Undergraduate Courses

Course descriptions and links to instructors’ profile pages are listed below. Cross-listed courses offered by other departments can also be found below, with the department to contact noted beneath each course description. If you are having problems enrolling in a course, please start by contacting the Enrollment Help Desk.

  • Wait Lists – History Majors and graduating seniors have first priority on the wait lists for our courses.

Spring 2022

History Courses

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History 101: American History to the Civil War Era, the Origin & Growth of the U.S.

Instructor: Gloria Whiting

MW 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Description: This course will ask surprising questions. How did Haitian slaves, Aztec gold, and the humble potato influence the history of the region that would become the United States? Because they did–profoundly. This may not be the sort of history you learned in high school. Traditionally, historians have understood the history of early America or colonial America as the history of the thirteen colonies that joined to create the United States in the American Revolution. But such an approach severs these colonies from their context and creates an affinity between them that did not exist prior to the Revolutionary era. Our course will take a much broader view. We will situate these thirteen colonies in the framework of the Atlantic world: the world created by Africans, Europeans, and Indigenous Americans from the sixteenth century–when European expansion into the Atlantic basin began in earnest–through the American Revolution, when the thirteen colonies united in a revolt against Britain. This revolt would usher in an era of state-building in the Atlantic and signal the beginning of the end of Europe’s imperial power in the Americas. Together we will investigate how people, pathogens, plants, animals, labor systems, ideas, technologies, and institutions across a vast geographic expanse shaped the history of the thirteen colonies that created the United States of America, and then we will explore the nation’s early development.

Format: This course will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays for lecture (2:30–3:45PM). In addition, discussion sections will be held once a week. Lectures and discussions are designed to build on each other, not replicate each other, so attending both is vital and required.

Learning Outcome:
By taking this course, students will: -learn how the early American colonies developed in the context of a rich and interconnected world centered on the Atlantic Ocean; how those colonies created the United States; and how tensions in the nation’s early history ultimately led to the Civil War. -understand how historians make history. How do we know what we know about the past? Why do our understandings of the past change over time? History 101 is an introduction to a time and a place–early America–but it is also an introduction to the practices of historical inquiry. -practice doing what historians do: asking questions about the past and answering them using primary sources. There is no reason why you cannot start doing that this semester, even if this is your very first history course at UW. -become captivated by the past–this is my great hope, at least! I will do my best this semester to help you envision times and places so unfamiliar to you that you cultivate a deep fascination with worlds beyond your own. History should never be boring!

Typical Topics and/or Schedule:
SECTION 1: SEAFARING, CONQUERING, PLANTING

  • Week 1: Before 1492: Indigenous America
  • Week 2: Iberian Expansion and Conquest, 1400-1600
  • Week 3: Africans in Africa and America, 1400-1700
  • Week 4: Northern Europeans in the Atlantic, 1556-1670

SECTION 2: BUILDING COLONIES

  • Week 5: Greater Virginia
  • Week 6: New England
  • Week 7: French in America
  • Week 8: The Anglo-Caribbean Colonies
  • Week 9: The Carolinas

SECTION 3: REVOLUTIONARY REORGANIZATIONS

  • Week 10: The Seven Years’ War in the Atlantic World
  • Week 11: Revolution in North America
  • Week 12: The Global American Revolution

SECTION 4: THE UNITED STATES

  • Week 13: The Early American Republic
  • Week 14: America in Crisis

History 101 Syllabus – Fall 2021 (pdf)

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 102: American History, Civil War Era to the Present

Instructor: Monica Kim

MW 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Description: This course provides a broad survey of United States History since 1865. We will explore the major political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual transformations that have shaped the development of the United States and its relations with the rest of the world between the Civil War and the present day. Students will learn to think like historians by analyzing primary sources, evaluating competing narratives, and formulating arguments about the past. One of the key questions that we will grapple with throughout the course concerns how different people have defined, fought over, and claimed “freedom in the aftermath of slavery and as the United States became an industrial nation, a sprawling empire, and a global superpower. Whether defined in terms of political participation, economic security, legal protection, or physical safety, struggles over meanings of freedom profoundly shaped the ways Americans lived, worked, moved, and organized during the century and a half following Emancipation. By tracing how the boundaries of citizenship, democracy, and the nation itself have been redrawn during the last 150 years, we will consider the ongoing legacies of the past and the stories we tell about it in the United States today.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 104: Introduction to East Asian History: Japan

Instructor: Michael Hayata

MWF 8:50 AM – 9:40 AM

Description: Survey of major cultural, social, political and economic developments in Japanese history from ancient to recent times.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 109-001: The Making of the American Mind, 16th C. – 21st C.

Instructor: Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen

ONLINE

Description: This course will examine American thought in historical perspective. It will begin with the first sustained contacts between European explorers and Native Americans in the late sixteenth century, and will trace American intellectual life up to today. Students will discover the excitement of accessing the American past by way of ideas. And they will learn how Americans throughout history have understood themselves, their America, and their world.

We will read the works of a number of influential thinkers and writers, as well as explore a variety of key intellectual and social movements that shaped the cultural worlds of people living in the parts of the American continent that would eventually become the United States. Some of the themes we will examine include: religious strife among the earliest explorers and settlers, the Enlightenment’s influence on the American Revolution and the new nation to emerge from it; the effects of capitalism, industrialization, and mass immigration on American thought; the influence of science on American culture; the war of ideas that lead to and/or resulted from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War; the influence of race, class, and gender on American thought; and the centuries-long struggle over American national identity.

There are two options for course enrollment:

3-credit option. The option is fully online and asynchronous. Course material includes lectures, readings, videos, etc…. Students’ grades will be based on quizzes, contributions to the discussion board, and two creative written assignments. This is a great option for students who would like to take a US history course, with a rigorous but very manageable workload, and with the convenience that a fully online/asynchronous course offers.

4-credit option. This option is a blended course. All course material, including lectures, readings, videos, etc… will be delivered online in the same way as the 3-credit option. There will also be weekly 50-minute in-person discussion sections, led by Prof. Ratner-Rosenhagen. Students’ grades will be based on quizzes, contributions to discussion sections, two written assessments, and two creative writing assignments. This is a great option for students who want to have more direct contact with the professor, enjoy the rewards of intense weekly discussion with their peers, and are seeking more opportunities to improve their writing skills. This track is “accelerated honors,” which means that is open to all students looking for this kind of experience. For honors students, the course counts as “dedicated honors credits toward either Humanities or Social Science Breadth.

