Ancient Mediterranean World
This survey of the Antiquity considers the development and interaction of cultures in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. In so doing, it includes not just political developments but also the history of everyday life from religious traditions to the status of women and children. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
Medieval and Early Modern Civilization
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major concepts and complications of pre-modern European history. The span of this class is ambitious: it begins with the fall of the Roman Empire, and it concludes at the cusp of the French Revolution. Because we are dealing with centuries of history, and a plurality of people and cultures, this course is really designed to present students with an overview of the era, and to stress the foundations of Western Civilization. Thematically, this class deals with topics such as the rise and splintering of the Christian faith, the emergence of political institutions in various nation-states, the changing constructs of sex and gender norms, the development of global capitalism, and the evolution of secularism in literature and in art. General Studies Foundations-Humanities.
20th Century World History
A global perspective on the main developments of the twentieth century: the legacies of the nineteenth century, the world wars, decolonization and the Cold War, world social and cultural changes, and globalization
World History I: Foundations of World Civilizations
This course will introduce students to the general characteristics of the major civilizations and the epochs of world history to 1500. It will combine a general overview of global developments and a concern with the common elements in the human experience with specific study of the development of major distinct traditions in Southwest Asia, the Mediterranean, India, China, Europe, Japan, Africa, and the Americas. Students will be encouraged to see events from a global rather than narrowly Eurocentric perspective. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
World History II: The Making of the Modern World
Survey of modern world history, focusing on the integration of the Old and New Worlds through the establishment of European colonial and trading empires, the global effects of the Scientific, Political (U.S. and France), and Industrial Revolutions, the impact of nineteenth-century European imperialism, the effects of the world wars on the global balance of power and decolonization, and the aftermath of the Cold War and the contemporary era of "globalization." Stresses the interactions of world culture zones in the exchange of goods, peoples, and ideas rather than pursuing a Eurocentric perspective. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
United States 1585-1800: The Origins of American Civilization
The new societies that emerged in North America in the 17th and 18th centuries were the products of a much broader process of migration, cultural encounter, conquest and exchange that began to accelerate in the Atlantic world after the Columbian voyages of the 1490s. As it turned out, some of these societies also formed the origins of the United States as a nation and the seeds of many of the institutions and impulses of American life. This course explores the colonial and revolutionary periods from both these perspectives. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
The United States in the Nineteenth Century
The 19th century in the United States, as in many other regions of the world, was a period of fundamental and astonishingly rapid social and economic change. A capitalist world system, in which the American economy played an increasingly important role, implicated more and more people in a planetary web of market relations. Over the same period the process of industrialization altered the material bases of production and consumption with profound implications for the nature of work, the structure of families and people's perceptions of time. In every aspect of human endeavor- politics, business, science, literature, the arts, sexuality and gender relations, child rearing - individuals, groups, and institutions struggled to adapt and to make sense of these changes. Our task in this course is to pose and to begin to answer a series of questions about these changes and these responses. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
United States History Since 1865
The major themes of 20th century America are examined - political and economic changes, technological advances, new social patterns, the impact of sports and leisure, and problems of injustice and social breakdown. The continuity of these developments is contrasted with changes that were forced upon the U.S. by specific events - stock market collapse, depression, war, '60s trauma and Reagan conservatism. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
History of Race and Ethnicity in the United States
Race and ethnicity have played a significant, complicated, and more often than not, a misunderstood role in US history. This course will survey the ways that race and ethnicity have been constructed and understood by Americans from the colonial era to the present, focusing on the way that class, gender, culture and politics, as well as biology, have defined race and the way that race and ethnicity have supported ideologies that have been used to both empower and subordinate the denizens of the United States. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
US Women's History
In this course, we will explore the ways in which society shapes our notion of what it means to be a "woman" and how women design and create their own lives. Our objective is to develop an understanding of women's experiences in such areas as family, relationships, work and politics. Throughout the course, we will explore how women of different races, classes, ethnicities and sexual orientations raise questions about their experiences and come into conflict with and make alliances with other women. The course will begin with an examination of pre-contact indigenous women and end with women in the present day. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
Social History of Medicine and Public Health in the United States
