “rise of China.” Same as DWA 245

246 - Pre-Modern Korea

According to legend, the Korean people were born from the union of the son of the "Lord of Heaven" and a bear-woman, with a good measure of garlic and mugwort aiding the process. From these mythic origins, tracing roughly 2000 years of Korean history, we will end with the forced opening of the Korean peninsula, and people, in the mid-nineteenth century. The main objective of this class is to impart an understanding of the major social, cultural, political, and intellectual developments that occurred along the way.

247 - Pre-Modern Japan

This survey will examine Japanese history from the emergence of the samurai class in the twelfth century to the Mejii Restoration of 1868. We will begin by considering the origins and rise to power of warriors as a discrete social group. Next we will look at the balance of power between the Kyoto court, the new warrior government in Kamakura, and the powerful Buddhist institutions that defined the culture of the medieval period. We will then examine the disintegration of central authority under the rule of the Ashikaga shoguns, leagues and other local attempts to organize independently, and the concomitant cultural efflorescence of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The course will conclude by examining the political structures, popular culture, and social stratification of the early modern (Edo or Tokugawa) period. 

248 - Modern Japan

This course covers the history of Japan from the 1868 Mejii Restoration to the present, with particular focus on the emergence of modernity, the Pacific War, and popular culture. The first section of the course will examine Japan's modern revolution in the Mejii Restoration; industrialization and modernization in the Mejii Period; and the development of Japanese colonialism. The second section of the course will focus on the Pacific War, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the American Occupation, with particular focus on the politics of gender and race. The third section of the course will look at Japan's explosive postwar economic recovery and the consumer and popular culture it produced.

249 - Modern Korea

Korea is unique, or so say the Koreans. In many ways, it is. Politically, of the democratic nations in the world, south Korea is one of the precious few to have achieved democracy through the blood and sacrifice of its everyday citizens, that is from the bottom up. Economically, after the Korean War, Korea was one of the poorest nations in the world ranking below sub-Saharan countries in terms of GDP; now, it is a member of the G20. This survey will begin with the forced opening of the "Hermit Kingdom" in 1872, and conclude with the twenty-first century international phenomenon of K-pop.

295 - Japanese Imperialism & the Modern Korean Identity

In this course, we will explore the complex interplay between Japanese imperialism, colonial occupation, and the formation of modern Korean identities. Beginning with an examination of shifting premodern relations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we will move onto theories addressing imperialism, nationalism and Orientalism. Students will be asked to assess the applicability of these theories to early twentieth-century Korea under colonial occupation in particular, and to non-Western societies in general. Special emphasis will be devoted to the themes of national consciousness, identity formation, gender, class, socio-economic development and industrialization, resistance and collaboration. Prerequisite: 1 History course.


295 - Topics in Chinese History: Peasant China in Transformation

Throughout the twentieth century, the Chinese state as well as various political movements attempted to transform the peasantry into modern productive citizens. While all of these projects sought to modernize China by transforming and reorganizing the peasant, most of them failed to change the peasant as planned. When these projects reached the village, they were altered by peasants, local elites, and the logics of village life, leading to unintended consequences. Course topics will include: late imperial attempts to strengthen control over village life; organizing peasants for revolution; early twentieth century cooperative movements; socialist land reform; rural gender relations; the Great Leap Forward and the commune system; the Cultural Revolution in the countryside; sent down youth; the private lives of peasants under socialism; the return to household-based farming in the early 1980s; and, contemporary protest and attempts to organize peasant cooperatives. Through film, personal accounts, fiction, and primary and secondary sources, we will take an intimate look at Chinese peasant society in transformation.

344 - Contemporary China: Reform, Rise, and Crisis

One of the fastest growing economies in the world and most rapidly urbanizing societies, China has risen to a central role in the world today. Yet this rise has been fraught with problems and tensions that threaten its continued development. This course looks at the social, political, cultural, environmental, and economic development of contemporary China (from the 1970s to the present), and asks how do we know contemporary China? This is a hands on research course in which students will learn how to find, evaluate, and use sources to understand present-day China from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Latin America

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150 - Colonial Latin America

This course provides an overview of the historical evolution of Latin America from 1492 to 1820. The course begins with an introduction to the indigenous, Iberian, and African backgrounds and traces the convergence of cultures and ethnicities that shape Latin American societies and cultures. The course examines this process of change through the writings of Latin American men and women who reflected upon the peoples and culture of their own times. Topics of study include race and ethnicity; gender; class; native resistance to colonial rule; and Afro-Brazilian religion.