If you have any questions which track is right for you, feel to contact Scott Burkhardt in the History Department at stburkhardt@wisc.edu or Prof. Ratner-Rosenhagen at ratnerrosenh@wisc.edu.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 119: Europe & the World, 1400-1815

Instructor: Suzanne Desan

MW 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Description: Introduces Europe when it entered the global stage economically, politically, socially, and culturally. How Europeans took to the seas and developed new forms of empire. How did this wave of contact, encounter, and conquest affect Europeans, indigenous peoples of the Americas, and Africans? Examine the early global economy and the development of plantation slavery. How did Europeans develop new ways to make sense of their world, its size, its peoples, its flora and fauna? Explore new forms of Christianity, the Jewish diaspora, and the globalization of Christianity. As thinkers debated how rulers should wield political power, monarchs strove to expand their authority and territory, and ordinary people demanded a greater share of political power, provoking revolutions across the Atlantic world. Encounter the lives of women and men from many backgrounds, from peasants to queens, and all kinds of people on the move.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 130: Introduction to World History

Instructor: Paul Grant

MWF 12:05 PM – 12:55 PM

Description: This course is about the entire world throughout all of time. If that isn’t ambitious enough, we will do the whole thing in one semester. Each week, then, will cover vast stretches of human experience. The guiding questions concern the Human Experience: what opportunities and limits do we each experience in life? What (if anything) do we have in common with those who went before us?

This course skews more toward the recent past: we will cover ancient times (pre-Common Era) fairly quickly, slowing down for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. About half the semester will focus on the last millennium and half of that will be about the last century. To make this intelligible, we will focus on a few lives we will read biographies of individual women — all African, for symmetry’s sake.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 151: The North American West to 1850

Instructor: Allison Powers Useche

MWF 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM

Description: Explores the history of places that have been called the American West before 1850. We start with Indigenous occupation; continue with European invasion and the creation of two new nations, Mexico and the U.S.; and end with U.S. conquest. We watch Indian lands becoming the object of Spanish, French, and English empires, and then see European incursions giving way to the hopes of new nation-states and newly empowered Indian peoples like Lakotas and Comanches. After studying the trails and trades that brought newcomers west, we reach key converging events: U.S. seizure of the Mexican North, resolution of the Oregon boundary dispute, discovery of western gold, West Coast arrival of Chinese immigrants, and Mormon exodus to the Great Basin. We use economic, environmental, political, cultural, and social analyses, and we attend to the dreams of many westerners: of North American, Latin American, European, African, and Asian origin or descent, and of all genders and class statuses.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 200-001: U.S. Military Missing in Action Research Project

Instructor: Vaneesa Cook

TR 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the process of researching, recovering, and identifying military missing in action (MIA) personnel. Students will learn about the history of MIA recovery efforts in the U.S. since World War II. They will gain hands-on, practical research skills and utilize a variety of methodological techniques as they investigate MIA cold cases since 1941. Students will work extensively with primary sources, collect and analyze data, and practice writing battle narratives and individual MIA profiles that synthesize the historical and geographic details of their case research.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 200-003: From the Ottoman Empire to Modern Turkey

Instructor: Daniel Stolz

TR 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Description: The Ottoman Empire was one of history’s most enduring states. Founded in the thirteenth century, it ruled most of the Middle East and North Africa, along with much of Europe, from the sixteenth century until the dawn of the twentieth. More than just an opportunity to learn about the Middle East, therefore, Ottoman history offers a chance to study the emergence of the modern world. This course takes a thematic approach. Topics will include the Ottoman history of climate change, slavery and its abolition, sexuality, science and medicine, Islamic law and mysticism, economic globalization, nationalism and genocide, military and educational reform, and constitutionalism. The course also addresses the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of the Turkish Republic, with emphasis on the remembrance of the Ottoman era in modern Turkish politics, literature, and film.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-001: Refugees and Europe: World War One to the Present

Instructor: Kathryn Ciancia

TR 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Description: In Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Venezuela, and Myanmar, refugees continue to flee their homes, looking for safety from war, violence, sexual assault, disease, and famine. But what does it mean to be refugee? How have people experienced refugeedom over time? And what does the prevalence of refugees say about our modern world? In this class, we will seek to understand our present moment though case studies of refugees into, from, and within Europe since 1914: they include the Ottoman and Russian empires, Nazi Germany, Idi Amin’s Uganda, and today’s Middle East. By engaging with guest speakers, visiting archives, and interrogating a vast range of primary sources (such as eyewitness accounts, photographs, movies, and physical objects), we will explore both the role of the modern state in creating refugees and the urgent perspectives of these marginalized people.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-002: Nation Breakers, Nation Makers: Latin American Revolutions

Instructor: Marcella Hayes

W 1:20 PM – 3:15 PM

Description: This course teaches students how to think, research, speak and write like historians. We will approach the study of history not just as a series of events but as the study of the many ways in which events can be understood. We will do this by examining the long-term history of revolution, rebellion, and reform in Latin America, from the Spanish invasion of the Americas to the end of the twentieth century. We will ask what people expected of their political leadership and how they defined good governance. We will explore what their options were to protest or to demand change if they felt change was necessary. We will ask how these concepts changed over time and how they stayed the same. We will explore secondary sources by other historians to understand different interpretations of events, and will interpret primary sources, such as speeches, legislation, poetry, novels, paintings, and photographs, to explore how all sectors of society helped foment change.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-003: Too Much Information: Data and its History

Instructor: Devin Kennedy

T 3:30 PM – 5:25 PM

Description: In science, public policy, and business, data holds enormous explanatory and argumentative power. How did this happen? When and how did numerical information and quantitative reasoning come to play such a central role in practices of knowledge gathering and decision-making in science, statecraft, and commercial enterprise? We will seek some answers to these questions, examining along the way what differentiates “facts “information and “data , how their character has shifted over time, and how techniques from statistics to computer databases and machine learning emerged to manage and employ them. Offering an introduction to the history of data and data sciences in Europe and North America from the 18th century to recent discussions of “big data, this course provides students with the tools to write and conduct historical research on the shifting meaning of data in society.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-004: The Violence of Mass Confinement: A Global History

Instructor: Monica Kim

MW 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Description: A detention camp, a concentration camp, or labor camp: these “camps” of mass confinement have become a symbol of the conflicts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This course is a critical examination of power, race, and colonialism through a close study of people’s experiences of building, living, and surviving camps throughout the twentieth century. We will analyze the major historical shifts in the global imperial landscape from the Philippine-American Wars at the turn of the century through the “War on Terror.” Rather than approaching the “camp” as an exception to the everyday, we will ask: How and where did people develop techniques and practices of mass confinement? When did societies perceive the need for a camp? How have the practices of making a camp changed (or not changed) through decolonization? How do the dynamics and workings of a particular camp shed light on the contemporaneous political landscape? And what type of role does the “camp” play in different societies’ historical memories?

