History

Queer Latinx Borderlands

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

What does Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny have to do with 16th century Mexico criminal archives? What does the Netflix series Pose (2018) have to do with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)? They converge in the queer borderlands, Chicana lesbian Gloria Anzaldúa’s spatial framework. Just as border studies has taught us that such encounters and crossroads exist far beyond literal borders, so too does this course delink from any geographical space, instead deploying Anzaldúa’s framework to provide an account for two major arcs while centering gender and sexual non/normativity.... Read more about Queer Latinx Borderlands

The Archaeology of Women and Gender in the Ancient World

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

Women represent half of humanity, but they have been greatly underrepresented in studies of past cultures and societies. This course provides an introduction to aspects of women’s lives in the cultures of ancient Mediterranean Greece and Rome. We will examine not only what women actually did and did not do in these societies, but also how they were perceived by their male contemporaries and what value to society they were believed to have. The course will focus on how women are reflected in the material and visual cultures, but it will incorporate historical and literary evidence as well. Through such a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, we will examine the complexities and ambiguities of women’s lives in the ancient Mediterranean and begin to understand the roots of modern conceptions and perceptions of women in the Western world today.

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Political Economy: Advanced Democracies

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
This is a survey of advanced topics in political economy, with a focus on affluent democracies in North America, Western Europe, and East Asia. We will explore cross-national differences in the organization of economic, political, and social institutions, and how these produce divergent economic policies and outcomes. We will also ask how class, race, and gender affect the politics of inequality and redistribution, and we will consider the political and economic consequences of globalization, women’s economic mobilization, and new technology -- including the rise of right populism. The course is taught seminar-style and restricted to a maximum of 16 advanced undergraduates.... Read more about Political Economy: Advanced Democracies

Human Rights and Humanitarianism in the Modern World

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Human rights and humanitarianism are fundamental to modern political ethics. Yet the moral consensus surrounding these terms obscures an often disturbing history. This course is an introduction to human rights and humanitarianism as frameworks for understanding European, imperial, and global history from the enlightenment to the present day. Rather than uncritically accepting a triumphalist narrative, we will explore how these concepts were constructed over time, asking how they were used in practice, whose interests they served, and how they enabled inequality and exclusion along axes of race, gender, class, and nationality even as they promised a more just world.... Read more about Human Rights and Humanitarianism in the Modern World

Rise and Fall of Postwar Japan

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Examines Japan’s rise from the ashes of wartime defeat to global economic power and subsequent stagnation, with primary focus on society and economy.  Considers the value and the limits of a narrative of “rise and fall” as the framework for understanding the 75 years since World War II, with focus on trends in gender roles, social (in)equality, and human impact on the environment.  Asks how have people in postwar Japan, and the government, explained to themselves and the world the previous embrace of empire and war.... Read more about Rise and Fall of Postwar Japan

Racial Education

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

In this seminar, we will think together about education as a site of radical imagination, turning to learning spaces from the 20th century to the present where people have envisioned and attempted to bring about different worlds. Major topics of the course will include: education and social change, critical pedagogy, the imagination, abolition, and worldbuilding. Throughout the course, we will look at course catalogues, manifestos, memoirs, newspapers, and other primary sources as well as theory and secondary scholarship in social movement history, critical pedagogy, literary studies, Black Studies, and women & gender studies. Together, we will ask some of the following questions: In what ways is education part of larger struggles for freedom and liberation? How do each of these educational projects seek to radically imagine and bring about other worlds? What kinds of learning spaces do we want to build today?... Read more about Racial Education

Identity and the Self in the Medieval Greek Tradition

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
This seminar explores the construction and complexity of identities in the Greek tradition (300-1500). Students will read fascinating narratives, biographies, and autobiographies, and will learn how to analyze them from historical and literary perspectives. Questions for discussion include political, religious, and ethnic identity in late antiquity and Byzantium, the meaning of being "Roman" and "Greek," the plasticity of self-representation, and the interpretation of religion, gender, and class as both social and cultural categories.... Read more about Identity and the Self in the Medieval Greek Tradition