This course offers an introduction to the history of medicine and public health in the United States from the colonial period to the present. It will address themes such as the emergence of the medical profession, the rise of the hospital, the relationship between medicine, science and politics, and the role of medicine in defining and interpreting bodies, health, and disease. Students will explore these themes through historical documents, secondary sources, and historical monographs. General Studies Connections-Humanities
Healthy Cities: History of Urban Public Health in the United States
This course offers an introduction to the history of urban public health in the United States from the colonial period to the present. It will address themes such as the changing definition of public health, from the control of contagious disease to the promotion of health, the battle to replace traditional ways of maintaining health with more efficient ones (keeping in mind language and cultural differences), the clash between individual civil liberties and protecting the public and the impact of economic conditions and changing political views. We will start the course with a discussion of public health in colonial and revolutionary Philadelphia, move to a discussion of tuberculosis (the most urban of the nineteenth and early twentieth century diseases) among African Americans in Baltimore, take a detour out West to discuss public health among Mexican, Japanese and Chinese immigrants in California and conclude with an examination of the contentious world of politics and public health in New York City from the 1960s through the AIDS epidemic, 9/11 and the smoking and soda wars of the recent past. General Studies Connections-Humanities
History of United States Popular Culture
This course traces the changes in American popular culture from the Revolution to the present, focusing on the increasing levels of mediation represented by print, spectacular performance, radio, television, movies and recorded music. The course will narrate a history of the United States through popular culture, and by analyzing the once-fashionable products of earlier eras students will come to understand the significance of the popular culture of our own time. Because America's popular culture altered as well as reflected the trajectory of American history, giving voice to and shaping the identities of Americans, this course also considers the intersections of popular culture with American political, economic, and social history by considering the ways that popular culture can be used to challenge social orders and the ways in which it can be co-opted and made to perpetuate social orders. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
American Indian History
This course is designed to provide you with an overview of the history of the U.S. West as well as a thorough introduction to the practice of scholarly history. The notion of the "frontier" and its retreat in the face of the nation's inexorable growth has become a national narrative bearing considerable cultural, social, and political power. The history of the US West has furnished Americans with some of our more potent and enduring sources of national identity and myth. Historians have come to agree that the historical record of the region is far more complex and that the American West, one of the most multicultural and multinational regions in the United States, has been home to a wide variety of peoples from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds that have played significant roles in shaping the history of not only the region but the of the nation.
US Working Class History
This course examines the history of work and the working class in the U.S. By tracing the history of the rise and decline of the American labor movement, the nature of cultural and political organizations, workers' relationships with other social groups, leisure time and amusements, and the role played by gender, race, and ethnicity in uniting or dividing the working class, the course will attempt to provide answers to questions like: What is a social class?; How did American social classes form and how have they evolved?; What has been the significance of class as a force in shaping US history? While the class is designed to proceed chronologically through US history from the Early Republic to the present, it is not meant to be a comprehensive historical survey. Rather, it will attempt to cover the more salient events and trends in American working class history in the context of a broader American history.
The imposition of colonial administrations and economies by European powers at the end of the 19th century produced the central drama in the recent history of Sub-Saharan Africa. Discussions of African geography and the characteristics of precolonial social organization and cultural expression serve as prelude to the problem of colonialization. Consideration of independent Africa, with its political and subsistence crises, raises questions of intercultural contact (and conflict) and the nature of historical change.
This course is the study of African-Americans since the days of the slave trade. Through the course, students carefully review the facts of black history, expose the many myths about the black past, recognize the horrors and effects of bigotry and intolerance that were so present throughout history, and apply this information to our understanding of black/white conditions in today's America. A specific core text, the works of many African-Americans (Douglass, DuBois, Wright, Malcolm X, Angelou, and others), documentary films, feature films, analytical essays, and lectures are the sources that lead to an understanding of this important subject. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
U.S./Latin American Relations
The great Latin American "liberator," Simón Bolívar, commented that, "The United States seems destined to plague us with miseries in the name of liberty." This course examines the historical development of the relationship between Latin America and the United States from Latin American independence to the present, concentrating mostly in the 20th century. It examines specific historical examples, including the Spanish-American War, the Panama Canal, the occupation of Haiti, the Cuban Revolution and the drug wars in Colombia. It also examines how this relationship developed in specific historical contexts, such as the Cold War. Students will discuss how the historic relationship and the present day context impact relations between Latin America and the U.S. today.