Our focus will be on the historical connections between the case-study camps, as we begin with the reconcentrado policy of Spanish colonialism in Cuba in 1880s and end with reflections on the implications of Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) in Cuba alongside detention camps stateside for U.S. imperialism. This course approaches the “camp” not as a strictly defined entity, but rather as a practice mobilized by different groups for particular purposes. Possible case studies we will consider range from German colonialism and the Herero in Namibia, the British and the Mau Mau in Kenya, to Japanese American internment camps and supermax prisons in the United States.
Readings will include both secondary sources (books and articles written by scholars) and an array of primary sources (memoirs, oral history interviews, military documents, legal cases and film).

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-005: History of the United States Empire

Instructor: Allison Powers Useche

W 8:50 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: The United States is often described as the world’s first modern constitutional democracy, and the American political system has been promoted as a model for representative government around the world. But the United States is also and always has been an empire, occupying territories, governing subjects, and managing populations through decidedly undemocratic forms of rule. This course explores how tensions between theories of political universalism and colonial power hierarchies have shaped the development of the United States from the nation’s origins as an Atlantic settler colony to its current status as a sprawling global empire. We will focus our inquiry on the particular role that legal regimes have played in facilitating and at times challenging US imperialism to grapple with several key questions. How has the United States projected power abroad from the 18th century to the 21st? What disparate forms have US imperial interventions taken, and why did they change over time? How have distinct modalities of empire recast patterns of labor, wealth distribution, migration, policing, environmental management, and racialized and gendered inequities? What strategies have individuals, communities, and nations used to challenge the legitimacy of United States colonial governance? We will address these concerns and more by analyzing a wide range of primary sources in addition to scholarship written by historians interpreting the past. This is a discussion-based seminar designed to support and challenge you as you work toward a capstone project. Students will define important historical questions, collect and analyze evidence, and contribute to ongoing discussions about the legacies of empire in the United States and the world today.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-006: The Arab Spring

Instructor: Aaron Rock-Singer

T 8:50 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: The Arab Spring is a period of political change and contestation that we’re still trying to make sense of and this course will not provide “answers to explain this period. Rather, it will explore the historical continuities and ruptures between the political conflicts of the Arab Spring and what came before. Based on this historical contextualization, it will examine the emergence of protests, revolutions and counter-revolutions across the Arab world. Why did some revolutions succeed, why did others fail, and what do we mean by “success and “failure ? What are the continuities between the prominent demands of the Arab Spring –political, economic and socioeconomic justice, democracy and constitutionalism, religious freedom, sectarian and tribal belonging, and gender –and previous movements in Middle Eastern history? What role did social media play in the Arab Spring? How can we explain the uneven success of this historical moment?

The course is divided into two main components. The first examines central sites of contestation since January 2011. It focuses on three powerful states that have experienced regime change or civil war (Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria). The second half of the course focuses on the ideological issues of the Arab Spring and will examine the longer history of key debates over gender, Islamism, allegiances to tribe and sect, democratic reform, and socioeconomic justice.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-007: Athenian Democracy

Instructor: Claire Taylor

MWF 9:55 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: This course explores some key issues in the ancient practice and modern discussion of Athenian democracy. It will examine democratic values, institutions, rhetoric, and sociology in order to provide students with the basic tools to understand democracy in both its ancient and modern context. It will engage with a variety of source material (literary, archaeological, epigraphic). Why did the Athenians think voting was undemocratic? How did they reconcile citizen egalitarianism with social inequalities? (or, why were women and slaves excluded from political power?) To what extent did the wealthy elite support democracy? Were there social tensions between the rich and the poor? All these questions and more in HIST201: The Historian’s Craft (Athenian Democracy)

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-008: Representing History: Monuments and Films

Instructor: Lee Wandel

TR 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Description: In this course we shall investigate two different forms that shape our sense of the past, monuments and films. The course will be divided into two, each half focused on one of the forms. In the first half of the semester, we shall develop our ability to think analytically about monuments: statues, plaques, and other forms marking a life or an event or many lives. In the second half, we shall turn to films to analyze how they tell the story of events in the past and how those stories then shape how we think about those events. This is a Comm B course and therefore writing intensive. Each student will identify, for the first half of the course, a monument they will analyze; and for the second half of the course, a film. Writing is a process, so these research papers will be done in conversation, first, with a Trusted Writing Partner, and then with all of us. This 4-credit course meets as a group for 4 hours per week (according to UW-Madison’s credit hour policy, each lecture counts as 1.5 hours and each discussion counts as an hour). The course also carries the expectation that you will spend an average of at least 2 hours outside of class for every hour in the classroom. In other words, in addition to class time, plan to allot an average of at least 8 hours per week for reading, writing, and preparing for discussion.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-009: American Revolutions

Instructor: Gloria Whiting

T 11:00 AM – 12:55 PM

Description: The title of this class on the American Revolution is intentionally plural: American Revolutions. Most people think of the American Revolution as a single event: an orderly, high-minded struggle in which a united American people sought liberation from the British. This, though, does not align with what historians know of the past. The Revolution was a multi-sided conflict: Patriots and Loyalists squared off in civil war; Euro-Americans fought against Native people; folks of low social status stood up to the elite; and African Americans strove for independence. We will consider together the many participants in the American Revolution and the different objectives those participants had, taking into account both the formative actions of those remembered as “founders” and the ways in which ordinary people shaped the course of events. We will also step back and assess the Revolution’s ripples around the globe. Here, too, it makes sense to think of American Revolutions in the plural, as the American Revolution sparked a series of revolutions that transformed the Americas from a region largely ruled by Europe to one filled with nation states imbued to varying degrees with notions of popular sovereignty and universal rights. Through a variety of readings, research projects, and writing assignments, we will together examine the wide-ranging meanings and consequences of the American Revolution.