German History from Bismarck to Hitler

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
German History loomed like a specter over the twentieth century. In the twenty-first century, Americans have been debating the relevance and legitimacy of comparisons between German history and our contemporary world. How useful is German history for understanding our current moment? How might our present-day concerns distort what we see in the past? This course will examine the history of Germans in Europe and elsewhere, starting with the revolutions of 1848 and ending with the separation of Austria, West Germany, and East Germany following the Second World War. Themes will be war, insurrection, and terrorism, revolution and counter-revolution, gender and sexuality, reform, violence, anti-Semitism, racial thinking and racism, and migration.... Read more about German History from Bismarck to Hitler

Topics in Latinx Studies: Imagining Latinidad

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

This course is intended to provide hands-on practice toward doing research on Latinx issues, with an approach grounded in the understanding that terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latinidad’ are not static concepts and, at the same time, not a homogeneous mix. We will examine culture, intellectual production, languages, economics, and political thought, as well as the dynamics of Latino/a/e people in the United States. Throughout the class, students will become familiar with a wide range of thinkers, currents, concepts, topics, and they will be exposed to frameworks of decolonial history and knowledge. The class will also facilitate conversations about the current place of Latinx cultures within the U.S. imaginary, including the immigrant groups from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, as well Indigenous and Afro-diasporic communities.... Read more about Topics in Latinx Studies: Imagining Latinidad

Slavery in the Global Middle Ages

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

This course focuses on systems of human bondage in the period stretching from ancient Rome to the eve of the sixteenth century, which is when modern racialized slavery began to predominate. Though class readings will focus on the historical and archaeological evidence from the societies ringing the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean, students are warmly encouraged to develop research projects featuring the slave systems of East Asia and the New World.

Learning Objectives. After successfully completing this course, students will have acquired:

  • A framework for understanding the history of Old World slavery, principally Western Eurasia, Africa, and the Indian Ocean, from ancient Rome to the 16th century
  • An introduction to slave systems in the New World and an understanding of forms of Indigenous slavery
  • An understanding of major themes in the general history and anthropology of slavery, including the role of race and gender, the forms of domination, and the existence of inter-cultural and historical variation
  • Skills associated with identifying and working with primary and secondary sources in multiple languages
  • The ability to design and execute a historical research project

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Mystical Theology

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
This course will examine the history of mystical theology in early and medieval Christianity. Through a close reading of primary texts in translation we will explore the practices through which the mystical life is pursued; the interplay of affirmation (kataphasis) and negation (apophasis) in language and images surrounding mystical reading, prayer, and meditation; varying conceptions of mystical union and annihilation; and the role of gender and what we might call sexuality within texts about the mystical life. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1448.... Read more about Mystical Theology

Keats Isn't Dead: How We Live Romanticism

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

Our thoughts and feelings about identity, self-expression, and the power of the imagination draw on the British Romantic poetry of the Long Eighteenth Century—whether we've read any or not. Focusing on John Keats (his key poems, and his key ideas, about "negative capability", the "camelion poet", and so on), this course makes unconventional connections into the twentieth, and twenty-first century. Tracking issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, we'll bounce from Keats into war verse; African-American poetries; world/postcolonial writing; the literature of social class; feminist experimentalism; and constructions of masculinity. Concentrators will learn how to analyze poetry in both closed and open forms.... Read more about Keats Isn't Dead: How We Live Romanticism

Identity and the Self in the Medieval Greek Tradition

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
This seminar explores the construction and complexity of identities in the Greek tradition (300-1500).  Readings include fascinating narratives, biographies, and autobiographies. Students will learn how to approach these rich texts from combined historical and literary perspectives, while gaining familiarity with current cutting-edge research. Questions for discussion include political, religious, and ethnic identity in late antiquity and Byzantium, the meaning of being “Roman” and “Greek,” the plasticity of self-representation, and the interpretation of religion, gender, and class as both social and cultural categories.... Read more about Identity and the Self in the Medieval Greek Tradition

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