151 - Modern Latin America

This course offers a survey of postcoloial Latin America as a process of cultural transformation, political struggle, and economic change. We will explore the complex challenges of colonial legacies posed to emerging nation-states in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and seek a balance between engaging particular histories and larger processes common to the region. The first section of the course introduces themes of the nineteenth century: colonial heritage and the different routes taken to political independence; the political, economic, and social challenges of independence in a multi-cultural context; citizenship and race, and the development of export agriculture. The second section introduces themes of the twentieth century: industrialization; revolution; U.S.-Latin American relations; and select intellectual trends. Students will use a variety of sources including scholarly works, films, and primary sources to engage these topics and issues.

252 - Religion in Mexico, PreColumbian Times to Present

This course offers a broad survey of Mexican religion from pre-Columbian times to the present. The course begins with the study of Nahua (“Aztec”) spirituality and ritual and continues with an examination of major developments of the colonial period as indigenous, European, and African peoples came together with their many different beliefs and practices. We will study indigenous strategies of both resistance and accommodation to the imposition of Catholicism, the origins of the devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Mexican Inquisition, millenarian movements, missions, and women in the church in the colonial period. Our study concludes with the anti-clerical reforms of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, the Cristero Rebellion, increasing influence of Protestantism, and the persistence of local religions in modern Mexico. Students will analyze historical documents, religious dramas, confessional manuals, Inquisition records, paintings, sculptures, and films in their examination of the history of religion and spirituality in Mexico.

253 - Modern Mexico City

This interdisciplinary course will survey the urban geography and cultural history of Mexico City from the late nineteenth century to the present. Through a range of sources including photographs, literature, film, art, architecture, and public spaces, we will chart the growth of the oldest capital in the Americas as it developed into the world’s original mega city and what journalist David Lida argues is the capital of the 21st century. The lectures and discussions will center on a series of overlapping questions: How did Mexico City take shape culturally and physically in the modern era? What traces remain of the colonial city? How should we conceptualize and theorize the city? How have different social groups and individuals negotiated and appropriated urban spaces? What have been the political and environmental consequences of the city’s explosive growth? Through writing assignments and digital mapping we will develop sensitivity to historical contingency in the development of urban space and skills for cultural and visual analysis.

258 - Mexican Politics in the Twentieth Century

This course offers an introduction to some of the major issues and themes in the political history of twentieth-century Mexico. We will examine a century of Mexican history covering the late nineteenth-century authoritarian regime of President Porfirio Diaz, the Mexican Revolution, the post-revolutionary corporatist regime of the PRI, and finally, the transition to democracy with the decline of the PRI and the crises in Mexican society in the late twentieth century. A focus on the use of cultural history to understand Mexican politics will engage the analytical categories of class, gender, ethnicity, and hegemony. We will pay particular attention to the process by which the state and grassroots society in Mexico have developed a relation, which shaped the course of the nation and its popular culture.

354 - The History of Race in Latin America

This course examines historical and cultural constructions of race from the time of contact between indigenous, European, African, and Asian peoples in the colonial period to the present. We begin with the establishment and evolution of the ethnic hierarchy in the colonial period, focusing especially on African slavery in Latin America, interethnic interaction among Iberians, indigenous, and Africans, and attitudes toward marriage, sexuality and racial mixing. The course continues to explore a broad variety of themes in the modern period, including racial ideology and national policies and identities, immigration, the marketing of whiteness, the legacy of slavery, and Afro-Latino and indigenous social movements. The class focuses on Mexico, the Caribbean, the Andes, and Brazil, but we will not neglect to consider many other places, such as Venezuela, Central America, and California. Prerequisite: one History course.

355 - Indians of Mexico

This course on Mexican history studies the complex cultures and civilizations of indigenous peoples from prehispanic times to the present, focusing especially on the Nahua ("Aztecs"), Maya, Mixtec, and Zapotec. The course examines the cultural survival of native peoples who have faced the challenges of conquest, devastating population loss, secondary status under Spanish colonial rule, constant exposure to external influences, and continuing exploitation to the present. The course traces the evolution of native community organization, art forms, social structure, and religion in the colonial and modern periods and considers native responses to contemporary issues, such as migration, environmental degradation, and social injustice.