Format: This course will meet on Tuesdays from 11am to 12:55pm. Attendance is required. Since we have only one meeting each week, missing a seminar session is equivalent to missing an entire week of the class. Students who miss more than one seminar meeting over the course of the semester will have the option of completing a make-up assignment in lieu of receiving a lower participation grade.

Links

Learning Outcomes

By taking this course, students will:

  1. encounter the rich scholarly literature on the American Revolution, becoming familiar with the aims and actions of the Revolution’s wide-ranging participants and grasping the divergent ways the Revolution influenced different peoples in North America.
  2. improve in their ability to read critically, think logically, and use evidence effectively; to communicate persuasively in both writing and speaking; and to utilize the rich library resources available at UW-Madison.
  3. understand how historians make history and how they can, too. They will learn how to ask informed questions about the past and how to answer them using primary and secondary sources. After all, this course is not only an introduction to the American Revolution and a primer on communication, but it is also a window into the practices of historical inquiry.
  4. become captivated by the past. This is my great hope, at least! I will do my best this semester to help students envision times and places so unfamiliar to them that they cultivate a deep fascination with worlds beyond their own. History should never be boring!

Typical topics and/or Schedule

Course Schedule:

  • Introduction to the Course

PART I: THE ROAD TO WAR

  • Crisis in the British Empire: The Seven Years’ War and its Aftermath
  • Victory’s Troubles

PART II: THE WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE

  • Declaring Independence, Dividing an Empire
  • Civil War in North America
  • Revolution from Above, Revolution from Below: Thinking about Class, Rank, and Status
  • Revolutionary Women
  • Revolution in Indian Country
  • The Problem of Slavery in an Age of Revolution
  • Making a Nation Confederation to Constitution

PART III: THE GLOBAL AMERICAN REVOLUTION

  • The Revolution in France and its Empire
  • Revolutionary Ripples beyond the Atlantic

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-010: The History of Disaster

Instructor: Daniel Williford

W 3:30 PM – 5:25 PM

Description: In recent years, popular and academic writing about the causes and consequences of “natural disasters has undergone a paradigm shift. Wildfires in California and Australia, hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, drought in the Syrian countryside once presumed to be isolated, catastrophic events are now inevitably linked to questions of anthropogenic climate change and global environmental crisis. Similarly, world-altering pandemics previously imagined as a relic of the past have revealed the tightly wound connections between contemporary economic, political, and technological systems and the microscopic world of viruses and microorganisms. In this contemporary moment, it remains essential to investigate the historical contexts in which disasters occur and the social, political, and cultural dynamics that they reshape. This course takes a case-study approach to the history of disaster, drawing on examples from multiple regions across the 19th and 20th centuries.

This class is designed to help students develop the capacity to think, speak, and write critically about disaster. Students will interrogate the role of “disaster writing as a distinct genre and its relevance in the contemporary moment of global environmental crisis. The course is organized around a number of core questions: What does it mean to describe a disaster as natural, social, or political? How have disasters intersected with racial inequalities, colonial ventures, the history of capitalism, and modernization projects? How have experiences of disasters and the meanings assigned to them remade institutions, state-society relations, and cultural imaginaries? As we answer each of these questions, we will work on reading, speaking, and writing strategies that students need to be successful in a variety of academic and professional contexts.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-011: Protest Movements in 1960s Europe and America

Instructor: Benjamin Shannon

T 1:20 PM – 3:15 PM

Description: The 1960s was a pivotal decade in the history of Europe and America. Politically speaking, it is often remembered as a period of unrest, with student protests, civil rights marches, assassinations, and Cold War tensions dominating the public consciousness. At the same time, a decline in religious practice, the emergence of youth culture, rock music, and new sexual freedoms all signaled a disorienting shift in social norms. This course will explore these important moments from a comparative, transnational perspective. Using a variety of primary sources, such as memoirs, political tracts, news reels, popular music, posters, fliers, and ephemera, we will examine international developments such as the student movement and counterculture, decolonization efforts in the so-called Third World, and the emergence of the New Left, Post-modernism, and Left-wing terrorism. Student activities will include seminar-style discussions, in-class presentations, and a chance to complete a piece of original research based on primary sources.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 201-012: Religion in the Age of Hitler

Instructor: Ulrich Rosenhagen

T 1:20 PM – 3:15 PM

Description: Students conduct original historical research and convey the results to others. Through engagement with archival materials, undergraduates become historical detectives; they practice defining important historical questions, collecting and analyzing evidence, presenting original conclusions, and contributing to ongoing discussions. Students confer individually with and receive feedback from instructors to improve their skills of historical analysis and communication in both written and spoken formats. Requirements include at least 30 pages of writing – including drafts – and two or more formal oral presentations, each totaling at least five minutes. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to undertake historical research and writing in a variety of courses, including the HIST 600 capstone seminar.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History of Science 202: The Making of Modern Science

Instructor: Devin Kennedy

TR 8:50 AM – 9:40 AM

Description: In this course, we examine developments from the mid-seventeenth century until the beginning of the 21st that have brought about a dramatic change in the way the world is known. We explore when and under what conditions the specific human enterprise called ‘science’ came to be, and how it has changed. What historical forces form and shape it, and which continue to do so? How did science come to be a powerful agent in modern life, and what role did particular visions of science play in defining what we take the ‘modern to be in the first place? Tackling these questions is a major historical challenge, one that will take us from the familiar and the local to the furthest extent of distant empires. In endeavoring to understand the history of science, we will learn about the connections between commerce, manufacture, exploration, and war, changing conceptions of people’s place in nature, and our ability to control the world around us. In the process, we will come to a new understanding of the relationship between science, technology and society.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 205: The Making of the Islamic World: The Middle East, 500-1500

Instructor: Aaron Rock-Singer

MW 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Description: At the beginning of the 7th century, a new religion, Islam, appeared in Arabia and by the end of the century, Muslims had defeated the Byzantines and Persians and created an empire that stretched from Spain to India. For the next millennium, Islam glittered. Its caliphs, courts, and capitals were grander, more powerful, and more sophisticated than those of any medieval king, duke or prince. In this course, we will trace the emergence and development of Islamic civilization from the birth of Muhammad ca. 570 to the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258. We will read the Qur’an and listen to its recitation; examine the career of the Prophet Muhammad; follow the course of the Arab conquests; explore the nature of the conflict between Sunnis and Shi is; learn about the five pillars of Islam, law, theology, and Sufism; and assess the achievements of Muslim intellectuals in literature, art, science, and philosophy. No previous knowledge required.