Keystone: Pennsylvania in the Wider World
Ethnically pluralistic, liberal, and commercial from the start, early Pennsylvania was probably a better indicator of what the United States as a whole would become than either Puritan New England or the Slave South. That role as a trendsetter makes Pennsylvania a useful test case, a small but clear window through which to study the broader forces that have transformed the world over the past three centuries: cultural encounter, the industrial revolution, labor migration, race relations, and de-industrialization.
Pirates, Plantations and Sugar: History of the Caribbean
The Caribbean is an incredibly diverse region that boasts a rich and complex history. This course examines the history of the Caribbean from the time of the indigenous groups up to the 20th century. Students look at the indigenous cultures that preceded Spanish colonization, the shock of colonization, the age of the pirates and buccaneers, the growth of the plantation economy and the slave trade, the age of independence and the modern period. They will examine the modern period by studying four case studies - Haiti/Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth (English Speaking) Caribbean.
Ancient Cultures of Latin America
The great civilizations of the Americas flourished centuries before the Spanish arrived (uninvited) to those shores. There were three great regions in Latin America in which cultures developed – in what is today central Mexico, in southern Mexico and northern Central America, and in Peru. The final civilization in each of these regions was the Aztec, Maya, and Inca respectively, yet these empires were built on the foundation of the important civilizations that preceded them. The course will be divided into three sections, and in each we will discuss one of these regions. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities
Latin American History
This survey course examines Latin American history from the time of Columbus' first voyages to the end of the 19th century. The course discusses the contact between and mixtures of diverse peoples in the Americas, especially the pre-Columbian populations, the Spanish and Portuguese, and the Africans brought forcibly to the Americas as slave laborers. It covers period of conquest, the colonial period, the wars of independence and the first decades of nation building in Latin America in order to build a foundation in Latin American history. The course examines political, economic, social and cultural factors and how they played off one another throughout the 400-year period. The readings are a combination of primary texts and scholarly works on Latin American history. Film is used to explore parts of this history. The course format is a combination of lecture and discussion. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities
Dictators and Revolutionaries in Latin America
In the 20th century, Latin American nations have experienced cycles of revolutions, democracies and dictatorships. Revolutions have taken the form not only of familiar guerrilla-based insurrections, but also right-wing military coups. This course examines this cycle of revolution, democracy, and dictators by looking at several of the key revolutionary movements and some of the long dictatorships that have shaped Latin America during that century. Specifically, it examines the Mexican Revolution (1910-present), the Cuban Revolution (1959-present), and the Zapatista struggle (1994-present), and the political situations that either preceded or followed these revolutions. It also examines some of the right-wing coups and populist movements, specifically looking at cases in Argentina and Chile. Finally, students will discuss if revolution remains a viable way to promote change in Latin America in the 21st century.
Russia and the Soviet Union
This course examines the history of Russia beginning in 1861 and carries it to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The themes covered include the causes of the decline of Tsarist Russia; the revolution of 1905 and the rise of Marxism Leninism; Lenin and the 1917 revolution; the social reforms of the new regime and the invention of "the new Soviet Man"; Stalin's consolidation of power; the Soviet Union's "Great Patriotic War"; the de-stalinization process; Soviet involvement in the Cold War; underground life in the Soviet Union; Gorbachev and Glaznost; and the post-Soviet Republics. Several novels and films are analyzed to understand the nature of life in the Soviet Union.