357 - Environmental History of Mesoamerica

Renowned for its dramatic scenery from the desert of Sonora, to the coasts and reefs of the Yucatán, to the volcanoes of the Sierra Madre range and cloud forest of Monteverde, Mesoamerica is also known for its increasingly unmanageable and overpopulated capitals such as Mexico City and Guatemala City. The variety of natural and built environments in Mesoamerica has produced a diversity of social, cultural and political landscapes. This seminar explores the ways in which different cultural groups have perceived, used, managed, and conserved the Mesoamerican environment from colonial times to the present. We will address a number of interrelated questions about the relationship between Mesoamerican societies and the environment. How have natural environments established parameters for human economic and social activity? How have Mesoamericans interpreted and then reshaped their environmental surroundings to satisfy their supposed needs? What impact have race and gender had on perceptions of the environment? What have been the environmental consequences of the colonial subsistence and agro-export economies, the nineteenth century infatuation with progress, and the twentieth century creation of industrial and urban conglomerations under the aegis of developmentalist ideologies? What is the historical geography of five centuries of sustained degradation and sporadic conservation of Mesoamerica’s bio-physical environments? How have different groups of Latin Americans interacted in their quest to manage, control, and distribute natural resources? We will pay particular attention to how the relationship between humans and their natural and built environments shaped Mesoamerica’s social and political development. Prerequisite: at least one of the following: HIST 150, HIST 151, LLAS 101, UEP 101, POLS 210

359 - Mexico-United States Borderlands

This course traces the history of a region that has undergone a series of extensive transformations in the last three hundred years. In the modern era, it changed from a periphery of the Spanish empire, to provinces of northern Mexico, and finally, to the southwest region of the United States. The area is a site of complicated and overlapping histories marked by processes of colonialism, diaspora, and nationalism. With particular attention to issues of race, gender, place, and power, we will examine the Mexico-U.S. borderlands through Chicana/o history, Mexican history, and U.S. Western history, as well as through fiction and art that explores the themes of boundaries, the body, and space.

Middle East and Africa

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182 - The Social and Cultural History of the Modern Middle East

This is a survey course in which we will explore the cultural and social historical experience of the Middle East from the nineteenth century to the present. Our goal in this class is to develop a sense of how people in the region view themselves and their history. We consider the currents of social change wrought by political and economic transformation, focusing particularly on the rise of new social movements and cultural currents. Here we will focus on issues of gender, religion, new social categories and notions of personhood and new forms of collective and individual identity. Finally, we look at the emergence of modern nation-states and their attendant juridical notions of citizenship and minority status.

183 - Middle Eastern History Since the Nineteenth Century

This is a survey course in which we will explore the political and socio-economic history of the Middle East from the over from the beginning of the Ottoman reforms of the 1830s until the present. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of the events of the past two centuries. In addition to the Ottoman reform period we will look at the rise of Mehmet Ali in Egypt, the incorporation of the region into the world economy, WWI and its continuing legacies in the region, the development of the Arab/Israeli question, the revolutions of the 1950's and the populist regimes they brought to power, the crisis in Lebanon, the Iranian Revolution, the war between Iran and Iraq and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. We will also consider some of the principal features of the economy of the region: agriculture and land reform; oil and state, and labor migration from poor states to richer ones.

282 - The Muslim World In Modern Times

The term "Muslim World" is often criticized as imprecise. After all, Muslims constitute a fifth of humanity and live on six different continents. Nevertheless, Muslims often describe themselves as constituting a single community with shared sets of concerns. This class engages these differing views through an examination of the lives of Muslims over the past two centuries of globalization, colonialism, post-colonialism, nationalism, and ever changing technologies of transportation and communication. Our inquiry will concentrate on how Muslims were caught up in and reacted to and, in turn, influenced the Great Transformation that reshaped the entire world over the past two centuries. Dealing with issues from state building to women's rights to radical militancy, this class considers the various features of what we might call Muslim Modernity.