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History 208: Western Intellectual & Religious History to 1500

Instructor: Eric Carlsson

TR 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: This course explores some central themes in the history of Western religious thinking from the ancient Greeks to the dawn of the modern era. We will consider how several distinct and diverse intellectual traditions–classical, Jewish, and Christian–arose in the ancient Mediterranean world and how those traditions interacted to shape European thinking about the divine, humans, and the cosmos from late antiquity to the Renaissance.

Students will write several short responses, two 4-5-page papers, and an in-class midterm and final exam.

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History 221-001: African Americans and Sports

Instructor: Ashley Brown

TR 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Description: This course explores the struggles and political symbolism of African American athletes in times of social upheaval from the 1890s through the present. We will interrogate how black sports figures have used their skills, barrier-breaking presences, and celebrity to engage in campaigns for racial uplift, defy class conventions, promote the expansion of citizenship and civil rights, and challenge expectations of normative gender performance and sexuality within and beyond the playing arena. We will study the experiences and perspectives of those who have resisted political engagement, too. We will see how activists, journalists, and government officials have coopted the images and abilities of black sportswomen and sportsmen to facilitate their own gains. Overall, we will trace how African American athletes have carried the aspirations and anxieties of the nation on their shoulders.

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History 221-002: Introduction to U.S. Urban History

Instructor: Paige Glotzer

ONLINE

Description: Cities have shaped the American imagination. At times serving as beacons of hope and others as symbols of failure, there is no denying that they have played a central role in US history. This class provides an introduction to American cities from the eighteenth century to the present. As urban historians in training, students will investigate urban economics, culture, and politics. Special emphasis will be placed on the production of urban spaces and their relationship to ever-changing historical power dynamics. How have cities been planned, designed, and contested over time? How have the consequences of those decisions—intended and unintended—continued to shape the cities today? Regardless of whether students lived in cities, suburbs, or small towns, Introduction to US Urban History invites everyone to consider how studying urban history can change their understanding of national history.

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History 227: History of Race and Ethnicity: American Indians in the City

Instructor: Sasha Suarez

MW 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Description: This course takes on the histories of American Indian peoples in urban centers with particular focus on the years between the 1890s and the 1970s. Through an examination of federal policy and American Indian organizing and activism, we will explore the multiple ways American Indian peoples have been compelled to move to urban settler cities and how they have retained Indigenous identities despite forceful attempts at their assimilation into the American melting pot. Together we will seek to answer: what is the American city? What roles have American Indian peoples played in the creation of American cities? How have American Indian peoples navigated urban space and utilized urban institutions and governance to promote Indigenous agendas?

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 246: Southeast Asian Refugees of the “Cold” War

Instructor: Michael Cullinane

TR 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: Between 1975 and 1995, over two million Southeast Asians fled from the three former French colonies frequently referred to collectively as Indochina: Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Over 1.3 million of these migrants came as refugees to the United States and added four new major ethnic groups to American society: Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Vietnamese, including among them ethnic Chinese and the children of American military personnel (frequently referred to as “Amerasians”). This course is intended to provide a better understanding of the conditions that led these people, and thousands of others, to flee their homelands in Southeast Asia and eventually take refuge and start new lives in the US, as well as in the other countries that offered them asylum (including Canada, Australia, and France).
The course will be divided into four parts and will emphasize the Cold War conflicts and wars that devastated these three countries and resulted in the flight and resettlement of these refugees, especially between 1975 and 1995. Part 1, Peoples of the Indochina Countries, will introduce the themes of the course and provide basic information on the histories, cultures, and social organizational patterns of the four ethnic groups that are the focus of the course: Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Vietnamese. Part 2, Colonial Origins of Conflicts in Indochina, will concentrate on the modern history and changing societies of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, with emphasis on the last decades of French colonial rule, the Japanese occupation during the Pacific War, and the nationalist, revolutionary, and global (Cold War) struggles and upheavals that took place in these three countries, especially from the 1920s through the 1950s. In addition to discussing the larger contexts of the Cold War, this section will emphasize the significant social, economic, political, and geopolitical developments that took place in French Indochina during the first half of the 20th century. Part 3, The “Cold” Wars in Indochina, will survey the violent conflicts of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, with emphasis on the wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, the political alignments (international and domestic) that these conflicts created, the traumatic aftermath of US withdrawal and Communist victories, and the post-1975 developments and continuing conflicts that further devastated all three countries. Part 4, Disorderly Departures: Refugees and Migrants, will concentrate on the flight of thousands of people from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1975 to the mid-1990s. It will attempt to describe and analyze the mass exodus of refugees and migrants and the global efforts to facilitate their survival and resettlement. Lectures and readings will concentrate on the reasons for seeking asylum (or continued resistance), the chaos and hardship of the escape, the difficult realities of camp life, and the mechanisms of resettlement in the US. This section will also explore some aspects of the early resettlement experiences of refugees and migrants in US, with particular attention to the period up to the mid-1990s.

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History 269: War, Race, and Religion in Europe & the U.S., From the Scramble for Africa to Today

Instructor: Giuliana Chamedes

MW 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM

Description: This course investigates the complex history of European and American violence and war-making through the lens of race and religion. Taking a comparative approach, we analyze several major conflicts of the twentieth century, from World War I to the wars of decolonization, and from the genocide of the Herero peoples to the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and beyond. How did religious forces and racial claims shape these conflicts? How did these wars reinforce the modern notion of the nation-state, and strengthen both racist and anti-racist movements? Key topics in the class include the genealogy of the modern idea of “race” in Europe and the U.S.; the drive towards a world of more homogeneous nation-states after World War I; and the emergence of transnational protest movements opposed to racism, imperialism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia. Drawing on a range of texts, songs, and films, the course will investigate new connections between Europe and the United States. Join us as we take an international look at concepts like race and nation, and try to make sense of extreme violence, war-making, and the pre-requisites of peace.

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History of Science 280: Honors Seminar: Studies in Science, Technology, & Medicine

Instructor: Daniel Stolz

TR 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: The battle between advocates of Darwinian evolution and “creationists” has helped define the relationship between science, religion, public policy, and the law.  For many of us, when we think of such controversies, we think of the American “Bible Belt,” as in the Tennessee courtroom immortalized in the 1960 movie Inherit the Wind.  But creationism has a global history, connecting teachers, politicians, religious activists, and scientists in the United States with counterparts across the world, and especially in the Middle East – another place where the public role of religion has been a topic of great controversy in recent decades.  This course will explore the global history of creationism as a way of understanding how science and religion have come into conflict in specific times and places, and how different societies have addressed this controversy in terms of law and educational policy. The course makes extensive hands-on use of unique collections in Memorial Library’s rare books department.