Gender, Women and Power in the Global South
This course explores the complex gender dynamics of women in non-Western societies during the years of Western imperialist domination, nationalist resistance struggles, and the post colonial era. This course begins by deconstructing the term "Third World" and seeing how that term can be read against the context of imperialism. This course examines gender constructs in the Global South (formerly Third World) through a variety of written and visual materials including autobiographical accounts, ethnographies, historical fiction, films, and slides. Topics include patterns of gender domination and female resistance; the interplay of race and gender hierarchies under colonial rule; the Western gaze and representations of Third World "primitive" Gender, and the feminization of labor and the global economy, reproductive strategies, and sex trafficking. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities
Heroes & Villains: A Cultural History of Fame
This course examines changes in the ways that different societies have chosen or recognized great individuals from their midst and the evolution of the reputations of heroic figures from earlier generations. As a history of knowing or perceiving, the course spans a broad chronology, from antiquity to the present day, and takes particular note of the media - oral traditions and myths, epics, coins, art and architecture, printed biographies and autobiographies, photographs, songs and electronic representations- through which glory has been conveyed. Among particular cases to be addressed: Jesus of Nazareth, Samuel Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
East Asia to 1800
This course provides a broad overview of the premodern histories of China and Japan, focusing on their institutional and cultural interaction, and their influence on the cultures of Korea and Vietnam. Subjects range from the early development of Chinese philosophy and statecraft to the development of the distinctive warrior ethic in Japan, from the elaboration of official court culture to the emergence of popular cultural forms. Throughout the course, students consider how Western images of East Asia have shaped our understanding of its civilizations.
East Asia from 1800 to the Present
This course examines East Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries with special emphasis on China and Japan. The course includes the opening of East Asia by the Western powers; the modernization process; Japan's rise to major power status; the Chinese Republican revolution; Japanese imperialism; the War in the Pacific; the Communist take-over of mainland China; the Korean War; Japan's post-war reconstruction; the Chinese Cultural revolution; the post-Mao era; and Japan's importance in the Western economy. General Studies Foundations-Humanities
History of England I
This course traces the History of England from the pre-historic and Roman era through the Saxon and Norman monarchies through to the Tudors and the Stuart dynasties. Careful attention will be given to social and religious history along with the rise of parliament and the evolving role of the monarchy.
History of England II
This course is a study of England from 1760 to the present, emphasizing industrialism, imperialism, and the growth and decline of a liberal intellectual and political tradition.
From Byzantine to Ottoman: Middle East 500-1500
This course traces the articulation and development of Islamic Civilization from the appearance of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century CE to the spread of this civilizational impulse throughout much of Eurasia and Africa by the 15th century CE. We will concentrate on the historical evolution of Islamic Civilization's political, religious, cultural, and institutional aspects during this period. While the course is primarily organized on a chronological basis, the following topics will be covered in thematic lectures: literature, law, philosophy, theology, mysticism, and the visual arts.
Gunpowder Empires: Ottomans, Safivids and Mughals: Middle East 1500-1900
Surveys Middle Eastern history from the era of Sulayman the Magnificent, the sixteenth-century Ottoman sultan, to the end of the nineteenth century. Geographically, focuses on the lands of the former Ottoman Empire, Persia, and Iran. Thematically, focuses on the transformation of state and society under the impact of a changing world economy and European colonialism.
Introduction to the Modern Middle East
This course seeks to outline the major transformations of the Middle East over the past two centuries, giving due weight to both internal changes and the influences of the global power structure. Although the main emphasis will be on such traditional concerns as high politics and economics, changes in the cultural and social lives of Middle Eastern peoples will also be addressed. In particular, we will examine how the large-scale developments in the region -those at the state or empire level -affected ordinary people of both sexes and all ethnicities and religious affiliations, through reading and discussing the life stories of a number of individuals from all walks of life. As well, we will use primary -source materials to gain an appreciation of how historians do their work and to reach our own interpretations of Middle Eastern history.
A preliminary examination of medieval contributions to the Renaissance is followed by a thorough analysis of the rise of Italian urban culture, the family in context with the Renaissance, religious movements, the papacy and the Church in an era of change, the revival of classics, the dynamic movements in art, humanism in Italy and Christian humanism in the north along with the changing nature of monarchy in the north.