283 - Peasant, Tribe and Nation in the Middle East

This course examines the role of peasants and tribal formations in the process of nation and state building in the modern Middle East. In addition to looking at some of the empirical and theoretical problems inherent in defining and writing about "peasants" and "tribes" we will also consider how nationalism complicates these issues even more. We will investigate the ways that rural populations were incorporated into, or excluded from, the processes of state-formation. Finally, we will look at how representations of peasant/tribe in ideologies of state-building and nationalism shaped social and political relations within some of the region's nation-states. While we will discuss the region as a whole, we focus most of our attention on two empirical cases: Iraq and Egypt.

385 - Identity Formation in the Modern Middle East and Africa

This course explores histories of the Middle East and North Africa over the last century and a half through an examination of identity formation. In the simplest terms, this means we will study the ways that people in the region came to understand themselves and their place in the world. Specifically, we will consider the intersections of religion, nationalism, colonialism, economic and “minority” status and gender/sexuality in the emergent nation-states of the region. Prerequisite: successful completion of one History course.


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274 - Medicine And Disease In Western Society

A study of three aspects of the history of medicine: theory and practice from ancient times to the present; great doctors and healers, both male and female, examined in their social contexts; the effects of epidemics, such as the Black Death, on the course of Western civilization. We will end with some historically based speculations about the medical future.

278 - Twentieth Century Decolonization in Global Perspective

This sophomore seminar aims to rethink imperial and postcolonial history from the perspectives of the colonized and to consider how decolonization, one of the most important political developments of the twentieth century, impacted local lives. The timings and patterns of decolonization are extremely varied so we will narrow our focus to the core periods of decolonization in Asia and Africa from the 1920s to 1960s and nationalism and revolution in Latin America from the 1920s to 1980s. We will also consider the Third World Movement in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. We will define decolonization as the political struggle for legal sovereignty as well as social movement for moral justice and political solidarity against imperialism, both formal and informal and external and internal. Topics will include the role of metropolitan and international politics; economy and labor; nationalism and anticolonialism; race and ethnicity; and gender and sexuality in the Pan-African movement; decolonization in India and the Middle East; the nationalist movements of China, Vietnam and Indonesia; and the revolutions of Mexico, Cuba, and Central America. Enrollment limited to sophomores.

312 - Race, Rights & Revolution In The Atlantic World

The circulation of labor, goods, people and cultures between Africa, Europe and the Americas created an Atlantic World whose history transcends continental and national boundaries. This course examines the relationship between race, rights, and revolution during the Atlantic Age of Revolution that stretched from roughly the mid-eighteen to mid-nineteenth centuries. In particular we will explore how Revolutions in British North America, France and Haiti influenced the movement to end the slave trade and slavery in the Americas and galvanized slave revolts and other movements for Black liberation and human rights around the Atlantic World. A variety of readings including autobiography, social and political history and ethnography, will illuminate not only the history of the Atlantic World but new forms of scholarly writing that break the mold of national historical narratives. Themes include: slavery, slave revolt, the discourse of human rights, resistance, religion, labor, and shifting ideologies of difference, in particular gender, class, and race. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of at least one History course or permission of instructor.

353 - Catholicism and Social Justice in the Americas

This seminar explores the cultural and social history of progressive Catholic activism throughout the Americas in the twentieth century in order to understand Catholicism’s contributions to the development of a robust public sphere and faith based counterculture. Through transnational and interdisciplinary approaches, we will examine the role that lay Catholics and rebel priests and nuns have played in the struggle for economic justice, human rights, and world peace. Topics will include the Catholic Worker Movement; liberation theology; the Marycrest and Solentiname experiments; Base Ecclesial Communities; death penalty abolition; peace networks; Catholics for Choice; New Ways Ministry; and the Sanctuary Movement. Los Angeles as a field of study will occupy a significant place in our exploration with site visits to the El Salvador Community Corridor, Catholic Worker communities, and Homeboy Industries. Prerequisite: HIST 102 or HIST 151 or LLAS 101

376 - Genocide and the Ethical Crisis of Modernity

This course confronts the difficult and profound ethical, social, and political questions unleashed by the crime of genocide. The idea, actuality, and experience of genocide in the twentieth century have raised questions about the very nature of society and humanity. By studying the genocidal crises of the modern age, from the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to the Holocaust to the contemporary genocide in Darfur in the Sudan, we are forced to consider the darkest chapters of modern history and the ethical trauma which follows in their wake. While most students have heard of the Nazi-perpetrated Holocaust which murdered the Jews of Europe, the other genocides of the last hundred years are less well known. This course, by comparing the societies which experienced genocide and the conditions which produced it, will examine the psychological, cultural, and societal roots of human cruelty, mass violence, and genocide. With this in mind, this course will take a chronological and thematic approach to introducing students to the history of genocide.