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History 283: Intermediate Honors Seminar: Healing & Science in Africa

Instructor: Neil Kodesh

M 8:50 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: This seminar will examine the reach, effect, and historical lineages of “global health interventions in Africa. Drawing on both historical and anthropological studies, we will explore the history of medical and scientific research in Africa, raising questions about the shifting intellectual and ethical underpinnings of various undertakings in the twentieth and twenty-first century. We will also examine the ways in which different historical perspectives inform and transform our understanding of more contemporary developments, such as the emergence of medical humanitarianism and the flourishing of health-related non-governmental organizations in the Global South.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 300: History at Work: Professional Skills of the Major

Instructor: Sarah Thal

W 12:05 PM – 1:50 PM

Description: What can I do with a History degree? How can a History degree help me get a good job and develop a career that I love? How can I talk about my History degree so that prospective employers can understand its value and workplace relevance? How can I make the best of the opportunities I have — and create new opportunities for myself, too? Why do employers love History majors?

This course will help you answer questions like these as you consider your future career options. You’ll hear from successful professionals about how they got to where they are, how History has helped them, and how you can build a successful career for yourself, too. You’ll craft a resume and cover letter, and practice simple but crucial skills for interviewing, networking, and your first year in a new job. And, for those taking the 2-credit option (with discussion section), the course will walk you through the process of researching possible career options, networking, and conducting informational interviews. In other words, this course offers you structure, advice, and insights from successful history alumni as you begin or continue your career exploration and planning.

History 300 has two parts:

A 1-credit Speaker Series (or lecture) that meets 12:00-1:00 (or 12:05-12:55), usually with a guest speaker. (Feel free to bring your lunch!)

A 1-credit Discussion section that meets 1:00-1:50, after the seminar.

You may take the lecture only for 1 credit. You may take the lecture and discussion section for 2 credits. Make sure you are registered for the number of credits you expect. (If you will be doing an internship for credit, sign up for HIST 301 as well as HIST 300 — you’ll do your internship and take both the seminar and the discussion. Contact the History Careers Adviser, Christina Matta, about internship opportunities and applying for a scholarship.)

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 301: History Internship Seminar

Instructor: Sarah Thal

W 12:05 PM – 1:50 PM

Description: Supplements HISTORY 300 by providing an opportunity for students who are completing an internship during the time of their enrollment (or who completed an internship in the summer and are enrolled in the fall) to discuss any issues or challenges that arose in their position. It also encourages students to identify and analyze the differences between an internship and a non-professional job, with an eye towards articulating how their History degree and the skills it confers can be valuable in professional settings. Students will share their internship experiences with their classmates through short presentations.

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History 307: A History of Rome

Instructor: Marc Kleijwegt

TR 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Description: History 307 is a lecture course which focuses on the social history of the un(der)privileged in ancient Rome. The course is divided into two main themes. In the first theme we will examine social relationships between people of unequal status (patronage) as well as those between people of the same or similar social background: friendship, social clubs and associations. The second main theme of the course will examine social groups in Roman society who were without a significant voice. These are groups which we would like to examine in more detail, but have left behind only a limited amount of (or altogether no) evidence, and must be studied, in some cases, on the basis of the views of those who were more literate and more powerful. This theme is divided into those without a voice in the Roman household (women, slaves, and children) and those without a voice in Roman society at large (the anonymous masses and the working classes). Since the course makes use of large numbers of primary sources in translation, one of its main objectives is to train students in the use of primary sources. Two midterm exams will be in the form of multiple-choice questions. Two assignments will focus on answering questions about primary sources. A final exam will consist of multiple-choice questions, text-based questions and one essay-type question.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 309: The Crusades: Christianity & Islam

Instructor: Elizabeth Lapina

TR 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: In this class we will discuss wars fought for religion in the Middle Ages by Christians against Muslims, pagans and other Christians. We will attempt to understanding the functioning of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and other states that Crusaders established in the Middle East, which survived for nearly two hundred years, from 1099 to 1291. By close reading of both Western and Muslims sources, we will attempt to understand ideas and experiences of crusaders, their enemies and the peoples they encountered. We will finish the class with an analysis of modern cinematic representations of crusades.

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll

History 310: The Holocaust

Instructor: Benjamin Shannon

MWF 9:55 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: References to the Holocaust abound in contemporary political debates and in our popular culture. But most people know very little about the history of the Holocaust, despite the mountains of superb historical scholarship that experts in the field have produced over decades of dedicated research. Utilize correspondence, diaries, or other firsthand accounts of Holocaust victims, together with study of the larger events around them, to reconstruct the experiences of ordinary families swept up in the Nazi genocide.

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History 328: Environmental History of Europe

Instructor: Richard Keyser

TR 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Description: This class explores a new approach to a part of the world with a very old history, but one that is now as ‘modern’ as any. The changing, complex relations between Europeans and their environments from antiquity to the twenty-first century offer instructive comparison with American and current global environmental concerns. Approaching Mediterranean and Western civilizations from an environmental viewpoint also offers fresh perspective on these enduring cultures.

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History 332: East Asia & the U.S. Since 1899

Instructor: David Fields

MWF 12:05 PM – 12:55 PM

Description: From the Boxer Rebellion, to the dropping of the atomic bombs, to the nuclear stand-off with North Korea, American foreign relations with East Asia during the 20th century were as consequential as they were controversial. Survey the issues and questions that alternately made allies and enemies of these nations: How did the quest for markets influence American policy towards China? How did European imperialism shape Japan’s rise? Why did communism seem to offer a more compelling economic and political arrangement to China and North Korea? While squarely rooted in East Asia this course will also explore the questions that united and divided Americans over their nation’s foreign policy. Through examining these questions, develop answers and construct their own narrative of the relationship between the United States and East Asia.

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History 337: Social and Intellectual History of China, 589AD-1919

Instructor: Joseph Dennis

TR 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: The culture of the literati in the T’ang; major trends of Neo-Confucianism during the Sung and Ming; the Confucian response to the West in the nineteenth century; the emergence of the modern Chinese intelligentsia and iconoclasm in the early May Fourth period.