This course will provide a comparative study of spiritual belief and practice in Europe between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. Rather than unpacking heavy theological or doctrinal issues, however, this class is more interested in the European peoples’ experiences in this era of transition from a monolithic religion to a plurality of spiritual options. We will explore late medieval efforts to reform the Church and Catholic practices; the rise of Protestantism and its cultural ramifications; the Catholic retaliation to the new religious challenges; and the economic, political and social changes that both laid the foundation for and evolved in response to European-wide reform efforts. Overall, what we will find is that this is a tumultuous and bloody era, filled with intolerance and persecution, of nationwide Wars of Religion and local conspiratorial plots against perceived enemies, as each faith was convinced that their way was the only way. It is only after the slaughter of thousands of people that the notion of religious toleration emerged. General Studies Foundations-Humanities.
This course is designed as a survey of the major political, social and cultural events and trends that define the trajectory of modern French history from the French Revolution to the present. Two essential problems have defined the broad trajectory of the French history in the 19th and 20th centuries: first, how to deal with the legacy of the Great French Revolution of 1789-1794 and how to deal with the explosive social tensions that industrialization generates. These issues also affect matters of national identity, class conflict, the proper relation between the society and the individual and the role of society (through the state) in regulating economic activity. History can serve as an interesting lens through which to examine these problems because, like other nations, France responded to these problems in its own way, which included five republics, four kings, two emperors, two world wars and one Fascist regime. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities
This course offers an introduction to major events and themes of modern German history. It focuses on continuities and ruptures in German society during the eras of the Second Empire, the Weimar Republic, National Socialism, the competing Republicans and the (unified) Federal Republic of Germany. Major questions include the supposed "special path" to industrial and state formation; the impact of total war; the importance of confessional difference in culture and society; the effects of economic and political crisis; the emergence of the "New Woman"; the nature of Nazi dictatorship; the conditions of genocide; the development of democracy; the German "economic miracle"; the East-German state; and the social and political consequences of German unification. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities
History of American Foreign Relations
A survey of American diplomatic history from the Revolutionary War to the present, with emphasis on the emergence of the United States from a position of isolation to a position of world prominence. The course concludes with an examination of America's role as the leader of the free world.
Women's Work: A Comparative Historical Perspective
This course focuses on the productive labor of half the planet's people over the span of human history. Needless to say, we will not pretend to "cover" all that the topic entails. Instead, a number of theoretical perspectives and certain historical questions flowing from them will help students begin to make sense of some of the work that women have done in different geographical locations and in a range of specific agricultural, industrial and post-industrial settings. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities.
History of the Family in Latin America
The family, as both a cultural expression and a socio-economic unit, has played a seminal role in the historical development of Latin American. The study of the family is important not only for understanding society, but for understanding the ways in which political and economic power is structured in the region. The course will divided into two parts: part one will examine the colonial period and the nineteenth century, and part two the twentieth century. In each section we will discuss different issues that have confronted Latin American families, such as family responses to the challenges of the church and/or the state; how poverty and wealth affect and create different types of families; how race and ethnicity play a role in the family structure; how families help to structure the economic realm of Latin America; how poverty perpetuates family disintegration, and some of the proposals of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to try to mitigate that situation. Finally, we will briefly discuss the issue of migration and family in Latin American and the United States. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities
Living on Earth: An Ecological Approach to the American Past
This course brings a wide range of new ways of making sense of more than 500 years of American history. Much more than a chronicle of the environmental movement, the course considers the interrelationships among various lifeforms- plant, animal, microbial - in particular landscapes and climates, human strategies and technologies for wresting a living from the Earth, and value systems that have long promoted or, more recently, questioned economic developments, the basis for the American Dream. Particular themes include the impact of disease on American demography; conflict between Indian and European uses of land; the introduction of exogenous species and the extinction or near-extinction of indigenous ones; development of industrial-capitalistic modes of resource exploitation in the 19th century; and the social costs of that exploitation in our time. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities.
