Fall 2017 Course Offerings
HIST 101: Introduction to Historical Thinking and Analysis
History “Boot Camp.” Provides an introduction to the discipline and craft of history and prepares majors for the senior research and methods seminar. Explores a particular area of historical study and teaches the fundamentals of historical inquiry – theoretical and practical. Take early in your first semester as a history major!
Section 1: New World Slavery and Freedom, Benjamin Johnson TTh 9:30–10:45AM
Uses the comparative study of slavery, freedom, emancipation, and exclusion in the New World to illustrate the key tools of the historian's trade. We will spend particular time on the comparative histories of Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, and the US during and after emancipation.
Section 2: The Twenties, Roberta L. Wollons, TTh 12:30PM– 1:45PM
This course is an introduction to the discipline and craft of history. This section will focus on “The Twenties,” including such topics as Prohibition, the new youth culture, the conservative religious and social backlash, immigration restrictions, and the economics that lead to the Great Depression.
HIST 160L: East Asian Civilizations to 1850
Luman Wang TTh 9.30-10:45AM
This survey course explores the histories of China, Korea and Japan from 1500 BC to 1850 CE through three themes: fluidity in East Asian culture and “tradition;” political and socio-economic continuity and change over three millennia; encounters between East Asia and the world
HIST 210L: Labor and Working Class History in the United States
Steve Striffler T/Th 9:30AM–10:45AM
HIST 211: Foundations of Western Civilization
Elizabeth McCahill MWF 11:00AM–11:50AM
This course uses case studies to survey themes of European history from the 12th century BCE to 1650, especially politics, cultural history, and the ways the legacy of antiquity was understood and appropriated by later ages.
HIST 212: Modern Western Civilization
This course explores, thematically, how the term “Western Civilization” has been defined and redefined over the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.
Section 1: Ruth Miller T/Th 11:00AM-12:15PM
Section 2 (at Copley Square): Thomas Johnson W 6:00PM-9:00PM
HIST 213: World History to 1800
Maryann Brink Online
“Around the World in Sixteen Weeks”: from Blombos, Africa to the Tang Dynasty, from Mauryan India to the Incan Empire, from the American and French Revolutions to the Haitian Revolution and Bolivar in South America. Don't blink...you'll miss a decade!
HIST 214: Modern World History
Section 1: Jennifer Sutton T/Th 8:00AM–9:15AM
Section 2: Gary Miller T/Th 4:00PM–5:15PM
At Copley Square: Gary Miller M 6:00PM-9:00PM
Online: Maryann Brink
This class will explore world history during the past two centuries, concentrating on the transformation and modernization of the traditional, hierarchical, rural society of Europe during the period of the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, and the interaction between western and non-western societies during the age of imperialism and colonialism.
HIST 224G: Revolutionaries
David Hunt MWF 1–1:50PM
This course will analyze the costs and achievements of the Soviet experiment from the Russian Revolution of 1917 to the disappearance of the Soviet Union in 1991, with additional attention to the post-Soviet Russian Republic and to the Cuban Revolution, considered as offshoots of international communism.
HIST 230L: Ancient Egypt
Kellee Barnard MWF 12–12:50PM
This course examines the cultures of ancient Egypt from the period of its first political organization (c. 3200 BCE) until the death of its last true pharaoh, Queen Cleopatra VII, and the country’s first years as a Roman colony in the 1st century BCE.
HIST 255L: Gods and Slaves: Latin America before 1800
Benjamin Johnson MWF 12:00PM-12:50PM
This course introduces students to the history and cultures of early Latin America, an area of the world that includes Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America), South America, and the Caribbean. In this class we will examine the political, cultural, and social dimensions of the major Pre-Columbian civilizations; the causes and consequences of Spanish and Portuguese colonization; the establishment of New World societies and economies in the sixteenth century; and the vastly divergent forms of mature colonial society across the continent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
HIST 262: American Indian History to 1783
Maria John MWF 11:00AM–11:50AM
This course examines the histories of indigenous peoples of North America from their perspective, including the peopling of the Americas; pre-Columbian societies and civilizations; first contact encounters and exchanges with non-Natives; strategies American Indians used to confront expanding European and indigenous powers; and ways indigenous North Americans engaged global markets, diplomacy, and competing empires.
HIST 265: American History before 1877
Lisa Vox Online
Covers the European settlement of North America, its impact on American Indians, and the development of the United States as well as its emergence as a modern nation.
HIST 266: American History since 1877
Meaghan Duff Online
From the aftermath of Civil War and Reconstruction through urbanization, immigration, industrialization. American imperialism and rise to world power cycles of economic change and the Great Depression World Wars and Cold War worldwide and domestically; wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan; modern US culture.
HIST 290G: Globalization in Historical Perspective: Food & Empire
Heidi Gengenbach T/TH 2:00PM-3:15PM
This seminar will take an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural approach to the relationship between food and empire in world history. Focusing on the Global South, and engaging with local food institutions and activists, the course explores the politics of food consumption and controversy in the last 500 years, and why we eat the way (and what) we do today.