395 - Imperialism: Theories And Practices

Imperialism is defined as "the practice, the theory and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan centre ruling a distant territory" (Edward Said). This semester, we will explore the diverse interpretations of this concept and its manifestations, including its relations to the political, economic, social, and cultural. Descending from the realm of the abstract, we will ground these theories in historical case studies, to name just a few, the British, French, and Japanese Empires. Lest we forget, imperialism is a dialectic movement not just between theory and practice, but perhaps more importantly, between the imperial subject and subjected.


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300 - History Colloquium

This course introduces students to the practice and writing of history through topical approaches. Students will explore methodological approaches to historical inquiry, conduct research projects, and improve their writing skills. Prerequisite: one History course. This course may not be used to satisfy a Core requirement. Open to majors and minors only, or may enroll with instructor's approval.

The Mexican Revolution. Studies of the Mexican Revolution have been at the forefront in the development of modern Latin American social, political, and cultural history. The studies have also contributed to comparative discussions in world history about the meanings of revolutionary experience in the twentieth century. However, historians and other social scientists have reached no consensus about the Mexican Revolution from its periodization to its actual existence. This seminar will examine the competing set of interpretations alongside primary sources to analyze the origins, course, and legacy of the Mexican Revolution. Prominent historiographical themes for the course include: conflict between elite liberalism and mass mobilization; agrarian reform and unionization within a capitalist project of development; corporate representation of social interests; the institutionalization of revolution; race, gender, and class in nationalist rhetoric; and, the role of art, education, and science/technology in state formation. Open to majors and minors only, or may enroll with instructor's approval.

Reel History. This course will examine some of the ways that the history of France has been represented in films. Joan of Arc, The Return of Martin Guerre, Ridicule, The Rise to Power of Louis XIV, Danton, La Nuit de Varennes, Abel Gance's Napoleon, and Night and Fog are among the great movie classics to be analyzed. We will also deal with recent theoretical work on "historical" cinema. Are images as valid as written text when making meaningful connections with the past? Open to majors and minors only, or may enroll with instructor's approval.

Writing the History of the Middle East. This course is a junior seminar on recent developments in the research and writing of history as practiced by professional historians of the modern Middle East. We will look at the history of historical writing about the region and the transformative developments in the field over the last thirty years or so. The objective is to cultivate your awareness of historiography and historical criticism. Historiography can be defined as the history of historical interpretation. Historical criticism refers to how we understand history as an object of study. To appreciate various modes of inquiry in the field, we will read exemplary texts embodying established traditions and new departures as well as critical works on the ideological roots of particular fields of history. Open to majors and minors only, or may enroll with instructor's approval.

The Fascist Revolution: Politics, Culture, and Soc.
This History 300/ Junior Seminar closely studies the period known as Fascist Italy (1922 to 1945). Through a close analysis of the politics, culture, and society of Italy under Fascist dictatorship, we study the causes, character, and ramification of the Italian abandonment of democracy in the wake of World War I. Because it is a History 300 historiographic seminar, we examine the central debates of the field, such as whether Mussolini ruled primarily through coercion or consent, the extent of Fascist race ideology, and whether the regime was "modern" or "backward-looking." Other major themes include Fascist cultural modernism, gender and Fascism, and the Italian road to empire and World War II. This course uses primary sources, such as translated documents, memoirs, and diaries, as well as contemporary historical analyses. Prerequisite: Majors and minors only, or with Instructor Permission

Writing World History
This junior seminar investigates various approaches to writing world history. The course is designed to help history majors understand historiography and historical criticism. By studying recent approaches to world history, students will learn how historical debate shapes the writing of history, how historians approach and critique each other’s work, and how different styles of historical research and writing have developed over time. Open to majors and minors only, or may enroll with permission of instructor. Prerequisite: One History course