History of the US West
American Indians have played a significant role in the economic, political, social, and cultural evolution of the United States. Through primary source and scholarly readings, lectures, discussions and critical writing assignments you will come to understood some facets of the diverse, rich, and significant history of North America's indigenous peoples. This course will survey the history of North America's idigenous peoples from the era of contact to the later twentieth century. At times the course will focus on the history of American Indians in their own right, at other times on issues of contact, conquest, and cultural and political accommodation. Of course you will become acquainted with some of the more well-known American Indian historical actors-Dakota chiefs such as Red Cloud or Sitting Bull, for example -and some of the crucial eras of American Indian history - like the Plains Wars -but you will also learn about less well-known indigenous women and men and become knowledgeable about broader regional and chronological transformations in American Indian history that may not be as widely understood.
United States Social History
This course alternates between two themes. The American Family, 1600-1900 addresses the gradual transition from the patriarchal family model of the Colonial period to the more mutual relations of Victorian America, and the relation of private life to social change through an examination of such topics as demography, gender, Revolutionary ideology, industrialization, and childrearing practices. The course examines significant differences and divisions within American society; the sources of these divisions in immigration patterns, economic development, and cultural expression; the ways in which different eras have understood class and ethnicity; and the attempts of institutions such as the church, the school, the law, political parties and the government to exacerbate or ameliorate social divisions.
United States Economic History: The United States as a Developing Country
This course seeks to account for the remarkable economic growth which has taken Americans from the starvation of Colonial Jamestown through the commercial and industrial revolutions to the undeniable, though ill-distributed, abundance of the post-industrial present. The ecological, religious, and technological preconditions of economic growth receive attention as do the political, social, and individual consequences of that growth. The drama is carried forward by a full cast of economic actors: farmers, merchants, slaves, industrialists, inventors, workers and consumers - male and female, adult and child alike.
The World War II Era
The World War II era witnessed transformations in social, political, and economic orders across the globe. This course traces the domestic and international developments of the era and assesses the war's legacy. Though to a certain extent military events frame the chronology of events, the course will not focus exclusively on military history. The course will also highlight global events like the rise and fall of fascism, the Holocaust, the rise of anti-colonialism and movements of national independence, the rise of superpowers, and the emerging Cold War while considering the wider political, social, economic, and cultural historical developments and transformations. Through the careful, critical consideration of the stories that participants told themselves about the war as they experienced it, and the stories that historians and the public have created and told since in order to explain the significance of the event, this course will provide a forum in which you will gain a deeper understanding of the era as well as the practice of history itself. Fulfills US, European or World History requirement for History concentrators.
The City in American History
This course explores the development of American cities from the colonial time to the present. Great emphasis is placed on the relationship of the growth of cities to the larger social, economic, and political developments in American society. The newer quantitative techniques used to describe historical developments in urbanization are also emphasized.
Women and Gender in Latin America
This course follows the history of women and gender ideologies in Latin America from the beginning of the colonial period up to the present. In the first half of the course, the colonial period, students discuss European gender expectations in Latin America, and look at the responses to those expected roles that many women took: mother, lover, nun, wife, widow, plantation owner and adventurer. The course looks at the very different experiences of and standards for non-European women in the Americas. The second half of the course looks at women in Latin America from the mid-19th century up to the present, again exploring different roles those women assumed, from workers, to suffragettes, to artists, politicians and revolutionaries. The course also looks at gender ideologies such as patriarchy, machismo and marianismo, and how they impacted both men and women. Throughout the course students examine both extraordinary and ordinary women and discuss the diverse roles they have played in the history of Latin America through the reading of texts, primary accounts, the viewing of films and documentaries, and discussion.
Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World: Explorations in the History of the Black Diaspora from Sao Tome to Saint Domingue
A majority of the persons who migrated to the Americas before 1800 came from Africa. Very few of them came willingly, but without their economic and cultural contributions the world we know today would not have come into being. The goal of this course is to begin to understand the experiences and achievements of these Africans and their descendants in four regions of the Atlantic world - Africa itself, Brazil, the West Indies and the Chesapeake - between the mid- 15th century and the revolutionary struggle for Haitian independence at the beginning of the 19th century.