HIST 315: Europe 1900-1945
Spencer Di Scala Online
The period discussed witnessed some of the greatest changes in society and the rise of ideologies that have shaken the world. They include the modern scientific revolution, World Wars I and II, and the rise of fascism and communism. Readings and discussions will analyze these developments, put them fully into context, and help explain why we are still feeling their effects.
HIST 318: Advanced Topics in History Section 1: Age of Jackson
Julie Winch T/Th 2:00–3:15PM
Using a wide range of primary sources, we will explore the turbulent era in this nation’s history from the bitterly contested election of 1824 to the eve of the Civil War.
HIST 318: Advanced Topics in History Section 2: World War II as a Global War
Steve Puleo MWF 9:00AM–9:50AM
HIST 322: Shakespeare’s London
Olivia Weisser MW 1:00PM-1:50PM F Online
This course draws on artifacts, literature, and first-hand accounts to recover life in London from 1550-1700, including taverns and coffeehouses, the experiences of the working poor, and urban crime. This course does not entail reading Shakespeare, but it will give new context for his plays.
HIST 324: Russia and the Soviet Union: From the 1917 Revolution to Putin
Kevin Murphy Sat 8:15-11:15AM
How did the 1914 revolutionary movement that promised social and economic equality transform into such a brutally oppressive system under Stalin? How did the Soviet Union become a world superpower and what were the reasons for its downfall? Through the use of primary documents, this course will attempt to answer these questions and emphasize social history: the ideals, aspirations, and actions of ordinary Soviet citizens.
HIST 346: Women & Gender in African History
Heidi Gengenbach T/Th 11:00AM-12:15PM
This course explores how gender shapes the lives of women and men in African history, and how women’s voices and experiences challenge stereotypes of Africa’s past. Drawing on life stories, fiction, and film, along with documents from precolonial and colonial times, the class will examine debates around sexuality, slavery, colonialism, HIV/AIDS, human rights, and civil war from a gender perspective.
HIST 357: The Vietnam War
David Hunt MWF 10:00AM-10:50AM
This course covers the period from 1945 to 1975. We will devote attention to Vietnamese revolutionary organizations and popular movements that shaped history and society in both the northern and southern parts of the country and to the efforts of other nationalist leaders who attempted to build a viable polity in South Vietnam. We will also explore the US role, from policy makers to the citizenry and with special attention to Americans who fought in the war and Americans who fought against the war and to debates that arose from the beginning and have continued down to today about what it all meant.
HIST 359L: Women in Modern China
Judith Babbitts Oline
This course examines the social and cultural roles of Chinese women, and their changes over time. Emphasis is given to twentieth-century China, especially the People's Republic period.
HIST 360L: Traditional China
Luman Wang T/Th 12:30PM-1:45PM
This course, organized in chronological-thematic format, explores the history of China from the Bronze Age to the long eighteenth century.
HIST 377: The American Progressive Era, 1890-1920
Roberta Wollons Online
This course is on the origins of modern America focusing on the Progressive Era between 1890 and 1920. It includes such topics as the design of cities, urban diversity and immigration, suffrage, and the struggle between labor and industry.
HIST 389: The History of Modern Terrorism
Paul Bookbinder T/Th 11:00AM-12:15PM
The course will trace the history of modern terrorism from the Russian Anarchists of the late nineteenth century to the current members of Al Qaeda and the Islamic state. There will be a case study of the IRA as one of the longest-lived terrorist groups.
HIST 395: History of Boston (at Copley Square)
Mike Rush T 6:00-9:00PM
HIST 478: Special Topics Seminar: Title TBA
Spencer Di Scala MW 4-5:15PM
This course examines European Diplomacy, 1871-1914, from the Bismarck Era to World War I. Readings and discussions will reveal the secrets of the diplomacy of this period and—by linking it to the changes in society and power relationships within and between nations, the process by which the greatest war the world had ever known broke out—thus creating our modern world.
HIST 481: Research & Methods
Capstone course focused on research and writing and the production of an independent research project. As with HIST 101, each section focuses on a different historical problem. Take in your last semester or two.
Section 1: Paul Bookbinger TTh 4:00–5:15PM
This course will focus on the Holocaust and Genocide. We will investigate these mass murder campaigns the events themselves, their causes and world reactions to them.
Section 2: Elizabeth McCahill MW 4:00PM–5:15PM
This course interrogates the claim that modern Western conceptions of individualism emerged in Europe between 1400 and 1700. We will look at arguments about this topic as a model for how historians develop and support their theories.
See the bulletin board outside the History Dept main office.
- Science, Medicine, & Society Minor
- Native American & Indigenous Studies Minor
- Archaeology & History Major
Summer 2017 Courses
Summer courses are not yet posted, but click here for information about this class on Nantucket Island!
Students declaring their History major should take History 101 as soon as possible. They should also take one or two survey courses before moving on to 300-level courses. Below is a complete list of undergraduate courses in History. We expect to be adding a number of new courses over the next few years, and this list will be updated to reflect those new courses.
Courses in History
Below is a full list of course offerings in History