Re-Assessing European Global Encounters
The  20th-century national movements of liberation from modern European colonialism initiated new histories of the previous early modern age of exploration (1300-1800) from the point of view of the enslaved, the conquered, the exploited, and the newly liberated. Each student will be writing a historiographical essay revealing changing interpretations of one distinctive global encounter. Historians are re-assessing on the Mediterranean both the Crusades and piracy and kidnapping. Scholars specializing in trade or colonialism of a particular nation-state such as Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, England, and France are re-considering specific settlements and trading ports on the Atlantic and Pacific Rims. Class work will enhance student skills: we shall be discussing exemplary recent historical films and histories, and we shall learn how to efficiently find diverse viewpoints through on-line and printed sources.  Prerequisite: Open to majors, minors, and others with instructor's approval. Prerequisite: Open to majors and minors only, or may enroll with instructor's approval.

Histories of the French and Haitian Revolutions
Many histories have been and continue to be written about these revolutions, and they differ from each other substantially. This course examines this scholarly literature, taking into account the choices historians make as they compose their narratives. We will examine the roles of race, class and gender in these accounts, why different events and social groups are featured centrally in some but not others. And we will consider such controversial criteria as "accuracy," "truth," "evidence" and even "fact," all of which are interpreted in numerous ways within the historian's craft.


397 - Independent Study in History

Reading tutorials, off-campus internships, and research projects are among options available. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
2 or 4 units

490 - Senior Seminar in History

In this fall semester seminar students will write a major paper that involves research and analysis of primary and secondary documents. Papers may concentrate on a geographical area, or take a topical approach, such as History of Science and Medicine, Women's History, or Revolutions. In addition, the seminar participants will read works by historians reflecting on their craft. The seminar culminates with individual oral presentations on the thesis research to the Department and campus community.

495 - Honors in History

The honors seminar is designed for history majors who have completed the History 490 Senior Seminar and have been approved by the History 490 instructors to continue on as candidates for Honors designation. Over the course of the semester, each honors thesis writer will work with the seminar instructor on advanced methodologies and multiples drafts to expand his/her original research and revise the thesis from a 25-page paper to a 40+-page paper. The seminar will culminate with a program of oral presentations, in which each student will share his/her work with the Department and the campus community.
Prerequisite: HIST 490


Regular Faculty

Sharla Fett, chair

Professor, History; Advisory Committee, American Studies

B.A., Carleton College; M.A., Stanford University; Ph.D., Rutgers University

Wellington K. K. Chan

National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Professor of the Humanities; Professor Emeritus, History (1971-2010)

B.A., Yale University; B.Lit., University of Oxford; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University

Alexander F. Day

Assistant Professor, History; Affiliated Faculty, East Asian Language and Cultures

B.A. Colby College; M.A., Ph.D. UC Santa Cruz

Lynn Dumenil

Robert Glass Cleland Professor of American History, Emerita (1991-2014)

B.A., USC; M.A., Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Michael Gasper

Associate Professor, History

B.A., Temple University; M.A., Ph.D., New York University

Nina Gelbart

Professor, History

A.B., Harvard University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago

Jane Hong

Assistant Professor, History

B.A. Yale University; A.M., Brown University; A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University

Maryanne Horowitz

Professor, History

A.B., Pembroke College, Brown University; M.A.T., Harvard University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Lisa Sousa

Professor, History; Chair, Latino/a and Latin American Studies

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., UCLA

Marla Stone

Professor, History

B.A., Pomona College; M.A., Ph.D., Princeton University

On Special Appointment

Jeremiah Axelrod

Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, History

B.A., Williams College; Ph.D., UC Irvine

Daniel Horowitz

Visiting Professor, History

B.A., Yale; Ph.D., Harvard

Paul S. Nam

Part-Time Non-Tenure Track Associate Professor, History

B.A., Williams College; M.A., Ph.D, UCLA

Bethel Saler

Billington Visiting Professor of US History

B.A., Bryn Mawr College; M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Affiliated Faculty

Jonathan Veitch

President and Professor Affiliated Faculty, History

B.A., Stanford University; M.A., Harvard University; Ph.D., Harvard University

Xiao-huang Yin

Professor, American Studies; Affiliated Faculty, East Asian Languages and Cultures; Affiliated Faculty, History

B.A., Nanjing University; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University