The Early Middle Ages (500-1000)
After the decline of the Roman Empire, Western Europe entered into an era of turmoil, fragmentation, and invasion. Several generations of scholars dismissed this five hundred year time period as nothing more than the “Dark Ages.” But recently, more innovative historians have brought to light the dynamic religious, political, and cultural developments which preserved and formed a distinctive society in the west. In this course, we shall examine several themes that allow us to piece together this violent yet exciting period. Attention will be paid to why the Catholic Church emerged as the principal institution that unified the various people of Europe under a common faith and a pope in Rome. We will trace how early monarchs used different tactics to consolidate power in the territories that would become France, England and Germany. Much of our time together will also be dedicated to the exploration of how cultural identities became defined in law and in literature, and how people accommodated the waves of migration from the east and north. A final issue that we will consider is how and why Europe survived a succession of catastrophes and outside threats to emerge fairly stable, prosperous, and thriving intellectually by the year 1000.
The Later Middle Ages (1000-1500)
The year 1000 marked a turning point in the history of Western Civilization. Finally, Europe began to flourish economically, politically and intellectually after centuries of chaos and turmoil. Throughout the semester, we shall trace issues such as the rise and fall of the Catholic Church’s influence, the centralization of papal authority, and the spiritual shift towards a “persecuting society” made manifest in the inquisition. We will examine the formation of national monarchies, and the bureaucratic tools that contributed to the escalation of political power. These two powers (secular and spiritual) fought constantly for supreme sovereignty well into the early modern period, and they began to articulate early definitions of the separation of church and state. From a cultural perspective, this course will introduce students to the reality of romanticized topics such as the rise of the knights and courtly love, in addition to destructive events like the crusades, the Hundred Years War, and the Black Death.
Early Modern Europe
What ties together the first use of knives and forks, witchcraft, coffeehouses, divine monarchs and the first electricity experiments? Europe's early modern period, extending from the end of the Renaissance to the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. This era reflects the slow decline of certain notions of nobility and monarchy and the development of new ideas concerning science, rationality and freedom, all of which influence modern Europe to varying degrees. This course examines several facets of this time period, including the rise of absolutism, early modern popular culture, mercantilism and the rise of slavery, and the Enlightenment and its challenges to the established order.
This course introduces students to the hallmarks of Europe's 19th-century history. Historical and analytical constructs such as industrialization, social change, gender relations, racism, liberalism, nationalism, imperialism and socialism/communism provide the framework for examining specific topics including the French Revolution, the Congress of Vienna, the separation of gendered spheres, the revolutions of 1848, the unifications of Germany and Italy, dueling, honor and the "Scramble for Africa."
This course introduces students to the concepts, trends and events fundamental to Europe's development in the 20th century. Important themes - including socialism/communism, fascism, nationalism, racism, gender identity and post-war reconciliation - offer a framework within which students examine specific topics such as the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the rise of fascist regimes, the Second World War, the Cold War in Europe, the uprisings of 1968, the revolutions of 1989 and the war in the former Yugoslavia.
This course investigates the Holocaust, one of the most significant events in modern European history. To do so, the course first considers the conditions within European society that led to the Final Solution. Among the themes included are: the role and image of the Jew in European society; the development of racial anti-Semitism in the 19th century; and the assimilation of the Jews in Western European societies. Although this course focuses primarily on the destruction of the European Jews, it cannot, however, be divorced from the history of Nazi Germany, nor can it ignore the plight and suffering of non-Jews who also experienced the concentration and extermination camps. Therefore, several other themes are incorporated: Hitler's rise to power in Germany; the development and implementation of Nazi policy concerning the "enemies" of Nazism; life within the ghettos and concentration camps; issues of collaboration and resistance both in and outside Germany; the Nuremberg trials; and the legacy of Nazism in contemporary American and European society. General Studies Global Connections-Humanities
Seminar – United States Topics (W)
This seminar is devoted to topics in United States history.
Seminar – European Topics (W)
This seminar is devoted to topics in European history.
Seminar – World Topics (W)
This seminar is devoted to topics in World history.