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History 340: Cultural History of Korea

Instructor: Charles Kim

W 3:30 PM – 5:25 PM

Description: This course is an exploration of Korean foods and food ways of Korea that uses food as a lens for understanding modern cultures and histories of the Koreas. We will delve into questions such as: How have Korean foods changed in concert with key processes of global history from the 19th century to today? What meanings do people attach to foods, and what do these meanings reveal? How can food be a source of social unity or of social division? To answer these and other questions, we will explore a range of topics as they connect to the eating, making, and the representation of foods, including:

  • the effects of capitalism and imperialism;
  • decolonization and nation building;
  • the construction of national dishes and cuisines;
  • diaspora and multiculturalism;
  • globalization and media.

Students will be encouraged to actively engage with these questions through discussions, readings, films, and a range of web-based sources. Class activities will include preparing and sampling dishes in the Food Application Laboratory in Babcock Hall.

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History 350: The First World War and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Europe

Instructor: Daniel Ussishkin

ONLINE

Description: The experience and legacy of the First World War has been linked to nearly every social, cultural, and political transformation that marked the short century that followed: mobilization and the experience of total war transformed the relations between governments and citizens, between men and women, and between social classes. Europeans experienced death on an unprecedented scale and came to terms with new forms of industrialized warfare, from the use of poison gas to modern practices of genocide. Europeans now learned to live with violence, both during as well as after the war, and found new ways to mourn or remember the dead. This course will explore such themes. Using a wide variety of contemporary sources — memoirs, essays, poems, or cinematic representations — we will try to situate the upheaval of 1914-1918 within the larger framework of twentieth-century European history.

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History 359: History of Europe Since 1945

Instructor: Laird Boswell

MW 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Description: How did Europe rebuild from the ashes of World War II? This course explores the history of the European Continent from war’s end to the present. We will focus on key themes such as the legacy of Nazism and the Holocaust; the Cold War and the rivalry between the superpowers; the collapse of the European Empires; the birth and development of the European Union; the post war economic boom; the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe; the rebirth of nationalism after 1990; and the growth of extreme right populism in the present.

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History 363: China and World War II in Asia

Instructor: Judd Kinzley

TR 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Description: This course is intended to help students understand World War II from the perspective of Asia. The focus is not only on the American and Japanese roles in the war but also on lesser, often overlooked participants such as China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. The course will focus not only on the diplomatic, political, and military situation of wartime Asia, but also on perceptions and experiences of the war from those most heavily affected by it: those experiencing it on the ground. Understanding this war is critical for helping us understand contemporary Asia. The foundations of the Cold War and the post-Cold War world that we live in today were forged on battlefields in mainland China, Burma, small islands in the Pacific, and in the skies over the archipelago of Japan. In order to provide the background and understand the legacies, this course covers an extended time frame, beginning in the 19th century with the arrival of the West in Asia and continues into the 1950s.

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History 375: The Cold War: From World War II to the End of the Soviet Empire

Instructor: Alfred McCoy

TR 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Description: Designed for students with some background in U.S. history or international studies, the course probes the global dynamics of the Cold War, from its origins during World War II through the end of the Soviet empire in 1991. Not only did the Cold War split most of the world into communist and capitalist blocs, but it also penetrated deep inside many societies, shaping art, culture, electoral politics, and mass consciousness.

After exploring the Cold War’s key aspects such as nuclear warfare, espionage, and mind control, the course tracks its international history through three main phases. First, following the fall of the Iron Curtain across Europe in the late 1940s, the rival superpowers competed for dominion over this divided continent through espionage, cultural display, and deployment of nuclear-armed military forces. After the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 brought the superpowers to the brink of nuclear war, the Cold War’s superpower rivalry shifted to the Third World, marked by a massive surrogate war in Vietnam, CIA regime change in Indonesia and Chile, and Soviet intervention to end the Prague Spring. In the Cold War’s final phase after 1975, superpower surrogate warfare coincided with the primal politics of developing societies to produce devastating conflicts on three continents–in southern Africa, Central America, and Central Asia. Bloodied by Islamic resistance during its decade-long occupation of Afghanistan, the Red Army withdrew in defeat and the Soviet Union collapsed just two years later as 22 satellite states and captive republics broke free from Moscow’s steely grip.

Through the sum of such content, students should finish the course with knowledge about a key facet of U.S. foreign policy and a lasting ability to analyze future international developments. Beyond such empiricism, the course will impart sharpened analytical abilities, refined research skills, improved oral presentations, and better writing skills.

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History 392: Women and Gender in Modern Europe

Instructor: Mary Louise Roberts

TR 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Description: This course is a survey of women’s lives from the mid-seventeenth century to the present in Europe. It focuses equally on the ways in which gender constructed power and identity in all spheres of life during this period, including work, politics, science, Empire-building and war. In the first part of the course, we focus on the creation of the domestic model established in the wake of the twin revolutions. This model, which dictated that a woman’s “natural role was domestic and maternal, was primarily middle-class. Working-class women dealt with a whole other set of expectations concerning love and work. In the second part of the course, we focus on a diversity of ways in which women throughout the nineteenth century subverted this domestic model, not only through organized politics such as feminism, but also through unconventional sexual behavior, female “exceptionality, and the opportunities provided by a growing urban, consumer culture. In the final part of the course, we study women and war, more specifically the roles played by women on the battlefront and the home front, and the way in which total war undermined certain gendered constructions of politics and work. Still another important theme will be sexuality, including the medical insistence on one “true sex,” the construction of race through sexuality, the creation of a homosexual identity, and the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

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History 393: Slavery, Civil War, & Reconstruction 1848-1877

Instructor: Stephen Kantrowitz

MW 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Description: During the “Civil War Era,” the United States wrestled violently with the essential questions that have shaped its national life: the institution of chattel slavery; the meaning of race and the power of racism; the means and ideology of territorial conquest; the nature and extent of federal power; and the boundaries and rights of citizenship. This course explores the people who shaped those struggles, from those demanding freedom and equality to those determinedly opposed to those revolutions, and from Americans imagining an ever-expanding national domain to Native people asserting their own sovereignty against those visions.

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History 401-001: Digital History: The Black Atlantic

Instructor: Justine Walden

R 3:30 PM – 5:25 PM

Description: This course will introduce students to concepts and digital tools that have enriched the exploration of the Black Atlantic and history more generally. Approaches will include the use of digitized data and slave narratives, digital methods of historical analysis such as maps, timelines, databases, and pivot tables, and the digital representation of our results.

We will take as our point of departure Paul Gilroy’s observation that the diasporic mobilities and geographies set in motion by the Transatlantic slave trade present a counternarrative to the story of EuroAmerican progress. We will consider that claim through a variety of thematic lenses, studying the alternative histories, frameworks, and trajectories that knit together Europe, Atlantic Africa, and the Americas across four centuries and reflecting on problems of historical analysis and representation.

Starting with the earliest moments of European exploration along the coast of West Africa, we will trace the rise of plantation economies and power dynamics of slave societies from the fifteenth through the seventeenth century in Atlantic Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and North America. Through seminal works of Atlantic and diasporic history, literature, and film, we will consider how the dynamics of colonialism, race, capitalism, forced migration, displacement, creolization, religion, and gender underwrote cultural and political developments across the greater Atlantic. We will investigate key moments of resistance and revolution and the lives and peregrinations of several key figures, and we will conclude after nineteenth- century emancipation. Overall, the course will survey the trans-Atlantic black migrations and identities that shaped history and modernity.

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History 401-002: Wisconsin 101: Our History in Objects

Instructor: Leslie Bellais

R 1:20 PM – 3:15 PM

Description: This is a hands-on seminar focused on exploring – and presenting – the history of Wisconsin through the histories of objects. Working with a former curator at the Wisconsin Historical Society, students will hear from guest speakers, and explore for themselves, histories of migrant and immigrant communities in Wisconsin. Students will present their findings to the public by writing object histories for publication in the online public history project, Wisconsin 101 (wi101.wisc.edu).

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History 420: Russian Social & Intellectual History

Instructor: David McDonald

TR 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Description: Main currents of Russian social thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Recommended that students have some knowledge of modern Russian history or of modern European cultural history.

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History 428: The American Military Experience Since 1899

Instructor: Thomas Rider

MWF 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM

Description: History 428 broadly examines United States military history from the close of the 19th century through the nation’s 21st century conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This course embraces the scholarship and orientation of the “New Military History, in that it explores the relationship between war and all aspects of American society. While we will not ignore the study of strategy, campaigns, and battles, we will consider them within the broader context of the American experience. Ultimately, this course provides an appreciation of how war and military service have shaped American identity and how the use of military force has defined the United States interactions with the world. This course also serves to familiarize students with the historian’s craft. It exposes students to the methods historians use to analyze the past and allows them to develop their own historical interpretations.

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History 450: Making of Modern South Asia

Instructor: Mou Banerjee

TR 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Description: Everything you ever hear about South Asia is true. But the exact opposite is also true. Tradition and modernity, development and stagnation, the past and the future all exist simultaneously, at times in harmony and at other times in conflict with one another. Through an exploration of the political, social and economic history of this region from the 18th century to the present day, students will learn about the making of modern South Asia and attempt to understand this paradox.

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History 459: Rule of Law: Philosophical and Historical Models

Instructor: Karl Shoemaker

TR 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Description: From the perspectives of history and political theory, this course examines the multiple meanings of the idea of the rule of idea, and its uses in American history. We then explore prominent critiques of the rule of law ideal.

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History 490: American Indian History

Instructor: Matthew Villeneuve

TR 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Description: There is a profound irony at the heart of American history: all too often Indigenous people are a marginal or altogether forgotten part of the history of the United States, and yet no account of the American past is complete (let alone sensible) without careful consideration of Indigenous people. This course is intended to offer students a broad survey of the people, events, structures, and methodological considerations which constitute the field of American Indian history. In this class, you will become better acquainted with a number of Indigenous people, communities, and nations, and we will follow them through important historical processes at work in U.S. history, from colonization, reservations, allotment, self-governance, and self-determination. Our readings and lectures will work in tandem to create a picture of how federal Indian policy was enacted, perceived, and utilized by both Native and non-Native people, while also teaching distinctly Indigenous ways of knowing the past through primary source analysis, storytelling, oral history, and more. Through our historical study, together, we will work to undo the stereotypes that often define historical memory of Native people. Like a drumbeat, American Indian history was sounded thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans in North America, has continued to beat at its own tempo through every period of U.S. history, and still resonates today — where it reverberates into the future.

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History 500-001: Science Above Politics? An Inconvenient History

Instructor: Lynn Nyhart

T 2:25 PM – 5:25 PM

Description: Politics corrupts science–right? Shouldn’t scientists stay “above” politics, in order to be trustworthy? This course asks: how and when did this come to seem obvious? What historical circumstances have driven scientists to political action? And what is the role of the historian in understanding and intervening in science/politics dynamics? Can historians save science from politics? Should they?

We will examine these questions via three twentieth-century cases based mainly in the U.S.: the cultural politics surrounding the Scopes (anti-)evolution trial of 1925; science, freedom, and political ideology in World War II and the Cold War; and the politics of scientific doubt-mongering and misinformation from the tobacco industry to climate change. In doing so, we will reflect not only on the continuities and discontinuities across these kinds of “science and politics” interactions, but also on the interactions between structure, ideology, and personal responsibility, understood historically and in our own time.

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History 500-002: Religion & Politics in Modern America

Instructor: TBA

M 1:20 PM – 3:15 PM

Description: Advanced exploration of selected topics, featuring intensive reading, writing, and small-group discussion.

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History 500-003: Early Modern Globalism

Instructor: Justine Walden

W 3:30 PM – 5:25 PM

Description: Advanced exploration of selected topics, featuring intensive reading, writing, and small-group discussion.

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History 600s – All Sections

All sections of History 600 require permission of the instructor for enrollment.  Please see the History 600 Seminars page for more information and course descriptions.

History 601: Historical Publishing

Instructor: Judd Kinzley

T 11:00 AM – 12:55 PM

Description: Hands-on instruction and experience in historical publishing. Discussion of the nature of historical research and writing.

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History 680: Honors Thesis Colloquium & History 690: Thesis Colloquium

Instructor: Kathryn Ciancia  

W 11:00 AM – 12:55 PM 

For more information, visit Course Search & Enroll 

Cross-listed Courses in History & History of Science

The following are courses which are cross-listed with the Department of History, but are administered by another department on campus. For information on which department to contact with questions regarding enrollment, see the course information below.

Undergraduate Catalog

The University of Wisconsin’s Undergraduate Guide is the central location for official information about its departments and programs. Find the Department of History’s entries here, including the official requirements of the major.

[archive of UW Undergraduate Catalogs, dating to 1995, and Graduate Catalogs from 1994]
[archive of History course catalogs, dating from 1852 to 1996]